March 29, 2006

Good News Day for Prisoner # 09185-016

Waking up on your 7,798th day in a prison cell, there can be few reasons to be cheerful. Especially when no end is in sight.

But for Jonathan Pollard there are two reasons to take heart this morning.

First is the demise of his crucifier, Caspar Weinberger, who expired overnight at the age of 88. The United States justice system convicted Pollard, but many say it was Weinberger who threw away the key.

Ask the average American or Israeli about Pollard and they will say: he was tried for treason against the United States.

The truth is that Jonathan never had a trial, fair or otherwise.
Neither did he commit an act of treason as defined in United States law.

He was encouraged to enter into a plea bargain by powers that were anxious to avoid the exposure of a public trial on issues which would embarrass the government of the day. The person who perhaps stood most to lose from a public trial was Caspar Weinberger whose earlier arms shipments to Saddam Hussain would have been exposed.

Now that Weinberger is in the Beth Din of the next world, perhaps the judiciary down here will now release the secret memo he sent to the presiding judge which damned Jonathan to more than 20 years in jail.

Oh, and the second reason to be cheerful is one of those wonderful coincidences that so often occur in the life of our people. The biggest surprise in the overnight election results from Israel is the stunning success of the almost forgotten Pensioners’ Party in winning 7 seats in the new Knesset. The party is headed by retired Mossad agent Rafi Eitan, who has always had the inside story on this affair and promises to work for Pollard’s release. His new parliamentary privilege will enable him to speak freely on views which denied him his natural promotion to head of Mossad.

In a recent interview, Eitan refuted charges that Pollard handed over to Israel information used to expose American spies in the former Soviet Union. "I’m willing to put my hand in fire and swear in everything dear to me that those charges are a blatant lie," Eitan said.

"Nothing of what Pollard delivered leaked out of the Israeli intelligence community, nothing. Besides, he never provided us with information that could have exposed American agents in the Soviet Union or anywhere else."

Eitan revealed that Weinberger’s secret damage assessment - which sabotaged Jonathan’s plea bargain - was drafted by a CIA counter-espionage department then headed by Aldrich Ames, America’s most notorious traitor. Eitan suggests that Ames was motivated to smear Pollard to deflect attention from his own ongoing treachery.

After Ames’s conviction, everyone – from Weinberger, to Judge Robinson, to President Clinton – would have been aware that Pollard was convicted on tainted evidence. The just thing to do would have been to reopen the case or at least free Pollard unconditionally. But this is not about justice. This is about appeasement of the anti-Israel lobby in the United States that maintains there are too many Jews in high places and that Pollard must remain in his jail cell as a permanent example of the terrible price that must be paid for dual Jewish loyalties.

The truth - as we have seen from the Vannunu affair - is that Jews will sooner sell out Israel than the Golden Medina.

Take heart Jonathan. Your hero’s welcome in Jerusalem is not far off.

[See Jonathan's prison interview with Yediot Achronot here]

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