FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Ex-CIA Director Woolsey Makes Ass of Self

Last week it was reported that former CIA Director James Woolsey, forced to resign during the Clinton administration for his bungling of the Aldrich Ames affair, was going around telling people that the reason Jonathan Pollard, the notorious Israeli spy, was still in prison after 29 years is because the U.S. government is anti-Semitic. In short, Pollard remains in prison because he’s a Jew.

That has got to be one of the silliest statements of the new year. If Woolsey honestly believes the U.S. government is anti-Semitic, that it is driven by anti-Jewish sentiments, he needs to explain why the U.S. has generously made Israel, the spiritual and geographical homeland of the Jewish people, a virtual client-state, having given/lent/made available billions upon billions of dollars over the years.

Consider those other spies. Aldrich Ames, formerly of the CIA, and Robert Hanssen, formerly of the FBI, are both serving life sentences without the possibility of parole for having supplied the Soviet Union with U.S. state secrets. John Walker, formerly of U.S. Naval intelligence, is set to be released in 2015, after having served 30 years in prison for selling secrets to the Soviets. None of the three are Jewish.

Of course, the argument Woolsey and others make is that, while Ames, Hanssen and Walker handed over their goodies to our arch-enemy, the USSR, those thousands upon thousands of pages of top-secret documents that Jonathan Pollard stole from the U.S. government were handed over to Israel, an American ally. Those “Free Jonathan Pollard” protesters want to know why we would treat an ally this way.

There could be two reasons. First, Israel doesn’t always act like an ally. In 1979, Andrew Young, the U.S. Ambassador to the UN, met secretly with a representative of the PLO, despite President Carter having assured Israel that would never happen. Young was forced to resign his ambassadorship. How did Israel find out about the meeting? Mossad agents were tailing Young, and had followed him to New York.

Second, when an ally steals U.S. top-secret documents, there’s always a risk of those documents falling into the hands of an enemy that has infiltrated the ally’s intelligence network Take the 1950s and ‘60s, for example, when the U.S. refused to share sensitive info with Great Britain, knowing that its intel service (with Soviet agents Kim Philby, Guy Burgess, et al) leaked like a sieve. If Israel honestly believes Mossad and Shin Bet can’t be infiltrated, they’re deluding themselves.

In any event, Pollard’s caper was monumental is scale. After being captured, and the full extent of what he had turned over to Israel was determined, Caspar Weinberger, Reagan’s Secretary of Defense, referred to it as the most damaging intelligence breach in U.S. history. Maybe Weinberger was lying or wildly exaggerating. After all, DOD people regularly make things sound more menacing than they are. But that doesn’t change the fact that Pollard was a liar, thief and traitor.

In truth, Woolsey’s continued nitpicking since leaving office is a result of his never having forgiven Clinton for firing him. As sordid and disgraceful as the Aldrich Ames affair was, Woolsey didn’t think he deserved any of the blame, even though this Ames fellow, this paid Soviet agent posing as a CIA operative, was so conspicuously guilty, so easy to track down, his trail resembled snail slime. The buck stops with Woolsey.

Releasing Pollard is fine. Why not? He has served 29 years. Besides, isn’t spying common? Doesn’t the U.S. regularly spy on people—allies, foreign citizens, its own citizens? So let’s not get morally self-righteous about some snooping. At the same time, let’s not minimize what Pollard did. And while there’s more than enough hypocrisy to go around, let’s not pretend the sole reason he remains in jail is because he’s Jewish.

David Macaray is an LA playwright and author (“It’s Never Been Easy:  Essays on Modern Labor”).  dmacaray@earthlink.net

More articles by:

David Macaray is a playwright and author. His newest book is How To Win Friends and Avoid Sacred Cows.  He can be reached at dmacaray@gmail.com

December 10, 2018
Jacques R. Pauwels
Foreign Interventions in Revolutionary Russia
Richard Klin
The Disasters of War
Katie Fite
Rebranding Bundy
Gary Olson
A Few Thoughts on Politics and Personal Identity
Patrick Cockburn
Brexit Britain’s Crisis of Self-Confidence Will Only End in Tears and Rising Nationalism
Andrew Moss
Undocumented Citizen
Dean Baker
Trump and China: Going With Patent Holders Against Workers
Lawrence Wittner
Reviving the Nuclear Disarmament Movement: a Practical Proposal
Dan Siegel
Thoughts on the 2018 Elections and Beyond
Thomas Knapp
Election 2020: I Can Smell the Dumpster Fires Already
Weekend Edition
December 07, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Steve Hendricks
What If We Just Buy Off Big Fossil Fuel? A Novel Plan to Mitigate the Climate Calamity
Jeffrey St. Clair
Cancer as Weapon: Poppy Bush’s Radioactive War on Iraq
Paul Street
The McCain and Bush Death Tours: Establishment Rituals in How to be a Proper Ruler
Jason Hirthler
Laws of the Jungle: The Free Market and the Continuity of Change
Ajamu Baraka
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70: Time to De-Colonize Human Rights!
Andrew Levine
Thoughts on Strategy for a Left Opposition
Jennifer Matsui
Dead of Night Redux: A Zombie Rises, A Spook Falls
Rob Urie
Degrowth: Toward a Green Revolution
Binoy Kampmark
The Bomb that Did Not Detonate: Julian Assange, Manafort and The Guardian
Robert Hunziker
The Deathly Insect Dilemma
Robert Fisk
Spare Me the American Tears for the Murder of Jamal Khashoggi
Joseph Natoli
Tribal Justice
Ron Jacobs
Getting Pushed Off the Capitalist Cliff
Macdonald Stainsby
Unist’ot’en Camp is Under Threat in Northern Canada
Senator Tom Harkin
Questions for Vice-President Bush on Posada Carriles
W. T. Whitney
Two Years and Colombia’s Peace Agreement is in Shreds
Ron Jacobs
Getting Pushed Off the Capitalist Cliff
Ramzy Baroud
The Conspiracy Against Refugees
David Rosen
The Swamp Stinks: Trump & Washington’s Rot
Raouf Halaby
Wall-to-Wall Whitewashing
Daniel Falcone
Noam Chomsky Turns 90
Dean Baker
An Inverted Bond Yield Curve: Is a Recession Coming?
Nick Pemberton
The Case For Chuck Mertz (Not Noam Chomsky) as America’s Leading Intellectual
Ralph Nader
New Book about Ethics and Whistleblowing for Engineers Affects Us All!
Dan Kovalik
The Return of the Nicaraguan Contras, and the Rise of the Pro-Contra Left
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Exposing the Crimes of the CIAs Fair-Haired Boy, Paul Kagame, and the Rwandan Patriotic Front
Jasmine Aguilera
Lessons From South of the Border
Manuel García, Jr.
A Formula for U.S. Election Outcomes
Sam Pizzigati
Drug Company Execs Make Millions Misleading Cancer Patients. Here’s One Way to Stop Them
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Agriculture as Wrong Turn
James McEnteer
And That’s The Way It Is: Essential Journalism Books of 2018
Chris Gilbert
Biplav’s Communist Party of Nepal on the Move: Dispatch by a Far-Flung Bolivarian
Judith Deutsch
Siloed Thinking, Climate, and Disposable People: COP 24 and Our Discontent
Jill Richardson
Republicans Don’t Want Your Vote to Count
John Feffer
‘Get Me Outta Here’: Trump Turns the G20 into the G19
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail