The Sombolay and Lalas Cases

These two cases underscore the miscarriage of justice and the unequal treatment that occurred in the Pollard Case.

In the one case, you have an American soldier, Albert Sombolay, who in spite of having spied for Iraq during the Gulf War - a clear act of treason - received what can only be described as a "slap on the wrist" as a punishment. Sombolay's actions could have resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops fighting against Iraq. Yet in his case, the Army and U.S. government bent over backwards to downplay the case and to hush it up. Sombolay's 35 year sentence was quietly reduced to 19 years. Further reductions likely occurred as a result of appeals that were planned in the wake of this first reduction. The case then became so shrouded from public view that it has not been possible to get any further information on it since then.

In the other case you have a State Department official, Steven Lalas who, out of ethnic loyalty to Greece, exposed the identities of countless CIA agents operating in the Balkans. He put the lives of all of these American agents in jeopardy. Lalas did not even honor the terms of his plea agreement, and yet in spite of this, and in spite of the enormity of his crimes, the government still honored its plea agreement with him. The CIA restrained itself so completely in this case that it declined to even comment about the potential harm Lalas' actions may have caused to the national security. Throughout the Lalas case, Greece was treated with kid gloves. Compare and contrast this to the savaging that Israel took from the U.S. government and media in the wake of the arrest of Jonathan Pollard.

The treatment of Sombolay and Lalas cases by the U.S. government was delicate and restrained. Consequently, the American public is largely unaware of these two, in spite of the enormously serious crimes that they committed against the United States. The Pollard case, on the other hand has been so sensationalized that it is unlikely that either Pollard or Israel will ever fully recover from the effects of the smear campaign that the government has waged against them in the media since the inception of this case.


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