Archive for the ‘Jonathan Pollard’ Category

Ignore the Haters. Russia Is Not Our Enemy. – Reason (blog)

Mikhail Klimentyev/ZUMA Press/NewscomThose hoping for an early end to the Trump administration received a gift this week as Donald Trump Jr. disclosed an exchange with a Russian lawyer. The Russian hacking story now promises to dominate headlines for the remainder of Trump’s presidency, however long it lasts.

For the duration, talking heads will be telling us that Russia is an adversary and a hostile threat. But regardless of whether the president was involved, Russia hating, while great for the military-industrial complex, is inimical to world peace and broader American prosperity.

The intelligence and military leakers and Trump’s political enemies believe friendly relations with Vladimir Putin’s government are dangerous. But since Russia can annihilate our country, the greater danger is not engaging with Putin.

The anti-Russia hyperventilation covers the political spectrum. Republican Sen. John McCain told an interviewer that Putin is a greater threat than ISIS, accusing Russia of trying to change election results in America, France and elsewhere. But Putin’s regime is not decapitating or urging lone wolves to massacre Americans on US soil. And as for Russian manipulation, the pro-Russian candidate Marine LePen was crushed in the May presidential election in France.

Democrat Hillary Clinton accused the Trump campaign of conspiring with Russia to “weaponize” leaked information against her with the WikiLeaks’ dump of John Podesta email messages. Clinton’s collusion assertion is based on her questionable assumption that WikiLeaks is an agent of Russia. Since WikiLeaks operates out of an embassy in London, one might expect our British allies to have leaked Putin’s instructions to Julian Assange by now.

McCain, Clinton and others are amplifying the US intelligence community’s public indictment of Russia for election meddling during the closing days of the Obama administration. That report also claims that Russian agents hacked Podesta’s email and released them through WikiLeaks, but does not provide hard evidence.

Intelligence community assertions should be treated with skepticism. After all, this community concluded in 2002 that Saddam Hussein had WMD’s. Further, a senior member of the intelligence community, James Clapper, lied to Congress in 2013 when he denied that the NSA collects data on Americans.

Even assuming the allegations are true, they do not lead to the immediate conclusion that Russia is an enemy. Friendly countries spy on one another and try to influence each other’s elections all the time. President Obama called on British voters to reject Brexit, and the NSA appears to have bugged German Prime Minister Angela Merkel’s mobile phone.

Israel spies on the US and tries to influence our elections. Jonathan Pollard’s espionage “has few parallels” according to the CIA, which concluded he had “put at risk important U.S. intelligence and foreign policy interests.” In 2012, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attempted to scuttle President Obama’s re-election effort.

Most of the intelligence community memo focuses on the activities of RT, a Russian media group that operates a cable news channel, a web site and social media properties in the US. RT is accused of spreading propaganda and fake news that impacted our election. But such media are neither new nor unique to Russia.

Our Voice of America, the British Broadcasting Corporation, and other state media have been around for decades. Among the personalities on RT America are Larry King, Jesse Ventura, and former Air America hosts Thom Hartmann and Ed Schultz none of whom appear to be stooges for Vladimir Putin. Further, as Simon van Zuylen-Wood noted in his excellent overview of RT, the network “is watched by so few people that Nielsen doesn’t bother to publish its ratings.”

To be sure, Putin has some very undemocratic inclinations. But the US has maintained and continues to maintain friendly relations with despotic nations. President Richard Nixon visited China in 1971, not long after Mao Zedong killed tens of millions of people with his Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution. Today, there is widespread support for friendly relations with Saudi Arabia an undemocratic nation that stones women to death for adultery.

It is also true that Russia is a rival for influence on the world stage. This perhaps is why our generals, intelligence operatives, representatives, think tanks and the media so dislike Putin. While the foreign affairs intelligentsia views the world as a power-playing chessboard, this approach to geopolitics is contrary to the interests of ordinary Americans who don’t benefit from international conflicts.

When President Trump met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the oval office a few weeks ago, he shared intelligence about a plot by Syrian-based ISIS operatives to place laptop bombs on civilian airplanes. Russia’s presence in Syria may have helped thwart this plot. And it had an incentive to do so: ISIS previously downed a Russian civilian airliner in the Sinai Desert.

As president, Donald Trump has the legal right to declassify the intelligence. But some unelected bureaucrat in the US national security establishment decided that Trump’s actions were inappropriate and leaked the story to The Washington Post. It is possible the leak alerted ISIS that its plot had been compromised, encouraging the terrorists to protect their bomb-building efforts from further scrutiny. The potential victims of this leak are civilian passengers of US airlines the presumed target of the ISIS plot.

Russia also provided intelligence that, had it been handled properly by the FBI, could have prevented the Tsarnaev brothers from bombing the Boston marathon.

Rather than cooperating, however, the national security establishment not only seeks conflict with Russia, it looks for enemies around the world. Hostilities provide lucrative contracts and a sense of mission to those advancing them but imposes huge costs on the rest of us. US troops are now engaged in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Somalia.

Worldwide warfare has driven national security spending toward $1 trillion a year. With a national debt approaching $20 trillion, this is a financial cost our country can ill afford. And since 2001, the US has suffered almost 7,000 deaths and over 52,000 wounded in foreign hostilities.

Democrats 50 years ago were peace organizers, fired by Martin Luther King’s condemnation of the Vietnam War. And Barack Obama won the presidency promising to withdraw from Iraq.

But in their desire to rid the White House of Donald Trump, Democrats have forsaken their anti-war heritage. Instead, they are teaming up with Republican hawks and the Deep State to drive a wedge between the US and Russia.

Libertarians are the logical champions of peace and prosperity, but some have expressed sympathy for coercive US government actions to counter Russian influence. These include targeted sanctions and funding for groups in Eastern Europe that supposedly promote liberal democracy.

Although portrayed as a penalty on foreign powers, sanctions prevent US individuals and companies and individuals from doing business with those countries. A new Senate bill, S.722, prevents US companies from working on gas pipelines between Russia and Western Europe. The bill also appropriates $500 million of US taxpayer money to a “Countering Russian Influence Fund,” to be spent in Eastern Europe. The legislative language lists six possible uses for this money which sound good, but are vague and open to broad interpretation.

Libertarians recognize the state usually abuses the powers we give it. We should never advocate for restrictions on trade or appropriation of tax money for so-called democracy promotion. Peace and non-interventionism are core tenets of libertarianism that too many self-identified libertarians seem to forget. We must avoid repeating the mistakes we made in the runup to the Iraq War.

Regardless of one’s position on Trump, Congress has not declared war on Russia. Russia has not invaded us. Russia is not our enemy.

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Ignore the Haters. Russia Is Not Our Enemy. – Reason (blog)

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July 14, 2017   Posted in: Jonathan Pollard  Comments Closed

United behind Illinois delegation’s ‘Open Skies’ letter – Politico

With Aubree Eliza Weaver and Daniel Lippman

UNITED BEHIND ILLINOIS DELEGATIONS OPEN SKIES LETTER: Nearly every member of the Illinois congressional delegation sent a letter last week to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross urging them to crack down on three Gulf airlines for violating Open Skies agreements. Well-paying airline jobs are now under threat as a result of the anti-competitive practices of three subsidized Gulf airlines Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways and Emirates, the members wrote. (Only Sens. Dick Durbin, Tammy Duckworth and Rep. Mike Quigley, all Democrats, didnt sign the letter.) The letter closely echoes the complaints of Delta, American and United airlines that the Gulf carriers are unfairly costing them business.

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If the letter sounds like it could have been written by a United lobbyist, thats because it was. A draft copy of the letter obtained by POLITICO shows Adam Hepburn, a United lobbyist, as the author. The draft copy is almost identical to the final letter. Isaac Sancken, a spokesman for Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), who took the lead in assembling support for the letter, confirmed that United wrote the letter and that American and Delta were involved as well. (Krista Stark of Stark Strategies, who counts American as a client, is listed as the last person to modify the draft of a second, nearly identical letter apparently intended to be sent by the Texas delegation; its not clear whether that letter has been sent.) Congressman Lipinski is happy to work with the airlines, the pilots union, and whomever else is standing up for jobs and industry success in the U.S., Sancken said in a statement.

Jonathan Grella, the executive vice president of the U.S. Travel Association, which has opposed the airlines crusade against the Gulf carriers, criticized United in a statement. Make no mistake: more growth and connectivity from under-served markets to the U.S has meant more American jobs, not less, Grella said. We believe members of Congress, like travelers, deserve respect and must never be taken for granted. United did not respond to a request for comment. Neither did Stark.

MONUMENT ADDS HOEFER: Monument Policy Group is adding a lobbyist, bringing on Joseph Hoefer as senior legislative manager. He previously worked for Liz Robbins Associates as legislative counsel, working on issues including juvenile justice reform, tax extenders and food and agriculture policy.

Good afternoon, and welcome to PI. Switching jobs? Making a hire? Give me a shout: tmeyer@politico.com. You can also follow me on Twitter: @theodoricmeyer.

SQUARE HIRES PORTERFIELD, FETTIG & SEARS: Square has hired Porterfield, Fettig & Sears as its third lobbying firm in Washington. The mobile payments company also has the Franklin Square Group and the Smith-Free Group on retainer.

ALL THE PRESIDENTS LAWYERS: Jonathan Mahler has a piece in The New York Times Magazine examining President Donald Trumps relationship with his lawyers. Working for him is not for everyone. Washington lawyers have defended spies, embezzlers, strongmen, torturers, Mahler writes. But the prospect of defending Trump has apparently given them pause. Brendan Sullivan of Williams & Connolly, who represented Oliver North, and Ted Olson of Gibson, Dunn, who represented the Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, are among the veterans of Washington scandals who have reportedly rejected overtures to join Trumps legal defense team. Full story.

SQUIRE PATTON BOGGS WILL WORK ON STADIUM REDEVELOPMENT: Squire Patton Boggs will lobby Congress and the administration on behalf of Events DC as the District works to redevelop the Robert F. Kennedy Stadium site, the firm announced on Thursday. The District leases the 190-acre site along the Anacostia River from the National Park Service. The lease, which runs through 2038, only allows for sports and recreational development of the land. To move forward with the redevelopment of the RFK Campus site plan, the team at Squire Patton Boggs will develop and execute a strategy to extend our leasehold interest or explore a land transfer for the RFK Campus site, the firm said in a statement.

AHEAD OF THE FILINGS: Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer has signed four new clients. Kevin ONeill, Charley Landgraf, Greg Louer, Dana Weekes, Amy Smith, Amy Davenport and Sam Martin will lobby for Trinidad Benham on international trade issues. Roxana Boyd, Sarah Garofalo Linder, Davenport, ONeill, Weekes and Smith are representing Baylor University. Eugenia Pierson, Kristine Blackwood and Pari Mody will lobby for Edge Therapeutics, a New Jersey biotechnology firm. And ONeill, Pierson and Linder will lobby on veterans health issues for Bruin Biometrics, a Los Angeles medical device company.

JOBS REPORT

The National Rural Electric Cooperative is bringing on Bobby Hamill as a legislative affairs manager, working on generation and transmission issues. He was previously legislative director for Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.).

Tom Murta will start next week as the next executive director of the Short Line Safety Institute. He was previously assistant vice president of safety and operations compliance for CSX Transportation.

The American Physical Therapy Association has promoted Mandy Frohlich to chief operating officer. She was previously executive vice president of public affairs.

Ashley Hunt is joining the Concord Coalition as grass roots and outreach director. She was previously an account executive at LS2group, a bipartisan public relations firm based in Des Moines, Iowa.

EMILY’s List has promoted Alexandra De Luca to press secretary. She was previously deputy press secretary.

NEW JOINT FUNDRAISERS:

None

NEW PACs:

Medicare For All PAC (MAPAC) (PAC) Republicans Preserving Our Majority PAC (RPM PAC) (Leadership PAC: Rep. Paul Mitchell) Take A Seat (PAC) WakeUp Political Action Committee (Super PAC)

NEW LOBBYING REGISTRATIONS:

Balch & Bingham, LLP: Northern Star Generation Blank Rome LLP: Dakota Creek Industries, Inc. Blue Marble Strategy LLC: Return to Freedom Dentons US LLP: ChenMed Dykema Gossett PLLC: One Nation Health Francis Edward & Cronin, Inc.: PATH Decision Support Software, LLC Greenfield Government Strategies, LLC: American Water James Edwards: Conservatives for Property Rights Peck Madigan Jones: Gentle Giant Moving Company Porter Group, LLC: University of Nevada, Reno Porterfield, Fettig & Sears, LLC: Square, Inc. Squire Patton Boggs: Westinghouse Electric Company

NEW LOBBYING TERMINATIONS:

EDF Inc.: EDF Inc. National Wildlife Refuge Association: National Wildlife Refuge Association Podesta Group, Inc.: Lend Lease (US) Public Partnerships LLC Skladany Consulting LLC: DSCN Capital The Crane Group Inc: Iheartmedia Inc (Formerly Known As Clear Channel)

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United behind Illinois delegation’s ‘Open Skies’ letter – Politico

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July 10, 2017   Posted in: Jonathan Pollard  Comments Closed

Israeli spy Pollard released after 30 years in US jail – MSN

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13 Killed, 88 Wounded In July 4th Weekend Shootings

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Jewish American spy Jonathan Pollard was released from a US prison Friday after serving nearly 30 years for passing American secrets to Israel, in a move welcomed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The decades-long punishment has been deemed disproportionate by the Jewish state, where Pollard is seen by some as a national hero.

Netanyahu, who has long pressed for Pollard’s release, said Friday that “after three long and difficult decades Jonathan is at last reunited with his family.”

“The people of Israel welcome the release of Jonathan Pollard,” he said.

The sentence has been a major bone of contention between Israel and the United States, with successive US presidents beginning with Ronald Reagan through Barack Obama refusing Pollard’s early release.

“As someone who raised Jonathan’s case for years with successive American presidents, I had long hoped this day would come,” Netanyahu said.

The 61-year-old was set free before dawn from a federal prison in Butner, North Carolina, his main supporters’ group in Israel said. But he is barred from leaving the United States for five years.

A US court jailed Pollard, a Stanford University graduate and former US Navy intelligence analyst, for life in 1987 after he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to deliver national defense information to a foreign government.

Pollard’s release on parole comes almost 30 years to the day of his arrest on November 21, 1985.

Perception of Pollard, who was granted Israeli citizenship in 1995, has evolved there over the years, with rightwing activists seeking to turn him into an icon.

In the United States, however, Pentagon and CIA officials are still reeling with anger from the classified defense documents that Pollard leaked.

In a sign of the case’s sensitivity, Netanyahu had asked his ministers to refrain from claiming a victory upon Pollard’s release, according to local media.

Pollard’s lawyers have shown similar discretion in recent days, refusing to give details of the prisoner’s plans once he is freed.

However they have said that he has given assurances that he has a job and a place to live in the New York area.

A spokesman for his Israeli supporters group had no immediate word on Pollard’s whereabouts after his release.

Obama’s deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said returning Pollard to Israel is an issue “Netanyahu has regularly raised.”

“Again the president does not have any plans to alter the terms of his parole,” Rhodes said, speaking of Pollard.

– Stream of intelligence –

According to Pollard’s family, the former spy, who was born in Texas, wishes to settle in Israel with Esther Zeitz, a Canadian Jew involved in campaigning for his release and whom he married in prison.

The release allows Pollard, who became very religious behind bars, to observe the Jewish Sabbath which begins at sundown on Friday.

“May this Sabbath bring him much joy and peace that will continue in the years and decades ahead,” Netanyahu said.

Pollard’s involvement with spying began after he joined the US Navy, and eventually received sufficient security clearance to access Top Secret and Sensitive Compartmented Information.

Pollard made contact in June 1984 with an Israeli colonel, Aviem Sella, who was pursuing graduate studies at New York University, and offered to provide him with classified information.

He soon began supplying a stream of intelligence to the Israelis, reportedly thousands of documents.

Pollard is also alleged to have passed classified information to South Africa, and to have given his then wife Anne documents on China for use in her personal business.

Washington later accused Pollard of causing considerable harm to US interests during the Cold War, although the full scope of his take has never been publicly disclosed.

He claimed only to have passed information vital to Israel’s security that had been withheld by the Americans, but security experts feared the information might have ended up in the hands of the Soviet Union, at the time Washington’s arch rival.

– Modern day affair? –

He told investigators he was asked to obtain US information on Arab nuclear programs and “Arab exotic weaponry,” a former top secret CIA document said.

Israel’s October 1985 raid on the Palestinian Liberation Organisation’s Tunis headquarters that killed some 60 people was planned with information from Pollard, according to CIA documents that were declassified in 2012.

His work also contributed to the Israeli assassination of the PLO’s second-in-command, Khalil al-Wazir, or Abu Jihad, in 1988.

The Pollard affair may go back to the 1980s, but some believe he is still being used as a pawn in modern-day affairs and that his release is a conciliatory gesture toward an Israeli government that was irked by the nuclear deal between the West and Iran.

Others, however, disagree

“The parole after 30 years was expected by many, even without the Iran deal. It may help the strained US-Israeli relations after the Iran deal, but I think this was not the decisive cause for the release,” Michael Brenner, director of the Center for Israel Studies at American University, told AFP.

A US court jailed Jonathan Pollard, a Stanford University graduate and former US Navy intelligence analyst, for life in 1987 after he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy

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Israeli spy Pollard released after 30 years in US jail – MSN

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July 5, 2017   Posted in: Jonathan Pollard  Comments Closed

Jonathan Pollard: All-Around Terrible Person Daily Stormer

Steve Sailer iSteve April 4, 2014

Its testament to the power of insisting upon your version of The Narrative over and over that easily looked-up facts about the traitor Jonathan Pollard can simply be ignored.

For example, rather than being an ethno-patriotic altruist who gave Israel 3,600 cubic feet of secret American documents out of sheer idealism, Pollard is an all-around terrible person as countless incidents in his life attest. Always has been. From his Wikipedia article:

Pollard grew up with what he called a racial obligation to Israel,[15] and made his first trip to Israel in 1970, as part of a science program visiting the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot. While there, he was hospitalized after a fight with another student. One Weizmann scientist remembered Pollard as leaving behind a reputation of being an unstable troublemaker, the worst case of this kind in the history of the summer camp.[16]

After completing high school, Pollard attended Stanford University, where he completed a degree in political science in 1976.[14] While there, he is remembered by several of his acquaintances as boasting that he was a dual citizen of the United States and Israel and claiming to work for the Mossad and to have attained the rank of colonel in the Israel Defense Forces. None of these claims were true.[17][18][19]

Pollard was turned down for the CIA job after taking a polygraph test in which he admitted to prolific illegal drug usage between 1974 and 1978. The Navy asked for but was denied information from the CIA regarding Pollard, including the results of their pre-employment polygraph test showing Pollards excessive drug use.[23]

Two months after Pollard was hired, the technical director of NOSIC, Richard Haver, requested that he be terminated.[23] This came after a conversation with the new hire in which Pollard offered to start a back-channel operation with the South African intelligence service and lied about his fathers involvement with the CIA.[23] Instead of terminating Pollard, Havers boss reassigned him to a Navy human intelligence (HUMINT) operation, In the vetting process for this position, Pollard, it was later discovered, lied repeatedly: he denied illegal drug use, claimed his father had been a CIA operative, misrepresented his language abilities and his educational achievements, and claimed to have applied for a commission as officer in the Naval Reserve.[23]

While transferring to his new job at TF-168, Pollard again initiated a meeting with someone far up the chain of command, this time with Admiral Sumner Shapiro, Commander, Naval Intelligence Command (CNIC) about an idea he had for TF-168 and South Africa. (The TF-168 group had passed on his ideas.) After the meeting, Shapiro immediately ordered that Pollards security clearances be revoked and that he be reassigned to a non-sensitive position. According to The Washington Post, Shapiro dismissed Pollard as a kook, saying later, I wish the hell Id fired him.[24]

Because of the job transfer, Shapiros order to remove Pollards security clearances slipped through the cracks. However, Shapiros office followed up with a request to TF-168 that Pollards trustworthiness be investigated by the CIA. The CIA found Pollard to be a risk and recommended that he not be used in any intelligence collection operation. A subsequent polygraph test was inconclusive, although it did prompt Pollard to admit to making false statements to his superiors, prior drug use, and having unauthorized contacts with representatives of foreign governments.[25] The special agent administering the test felt that Pollard, who at times began shouting and shaking and making gagging sounds as if he were going to vomit, was feigning illness to invalidate the test, and recommended that he not be granted access to highly classified information.[25] Pollard was also required to be evaluated by a psychiatrist.[25]

Pollards clearance was reduced to Secret.[25] Pollard subsequently filed a grievance and threatened lawsuits to recover his SCI clearance, and subsequently began receiving excellent performance reviews.[26] In 1982, after the psychiatrist concluded Pollard had no mental illness, Pollards clearance was upgraded to SCI once again. In October 1984, after some reorganization of the Navys intelligence departments, Pollard applied for and was accepted into a position as an analyst for the Naval Intelligence Command.[citation needed]

Shortly after Pollard began working at NIC/TF-168, he met Aviem Sella, a combat veteran of the Israeli Air Force, at the time on leave from his position as a colonel to gain a masters degree in computer science as a graduate student at New York University. Pollard told Sella that he worked for U.S. naval intelligence, detailed to him specific incidents where U.S. intelligence was withholding information from Israel, and offered himself as a spy. Though Sella had wondered whether Pollard was part of an FBI sting operation to recruit an Israeli, he ended up believing him. Within a few days, in June 1984, Pollard started passing classified information to Sella and received, in exchange, $10,000 cash and a very expensive diamond and sapphire ring, which Pollard later used to propose marriage to his girlfriend Anne. He also agreed to receive $1,500 per month for further espionage.[28]

Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) investigator Ronald Olive has alleged that Pollard passed classified information to South Africa,[29] and attempted, through a third party, to sell classified information to Pakistan on multiple occasions.[30] Pollard also stole classified documents related to China on behalf of his wife, who used the information to advance her personal business-interests and kept them around the house, where investigating authorities discovered them when Pollards espionage activity came to light.[31][32][33]

During Pollards trial, the US governments memorandum in aid of sentencing challenged defendants claim that he was motivated by altruism rather than greed, asserting that Pollard had disclosed classified information in anticipation of financial gain in other instances:

The governments investigation has revealed that defendant provided to certain of his acquaintances U.S. classified documents which defendant obtained through U.S. Navy sources. The classified documents which defendant disclosed to two such acquaintances, both of whom are professional investment advisers, contained classified economic and political analyses which defendant believed would help his acquaintances render investment advice to their clients Defendant acknowledged that, although he was not paid for his unauthorized disclosures of classified information to the above-mentioned acquaintances, he hoped to be rewarded ultimately through business opportunities that these individuals could arrange for defendant when he eventually left his position with the U.S. Navy. In fact, defendant was involved in an ongoing business venture with two of these acquaintances at the time he provided the classified information to them[34]

During the course of the Pollard trial, Australian authorities reported the disclosure of classified American documents by Pollard to one of their own agents, a Royal Australian Navy officer who had been engaged in a personnel-exchange naval-liaison program between the U.S. and Australia.[35] The Australian officer, alarmed by Pollards repeated disclosure to him of data caveated No Foreign Access Allowed, reported the indiscretions to his chain of command, which in turn recalled him from his position in the U.S., fearing that the disclosures might be part of a CIA ruse.

Seymour Hersh reported in The New Yorker in 1999:

Had Pollards case gone to trial, one of the governments major witnesses would have been a journalist named Kurt Lohbeck, who had a checkered past. He had served seven months in prison after being convicted of passing a bad check in New Mexico in 1977, but by 1985 he was under contract to the CBS Evening News. Lohbeck, who now lives in Albuquerque (he received a full pardon from the governor of New Mexico two years ago), acknowledged in a telephone interview that he was prepared to testify, if necessary, about his involvement in Pollards unsuccessful efforts in 1985 to broker arms sales for the rebels in the Afghan war. At one meeting with a foreign diplomat, Lohbeck said, Pollard posed as a high-level C.I.A. operative. Lohbeck, who was then CBSs main battlefield correspondent in the Afghan war, told me that Pollard had provided him, and thus CBS, with a large number of classified American documents concerning the war. He also told me that Pollard had never discussed Israel with him or indicated any special feelings for the state. I never heard anything political from Jay, Lohbeck added, other than that he tried to portray himself as a Reaganite. Not a word about Israel. Jays sole interest was in making a lot of money.

Lohbeck went on to say that he had also been prepared to testify, if asked, about Pollards drug use. Jay used cocaine heavily, and had no compunction about doing it in public. Hed just lay it in lines on the table. In 1985, Lohbeck made similar statements, government officials said, to the F.B.I.

Pollard, told by me of Lohbecks assertions, sent a response from a jail cell in North Carolina: My relationship with Lohbeck is extremely complicated. I was never indicted for anything I did with him. Remember that.

Pollard reminds me vaguely of lobbyist-felonJack Abramoff, except Pollard was out of control on cocaine instead of steroids.

In a sane world, Israel and many of its American supporters would cite Pollards all-around awfulness as evidence that hes an anomaly, hes totally unrepresentative. They would downplay the arguments that he did it for Israel and play up the evidence that he was a cokehound with delusions of being an international man of mystery.

Instead, the opposite happens.

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Jonathan Pollard: All-Around Terrible Person Daily Stormer

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June 29, 2017   Posted in: Jonathan Pollard  Comments Closed

Jonathan Pollard SpyMuseum.com the #1 Resource for …

Born in 1954, the son of a microbiologist teaching at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana. Was raised with a deep love for Israel instilled within him. Often vowed to migrate to Israel to live and to aid in fighting against the countrys enemies.

Was educated at Stanford University, graduating with a degree in Political Science in 1976 and enrolled in the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. While in school, Pollard often reveled in telling school mates of his adventures related to his fathers work with the CIA. He often created stories such as this, and even went so far as to enter fabricated information in an application for employment with the U.S. Government. After failing to complete finish his pursuits in graduate school, Pollard took a job with the U.S. Navy Intelligence, working as a research specialist in 1979.

In 1984, was assigned to serve as an analyst for the Naval Investigation Service, given special clearances and access to sensitive materials. Often shared some of this information with confidants and acquaintances.

Was recruited by Rafi Eitan, the head of the Bureau of Scientific Relations and was introduced to Israeli war hero Colonel Aviem Avi Sella, who was serving as an Israeli operative under the cover of being a graduate student at New York University. At a meeting in May 1984, Pollard offered to supply Israel with sensitive information in order to help Israel in strengthening its defense systems. He turned over information related to Iraqi chemical weaponry. Another Israeli agent, Yosef Yagur, was assigned as Pollards handler.

Pollard turned over thousands of documents to Yagur (he was able, because of his clearance, to simply check the documents out and take them home with him at night). In return, Pollard received $2,500 each month, as well as other gifts (including a diamond and sapphire engagement ring for his fiance, Anne Henderson).

Many of the secrets Pollard turned over were related to weaponry employed by Israels enemies, including Iraq. Pollard gathered most of his information by searching Defense Intelligence Agency databases and conducted searches up to three times each week. Often, he provided original documents to his Israeli contacts, allowing them to photocopy them over the weekend, after which they would return them in time for him to return to work on Monday morning.

Eventually, Pollards excessive research and requests for data alerted officials at NIS, including his supervisor, Jerry Agee. An investigation found that several highly sensitive documents that he requested were not within his workspace, and thus likely had been removed from the building. The FBI was alerted and began observing him.

On November 18, 1985, Pollard was stopped and questioned by the FBI and NIS security officials. In his possession were several top secret documents. He was questioned repeatedly over the course of the next few days and growing desperate, ran to the Israeli embassy for safety. Followed by FBI surveillance teams, the Pollards were confident that they would find sanctuary within the gates of the embassy, but instead were denied. Demanding political asylum, he was ordered by Israeli security to leaves the embassy grounds. The couple was soon thereafter arrested.

The fallout that Israel had engaged in espionage against the United States was immense. Public outcry and anger caused a backlash against Israel and jeopardized the countrys political and intelligence relationship with the United States. Israel tried to deflect the blame for the activity, claiming it to be a rouge operation.

Pollard cooperated with U.S. officials, but argued that he was not spying against the United States, but rather for Israel, to whom he had a greater allegiance. He also argued that much of his information was basically useless to the Israelis but the prosecutors demonstrated that some of the material was funneled by Soviet moles within the Israeli intelligence system and had compromised hundred of agents and friendlies in the Arab world.

Pollard pled guilty to espionage and was sentenced to life in prison. His wife was sentenced to two lesser crime and received a five year sentence, during which she complained vigorously about her treatment. She was released after three years and promptly divorced Pollard.

Pollard was considered a hero in Israel and many attempts were made to secure his release. Several Israeli officials made overtures towards the Bush and Clinton administrations but were denied.

After serving more than 30 years in a federal prison, Pollard was paroled on November 20, 2015. Under the terms of his parole he can not leave the United States without permission for five years and is subject to wearing an ankle bracelet monitor. His requests to move to Israel has been denied.

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June 23, 2017   Posted in: Jonathan Pollard  Comments Closed

Blitzer Opens Up in Ahavath Achim Situation Room – Atlanta Jewish Times

Speaking to a nearly full sanctuary at Ahavath Achim Synagogue,CNNanchor Wolf Blitzer said that he was happy to fulfill Stuart Eizenstats request that he deliver the annual Fran Eizenstat and Eizenstat Family Lecture.

As all of you know, theres been a very slow news cycle in Washington, Blitzer deadpanned.

Blitzers appearance Sunday, June11, came three days after former FBI Director James Comeys Senate testimony about his firing by President Donald Trump, the kind of high-profile event that the 69-year-old Blitzer has fronted often during his 27 years at CNN.

(Full disclosure: Iworked at CNN for many years.)

Eizenstat, an Atlanta native and former U.S. ambassador to the European Union who served in the administrations of Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, established the lecture series in 1987.

With both men seated on the bimah, Eizenstats questions allowed Blitzer to trace his life from his birth in postwar Germany to his front-row seat to history as a journalist.

Asked about the Trump administration, Blitzer threw up his hands, looked over the sanctuary for several seconds, then said: Its unique. It definitely is.

Blitzer rejected the suggestion that too much is being made of reported Russian interference in the 2016 election. At issue is a very important matter. The U.S. has to learn from what happened, from the Russian intervention in our democracy, in our election. Wed better make sure it doesnt happen again.

Wolf Blitzer defends CNN against accusations of being fake news. (Photo by Montoya Turner, Made You Look Photography)

On the subject of fake news, a frequent Trump barb, Blitzer praised CNNs fact-checking operation. We wont put it on the air until weve checked it out and we think its credible and reliable, he said. We are the first draft of history. Were journalists. We are to be as responsible, careful and precise as possible.

To answer the most-asked question, Blitzer said Wolf was the name of his maternal grandfather, who, like much of his mothers family, died in the Holocaust, as did Blitzers paternal grandparents.

Several months after he was born, Blitzer immigrated to Buffalo, N.Y., with his parents and older sister.

He received a bachelors in history from the State University of New York-Buffaloand, while pursuing his masters in international relations from Johns Hopkins University, also studied at Hebrew University ofJerusalem.

I was a news junkie even as a little boy growing up in Buffalo, Blitzer said. I loved the news, but it never dawned on me that I would go into the journalism profession.

When heannounced his career choice, his father replied, Journalist? Can you make a living doing that?

Blitzer started in the Tel Aviv bureau of the Reuters news agency.

As the Washington correspondent for The Jerusalem Postfrom 1973to 1990, Blitzer garnered his share of headlines.

At a news conference during Anwar Sadats April 1977 visit to Washington, Blitzer asked the Egyptian president if he might engender good will by promoting exchanges between Israelis and Egyptians.

He looked at me and he said, I am ready to do that. I have no hesitation to do that, but my people are not yet ready because of all of the wars and violence, Blitzer recalled.

After announcing in November 1977 that he would travel to Jerusalem and speak to the Knesset, Sadat said he began considering the move after a reporter, later identified as Blitzer, asked that question seven months earlier.

Blitzer made splashes with his jailhouse interviews in late 1986 and early 1987 of Jonathan Pollard, the U.S. Navy intelligence analyst who pleaded guilty in June 1986 to espionage and was in a Virginia prison awaiting sentencing by a federal judge.

It was an awful moment in U.S.-Israeli relations, Blitzer said. Pollard felt that the U.S. wasnt sharing critically important information with the Israelis, so he was going to do it and was paid for doing so.

When the Israeli censor would not permit Blitzers article to appear in the Israeli press, it was published by The Washington Postin February 1987.

Pollard was sentenced to life imprisonment in March 1987. He was released Nov. 20, 2015.

Blitzer said his first major story after joining CNN as military affairs correspondent May 8, 1990, was the most surprising.

In July 1990, as Iraqi troops massed along the Kuwaiti border, Blitzer and other journalists were told privately by the chief of naval operations and a senior CIA official that Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein wanted to intimidate his smaller southern neighbor but would never invade another Arab country.

As he drove home about 10 p.m. Aug. 1, Blitzer was informed of a wire service report that Iraqi troops had crossed the border.

After learning how wrong that earlier assessment had been It was clearly a blunder on the part of the U.S. intelligence community Blitzer did a telephone report, then returned to the Pentagon, where he was back on television at midnight.

A highlight of Blitzers time as a White House correspondent from 1992to 1999 was an interview with Nelson Mandela, South Africas first post-apartheid president, during President Bill Clintons March 1998 trip.

Blitzer was amazed by Mandelas attitude, despite his 25 years of incarceration on Robben Island. He had no bitterness. He had no anger. A lot of people would have wanted to kill all those nasty apartheid guards who tormented and tortured him, but to build a new South Africa, Mandela told Blitzer, the efforts of all races would be needed. It was such a remarkable moment.

Blitzer, who today hosts both Wolfand The Situation Room,has anchored CNNs coverage of presidential elections since 2004.

Calling the 2008 president election for Barack Obama broughtBlitzer an unexpected celebrity, he said. In the weeks and months and years that followed wherever I go, usually older African-Americans would come up to me, and they would hug me, and they would kiss me, and they would start to cry, (saying)We never believed wed see an African-American president in our lifetime. We always thought it would be stolen at the last minute, they would do something. Until we heard it from you, we really didnt believe it was going to happen.

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Blitzer Opens Up in Ahavath Achim Situation Room – Atlanta Jewish Times

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June 17, 2017   Posted in: Jonathan Pollard  Comments Closed

Pollard’s appeal was rejected because of admiral’s ‘myth’ – Arutz Sheva

Last week’s rejection of Jonathan Pollard’s appeal to ease his difficult parole restrictions is largely due to a letter written by a US Navy admiral the contents of which have been called a “myth.”

An investigative report by the Hamodia newspaper shows that the letter, written in 1995, contains never-before raised grave accusations against Pollard. In fact, the parole commission itself noted last year that Pollard’s sole infraction was when he told a warden that G-d runs the world.

Still, this did not stop the court from writing in its rejection of Pollard’s appeal, “The fact that Pollard was never charged or disciplined for these [grave violations] did not strip the conduct of relevancy in the Commissions assessment… That is to say, even though the accusations had never before been attributed any importance indicating their worthlessness still and all, the Parole Commission was within its rights to take them into consideration when levying the harsh restrictions on Pollard.

Hamodia’s long-time Pollard investigator Avraham Weissman reports that the story began in 1995, when then-acting CIA director Admiral William O. Studeman wrote a letter to the Parole Commission. The stated goal of his letter was to convince the commission not to grant parole to Jonathan Pollard. He stated there that Pollard had actually written 14 letters to outside addressees that contained top-secret classified information. Studeman described the information in a few lines, and then wrote, ‘Mr. Pollards track record in prison can only be a harbinger of his anticipated security practices once released.’

A legal observer who has been following the Pollard case for many years told Hamodia that he was flabbergasted when he was first permitted to see the Studeman letter last year.

He told Weissman that Studeman’s letter is nothing more than a “myth,” and explained why: The sending of a single letter containing classified information would have sufficed to create a very serious blot on his prison record and very likely be grounds for new criminal charges against Pollard – let alone attempting to send 14 such letters. The government would have been delighted to find a reason to keep Pollard behind bars for many more years, yet for 20 years they never even insinuated that he had tried to do such a thing.”

Even in July of 2014,” he continued, “when they harshly rejected his plea for parole, they gave no indication that he had broken any rules in regard to the sending of letters. After July 7, 2015, the parole commission itself noted that his sole infraction was when he told a warden that ‘G-d runs the world.’

Why, then, did the court agree last week that the Parole Commission was not out of bounds in giving weight to Studeman’s letter? The court, in rejecting Pollard’s appeal, “explained” as follows (emphasis added):

The Commission did not abuse its discretion in according weight to a 1995 letter from the then-CIA director reporting that classified information had appeared in Pollards prison correspondence at least 14 times. The fact that Pollard was never charged or disciplined for these communications did not strip the conduct of relevancy in the Commissions assessment of whether to impose special conditions on Pollards parole.”

Hamodia further reports that after the Studeman letter was released, Pollards attorneys, who have high-level security clearance, asked to see the 14 letters supposedly written by Pollard. They were steadfastly refused.

The government must know that they had cleared hundreds of these same letters, the legal observer noted. Many of these letters are still out there, and were these letters released, the claim would be immediately debunked.”

However, he added, any objective observer wouldnt even need to see the letters to know this is all a myth. As Pollards lawyers have stated in court, by acknowledging in 2015 what his sole infraction in prison was, the Parole Commission itself repudiated the claim made by Studeman.”

On July 7, 2015, during Pollard’s 30th year in prison, he was finally granted parole. At the hearing, Gregg Maisal, chief of the National Security Section of the U.S. Attorneys office, confirmed that the government believed that there was no probability of Mr. Pollard re-offending.

His parole includes the following harsh restrictions: He must wear a GPS monitoring system that consists of a non-removable transmitter installed on his wrist, and a receiver that is plugged into an outlet in his Manhattan residence. Whenever he moves outside the range of the receiver, the transmitter acts as a GPS tracker and monitors his location. On Sabbath, he is effectively prevented from stepping outside his home, as that would cause the battery to drain, forbidden on the Sabbath according to Jewish Law. He also may not leave his home between 7:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m, and during the daytime, he may travel only in parts of Manhattan, and is even prohibited from visiting nearby Brooklyn. His computers are monitored and inspected, as would be those of any employer who chooses to hire him, which has prevented him from being able to gain employment.

In many ways,” the legal observer told Hamodia, “the sad saga of the Studeman letter – a document whose absurd contents have been disclaimed by the very commission that is now trying to use it as a weapon against Pollard – is emblematic of why Jonathans battle for justice has always been so uphill. The 14 letters it refers to have never undergone any sort of judicial review. Not only did the government refuse to show them to Pollards lawyers, but they declined to show it to any third party including Judge Forrest.”

“Even now,” he concluded, “after [Pollard] already served 30 long years in prison, in their zeal to make Pollards life as miserable as possible, they refuse to allow ideals like truth or justice to get in their way.

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June 6, 2017   Posted in: Jonathan Pollard  Comments Closed

MainOpEdsTrump should move Pollard to Jerusalem – Arutz Sheva

President Trump’s delay in moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem presents the President with a wonderful opportunity to commute Jonathan Pollard’s sentence – freeing Pollard to move from New York to Jerusalem.

Trump made his unequivocal Embassy pledge on 22 March 2016:

“We will move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem.”

A White House statement on 1 June put this brave face on Trump ‘s decision delaying the Embassy move:

“While President Donald J. Trump signed the waiver under the Jerusalem Embassy Act and delayed moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, no one should consider this step to be in any way a retreat from the President’s strong support for Israel and for the United States-Israel alliance. President Trump made this decision to maximize the chances of successfully negotiating a deal between Israel and the Palestinians, fulfilling his solemn obligation to defend America’s national security interests. But, as he has repeatedly stated his intention to move the embassy, the question is not if that move happens, but only when.”

Negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs have so far extended over a period of 23 years without any real success – so one can only wonder when the Embassy move is likely to occur.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s response was quite philosophical:

“Though Israel is disappointed that the embassy will not move at this time, we appreciate today’s expression of President Trump’s friendship to Israel and his commitment to moving the embassy in the future,”

Trump’s friendship would be confirmed were he to commute Pollard’sharsh parole conditions to enable Pollard’s move to Jerusalem,

Pollard – an intelligence analyst with the US Government – received his life sentence for passing classified information to an American ally – Israel. No other American has received such a crushing sentence.

Pollard – released in 2015 after serving 30 years penal servitude – was placed on harsh parole conditions requiring him to wear an electronic tracking device, obey a curfew and allow his computers to be monitored. He must remain in the United States until November 2020.

Pollard’s appeal to relax his parole conditions was recently rejected.

Pollard’s treatment can be contrasted to that meted out to Bradley (now known as Chelsea) Manning – who leaked more than 700,000 documents to WikiLeaks in 2010 whilst serving as an intelligence analyst in Iraq,

Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison. President Obama’s precedent in freeing Manning whilst resisting similar overtures for Pollard’s release was reprehensible. President Obama commuted Mannings sentence in January – three days before vacating the White House – from 35 years to just over 7 years, the majority of which Manning had already served. Trump said Manning should never have been released from prison.

Manning was freed from federal custody on May 17th.

Israeli Prime Ministers from Yitzchak Rabin to Netanyahu had unsuccessfully lobbied successive Republican and Democratic Presidents for Pollard’s release and permission to resettle in Israel.

Pollard is recently reported to have remarked:

As much as Trump needs to be held to his promise to move the embassy, it is just as important that the prime minister keep his promise to bring an agent home”

President Obama’s precedent in freeing Manning whilst resisting similar overtures for Pollard’s release was reprehensible.

Commuting Pollard’s sentence at this particular moment in Trump’s presidency will help cement the blossoming post-Obama relationship between the United States and one of its staunchest allies – Israel.

Pollard’s move to Jerusalem as It celebrates the 50th anniversary of its liberation from 19 years of illegal occupation by Jordan would alleviate the disappointment of the Embassy not moving there.

That is what Trump-style dealmaking is all about.

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Jonathan Pollard Loses Appeal To Ease Parole Conditions – Forward

Getty

Jonathan Pollard, the American convicted of spying for Israel, leaves a New York court house following his release from prison after 30 years on November 20, 2015.

(JTA) A federal appeals court has rejected the request by Jonathan Pollard, a convicted spy for Israel, to lift restrictive parole conditions.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan issued the judgment on Wednesday, a week after hearing arguments.

The parole terms issued upon Pollards release from a federal prison in November 2015 after serving 30 years of a life sentence require him to stay in his New York home from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., to submit any computer he uses for inspection and to wear a GPS-monitoring device at all times. The device means that Pollard, who is Orthodox, is forced to violate Shabbat observance, his lawyer has said.

Pollard, 62, also must remain in the United States for five years, despite his desire to move to Israel.

Pollards attorney argued that the terms are overly severe because Pollard cannot remember the classified information he provided in 1984 and 1985 to Israeli officials and that he is not a flight risk, Reuters reported.

Pollard pleaded guilty in 1986 to conspiracy to commit espionage in connection with providing Israeli contacts with hundreds of classified documents he had obtained as a civilian intelligence specialist for the U.S. Navy.

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May 28, 2017   Posted in: Jonathan Pollard  Comments Closed

Ignore the Haters. Russia Is Not Our Enemy. – Reason (blog)

Mikhail Klimentyev/ZUMA Press/NewscomThose hoping for an early end to the Trump administration received a gift this week as Donald Trump Jr. disclosed an exchange with a Russian lawyer. The Russian hacking story now promises to dominate headlines for the remainder of Trump’s presidency, however long it lasts. For the duration, talking heads will be telling us that Russia is an adversary and a hostile threat. But regardless of whether the president was involved, Russia hating, while great for the military-industrial complex, is inimical to world peace and broader American prosperity. The intelligence and military leakers and Trump’s political enemies believe friendly relations with Vladimir Putin’s government are dangerous. But since Russia can annihilate our country, the greater danger is not engaging with Putin. The anti-Russia hyperventilation covers the political spectrum. Republican Sen. John McCain told an interviewer that Putin is a greater threat than ISIS, accusing Russia of trying to change election results in America, France and elsewhere. But Putin’s regime is not decapitating or urging lone wolves to massacre Americans on US soil. And as for Russian manipulation, the pro-Russian candidate Marine LePen was crushed in the May presidential election in France. Democrat Hillary Clinton accused the Trump campaign of conspiring with Russia to “weaponize” leaked information against her with the WikiLeaks’ dump of John Podesta email messages. Clinton’s collusion assertion is based on her questionable assumption that WikiLeaks is an agent of Russia. Since WikiLeaks operates out of an embassy in London, one might expect our British allies to have leaked Putin’s instructions to Julian Assange by now. McCain, Clinton and others are amplifying the US intelligence community’s public indictment of Russia for election meddling during the closing days of the Obama administration. That report also claims that Russian agents hacked Podesta’s email and released them through WikiLeaks, but does not provide hard evidence. Intelligence community assertions should be treated with skepticism. After all, this community concluded in 2002 that Saddam Hussein had WMD’s. Further, a senior member of the intelligence community, James Clapper, lied to Congress in 2013 when he denied that the NSA collects data on Americans. Even assuming the allegations are true, they do not lead to the immediate conclusion that Russia is an enemy. Friendly countries spy on one another and try to influence each other’s elections all the time. President Obama called on British voters to reject Brexit, and the NSA appears to have bugged German Prime Minister Angela Merkel’s mobile phone. Israel spies on the US and tries to influence our elections. Jonathan Pollard’s espionage “has few parallels” according to the CIA, which concluded he had “put at risk important U.S. intelligence and foreign policy interests.” In 2012, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attempted to scuttle President Obama’s re-election effort. Most of the intelligence community memo focuses on the activities of RT, a Russian media group that operates a cable news channel, a web site and social media properties in the US. RT is accused of spreading propaganda and fake news that impacted our election. But such media are neither new nor unique to Russia. Our Voice of America, the British Broadcasting Corporation, and other state media have been around for decades. Among the personalities on RT America are Larry King, Jesse Ventura, and former Air America hosts Thom Hartmann and Ed Schultz none of whom appear to be stooges for Vladimir Putin. Further, as Simon van Zuylen-Wood noted in his excellent overview of RT, the network “is watched by so few people that Nielsen doesn’t bother to publish its ratings.” To be sure, Putin has some very undemocratic inclinations. But the US has maintained and continues to maintain friendly relations with despotic nations. President Richard Nixon visited China in 1971, not long after Mao Zedong killed tens of millions of people with his Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution. Today, there is widespread support for friendly relations with Saudi Arabia an undemocratic nation that stones women to death for adultery. It is also true that Russia is a rival for influence on the world stage. This perhaps is why our generals, intelligence operatives, representatives, think tanks and the media so dislike Putin. While the foreign affairs intelligentsia views the world as a power-playing chessboard, this approach to geopolitics is contrary to the interests of ordinary Americans who don’t benefit from international conflicts. When President Trump met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the oval office a few weeks ago, he shared intelligence about a plot by Syrian-based ISIS operatives to place laptop bombs on civilian airplanes. Russia’s presence in Syria may have helped thwart this plot. And it had an incentive to do so: ISIS previously downed a Russian civilian airliner in the Sinai Desert. As president, Donald Trump has the legal right to declassify the intelligence. But some unelected bureaucrat in the US national security establishment decided that Trump’s actions were inappropriate and leaked the story to The Washington Post. It is possible the leak alerted ISIS that its plot had been compromised, encouraging the terrorists to protect their bomb-building efforts from further scrutiny. The potential victims of this leak are civilian passengers of US airlines the presumed target of the ISIS plot. Russia also provided intelligence that, had it been handled properly by the FBI, could have prevented the Tsarnaev brothers from bombing the Boston marathon. Rather than cooperating, however, the national security establishment not only seeks conflict with Russia, it looks for enemies around the world. Hostilities provide lucrative contracts and a sense of mission to those advancing them but imposes huge costs on the rest of us. US troops are now engaged in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Somalia. Worldwide warfare has driven national security spending toward $1 trillion a year. With a national debt approaching $20 trillion, this is a financial cost our country can ill afford. And since 2001, the US has suffered almost 7,000 deaths and over 52,000 wounded in foreign hostilities. Democrats 50 years ago were peace organizers, fired by Martin Luther King’s condemnation of the Vietnam War. And Barack Obama won the presidency promising to withdraw from Iraq. But in their desire to rid the White House of Donald Trump, Democrats have forsaken their anti-war heritage. Instead, they are teaming up with Republican hawks and the Deep State to drive a wedge between the US and Russia. Libertarians are the logical champions of peace and prosperity, but some have expressed sympathy for coercive US government actions to counter Russian influence. These include targeted sanctions and funding for groups in Eastern Europe that supposedly promote liberal democracy. Although portrayed as a penalty on foreign powers, sanctions prevent US individuals and companies and individuals from doing business with those countries. A new Senate bill, S.722, prevents US companies from working on gas pipelines between Russia and Western Europe. The bill also appropriates $500 million of US taxpayer money to a “Countering Russian Influence Fund,” to be spent in Eastern Europe. The legislative language lists six possible uses for this money which sound good, but are vague and open to broad interpretation. Libertarians recognize the state usually abuses the powers we give it. We should never advocate for restrictions on trade or appropriation of tax money for so-called democracy promotion. Peace and non-interventionism are core tenets of libertarianism that too many self-identified libertarians seem to forget. We must avoid repeating the mistakes we made in the runup to the Iraq War. Regardless of one’s position on Trump, Congress has not declared war on Russia. Russia has not invaded us. Russia is not our enemy.

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July 14, 2017   Posted in: Jonathan Pollard  Comments Closed

United behind Illinois delegation’s ‘Open Skies’ letter – Politico

With Aubree Eliza Weaver and Daniel Lippman UNITED BEHIND ILLINOIS DELEGATIONS OPEN SKIES LETTER: Nearly every member of the Illinois congressional delegation sent a letter last week to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross urging them to crack down on three Gulf airlines for violating Open Skies agreements. Well-paying airline jobs are now under threat as a result of the anti-competitive practices of three subsidized Gulf airlines Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways and Emirates, the members wrote. (Only Sens. Dick Durbin, Tammy Duckworth and Rep. Mike Quigley, all Democrats, didnt sign the letter.) The letter closely echoes the complaints of Delta, American and United airlines that the Gulf carriers are unfairly costing them business. Story Continued Below If the letter sounds like it could have been written by a United lobbyist, thats because it was. A draft copy of the letter obtained by POLITICO shows Adam Hepburn, a United lobbyist, as the author. The draft copy is almost identical to the final letter. Isaac Sancken, a spokesman for Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), who took the lead in assembling support for the letter, confirmed that United wrote the letter and that American and Delta were involved as well. (Krista Stark of Stark Strategies, who counts American as a client, is listed as the last person to modify the draft of a second, nearly identical letter apparently intended to be sent by the Texas delegation; its not clear whether that letter has been sent.) Congressman Lipinski is happy to work with the airlines, the pilots union, and whomever else is standing up for jobs and industry success in the U.S., Sancken said in a statement. Jonathan Grella, the executive vice president of the U.S. Travel Association, which has opposed the airlines crusade against the Gulf carriers, criticized United in a statement. Make no mistake: more growth and connectivity from under-served markets to the U.S has meant more American jobs, not less, Grella said. We believe members of Congress, like travelers, deserve respect and must never be taken for granted. United did not respond to a request for comment. Neither did Stark. MONUMENT ADDS HOEFER: Monument Policy Group is adding a lobbyist, bringing on Joseph Hoefer as senior legislative manager. He previously worked for Liz Robbins Associates as legislative counsel, working on issues including juvenile justice reform, tax extenders and food and agriculture policy. Good afternoon, and welcome to PI. Switching jobs? Making a hire? Give me a shout: tmeyer@politico.com. You can also follow me on Twitter: @theodoricmeyer. SQUARE HIRES PORTERFIELD, FETTIG & SEARS: Square has hired Porterfield, Fettig & Sears as its third lobbying firm in Washington. The mobile payments company also has the Franklin Square Group and the Smith-Free Group on retainer. ALL THE PRESIDENTS LAWYERS: Jonathan Mahler has a piece in The New York Times Magazine examining President Donald Trumps relationship with his lawyers. Working for him is not for everyone. Washington lawyers have defended spies, embezzlers, strongmen, torturers, Mahler writes. But the prospect of defending Trump has apparently given them pause. Brendan Sullivan of Williams & Connolly, who represented Oliver North, and Ted Olson of Gibson, Dunn, who represented the Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, are among the veterans of Washington scandals who have reportedly rejected overtures to join Trumps legal defense team. Full story. SQUIRE PATTON BOGGS WILL WORK ON STADIUM REDEVELOPMENT: Squire Patton Boggs will lobby Congress and the administration on behalf of Events DC as the District works to redevelop the Robert F. Kennedy Stadium site, the firm announced on Thursday. The District leases the 190-acre site along the Anacostia River from the National Park Service. The lease, which runs through 2038, only allows for sports and recreational development of the land. To move forward with the redevelopment of the RFK Campus site plan, the team at Squire Patton Boggs will develop and execute a strategy to extend our leasehold interest or explore a land transfer for the RFK Campus site, the firm said in a statement. AHEAD OF THE FILINGS: Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer has signed four new clients. Kevin ONeill, Charley Landgraf, Greg Louer, Dana Weekes, Amy Smith, Amy Davenport and Sam Martin will lobby for Trinidad Benham on international trade issues. Roxana Boyd, Sarah Garofalo Linder, Davenport, ONeill, Weekes and Smith are representing Baylor University. Eugenia Pierson, Kristine Blackwood and Pari Mody will lobby for Edge Therapeutics, a New Jersey biotechnology firm. And ONeill, Pierson and Linder will lobby on veterans health issues for Bruin Biometrics, a Los Angeles medical device company. JOBS REPORT The National Rural Electric Cooperative is bringing on Bobby Hamill as a legislative affairs manager, working on generation and transmission issues. He was previously legislative director for Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.). Tom Murta will start next week as the next executive director of the Short Line Safety Institute. He was previously assistant vice president of safety and operations compliance for CSX Transportation. The American Physical Therapy Association has promoted Mandy Frohlich to chief operating officer. She was previously executive vice president of public affairs. Ashley Hunt is joining the Concord Coalition as grass roots and outreach director. She was previously an account executive at LS2group, a bipartisan public relations firm based in Des Moines, Iowa. EMILY’s List has promoted Alexandra De Luca to press secretary. She was previously deputy press secretary. NEW JOINT FUNDRAISERS: None NEW PACs: Medicare For All PAC (MAPAC) (PAC) Republicans Preserving Our Majority PAC (RPM PAC) (Leadership PAC: Rep. Paul Mitchell) Take A Seat (PAC) WakeUp Political Action Committee (Super PAC) NEW LOBBYING REGISTRATIONS: Balch & Bingham, LLP: Northern Star Generation Blank Rome LLP: Dakota Creek Industries, Inc. Blue Marble Strategy LLC: Return to Freedom Dentons US LLP: ChenMed Dykema Gossett PLLC: One Nation Health Francis Edward & Cronin, Inc.: PATH Decision Support Software, LLC Greenfield Government Strategies, LLC: American Water James Edwards: Conservatives for Property Rights Peck Madigan Jones: Gentle Giant Moving Company Porter Group, LLC: University of Nevada, Reno Porterfield, Fettig & Sears, LLC: Square, Inc. Squire Patton Boggs: Westinghouse Electric Company NEW LOBBYING TERMINATIONS: EDF Inc.: EDF Inc. National Wildlife Refuge Association: National Wildlife Refuge Association Podesta Group, Inc.: Lend Lease (US) Public Partnerships LLC Skladany Consulting LLC: DSCN Capital The Crane Group Inc: Iheartmedia Inc (Formerly Known As Clear Channel)

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July 10, 2017   Posted in: Jonathan Pollard  Comments Closed

Israeli spy Pollard released after 30 years in US jail – MSN

Click to expand UP NEXT States divided over request for voter info CNN’s Ron Brownstein explains how red and blue states are responding differently to President Trump’s request for states’ voter information. Officer Stabbed In Airport Attack Speaks Out The officer who was stabbed in an attack at a Flint, Michigan airport talks about his recovery after participating in parade. (July 5) 13 Killed, 88 Wounded In July 4th Weekend Shootings The 4th of July holiday weekend proved to be much more violent than last year in Chicago, with at least 100 people shot, 13 of them fatally, from Friday afternoon through Wednesday morning. CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports. CBS Chicago UP NEXT Jewish American spy Jonathan Pollard was released from a US prison Friday after serving nearly 30 years for passing American secrets to Israel, in a move welcomed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The decades-long punishment has been deemed disproportionate by the Jewish state, where Pollard is seen by some as a national hero. Netanyahu, who has long pressed for Pollard’s release, said Friday that “after three long and difficult decades Jonathan is at last reunited with his family.” “The people of Israel welcome the release of Jonathan Pollard,” he said. The sentence has been a major bone of contention between Israel and the United States, with successive US presidents beginning with Ronald Reagan through Barack Obama refusing Pollard’s early release. “As someone who raised Jonathan’s case for years with successive American presidents, I had long hoped this day would come,” Netanyahu said. The 61-year-old was set free before dawn from a federal prison in Butner, North Carolina, his main supporters’ group in Israel said. But he is barred from leaving the United States for five years. A US court jailed Pollard, a Stanford University graduate and former US Navy intelligence analyst, for life in 1987 after he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to deliver national defense information to a foreign government. Pollard’s release on parole comes almost 30 years to the day of his arrest on November 21, 1985. Perception of Pollard, who was granted Israeli citizenship in 1995, has evolved there over the years, with rightwing activists seeking to turn him into an icon. In the United States, however, Pentagon and CIA officials are still reeling with anger from the classified defense documents that Pollard leaked. In a sign of the case’s sensitivity, Netanyahu had asked his ministers to refrain from claiming a victory upon Pollard’s release, according to local media. Pollard’s lawyers have shown similar discretion in recent days, refusing to give details of the prisoner’s plans once he is freed. However they have said that he has given assurances that he has a job and a place to live in the New York area. A spokesman for his Israeli supporters group had no immediate word on Pollard’s whereabouts after his release. Obama’s deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said returning Pollard to Israel is an issue “Netanyahu has regularly raised.” “Again the president does not have any plans to alter the terms of his parole,” Rhodes said, speaking of Pollard. – Stream of intelligence – According to Pollard’s family, the former spy, who was born in Texas, wishes to settle in Israel with Esther Zeitz, a Canadian Jew involved in campaigning for his release and whom he married in prison. The release allows Pollard, who became very religious behind bars, to observe the Jewish Sabbath which begins at sundown on Friday. “May this Sabbath bring him much joy and peace that will continue in the years and decades ahead,” Netanyahu said. Pollard’s involvement with spying began after he joined the US Navy, and eventually received sufficient security clearance to access Top Secret and Sensitive Compartmented Information. Pollard made contact in June 1984 with an Israeli colonel, Aviem Sella, who was pursuing graduate studies at New York University, and offered to provide him with classified information. He soon began supplying a stream of intelligence to the Israelis, reportedly thousands of documents. Pollard is also alleged to have passed classified information to South Africa, and to have given his then wife Anne documents on China for use in her personal business. Washington later accused Pollard of causing considerable harm to US interests during the Cold War, although the full scope of his take has never been publicly disclosed. He claimed only to have passed information vital to Israel’s security that had been withheld by the Americans, but security experts feared the information might have ended up in the hands of the Soviet Union, at the time Washington’s arch rival. – Modern day affair? – He told investigators he was asked to obtain US information on Arab nuclear programs and “Arab exotic weaponry,” a former top secret CIA document said. Israel’s October 1985 raid on the Palestinian Liberation Organisation’s Tunis headquarters that killed some 60 people was planned with information from Pollard, according to CIA documents that were declassified in 2012. His work also contributed to the Israeli assassination of the PLO’s second-in-command, Khalil al-Wazir, or Abu Jihad, in 1988. The Pollard affair may go back to the 1980s, but some believe he is still being used as a pawn in modern-day affairs and that his release is a conciliatory gesture toward an Israeli government that was irked by the nuclear deal between the West and Iran. Others, however, disagree “The parole after 30 years was expected by many, even without the Iran deal. It may help the strained US-Israeli relations after the Iran deal, but I think this was not the decisive cause for the release,” Michael Brenner, director of the Center for Israel Studies at American University, told AFP. A US court jailed Jonathan Pollard, a Stanford University graduate and former US Navy intelligence analyst, for life in 1987 after he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy

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July 5, 2017   Posted in: Jonathan Pollard  Comments Closed

Jonathan Pollard: All-Around Terrible Person Daily Stormer

Steve Sailer iSteve April 4, 2014 Its testament to the power of insisting upon your version of The Narrative over and over that easily looked-up facts about the traitor Jonathan Pollard can simply be ignored. For example, rather than being an ethno-patriotic altruist who gave Israel 3,600 cubic feet of secret American documents out of sheer idealism, Pollard is an all-around terrible person as countless incidents in his life attest. Always has been. From his Wikipedia article: Pollard grew up with what he called a racial obligation to Israel,[15] and made his first trip to Israel in 1970, as part of a science program visiting the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot. While there, he was hospitalized after a fight with another student. One Weizmann scientist remembered Pollard as leaving behind a reputation of being an unstable troublemaker, the worst case of this kind in the history of the summer camp.[16] After completing high school, Pollard attended Stanford University, where he completed a degree in political science in 1976.[14] While there, he is remembered by several of his acquaintances as boasting that he was a dual citizen of the United States and Israel and claiming to work for the Mossad and to have attained the rank of colonel in the Israel Defense Forces. None of these claims were true.[17][18][19] Pollard was turned down for the CIA job after taking a polygraph test in which he admitted to prolific illegal drug usage between 1974 and 1978. The Navy asked for but was denied information from the CIA regarding Pollard, including the results of their pre-employment polygraph test showing Pollards excessive drug use.[23] Two months after Pollard was hired, the technical director of NOSIC, Richard Haver, requested that he be terminated.[23] This came after a conversation with the new hire in which Pollard offered to start a back-channel operation with the South African intelligence service and lied about his fathers involvement with the CIA.[23] Instead of terminating Pollard, Havers boss reassigned him to a Navy human intelligence (HUMINT) operation, In the vetting process for this position, Pollard, it was later discovered, lied repeatedly: he denied illegal drug use, claimed his father had been a CIA operative, misrepresented his language abilities and his educational achievements, and claimed to have applied for a commission as officer in the Naval Reserve.[23] While transferring to his new job at TF-168, Pollard again initiated a meeting with someone far up the chain of command, this time with Admiral Sumner Shapiro, Commander, Naval Intelligence Command (CNIC) about an idea he had for TF-168 and South Africa. (The TF-168 group had passed on his ideas.) After the meeting, Shapiro immediately ordered that Pollards security clearances be revoked and that he be reassigned to a non-sensitive position. According to The Washington Post, Shapiro dismissed Pollard as a kook, saying later, I wish the hell Id fired him.[24] Because of the job transfer, Shapiros order to remove Pollards security clearances slipped through the cracks. However, Shapiros office followed up with a request to TF-168 that Pollards trustworthiness be investigated by the CIA. The CIA found Pollard to be a risk and recommended that he not be used in any intelligence collection operation. A subsequent polygraph test was inconclusive, although it did prompt Pollard to admit to making false statements to his superiors, prior drug use, and having unauthorized contacts with representatives of foreign governments.[25] The special agent administering the test felt that Pollard, who at times began shouting and shaking and making gagging sounds as if he were going to vomit, was feigning illness to invalidate the test, and recommended that he not be granted access to highly classified information.[25] Pollard was also required to be evaluated by a psychiatrist.[25] Pollards clearance was reduced to Secret.[25] Pollard subsequently filed a grievance and threatened lawsuits to recover his SCI clearance, and subsequently began receiving excellent performance reviews.[26] In 1982, after the psychiatrist concluded Pollard had no mental illness, Pollards clearance was upgraded to SCI once again. In October 1984, after some reorganization of the Navys intelligence departments, Pollard applied for and was accepted into a position as an analyst for the Naval Intelligence Command.[citation needed] Shortly after Pollard began working at NIC/TF-168, he met Aviem Sella, a combat veteran of the Israeli Air Force, at the time on leave from his position as a colonel to gain a masters degree in computer science as a graduate student at New York University. Pollard told Sella that he worked for U.S. naval intelligence, detailed to him specific incidents where U.S. intelligence was withholding information from Israel, and offered himself as a spy. Though Sella had wondered whether Pollard was part of an FBI sting operation to recruit an Israeli, he ended up believing him. Within a few days, in June 1984, Pollard started passing classified information to Sella and received, in exchange, $10,000 cash and a very expensive diamond and sapphire ring, which Pollard later used to propose marriage to his girlfriend Anne. He also agreed to receive $1,500 per month for further espionage.[28] Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) investigator Ronald Olive has alleged that Pollard passed classified information to South Africa,[29] and attempted, through a third party, to sell classified information to Pakistan on multiple occasions.[30] Pollard also stole classified documents related to China on behalf of his wife, who used the information to advance her personal business-interests and kept them around the house, where investigating authorities discovered them when Pollards espionage activity came to light.[31][32][33] During Pollards trial, the US governments memorandum in aid of sentencing challenged defendants claim that he was motivated by altruism rather than greed, asserting that Pollard had disclosed classified information in anticipation of financial gain in other instances: The governments investigation has revealed that defendant provided to certain of his acquaintances U.S. classified documents which defendant obtained through U.S. Navy sources. The classified documents which defendant disclosed to two such acquaintances, both of whom are professional investment advisers, contained classified economic and political analyses which defendant believed would help his acquaintances render investment advice to their clients Defendant acknowledged that, although he was not paid for his unauthorized disclosures of classified information to the above-mentioned acquaintances, he hoped to be rewarded ultimately through business opportunities that these individuals could arrange for defendant when he eventually left his position with the U.S. Navy. In fact, defendant was involved in an ongoing business venture with two of these acquaintances at the time he provided the classified information to them[34] During the course of the Pollard trial, Australian authorities reported the disclosure of classified American documents by Pollard to one of their own agents, a Royal Australian Navy officer who had been engaged in a personnel-exchange naval-liaison program between the U.S. and Australia.[35] The Australian officer, alarmed by Pollards repeated disclosure to him of data caveated No Foreign Access Allowed, reported the indiscretions to his chain of command, which in turn recalled him from his position in the U.S., fearing that the disclosures might be part of a CIA ruse. Seymour Hersh reported in The New Yorker in 1999: Had Pollards case gone to trial, one of the governments major witnesses would have been a journalist named Kurt Lohbeck, who had a checkered past. He had served seven months in prison after being convicted of passing a bad check in New Mexico in 1977, but by 1985 he was under contract to the CBS Evening News. Lohbeck, who now lives in Albuquerque (he received a full pardon from the governor of New Mexico two years ago), acknowledged in a telephone interview that he was prepared to testify, if necessary, about his involvement in Pollards unsuccessful efforts in 1985 to broker arms sales for the rebels in the Afghan war. At one meeting with a foreign diplomat, Lohbeck said, Pollard posed as a high-level C.I.A. operative. Lohbeck, who was then CBSs main battlefield correspondent in the Afghan war, told me that Pollard had provided him, and thus CBS, with a large number of classified American documents concerning the war. He also told me that Pollard had never discussed Israel with him or indicated any special feelings for the state. I never heard anything political from Jay, Lohbeck added, other than that he tried to portray himself as a Reaganite. Not a word about Israel. Jays sole interest was in making a lot of money. Lohbeck went on to say that he had also been prepared to testify, if asked, about Pollards drug use. Jay used cocaine heavily, and had no compunction about doing it in public. Hed just lay it in lines on the table. In 1985, Lohbeck made similar statements, government officials said, to the F.B.I. Pollard, told by me of Lohbecks assertions, sent a response from a jail cell in North Carolina: My relationship with Lohbeck is extremely complicated. I was never indicted for anything I did with him. Remember that. Pollard reminds me vaguely of lobbyist-felonJack Abramoff, except Pollard was out of control on cocaine instead of steroids. In a sane world, Israel and many of its American supporters would cite Pollards all-around awfulness as evidence that hes an anomaly, hes totally unrepresentative. They would downplay the arguments that he did it for Israel and play up the evidence that he was a cokehound with delusions of being an international man of mystery. Instead, the opposite happens.

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June 29, 2017   Posted in: Jonathan Pollard  Comments Closed

Jonathan Pollard SpyMuseum.com the #1 Resource for …

Born in 1954, the son of a microbiologist teaching at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana. Was raised with a deep love for Israel instilled within him. Often vowed to migrate to Israel to live and to aid in fighting against the countrys enemies. Was educated at Stanford University, graduating with a degree in Political Science in 1976 and enrolled in the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. While in school, Pollard often reveled in telling school mates of his adventures related to his fathers work with the CIA. He often created stories such as this, and even went so far as to enter fabricated information in an application for employment with the U.S. Government. After failing to complete finish his pursuits in graduate school, Pollard took a job with the U.S. Navy Intelligence, working as a research specialist in 1979. In 1984, was assigned to serve as an analyst for the Naval Investigation Service, given special clearances and access to sensitive materials. Often shared some of this information with confidants and acquaintances. Was recruited by Rafi Eitan, the head of the Bureau of Scientific Relations and was introduced to Israeli war hero Colonel Aviem Avi Sella, who was serving as an Israeli operative under the cover of being a graduate student at New York University. At a meeting in May 1984, Pollard offered to supply Israel with sensitive information in order to help Israel in strengthening its defense systems. He turned over information related to Iraqi chemical weaponry. Another Israeli agent, Yosef Yagur, was assigned as Pollards handler. Pollard turned over thousands of documents to Yagur (he was able, because of his clearance, to simply check the documents out and take them home with him at night). In return, Pollard received $2,500 each month, as well as other gifts (including a diamond and sapphire engagement ring for his fiance, Anne Henderson). Many of the secrets Pollard turned over were related to weaponry employed by Israels enemies, including Iraq. Pollard gathered most of his information by searching Defense Intelligence Agency databases and conducted searches up to three times each week. Often, he provided original documents to his Israeli contacts, allowing them to photocopy them over the weekend, after which they would return them in time for him to return to work on Monday morning. Eventually, Pollards excessive research and requests for data alerted officials at NIS, including his supervisor, Jerry Agee. An investigation found that several highly sensitive documents that he requested were not within his workspace, and thus likely had been removed from the building. The FBI was alerted and began observing him. On November 18, 1985, Pollard was stopped and questioned by the FBI and NIS security officials. In his possession were several top secret documents. He was questioned repeatedly over the course of the next few days and growing desperate, ran to the Israeli embassy for safety. Followed by FBI surveillance teams, the Pollards were confident that they would find sanctuary within the gates of the embassy, but instead were denied. Demanding political asylum, he was ordered by Israeli security to leaves the embassy grounds. The couple was soon thereafter arrested. The fallout that Israel had engaged in espionage against the United States was immense. Public outcry and anger caused a backlash against Israel and jeopardized the countrys political and intelligence relationship with the United States. Israel tried to deflect the blame for the activity, claiming it to be a rouge operation. Pollard cooperated with U.S. officials, but argued that he was not spying against the United States, but rather for Israel, to whom he had a greater allegiance. He also argued that much of his information was basically useless to the Israelis but the prosecutors demonstrated that some of the material was funneled by Soviet moles within the Israeli intelligence system and had compromised hundred of agents and friendlies in the Arab world. Pollard pled guilty to espionage and was sentenced to life in prison. His wife was sentenced to two lesser crime and received a five year sentence, during which she complained vigorously about her treatment. She was released after three years and promptly divorced Pollard. Pollard was considered a hero in Israel and many attempts were made to secure his release. Several Israeli officials made overtures towards the Bush and Clinton administrations but were denied. After serving more than 30 years in a federal prison, Pollard was paroled on November 20, 2015. Under the terms of his parole he can not leave the United States without permission for five years and is subject to wearing an ankle bracelet monitor. His requests to move to Israel has been denied.

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June 23, 2017   Posted in: Jonathan Pollard  Comments Closed

Blitzer Opens Up in Ahavath Achim Situation Room – Atlanta Jewish Times

Speaking to a nearly full sanctuary at Ahavath Achim Synagogue,CNNanchor Wolf Blitzer said that he was happy to fulfill Stuart Eizenstats request that he deliver the annual Fran Eizenstat and Eizenstat Family Lecture. As all of you know, theres been a very slow news cycle in Washington, Blitzer deadpanned. Blitzers appearance Sunday, June11, came three days after former FBI Director James Comeys Senate testimony about his firing by President Donald Trump, the kind of high-profile event that the 69-year-old Blitzer has fronted often during his 27 years at CNN. (Full disclosure: Iworked at CNN for many years.) Eizenstat, an Atlanta native and former U.S. ambassador to the European Union who served in the administrations of Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, established the lecture series in 1987. With both men seated on the bimah, Eizenstats questions allowed Blitzer to trace his life from his birth in postwar Germany to his front-row seat to history as a journalist. Asked about the Trump administration, Blitzer threw up his hands, looked over the sanctuary for several seconds, then said: Its unique. It definitely is. Blitzer rejected the suggestion that too much is being made of reported Russian interference in the 2016 election. At issue is a very important matter. The U.S. has to learn from what happened, from the Russian intervention in our democracy, in our election. Wed better make sure it doesnt happen again. Wolf Blitzer defends CNN against accusations of being fake news. (Photo by Montoya Turner, Made You Look Photography) On the subject of fake news, a frequent Trump barb, Blitzer praised CNNs fact-checking operation. We wont put it on the air until weve checked it out and we think its credible and reliable, he said. We are the first draft of history. Were journalists. We are to be as responsible, careful and precise as possible. To answer the most-asked question, Blitzer said Wolf was the name of his maternal grandfather, who, like much of his mothers family, died in the Holocaust, as did Blitzers paternal grandparents. Several months after he was born, Blitzer immigrated to Buffalo, N.Y., with his parents and older sister. He received a bachelors in history from the State University of New York-Buffaloand, while pursuing his masters in international relations from Johns Hopkins University, also studied at Hebrew University ofJerusalem. I was a news junkie even as a little boy growing up in Buffalo, Blitzer said. I loved the news, but it never dawned on me that I would go into the journalism profession. When heannounced his career choice, his father replied, Journalist? Can you make a living doing that? Blitzer started in the Tel Aviv bureau of the Reuters news agency. As the Washington correspondent for The Jerusalem Postfrom 1973to 1990, Blitzer garnered his share of headlines. At a news conference during Anwar Sadats April 1977 visit to Washington, Blitzer asked the Egyptian president if he might engender good will by promoting exchanges between Israelis and Egyptians. He looked at me and he said, I am ready to do that. I have no hesitation to do that, but my people are not yet ready because of all of the wars and violence, Blitzer recalled. After announcing in November 1977 that he would travel to Jerusalem and speak to the Knesset, Sadat said he began considering the move after a reporter, later identified as Blitzer, asked that question seven months earlier. Blitzer made splashes with his jailhouse interviews in late 1986 and early 1987 of Jonathan Pollard, the U.S. Navy intelligence analyst who pleaded guilty in June 1986 to espionage and was in a Virginia prison awaiting sentencing by a federal judge. It was an awful moment in U.S.-Israeli relations, Blitzer said. Pollard felt that the U.S. wasnt sharing critically important information with the Israelis, so he was going to do it and was paid for doing so. When the Israeli censor would not permit Blitzers article to appear in the Israeli press, it was published by The Washington Postin February 1987. Pollard was sentenced to life imprisonment in March 1987. He was released Nov. 20, 2015. Blitzer said his first major story after joining CNN as military affairs correspondent May 8, 1990, was the most surprising. In July 1990, as Iraqi troops massed along the Kuwaiti border, Blitzer and other journalists were told privately by the chief of naval operations and a senior CIA official that Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein wanted to intimidate his smaller southern neighbor but would never invade another Arab country. As he drove home about 10 p.m. Aug. 1, Blitzer was informed of a wire service report that Iraqi troops had crossed the border. After learning how wrong that earlier assessment had been It was clearly a blunder on the part of the U.S. intelligence community Blitzer did a telephone report, then returned to the Pentagon, where he was back on television at midnight. A highlight of Blitzers time as a White House correspondent from 1992to 1999 was an interview with Nelson Mandela, South Africas first post-apartheid president, during President Bill Clintons March 1998 trip. Blitzer was amazed by Mandelas attitude, despite his 25 years of incarceration on Robben Island. He had no bitterness. He had no anger. A lot of people would have wanted to kill all those nasty apartheid guards who tormented and tortured him, but to build a new South Africa, Mandela told Blitzer, the efforts of all races would be needed. It was such a remarkable moment. Blitzer, who today hosts both Wolfand The Situation Room,has anchored CNNs coverage of presidential elections since 2004. Calling the 2008 president election for Barack Obama broughtBlitzer an unexpected celebrity, he said. In the weeks and months and years that followed wherever I go, usually older African-Americans would come up to me, and they would hug me, and they would kiss me, and they would start to cry, (saying)We never believed wed see an African-American president in our lifetime. We always thought it would be stolen at the last minute, they would do something. Until we heard it from you, we really didnt believe it was going to happen.

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June 17, 2017   Posted in: Jonathan Pollard  Comments Closed

Pollard’s appeal was rejected because of admiral’s ‘myth’ – Arutz Sheva

Last week’s rejection of Jonathan Pollard’s appeal to ease his difficult parole restrictions is largely due to a letter written by a US Navy admiral the contents of which have been called a “myth.” An investigative report by the Hamodia newspaper shows that the letter, written in 1995, contains never-before raised grave accusations against Pollard. In fact, the parole commission itself noted last year that Pollard’s sole infraction was when he told a warden that G-d runs the world. Still, this did not stop the court from writing in its rejection of Pollard’s appeal, “The fact that Pollard was never charged or disciplined for these [grave violations] did not strip the conduct of relevancy in the Commissions assessment… That is to say, even though the accusations had never before been attributed any importance indicating their worthlessness still and all, the Parole Commission was within its rights to take them into consideration when levying the harsh restrictions on Pollard. Hamodia’s long-time Pollard investigator Avraham Weissman reports that the story began in 1995, when then-acting CIA director Admiral William O. Studeman wrote a letter to the Parole Commission. The stated goal of his letter was to convince the commission not to grant parole to Jonathan Pollard. He stated there that Pollard had actually written 14 letters to outside addressees that contained top-secret classified information. Studeman described the information in a few lines, and then wrote, ‘Mr. Pollards track record in prison can only be a harbinger of his anticipated security practices once released.’ A legal observer who has been following the Pollard case for many years told Hamodia that he was flabbergasted when he was first permitted to see the Studeman letter last year. He told Weissman that Studeman’s letter is nothing more than a “myth,” and explained why: The sending of a single letter containing classified information would have sufficed to create a very serious blot on his prison record and very likely be grounds for new criminal charges against Pollard – let alone attempting to send 14 such letters. The government would have been delighted to find a reason to keep Pollard behind bars for many more years, yet for 20 years they never even insinuated that he had tried to do such a thing.” Even in July of 2014,” he continued, “when they harshly rejected his plea for parole, they gave no indication that he had broken any rules in regard to the sending of letters. After July 7, 2015, the parole commission itself noted that his sole infraction was when he told a warden that ‘G-d runs the world.’ Why, then, did the court agree last week that the Parole Commission was not out of bounds in giving weight to Studeman’s letter? The court, in rejecting Pollard’s appeal, “explained” as follows (emphasis added): The Commission did not abuse its discretion in according weight to a 1995 letter from the then-CIA director reporting that classified information had appeared in Pollards prison correspondence at least 14 times. The fact that Pollard was never charged or disciplined for these communications did not strip the conduct of relevancy in the Commissions assessment of whether to impose special conditions on Pollards parole.” Hamodia further reports that after the Studeman letter was released, Pollards attorneys, who have high-level security clearance, asked to see the 14 letters supposedly written by Pollard. They were steadfastly refused. The government must know that they had cleared hundreds of these same letters, the legal observer noted. Many of these letters are still out there, and were these letters released, the claim would be immediately debunked.” However, he added, any objective observer wouldnt even need to see the letters to know this is all a myth. As Pollards lawyers have stated in court, by acknowledging in 2015 what his sole infraction in prison was, the Parole Commission itself repudiated the claim made by Studeman.” On July 7, 2015, during Pollard’s 30th year in prison, he was finally granted parole. At the hearing, Gregg Maisal, chief of the National Security Section of the U.S. Attorneys office, confirmed that the government believed that there was no probability of Mr. Pollard re-offending. His parole includes the following harsh restrictions: He must wear a GPS monitoring system that consists of a non-removable transmitter installed on his wrist, and a receiver that is plugged into an outlet in his Manhattan residence. Whenever he moves outside the range of the receiver, the transmitter acts as a GPS tracker and monitors his location. On Sabbath, he is effectively prevented from stepping outside his home, as that would cause the battery to drain, forbidden on the Sabbath according to Jewish Law. He also may not leave his home between 7:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m, and during the daytime, he may travel only in parts of Manhattan, and is even prohibited from visiting nearby Brooklyn. His computers are monitored and inspected, as would be those of any employer who chooses to hire him, which has prevented him from being able to gain employment. In many ways,” the legal observer told Hamodia, “the sad saga of the Studeman letter – a document whose absurd contents have been disclaimed by the very commission that is now trying to use it as a weapon against Pollard – is emblematic of why Jonathans battle for justice has always been so uphill. The 14 letters it refers to have never undergone any sort of judicial review. Not only did the government refuse to show them to Pollards lawyers, but they declined to show it to any third party including Judge Forrest.” “Even now,” he concluded, “after [Pollard] already served 30 long years in prison, in their zeal to make Pollards life as miserable as possible, they refuse to allow ideals like truth or justice to get in their way.

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June 6, 2017   Posted in: Jonathan Pollard  Comments Closed

MainOpEdsTrump should move Pollard to Jerusalem – Arutz Sheva

President Trump’s delay in moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem presents the President with a wonderful opportunity to commute Jonathan Pollard’s sentence – freeing Pollard to move from New York to Jerusalem. Trump made his unequivocal Embassy pledge on 22 March 2016: “We will move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem.” A White House statement on 1 June put this brave face on Trump ‘s decision delaying the Embassy move: “While President Donald J. Trump signed the waiver under the Jerusalem Embassy Act and delayed moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, no one should consider this step to be in any way a retreat from the President’s strong support for Israel and for the United States-Israel alliance. President Trump made this decision to maximize the chances of successfully negotiating a deal between Israel and the Palestinians, fulfilling his solemn obligation to defend America’s national security interests. But, as he has repeatedly stated his intention to move the embassy, the question is not if that move happens, but only when.” Negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs have so far extended over a period of 23 years without any real success – so one can only wonder when the Embassy move is likely to occur. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s response was quite philosophical: “Though Israel is disappointed that the embassy will not move at this time, we appreciate today’s expression of President Trump’s friendship to Israel and his commitment to moving the embassy in the future,” Trump’s friendship would be confirmed were he to commute Pollard’sharsh parole conditions to enable Pollard’s move to Jerusalem, Pollard – an intelligence analyst with the US Government – received his life sentence for passing classified information to an American ally – Israel. No other American has received such a crushing sentence. Pollard – released in 2015 after serving 30 years penal servitude – was placed on harsh parole conditions requiring him to wear an electronic tracking device, obey a curfew and allow his computers to be monitored. He must remain in the United States until November 2020. Pollard’s appeal to relax his parole conditions was recently rejected. Pollard’s treatment can be contrasted to that meted out to Bradley (now known as Chelsea) Manning – who leaked more than 700,000 documents to WikiLeaks in 2010 whilst serving as an intelligence analyst in Iraq, Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison. President Obama’s precedent in freeing Manning whilst resisting similar overtures for Pollard’s release was reprehensible. President Obama commuted Mannings sentence in January – three days before vacating the White House – from 35 years to just over 7 years, the majority of which Manning had already served. Trump said Manning should never have been released from prison. Manning was freed from federal custody on May 17th. Israeli Prime Ministers from Yitzchak Rabin to Netanyahu had unsuccessfully lobbied successive Republican and Democratic Presidents for Pollard’s release and permission to resettle in Israel. Pollard is recently reported to have remarked: As much as Trump needs to be held to his promise to move the embassy, it is just as important that the prime minister keep his promise to bring an agent home” President Obama’s precedent in freeing Manning whilst resisting similar overtures for Pollard’s release was reprehensible. Commuting Pollard’s sentence at this particular moment in Trump’s presidency will help cement the blossoming post-Obama relationship between the United States and one of its staunchest allies – Israel. Pollard’s move to Jerusalem as It celebrates the 50th anniversary of its liberation from 19 years of illegal occupation by Jordan would alleviate the disappointment of the Embassy not moving there. That is what Trump-style dealmaking is all about.

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June 6, 2017   Posted in: Jonathan Pollard  Comments Closed

Jonathan Pollard Loses Appeal To Ease Parole Conditions – Forward

Getty Jonathan Pollard, the American convicted of spying for Israel, leaves a New York court house following his release from prison after 30 years on November 20, 2015. (JTA) A federal appeals court has rejected the request by Jonathan Pollard, a convicted spy for Israel, to lift restrictive parole conditions. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan issued the judgment on Wednesday, a week after hearing arguments. The parole terms issued upon Pollards release from a federal prison in November 2015 after serving 30 years of a life sentence require him to stay in his New York home from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., to submit any computer he uses for inspection and to wear a GPS-monitoring device at all times. The device means that Pollard, who is Orthodox, is forced to violate Shabbat observance, his lawyer has said. Pollard, 62, also must remain in the United States for five years, despite his desire to move to Israel. Pollards attorney argued that the terms are overly severe because Pollard cannot remember the classified information he provided in 1984 and 1985 to Israeli officials and that he is not a flight risk, Reuters reported. Pollard pleaded guilty in 1986 to conspiracy to commit espionage in connection with providing Israeli contacts with hundreds of classified documents he had obtained as a civilian intelligence specialist for the U.S. Navy.

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May 28, 2017   Posted in: Jonathan Pollard  Comments Closed


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