Refuting ‘Re-Examining The Pollard Case’ – A Blood Libel Against Jonathan Pollard

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[By Pesach Lerner] Even a cursory glance at the facts which Yair Hoffman totally ignores in his article, “Re-examining the Pollard Issue” (5 Towns Jewish Times on March 4, 2010) reveals a case which Appellate Court Justice Steven Williams described as “a fundamental miscarriage of justice.” Jonathan Pollard is currently serving his 25th year of a life sentence for an offence — that of spying for an ally– that has a median sentence of 2-4 years.

Jonathan Pollard never had a trial. He received his life sentence as the result of a plea agreement which he honored and the US Government violated.  In spite of the fact that he pled guilty and cooperated fully with the prosecution, at the last minute, the sentencing judge ignored the plea deal and sentenced Pollard to life.

“Pollard’s plea agreement required him to plead guilty and to cooperate. On its side, the government made three promises of significance here. First, it would bring to the court’s attention “the nature, extent and value of [Pollard’s] cooperation and testimony” and would represent that the information supplied was of “considerable value to the Government’s damage assessment analysis, its investigation of this criminal case, and the enforcement of the espionage laws.”  Second, it would not ask for a life sentence (this promise was implicit but is not contested by the government), though it would be free to recommend a “substantial period of incarceration”.  Third, the government limited its reserved right of allocution to “the facts and circumstances” of Pollard’s crimes.  The government complied in spirit with none of its promises; with the third, it complied in neither letter nor spirit…”

“…Pollard’s sentence should be vacated and the case remanded for resentencing.”

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT

September 10, 1991, Argued    March 20, 1992, Decided

Dissent by: Justice Steven Williams

Jonathan was indicted on one charge only: one count of passing classified information to an ally without intent to harm the United States. There were no additional charges against him.

Ever since Pollard was able to obtain the unclassified titles of the documents that were used as evidence against him, and these titles were published in a petition to Israel’s High Court of Justice, there can be no doubt that the information Pollard passed to Israel concerned Syrian, Iraqi, Libyan and Iranian nuclear, chemical and biological warfare capabilities – all being developed for use against Israel.  The US was deliberately withholding this vital information, despite a legal commitment to share this data with its ally, Israel.

Nevertheless and notwithstanding, Jonathan broke the law and he acknowledged his guilt. On numerous occasions and in numerous forums, he has expressed remorse for his actions, regretting that he did not find a legal means to act upon his concerns for Israel.  For example, a letter he wrote to then-President Clinton:

December 3, 2000

Dear Mr. President:

My attorneys Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman have presented you with a request for clemency and commutation of my sentence of life in prison. I most respectfully hope that you will grant that request.

I am writing to you personally, Mr. President, to express my deep regret for what I did.

I was arrested in November 1985 and I have been incarcerated continuously since then. In 1986 I pled guilty, as part of a plea agreement, to one count of conspiracy to commit espionage. I cooperated extensively with the government for over a year in fulfillment of my part of the plea agreement, and yet on March 4, 1987, United States District Judge Aubrey Robinson sentenced me to the maximum sentence of life in prison.

My fifteen years in prison began in the Federal Medical Center (Prison) in Springfield, MO, where I spent over a year in solitary confinement, incommunicado, in a ward reserved for the criminally insane. This was followed by another five years in solitary confinement at the United States Penitentiary in Marion, IL, undoubtedly the toughest prison in the federal system. I have had a good deal of time to reflect on what I did, and what I should have done.

I fully appreciate that what I did was wrong. Grievously wrong. My intent was to help Israel, but I had no right to violate the laws of this country or the trust it had placed in me. I had no right to place myself above the law.

Over the years, I have expressed publicly and privately how deeply sorry I am for what I did. I have acknowledged without equivocation how wrong my conduct was. I have expressed this to members of Congress, local elected officials from throughout the United States, officials of foreign governments, members of the clergy of all faiths, and other prominent citizens.

I have also written letters expressing my unmitigated remorse. These letters, some of which go back many years, have been publicly disseminated. I will ask my lawyers to deliver copies to you.

I have always had, and continue to have, great love for this country. For the rest of my life, I will have to live with what I did, as well as with the pain I caused my family, the American Jewish community, and this great nation.

I know you are a man of great humanity and compassion. I ask, most respectfully Mr. President, that you accept this personal expression of profound remorse, and ask from the bottom of my heart that you grant me clemency and commute my sentence, so that together with my wife I can rebuild my life and leave a better legacy than the one I currently have.

Sincerely,

Jonathan J. Pollard

Jonathan has been severely punished for the one count of disclosing classified information to Israel with intent that it be used to Israel’s benefit, with which he was charged.

Even a glimpse at the record shows that Pollard, who spied for an ally of the US, was sentenced far more severely than the most notorious spies for enemy states – most of whom are free today. Jonathan is the only person in the history of the US to receive a life sentence for spying for an ally. Rudolph Giuliani, former Mayor of New York City and a former federal prosecutor, has said that “given comparative sentences, [Jonathan Pollard’s] sentence – this I happen to know because I have seen the documents – is way beyond the sentences served by other people that have been convicted of the same offense.”

Pollard was never accused, indicted or convicted of treason, nor could he be. The US constitution defines treason as giving aid and comfort to an enemy during time of war. Israel is an ally. Nor was he ever accused of damage to the United States in a formal indictment – only in the media, where he could not respond to his accusers.

The only offense Pollard was ever indicted for was one count of passing classified information to an ally. Jonathan Pollard was an ideologue, not a mercenary. The FBI concluded after nine months of polygraphing that Pollard acted for ideological reasons only, not for profit. This fact was recognized by the sentencing judge who declined to fine Pollard.

Moreover, the life sentence that Jonathan Pollard is serving is unlimited. Contrary to the untruth being circulated, that Pollard will automatically go free in the year 2015; there is no end date to his sentence. His attorneys, Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman have repeatedly clarified this issue in publicly available documents, in which they state that the year 2015 is simply another “presumptive parole date”, which the US government is entitled to oppose, and which we can safely assume, they will.

Nor is parole an option. Again, to quote Jonathan’s pro bono attorneys, “Mr. Pollard has not “avoided” the parole board. It is the Department of Justice that has imposed an insurmountable obstacle to Pollard’s parole application. The Department of Justice has prevented Mr. Pollard’s attorneys, Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman (both of whom have the appropriate Top Secret/SCI-eligible security clearances), from seeing the very documents that were submitted to the sentencing judge prior to Mr. Pollard’s sentencing in 1987. Although Mr. Pollard’s lawyers have a clear “need to know,” the government refuses to allow them to see their client’s entire court file, which is partly under seal. Without access to that file, hostile elements in the intelligence community know that they have free reign to say absolutely anything about Mr. Pollard without any risk that they will be contradicted by the documents. Applying for parole without access to the court file and in the face of unremitting hostility by these elements in the intelligence community would be an exercise in futility.”

It is unjust that Jonathan has been punished much more severely than all others who committed similar offenses on behalf of other US allies, and indeed more harshly than most who have spied for enemies of the US.  It raises concern about why a Jew who spies for Israel is treated far more harshly than those who have spied for other allies, or even enemies, of the US.

What is more, the hatred directed against Pollard personally is simply too big to be credible. The “new” charges against Pollard  – that he spied for up to 10 countries, was an arms dealer and a drug user, and a hundred and one other things, are absurd.  Even superman could not have served so many countries, pulled off such alleged weapons deals. How foolish are the media that repeat these lies without question! Twenty-five years into a life sentence, Jonathan Pollard continues to be publicly pilloried and excoriated at every possible opportunity by the American intelligence community and its willing henchmen in the media.

More to the point, if any of these accusations were true, why was Pollard never formally accused, indicted and tried for them?

In assessing the credibility of these allegations, it is important to know that no such allegations appear anywhere in the public record docket materials. And, since it is clear that neither the anonymous “government insiders” the author quotes nor any of his so-called “sources” would risk going to prison by disclosing privileged information which is not part of the public record, these allegations therefore have no credibility whatsoever. As has been repeatedly pointed out by Pollard attorneys Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman in response to similar fraudulent allegations made in the media, if the U.S. Government believed these and the other allegations made, it would have included them in the pre-sentencing memoranda. The U.S. Government took an extremely aggressive approach toward Mr. Pollard, the attorneys explain, and would have relished the opportunity to inform the sentencing judge that Mr. Pollard had violated the law by delivering classified information to foreign countries, and with mercenary motives, to boot. That was not the case.

Former CIA Director James Woolsey, former head of the Senate Intelligence Committee US Senator (ret.) Dennis DeConcini, former American Special Envoy to the Middle East Dennis Ross, as well as a cross section of other notable Americans, and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations are calling for Jonathan’s release. Enough is enough, they say.

Even former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, the man who drove Jonathan’s life sentence, admitted in an interview before he died, that the Pollard case was a “minor matter” which had been exaggerated, “made much more important than it was” in order to serve another agenda.

It is time for the Jewish community to pay heed to our Torah sages, such as HaRav Aharon Leib Steinman and HaRav Shalom Yosef Eliyashiv, in Israel, and numerous Torah sages and Jewish community leaders in the United States, who have called upon the public to assist in the mitzvah of Pidyon Shvuyim for Jonathan Pollard.

Jonathan’s own Rav, the former Chief Rabbi of Israel, HaRav Mordechai Eliyahu (who is thoroughly familiar with the facts of the case) has ruled that the Pollard case is not the simple mitzvah of Pidyon Shvuyim, but is the most exalted form of the mitzvah: “the mitzvah of Pidyon Shvuyim for one who was moser nefesh for Am Yisrael.”

The information Pollard provided to Israel 25 years ago was critical and is still protecting Israelis to this very day. It caused the Jewish State to completely revamp its civil defense program, supplying every citizen with a gas mask and chemical antidote kit, and legislating that every new home built in Israel must have a “sealed room”. Last week, thanks to Pollard, the government of Israel began a new distribution of gas masks and chemical antidotes to its citizens.

This is not to justify that Pollard broke the law. He deeply regrets breaking American law. Nevertheless, it is a fact that he did so only in order to save Israeli lives.  He has paid dearly for his actions, languishing in prison for the last 25 years of his life.

Every Jew owes Jonathan our utmost involvement in seeking his freedom. He deserves our assistance, not a blood libel.

EDITORS NOTE: YWN Editor visited Jonathan Pollard in prison less than 3 months ago. Read about that visit at the following two links:

http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/article.php?p=43757

http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/article.php?p=44350

(Written by Rabbi Pesach Lerner and released exclusively on YWN – Rabbi Lerner is executive vice president of the National Council of Young Israel)


31 COMMENTS

  1. And after all this, there are still readers of YWN who dare say (in the item about Rubashkin, a few news items lower) that the American (in)Justice System is not Anti Semitic!
    Please davven and davven for Yonasan ben Malka!

  2. I have davened, written letters, e-mails and made phone calls on behalf of Jonathan Pollard but I know that is not enough.

    I’m waiting for Daas Torah to organize and direct myself and the community at large to do more. Look how the frum community under the leadership of the Gedolim mobilized a masssive campaign to try and spare Martin Grossman’s life. How much more so do we owe Jonathan Pollard to save him from his terrible matziv.

    Please tell me what to do. We have sat back too long and let this situation continue. Where is our mesiras nefesh to rative Jonathan Pollard?

  3. Regardless of the accuracy of the original article, the usage of the term blood libel to refer to an article written in the 5 Towns Jewish Times is reprehensible and betrays a total lack of perspective with regard to Jewish history.

  4. You say, “Jonathan was indicted on one charge only: one count of passing classified information to an ally without intent to harm the United States.”

    Is that what the actual charge was? “Passing classified information to an ally without intent to harm the United States”? I don’t work in this field, but this categorization you make strikes me as a hybrid between a report of what the charge actually was and your editorial comment. If indeed there is such a defined term in the relevant statute as “ally” and such a distinction as “without intent to harm the United States,” then fine. But I can’t help but wonder if you’re bending the facts to make the case you want to make.

    This is what an increasing number of us continue to find troubling: the sense that we are being told what we are obligated to think and know, as if it’s Halacha L’Moshe MiSinai, and don’t bother yourself with the actual facts, kiddo. It just hurts your credibility.

  5. 1) It appears to me that both these men (R. Learner and R. Hoffman) should have been referred to with the title “Rabbi”. They are both Kosher men with smicha and are active Rabbis. As far as I am aware of neither of their conduct has ever been questionable. It is wrong to label either without title regardless of their political views.

    2) I am not clear on what the bases of this disagreement is being that I have not seen Rabbi Hoffman’s article. Can someone explain to me what Rabbi Hoffman stated and what is Rabbi Lerner’s objection?

  6. One thing nobody mentions. Peacetime espionage for ANY foreign nation, ally or enemy, was still subject to a maximum punishment of the death penalty (see 18 U.S.C. 794) if [as it did in the Pollard case] it “directly concerned nuclear weaponry, military spacecraft or satellites, early warning systems, or other means of defense or retaliation against large-scale attack; war plans; communications intelligence or cryptographic information; or any other major weapons system or major element of defense strategy.”

    Had Pollard not made a plea bargain, he could’ve well have gotten the death penalty.

    I would also agree with #3 that Rav Lerner’s accusing Rav Hoffman of a blood libel is indeed reprehensible and ignorant of what that term entails.

  7. As for why he is likely to continue to be denied parole, I believe it is because he is not unjustifiably considered a flight risk.

  8. He is definitely someones’ scape goat.

    I wonder why he has received a sentence far more severe than anyone who has committed a similar offense.

    Either it is a case of ANTI SEMITISM or he is being kept locked up because once he comes out and TALKS FREELY apparently a lot of people will be incriminated. I tend to suspect the latter hypothesis.

  9. If Pollard really feels bad for his actions and would like to be set free, why has he not yet gone before a parole board?
    He has been eligible for parole since 1993!

  10. As a Jewish American I say that Jonathan Pollard has betrayed our country. He is a traitor. Why not push for Yigal Amir to be feed also? If this is anti-semitism why did Joe Lieberman and Diane Feinstein vote in a senate comittee to keep him in jail. The fact is even Pesach Lerner has not seen the classified information against him. John Pollard is not a hero. Yet YWN reports on making moving kumzitz’s with him. Why has he not asked for parole? At most the Israeli government that betrayed him should work for his relase and we should be mispallel that THEY are succesful.

  11. Some facts are in order:

    The LAW (18 USC 794)does not distinguish between spying for an enemy or ally. It reads: “Whoever, with intent or reason to believe that it is to be used to the injury of the United States OR TOTHEADVANTAGE OF A FOREIGN NATION.” Last time I checked, Israel is a foreign nation.

    The same privision states “shall be punished by DEATH or by imprisonment for any term of years or FOR LIFE…”

    Pollard copied and transmitted to Israel the latest version of Radio-Signal Notations (RASIN), a multi-volume TOP SECRET UMBRA encyclopedia of how the NSA collected signals around the world. This information was then traded BY ISRAEL to the USSR.

    In other words, Pollard didn’t just give Israel information about Iraq’s nuclear program (the popular myth), what he did was to irreperably damage America’s ability to gather communications intel.

    The prosecutor complied with the plea agreement and asked for “only a substantial number of years in prison.” After reviewing a “damage-assessment memorandum,” the judge (who is NOT obligated to follow that recommendation) imposed a life sentence.

    He could have imposed death. Pollard should consider himself fortunate that he is still alive.

  12. Why does YWN feel compelled to respond to sites that consistantly rush to publish articles dripping with disdain to most established Rabbinical institutions?

    Also, YWN is just coming a step closer to those sites, by permitting all those comments here.

  13. How dare you claim the judicial system of a country like the U.S. which is the greatest friend of yidden and EY in the world is “anti-semetic”. Your pathetic reference to SMR’s conviction (whose bail denial was upheld today by the Justice Department) is totally irrelevant to this case for spying. Even today, every jew who has access to secret government information is suspect by his co-workers and who knows how many yidden have been denied government jobs requiring a security clearence because of fears raised by theis case. Perhaps you will also argue that today’s conviction of SMR’s son-in-law in upstate new york for child molestation was also the result of anti-semitism (even though he pled guilty).

  14. The United States of America is indeed a great country, especially for Jews. We are truly living in a Golden Age for Jewry here.
    However, the prosecuting arm of the federal, as well as state, governments are plainly populated with people who exhibit anti-Semitic tendencies, ie Pollard, Rubashkin, et. al.
    Pollard is plainly being dealt with vastly different than other “spies” in his same catagory.
    Rabbi Lerner is precisely accurate in his descriptions. Face it good people, if Pollard were black, the black community would not tolerate his ill treatment. Al Sharpton would be screaming at the top of his lungs and closing down all of Washington D.C. We, good little Yiddilech, instead, have gentlemanly mild-mannered learned Rabbi Pesach Lerner, as well as goody-two-shoes apologist Yair Hoffman. And in the meatime, while we contemplate our belly-buttons, a Jew (Yonoson ben Malka) sits in prison for more than 25 years. Shame on us.

  15. #13 You claim in part “Pollard copied and transmitted to Israel the latest version of Radio-Signal Notations (RASIN), a multi-volume TOP SECRET UMBRA encyclopedia of how the NSA collected signals around the world. This information was then traded BY ISRAEL to the USSR. ”

    Where is your proof that Pollard gave or sold such info to the Soviets?

    Also if everything about Pollards trial was so fair and above board how come another spy a White Non Jew with the last name Hansen, was convicted of treason (which Pollard was never charged with, or convicted of)after Pollards trial during which it was revealed that Hansen had given the Soviets info that actually got American CIA agents killed in Russia and Hansen got out of jail, released just a few years later, while Pollard who never got anyone killed, is still in jail?

    Is that what is passing these days, for “fairness” and “justice”?

  16. Gadolhatorah ! Granted America as a whole is a medina shel chesed.

    BUT it would be naive to believe that all in charge of governmental decisions are honest and righteous. I personally know of a very honest and frum yid who was dismissed from his governmental job on trumped up charges. It’s been over 10 years. He has many high ranking lawyers working on his case voluntarily because they feel it’s a clear case of anti semitism.

    No one is denying that Pollard was guilty of a very serious offense. However, his sentence is unusally harsh and there is no logical explanation for it. The fact that he’s in solitary confinement points to one thing….

    Behind the scenes there must be people who don’t want him freed. APPARENTLY, they are afraid that once once he is released & free to talk openly, somebody or various parties will be implicated.

  17. hereorthere-

    Virtually every aspect of the third paragraph of post 17 is false. Robert Hanssen (not Hansen)pled guilty (he wasn’t convicted) to 15 counts related to espionage (none of which were treason)amd was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole and is still in the Supermax facility in Florence Colorado. May I suggest suggest that part of caring for Jonathan Pollard would involve actually knowing facts before attempting to publicly disseminate them.

  18. #17,
    Who fed you that bunch of garbage?! It’s one big lie!
    You really need to get the facts straight.
    You can start by reading comment #19

  19. #12, right at the beginning of your comment you have put your finger on your problem: you see yourself “as a Jewish American”. Get it through your head: you are a JEW, not an American. Your first duty is to Am Yisroel, not the USA. Any allegiance to another nation must come second to that. If you put America’s interests before those of Am Yisroel, then you are a traitor, and none of your torah or mitzvos will help you a single bit when you appear before the Kisei Hakovod.

  20. I have one problem with this article: while it may very well be true that Pollard regrets his action, he shouldn’t. He should certainly tell the USA authorities that he regrets it, and his lawyers should say that he regrets it, and he should give no hint in word or deed that he might not really regret it, but I hope and pray that in his heart he remains proud of what he did. Because he has already paid a terrible price in this world for his great mitzvah, and his reward is waiting for him Above, but woe will be to him if he gets there and finds that he lost his reward because he regretted what he did! On Erev Rosh Hashono we say ואין אני תוהה חס ושלום על קיום מעשים טובים שעשיתי; this shows that it would be wrong — a חס ושלום — to do so.

    And while he and his lawyers must at least put on a show of regret, those of us who are not part of his official team are under no such constraint, and we must publicly proclaim that as far as WE are concerned he did the right thing, and any Jew in those circumstances must do the same. Every rabbi must proclaim from the pulpit that there is no greater mitzvah than to save Jewish lives, and it makes not the slightest difference whether one keeps or breaks the laws of any country to do so.

    And if any Jew is worried that this will cost him a few dollars, he has a simple solution: let him declare bifnei am va’edah that he is not a Jew, that אין לו חלק בעם ישראל, but let him be aware that this is the same as declaring that אין לו חלק באלקי ישראל. If he wants to separate himself from the tzibbur for the sake of his parnossoh, יהי לו אשר לו. This Hoffman character (who on earth is he?) has clearly made that decision, and should be treated accordingly.

  21. #19 and #20 what is the difference in all practicality between pleading guilty and being convicted?

    And how is getting Americans killed better then what Pollard did?

    And #19 you never answered my question to you.

  22. 23-

    I’m not the commenter you asked that question to and I didn’t suggest that “getting Americans killed was better than what Pollard did” I just said that you’d managed to write an entire paragraph that was almost entirely objectively false (a point you did not address). For the record though, there is a difference between pleading guilty and being convicted. Hanssen would likely have been executed had he been convicted (too my knowledge no one ever suggested that Pollard be executed), but in exchange for cooperating (which he would not have done had he been sentenced to death) he agreed to a life sentence instead. So yes, he was treated more severely than Pollard was in accordance with his crime.

    All of this is irrelevant thought. All I’d like is if before you post on this, or anything else, you make sure that what you say is not demonstably false. Thanks.

  23. #24

    I do not know where you got your information about Hansen but years ago I had heard he was out of jail already.

    And I had heard he had agreed to a sentence of a few years, and was lied to and forced into a life sentence after the prosecution reniged on the deal.

    If you are so concerned with people being factual how come you have nothing to say about those who call Pollard a
    “traitor” when he was never charged with or convicted of treason?
    Or are you going to claim that too is “false”?

  24. I was not clear in my last post, I am saying that I was going what I had remembered hearing about Hansen (sp) from eyars ago.
    If it was wrong I’m sorry but I see no evidence from those who ‘say’ I am wrong it’s just them saying it.

    Secondly I was not clear enough that I was talking about Pollard who I had heard the prosecution had cheated in the deal they had made with him.

  25. My point is the information you had on Hanssen (still misspelled in your last post) was wrong. Doesn’t it sound a little suspicious to you that a guy who spied for the Soviets and led to the death of quite a few CIA agents would be let out of prison after only serving a few years?

    What I’m beginning to hate about this site is that people feel the need to offer what they think are opinions, when in fact they’re just mistakes. I got my information from Wikipedia, but five seconds of googling brought me to this from the Bureau of Prisons webpage. http://www.bop.gov/iloc2/InmateFinderServlet?Transaction=NameSearch&needingMoreList=false&FirstName=robert&Middle=&LastName=hanssen&Race=U&Sex=U&Age=&x=63&y=11

    So what you heard was wrong. There isn’t another way to put it and regardless of what you believe, making wrong arguments doesn’t help your point.

    And no, I don’t have anything to say about those who call Pollard a traitor because they’re not factually wrong. No one has been tried for treson in America since World War II, and exactly 1 person has been charged with it. You can argue that Pollard wasn’t a traitor, and I’d be fine with that, just stick to actual facts when doing so, and try to verify before you post. It’s really not too much to ask.

  26. I wrote my last post before yours posted. But really you seem to be getting at my point. I am sure you were not trying to mislead anyone by saying Hanssen had been released, but nonetheless, the information that he had was still in jail could have been found by doing nothing more than Googling his name. Whether or not you personally chose to believe what Google told you (and in this case, confirming Wikipedia via the Bureau of Prisons webstie that Hanssen was still in prison also could have been done without much effort. After all, I did it.) should have given you pause before you posted.

    Not doing that in this case led you to post something that was not true. I’d hope that you wouldnt post in a public forum something that even might not be true, if for no other reason than it undermines your own argument. Or at least would resolve to be more careful in the future.

  27. Since you made such a pointed distinction between pleeding guilty and being convicted, I’d say it just a smuch a distinction between being charged with or convicted of treason and being labeled ‘traitor’.

    Actually mine is much greater difference because
    the word ‘traitor’ is filled with explosive emotion and just for that reason it can dramatically change a persons sentence or how he is treated once in prison and once he gets out (if he ever does get out).

    Sometimes I post from work with just a minute or two to make a posting so yes in those cases checking on google can take enough time to make posting impossible and these stories move down the list quite rapidly sometimes.

    But you are right, and I all in the future bli nader, try and check more carefully.

  28. Really the only statement I made was that it was inaccurate to say Hanssen was convicted, when in fact he pled guilty. I would have felt the same way about someone who said Pollard was convicted.
    Also, it’s just inarguably true that Hanssen’s treatment (which was the basis of the point you were trying to make) was the result of his plea. Had he been convicted, the government would have sought the death penalty.

    The other distinction just isn’t real. You can be a traitor without being accused of treason. (Do you think no one in the US between World War II was a traitor? I think we all agree Hanssen was and he wasn’t accused of treason either.

  29. I am saying that if we are to be so specific on using the excat words in a legal sense then in a legal sense, traitor does not apply here and to say it does is to make what Pollard did seem to be an attack on this country and an attempt top help Americans enemies when all he did (from what I have heard and I have never seen any proof to the contrary) was to give Israel information that had been promised to Israel and then suddenly refused, for no logical reason.

    This was strategic info that Israel needed to know about Israels enemies and something an “ally” would have nno problem supplying.

    So I would say that no matter how you slice it, he was not a traitor and claims he was, is simply false.

    There are no two ways about it.