April 1, 2014

The funniest April Fool's Day hoax yet

From the NYT:
U.S. and Israel Said to Be Near Agreement on Release of Spy 
By JODI RUDOREN  APRIL 1, 2014 
JERUSALEM — Officials involved in the fraught Israeli-Palestinian peace talks said on Tuesday that an agreement was near on extending the negotiations through 2015 in exchange for the release of Jonathan J. Pollard, an American serving a life sentence for spying for Israel. 

The Grey Lady is a lot more limber than she used to be. Who would have thought the NYT would be splashing an April Fool's Day hoax right on the front page?  
   

71 comments:

Anonymous said...

Only Jason Pollard's body should be returned. The corpse of that traitor should be dropped from 10,000 ft.

Anonymous said...

The fake Richard Nixon twitter account has had a couple good comments, including:

"My God, while we're at it send Ames and Hanssen to Russia, see if you can't buy a few inches at Sevastopol."

https://twitter.com/dick_nixon/status/450834437228732416

Anonymous said...

I like how Israel's obligation to use "restraint" with regard to building settlements is put in quotation marks. Shouldn't the whole agreement be in quotation marks?

Steve from Detroit

Len Boulter said...

Kerry is desperate for a Nobel and will do almost anything to keep his Israeli/Palestinian 'peace process' alive.

The Israeli press is widely reporting speculation Pollard's imminent release

Anonymous said...

The administration is going to pooh-pooh this by noting that Pollard is up for parole in 2015. As if they have no control over whether or not it's granted...

peterike said...

Remember when they used to execute spies?

IHTG said...

Rather than releasing Pollard as a humanitarian gesture years ago, the US government has apparently kept him locked up as a bargaining chip for furthering its interests. Shouldn't you be applauding that, Steve?

anony-mouse said...

Waydaminit

A little while ago you complained that no one resigned on principle any more.

It looks like Pollard may be saying 'No' to such a release. If so, that beats a lot of the old resigners.

We'll see.

Clyde said...

"Rather than releasing Pollard as a humanitarian gesture years ago, the US government has apparently kept him locked up as a bargaining chip for furthering its interests."

Yeah, coz Israel hasn't caused the US any trouble at all since '87, lol.

JDG1980 said...

If releasing Pollard was necessary to obtain a final status agreement, I could see that being a good deal; the I/P conflict is a running sore and the backlash from it has been very harmful to US interests. (Of course, we could also extricate ourselves from the whole situation by stopping support of Israel, but political realities dictate that's not going to happen any time soon.)

But just to keep the interminable joke of a "peace process" going for a little longer? No way. Israel's leaders seem to have this strange idea that negotiations are some kind of a reward in and of themselves; we saw this with the Israeli resistance to the US even talking with Iran, and we see it now with Netanyahu's attempt to get Pollard freed. But it doesn't work that way. Negotiations are a starting point, not a goal in themselves.

anony-mouse said...

Interesting.

Releasing US secrets to one country: traitor!

Releasing US secrets to lots of countries: hero!

Look at it this way folks. I'm sure Pollard wishes he could have been as smart as that other guy (and Israel would have gotten the same info in either case).

Hunsdon said...

anony-mouse said: Look at it this way folks. I'm sure Pollard wishes he could have been as smart as that other guy (and Israel would have gotten the same info in either case).

Hunsdon said: What Cold War? What Soviet Union? I mean, the situations are really ALMOST EXACTLY ANALOGOUS. Just a case of the goyim sticking up for the goy.

Anonymous said...

http://buchanan.org/blog/war-party-oligarch-6333?utm

Anonymous said...

Releasing US secrets to lots of countries: hero!


You mean "Releasing US government secrets to Americans". right? The only people being kept in the dark were we serfs.

Anonymous said...

"If releasing Pollard was necessary to obtain a final status agreement"

In my experience, getting an agreement w/Scots-Irish is far less difficult that getting them to live up to it.

SFG said...

Feh. Let him rot. What do you think happens to spies? The Russians would have just shot him.

Of course I expect an Israeli to support the guy--you can grant him medals if you wish, and you can pin them on his body when he's returned to you for burial.

Difference Maker said...

anonymouse said...
Releasing US secrets to one country: traitor!

Releasing US secrets to lots of countries: hero!


By that logic he is still a traitor.

Anonymous said...

For allies during peacetime? No. Typical sentence for Pollard's crime is 10 years. He's served 29. And he cooperated as part of a plea bargain agreement, which the US welched on.

Anonymous said...

Some things to bear in mind regarding Pollard:

There have been a number of arguments that Pollard's spying was actually far more damaging than others care to admit. For example, in 1999 Seymour Hersh wrote an article for the New Yorker that argued Pollard's information may have ended up with the Soviet Union. Hersh spoke to experts who said the information was used:
... in exchange for continued Soviet permission for Jews to emigrate to Israel. Other officials go further, and say that there was reason to believe that secret information was exchanged for Jews working in highly sensitive positions in the Soviet Union. A significant percentage of Pollard’s documents, including some that described the techniques the American Navy used to track Soviet submarines around the world, was of practical importance to the Soviet Union."

via WASHINGTON POST

Anonymous said...

What do you know, John McCain wants parole for Pollard:

"Republican Senator John McCain called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday to inform him that he intends on releasing a public statement in support of the release of convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard."

I thank God every single day that McCain was not elected president in '08.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

I could see that being a good deal; the I/P conflict is a running sore and the backlash from it has been very harmful to US interests

I get what you're saying, but the only way this conflict gets resolved is the US cracking heads and TELLING the Semites what their borders are.

That's not happening, and there are too many vested interests in this low-level conflict. The Arabs need it to deflect their rabble from their loser culture and corrupt elite, and the Israelis need it to keep the wagons circled and the donations flowing. The US government needs it to keep bureaucrats employed.

the US government has apparently kept him locked up as a bargaining chip for furthering its interests

Which would be good if it were actually furthering a US interest. On the contrary, a bunch of Middle Eastern rug merchants are wagging our dog.

Anonymous said...

Interesting.

Releasing US secrets to one country: traitor!

Releasing US secrets to lots of countries: hero!

Look at it this way folks. I'm sure Pollard wishes he could have been as smart as that other guy (and Israel would have gotten the same info in either case).


That is not even close to being the same. Pollard released crucial defense secrets to the Israelis who passed them onto the Soviets during the Cold War when the USSR was a real enemy. They were a real existential threat.

Snowden released details on how our government has turned upon its own population and is now spying on its own citizens. I sort of remember something about the Founders being weary of such a government, with some old white guy even saying something like tyranny was where the people were afraid of the government while liberty was where the government was afraid of the people.

Also in Pollard's case, he justified his breach of trust to helping a foreign nation, not the USA. In Snowden's case he justified his action as a defense of the American people and their historic form of government as enshrined in our Constitution. In other words, Pollard did his act as an Israeli patriot, while Snowden did his as an American one.

Anonymous said...

Steve, your two comments are getting a healthy amount of upvotes from the Times Readership.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/02/world/middleeast/jonathan-pollard.html#permid=11466085

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/02/world/middleeast/jonathan-pollard.html#permid=11465903

Anonymous said...



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Pollard#Espionage

Prior to sentencing, Pollard and his wife Anne gave further defiant media interviews in which they defended their spying and attempted to rally Jewish Americans to their cause. In a 60 Minutes interview, Anne said, "I feel my husband and I did what we were expected to do, and what our moral obligation was as Jews, what our moral obligation was as human beings, and I have no regrets about that."

Please name the Republican contender in the Sheldon Adelson primary who will be the first to not only offer Pollard a pardon but a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Bibi's followers in Israel are telling anyone who will listen that they intend to formerly annex the West Bank. The Palestinians can become Israeli "citizens" whether they want to or not. Of course in the future you will only be allowed to vote if you are a Jew or an Arab who has pledged allegiance to Israel.

Coaxing Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians under any grounds simply means the further emasculation of the USA.

Israel intends to make her bed one way or another. Let her lie in it.

Anonymous said...

Releasing US secrets to one country: traitor!

Releasing US secrets to lots of countries: hero!


You're conflating the American people with the U.S. security/intelligence apparatus. There's a good case Snowden did something very beneficial for the former. Pollard, OTOH, did only damage.

sunbeam said...

I find the idea that we have much to do with peace between the Palestinians and Israelis curious at best.

What influence do we have over the Israelis? What usable influence rather, because pressuring them with real things like banning arms exports and economic transactions with them isn't going to happen.

I guess we can have negative influence with the Palestinians, "Do this or we... give Israel even more money!"

This is solely a concern of these two entities. The only chip we have to play in this, is for a convenient excuse for them to negotiate... if they are serious about that, or just want to put up a negotiating image.

Of course the Nobel committee just loves this kind of stuff. It's like you got your own PR program to push you for the Oscar.. I mean Nobel Peace Prize.

Full of sound and fury, and signifying nothing.

If we do release Pollard, well I guess we do know who calls the shots in this country.

Funny thing is if we were serious about Israeli spying, it would be a simple matter to snatch Israelis of interest (and American citizens) and put them in that extra legal anything goes zone we have set up now. Of course it would be smart to pull all our assets out of Israel first. You know spies (they know who we have I bet), diplomatic corp etc. Face it everything can be conducted by email, phone, and fax.

Having Ivy Leaguers on the ground is just another hidden subsidy (cool meaningless jobs with free drinkees and a great entry on a resume).

Who knows, someone might think you were worth a "honey trap," you might hit the trifecta and get to write a book, maybe option it for a movie. Madame Butterfly? Summer Of My Sabra Woman? Love and Lies:My Experiences With The State Deparment in Israel?

Well anyway, I hope Mossad hires the kind of people who can suck the chrome off a trailer hitch. If they are hard up for talent like this, tell them to scour American trailer parks. They might learn a few things.

Charlie Rose just loves this crap. "Stupid meaningless BS is a force that gives us meaning."

I mean this tripe writes itself.

I wouldn't hold my breath on sending a bunch of Israelis to Gitmo and indefinite detention though. Do something like that and it could influence something really important.

Like campaign contributions.

Auntie Analogue said...


In the decades-long so-called "peace process," how many times has Israel released from its prisons one, two, several, even scores of convicted Moslem jihad terrorists? None of those releases has done Israel so much as one mote of good, and the same utter absence of good would come of Pollard's release.

Miguel S. said...

I'm tickled when people on both sides get bent out of shape about this nobody.

I suspect that both governments want to keep him in jail so they can pretend to others that they actually disagree about something.

Anonymous said...

Steve, I just tried to make a contribution via PayPal using the link on your home page and I was sent to a page saying "WePay is no longer available". I thought you might like to know to either remove the link, or fix it somehow. Paying via PayPal is very convenient of me (and others, I assume).

Whiskey said...

Pollard ought to rot in jail. The "peace process" ought to be given a decent burial, there is no possibility of peace in the ME. Israel ought to nuke Iran before Iran nukes it.

And America can complete the total withdrawal from the ME that the election of Obama was all about. Maybe a really big speech and another Nobel prize will make everyone completely change their world view and way of life and opinions formed over a lifetime, and the ME will turn into a land of chocolate and honey.

But I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

So we release a convicted spy, and in return we get...an undertaking by one foreign people to do some more talking to another foreign people about an insoluble territorial dispute thousands of miles away.

Nice to see our leaders are driving such a hard bargain.

Steve Sailer said...

According to Seymour Hersch, Pollard was a cokehead who offered to sell American secrets to Pakistan. And the sub stuff he stole was only valuable to the Israelis if they dealt it to the Soviets.

Steve Sailer said...

"Typical sentence for Pollard's crime is 10 years."

Not much that's typical about stealing secrets about the ultimate level of deterrence in the nation's nuclear triad, the boomer subs.

Anonymous said...

Israel ought to nuke Iran before Iran nukes it.

As an American, why pick on Iran and not Saudi Arabia which exports 100X the terrorism that Iran exports? Boy the Americans are stupid. Actually, when it comes to foreign policy, the American electorate is the dumbest on the face of the earth and the most easily manipulated. Idiots.

Anonymous said...

"Feh. Let him rot. What do you think happens to spies?"

Anna Chapman became a TV hostess and a magazine editor: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Chapman


Anonymous said...

"I thank God every single day that McCain was not elected president in '08"

Seconded.

Auntie Analogue said...


Perhaps the FBI ought to have taken care of Pollard the same way that it recently took care of the Tsarnaev brothers' pal Todashev.

Anonymous said...

Snowden released details on how our government has turned upon its own population and is now spying on its own citizens. I sort of remember something about the Founders being weary of such a government, with some old white guy even saying something like tyranny was where the people were afraid of the government while liberty was where the government was afraid of the people.

Aggreed. Snowden also released information about how the NSA was reading the email and listening to the phone calls of top politicians in supposedly allied nations. To me this sort activity is also completely unacceptable. Snowden is a patriot revealing inner rot in the USG.

But just to keep the interminable joke of a "peace process" going for a little longer? No way. Israel's leaders seem to have this strange idea that negotiations are some kind of a reward in and of themselves; we saw this with the Israeli resistance to the US even talking with Iran, and we see it now with Netanyahu's attempt to get Pollard freed. But it doesn't work that way. Negotiations are a starting point, not a goal in themselves.

Its not clear why the US should be "rewarding" Israel for anything at all.... Either Israel agrees with the international community that peace is a worthy thing worth pursuing, or it does not. Since, there's absolutely no valid reason for the US to give Israel anything for this purpose, we must ask ourselves what's really going on.

anony-mouse said...

People complaining about my analogy seem to think that if someone releases US secrets to lots of people in different countries its okay if Americans are among those people.

That's what made that guy so brilliant.

Anyhow it looks like its not going to happen. Pollard, who supposedly only did what he did for personal gain won't go for it.

Shouldn't that make people here happy? Guess not.

I half think that people here want Pollard released, the better to enjoy the seethe.

There must be a word for the feeling some people get when they enjoy something that they (supposedly) don't want to happen.

sunbeam said...

I want to issue a challenge to Whiskey.

The challenge is this:

Explain to me how Iran threatens Israel.

Explain to me how Iran threatens Israel militarily. Explain to me how they get to Israel with military forces for one thing.

Explain how they get all those Sunni Muslims to go along with Iranian leadership. Or explain how they topple the Sunni Arab states under an Iranian Shia Caliphate, one domino after another, inevitably toppling towards Israel.

For extra credit, explain to me exactly what Israel can do to Iran, and how they do it. I know they can nuke them, but other than doing something like a logistically challenging token bombing, what are they going to do?

Want to know what all this is? What the threat is? I can answer it for you.

Nothing.

All any of these guys can do is run little proxy wars and do things like bankroll Hezbollah.

Personally I wouldn't bother, but that is just me. If I were Iran, Israel is way down the list of things I care about or find threatening, unlike all that potential insanity north in the 'Stans.

Heck craziness in Pakistan is far more of a threat to Iran than the US or Israel ever will be. And if either party wants to fan that fire, well they do have a term called blowback.

Anonymous said...

"Interesting.

Releasing US secrets to one country: traitor!

Releasing US secrets to lots of countries: hero!

Look at it this way folks. I'm sure Pollard wishes he could have been as smart as that other guy (and Israel would have gotten the same info in either case)."

The other guy, Snowden, was smart due to his not being in the USA when his leak was revealed. If he was in the USA he'd be in prison, just like Bradley Manning.

Anonymous said...

"Actually, when it comes to foreign policy, the American electorate is the dumbest on the face of the earth and the most easily manipulated."

The triumph of English is partly to blame for this. I think America is the first Western society since classical Greece (i.e. since the dawn of Western Civ.) in which intellectuals are not expected to know any foreign languages, and consequently, any foreign cultures. And yes, it's possible to be surrounded by a foreign culture without really knowing it. Americans are easier to mislead on world affairs than other nations because even the smartest Americans, as a group, have less of a sense of what's plausible and what isn't in various cultures than do other countries' native elites.

I can't think of any other historical period in any Western country in the last 2000+ years in which someone as smart and intellectually ambitious as Steve could have remained a monoglot. There are costs to this.

Steve Sailer said...

"I can't think of any other historical period in any Western country in the last 2000+ years in which someone as smart and intellectually ambitious as Steve could have remained a monoglot. There are costs to this."

Indeed.

Steve Sailer said...

For example, John F. Kerry seems kind of in over his head as Secretary of State, but he speaks good French, so he's got that going for him which is nice. Seriously, Kerry's ability to carry on conversations with people who speak French as their second language is not a minor advantage in his job.

I wonder what fraction of major politicians speak a second or third language today compared to at times past?

Steve Sailer said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_multilingual_Presidents_of_the_United_States

Anonymous said...

A bit more on this:

The foreign correspondents of American news outlets are far less likely than those of foreign outlets to know the languages and cultures of the countries on which they report. Same thing for American ambassadors, other diplomats and spies vs. the ambassadors, other diplomats and spies of other countries. Same thing for people opining about the world in general in American vs. rest-of-the-world newspapers. Cultural dominance IS compatible with cultural parochialism.

Americans are far less likely to watch subtitled movies, read translated books or listen to songs sung in foreign languages than citizens of any other country I can think of.

The general US tendency is to overestimate how similar foreign cultures are to American culture and to each other. My advice for those who can't or don't want to spend the time and effort required to figure out other cultures is to assume that they are more different from yours and from each other than you think.

Anonymous said...

I don't see why this is a big deal. Federal prosecutors themselves weren't even asking for a life sentence for pollard. Yet Steve seems to think 30 years in prison would be some kind of gross miscarriage of justice.

Anonymous said...

We have better-and more sensible-leverage with Israel then Pollard to induce them to give Gentiles equal rights in Israel:

--Cut our annual $5 billion welfare payment to Israel.

--Cancel our loan guarantees of Israeli sovereign debt.

--End military cooperation and aid.

--Deny Israelis visas to enter the United States.

Hunsdon said...

Anonydroid at 3:24: "I thank God every single day that McCain was not elected president in '08"

Seconded.

Hunsdon: Mr. Chairman, I believe this body is in substantial agreement on this issue.

Hunsdon said...

sunbeam said: I want to issue a challenge to Whiskey.

Hunsdon said: The place to do that is over at Vox's.

David said...

>Anna Chapman became a TV hostess and a magazine editor<

But Anna Chapman is hot.

Anonymous said...

Why the kid glove treatment of Pollard?

The U.S. should just execute him like Israel does Gentiles it deems national security risks.

Dave Pinsen said...

Iran has missiles that can hit Israel. Presumably, if/when they get nukes, they could use those missiles to deliver them.

The logic of MAD suggests Iran wouldn't do that, but the whole 12th imam business adds a soupçon of doubt.

As for what Israel could do to Iran, how about smuggling a bunch of gay Iranians out via Kurdistan, giving them an all expenses paid trip to gay pride day (week?) in Tel Aviv, filming it, and then copying it to VHS or whatever medium Iranians use, and smuggling a million of the tapes back in to Iran?

Anonymous said...

Iran has missiles that can hit Israel. Presumably, if/when they get nukes, they could use those missiles to deliver them.

The logic of MAD suggests Iran wouldn't do that, but the whole 12th imam business adds a soupçon of doubt.

As for what Israel could do to Iran...


I'm curious, Dave. Why aren't you worried that Israel would use nukes on one of its neighbors, such as Iran? Israel would appear to have both more will to nuke Iran (than Iran Israel) and more capability.

Surely that is the more pressing nuclear threat.

Matra said...

The logic of MAD suggests Iran wouldn't do that, but the whole 12th imam business adds a soupçon of doubt.

The whole 12th Imam business reeks of neocon/Israeli propaganda.

Anonymous said...

I thank God every single day that McCain was not elected president in '08.

When I think of McCain now, I think about Benedict Arnold with a twist on this story.

When Benedict Arnold was leading the forces of the King against his former compatriots in Virginia, among his prisoners was a certain plucky and witty officer, who, in answer to Arnold's question, "What will the Americans do with me if they catch me?" replied, "They will cut off the leg which was wounded when you were fighting so gloriously for the cause of liberty, and bury it with the honors of war, and hang the rest of your body on a gibbet."

I think McCain's arms, that were repeatedly dislocated by his captors, should be buried with full honors and the rest of him should be hung on a gibbet.

Dave Pinsen said...

"I'm curious, Dave. Why aren't you worried that Israel would use nukes on one of its neighbors, such as Iran?"

Israel has had nukes for what, 50 years? How many of its neighbors has it nuked during that time?

"The whole 12th Imam business reeks of neocon/Israeli propaganda."

Maybe Ahmadinejad was a Mossad plant?

Mr. Anon said...

"anony-mouse said...

Interesting.

Releasing US secrets to one country: traitor!

Releasing US secrets to lots of countries: hero!"

The difference is that Pollard passed on secrets pertaining to submarine warfare, the underpinning of our nuclear deterrent, which is vitally important to our national security - our actual national security, not the bogus kind that national security officials gas on about.

Snowden on the other hand, released secrets about how the government spies on all of us - secrets of use only to those who wish to turn the US into a police/surveillance-state.

You are conflating the two either because you are mendacious or because you are foolish.

Mr. Anon said...

I don't understand this transaction. Party A offers up a valuable concession to party B so that party B will continue to negotiate with party C a matter of concern to party C, ostensibly of concern to party B, but of no real concern to party A.

If the negotiations are so damned important, why doesn't Israel carry them on anyway. Anyway, I see no reason why America should care one way or the other.

And Pollard should not leave his cell in any conveyance other than a body-bag.

Silver said...

"I don't see why this is a big deal. Federal prosecutors themselves weren't even asking for a life sentence for pollard. Yet Steve seems to think 30 years in prison would be some kind of gross miscarriage of justice."

To encourage the others maybe? Or would prefer people pretend that Pollard is the only Jewish Israel-firster to have ever spied for Israel?

Matra said...

Maybe Ahmadinejad was a Mossad plant?

No. When he was in power - assuming he actually had some actual power - what did he do, policy wise, to bring forth the 12th Imam, thus causing you so many sleepless nights?

Anonymous said...

"how about smuggling a bunch of gay Iranians out via Kurdistan, giving them an all expenses paid trip to gay pride day (week?) in Tel Aviv, filming it, and then copying it to VHS or whatever medium Iranians use, and smuggling a million of the tapes back in to Iran"

I'm not sure that either the Iranians would be fazed by this or that Israel would relish the extra diversity.

I'm surprised the Ugandans don't fly people convicted of homosexual offences to London to claim asylum.

Anonymous said...

>> we could also extricate ourselves from the whole situation by stopping support of Israel, but political realities dictate


... that the Saudis would start sending money to Israel, secretly

Anonymous said...

>> The Palestinians can become Israeli "citizens" whether they want to or not.


You mean like what happened to american Indians in 1934?

Anonymous said...

>> I'm curious, Dave. Why aren't you worried that Israel would use nukes on one of its neighbors, such as Iran?
out it?


For the same reason that Israel's neighbors aren't very worried about it.

Silver said...

"the Saudis would start sending money to Israel, secretly"

The consequences of that would be absolutely horrific for America. God help us all.

Dave Pinsen said...

I sleep fine. How did the Israeli propagandists get Ahmadinejad to spout that 12 imam stuff?

Matra said...

How did the Israeli propagandists get Ahmadinejad to spout that 12 imam stuff?

I'll ask again: When he was in power - assuming he actually had some actual power - what did he do, policy wise, to bring forth the 12th Imam?

Dave Pinsen said...

Since I'm not an expert on Shiite eschatology or policies enacted by Ahmadinejad while in office, I have no idea. Now that I've answered your question, will you answer mine, or otherwise attempt to substantiate your suggestion that the 12 imam business is Israeli propaganda?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"Americans are far less likely to watch subtitled movies, read translated books or listen to songs sung in foreign languages than citizens of any other country I can think of."

Well, based on my experience, Britons are pretty similar. Very few of them listen to non-English songs, watch subtitled films, etc.

Anonymous said...

Steve Sailer:"For example, John F. Kerry seems kind of in over his head as Secretary of State, but he speaks good French, so he's got that going for him which is nice. Seriously, Kerry's ability to carry on conversations with people who speak French as their second language is not a minor advantage in his job."

Yeah, it's interesting to note that FDR was the last US president (at least according to WIKIPEDIA)who was fluent in another language (German and French).Such mastery brings with it certain intangible benefits.For example, FDR used to listen to Hitler's speeches on the radio.