NY Times stacks the deck against Jonathan Pollard

The New York Times, in its Dec. 22 edition, runs a lengthy article by Jerusalem correspondent Isabel Kershner about Prime Minister Netanyahu's decision to make an official and public plea to President Obama to release Jonathan Pollard, a former U.S. naval intelligence analyst who passed classified information to Israel and now is in his 25th year of a life sentence.  ("Israel Plans Public Appeal To Ask U.S. To Free a Spy" page A5).

 Kershner's article, while summing up stiff resistance by U.S. intelligence agencies against any presidential grant of clemency, fails to mention well-documented evidence that Pollard is the victim of a gross breach of U.S. justice, that his sentence bears no connection to his conviction, that then-Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger submitted an ex-parte memo to the judge accusing Pollard of treasonous crimes for which he was never indicted, that the offense for which Pollard actually was convicted usually is followed by about four years imprisonment, and that as a result of backstage entreaties to the judge the court ended up scrapping a plea-bargain agreement of no more than 10 years.

Also, it is now clear that Pollard, in failing health, has been the victim of a CIA cover-up of a massive intelligence failure, with the agency blaming Pollard for the damage caused by a real "mole" inside the CIA who passed to Moscow the names of more than a dozen U.S. informants in the Soviet Union -- namely Aldrich Ames, the head of CIA's Soviet-Eastern Europe division, who fingered Pollard to keep the CIA from discovering his own treachery..  The CIA did not discover Ames' role until well after Pollard was behind bars and it still isn't willing to acknowledge its mistake in blaming Pollard for Ames's crimes.

 All this is well-known to researchers of the Pollard case -- and totally ignored by Kershner in her article, which abets the cover-up of the CIA's real reasons for blocking clemency for Pollard.

 "Many American law enforcement and intelligence officials have opposed granting him clemency," Kershner writes -- without delving into the reasons for their opposition.

 "In Washington, Obama administration officials indicated that Mr. Pollard's release was unlikely.

"For one thing, the Central Intelligence Agency has fought his release for years; the agency views him as a spy who deserves his life sentence, arguing the release of Mr. Pollard would send a bad message about how the United States viewed people who traded in American secrets."

Kershner, of course, doesn't bother to point out that Pollard's security clearance as a naval intelligence analyst did not give him access to the identity of American spies in the Soviet Union, but that Ames' much higher security clearance did.

 In the view of the New York Times and Kershner, the case of Jonathan Pollard, whose spying for Israel has never been found to have harmed U.S. interests, is closed and should remain closed.

In Pollard's case, the Times completely discards its usual curiosity about the reliability of CIA and FBI counter-intelligence operations.  To keep Pollard rotting in jail, it also abandons its own motto to give readers "all the news that's fit to print."

The New York Times, in its Dec. 22 edition, runs a lengthy article by Jerusalem correspondent Isabel Kershner about Prime Minister Netanyahu's decision to make an official and public plea to President Obama to release Jonathan Pollard, a former U.S. naval intelligence analyst who passed classified information to Israel and now is in his 25th year of a life sentence.  ("Israel Plans Public Appeal To Ask U.S. To Free a Spy" page A5).

 Kershner's article, while summing up stiff resistance by U.S. intelligence agencies against any presidential grant of clemency, fails to mention well-documented evidence that Pollard is the victim of a gross breach of U.S. justice, that his sentence bears no connection to his conviction, that then-Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger submitted an ex-parte memo to the judge accusing Pollard of treasonous crimes for which he was never indicted, that the offense for which Pollard actually was convicted usually is followed by about four years imprisonment, and that as a result of backstage entreaties to the judge the court ended up scrapping a plea-bargain agreement of no more than 10 years.

Also, it is now clear that Pollard, in failing health, has been the victim of a CIA cover-up of a massive intelligence failure, with the agency blaming Pollard for the damage caused by a real "mole" inside the CIA who passed to Moscow the names of more than a dozen U.S. informants in the Soviet Union -- namely Aldrich Ames, the head of CIA's Soviet-Eastern Europe division, who fingered Pollard to keep the CIA from discovering his own treachery..  The CIA did not discover Ames' role until well after Pollard was behind bars and it still isn't willing to acknowledge its mistake in blaming Pollard for Ames's crimes.

 All this is well-known to researchers of the Pollard case -- and totally ignored by Kershner in her article, which abets the cover-up of the CIA's real reasons for blocking clemency for Pollard.

 "Many American law enforcement and intelligence officials have opposed granting him clemency," Kershner writes -- without delving into the reasons for their opposition.

 "In Washington, Obama administration officials indicated that Mr. Pollard's release was unlikely.

"For one thing, the Central Intelligence Agency has fought his release for years; the agency views him as a spy who deserves his life sentence, arguing the release of Mr. Pollard would send a bad message about how the United States viewed people who traded in American secrets."

Kershner, of course, doesn't bother to point out that Pollard's security clearance as a naval intelligence analyst did not give him access to the identity of American spies in the Soviet Union, but that Ames' much higher security clearance did.

 In the view of the New York Times and Kershner, the case of Jonathan Pollard, whose spying for Israel has never been found to have harmed U.S. interests, is closed and should remain closed.

In Pollard's case, the Times completely discards its usual curiosity about the reliability of CIA and FBI counter-intelligence operations.  To keep Pollard rotting in jail, it also abandons its own motto to give readers "all the news that's fit to print."

RECENT VIDEOS