An Israeli spy claims he ‘had no choice’ but to spy on the United States - We Are The Mighty
Intel

An Israeli spy claims he ‘had no choice’ but to spy on the United States

In 1987, Jonathan Pollard became the first American convicted of espionage against the United States for a U.S. ally. He was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 30 years. 

His sentence was lighter than most other convicted spies because of a plea agreement he took to get leniency for him and his wife. Convicted in 1987, he was released in 2015 and was sent to Israel, where he now lives. Once in Israel, he received a hero’s welcome for his spying. 

On Mar. 22, 2021, an Israeli newspaper, the Israel Hayom, published an interview with Pollard where he says the United States was intentionally keeping Israel in the dark in many areas.

“I know I crossed a line, but I had no choice,” he told the newspaper, adding that the threats to Israel were “serious.” He also describes himself as a “soldier” for Israel. 

Pollard was working as an intelligence analyst for the U.S. Navy. He was arrested in 1985 after trying to get asylum in the Israeli embassy in Washington. The Israelis told him he had to go through the embassy’s front door – where the FBI was waiting for him. 

He initially told authorities he was passing secrets to the U.S. ally in the Middle East because he was adamant Israel was not getting a total intelligence picture, and that the United States was “stabbing Israel in the back” with an intelligence embargo.

Rami Barukh as Jonathan Pollard right after the Theater show "The Pollard Trial", performed in the Knesset.
Rami Barukh as Jonathan Pollard right after the Theater show “The Pollard Trial”, performed in the Knesset.

But the facts say something entirely different. Pollard wasn’t just passing along gathered intelligence to the Israelis, he was passing on intelligence about the U.S. military. The Defense Department has never released the full extent of what he sold to Israel, because even the list of his sold secrets is so damaging that it’s also classified Top Secret

Pollard, now 66 years old, blames his Israeli handlers for his capture, claiming they never trained him to be a spy and brushed off his concerns about getting caught. When Pollard was finally captured and tried, the prosecution used security camera footage of Pollard stealing classified documents to win his conviction.

Ron Olive, the FBI agent who apprehended Pollard, said the Israeli spy was on a “spree” of classified document theft from “every intelligence agency in D.C.” Olive believed Pollard should never have been allowed to leave the U.S. and his fear that Pollard would be hailed as a hero came true.

“The problem with the Israelis,” Olive told the U.S. Naval Institute, “They denied knowing anything about Pollard. They literally lied to two or three presidents that they knew nothing about Pollard.”

Then-Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger said Pollard gave Israel information that could cause grave damage to U.S. national security. The most damaging information he sold was the Navy’s 10-volume Radio and Signal Intelligence [RASIN] manual, which was “in effect, a complete roadmap to American signal intelligence.”

At his defense trial and even to this day, Pollard claimed it was altruistic support for the Jewish state and an American ally that caused him to pass on U.S. intelligence secrets. But for all his altruistic claims, he was still paid $25,000, along with a near $6,000 monthly stipend, along with other gifts of jewelry, hotel stays, and other luxuries. 

The government claimed he also attempted to sell U.S. Navy secrets to South Africa, Argentina, Taiwan, Pakistan, and Iran. They estimate Pollard stole more than a million classified documents to Israel, calling him the “most damaging spy in U.S. history.”

Pollard was paroled in 2015 and spent five years on probation before being allowed to leave the United States for Israel. 

Intel

This awesome video shows planes ‘painting’ the night sky

Situated between Area 51 and the Nevada Test and Training Range is a place called “Coyote Summit” which offers a perfect spot for watching air traffic coming out of Nellis Air Force Base.


Photographer Eric Bowen went to the spot in August for Red Flag, the Air Force-sponsored exercise which simulates an air war between aggressors and aircraft from the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Marines, Air National Guard, and Royal Air Force units.

From the Air Force:

A typical RED FLAG exercise involves a variety of attack, fighter and bomber aircraft (F-15E, F-16, F/A-18, A-10, B-1, B-2, etc.), reconnaissance aircraft (Predator, Global Hawk, RC-135, U-2), electronic warfare aircraft (EC-130s, EA-6Bs and F-16CJs), air superiority aircraft (F-22, F-15C, etc), airlift support (C-130, C-17), search and rescue aircraft (HH-60, HC-130, CH-47), aerial refueling aircraft (KC-130, KC-135, KC-10, etc), Command and Control aircraft (E-3, E-8C, E-2C, etc) as well as ground based Command and Control, Space, and Cyber Forces.

Bowen spent a few nights at the Summit filming at night, and produced this awesome video. Watch:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=31v=VXUSJzkBVDI

(h/t The Aviationist)

Intel

This classic spy plane can’t land safely without a car driving behind it at 140 mph

The US Lockheed U-2 Spy plane is arguably one of the most capable platforms in the sky, but it needs backup when it comes in for a landing.


With only two wheels, the aircraft is incredibly unsteady when it touches down, and pilots have their hands full during the entire landing process.

The solution? Send a back-up pilot to trail the plane in a car while offering control inputs. The ground pilot can reach speeds around 140 mph while attempting to keep up with the aircraft. And without his help the plane could ground loop or worse.

Yes, it is as insane as it sounds.

Check out the video below to see a U-2 in action:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2tnCDBkIoI

 

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Intel

Here’s why Japan doesn’t hate the US after dropping the bomb (twice)

The United States’ use of the atomic bomb against Japan is credited with ending World War II. Over 300,00 people were killed between Hiroshima and Nagasaki, according to CNN.


Despite the devastation, less than 100 years later, Japan and the U.S. have become close political and social allies. This video shows how America’s involvement in post-war Japan helped the country become the thriving nation it is today.

Watch:

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Intel

This awesome GoPro video takes you inside an F-16 flying over Alaska

An Israeli spy claims he ‘had no choice’ but to spy on the United States


Most people will never get to experience a flight in an F-16 fighter but this awesome GoPro video gives a little taste.

Produced with footage from the 35th Fighter Squadron out of Kunsan Air Force Base in South Korea, the video shows pilots as they trained in Alaska last year. It has everything: barrel rolls, air-to-air combat, low-level flight, and live fire at a range.

The squadron was in Alaska to take part in Red Flag Alaska 15-1, a training exercise that allows pilots to sharpen their skills in the air.

“The greatest takeaway from this exercise is being able to fly with other air frames that I don’t normally get to fly with at Kunsan,” 1st Lt. Jared Tew told Air Force public affairs. “And the challenges that RF-A brings are what makes me a better pilot.”

Watch the video:

(h/t The Aviationist)

NOW: The 18 greatest fighter aircraft of all time

Intel

How 5 Lithuanian soldiers showed how serious living next to Russia really is

If the ongoing conflict in Ukraine has taught Russia’s neighbors anything, it’s that you never really know if Russia is going to make good on a threat. And if it does, you need to be seriously prepared for what comes next. 

While Lithuania doesn’t exactly share a border with Russia, it’s still in a tough neighborhood. It does share a border with Moscow’s closest Eastern European ally, Belarus. And as a former member of the Soviet Union, they know Russia could be back at any time. 

The soldiers of Lithuania’s armed forces know this fact better than anyone else. Forced conscription of Lithuanian citizens ended in 2008 but after Russia invaded the Crimean Peninsula and began to support Russian separatists in Ukraine, the country revived the practice. 

Ever since, Lithuanian special forces have been training Ukrainian troops to resist Russia and the separatist movements it backs. Despite the small size of its armed forces, the Lithuanians punch well above their weight class, seeing action everywhere from Mali to Iraq to Afghanistan.

The skill and training of Lithuania’s military was demonstrated in 2020 when the Žemaitija Motorised Infantry Brigade, a reconnaissance unit attached to Lithuania’s land forces, conducted a military escape and evasion exercise. Five soldiers, including a draftee, were assigned to evade the rest of their unit. They did it a little too well. 

After the soldiers failed to reach their predetermined meeting point, the Lithuanian military believed something bad happened to them and launched an all-out rescue effort that included helicopters and search dogs. 

The only problem was that no one told the soldiers the exercise had ended. 

According to Lithuanian military spokesman Laimis Bratikas, the event is a kind of graduation exam for military scouts, training in the heart of Lithuania’s deep forests. These soldiers were about to get the highest marks on this exam.

For a full 24 hours, the five men didn’t just avoid a military exercise, they successfully evaded a real-world rescue operation.

russian soldiers
Russian soldiers with the 13th Tactical Group and American soldiers with the 1st Battalion, 41st Field Artillery (1-41), take a short break at checkpoint 75 in the east sector of Kosovo, during Operation JOINT GUARDIAN II.

The next time you hear someone try to downplay the skills of America’s NATO allies, remember that some of them, even those drafted into their armed forces, might have more skills than you think. They’ve been preparing to fight Russia for most of their lives.

Intel

Everything you need to know about Iran’s threat in the Middle East

With the United States’ coming withdrawal from Afghanistan it may seem like the focus of the U.S. military is shifting from the Middle East to the Great Powers conflicts brewing with Russia and China. 

But America’s enemies in the region are still very much a threat, especially the Islamic Republic of Iran. A recently published Rand Corporation report detailed just how big a threat Iran is in the Middle East, what its goals are, and how it will seek to achieve those goals. 

rand report on iran
Cover image of the latest report on the Middle East by the Rand Corporation.

The report doesn’t just list Iran as a single entity. Rand Corporation’s research details that Iran’s threat is actually a massive fighting force, a network of potentially tens of thousands of fighters, all willing to answer the call of the Iranian government, the Revolutionary Guards Corps, or the Ayatollah himself. 

Rand breaks the network down into four separate classes: Targeters, Deterrers, Stabilizers, and Influencers.

Targeters’ sole purpose is to bleed the United States in terms of manpower, materiel, and especially money. Iran supports certain groups just to keep up attacks on American forces in the region to increase the costs of keeping them deployed. Beyond attacking U.S. troops, they also make it as difficult as possible for the U.S. to operate in the region, deterring their movements and forcing them to consider an Iranian or militia response when planning operations. 

An Israeli spy claims he ‘had no choice’ but to spy on the United States
Iraqi national police Sgt. Maj. Abu Hayder and U.S. Army Capt. Troy Thomas from Alpha Troop, 3-1 Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, talk about the launch sleds and aimed direction of the four 107 mm Iranian rockets which they found hidden under some woven bamboo sticks, in a small village outside of Patrol Base Assassin, Iraq

The deterrers are similar actors, not affiliated with any state, but designed to increase the costs of other countries in the region to operate. This group targets Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. 

Stabilizers are paid to do just what the name implies, to stabilize certain countries or major groups within those countries, usually Iranian allies. Stabilizers are used in place like Syria, which is experiencing massive instability due to the ongoing civil war, but also deals with instability based on its ethnic and religious diversity.

Iranian influencers aren’t on instagram snapping photos, they are used by the Iranian network to expand Iranian influence in the region, giving Iran a bigger say in the area’s greater political affairs. 

This means Iran will never directly attack the United States – or anyone else if it can avoid it. Iran’s military goal is to keep the fighting and instability experienced by other countries far from inside Iranian territory. Instead it will use this network to project its power, influence, and physical attacks. 

An Israeli spy claims he ‘had no choice’ but to spy on the United States
Afghan National Army Lt. Col. Mohammad Taheed meets with village representatives of the Afghan border town of Ghurian to persuade them to implement the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration program.

In the meantime, the United States and its regional allies will have to contend with the threat network’s mission, dictated by the government of the Islamic Republic. The cost of that contention will depend on the American military’s desired goals and the political establishment’s willingness to pursue those goals, likely at as high a cost as Iran can inflict on the United States. 

This also means that the U.S. will have to develop a means of countering the network, which blunt force is unlikely to achieve on its own. Rand recommends the U.S. defense apparatus develop a counter for each of Iran’s classes. 

Because of the American desire to cooperate with locals in the region, Rand recommends caution in choosing which groups to cooperate with, as they could be a member of the Iran Threat Network. To bolster its regional partners while countering Iranian influence, Rand recommends  increasing military-to-military partnerships to build the capacity of friendly forces in the Middle East. 

It all sounds easier said than done, but the United States can be a powerful ally to any regional partner. The U.S. military has defeated networks of enemy operations in the past, including in Iraq, where Iran’s threat network holds increasing sway – so victory is still possible.

Intel

4 phrases your first sergeant constantly mangles

Sometimes a first sergeant or sergeant major will ask his troops “yunnerstand?” and inevitably, the troops only understand that they should respond with “yes.”


We’re not sure what type of water they are putting in their coffee, but some E-8’s and above really mangle certain words or phrases in the English language. If you want to see what troops are usually dealing with, this video compilation of Sgt. Maj. Sixta from “Generation Kill” will certainly help.

Over at Task Purpose, writer Paul Mooney put together a listing of phrases “the diamond” usually screws up. Here are some of those, along with a few of our own:

1. “It would be-who-of-you.”

While “behoove” is actually a real word that means it’s important that you do something, the pronunciation of “be-who-of-you” is totally incorrect, but keeps in line with the language of the first sergeant. Junior troops figure out quickly that it would “be-who-of” them to do a huge number of things.

2. “Yunnerstand that?”

This means “do you understand,” except it’s just a much quicker and terrible way of saying it. This is often tacked onto the end of statements that don’t require any response. But if you’re first sergeant, you want a response to everything you say. Yunnerstand?

3. “Friggin-daggone”

First sergeant will often throw this one around during periods he or she is upset, which is basically all the time. Common usage would be something like, “where’s my friggin-daggone radio?” or “get me the friggin-daggone lieutenant on the phone.” Especially in the Marine Corps with most E-8s having previous experience as drill instructors, they learn to replace the profane words with these monstrosities.

4. “Utilize.”

They may pronounce it correctly, but they certainly aren’t using it right. Instead of going with the much shorter, easier to say, and more normal word of “use,” some first sergeants tend to complicate their language with utilize. Please, please, make it stop.

Now check out Mooney’s listing of first sergeant fails here

OR: The 18 funniest moments from ‘Generation Kill’

Intel

Trained Warriors Turned Comedy Killers

We know. War is nothing to joke about. However, we also know that laughter is simply the best medicine… ever. COMEDY WARRIORS is both a funny and poignant look into the lives of five wounded warriors turned comedians. Get a snippet of how these five veterans use comedy under the guidance of professional comedy writers and comedians Lewis Black, Zach Galifianakis, BJ Novak, and Bob Saget among others. Humor heals.


Image Credit: Peter van Agtmael

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Intel

This video shows why quadruple-amputee Travis Mills is an inspiration to all

Retired U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Travis Mills is one of only five quadruple amputees of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Now recovered and continuing to live his life despite the physical barriers of having no arms or legs, Mills’ story is an inspiration to all. Especially when he has a philosophy of “Never give up. Never quit.”

“I woke up for the first time on my 25th birthday to find out that I had no arms or legs anymore, and I was a quadruple amputee,” Mills says in this video from NowThis News.

“You’re gonna fall down, but don’t be embarrassed about it. Just get out there and keep going at it,” he says. Mills himself has lived by this advice, keeping positive and even joking about his injuries, while serving other wounded warriors through his non-profit The Travis Mills Foundation.

Check out this short video of his story:

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Quadruple Amputee Veteran Doesn’t Lose Optimistic Outlook On LifeQuadruple amputee Travis Mills is funny, inspiring, and helping his fellow wounded veterans adjust to civilian life

Posted by NowThis on Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Intel

Ronda Rousey plans to attend Marine Corps ball for more than 34 seconds

Lance Cpl. Jarrod Haschert asked Ronda Rousey to this year’s Marine Corps Ball in a video that went viral over the past few weeks.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6H696ZbkXA

Apparently Rousey knew about the invitation but couldn’t accept because training for her fight with Holly Holm conflicted with the event. When the fight was moved to November, she decided to go to the ball but didn’t know how to to contact Haschert.

“Do I call him?” she said in an acceptance video that went viral as well. “Or do I set up a time and place like “Never Been Kissed” and wait until the clock runs out and be like ‘I’m here!'”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWgFpLGriqY

She also said the Marine would have to be on his best behavior and would have to find dates for all her single friends.

“He needs to find dates for my girls,” she said, “and we’ll all go.”

Rousey is undefeated in the UFC with 12 wins. Her last three fights all lasted 34 seconds or less.

NOW: Watch UFC fighters get stomped by Marine Corps martial arts experts

Intel

The Smartest and Most Hilarious Army-Navy Video Shot This Year

Like any genre or series, over the years the Army-Navy game “Spirit Spot” videos have run the gamut in terms of production values, imagination, and humor. This one gets the WATM vote for best one produced this year:


Watch the 2014 Army-Navy game live from MT Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland on CBS at 3 PM EST.

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