Originally created 05/15/98

Apology for a lie 051598 - The Augusta Chronicle



Cable News Network reporter Wolf Blitzer penned a poignant commentary in his 1989 book Territory of Lies about one-time U.S. Naval Intelligence analyst and Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard:

"With hindsight, Israel's decision to cooperate only partially with the United States in the prosecution of Pollard was a blunder. ... U.S.-Israeli relations were seriously strained and one of Israel's own agents was sentenced to life in prison, largely because of the initial evidence against him made available by Israel. Israel must accept responsibility for the entire tragedy."

Well, 12 years later, Israel finally confessed. Nobody believed its previous lie about the traitor Pollard and some of the Jewish state's top intelligence people being just a "rogue operation." This week Tel Aviv issued a terse apology accepting responsibility for recruiting Pollard to spy against its longtime ally.

"Pollard should have been shot as a traitor," then-Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger said in 1986, adding that "the breadth of disclosures was incredibly large -- U.S. combat troops around the world have been endangered."

Still, it is maddening to remember that no Israeli involved in the affair has ever been punished. Tel Aviv should also rectify that.