Jonathan Pollard, sentenced to life in a US federal penitentiary, committed an unforgivable sin. He unmasked US foreign policy.
In a recent post on the American Ambassador to Israel saying that the US was merciful in not executing Pollard there was a link to a post by Ronald Olive and a rebuttal (by Pollard attorneys, Lauer and Semmelman) "Don't be fooled by Ron Olive". The rebuttal quoted from a US Government court filing [The Victim Impact Statement] that described the damage Pollard caused to the US. It is very instructive:
"Mr. Pollard's unauthorized disclosures have threatened the US [sic] relations with numerous Middle East Arab allies, many of whom question the extent to which Mr. Pollard's disclosures of classified information have skewed the balance of power in the Middle East."
This is unbelievable; yet, it is believable.
In other words, the US didn't want anyone to know the true relationship between the US and its Arab allies. It suggests that the public face it puts on these relationships have nothing to do with reality. This is a matter of utmost importance to both the US and the Arabs. It also suggests that the US knew of Arab plans that were detrimental to Israel and the US was not willing to tell Israel about them.
"Moreover, because Mr. Pollard provided the Israelis virtually any classified document requested by Mr. Pollard's co-conspirators, the US has been deprived of the quid pro quo routinely received during authorized and official intelligence exchanges with Israel, and Israel has received information classified at a level far in excess of that ever contemplated by the National Security Council. The obvious result of Mr. Pollard's largess is that US bargaining leverage with the Israeli government in any further intelligence exchanges has been undermined."
The fact that the US, as a result of Pollard's actions, had fewer bargaining chips is of minor importance. Israel shares most of its intelligence without a specific quid pro quo. But this sentence supports the argument that the US has many secrets that it does not share with Israel. Why does the US keep Israel, ostensibly a friend and ally, in the dark? The US has no need for "bargaining leverage," but it does have a need to not share with Israel the many things it does which are not in Israel's favour.
"In short, Mr. Pollard's activities have adversely affected US relations with both its Middle East Arab allies and the government of Israel."
This sums it up. Pollard made Israel stronger because Israel had a clearer understanding of the true US-Arab relationship, and Arab intentions and plans.
The way I see it, the magnitude of Pollard's sentence reflects the magnitude of the American secrets. One must conclude that the US was duplicitous. It worked to shrink Israel while posturing as its friend.
So, in effect, Pollard was spying for an enemy, Israel, rather than for a friend. His life sentence proves it. I wonder if the US is being so hard-nosed about it in order to please the Saudis?
The author, Ted Belman, is one of the editors of IsraPundit weblog.