Discussion: Ex-Israeli Spy Jonathan Pollard Freed From US Prison After 30 Years

Discussion for article #243045

I didn’t expect that, but it’s probably time.

EDIT: I didn’t know he’d been granted parol this past summer.

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I did expect it, but it’s bullshit-they never should have let that bastard out.


I was hoping for a Pollard-for-Vanunu swap, as Vanunu’s release restrictions are so harsh that he might as well still be in prison, and it would tweak that hypocrite Netanyahu. But Pollard has served plenty long for what he did, and if any of his intel is still good after 30 years, then the CIA is really messed up.



But he’s a hero just like Snowdon, right? Right?

Did Netanyahu agree to take Pollard’s place? If so, I’m all for it!


Netanyahu cheers.

And we’re giving taxpayer money to Israel, because it’s our friend?


“The people of Israel welcome the release of Jonathan A. Pollard,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “As someone who raised Jonathan’s case for years with successive American presidents, I had long hoped this day would come,” he said.

Meddlesome Yahoo went on to say, “I still don’t like the black man in your White House – he doesn’t seem to know his place.”

Edited for spelling.

"...an extraordinary espionage case that strained American-Israeli relations for 30 years and surfaced as a periodic bargaining chip between two allies."

Those we have entrusted with governing have certainly set the standard for spying on allies, so we have no room to talk.

However, in this case, actions by the Israeli leadership call into question whether that descriptor applies, save the rantings of a political lobby whose influence far outstrips their numbers. The delusion that Israel is our ally results from the same lopsided lobbying power that’s perpetuated an adversarial relationship with Cuba long past its due date as well.

Meanwhile, the Christianist fundies who’d base our foreign policy on their perverted superstition all rally around the return of Jesus when they can convert all the Jews or kill them. Their particular interpretation of a book written millennia before the creation of the United States, coupled with the arrogance afforded by belief that an invisible omnipotent creator of the universe actually cares about them as individuals, drives them to do everything they can to bring Armageddon to realization.

We can only hope that at some point common sense prevails and we can freely question whether an ally is one who paints a target on our back by using weapons we provide to slaughter its own citizens and destroy their homes, who has abandoned the peace process in favor of illegal settlements, and who proudly maintains the world’s biggest prison in Gaza. Our unflinching support has cost us our role as honest broker for peace, and that’s the least of the consequences.

And of course, those who dare recount the reality are branded anti-Semitic and anti-Christian, name-calling and dehumanization being the last refuge of those with nothing legitimate to offer in way of explaining this aberrant, misanthropic, and at times psychotic behavior.

Our only hope is to make oil irrelevant to our economy, let them sort out their own differences, and take on the role of neutral party. There is no reason that we must consider a nation so obstinate and careless as to consequences for us to be an ally. But the alliance we naively consider to be between the US and Israel is actually one between the oil conglomerates and these political extremists, and that alliance will do everything it can to make sure the unrelenting violence is maintained because it serves their purposes.


I’d like to be put in record as always wanting Pollard released, just not all at once and all in one piece.


I worked with the guy back when he first started in Naval Intelligence. He was a low level analyst, tasked with following Soviet bloc merchant shipping. Only later did he move to the position that allowed him access to the tons of stuff he passed to Israel. I found him to be arrogant and overbearing. Having read nearly everything published about his actions, I am, to say the least, unhappy that he has been released. I sure hope we got something in return for this unwarranted action by the administration.


“Ex-Israeli spy”? Was he ever an Israeli? If so, has he renounced his Israeli citizenship? Or did you mean “ex-spy”? If so, does that mean that when a convicted murderer is granted parole, he is no longer a murderer?

I thought we had managed to get past the braindead headline-writing that has been the signature of TPM. Or do they no longer teach English grammar and expository writing in journo school?

PS: And: I would not have shed a tear if he had stayed in prison for the rest of his life. If he was so important to Bibi, maybe Bibi could have spent some time with him, like 4 weeks out of every year.


You talking Pollard or Netanyahu?

[Yes, I know who you meant.]


Yes, were giveing economic aid to a country that has a standard of living that is comperable with ours.


Birds of a feather?

Has anybody demonstrated where Snowden profited from his releases? Where he gave the intel directly and secretly to a foreign government? Pollard had no desire to help the American people understand anything about their government, and profited well. Snowden’s revelations certainly let foreign governments (and others) know what we were capable of doing, but it was hardly news to them, and really amounted only to incontrovertible legal proof - something that mattered only with regard to judicial checks on the executive, not spycraft.

The only way in which these two are remotely similar is that they both punked the intel community management - Snowden certainly revealed the fraud that Hayden and Alexander were.

Nice try at false equivalence though.


No, instead, Netanyahu is giving speeches at the Center for American Progress. And now, this.

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They are ranked as the third most aggressive country in spying on the U.S. Only behind Russia and China.

There are too many articles to link to, google “Israel” Espionage" “Against” “United States”, and you will see what I mean.

Frenemy at best.


And universal health care.

So yes, Republicans are for subsidizing universal health care, just not for Americans.