- (Note - You can hear Gordon Thomas' sensational
12-19-01 interview with Jeff in our program Archives.)
United Press International has alerted the world's media that Seeds of
Fire already a runaway Internet bestseller has explosive implications
for U.S. relations with Israel.
"Seeds of Fire is likely to doom new Israeli efforts to free spy
Jonathan Pollard, the former U.S. naval intelligence officer serving a
life sentence for betraying his country, UPI said Monday, January 28,
in a major wire-service story.
Written by award-winning former foreign correspondent Gordon Thomas, Seeds
of Fire: China and the Story Behind the Attack on America ($25.95, Dandelion
Books) is available in bookstores, at www.dandelionbooks.com and www.gordonthomas.ie.
Said UPI: "Former (and probably next) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu, scheduled to be in Washington this weekend for a Conservative
conference, will be lobbying hard for Pollard and wants to take up the
matter in person with President Bush.
face="Times New Roman"Seeds of Fire contains the full, untold
story of the role played by Pollard in the biggest-ever theft of U.S.
defense secrets. (See attached backgrounder.)
UPI states that, as a result of the startling evidence published in Seeds
of Fire, it is now "unlikely that Pollard will be freed.
It is not only UPI that has recognized the importance of Seeds of Fire.
Hours after it was published, the CIA confirmed that key documents in
the book secret briefing papers by the agency on the threat China poses
The CIA then published the secret documents already revealed in Seeds
But Seeds of Fire contains many more documents that have yet to be published.
UPI praises Thomas as the author of the acclaimed history of the Mossad
Gideon's Spies. Seeds of Fire is also the result of careful research
leading to "explosive implications and conclusions.
NOTE TO THE MEDIA: THOMAS, WHO LIVES IN IRELAND, IS AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEWS.
Contact: Publicity Dept., Dandelion Books 250 South Hardy Drive Ste. 3067
Tempe, Arizona 85283 480-897-4452 firstname.lastname@example.org www.dandelionbooks.com,
BACKGROUND TO THE POLLARD 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 in 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 attorney.
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 U.S. admirals, one who had served as a director
of U.S. 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 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 "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 U.S. 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 U.S. intelligence. His trial
was told, "Over 360 cubic feet of paper was transmitted to Israel.
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 U.S. 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
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
enjoined 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 reason
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 Thomas.
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; large number of official documents; $25.95.