With his wife in the car beside him, Navy Counterintelligence Analyst Jonathan Pollard drove into the Israeli embassy compound in Washington one day last week, apparently hoping to be granted political asylum. But the Pollards were intercepted by Israeli officials and promptly escorted back outside the gate, where waiting FBI agents arrested him. The charge: espionage. U.S. officials said Pollard, 31, had confessed to receiving nearly $50,000 over the past year and a half for selling classified military information, some of it top secret, to the Israeli government. He may also have sold secrets to Pakistan.
At week's end the FBI struck again, arresting Larry Wu-Tai Chin, 63, a former Central Intelligence Agency analyst and naturalized U.S. citizen, charging him with spying for the People's Republic of China. Agents said that Chin, who retired in 1981 from the CIA's Foreign Broadcast Information Service, which monitors radio broadcasts, had been employed by the U.S. in various capacities since World War II and may have been spying for China since the early 1950s.
On the very day Pollard was nabbed, the Pentagon released a 62-page report titled Keeping the Nation's Secrets, the work of a special panel appointed by Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger in the wake of the Navy's Walker-family spy scandal last summer. The 14-member panel, headed by retired Army General Richard Stilwell, offered 63 recommendations for combating the plague of espionage. Among them: tougher criminal laws to punish defense contractors and Government workers who mishandle secret information, more restrictive secrecy classifications and expanded use of lie-detector tests for military personnel.
The proposals are intended to tighten security around employees like Pollard, who held top-secret clearance as a civilian on the counterterrorism staff of the Naval Investigative Service in Suitland, Md. The FBI and the Navy began investigating Pollard after co-workers reported that he had been taking home classified material, and agents have seized a document-filled suitcase with Pollard's name on it. Late in the week the FBI also arrested Pollard's wife, Anne L. Henderson-Pollard, 25, and charged her with unauthorized possession of classified documents.
The Pollard case may affect America's special relationship with Israel, which is already privy to many U.S. military secrets. "We are shocked and saddened that something like this might occur," said State Department Spokes man Charles Redman. "We have been in touch with the Israelis to try to get to the bottom of this." In Tel Aviv, a Foreign Ministry spokesman denied all knowledge of the matter.