Israel to push U.S. for Pollard’s release as Obama visit nears

Jonathan PollardBy JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
As United States President Barack Obama is preparing to visit Israel this week, several public figures are joining the Israeli government in lobbying for the release of a convicted spy, who betrayed American secrets to Israel in the 1980s. The pressure campaign reportedly includes a symbolic hunger strike and a public petition in favor of clemency, which contains nearly 200,000 signatures. Jonathan Jay Pollard was a US Navy intelligence analyst who spied for Israel in exchange for money from 1984 until his arrest in 1986. Many in US counterintelligence consider him one of the most damaging double spies in American history. But he is widely viewed as a hero in Israel, where many conservative Israelis, as well as pro-Israel Americans, are actively pressuring the US administration of President Barack Obama to release him. In 1998, after many years of official denials, Israel publicly admitted that Pollard had operated as an Israeli agent in the United States. Pollard, who acquired Israeli citizenship in 1995, has so far served 28 years of a life sentence in a US prison. The New York Times reports that many Israelis see Obama’s visit to Israel on Wednesday —the first in his presidency— as “the perfect opportunity” to pressure the US President for clemency for Pollard. In addition to a high-profile hunger strike in Tel Aviv, several notable Israeli citizens have signed an extended petition urging Pollard’s release. They include Israeli President Shimon Peres, as well as several retired generals and Nobel Prize-winning academics. Notable American signatories include former Assistant Secretary for Defense Lawrence Korb, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency James Woolsey, as well as former Secretaries of State George Shultz and Henry Kissinger. Read more of this post

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US spy Pollard tried to spy for Australia before spying for Israel

Jonathan Pollard

Jonathan Pollard

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Lobbyists campaigning for the release of jailed spy Jonathan Pollard portray him as a genuine Jewish patriot, who risked his freedom to spy on the United States for Israel. But in her first-ever public interview, Pollard’s FBI interrogator has revealed that he also spied for South Africa and tried to spy for Australia, before working as an agent for Israel. Lydia Jechorek was the FBI agent assigned to the case of Jonathan Pollard, after the United States Navy analyst was arrested for spying against his country, by handing countless classified documents over to his Israeli handlers. She spent countless hours with Pollard, interrogating him in jails in Washington, DC, and Lewisburg, PA. On Monday, Jechorek, who has never publicly commented about her role in the Pollard case, spoke to Newsmax, after having received clearance from the FBI to do so. She told the website that, during his FBI interrogation sessions, Pollard said that, before spying for Israel, he had attempted to spy on the United States for a “friendly country”. Jechorek did not mention the “friendly country” by name. But John L. Martin, who supervised the Pollard case on behalf of the Counterespionage Division of the United States Department of Justice, told Newsmax that the “friendly country” was Australia. It appears that Pollard approached Australian officials in the United States and offered to provide them with classified US government documents. It was only after they rejected his offer that Pollard accosted Israeli intelligence officers and began spying for Tel Aviv. Read more of this post

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