Beyond the Cusp

March 27, 2014

Pollard Offer Too Good to be Believed

The Pollard offer appears to be far too similar to a previous promise to grant Johnathan Pollard his overdue release to be accepted at face value. That is not only the Israeli view but also that of many leading American authorities familiar with even the classified information pertaining to his case have said and sworn in statements. There was a strikingly similar offering given by an American President to an Israeli Prime Minister that bears inspecting and the details and other questions which arise in that telling will simply amaze those who have forgotten their history. First, perhaps a scratch on the surface history of the Pollard spies case. Johnathan Pollard was a United States Navy intelligence officer who worked with analysis of satellite and other photographic reconnaissance. He was caught having given Israeli intelligence information concerning troop movements, military placements and other pertinent information on Arab nations’ installations and units including what would become vital information and photographs of the Iraqi Osirak reactor complex which the Israelis later neutralized in a bombing raid. Much of this information was already supposed to be made available to the Israelis due to a mutual intelligence assistance agreement but was being blocked and denied to the Israelis due to high level and cabinet appointees to both the State Department and the Department of Defense. The spurious claims that Johnathan Pollard had compromised United States field agents to the Soviets and was generously rewarded by both the Israelis and the Soviets were later revealed to be false. Despite this being revealed, Pollard’s sentence was not reduced back to the plea bargain length which these false charges whispered in the presiding judge’s ear had caused him to break the agreement and sentence Pollard to life in prison. Pollard, as it turns out, was not even rewarded in any significant manner by the Israelis and gave no information to other entities. Furthermore, Pollard did not, as a reconnaissance officer, have access to files or even names of field agents spying in the Soviet Union and those compromised agents were later found to have come from a Soviet spy placed into a high level State Department position which provided hthe Soviet agent the clearance to see those names.


The instance this current offer resembles so closely occurred in 1998 and also included Netanyahu as Israeli Prime Minister. The release of Johnathan Pollard was dangled in front of Netanyahu as an enticement for Israel to grant additional concessions to the Palestinians in what the State Department has ascertained as a sufficiently generous offer which would produce a peace treaty. The American President who made this offer was Bill Clinton. Even with the additional concessions, Yasser Arafat still stormed from the negotiations refusing to even make a counter offer and ended the negotiations. After the Israelis made their concessions and Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke to President Clinton about making the arrangements for the release of Johnathan Pollard, President Clinton made disparaging and degrading remarks concerning the acceptance of the offer for the release of Pollard implying that Prime Minister Netanyahu a fool and naïve to have fallen for believing the offer.


Returning to the present, we have United States President Obama and the State Department reportedly attempting to entice Israeli Prime Minister to release more terrorist prisoners and apply a renewed building freeze in the areas of Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem which exist beyond the Green Line, the 1949 Armistice Line, in exchange for Johnathan Pollard’s release and what amounts to his deportation to Israel. What makes this situation even more suspicious is the fact that President Obama has been known to seek the advice of former President Clinton. Additionally, almost immediately after the information that the United States was entertaining the idea of using the release of Pollard as an enticement to get the Israelis to release the final groups of terrorist murderers from Israeli prisons where many were serving life sentences as well as implementing the building freeze presumably to allow the peace talks to continue past April, both the White House and the State Department denied that any such offer had been made and that there were absolutely no plans for releasing Pollard commuting his sentence. As the great baseball player and philosopher Yogi Berra once commented, “It’s déjà vu all over again.”


Whether former President Clinton advised President Obama or if President Obama decided to make this offer completely on his own volition, Prime Minister Netanyahu could not be blamed for suspecting the offer may not be a valid one. Having been hoodwinked once by a President of the United States and having suffered from deceitful actions derived from malicious intents from the United States State Department, one could not blame Prime Minister Netanyahu from being suspicious of this offer and demanding that Pollard be released prior to any Israeli concessions made to the Palestinians, especially since any concessions are being made largely to satisfy and bend to pressures from the United States. This reluctance and lack of trust is merely a prudent and reasoned reaction to what has all the evidence of being another sucker play to get Israel to act against their own interest and give away another bargaining issue to the Palestinians in exchange for a reward from the United States. Comments coming from numerous sources within the Israeli Knesset have expressed disgust and reluctance with making the final prisoner release, especially as the Palestinians have made it crystal clear that they are only negotiating to accomplish the release of terrorists and plan on curtailing the rest of the negotiations immediately after the next release.


Palestinian Authority Chairman Abbas has commented that he is negotiating with the Israelis in order to pocket any concessions or compromises he is able to extract from the Israelis such that these items can become permanent expectations from the Palestinians adding them to what they refer to as “Israeli obligations from previous negotiations.” This has been the modus operandi of the Palestinians from the very first when the Oslo Accords were originally drawn up and the fiasco called the peace process began. The Palestinians either refuse to make any concessions or simply refuse to enact any concessions that might have been made during talks. Palestinian Authority’s Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki recently stated that any agreement reached with Israel to continue the talks will be “non-binding” allowing the Palestinian Authority to take unilateral steps against Israel following the end of the nine-month negotiating period ending at the end of April. Knowing the declared intentions as articulated by the Palestinian leadership, what reason could the Israelis have to continue down this destructive path. The time is long overdue for Israel to demand concessions from the Palestinians and to no longer give away bargaining points simply to have the Palestinians usurp more lands and rejoice with a hero’s welcome released terrorists who were guilty of murdering Israeli civilians. The one sided bend which has defined the Middle East Peace Process needs to be rejected once and for all and Israel needs to forget about finding ways to ingratiate the world and have the world love them, such will never happen. Even if refusing to concede at every stop along the ways of the peace process results in the United States backing away from their unilateral friendship with Israel and thus leads to the United Nations Security Council granting the Palestinians their desired state, that appears to be an inevitability as any witness to the peace process from its latest inception in 1993 with the Oslo Accords to the present tracking the continued string of Israeli concessions and sacrifices made to placate a hostile world and to allow leaders and politicians from around the world to be able to announce they have worked to reach that allusive peace and feel good about themselves and their empty accomplishments has got to come to a close. The sooner Israel takes an unmovable stand and declares this is as far as we go, the better the chances that opportunities will present themselves and a real solution can be reached. Continuing on the current path will only lead to the eradication of Israel and possibly the Jewish People simply by inching their way to taking all of the land from the Jewish State. Israel must stand against those who would willingly compromise Israel out of existence as their way of defending themselves in the current time thus only postponing their being consumed eventually after Israel’s memory has faded and her memorials forgotten statues.


Beyond the Cusp


January 8, 2014

Terror Lawyer Released While Jonathan Pollard Rots

The lawyer who represented the Blind Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman who masterminded and organized the first World Trade Center bombing among other terror defendants, Lynne Stewart, was ordered released due to health problems. Doctors claimed she has less than eighteen months to live as she has been diagnosed with breast cancer that has metastasized to her lungs and bones as well as type-2 diabetes and numerous other health problems. She was originally sentenced to ten years for having passed sensitive information she had received due to her representing the Blind Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman as well as messages from the Sheik to terrorist leaders and representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Her actions compromised numerous methodologies the United States had in use to monitor and track terror operatives. Among the information she passed on to terrorist leadership in Egypt and the Middle East included actionable information which permitted the terrorists to alter their methods so as to avoid American detection and possibly revealed names of operatives who had given the Americans information thus placing their lives at risk. During her resentencing trial it was revealed that the three judge panel of the federal appeals court had noted specifically that Stewart exhibited a “stark inability to understand the seriousness of her crimes.”


Meanwhile, Jonathan Pollard has begun his twenty-ninth year of a life sentence after being convicted of passing intelligence information to an allied power, Israel. While I would not try to minimize his crime, the information he passed has been defined as information of Arab military capabilities and assets and none was concerning any American assets or personnel and the information could have been covered under an agreement between the United States and Israel on information sharing which was ordered ignored by the State Department directing the Department of Defense. Even comparing the sentencing of Jonathan Pollard and Lynne Stewart makes one see that at least one of these two sentences makes little sense. Either Pollard was sentenced way beyond his crimes or Stewart was treated with kid gloves for her crimes. When a person who gave information on enemy military capabilities, assets and locations of the allied nation to whom the intelligence was given is sentenced to life while another who revealed methods and names as well as passing instructions to commit terrorist acts within the United States compromising the nation in numerous ways is sentenced to merely ten years there is some serious inequality in sentencing which should be obvious to anybody. Additionally, Lynne Stewart has never apologized or stated she had any regrets over her actions and has gone so far as to claim she had done nothing wrong as she was simply serving her client and conscience while Jonathan Pollard has admitted his crimes and apologized and shown contrition. As far as the argument that Ms. Stewart is in failing health, so is Mr. Pollard. Where President Clinton had promised to release Pollard as part of the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians but after the Israelis held up their half of the bargain President Clinton laughed in Prime Minister Netanyahu’s face and called him a sucker for having believed Pollard would actually be released. President George W. Bush likely asked his father, former President Bush, and his father’s advisors, the same advisors who had convinced the Judge in Pollard’s case to throw out the agreement of a plea bargain and throw Pollard in prison for life. I hold President George W. Bush responsible for not taking the effort to research Pollard’s case himself and instead relying on slanders from those who were responsible for the life sentence.


I know that there will be those who will claim that the people from the State department knew of other crimes and that Pollard had turned over to the Russians the names of twenty American agents from the CIA. There is one problem with claiming that Johnathan Pollard had revealed the names of American agents anywhere, let alone Russia. Pollard was a Naval photographic evaluator who studied spy plane and satellite photos and discerned rocket launching, air defense, and other military potential targets. His clearance was limited to the level necessary to complete those kinds of evaluations and interpretations. He had no clearance nor could he have ever had access to information such as the names of active agents or any other CIA information. His clearance was limited to Naval photographic files and the actual photographs, nothing more. He not only did not have any clearance for information on CIA spies, he had no access to any information from the CIA unless the CIA sent photographs to the Navy to be inspected and interpreted for information, an unlikely but possible scenario, but personnel information would have been far beyond any access that Pollard was cleared to receive. He worked at a Naval operations center and likely never even set foot in any CIA building anywhere or at any time. Perhaps if Johnathan Pollard had instead given information to the Muslim Brotherhood he would have been freed long ago, but he foolishly gave the information to the Israelis and did it without receiving the huge sums of money some have claimed. He has stated that what he had done was a bad error in judgment and he expressed remorse all to no avail. Yet without any contrition or remorse Lynne Stewart is going home and I am willing to bet she lives well past the eighteen months that she is claimed to have remaining to her. Where I feel sympathy for her illness, I still am suspect that soon we will hear of her remarkable turnaround and her cancer having gone into remission, meanwhile her serving of her sentence will also have gone into remission.


Beyond the Cusp


October 24, 2013

Rethinking Pollard Case in Light of US Spying Revelations

There has been a cascade of accusations over the release of sensitive information which revealed the broad and expansive spying including taping of every phone call of leaders of presumed friendly governments including but not limited to France, Germany, Mexico, and others as more information is leaked by Snowden from within the protected safety of Russia. The depth and amount of trivial and needless snooping that included private conversations by the leading politicians of numerous nations casts a dim light on any justification which could be offered. The usual everybody does this will not likely cover these episodes since they included snooping far beyond the norm that might be seen as necessary for national security. Nothing will excuse the taping of private calls and simply taping everything in a massive sweep without limits that resulted in thousands of conversations being intercepted. Sometimes just because something is possible and you have the capability it does not then equal that doing so is a good idea. With this embarrassment there is one last country that it would be interesting to have revealed as being subjected to such interception of communications, phone conversations, e-mails and other electronic communications would be Israel. Do I suspect that Israel was likely singled out for even deeper penetration and interception quite possibly of everybody in the Knesset and at all related to the government or in a position of influence. This would likely have been the first nation which President Obama would have given explicit instructions to intercept everything possible.


If the Israeli intelligence agencies have proof of spying by the United States, instead of making a public scene and crying over spilled milk they should instead propose to President Obama and the other people who would need to be persuaded that Israel will keep this evidence on the quiet provided that the spying ceases immediately and that Johnathan Pollard be immediately released and allowed to return to Israel. In order to make this easier for the United States the Israelis could promise not to make any huge deal and to simply make note of Johnathan Pollard’s release in their news reports and not hold celebrations or other such events which may be uncomfortable for the United States. After all the main objective is the release of Johnathan Pollard so he can spend the rest of what is left of his life with friends and family and among those he knows instead of continuing to hold him in solitary confinement.


There should be no reason to go through the truths that have evolved since Pollard’s trial where the State Department convinced the Judge to throw out the agreement which had been reached under which a guilty plea was entered due to false information that many who knew of the entire affair have come out and verified the entire hate-filled affair. Evidence that was used to vilify Pollard included his presumably giving information to foreign nations that he did not have a sufficiently high security clearance to even have access to any of these names and assignments. There was no way as a map and satellite inspector who mostly read maps and sought out details such as rocket positions both in place and mobile and other military information for the Navy Department had absolutely no access to State Department or CIA records which he was accused by both departments of having stolen for enemies despite the reality that he gave information to Israel on Iraqi developments including their nuclear program which was presumably to be given them by treaty but that too was blocked by the State Department, Defense Department and the CIA. When it is revealed that the United States has been spying on Israeli politicians, that information should only be released after giving President Obama the opportunity to keep it understood but quietly ignored in exchange for the release of Johnathan Pollard.


Beyond the Cusp


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