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The public could not be told the horrifying truth: American intelligence had gone blind behind the Iron Curtain -- we had lost all our networks, as the intelligence community publicly admitted more than a decade later. In his memo, Weinberger directly accused Pollard of betraying America's "sources and methods," which is to say, he had betrayed our spies in foreign countries.The Soviets could have attacked the United States without warning. Weinberger publicly stated that Pollard was the worst spy in American history: "It is difficult for me, even in the so-called year of the spy, to conceive of a greater harm to national security than that caused by the defendant." Despite his plea agreement to the contrary with the government, Pollard was given the maximum sentence, life in prison. It was one of their own WASPs -- Aldrich Ames, a drunken senior CIA official who sold the names of America's agents to the Russians for cash.Washington insiders thought they knew the big, dark secret: secret documents confirming that Pollard's spying had resulted in the loss of lives of U. On several occasions Soviet agents in New York had posed as Israelis.The CIA reasoned that that was also true in Israel: The Mossad had been infiltrated by one or more Soviet spies.Sure enough, there is no way on earth Jonathan Pollard could have entered the file room, let alone the safe where the list was kept.But the intelligence community's failure to catch this and thereby discredit a critical piece of prosecutorial evidence was, to put it mildly, a bit of an oversight. I regard it as an understandable mistake that was overlooked in the avalanche of phony evidence the KGB was planting that pointed to Pollard and away from Ames and Hanssen, whom the Soviets wanted to protect.
At least that was the accusation, but the basis for it had been kept secret from Pollard and his defense counsel. The prosecutors produced a secret letter and memo from Secretary of Defense Caspar "Cap" Weinberger referring to the "enormous" harm that Pollard had done to our national security.
The only one who didn't know was the President of the United States.
Our politics was injured for 30 years by this."-Quoted in the New York Times, March 30, 2002 There is a good reason why neither Congress nor the American Jewish leadership supports the release of Jonathan Pollard from prison: They all were told a lie -- a humongous Washington whopper of a lie.
The lie was first whispered in the "bubble," the secret intelligence briefing room on Capitol Hill, but it quickly spread.
Just before Pollard's sentencing, Senator Chic Hecht of Nevada, a senior member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, telephoned the leaders of every major Jewish organization to warn them not to support Pollard in any way.
It was only logical to assume that Pollard had betrayed the rest of them, as one former CIA official admitted shortly after Ames's arrest. Years passed, and eventually a Russian defector told the truth.