Convicted spy Pollard is released after 30 years

21 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

American Spy Released from Prison.

NEW YORK — Jonathan Pollard was released from prison Friday after 30 years behind bars for spying for Israel, and his lawyers immediately went to court to challenge tough parole conditions seemingly designed to ensure he doesn’t spill any U.S. military secrets he might have left. BUTNER – Jonathan Pollard, a Jewish American spy who passed US secrets to Israel, was freed Friday after nearly 30 years in jail — ending a punishment deemed disproportionate by the Jewish state, where some see Pollard as a national hero. The 61-year-old former Navy intelligence analyst was set free in the middle of the night from a medium-security federal prison in Butner, N.C., after being paroled from a life sentence that had turned him into a continual source of tension between the U.S. and Israel. Under the rules of his release, he must wear a GPS unit to transmit his whereabouts at all times, allow the installation of monitoring equipment on any computers he uses and agree to periodic, unannounced inspections of those machines.

Pollard hoped when he was released he would be free to leave the United States and join his wife back in Israel, but President Barack Obama said he would not intervene with the parole ruling and allow him to leave the country. “It’s an wonderful moment”. Pollard will now disclose stale, 30-year-old information to anyone is preposterous,” his lawyers, Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman, said in a statement.

Environmental Protection Agency said the German automaker used software to cheat on pollution tests on more six-cylinder diesel vehicles than originally thought. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed his release. “After three long and difficult decades, Jonathan is at last reunited with his family,” Netanyahu said. Volkswagen told the EPA and the California Air Resources Board the software is on about 85,000 Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche vehicles with 3-liter engines going back to the 2009 model year.

His release caps one of the most high-profile spy sagas in modern American history, a case that over the years sharply divided public opinion and became a diplomatic sticking point. Earlier this month the regulators accused VW of installing the so-called “defeat device” software on about 10,000 cars from the 2014 through 2016 model years, in violation of the Clean Air Act. Two New York-based lawyers for the 61-year-old Pollard, Jacques Semmelman and Eliot Lauer, vowed to contest the conditions of his probation as “unreasonable and unlawful.” They specifically argued against a requirement for “GPS monitoring of his person” and monitoring of his computer use at home and work, which they called “career-impairing.” He is also subject to curfew and travel restrictions. But President Obama’s deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said that “the president does not have any plans to alter the terms of his parole”. “I never … envisioned being divorced today”.

WASHINGTON — Owners of all but the smallest toy drones will have to register them with the U.S. government before the end of the year if the Obama administration adopts proposals being issued by a task force it appointed. The lawyers said Pollard had been a “model prisoner” and that there was no reason to fear he might commit acts of violence or reveal further US intelligence that by now, in any case, would be so outdated as to be meaningless. While the cooperation with the USA prosecutors had been far from complete, the obstruction was meant to protect Avi Sella [the air force colonel who introduced Pollard to Eitan] and the other Israelis who ran Pollard – not the American they ran.

— A Facebook page ostensibly created for an audience at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign called “Illini White Students Union” has drawn fire after it characterized the national Black Lives Matter movement as “terrorism.” Created Wednesday after a protest sympathetic to Black Lives Matter, the page declared itself “for white students of University of Illinois to be able to form a community … as be able to organize against the terrorism we have been facing from Black Lives Matter activists on campus,” as the Daily Illini reported. A US court jailed Pollard for life in 1987 after he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to deliver national defense information to a foreign government. US officials have said Pollard, over a series of months and for a salary, provided intelligence summaries on the capabilities and programs of Israel’s enemies.

But when they arrived, she said, armed Israeli officials told them to leave, and they were forced to face the Federal Bureau of Investigation agents waiting for them outside the gates. Attorney Joseph diGenova, said it is legitimate for the government to be concerned that Pollard might still have secrets to tell. “Anyone who obtained as much information as Mr. We frequently shared information with our Israeli counterparts through informal channels, wherein representatives from USA agencies would meet with Israeli intelligence, defense and police officials to communicate intelligence priorities or possible security threats.

In a sign of the case’s sensitivity, Netanyahu had asked his ministers to refrain from claiming victory upon Pollard’s release, local media reported. Pollard made contact in June 1984 with an Israeli colonel, Aviem Sella, who was studying in New York, and offered to provide him with classified information. Pollard’s lawyers also complained that wearing a GPS device would be harmful to his health because he has severe diabetes and chronic swelling in his legs and ankles.

Pollard is also alleged to have passed classified information to South Africa, and to have given his then wife Anne documents on China for use in her personal business. He told investigators he was asked to obtain US information on Arab nuclear programs and “Arab exotic weaponry,” a since declassified CIA document said. Israel’s October 1985 raid on the Palestinian Liberation Organisation’s Tunis headquarters that killed some 60 people was planned with information from Pollard, according to CIA documents declassified in 2012. There is speculation that the July announcement of Pollard’s release, just days after the West and Iran struck a nuclear deal, was meant as a conciliatory gesture towards Israel, which vehemently opposes the accord.

It may help the strained US-Israeli relations after the Iran deal, but I think this was not the decisive cause for the release,” Michael Brenner, director of the Center for Israel Studies at American University, told AFP.

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