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A petition filed in the Israeli Supreme Court exposes for the first time the titles of unclassified documents used as evidence against convicted spy Jonathan Pollard.
The titles counter the claim that information passed to the Jewish state damaged U.S. security, asserts the petition, submitted Sunday by Pollard’s attorney, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner
“The unclassified titles of the evidence used against Pollard explode all the myths about what he supposedly gave to Israel and the damage he is alleged to have caused,” said a statement by an activist group formed to support Pollard, Justice4JP.
Pollard, a former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst, was convicted in 1985 of one count of passing classified information to an ally, Israel, and sentenced to life imprisonment in spite of a plea agreement that was to spare him a life sentence.
Pollard told WND in an interview last year the information he passed to Israel forewarned the Jewish state about the build-up of unconventional weapons of war in neighboring Arab countries, including the build-up of arms by Saddam Hussein for use against Israel.
He says Israel legally was entitled to this vital security information according to a 1983 Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries, “but certain elements within the American administration had imposed an embargo on this information.”
Pollard asserts the newly revealed document titles, received through a Freedom of Information Act request, show that rather than doing damage to the U.S., they gave Israel the ability to defend itself from enemies.
The statement by Justice4JP says, “None of the documents which the U.S. used as evidence against Pollard concerned American agents, codes, installations, war plans, troop dispositions, or programs. In fact, they were not about America at all!”
Instead, the documents were about war preparedness and weapons systems obtained by enemies of Israel, for use against the Jewish state.
The titles include:
- SPECIAL TECHNICAL REPORT ON THE SOVIET SA-13 MISSILE SYSTEM.
- NAVAL SAM SYSTEM TRENDS – USSR
- RADIATED NOISE LEVELS OF SHIPS AND SUBMARINES WORLDWIDE.
- NAVAL FORCES INTELLIGENCE STUDY – ISRAEL
- PORT FACILITIES STUDY: TUBRUG PORT COMPLEX, LIBYA
- IRAN-IRAQ ELECTRONIC WARFARE CAPABILITIES
- MILITARY IMPLICATIONS OF LOGISTICAL INFRASTRUCTURAL EXPANSION IN SOUTH YEMEN
- UNCONVENTIONAL WARFARE AND THE LIBYAN ARAB NAVY
The petition asks the Israeli Supreme Court to investigate the alleged violation of a commitment the U.S. made to Israel not to use the documents Israel returned in the prosecution of the agent. When the U.S. immediately used the documents against Pollard “to coerce a guilty plea and to force him to accept a plea agreement,” Israel never protested, the petition argues.
Also, Pollard contends, Israel never informed him of the agreement or its violation by the U.S. so that he could use the information to defend himself.
Pollard’s petition is based on the EBAN Commission Report, the result of an investigation of the affair nearly 20 years ago.
The report documents the commitment made by the U.S. not to use the returned documents against Pollard, his legal team points out.
Justice4JP says the titles raise “troubling questions,” such as:
- “Why was the U.S. so angry that Pollard let Israel know about the war capabilities and weapons systems obtained by her enemies?”
- “Why was the U.S. withholding this information, instead of sharing it with Israel, as it was obliged to according to a 1983 Memo of Understanding signed by the two nations?”
- “Did Pollard ‘damage’ U.S. national security, as the Americans have claimed … or did Pollard simply ‘damage’ an American pro-Arab policy that preferred a weak Israel, deprived of vital information, and unable to defend herself?”
Pollard’s sentence is considered by many to be disproportionate to the crime for which he was convicted – he is the only person in the history of the United States to receive a life sentence for spying for an ally. The median sentence for this particular offense is two to four years.
Pollard’s sentence largely was thought to have been driven by a last-minute secret memorandum from Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, in which he accused Pollard of treason – a crime for which he was never indicted – and claimed Pollard harmed America’s national security.
But even Weinberger now says the sentence may be about something else. Weinberger said in a recent interview that the Pollard issue “is a very minor matter, but made very important. … It was made far bigger than its actual importance.”