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Op-Ed: What We May Never Know About Pollard

There may be something else keeping Pollard in prison.
Published: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 6:19 AM


Congressman John LeBoutillier was sure that Jonathan Pollard was not telling the truth when Pollard told him that the United States was selling weapons to Iranian moderates to fund the rebels in Nicaragua.

LeBoutillier was fighting what he believed was a US government cover-up of American POWs still alive in Southeast Asia. Pollard, a US Navy intelligence officer, approached him after one of his speeches, to share vital information that the government was withholding.

Pollard lost LeBoutillier’s trust when he referred to the Iran-Contra arrangement. That story was too unbelievable even for the conspiracy-minded former congressman.

That’s how the New York Times reported it shortly after Pollard’s arrest.

When the Iran-Contra scandal broke months later, the Times had a chance to revisit the story. But the New York Times had neither the interest nor the integrity to pursue a story whose narrative might be Pollard as patriot trying to tell congressmen dirty - but true - secrets about illegal military actions.

As the terrible probability of Pollard dying in prison increases, there have been different speculations as to why. Some insist Anti-Semitism. Others suggest that the US is keeping him as a bargaining chip, or as a warning to other American Jews.

I think we’re too quick to rule out the possibility that even thirty years later, Pollard has information that some people wish to see buried with him. Perhaps ironically it is Israelis who were involved in Iran-Contra who do not wish Pollard released. Or perhaps it’s about POWs. Or some other covert operation that remains secret.

Judging by President Obama’s reactions to Edward Snowden and the NSA, it seems unlikely that Pollard will be pardoned by this administration.

Anti-Semitism may be a reason Pollard will likely die in prison. But we’ll probably never know.