Washington – Former CIA chief George Tenet claims, in a new book, that he was the person who prevented the release Jonathan Pollard during the Wye Plantation talks in October of 1998. The talks, between then-Prime Minister of Israel Binyamin Netanyahu and then-head of the Palestinian Authority Yasir Arafat, were brokered by President Bill Clinton and focused on an Israeli withdrawal from most of the biblical city of Hevron.
In his book “At The Eye of the Storm,” Tenet says that Israel had demanded that Jonathan Pollard – who had been convicted of spying for Israel in 1985 – be released from jail, as part of a deal in which Netanyahu agreed to the Hevron withdrawal.
According to Tenet, the senior American staff at Wye Plantation, including Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, held a meeting on the evening before the signing of the accords. In that meeting, Berger told Tenet – “you should know that Netanyahu has put [the matter of] Pollard on the table.”
Tenet says he got up and stormed out of the room at that point, saying “you are wrong, Pollard is not on the table.” Berger ran out after him, but Tenet was adamant, calling the idea “ridiculous” and insisting that the Pollard issue had nothing to do with the matters being discussed at Wye. Berger then told him, according to Tenet’s account, that President Clinton had not yet agreed to anything.
Tenet claims he spent the next hours choosing his course of action. “If Pollard was in the final package deal, no one at CIA headquarters would believe I had nothing to do with it,” he thought. He concluded that his career as the head of the CIA would be destroyed if he agreed to the deal. [Arutz7]