(a different person)
Jonathan Jay Pollard is being held in prison for spying on the United States of America for the state of Israel.
Jonathan Jay Pollard, born on August 7, 1954 in Galveston, Texas. He was an American civilian who worked in 1983 as an intelligence analyst for the American Naval Intelligence. At that time, Pollard was exposed to classified intelligence information which indicated about numerous threats to the state of Israel. This information was withheld by certain elements in the NSA. According to a 1983 Memorandum of Understanding between Isreal and the US, Israel was entitled for this vital information. The intelligence included information about the weapons of mass destruction capabilities of states in the Middle East which are considered hostile by Israel: Syria, Iraq, Libia, and Iran. The reports also included information about ballistic missile development for carrying these weapons.
Pollard developed a concern that this information needs to be shared with Israel. Talking about this with his superiors, he was rejected with claims such as that "Jews get nervous talking about poison gas; they don't need to know.", and was asked to stop his concern about this matter. He also learned that the objective of cutting off the flow of information to Israel was to severely curtail Israel's ability to act independently in defense of her own interests (see Israel's preparations for the War on Iraq 2003 about a similiar USA approach).
On his own accord, with the feeling that many Israeli lives are on the line, Pollard decided to come forward to the Israelis and provide them with the intelligence reports, going against the undeclared intelligence embargo, against his country.
On November 15, 1985, Pollard was confronted with evidence of his activities by the NIS and the FBI. He admitted delivering classified information to a foreign agent. Acorrding to Pollard, his Israeli operators told him to seek refuge in the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC, in a hope that Israel would be able to allow him to exit the country after a diplomatic negotiation with the US.
Pollard was arrested on November 21, 1985, just outside of the Israeli Embassy. Immediately upon Pollard's arrest, Israel apologized and explained that the operation was unauthorized, claiming that it is Israel's policy to refrain from any intelligence activity related to the United States. He was charged under the espionage code for selling classified documents to an Israeli intelligence unit for $50,000. It is reported that Pollard's detection resulted from tips from fellow employees that he was seeking and copying more classified documents than his job required.
Pollard admitted to have delivered over ten thousands of pages of classified information to the Israelis. Although Pollard reported to have sold the secret documents, after 9 months of polygraph tests the FBI concluded that his actions were from idealogical reasons only.
On June 4, 1986, Pollard pleaded guilty to espionage and related charges under a plea agreement with Federal officials, at the request of both the U.S. and Israeli governments. On 4 March 1987 Jonathan Pollard was sentenced to life imprisonment, and since then he was never seen in public.
However, this doesn't end here. Israel's motivation to cause the release of Pollard and the creation of groups that support his release were as a result of possible injustice in the Pollard case. Pollard supporters claim that his sentence was in a violation with the plea agreement. Plus, they argue that Pollard's sentence was too severe, considering that he never intented to hurt the US, as he was never indicted for compromising codes, agents, or war plans. There was no treason (which is defined as passing information to an enemy during a war), but only passing classified information to an ally. They also claim the way of handling the case was against the US constitution.
During the 1998 Wye Plantation Middle East peace talks, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu requested clemency for Pollard. Clinton promised to release Polard. However, when Clinton left office, Polard wasn't in his pardon list.