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http://www.jpost.com/com/Archive/11.Jan.1999/News/Article-2.html

THE JERUSALEM POST INTERNET EDITION

News Monday, January 11, 1999 (23 Tevet 5759)
Updated Mon., Jan. 11 09:59

Report: Pollard stole 10-volume intelligence 'Bible'

By BATSHEVA TSUR and Jerusalem Post Staff

 

JERUSALEM (January 11) - As US President Bill Clinton considers whether to release Jonathan Pollard, The New Yorker magazine reports in its Monday edition that Pollard inflicted major damage to extremely sensitive American intelligence systems.

A number of highly placed intelligence officials, furious that Clinton is considering clemency, broke their silence to specify the damage caused by Pollard, Seymour Hersh reports.

The report, a copy of which was released yesterday, cites senior members of the US intelligence community as saying Pollard, an an ex-Navy analyst serving a life sentence for spying for Israel, had passed on copies of a highly secretive surveillance manual as well as other details of systems "that are so secret that they have never been cited by name in public."

The New Yorker said its sources had gone public with their assertions because they feared Clinton "is about to give in to Israeli pressure to release Pollard" and that he would not hesitate to let Pollard go if that would help him score a foreign-policy success in the Middle East.

Clinton has asked top national security and law enforcement officials for advice on whether to release Pollard. A National Security Council spokesman said the officials had started delivering their recommendations to Clinton, who had asked for them to be submitted by Jan. 11.

The New Yorker said officials believed Pollard's information ultimately wound up in Soviet hands before the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, noting that much of the information which Pollard allegedly leaked to Israel was of practical value only to the Soviet Union.

Pollard, who is being held in a maximum security prison in Butner, North Carolina, was convicted in 1986 of handing over highly sensitive US information to Israel.

The magazine said that Pollard gave away a 10-volume surveillance manual, described by one ex-intelligence officer as "the Bible," which contained detailed information on how US intelligence collects signals anywhere in the world.

Pollard is quoted as rejecting the allegation, saying "the [US] government has consistently lied in its public version of what I gave the Israelis."

The report also said that Pollard passed on "reams of data" downloaded from a computerized information-retrieval system containing intelligence reports filed by US military attaches across the Middle East, which would have enabled Israel to identify previously confidential US informers.

The magazine also quoted sources as saying Pollard passed on more than a year's worth of daily reports from a Navy surveillance station in Spain, which tracked movements of Soviet nuclear submarines. Such material could help "reveal ways to hide a military operation," the report claimed.

As the US defense and legal establishments prepare to present their recommendations to Clinton on the fate of Pollard, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Ehud Barak will today send a joint letter to Clinton requesting the commutation of the convicted Israeli spy's sentence.

The letter is due to be delivered to the White House later today by the Israeli Embassy in Washington.

Netanyahu yesterday affixed his signature to the letter, which came at the initiative of Immigration Minister Yuli Edelstein, and Barak is due to sign it this morning, Edelstein's spokesman said.

"We... turn to you with an urgent request that you end the suffering of Jonathan Pollard, whose future is currently under review by your office," the two write in the letter to Clinton.

"Concerning Mr. Pollard, the people of Israel, and virtually all its political parties stand as one. We are united in our efforts to end Mr. Pollard's incarceration after fourteen years in prison, many of which were in isolation," they add. Pollard has "repeatedly expressed contrition and has profusely apologized for his actions." They call on Clinton to commute Pollard's sentence to time served.

By releasing Pollard, they tell Clinton in the letter, "you will once again show the American people's incomparable capacity for compassion and forgiveness which we all admire and cherish."

But any move toward clemency on the part of Clinton is expected to come under fire from security circles - at a time when he can least afford to have public opinion against him because of the Senate impeachment trial.

Such a move is said to be opposed by Defense Secretary William Cohen, FBI head Louis Freeh, and CIA head George Tenet, as well as leading senators.

The head of the Senate's Select Intelligence Committee, Richard Shelby, is reportedly collecting signatures opposing Pollard's release on the grounds that it could create a dangerous precedent for the release of spies.

Clinton is expected to announce his decision at the end of this week.

 

(c) 1995-1999, The Jerusalem Post. All rights reserved

 


 

Pollard inflicted serious damage to U.S. - magazine

January 10, 1999
Web posted at: 9:21 PM EST (0221 GMT)

 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Jonathan Pollard, an ex-Navy analyst serving a life sentence for spying for Israel, has inflicted major damage to extremely sensitive U.S. intelligence systems, The New Yorker magazine reported in its Monday edition.

The report, a copy of which was released Sunday, cites senior members of the U.S. intelligence community as saying Pollard passed on copies of a highly secretive surveillance manual as well as other details of systems "that are so secret that they have never been cited by name in public."

The magazine said officials believed Pollard's information ultimately wound up in Soviet hands before the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, noting that much of the information which Pollard allegedly leaked to Israel was of practical value only to the Soviet Union.

Pollard, who is being held in a maximum security prison in Butner, North Carolina, pleaded guilty in 1986 to handing over highly sensitive U.S. information to Israel.

President Clinton has asked top national security and law enforcement officials for advice on whether to release Pollard. A National Security Council spokesman said on Friday top officials had started delivering their recommendations to Clinton, who had asked for them to be submitted by Jan. 11.

But the idea of freeing Pollard has drawn strenuous opposition from U.S. security professionals, including CIA Director George Tenet, and congressional Republicans, who say his release would encourage the United States' enemies.

"To release Pollard now would undo everything that law enforcement and prosecutors worked tirelessly to accomplish," an FBI spokesman said on Friday.

Clinton promised to review Pollard's case last October during negotiations at the Wye Plantation in Maryland of a U.S.-brokered interim peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had demanded that Pollard's release be included in the deal.

The New Yorker said that Pollard gave away a 10-volume surveillance manual, described by one ex-intelligence officer as "the Bible," which contained detailed information on how U.S. intelligence collects signals anywhere in the world.

Pollard is quoted as rejecting the allegation, saying "the government has consistently lied in its public version of what I gave the Israelis."

The report also said that Pollard passed on "reams of data" downloaded from a computerized information-retrieval system containing intelligence reports filed by U.S. military attaches across the Middle East, which would have enabled Israel to identify previously confidential U.S. informers.

The magazine also quoted sources as saying Pollard passed on more than a year's worth of daily reports from a Navy surveillance station in Spain, which tracked movements of Soviet nuclear submarines. Such material could help "reveal ways to hide a military operation", the report claimed.

The New Yorker said its sources had gone public with their assertions because they feared Clinton "is about to give in to Israeli pressure to release Pollard" and that he would not hesitate to let Pollard go if that would help him score a foreign-policy success in the Middle East.

A Jewish leader said Friday three of the nation's top Jewish figures would ask Clinton to delay a decision on Pollard until they can personally state the case for releasing him.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, World Jewish Congress President Edgar Bronfman and Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz were preparing a letter to the White House asking for a meeting, said Elan Steinberg, executive director of the World Jewish Congress.

 

Copyright 1999 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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