TEL AVIV – Convicted Israeli spy and former adult film star Jonathan Pollard was released from U.S. custody today and repatriated abroad, the State Department has confirmed, but an apparent mix-up had him accidentally sent to the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Pollard pleaded guilty in 1987 of stealing more than 360 cubits of classified documents from the United States and selling them to Israel — America’s greatest and most loyal ally ever — which held onto all the documents because that’s what best friends do.
He later admitted he’d chosen Israel solely out of a moral obligation to its people, but also after he failed to sell classified material to Pakistan, South Africa, Taiwan, Argentina, Australia, his Iranian neighbor, and Candyland.
Pollard’s release comes after months of tortuous shuttle diplomacy by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Kerry, whose hard-hitting negotiating style has razed peace expectations in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, personally flew in to Tel Aviv to deliver the good news to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
According to the State Department, Netanyahu had originally demanded the unconditional release of Pollard as part of Israel’s peace negotiations with the Palestinians. He also demanded the release of other conscientious whistleblowers Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen. However, after hard bargaining by Kerry, Netanyahu ultimately settled on a one-for-one exchange trading Pollard for Israeli scientist Mordechai Vanunu.
Kerry even threw in the bodies of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg as a bonus.
In a goodwill gesture, Kerry insisted that Pollard’s release be implemented swiftly, boding well for future peace negotiations. He then fled from the rooftop of the American embassy in a helicopter to escape yet another unwinnable quagmire.
At that point, Pollard was supposed to have been flown out of North Carolina on a plane specially-chartered by the Office of Naval Intelligence, which handles sensitive flights of this nature.
However, there appears to have been some confusion at the ONI. Instead of landing at Ben-Gurion International Airport in Israel, Pollard was somehow unceremoniously dumped onto the tarmac at Imam Khomeini International Airport in Iran.
ONI director Rear Admiral Elizabeth Train blamed the similarity of the names, pointing out that both are called “international airports.”
Upon landing in Tehran, Pollard was received by a special welcoming committee from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and was whisked away for what they laughingly called a “thorough debriefing.”