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September 26, 2016 / 23 Elul, 5776
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Pollard Again

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Richard Miller was convicted of espionage in 1991 and sentenced to 20 years. Miller was released after 13 years. Miller was alleged to have provided classified documents, including an FBI counterintelligence manual.

Andrew Daulton Lee delivered classified documents detailing how to decrypt secure U.S. government message traffic and detailed specifications of the latest U.S. spy satellites to Russia. Lee would often also use these trips as an opportunity to engage in drug deals when not working on espionage. Lee would sell the same intelligence reports to China. In 1976 Lee was sentenced to life in prison and was released on parole in 1998, after 22 years. Lee’s heavy sentence for the same offense was likely due to his prior criminal record and admitted drug trafficking.

Aldrich Ames was similarly sentenced to life in prison — but his spying led to the death of at least 10 Soviet intelligence officers. John Walker Lindh, an American who joined the Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, received a 20-year sentence.

Pollard reportedly offered material to other American allies: South Africa, Argentina, Taiwan and Pakistan. He spied for an ally, not an enemy. (This does not excuse criminal conduct, but it does seem a mitigating factor, certainly so far down the road.)

The U.S. intelligence community has not forgotten or forgiven Pollard for his actions. Any move to release him will surely spark a furious internal reaction.

Dov Gilor

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