Monday, March 18, 2013

Pollard and Obama's visit to Israel

President Obama is visiting Israel this week. Over the next few days, I will post on why the trip is important. However, in the meantime, I want to drop a quick note concerning the escalating Israeli pressure on Obama to release Jonathan Pollard. These Israeli demands are nothing new. Regardless, for two key reasons they annoy me a great deal.

1) Pollard is a convicted traitor. He betrayed our country in order to provide intelligence to another state. There are few crimes as serious. The fact that Israel is our ally is irrelevant. Pollard swore an oath to the United States. Like Kiriakou, he betrayed that oath. He deserves to be in prison.

2) The Israeli intelligence operation which ran Pollard was an inexcusable act against the United States. The United States is Israel's one enduring ally. I support this relationship - for reasons of morality and historic strategic kinship, Israel deserves American support. I also understand and respect why the Israelis have traditionally adopted an aggressive security strategy. But the United States deserves reciprocal respect. We do not deserve to have the Israelis acting against us in such an aggressive fashion. Especially in reference to HUMINT asset procurement. Certainly not on American soil.

In short, it's an audacious act of disrespect for the Israelis to demand that we release Pollard. Fortunately, it's highly unlikely that Pollard will be released. To do so would produce extreme disquiet in the US intelligence community. Indeed, former CIA Director Tenet once told President Clinton that he would resign if Pollard was released. 

Tenet's position was correct.
 I agree with the Prosecutor.


  1. On what ground does Israel want Pollard to be released? This seems to be a pretty cut and dry case of treason to me.