by Barry Chamish
My recent piece proving that the Israeli government under Shimon Peres badly exploited Jonathan Pollard's intelligence and encouraged his continued incarceration led to a blizzard of mail and new information.
One intelligence insider verified most of my findings but disputed one. In fact, the Israeli government under Peres' successor as Prime Minister, Yitzhak Shamir, did try to buy Pollard out of prison for a fair exchange.
The person who gave me the story is a retired London commodities broker, Aaron Goldman.
He sat in prison for three years as a result of an ill-fated plot to free Terry Waite, a Brit held hostage in Lebanon. He claims he was a victim of a Mossad sting, in retaliation for their broken promise to him, which led to still another American broken promise over Pollard.
I had a long conversation with Aaron, following which he faxed me 8 pages of documents verifying his story. These included an airfare receipt from Salzburg on the day he claimed he was there arranging one of the great intelligence capers of the century; and a Tel Aviv Hilton hotel memo signed by the Mossad agent he claims betrayed him.
Goldman wrote a book describing his journeys into the netherworld of covert operations called Forbidden Yesterday under the nom de plume of Johnny Lancaster. He insists all stock was bought out by the Mossad and his publisher persuaded not to reprint. But he does have a site to look at: www.forbiddenyesterday.co.uk
This is the letter he sent me. You're not going to understand it, but I'll sort it out after you've looked at it:
It is lesser known that on August 9th 1985, a London born Jew, (later code-named 'Johnny Lancaster' by Mossad), a branded Jeans import-exporter turned entrepreneur, whom by God's will or chance was invited to Israel's London Embassy by a Mossad Agent (Alon) posing as an Agricultural Attacheé.
'Johnny Lancaster' left the Israeli embassy naively agreeing to help Israel gain an edge to trade in West Africa by recruiting a well-placed West German associate (AB) The deal was confirmed with Mazel un Brocheh, a most revered and cherished binding Hebrew promise affirmed with a handshake, which according to learned Rabbi was handed down from God to Abraham.
The London Embassy meeting led to Munich, Salzburg and the infiltration of Germany's largest exporter of electronics weapons and 'Operation Prairie Fire', the Pentagon's code name for the controversial naval-raid on Libya, the USA first encounter of smart-weapons, due to the well-placed West German who passed over the secret Libyan defence codes in Salzburg the 1st and 2nd February 1986 to Mossad agents.
It is little know that Caspar Weinberger secretly met with his Israeli counterpart Ehad Barak prior to 'Operation Prairie Fire'..The far-reaching meeting/agenda remains unpublished despite the US Supreme Court ruling for them to be dislosed. Consequently, the America Sixth Fleet picked up the gauntlet for the Free World to cross Gadaffi's self-imposed 'Line of Death' in the Gulf of Sidra 24th March 1986 to curb terrorism.
It is well known that Mossad keep their most successful operations secret. To this day Mossad have not claimed credit for their part in covertly securing the Libyan defence secrets when breaching German and Austrian Sovereignty: 1st & 2nd Feb 1986 and prior to. Is it because Israel traded them for Jonathan Pollard spying, not to be cut off from all military and monetary aid by the USA, which enabled the US Sixth Fleet to cross Gadaffi's battle-ready 'Line of Death' without fear of loss of ship, plane nor man from the Hi-Tec German installed defence system of the day? It is also little known: that the American Sixth Fleet jammed the Libyan defence system and homed-in the F1-11 bombers that took off from the UK to bomb Tripoli and Benghazi the follow April.
One wonders at the historical raid's, gagging order that swept the the action of the President Reagan under the carpet to allow the long-arm of the USA to be forgotten/not realised. Possibly the 'Eleventh' would not have happened if 'Operation Prairie Fire' had been proclaimed from the top of the Twin Towers instead of being swept under the carpet to appease and to cover-up the truth?
Further, it is known to but a few, that Johnny Lancaster perused the broken promise in the Holy Land when he met with a ranking Mossad officer (MP, Alon's direct boss) in the Tel Aviv Hilton late December 1986 and Ist January 1987 when and where the Mossad officer revealed that Israel was obliged to trade the secret Libyan defence codes for the indiscretions of Jonathan Pollard so Israel would not to be cut off of all military and monitory aid by the USA.
It is lesser known still, that Mossad blatantly duped and reneged on the deal thrice sealed by Mazel un Brocheh and indeed thrice threatened the naïve 'Johnny Lancaster' life: but settled on setting him up to go to jail..
Seventeen years on, Jonathan Pollard remains in jail regardless of the agreed plea bargaining with the US Government and the World-wide call and indeed a British MP for Jonathan Pollard's release.
Now, I'll try and explain what happened. I spoke with Aaron at length and took notes. But I'm still not entirely comfortable with all the facts. Aaron has sent me his book and that should do the trick. Meanwhile, this is what I gleaned from our conversation:
BC: So how did you get involved in a Mossad operation?
AG: I was a commodities broker dealing in residue oil contracts and I had contacts all over Europe. I had one contact in Yugoslavia who mentioned he befriended a real character at Siemens in Germany named Alex Becker. The guy installed the radio air defence systems for Nigeria and Libya and knew their codes. He was a miserable alcoholic and was shooting off his mouth about that.
I told the story to Uri Raz, a friend and neighbour and he arranged a meeting at the Israeli embassy with someone named Alon, who claimed he was an agricultural attache. This was in August '85. He was highly interested and the talks began. In the end it was agreed I would get $5 million to be divided between Becker, my Yugoslavian contact and me. My cut was $1.2 million. We shook on it.
In December '86, I met with Becker in Salzburg. He gave me the Libyan radio frequencies and codes and I gave him his check. I flew back to London to get my share and Alon suddenly didn't know me. An intermediary, Manny Levy, told me the name of the game was not to pay me.
BC: Is there anyone to turn to when this happens?
AG: Remember, I wasn't entirely helpless. I had first hand evidence that the Mossad breached the sovereignty of the UK, Germany and Austria. I had a few high cards. So I flew to Tel Aviv and met a Mossad officer there, Michael Perry. I'll fax you his signature on a hotel memo. He told me that since Pollard was caught, the Mossad was forbidden to pay foreign nationals. It was politically too hot. He was sorry but I was out.
Then he told me what was done with the codes. Ehud Barak was given them and told to fly to Washington to meet Caspar Weinberger. Remember, Barak was Peres' damage-control man from the day Pollard was captured. He was on the first flight to Washington. He cut a deal with Weinberger: the codes for Pollard. It was Israel's way of saying sorry and Weinberger took the offer.
Next month a nightclub is blown up in Berlin and American servicemen are killed. The US traces the bombing to Libya and in March they launch two air raids on Tripoli. They kill Khaddafi's adopted daughter and almost get him. In retaliation, Libya blew up Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. So my little operation had consequences I never imagined, nor wanted.
And for all that, I wasn't paid and my handlers split the money. They all bought new flats when they were done with me. And Weinberger betrayed Barak and kept Pollard in prison. Both sides were crooks and Pollard and I were the main victims.
BC: Have you told this to anyone else?
AG: I contacted Esther Pollard and she cold-shouldered me. I'll fax you her letter. She actually writes that my medicine might be worse than the cure, whatever that means. I was flabbergasted at her refusal to take advantage of my information. Then I turned to John Butterhill, a Member of Parliament who is Vice Chairman of the Free Pollard Committee here. He told me there is no working with this Esther Pollard and he had given up trying. But she had made herself the only channel to Jonathan Pollard, so it was futile for me to reveal my information through her organization. I have documented proof of Pollard's betrayal and it's in the American government records that are being sealed by court order. If that order could be challenged, we'd have the proof that the American Secretary Of Defense promised the Israeli government to free Pollard in return for the Libyan codes and frequencies and then reneged on its promise. That should be enough to set Pollard free.
The official Pollard committee is attacking me, mostly over a typo. Maariv exposed that Pollard was sitting for Aldrich Ames' crimes in
1995 not '85. Corrected. They are claiming the Haaretz expose of Esther Pollard was libelous and a suit pends in a Jerusalem court. After seven years it's still pending? Everything in the report by Ronen Bergman was accurate and no suit will ever take place.
I have an enormous stock of personal testimony, much from journalists, verifying the Bergman report. Here is a tiny fraction of the correspondence, unedited for your critical appraisal:
P.S. Esther Pollard spoke in our R&B lecture series at the Israel Center way back in 1997 or 1998, I don't remember if I approached the Pollard people or they approached me. Afterwards, someone in their group/s "borrowed" my R&B email list which I accidentally exposed in one R&B mailing by putting in the cc., rather than bcc. column. I started getting angry messages from R&B subscribers demanding to know why I had sold my R&B email list to the Pollard people. I confronted Esther about this (in MY usual undiplomatic, pepper way), SHE freaked out (as usual, no one can ever admit anything or lose face, right?) Since then I have been on Esther's Public Enemy List (how simple it would have been if Esther had said, "Sorry, you are right. Someone in our organization did this, and I don't know who it is"). But it did not end that way.
Shalom, I would like to say that I know for a fact that there are lies contained within this document. In particular the saying that PC's did not exist in
1985. I was in the Army then and working with classified and other information used PC's myself at work to ascertain information and to pass it along.
And Aaron, you must admit that any woman who marries a man who is serving a life sentence is a bit off. It is a well known phenonema that certain types of women read magazines that show off men in prison and they marry them even with life terms. Perhaps you are not aware that there are benefits these women get, besides attention, from the US Government. And although I am not an advocate of releasing Jonathan, I do think he would have been let out years ago if Esther would have kept her big mouth shut.
I have actually emailed with Esther regarding some of the untruths on her J4P website.
One untruth was regarding his medical care. I know people who actually tried to get him the so called much needed medical attention she claims he needs, but the help was refused. Besides outside help, the Federal Prison system has good medical care. I had occasion once to be in a federal hospital that also housed federal inmates in need of care. I was in the same SICU with one and there were a number of others on the floor in regular rooms. The guy with me got the same quality care I did. The big difference is they have to be guarded and some shackled because they were a danger to others or of escape.
My only experience with 'Mrs.' Pollard was when I arranged an interview with her for Jerusalem Post Radio.
After the interview she requested a copy of the raw material, which we gave her with the understanding that she would not publish it. She went ahead and published it, unedited, the next day.
After complaining to her and receiving no reply, we decided, first, to drop the interview and not broadcast it and second, not to interview her in the future.
You can add me to the list of Pollard advocates and activists who was treated unappreciatively by Esther. I wrestle with myself, on the one hand to continue to be a high-profile advocate for Pollard --in my personal case to be sticking my neck out and likely putting myself in personal jeopardy
(according to the late Rehavam Ze'evi, since the disclosures of my work in US intelligence that could help Pollard's case are sensitive in the extreme)-- or just bowing out of the fight on Pollard's behalf. Her abrasiveness and border-line disdain for many who have given so much of themselves on Jonathan's behalf has in my opinion certainly caused his case damage. Yet, she has single-mindedly made efforts on his behalf, whether ultimately they may be shown to have been misguided, that are super-human. Does the damage she's caused outweigh the benefit of her efforts, I can't answer.
Law/Feature: POLLARDS TURN DOWN CHANCE TO MEET WITH SENATOR MOYNIHAN'S SENIOR AIDE WHO SAYS HE WANTS TO HELP THEM
by Susan Rosenbluth [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Editor and Publisher, Jewish Voice & Opinion;
TEANECK, NEW JERSEY, April 2, 2000) While Esther and Jonathan Pollard claim they will do anything to secure his release from prison, they have passed up what some observers say might be a golden opportunity to win important Congressional support.
David Luchins, a senior aide to Senator Pat Moynihan (D-NY) and a Vice-President of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of the United States, has asked to meet with one or both of them to offer his help. Although it is no secret that Dr. Luchins also has the ear of First Lady and NY Senatorial candidate Hillary Clinton, the Pollards unceremoniously refused.
In a written note of refusal, the Pollards accused Dr. Luchins of damaging words and actions. Mrs. Pollard said Dr. Luchins had used every opportunity he had been given, including meetings with Mr. Pollard's attorneys and family, to lie or to come back for another run at Jonathan.
She did not elaborate.
The arrogance problem is one that has visited Mr. Pollard many times. His first attorney, Richard Hibey, who was paid by the Israeli government and whom the Pollards accuse of failing to file a motion of intent to allow an appeal of his sentence, alluded to it in a court document.
In it, Mr. Hibey wrote: "Mr. Pollard has created a perception of arrogance that one in his predicament can ill afford to convey. However, he continued, what is one man's arrogance may be anothers naivete regarding the realities which confront him".
Mr. Hibey went on to suggest that Mr. Pollard's attitude toward his conduct and this case should be looked at through the prism of his passionate Zionism, his unmitigated hatred of terrorism and the communist ideology which supports it, and his genuine and continuing belief in America.
Mr. Hibey realized that even to detail those feelings might be looked upon as further evidence of Mr. Pollard's arrogance through political testament and harangue. However, he wrote, the facts of the case have never suggested that his ideological agenda was anything other than what he has consistently, albeit stridently, represented throughout.
While this adds nothing endearing to the personality of the man, in the context of a sentencing in a case such as this, it should not be counted so heavily against him, wrote Mr. Hibey.
Others agree, feeling that while the Pollards are annoying, rude, arrogant, and, some say, nuts, Mr. Pollard's case is still one that weighs heavily on the Jewish community.
That perception has been fostered by the Pollards themselves, who have made it clear that they believe the way Mr. Pollard has been treated by the governments of Israel and the U.S. is a reflection of how the entire Jewish community and every Israeli soldier and agent is perceived.
But when the Pollards refused to meet with Dr. Luchins, they told one of their staunchest supporters, who tried to convince Mrs. Pollard to attend, that with whom they meet was their concern alone.
Then they shouldn't look at the Pollard case as one that must concern the entire community, the supporter fumed. A few minutes later, he relented. "But he should still be free. Its just not fair", he said.
The Pollard's anger at Dr. Luchins seems to stem from a tactical disagreement, not from a philosophical one. Although the Pollards do not believe him, Dr. Luchins says he wants to help them work to secure Mr. Pollard's release.
One of their disagreements is whether or not Mr. Pollard should apply for parole. According to law, he was eligible for parole in 1995, but, according to Mrs. Pollard, legal parole experts, whom she refuses to name, advised them against doing so. Dr. Luchins and Mr. Moynihan say he should apply.
According to Dr. Luchins, a parole hearing for Mr. Pollard would be a combination of the trial he never had and a media event. Before he broke with them, Mr. Pollard would have enjoyed the extra benefit of attorneys such as Alan Dershowitz and Leonard Garment advising him (and, presumably, the media).
But Mrs. Pollard's experts told her they had learned (again from unnamed sources at the highest levels of the Justice Department) that should Mr. Pollard apply for parole, the case would be adjudicated in Washington. The experts told her that, in Washington, the parole board would invariably turn down Mr. Pollard's request and, what is worse, she says, they would certainly impose a 15-year set-aside, meaning that Mr. Pollard would not be allowed to request another parole hearing for at least 15 more years.
The parole experts further explained that once the parole board rules that the case is untouchable for another 15 years, every President over the next
15 years will use this as the excuse for not granting executive clemency either, says Mrs. Pollard.
Further, says Mrs. Pollard, her experts told her that parole boards look only at official file material and do not consider letters and petitions. Mr. Pollard's file, the experts said, contains nothing but negative recommendations from those government agencies with vested interests in keeping him in prison.
Dr. Luchins says the advice she has been given is nonsense, and all efforts to ascertain who Mrs. Pollard's experts were went unanswered.
RAV AARON SOLOVEITCHIK
By all accounts, in 1993, there was a chance for executive clemency, but Mr. Pollard may have botched it himself.
In March, 1993, Dr. Luchins arranged a meeting between Mr. Pollard and Rav Aaron Soloveichik in Mr. Pollard's prison cell in Marion, IL. The purpose was for Rav Soloveichik to discuss repentance with Mr. Pollard and help him formulate an appropriate letter which would be given to the then-new President Bill Clinton by Senators Moynihan and, perhaps, Joseph Lieberman (D-CT).
Dr. Luchins says there was reason to believe Mr. Clinton might have been willing to pardon Mr. Pollard after receiving a well-written letter of remorse.
According to all reports, in coming to see Mr. Pollard, Rav Soloveichik, who had recently been ill, braved a long trip and disgraceful treatment by the prison personnel. The guards took the elderly rabbi's walker from him because it would not go through the metal detector, causing him to walk painfully down long hallways and staircases. His suspenders were made of metal, and the guards, who referred to him as an old Jew, insisted he remove them as well.
RESPECTING THE RABBI
During the course of their meeting, Rav Soloveichik, who is also an attorney, showed Mr. Pollard a letter he had written, in Mr. Pollard's name, expressing remorse and a new-found understanding of repentance. The letter explains that Mr. Pollard had been motivated by a sense of idealism, but that he allowed himself to be misled by his emotions. The letter says Mr. Pollard now knows that what he did was not only repugnant to American law, but was equally repugnant to G-ds Torah and natural law.
According to a source close to Mr. Pollard, Mr. Pollard said the letter was full of phrases he would not have used, and was not what he wished to say to the President. Mr. Pollard reportedly signed it only because he could not refuse Rav Soloveichik.
Jonathan described the old mans hand shaking, holding a pen, and pleading with him to sign it, said the supporter who asked for anonymity.
What happened next to the letter is a bit confusing. Mr. Pollard's supporter said that while he thought it would be a private communication between himself and the President, a copy of it was found on a desk at the Orthodox Union and then leaked to the Forward newspaper, which reported that Mr. Pollard was more remorseful than ever.
Mr. Pollard, the supporter said, is convinced Dr. Luchins was the conduit, but, the supporter said, except for the admission that what Mr. Pollard did was repugnant to the Torah he does not know why Mr. Pollard was so angry.
"He was especially upset at the 'repugnant to G-d's Torah' part. I told Jonathan if it helped him to get out, it didnt matter what the letter said, but, being an idealist, he couldnt live with it. I didn't understand Jonathan's position at the time, and I still dont", he says, adding that Mr. Pollard has expressed his remorse many times in his own language.
REPUDIATE IT LATER
Others agree with the supporter. "Why didn't he let the letter stand and repudiate it after he was free?" wondered one official at a Jewish communal organization. After he was free, he could have called for a rabbinic panel in Jerusalem to discuss the matter.
Shortly after the fact of the letter was made public, Mr. Pollard, through Rabbi Avi Weiss, retracted the letter entirely. By that time, the letter was on Mr. Clinton's desk, and, according to reports, Mr. Pollard's repudiation was highly embarrassing for everyone involved, including Mr. Lieberman who, some say, was the one who handed Mr. Clinton the letter.
Dr. Luchins says he was very embarrassed by the whole incident.
For Mr. Pollard, perhaps the worst part has been that Dr. Luchins has discussed the details of the incident in public many times. Some observers believe that is what Mrs. Pollard means by Dr. Luchin's damaging words.
According to Mr. Pollard's supporter, Mr. Pollard has referred to the Soloveichik letter as one of the worst developments in the Pollard matter.
He said he learned from the episode that you shouldn't do something when you feel inside its wrong, the supporter said.
About a year later, there was a possibility that Rav Soloveichik would again get involved with Mr. Pollard, chiefly to write a letter indicating that he knew Mr. Pollard was remorseful, but nothing seems to have come of that.
MRS. POLLARD'S CHOICE
In his request for a meeting last month, Dr. Luchins made it clear that the choice of venue would be Mrs. Pollards. She was also free, he said, to bring any and all of her supporters, and she would be under no constraints to accept any or all of his suggestions.
Although Dr. Luchins said he would be coming alone to this meeting, he hinted broadly that if things went well, there would be a possibility that, at a subsequent meeting, he might bring some politicians whose help could be crucial.
It did not matter to the Pollards, whose refusal to meet with Dr. Luchins was firm.
REFUSING THE CONGRESSMAN
It is not the first time the Pollards have dismissed potential help from a politician. A few years ago, an influential Congressman whose pro-Israel record is beyond reproach, suggested, in a private conversation, a bill that might help Mr. Pollard.
The Congressman's bill would have said that, in cases such as Mr. Pollard's, in which there is reason to suspect the government did not live up to its end in a plea-bargain agreement, the defendant would have the right to a trial. Mr. Pollard entered into a plea-bargain with the government in which he was assured that, in exchange for pleading guilty, he would not suffer the maximum penalty, which he received anyway.
While Mr. Pollard seemed interested at first in the Congressman's suggestion, he soon seemed annoyed that the legislator would not come to see him in person to discuss the matter. The Congressman's aide suggested that Mr. Pollards attorneys could come to his Capitol Hill office, but that, too, was not acceptable to Mr. Pollard.
One of Mr. Pollard's messages to the Congressman said that he (Mr. Pollard) did not have time to deal with people who did not take him seriously.
It seems to me that all you do have is time, the aide told him, closing the book on the idea.
Shalom from Teaneck,
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