President Barack Obama is taking it on the chin for the suggestion that the United States free Jonathan Pollard in exchange for Israel’s releasing terrorists and agreeing to a partial building freeze on building Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria – all of this in order to keep Israel and Palestinian Authority on the diplomatic war path for another year.
Obama has repeatedly rejected any idea that Pollard be freed from his life punishment for passing on to Israel classified information during his work for the Pentagon.
Maybe the president is smoking something strange. He talked his way into office, and now he is doing a great job in proving he is not much of anything besides a great orator and a brilliant comedian.
But his handling of “Pollard for terrorists and peace talks” is no joke.
It would be interesting which presidential advisers came up with the horrendous notion of freeing Pollard so Israel can free terrorists so John Kerry can talk and talk.
Obama is ultimately responsible, as the buck stopped at his desk when he backed the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, backed the Muslim Brotherhood regime, backed the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood regime, backed military action against Syria and backed no military action in Syria.
It is a small wonder that an Associated Press poll released last week showed that only 59 percent, and not 89 percent, of Americans disapprove of the way he is running the country.
Even The New York Times would have a hard time coming up with an excuse for the immorality of deciding that Pollard can go free because the President of the United States thinks that the security of Americans is dependent on another year of tortured conversations between American mediators and negotiators for the Palestinian Authority and Israel.
Dozens of American officials and former officials have said Pollard was dealt a fixed deck and an unfair trial.
Although anyone who knows how much or how little damage Pollard has done to the United States isn’t talking, perceptions are more important than the truth when it comes good ol’ American patriotism.
The Pollard episode, for whatever harm it may have done to the United States, did more harm to the American ego.
The revelation that Pollard worked as a double agent made him a traitor in the eyes of millions of Americans, and U.S. media still report he was convicted for “spying,” which is not true.
Obama showed some cold feet Tuesday, and White House press secretary Jay Carney said “no decision” has been made.
Criticism of freeing Pollard is coming from all quarters, including defense and intelligence officials, politicians and even a former Middle East negotiator.
“I think what he did is exceeded only by Edward Snowden,” Retired Adm. Thomas Brooks told Foreign Policy.
The Christian Science Monitor reported, “Pollard peddled secrets that included details of US spy satellites, analyses of foreign missile systems, and the extent of NSA surveillance of foreign governments.
“He reportedly offered material to South Africa, Argentina, and Taiwan, and was in touch with officials in Pakistan. Then-Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger testified in court that the US national security community suspects that much of what Pollard stole ended up with the Soviet Union, through the USSR’s own network of spies and moles.”
Aaron David Miller, a former Middle East negotiator for Republican and Democratic administrations, wrote in TIME Magazine, “Releasing Pollard… reflects the weakness and desperation of an administration that is presiding over a peace process not yet ready for prime time.
“What does the administration get for releasing Pollard — something none of its predecessors agreed to do? A final deal on Middle East peace? How about just an agreed framework to guide the negotiations? How about agreement on just one ball-busting-tough issue like borders or Jerusalem?