“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, July 31, 2015

The Treachery of Jonathan Pollard Exposes the Treachery of US Israeli Firsters and the Duplicity of Israel


Pollard’s handlers asked him to get documents that seemed of little use to Israel but of great value to the Soviet Union.

Jonathan Pollard, who’s been in prison the past 30 years for selling secrets to Israel, will be released on parole this November. Two things are worth noting. First, contrary to many skeptics, his release is not a political ploy to relax Israel’s opposition to the Iran nuclear deal. Second, contrary to claims by Pollard’s supporters, his punishment has been completely justified; he ranks as one of the 20th century’s most appalling American spies.

The first myth is easy to puncture. Pollard’s life sentence came with a mandatory-parole clause after 30 years. He started serving time in November 1985. So, 30 years is up in November 2015. It’s math.
The second myth takes longer to unravel. At his sentencing hearing, Pollard, who’d been a U.S. Navy intelligence official, painted himself as a devout Jew who’d stolen classified documents dealing only with Arab military might in order to help Israel stave off an invasion; none of his actions, he claimed, harmed American security.
Judge Aubrey Robinson Jr. called Pollard to the bench, showed him a classified affidavit that the Department of Defense had submitted, listing the range of sensitive secrets that he’d stolen, pointed to one of the items, and said, “What about this?” Pollard was silenced. Robinson sentenced him to life.
We now know (and M.E. Bowman, a senior counterintelligence officer who was working the Pollard case, has since confirmed) that the item in question was a National Security Agency manual called the RASIN, short for “Radio Signal Notations.” The RASIN was a guide to the physical parameters of every radio signal that the NSA was intercepting—a guide on how the NSA was tracking military communications, not just Israel’s but any and every country’s, including the Soviet Union’s. The RASIN was 10 volumes, and Pollard gave his Israeli handlers every single page of it.
Pollard also provided a year’s worth of memos by intelligence officers in the U.S. Navy’s 6th Fleet, recording all their observations of Soviet planes, ships, and submarines in the Mediterranean Sea. He provided documents on how Navy intelligence was tracking Soviet submarines. He provided material revealing that one of America’s most highly classified photo-reconnaissance satellites could take pictures not just straight down but from an angle: Israeli or Russian or some other country’s officers might think they could take a missile out of hiding once the satellite passed over, but no, the satellite was still snapping pictures—and now, thanks to Pollard, they knew this, too.
In other words, much of this material would be of use to more countries than just Israel. And Hersh quoted senior U.S. intelligence officials saying that some of these documents made their way to Moscow, perhaps through a KGB mole in Mossad (who was also later arrested), perhaps by Israeli officials who gave the Soviet Union the documents in exchange for letting more Jews emigrate to Israel. Officials have told me, in the years since, that they suspected such an exchange but never found hard evidence. Nonetheless, senior officials told Hersh that Pollard’s handlers had asked him to get certain types of documents that seemed of little use to Israel but of great value to the Soviet Union.
Many of Hersh’s sources on the story were veteran intelligence officials who were worried that President Bill Clinton was about to free Pollard—a move that, they thought, would be dangerous to national security (Pollard was thought to carry many more secrets in his head) and a severe blow to morale within the agencies. So they gave Hersh a lot of material—much more than anyone had yet made public—on what Pollard had done.
A few weeks before Hersh’s story, four retired admirals—all of whom had served as directors of U.S. Naval Intelligence—wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post warning that Pollard’s idealistic image was a “clever public-relations campaign.” In fact, they revealed, Pollard had offered highly classified documents to three other countries before hitting up Israel. (Those countries were later reported to be Pakistan, South Africa, and Australia.)
Furthermore, the admirals wrote, Pollard was well-paid for his efforts—a monthly stipend of $2,500, more than $10,000 in gifts, and other favors, in exchange for a commitment to spy for 10 years—and he was asking his handlers for a raise when he got caught. An official investigation revealed that Pollard was constantly broke, in serious debt, borrowing money from colleagues, and spending it just as fast. Just a few months after Pollard went to work for a secret unit of U.S. Naval Intelligence, he was approached by an Israeli air force officer, and the arrangement began.
Finally, the admirals wrote, Pollard was lying when he said that he’d taken only documents that would help Israel defend itself from Arab countries. In fact, he stole entire databases, “suitcase-loads” of documents that he couldn’t have had time to examine before delivering them to his handlers, often on a nightly basis. Many of these documents, they added, had nothing to do with Israel or the Middle East.
There is another disturbing element to this story. For more than 12 years after his arrest, senior Israeli officials told their American allies that Pollard had been a “rogue” who had no contact with the Israeli government. Finally, in 1998, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu admitted to President Clinton that Pollard had been an Israeli agent all along, handled by senior officials in the Bureau of Scientific Relations.
Around the time the admirals wrote their op-ed and intelligence officials were telling Hersh all about Pollard, Bill Clinton was thinking seriously about letting the spy go. Israeli leaders and many Jewish activists had been leading a “Free Pollard” campaign for years. Clinton figured that if he gave in to the pressure, he could get Netanyahu to sign an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord.
However, CIA Director George Tenet, alerted to the possibility, told Clinton that he would resign in protest if Pollard were freed. Seven former secretaries of defense signed a letter opposing a pardon as well. Clinton told Netanyahu there was no chance that Pollard would be released soon.
Every few years, a story appears that the president—be it Clinton, Bush, or now Obama—is considering, or has agreed to sign, a Pollard pardon. All of the stories have been false. The latest round is false, too. When he leaves prison, his movements will be restricted; it’s a parole, not a pardon. More to the point, he’ll be leaving prison not because he’s a hero, a martyr, or a victim of injustice—he is none of those things—but rather, simply, because his time is up.

An article by Seymour Hersh, in the Jan. 18, 1999, issue of the New Yorker, titled “The Traitor,” listed some other beyond-top-secret documents—among the tens of thousands—that Pollard had stolen and sold. They included the “National SIGINT Requirements List” (SIGINT standing for Signals Intelligence), which revealed which communications channels of which military powers, in which regions, the NSA was intercepting in what order of priority. In other words, it would give the reader a heads up on  where and what actions the U.S. military might take next.


  1. They have mastered the manipulation of the completely corrupt US Government for the perceived benefit of Israel.

    Quite a trick indeed:

    The former U.S. president told the nationally syndicated radio host Thom Hartmann on Tuesday that the United States is now an “oligarchy” in which “unlimited political bribery” has led to “a compete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors.”

    Hartmann had asked Carter to comment on Supreme Court decisions that govern campaign financing, such as Citizens United.

    HARTMANN: Our Supreme Court has now said, “Unlimited money in politics.” It seems a violation of principles of democracy. … Your thoughts on that?

    CARTER: It violates the essence of what made America a great country in its political system. Now it’s just an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or to elect the president. And the same thing applies to governors and U.S. senators and congress members. So now we’ve just seen a complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors, who want and expect and sometimes get favors for themselves after the election’s over. …

    … the incumbents, Democrats and Republicans, look upon this unlimited money as a great benefit to themselves because somebody who’s already in Congress has a lot more to sell to an avid contributor than somebody who’s just a challenger.

    —Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.


    2. Is this Israel’s “ Cecil The Lion” moment?

      In the early hours of Friday morning, suspected Jewish extremists scrawled the words “revenge” and “long live the messiah” on a house in the West Bank before throwing two firebombs through its window.

      Three members of the Palestinian family inside escaped but the father could not find his 18-month-old son Ali Saad Dawabsha amid the smoke. The infant is thought to have been burned alive.

      In a series of tweets, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepted the arson attack was an act of terror.

      The Israel Defence Forces vowed to bring the perpetrators of the "Jewish terror" attack to justice:

      IDF forces are searching now for the suspects and are doing everything they can to bring them to justice as quickly as possible.

      The IDF views this action as terrorist activity and strongly condemns all terrorist activity in Judea and Samaria, including Jewish terror. The IDF and the security agencies will continue to work towards maintaining order and security in Judea-Samaria.

      In the UK, Foreign Office minister Tobias Ellwood said:

      The UK strongly condemns today's horrific attack by Israeli settlers that resulted in the death of a Palestinian child. This was a brutal act of terrorism, as recognised by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. We call on the Israeli authorities to ensure that those responsible for this crime are brought swiftly to justice. We also call on political and community leaders on all sides to do their utmost to promote calm.

      Netanyahu phoned Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas to condemn the attack, but the Palestine Liberation Organisation, the dominant body in the West Bank, said it found the Israeli government "fully responsible for the brutal assassination".

      Around 500,000 Jewish people live in 100 settlements built in the West Bank since the 1967 occupation. They are regarded as illegal under international law but Israel rejects this assessment.

      Last summer copycat revenge attacks between Jews and Palestinians escalated into a conflict between the Israeli military and Hamas in Gaza in which 2,100 lives were lost.

    3. Those 500,000 settlers are there partly as a quid pro quo between The Soviets and Israel thanks to information supplied to them by Jonathan Pollard.

  2. America was once a great country? When was that? A political system founded on the principles of private property was great?

    What gets to me is people thinking America was once a great country with a moral compass? When was that? I must have missed that part of history. From the massacres of Indians, to slavery, to Hiroshima, Vietnam, to its policies in Latin America, to its support for the creation of the terrorist state of Israel, to supporting the Shah of Iran, to supporting Saddam with intelligence and chemical weapons against the Iranian people, to these modern day Middle East debacles, America has by far the worst track record.

    And Carter another neo-lib Dem hero whose economic policies laid the groundwork for Reagonomics is our expert here on the oligarchs? Maybe he is.

    A Brief History of the Democrats:

    Jimmy Carter was a president who claimed that human rights was "the soul of our foreign policy" despite making an agreement with Baby Doc Duvalier to not accept the asylum claims of Haitian refugees. His duplicity, however, was not limited to our hemisphere; Carter also earned his Nobel Prize in Southeast Asia. In Cambodia, Jimmy Carter and his national security aide, Zbigniew Brzezinski made an "untiring effort to find peaceful solutions" by initiating a joint U.S.-Thai operation in 1979 known as Task Force 80 which, for ten years, propped up the notorious Khmer Rouge under the all-purpose banner of anti-Communism. "Small wonder present U.S.-originating stories about the Khmer Rouge end abruptly in 1979," says journalist Alexander Cockburn. Interestingly, just two years earlier, Carter displayed his "respect for human rights" when he explained how the US owed no debt to Vietnam. He justified this belief because the "destruction was mutual."

    "Candidates say "vote for me, and I will do so-and-so for you." Few believe them, but more important, a different process is unthinkable: that in their unions, political clubs, and other popular organizations people should formulate their own plans and projects and put forth candidates to represent them. Even more unthinkable is that the general public should have a voice in decisions about investment, production, the character of work, and other basic aspects of life. The minimal conditions for functioning democracy have been removed far beyond thought, a remarkable victory of the doctrinal system."

    -- Noam Chomsky

  3. Why Pollard Should Never Be Released (The Traitor)
    The New Yorker Magazine | :January 18, 1999, pp. 26-33 | SEYMOUR M. HERSH
    Posted on November 22, 2001 at 10:32:44 PM EST by blackbag

    The Case Against Johnathon Pollard

    ...In any event, there was enough evidence, officials told me, to include a statement about the possible flow of intelligence to the Soviet Union in Defense Secretary Weinberger’s top-secret declaration that was presented to the court before Pollard’s sentencing. There was little doubt, I learned from an official who was directly involved, that Soviet intelligence had access to the most secret information in Israel. "The question," the official said, "was whether we could prove it was Pollard's material that went over the aqueduct. We couldn't get there, so we suggested" in the Weinberger affidavit that the possibility existed. Caution was necessary, the official added, for "fear that the other side would say that 'these people are seeing spies under the bed.' "

    The Justice Department further informed Judge Robinson, in a publicly filed memorandum, that "numerous" analyses of Soviet missile systems had been sold by Pollard to Israel, and that those documents included "information from human sources whose identity could be inferred by a reasonably competent intelligence analyst. Moreover, the identity of the authors of these classified publications" was clearly marked.

    A retired Navy admiral who was directly involved in the Pollard investigation told me, "There is no question that the Russians got a lot of the Pollard stuff. The only question is how did it get there?" The admiral, like Robert Gates, had an alternative explanation. He pointed out that Israel would always play a special role in American national security affairs. "We give them truckloads of stuff in the normal course of our official relations," the admiral said. "And they use it very effectively. They do things worth doing, and they will go places where we will not go, and do what we do not dare to do.”


    1. {...}
      Nevertheless, he said, it was understood that the Soviet intelligence services had long since penetrated Israel. (One important Soviet spy, Shabtai Kalmanovitch, whose job at one point was to ease the resettlement of Russian emigrants in Israel, was arrested in 1987.) It was reasonably assumed in the aftermath of Pollard, the admiral added, that Soviet spies inside Israel had been used to funnel some of the Pollard material to Moscow.

      A full accounting of the materials provided by Pollard to the Israelis has been impossible to obtain: Pollard himself has estimated that the documents would create a stack six feet wide, six feet long, and ten feet high. Rafi Eitan, the Israeli who controlled the operation, and two colleagues of his attached to the Israeli diplomatic delegation -- Irit Erb and Joseph Yagur -- were named as unindicted co-conspirators by the Justice Department. In the summer of 1984, Eitan brought in Colonel Aviem Sella, an Air Force hero, who led Israel's dramatic and successful 1981 bombing raid on the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak. (Sella was eventually indicted, in absentia, on three counts of espionage.) Eitan's decision to order Sella into the case is considered by many Americans to have been a brilliant stroke: the Israeli war hero was met with starry eyes by Pollard, a chronic wannabe.

      Yagur, Erb, and Sella were in Washington when Pollard was first seized by the F.B.I., in November, 1985, but they quickly left the country, never to return. During one period, Pollard had been handing over documents to them almost weekly, and they had been forced to rent an apartment in northwest Washington, where they installed a high-speed photocopying machine. "Safe houses and special Xeroxes?" an American career intelligence officer said, despairingly, concerning the Pollard operation. "This was not the first guy they'd recruited." In the years following Pollard's arrest and confession, the Israeli government chose not to cooperate fully with the F.B.I. and Justice Department investigation, and only a token number of the Pollard documents have been returned. It was not until last May that the Israeli government even acknowledged that Pollard had been its operative.
      In fact, it is widely believed that Pollard was not the only one in the American government spying for Israel. During his year and a half of spying, his Israeli handlers requested specific documents, which were identified only by top-secret control numbers. After much internal assessment, the government's intelligence experts concluded that it was "highly unlikely," in the words of a Justice Department official, that any of the other American spies of the era would have had access to the specific control numbers. "There is only one conclusion," the expert told me. The Israelis “got the numbers from somebody else in the U.S. government.”

  4. When you fully understand what Pollard did, how he did it, the apparatus behind him and the campaign to get him released, you will come to fully appreciate the true meaning of being an Israeli-firster.

  5. The US has suffered mightily from this absurd relationship.

  6. So have the Palestinians:

    RAMALLAH, West Bank — A teenager who was shot while protesting the arson attack that killed a Palestinian toddler died from his wounds early Saturday, according to family members and residents. It was the sixth fatal shooting by Israeli security forces in recent weeks, and the latest death in a summer that has been marked by repeated and apparently escalating violence.

    Laith al-Khaldi, 17, was shot Friday during a demonstration near Ramallah, one of many protests in response to the deadly arson that appeared to quickly devolve into clashes. Jewish extremists are suspected in the firebombing of a house early Friday morning in the West Bank hamlet of Duma, which killed 18-month-old Ali Dawabsheh and severely wounded his parents and his brother.

    Continue reading the main story

    Mourners buried the remains of 18-month-old Ali Saad Dawabsheh in the West Bank village of Duma on Friday.Jewish Arsonists Suspected in West Bank Attack That Killed Palestinian ToddlerJULY 31, 2015
    An Israeli military spokeswoman told the Palestinian news agency Ma’an that soldiers had fired toward an “assailant” who hurled a firebomb toward them. The spokeswoman, who spoke on condition of anonymity in accordance with military guidelines, said the shooting had been “in response to immediate danger.”

    Palestinian news reports said the slain teenager had been at a demonstration near the university town of Birzeit, near a military watchtower. It appeared that youths there had been hurling objects at military forces. A cousin of Mr. al-Khaldi, Issa al-Khaldi, described the youth as quiet and said it was unlikely that he had thrown anything.

    Israeli security forces have come under scrutiny for their use of live fire against Palestinians, particularly as very few such shootings have led to prosecutions. Palestinians and their advocates say that has created a culture of impunity among Israeli forces.

    On Friday, soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian teenager in Gaza who appeared to try to scale a fence into Israel. Last Monday, a Palestinian youth died after he was shot while trying to evade arrest by running across rooftops in the crowded refugee camp where he lived.

    Earlier in July, Israeli forces killed a 53-year-old Palestinian man, Falah Abu Marya, who was shot in the chest as he threw objects at soldiers who were trying to arrest his son. On the preceding day, Israeli military forces shot and killed a 20-year-old Palestinian during a raid in Burqin, a farming town in the northern West Bank. A military spokeswoman said Israeli forces had opened fire after Palestinians ignored an order to stop throwing rocks at them.

    The arson in Duma was called a terror attack by Israeli and Palestinian politicians alike. Hebrew graffiti was found sprayed nearby, with “Revenge!” written on one wall next to a Star of David. Witnesses said they had seen two masked men watching nearby as the victims burned.

    Relatives of the Dawabsheh family said the toddler’s father, Saad, 32; his mother, Riham, 27; and his brother, Ahmad, 4, were being treated for severe burns Saturday morning in Israeli hospitals. Saad’s brother Naser Dawabsheh said that Riham’s condition had worsened overnight.