Merriam-Webster defines traitor as
1: one who betrays another's trust or is false to an obligation or duty
2: one who commits treason
By this definition, Jonathan Pollard is a traitor to the United States.
Tormented as a child by anti-Semitic bullies, Pollard eventually pursued a career in Naval Intelligence with access to highly classified information. Despite early drug use, false statements on his security application, and his repeated flaunting of the rules, Pollard somehow managed to maintain his clearance. During the course of his employment, he passed classified information to Israel and South Africa. By all accounts, this is a treasonous act, and Pollard is paying the price. He has served 25 years of a life sentence, and is eligible for parole in 2015.
While all players in the intelligence game rely on insiders like Pollard to discover classified information, covert operations play a significant role also. Establishing a covert operation is expensive and time-consuming. Exposure of a covert operative is a treasonous act that places many lives in danger. Yet, that’s exactly what Vice President Dick Cheney and political capo Karl Rove did when they allegedly exposed CIA spy Valerie Plame as part of a vendetta against her husband, Ambassador Joe Wilson. I say “allegedly” because even evil people are afforded a presumption of innocence under American law. Unfortunately, Cheney and Rove are so powerful that they will never be brought to justice.
While Pollard languishes in prison in North Carolina, Cheney and Rove remain free. Their fall guy, Scooter Libby, was found guilty in the course of commiting the same crime, but Libby’s prison term was commuted by Cheney’s puppet, George W. Bush.
What Pollard did was wrong. But he spied for our friends, while Cheney and Rove’s actions provided aid and comfort to our enemies. Twenty-five years in prison is enough for Pollard. He should be freed, extradited to Israel, and his cell should be reserved for Cheney and Rove.