- Author Gordon Thomas - whose new book, Seeds of Fire:
China and the Story Behind the Attack on America, skyrocketed to 49 in
amazon.com sales rank listings in two days, has just learned that Jonathan
Pollard - the spy convicted of espionage against the United States 17 years
ago - was secretly visited in his U.S. Federal Prison on Monday, January
7 by former Israeli Prime Minister, Benyamin Natanyahu.
- Pollard - who is a central figure in Thomas, Seeds of
Fire - was convicted of espionage against the United States.
- "But I am told on the highest authority in Israel
that Natanyahu's visit is the first step in persuading the Bush administration
to set him free so he can go to Israel, the country for whom he spied,"
- The author is renowned for his contacts in Mossad, the
Israeli secret service. His book was the preview bestseller to Seeds of
Fire. Titled Gideon's Spies, it took Thomas two years to research and write.
Mossad directors and other key officers granted him exclusive interviews.
- In Seeds of Fire, he details how one of those officers,
former Operations Chief Rafi Eitan, ranks Pollard as the most effective
spy Israel has ever had. Eitan told the author in a taped interview that
he would "only wish to have Pollard free again before I die."
- "His targets were the innermost intelligence secrets
of the U.S. He stole more than the Russians ever did," said Thomas.
- Esther Pollard, the spy;s wife, said, "This was
a very personal meeting between Bibi and Jonathan. I cannot tell you what
Bibi said. But it was an excellent meeting. A very long meeting, and
it left Jonathan filled with hope."
- The ex-Israeli prime minister traveled to Pollard's
prison in North Carolina and spent hours with the spy alone, said Thomas.
- Mrs. Pollard added that her husband has been kept in
solitary confinement during his life sentence.
- She said that previously Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu
had tried to secure Pollard's release as part of a package deal with former
President Bill Clinton at the Wye talks - but failed.
- "But CIA chief George Tenet has let it be known
that if Pollard is freed it could be a resignation matter for him,"
- "Tenet regards Pollard as a man who nearly wrecked
the CIA intelligence gathering operations throughout the globe," said
Thomas. "He believes that if Pollard is sent back to Israel he could
have something useful to do for Mossad," he added.
- "Seeds of Fire describes Pollard's never before
revealed role in the theft of the most important software in the U.S.
Seeds of Fire is backed by over 100 pages of never before published documents
that not only show how the theft was carried out - but also how it eventually
led to China having a copy of it.
- Seeds of Fire shows how China used it to prepare itself
to become a new Superpower.
- Quoting from a CIA Briefing paper - prepared by incumbent
CIA director George Tenet for President Bush - Thomas reveals the agency-s
fear about a coming conflict with China.
- Hours after Gordon Thomas had revealed exclusive details
in Seeds of Fire about the full intent of China's threat, it was confirmed
today by the CIA - and followed up by ABC News and the Associated Press.
Said Dandelion President Carol Adler: "Not for the first time, Gordon
Thomas has set the news agenda with is revelations. There are many more
in Seeds of Fire which we believe will find their way into the mainstream
news media in the coming days. But remember: you read it here first."
Seeds of Fire: China and the Story Behind the Attack on America (ISBN
1893302547) is available at bookstores and at www.dandelionbooks.com
BACKGROUND TO THE POLLARD SPY CASE IN 'SEEDS OF FIRE'
Seeds of Fire: China and the Story Behind the Attack on America reveals
why Pollard was sentenced to die in prison after he had been found guilty
of being the greatest traitor in the history of the United States.
Seeds of Fire shows how, compared to Pollard, the damage done to U.S.
security by others spying against the U.S. pales into significance.
Pollard was a civilian senior analyst in the most secret Field Operational
Intelligence office in Suitland, Maryland. The post required top security
clearance because Pollard had access to highly classified files in the
entire U.S. intelligence community.
Seeds of Fire documents how a powerful lobby WITHIN the United States
has lobbied to have Pollard freed. It names the lobbyists. They are
headed by Harvard Law School Professor, Alan M. Dershowitz, once Pollard's
Seeds of Fire quotes the attorney thus: "There is nothing in Pollard's
conviction to suggest that he had compromised the nation's intelligence-gathering
capabilities or betrayed worldwide intelligence data."
Backed by such powerful sources, Israel has now begun a new campaign to
persuade the Bush Administration to set Pollard free.
But CIA Director, George Tenet, as Seeds of Fire reveals, is leading the
opposition to such a move.
Tenet is not the only one who has joined in the battle over Pollard's
future. Four retired US admirals, one who had served as a director of
US Naval Intelligence, have circulated a paper within the Washington intelligence
community that bluntly states Pollard's release would not only be "irresponsible
to the highest degree, but also a victory for the clever public relations
campaign waged for the worst traitor this country has had."
So far such trenchant views have remained within the intelligence community,
but a number of senior members of the CIA, FBI and other agencies who
were involved in assessing the damage Pollard did, have begun to say they
will go public on what they know the extent of that damage to be.
Though reluctant to be named "for the moment," one FBI agent
told Gordon Thomas: "Pollard stole every worthwhile intelligence
secret we had. We are still trying to recover from what he did. We have
had to withdraw dozens of agents in place in the former Soviet Union,
in the Middle East, South Africa and friendly nations like Britain, France
and Germany. The American public just don't know the full extent of what
Ironically, Pollard in his youth had made no secret of his support for
Israel. The youngest son of an award-winning microbiologist, his family
and friends have described as his near obsession with "the power of
Mossad." At Stanford University he said he was "waiting for
the day when Israel will call upon me." Nobody took him seriously;
many thought he was a fantasist. For that reason the CIA rejected his
job application, dismissing him as a "blabbermouth."
But the agency also saw that he had an extraordinary gift as an analyst.
This talent allowed Naval Intelligence to overlook his other faults.
His former chief, David Muller, admitted that "despite his stories
about his visits to Israel when he claimed to have met with Mossad, he
was a genius when it came to breaking down complex data. He was a one-off
in every sense of the word. With hindsight we all should have listened
to the alarm bells ringing. Pollard had a drug habit. He had huge debts.
He lived well above his salary. In every sense he was a prime target
for a foreign intelligence service to recruit."
No other US spy in modern intelligence has generated such controversy as
Jonathan Pollard. Now forty-seven years of age and incarcerated in a
maximum security jail supposedly for the rest of his life, no one publicly
still knows the full extent of the damage he did after he was recruited
in November 1984 to spy for Israel.
The man who did the recruiting was Rafi Eitan, Mossad's legendary spymaster
who captured Adolf Eichmann. Pollard was to be an even greater triumph
for Eitan and Israel.
Eitan is one of the few who knows the full extent of the top-secret materials
Pollard passed over. But within the Israeli intelligence community it
is accepted that Pollard also provided a clear picture of U.S. intelligence
gathering methods in the Middle East.
- For over eleven months Pollard had raped US intelligence.
His trial was told "over 360 cubic feet of paper was transmitted
- Yitzhak Shamir, then Israeli's prime minister, had personally
approved the recruiting of Pollard.
- Pollard was arrested on November 21, 1986, outside the
Israeli embassy in Washington. He elected to plea-bargain rather than
face a full trial. The US government agreed with alacrity: no state secrets
would have to be revealed, especially about the extent of Israeli espionage.
- After the plea bargain, the Justice Department supplied
the court with a sworn declaration signed by Caspar W. Weinberger, the
Secretary of Defence, which detailed by categories some of the intelligence
systems that had been compromised.
- In prison, Pollard divorced his first wife Anne (who
had been sentenced to five years imprisonment for being his accomplice),
and converted to Orthodox Judaism. In 1994 he married, in prison, a
Toronto schoolteacher named Elaine Zeitz. Esther Pollard, as she was from
then on known, became the spearhead of the campaign to have her husband
freed. Now she has been joined by Benyamin Netanyahu.
"Much of what he knows is still in his head. And some of what he
stole is still in use by us," 'Seeds of Fire' reveals. "The
reasons the key was thrown away to his cell is because until he died he
would be useful to Israel. They would just have to show him something
and he would know how to extrapolate from it. A man like that doesn't
lose his touch because he is locked away."
Yet the lobbyists are now arguing that Pollard has to be seen within the
context of the "big picture, in the Middle East," says Gordon
A former FBI officer who had been involved in tracking Pollard told the
author he would have no objection to a deal over Pollard "providing
Israel listed everything Pollard had stolen and what they have done with
the materials in terms of all their friends in Beijing".
He conceded that such a hope was forlorn. Far more realistic he thought,
was that one day soon Jonathan Pollard might yet get to use the Israeli
passport that spymaster Rafi Eitan had provided him.
Certainly the old spymaster is more than ready to welcome Pollard to Israel.
"It would be really nice to see Jonathan again and discuss old times,"
Eitan has told Gordon Thomas.
The full untold story of Pollard, Eitan and Israel's secret operations
in the United States are documented in Seeds of Fire: China and the Story
Behind the Attack on America, by Gordon Thomas, ISBN 1893302547, Dandelion
Books, Paperback, 524 pages, over 100 original documents. $25.95.