There has been a lot of bad journalism about Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard lately. This one is the worst. Russ Baker breaks all the rules of journalism in support of his client. Below is the comment I posted at the site.
I could not care less about Pollard or the Pentagon. I hate them both. I post this here as a caveat emptor to those who might be tempted to think that independent, alternative media is always what it seems.
One has to wonder what Russ is doing.
“But perhaps no spy case in recent decades has more sharply divided opinion than that of Jonathan Pollard.”
Has it? There are those people who benefited from Pollard’s treachery, and their advocates, who have been pining for his release for a long time. Outside of that small but vocal special interest group, there has been no controversy whatsoever. Russ is trying to create one.
“Now, new evidence raises doubts about whether the public was told the truth about Pollard, and the reasons he was prosecuted and given such a draconian prison term.”
What was the public told–that he passed on secrets. Is Russ suggesting he didn’t?
The only person of whom I am aware who is suggesting there was a “reason” for his prosecution beyond the obvious one is Russ Baker.
Draconian? Why? Compared to whom? Did Hanson get released? Etc.
The CIA document shows that Pollard’s Israeli handlers were particularly keen on getting information that they believed vital to Israel’s defense…”
Does that mean it is okay? And what other kinds of info’ might they be looking for? Is anyone suggesting they were going to invade the US?
“.. including material on Egyptian missile programs…Soviet air defenses…”
Does Soviet air defenses comport with the idea of Israel just trying to defend themselves? These were the most highly guarded secrets in the world. it is not hard to understand why the US would not want this info’ passed abroad. Pollard stole them and sold them.
“(Contrary to popular sentiment, there have long been substantial elements in the government less than enthusiastic about Israel, starting with the State Department’s famous and long-running “Arabist” orientation, and continuing through the Bush family’s close ties to the Saudi royals.)”
What nonsense! What lies! Firstly, the Israelis and Saudis are on the same side, despite public protestations to the contrary. (Think Iraq, Syria, Egypt etc.) The Saudis have never done anything to threaten Israel whatever their public pronouncements may be.
Secondly, What Arabist orientation! What trash! Can anyone with two brain cells to rub together believe that the US’ foreign policy has benefited Arabs at the expense of Israelis???????????????????? Israel is Uncle Sam’s wet fart. It wouldn’t exist a day without his help. Meanwhile the Arabs have had one US-sponsored dictator after another. What a remarkably thing to say!
“What was the real reason for the decision to prosecute Pollard, and to seek such draconian punishment?”
That’s two “draconians” in one article, just in case we didn’t get the point. It’s a shame neither is accurate. What is the going rate of time for people who sell the most important military secrets, the ones which pertain to its greatest enemy? That’s precisely what Pollard did, and Baker can say draconian as much as he likes, it won’t change the fact that it’s nonsense.
“That affidavit was submitted by Caspar Weinberger, Defense Secretary for the Reagan-Bush administration. Weinberger is remembered in part for his role in the tangled Iran-Contra scandal, and served for years as a top official with Bechtel, the engineering firm that virtually built modern Saudi Arabia. Presumably, Weinberger would have known of the CIA damage assessment, raising additional questions about why Pollard’s sentence went unchallenged. But it is interesting to note that the Iran-Contra scandal—which involved US-Israeli cooperation in the secret and illegal supply of weapons to bolster a faction in Iran—was exploding in the media at the same time that the media also zeroed in on Pollard and his illegal work for Israel “against” the United States. Was Weinberger’s “indignation” at Pollard and Israel in furtherance of cynical ends? Weinberger is deceased, so we cannot ask him.”
Involved in Iran/Contra, “against” in quotes, top official at Bechtel, built Saudi Arabia, Baker’s throwing any mud he can here on behalf of his client, Jonathan Pollard. No journalism here, just advocacy. Did Weinberger have cynical motives? I guess having a mega breach in security couldn’t be it (or at least that is not going to work for the client). If Weinberger did have some kind of ulterior motive, then bring it on. All Baker produces here is tendentious innuendo. And yes Weinberger is dead, so shameless journalists can say anything the wish with impunity. Disgusting!
The Pentagon is where the ruling class rules, pollard is lucky they didn’t kill him.
“As of now, most Americans have only heard the original story of Pollard’s infamy. But the new developments in the Pollard affair are likely to gain greater media attention.”
What new developments, Baker’s joining the Pollard defense team? The “new” development is that the head of the institution which Pollard compromised was mad as hell about it. Is this probitive????????????????????????
“What was the real reason for the decision to prosecute Pollard…”
You have got to be kidding. Selling intel’ on Soviet air defenses isn’t enough? What should they do let everybody sell whatever they want? That is one of the more memorably stupid things I have ever read.
“…One can only guess at the agendas in play.”