Home » Foreign Forces » Agent Who Caught Jonathan Pollard: ‘He Should Stay in Jail’


Agent Who Caught Jonathan Pollard: ‘He Should Stay in Jail’

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File photo of Jonathan Pollard

Jonathan Pollard, the former intelligence analyst who stole more than a million pages of classified documents and sold them to Israel “should stay in jail,” Ron Olive, the federal agent who caught him, told USNI News on Wednesday.

Pollard, 60, is set to be paroled in November following a sentence of 30 years for an 18 month spree of document pilfering from “every intelligence agency in D.C.,” said Olive, the former head of counterintelligence in the Washington office of the Naval Investigative Service who wrote about the investigation in the book, Capturing Jonathan Pollard.

The U.S. Parole Commission announced Pollard’s planned release on Tuesday with no government opposition, according to The New York Times.

“Clearly, having the government accept our presentation, which involved several months of communication with the government, was clearly a boost in the parole process,” Eliot Lauer, Pollard’s lawyer, told the paper.

While Olive doesn’t agree with the release, as he understands the parole stipulations, Pollard will not be allowed to leave the U.S.

“He should never ever be allowed to leave the U.S.,” he said.
“He should continue to be on parole for the rest of his life.”

His fear is Pollard, who confessed to the spying in 1985, will travel to Israel and be feted as a hero.

“Hopefully they will not allow him to go to Israel. That would be a disaster He would be a hero in Israel. He can not go there,” he said.
“The problem with the Israelis They denied knowing anything abut Pollard. They literally lied to two or three presidents that they knew nothing about Pollard.”

In a statement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Pollard’s parole.
“After decades of effort, Jonathan Pollard will finally be released. Throughout his time in prison, I consistently raised the issue of his release in my meetings and conversations with the leadership of successive U.S. administrations. We are looking forward to his release,” he said.

Olive said that if Pollard had been sentenced just a few months later, a change in sentencing guidelines would have produced a drastically different outcome for the self-confessed spy.

“He beat the system. Because now if you commit espionage you go to jail for life,” Olive said.

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Categories: Foreign Forces, News & Analysis, U.S. Navy
Sam LaGrone

About Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He was formerly the U.S. Maritime Correspondent for the Washington D.C. bureau of Jane’s Defence Weekly and Jane’s Navy International. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.

  • How could the punishment have been less than life?

    • NavySubNuke

      Serving 30 years (if you count from when he was arrested to when he will be released) is actually a pretty standard “life” sentence. At least for those who are not sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. While it would be nice to see he and every other spy against this country rot in jail until they die our distorted criminal justice system feels differently.
      Oh well – at least we won’t have to pay to house, feed, and provide him with medical care any longer. He can run off to Israel and be a drain on their tax payers.

      • old guy

        RIGHT ON ALL COUNTS. My limited experience in this area suggests spies receive no plaudits when they go back. I recall the Brits that spied for USSR. They had menial jobs despite their University educations. Spying sure has changed.

        • Secundius

          @ old guy.

          Up until August 1945, the USSR were Non-Combatant’s with the Japanese. How many US Shipping and Troop Movements were passed on to the Japanese (our Enemy), by the Soviet Union (our Allies)…

          • old guy

            They still retain ownership of the islands they captured in the last days of the war.

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            If there ever is Another Shooting War, which I think is More Likely than NOT. There either going to be in Our (the USA or Japanese) Hands or the ChiCom’s Hand’s. Putin, simply doesn’t have either the Navy or Air Force Strength to Defend Those Islands. Either that or Putin is going to “Poison the Well”, Nuke Them. And I think Putin, is Just Crazy Enough To Do It, Too…

  • Old Navy Communication Officer

    i am angry that he has received parole on two grounds. First, his conduct was treason. Second, Israel’s attempt to sink the Liberty and failure to ever adequately explain its conduct and apologize.

    • old guy

      I know a bit of this. When I was inside, I reviewed a report from the USS Liberty investigation (which may still be available) that parceled out blame to several participants, including Israel. If you research this please post your analysis.

      • Secundius

        @ old guy.

        Order had to come from the Very Top, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol himself. NO ONE was Tried and NO ONE went to Prison…

        • old guy

          WHY! Nothing to be gained for Israel. It was, also a stated keep clear zone. Liberty was not flying a US flag. VERY spooky

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            It was common practice for the US Navy to send Intelligence Ship’s in to gain knowledge of Soviet Tactics and Doctrine. The USS. Liberty was 25.5nmi off the Egyptian Coast in International Waters. NO Missile Armament, NO Gun Armament, with the possible exception of Small Arms. It posed NO threat too anyone. The Closest Israeli Town or City, was 325 plus nautical miles away…

          • old guy

            I’m still very confused. I can’t go back to the report. It just don’t make sense. I trust your research. Oh, well!

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            History Lesson 101. In the Interest of National Security, US. History can be Modified. Who was SecState, Hmmm, Robert “Doctor” Strange “Love” McNamara…

          • old guy

            I made up a song to the tune of McNamarra’s Band, that went “Oh, my name is McNamarra, I’m the leader of the DOD,
            and ‘though I think I’m brilliant, I am really just a CLOD,

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            McNamarra, Cheney, Bibi, Putin, and a Few other “ID’s” of the World, ALL one thing in common. Thinking the World is going to Dance to their Tune…

          • old guy

            That is called EGO. WW2 probably could have been avoided or, at least limited, if a little humility crept into our leaders and they believed what was so clearly spelled out in,”MEIN KAMPF”

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            One of the Israeli pilot’s claimed there was an 5-foot x 8-foot US Flag flying from the Mast Head…

          • old guy

            Source? That was NOT in the report that I read.

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            1. Chicago Time Tribune, 2 October 2007
            2. USS Liberty Incident, Wikipedia
            3. The Washington Post Blog, 15 February 2015
            4.. BBC Documentary on the USS Liberty: “Dead In the Water”

          • old guy

            Thanks, I will revue. You are astounding!

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            Nagh, just Tenacious. If I were Outstanding, I’d know the Uber-Ball Jackpot Number. Unfortunately I don’t…

          • old guy

            I got the declassified secret report from Wikipedia, as you suggested’ I recommend you read for the following reasons. Much of iy is gobbledy-gook.It states, or implies:
            1.The USS Liberty was in the war zone.(map supplied)
            2, The order to move out was never transmitted by the Navy.
            3. the Israelis were over reacting. Faults Israel.
            4. No statement on US flag.
            5. Suggests closing incident.

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            If that’s the case, Sir. ANY ship regardless of Location would been Attacked. Despite that, Sir. USS Liberty, was Operating off the Egyptian Coast, and wasn’t worth of Investigation by the Egyptians. And more that 325nmi. from Israel in International Waters, is Neutral Territory. Unless, Your Saying Israel is a Rouge State and is Prone to Piracy in International Waters…

          • old guy

            I couldn’t agree with you more. I just wanted more info because someone in the blog brought it up.If I were a an excuse maker for them, I would say they are paranoid because of their location. Many years ago, the subject came up, and my opinion was that they should establish Israel in western Australia. Same crappy land, no arabs.

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            Haven’t heard anything about that one yet. But I am aware of ChiCom PLAN basing rights in Haifa Harbor, Israel. I’ll se what I can find out, about the W.A./Israeli issue…

          • old guy

            There’s a line from H.M.S. Pinafore, that goes,”Things are seldom what they seem, skim milk masquerades as cream.”

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            Old History, July 1935 plan to establish Jewish Refugee Safe Haven in Kimberly Western Australia on ~6,400sq.mi. of Desert. To be converted into an Agricultural Land, later to be expanded to ~11,000sq.mi. It was call the “Kimberly Plan” a movement started in the United States. Movement was called, “The Freeland League for Jewish Territorial Colonization. It was a Fall Back plan, just in case the Palestine Relocation failed…

          • old guy

            I did not know this. Unbelievable, You too.

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            Several years ago, I read a Fictional Book, that made a Reference to Kimberly in Australia. Up until yesterday, I associated Kimberly was just another Fictional Character and not a Place in the Book Series. And that Following Books in the Series would reveal the identity of who Kimberly was. Now I Know. Go Figure. Sec…

    • old guy

      I recommend that you go to WIKIPEDIA and revue the declassified SECRET documents posted. Secundius found the documents there. One of the people to it blames is a communications officer. Also, please see below.

    • Secundius

      @ Old Navy Communication Officer.

      He was released on a Technicality, the United States Parole Commission. Released him, because in their view he met the Required Standards of Early Release. So STUPIDLY, without thinking of why He was in Prison. They Released Him. Stupid Beget’s Dumb…

  • old guy

    I would like to know the details of his indictment. If they only concerned Israeli safety, that is one thing. BUT, if it involved information to the Soviet union, that;s entirely different. Remember, we gave minor sentences to the Walker family because they did not work directly with the soviets and were not members of the armed forces.

    • Capt Woody Sanford

      NO Sir! Chief Petty Officer Walker and his son( an E3?) were active duty Navy.

      • old guy

        Tangled words. Of course, you are right. I was referring to the others. I should have written more clearly.

        • old guy

          I was trying to emphasize my desire to know exactly:
          1. What he stole and transmitted to Israel and, if true, others.
          2. What was the jeopardy to the USA.
          3.Who else was involved.

    • NavySubNuke

      Not really sure what you consider “minor” — his son was sentenced to 25 years and served 15 of them, his brother and another co-conspirator were sentenced to life in prison.

      • old guy

        Correct. I misspoke. I meant lesser, not minor. I wrote it off the top of my head and did not research it. But didn’t his wife and several others get time served or minor?

        • NavySubNuke

          Well his wife did turn him in for spying so I would be pretty shocked if she was actually sent to jail —- that wouldn’t be good practice and it certainly wouldn’t encourage others to turn in suspected spies!

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  • aeroguy

    This modern day Judas to our Country deserves nothing more than to rot away in jail until he expires.

  • Marjus Plaku

    Pollard stole 360 cubic feet worth of documents and information from the most sensitive departments and agencies. His technical intelligence of US satellite capability and the entire dossier of US foreign signals along with radar jamming and electronic warfare techniques, totally compromised US military forces once they leaked to the Soviets. Speaking of which, agent sheets and rolls were given to the Israels by Pollard and passed on to the Soviets, resulting in a massive roll up of US operations against the USSR, including the capture and deaths of several spies.

    He should never be released and the Israelis should never be considered our friends.

    • old guy

      If what you say is true, He should NEVER have been released.

      • Secundius

        @ old guy.

        It must have been the Uber Ooop’s Moment in US History. 11-tons, 441-pounds, 9-ounces of Classified US Documentation and they STILL let this Guy go, because he met all the Requirements of an Early Release. I wonder, what Stretch of Interstate Highway these Early-Release Parole Judges are doing their Trash Pick-Up Detail On.

        • old guy

          OBUMMER wants to appear to be a friend if Israel. He is a SOLIPSIST and a TRAITOR.

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  • Secundius

    Thank you for another Redactment…