WASHINGTON (Dec. 15)
The Reagan Administration is limiting its exchange of intelligence with Israel in the wake of the case of Jonathan Pollard.
State Department deputy spokesman Charles Redman conceded this last Friday, noting that the step was taken in the “immediate aftermath” of the arrest of Pollard, a Navy civilian counterintelligence expert, who has been charged with selling secret United States information to Israel.
Redman said that pending a “clear assessment” of how much U.S. security had been compromised, “some discreet limitations were placed on selected intelligence exchanges with Israel.” He added, “this was a logical and prudent step.”
Redman’s statement came after Richard Armitage, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, revealed the restriction on sharing intelligence in an interview in Friday’s New York Times.
“We’re waiting the results of the Pollard fact-finding investigation,” Armitage was quoted as saying. A group of State and Justice Department officials, headed by Abraham Sofaer, the State Department legal advisor, are in Israel to investigate the Pollard case.
Israel and the U.S. have a long record of sharing intelligence information which has been of benefit to both countries.
NO APPARENT LINK OF TWO CASES
Meanwhile, Redman said there was no “apparent” link of the Pollard case with the raid by U.S. Customs agents on Thursday on three companies in a case involving the alleged transfer of hi-tech equipment to Israel.
A customs spokesman identified the campanies as Napco, Terryville, Conn., which allegedly obtained plans for manufacturing 120 mm. tank cannon barrels; Abernathy Lead Construction Co., Eddystone, Pa., which manufactures the barrels for tanks, and the G and B Packing Co., Bayonne, N.J., which allegedly shipped them to Israel.
Customs said that the companies were searched but did not indicate whether anything was seized. No arrests have been made and the investigation is continuing, according to the Customs spokesman.