Jonathan Pollard Was A Spy, With The Possible Exception Of His Co-Workers

When a U.S. intelligence agency uncovers a spy in its midst, investigators begin the painstaking process of tracing the lapses that led to the security breach. In the case of Jonathan Jay Pollard, the Navy intelligence analyst who sold secrets to Israel in the 1980s, some of those lapses are only now surfacing publicly, in a book written by the Navy counterintelligence officer who oversaw the investigation. According to Ronald Olive, author of "Capturing Jonathan Pollard," long before Pollard came into contact with the Israelis, he was known among some security clearance investigators to have used drugs, run up a debt and lied compulsively - all red flags in the intelligence business. And he was a wacky guy. Olive says that the former analyst once told a Navy rear admiral in casual conversation that he'd been arrested in Syria and thrown in jail, where he was tortured. In fact, Pollard had never been to Syria. When he was late for a promotion interview in 1982, his excuse was so fantastic that even the book's most open-minded reader might do a double take: his wife had been kidnapped by the Irish Republican Army and Pollard had spent the weekend chasing the terrorists around Washington and negotiating her release. Yet over a five-year period, Pollard kept getting promoted, allowing him access to more and more sensitive material. "People just saw him as an eccentric," says Olive, whose investigation began in 1985, after a co-worker noticed Pollard leaving the building with top-secret documents. By then, Pollard had passed on to the Israelis hundreds of thousands of documents. The most damaging? "He gave them a step by step blueprint of exactly how we gather intelligence, what our capabilities are. When a foreign country gets this information, it can determine what our weaknesses and vulnerabilities are." Pollard's attorney, Jacques Semmelman, said in response that many of Olive's allegations are not contained in Pollard's court sentencing file and that to this day, the defense has been denied access to key documents. "Without access to that file, people like Mr. Olive know that they have free rein to say absolutely anything about Mr. Pollard without any risk that they will be contradicted by the documents." Pollard was sentenced to life in prison but could be released on good behavior by 2015.