June 7, 2007
To: Mary Louise Kelly
Re: U.S. Official Russian Espionage at 'Cold War Levels' on "All Things Considered"
Dear Ms. Kelly,
We are pro bono counsel for Jonathan Pollard. We heard your June 6, 2007 report on Russian espionage. While stopping short of explicitly accusing Mr. Pollard of having spied for the KGB, your report unmistakably creates that erroneous impression. For example, Mr. Pollard is the first spy mentioned by name, just ahead of Robert Hanssen who in fact spied for the Soviet Union.
Mr. Pollard did not spy for the Soviet Union, nor any other enemy of the United States. Mr. Pollard's conduct was limited to providing classified information to Israel, a long-time ally of the United States. Mr. Pollard was never charged with intent to harm the United States. Yet your report misleadingly implied to your listeners that Mr. Pollard was a double agent who sold U.S. secrets to the KGB at the height of the Cold War. Nothing of the kind happened. Whether inadvertent or otherwise, your implication that Mr. Pollard spied for the KGB requires an immediate retraction, both on-air and on the NPR website.
Please contact us immediately to advise when and in what form a retraction will be publicized.
Eliot Lauer & Jacques Semmelman