TIME

U.S. Psychologists Group Could Soon Ban Involvement in Terrorism Interrogations

The American Psychological Association is reportedly considering a new ethics policy that could prohibit psychologists from helping to question terror suspects

A national psychologists group could soon adopt new ethics rules that would ban its members from participating in the questioning of terror suspects.

The New York Times reports the board of the American Psychological Association is considering a new ethics policy that would effectively prohibit psychologists from assisting in all national security investigations. A decision on whether or not the group will approve the policy could come as soon as next week.

The potential ban would come in the wake of a report that purported to detail how APA officials worked in collaboration with the Bush Administration to carry out and justify the government’s controversial interrogation program. According to the Times, the change in policy could hinder the Obama administration’s ability to hold and question some individuals suspected of terrorism.

Read more at the New York Times.

TIME National Security

The Life Awaiting Jonathan Pollard After His Release

The convicted spy has a wife he's never been alone with

While it’s confirmed that Jonathan Pollard will indeed get out of prison on Nov. 20, where he will go from there is not at all clear.

He would be more than welcome in Israel, the country he was convicted of spying for in 1987. But the U.S. Parole Commission, which on Tuesday announced approval of his parole after almost three decades, requires that a parolee remain not only in the United States, but in a specific area, and check in regularly with a parole officer. The terms of Pollard’s release requires him to remain in the United States for a total of five years, and his attorneys say they have already secured him accommodation in New York City.

But Pollard’s lead attorney says he’s hopeful an exception will be made in this case. “I think the parole commission will work out what kind of travel terms are permitted,” Eliot Lauer tells TIME. “We haven’t worked that through with them.”

A hero’s welcome is not all that awaits Pollard in Jerusalem. So does the woman he married in prison, and has never seen alone. Pollard’s first wife, Anne, served three years for her role in the espionage case – he proposed with a ring his Israeli handler had offered in payment then was divorced by Pollard in 1990 after her own parole was completed. Three years later Pollard secretly exchanged vows with Esther Zeitz in Butner Federal Correctional Complex in North Carolina. A Canadian, she emigrated to Israel, where they had met during an extended student trip in 1971. She has been an activist for his release, once going on a 19-day hunger strike, but, as the website Jonathanpollard.org plaintively notes, has never been allowed a conjugal visit.

“I can hardly wait,” Esther Pollard said in front of cameras in Jerusalem on Wednesday, after meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “I am counting the days, the hours, the minutes, the seconds until I can take him into my arms and we can close the door on the past behind us, and begin to heal and to rebuild our lives.” She asked for “a bit of privacy, and..to be able to begin to live like normal people, in a quiet and modest life.”

But the Jonathan Pollard sentenced to life in prison almost 30 years ago was not what some might describe as a normal person. The CIA in its “Damage Assessment” of his case outlined a personal history “replete with incidents of irresponsible behavior that point to significant emotional instability.” For example:

“Although Pollard earned a 3.5 grade point average as a Stanford undergraduate from 1972-76, former student acquaintances told investigators that he bragged about his role as a Mossad agent and, on one occasion, waved a pistol in the air and screamed that everyone was out to get him.”

His activity as a spy was not meager; as a civilian analyst employed by U.S. intelligence, prosecutors said he handed over to Israel enough documents to fill a room six-feet wide, by six-feet deep and 10-feet high. The Naval investigator who led the case wrote that Pollard also gave U.S. secrets to South Africa, and Australia, and made overtures to Pakistan.

But he grew religiously observant in prison, and became an Israeli citizen in 1995. Esther Pollard’s voice cracked as she thanked “this whole beloved, beautiful nation that’s stood with us all these years.” Pollard’s lawyer dismissed the notion that he had “transitioned” from American to Israeli during his three decades of incarceration.

“I wouldn’t say there’s been a ‘quote’ transition,” Lauer said. “He’s American. He’s a patriotic American. He violated American law, and he served 30 years for doing so. And obviously he’s very attached to Israel as well.”

Just how attached will become clear when Pollard walks free in the fall.

TIME National Security

Convicted Spy Jonathan Pollard Will Be Released in November

Pollard was sentenced to 30 years in prison for spying for Israel

(WASHINGTON) — Jonathan Pollard, a former Naval intelligence analyst convicted of spying for Israel and passing along a trove of classified documents, has been granted parole and will be released from prison in November after nearly 30 years, his lawyers said Tuesday.

The decision to free Pollard caps an extraordinary espionage case that stoked public passions. Critics condemned the American as a traitor who betrayed his country for money. Supporters argued that he was punished excessively given that he spied for a U.S. ally.

The politically charged matter also surfaced last year during Middle East negotiations and has spurred decades of legal wrangling and periodic efforts to win his release.

Pollard, 60, was sentenced to life in prison in 1987, two years after he was caught trying to gain asylum in the Israeli embassy in Washington.

Under federal sentencing rules in place at the time, he became eligible for parole in November, the 30th anniversary of his arrest. A three-member panel of the U.S. Parole Commission unanimously voted to grant him parole, effective Nov. 21, according to a statement from his attorneys, and the Justice Department did not raise objections to his release.

“We are grateful and delighted that our client will be released soon,” said a statement from the lawyers, Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman.

They said the decision to grant him parole, which followed a July 7 hearing, was “not connected to recent developments in the Middle East” — an apparent reference to a recent nuclear deal that the U.S. struck with Iran and that Israel had bitterly opposed.

White House and other officials have denied that Pollard’s planned release is in any way tied to the Iran nuclear deal. And Israeli officials have said while they would welcome Pollard’s release, it would not ease their opposition to the Iran agreement.

Secretary of State John Kerry, who testified before Congress on the deal on Tuesday, told reporters Pollard’sparole was “not at all” related to the nuclear deal.

The U.S. had previously dangled his release, including during Israel-Palestinian talks last year, when the Obama administration considered the possibility of releasing Pollard early as part of a package of incentives to keep Israel at the negotiating table. As it turned out, the peace effort collapsed despite the Pollard release offer and nothing came of the proposal.

Pollard, 60, has battled health problems in recent years and is being held in the federal prison in Butner, North Carolina.

Had he been denied parole, his lawyers said, Pollard would have been required to serve an additional 15 years in prison. But the Justice Department earlier this month signaled that it would not oppose Pollard’s parole bid.

The attorneys said Pollard was “looking forward to being reunited with his beloved wife Esther.”

The U.S. says Pollard provided reams of sensitive and classified information to Israel, including about radar-jamming techniques and the electronic capabilities of nations hostile to Israel, including Saudi Arabia.

A court statement from then-Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger said Pollard did “irrevocable” damage to the U.S. and had provided the Israelis with more than 800 U.S. classified publications and more than 1,000 classified messages and cables. Portions of the Weinberger document that have been declassified state in part that Pollardadmitted passing to his Israeli contacts “an incredibly large quantity of classified documents” and that U.S. troops could be endangered because of the theft.

“He took an oath to support the constitution of the United States, and he failed it,” said M.E. “Spike” Bowman, the director of Naval Intelligence at the time of Pollard’s arrest. “The fact that he gave it to an ally, that makes absolutely no difference to me. I’m glad that it was an ally rather than the Russians, but what he did makes absolutely no difference.”

___

Associated Press writers Matthew Lee and Deb Riechmann in Washington contributed to this report.

TIME Foreign Policy

Convicted Spy’s Ex-Wife Says Israel Should Fund His Legal Defense

Jonathan Pollard
Karl DeBlaker—AP In this May 15, 1998 file photo, Jonathan Pollard speaks during an interview in a conference room at the Federal Correctional Institution in Butner, N.C.

Jonathan Pollard becomes eligible for parole in November

(JERUSALEM)—The former wife of Jonathan Pollard, an American convicted of spying for Israel, called on the Israeli government to pay for an attorney to facilitate his freedom on Saturday amid international speculation he could be released soon.

Jonathan Pollard was arrested in 1985 as he tried unsuccessfully to gain asylum in Israel’s Washington embassy. Since then, the case has stoked passions and divided opinions in both countries.

Supporters argue that he was punished excessively given that he spied for a country that’s a U.S. ally and point to other cases where spies from less-friendly countries were treated more leniently.

Critics, including prosecutors and government officials, call him a traitor who they say damaged U.S. national security by disclosing a trove of sensitive documents.

He becomes eligible for parole in November, on the 30th anniversary of his arrest on charges of selling classified information to Israel.

This week, there was widespread media speculation that Pollard could be released sooner.

Anne Pollard told Israel’s Channel 2 TV Saturday night that “that there is no official word that Jonathan is being released on any date.”

She said that the Israeli government should fund a budget “so that Jonathan can hire a top, top-notch attorney” for his upcoming parole hearing.

Once he is released he will want to move to Israel “100 percent,” she said, “otherwise nothing would make sense to him.”

“I just want to see him out, I can’t bear it anymore, that he sat and lost all of his life in jail, it’s a crime, it’s such a crime,” she said.

Pollard’s attorney, Eliot Lauer, told The Associated Press on Friday that he hoped his client would be released, but said he had received no commitment from the Obama administration.

Pollard’s release now could be seen as a concession to Israel, which strongly opposed the just-concluded U.S. nuclear deal with Iran. The U.S. has previously dangled his release, including during Israel-Palestinian talks last year.

Pollard’s supporters maintain the information he relayed was material that the U.S. had traditionally shared with the Israelis as part of an intelligence agreement but was being held back.

Advocates throughout the years of his incarceration asserted that he had either been used as a scapegoat or was victim of anti-Semitism.

The affair damaged relations between Israel and the U.S and has been a lingering sore point between the two allies.

Pollard, 60, has battled health problems in recent years and is being held in a North Carolina prison. The Federal Bureau of Prisons website lists his expected release date as November 21.

TIME Hillary Clinton

Officials: Classified Emails ‘Should Never’ Have Been On Hillary Clinton Server

Democratic U.S. presidential hopeful and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to members of the media July 14, 2015 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong— 2015 Getty Images Democratic U.S. presidential hopeful and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to members of the media July 14, 2015 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

"Security referral" triggered by potential copies of classified documents on Clinton's home server, lawyer's thumb drive drive.

The Justice Department investigation into the potential mishandling of classified information was triggered by the revelation that classified information contained in Hillary Clinton’s private email account could still exist on her private home server and on the thumb drive in the control of her personal lawyer, U.S. officials confirmed Friday.

The referral was made by the Intelligence Community’s Inspector General (IC IG) to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s counterintelligence division, not career prosecutors at the Justice Department. “The IC IG did not make a criminal referral,” said the Inspectors General for the State Department and Intelligence Community in a joint statement Friday. “It was a security referral made for counterintelligence purposes.”

The immediate concerns are four emails culled from a limited sample of 400 emails that contained previously unlabeled classified information. “These emails were not retroactively classified by the State Department; rather these emails contained classified information when they were generated and, according to IC classification officials, that information remains classified today,” their statement said. “This classified information should never have been transmitted via an unclassified personal system.”

In response to a records request from the State Department, Clinton has turned over approximately 30,000 work emails that she had stored on her private email server since her time as Secretary of State. She has previously said that those emails contained no classified information. The four emails in question were not properly labeled as classified, according to the inspectors general.

Both inspectors general say they were required to notify the FBI by law once they found that information that should have been marked as classified was found among the former Secretary of State’s emails. Relevant congressional committees were also notified on July 23.

A Department of Justice official confirmed to TIME Friday that, “The Department has received a referral related to the potential compromise of classified information. It is not a criminal referral.”

I. Charles McCullough III, the inspector general for the intelligence community, voiced concerns in a July 23 memo to Congressional lawmakers over the proper handling of information contained in Clinton’s email records. He warned there has already been “an inadvertent release of classified national security information” in a recent release of emails under the Freedom of Information Act, a contention disputed by the State Department.

Andrea Williams, a spokeswoman for McCullough, confirmed that the referral was made to the FBI, in accordance with federal guidelines for the the discovery of the potential compromise of classified information.

In a March news conference, Clinton denied that she used the unsecured account for classified information. “I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email,” she said. “There is no classified material. So I’m certainly well aware of the classification requirements and did not send classified material.”

TIME psychology

What the Jade Helm 15 Conspiracy Theory Reveals About Americans

soldiers-walking
Getty Images

There’s reason to be concerned that paranoia may be on the rise

This month, the U.S. military began combat training exercises in several counties in Texas and other western states. Dubbed “Jade Helm 15,” they’re designed to train soldiers how to operate in civilian areas, as often happens in the Middle East.

But when the government announced that these exercises would take place, a furor erupted, especially in Texas.

Concerns ranged from practical ones (the possibility of the exercises starting wildfires) to more outlandish ones: some called it a smokescreen for the imposition of martial law, while others view the exercises as a means to confiscate guns from citizens, which will set the stage for a military takeover of Texas.

The media, not surprisingly, had a field day: article after article detailed the fear and concerns of a certain sect of Texan citizens, tossing around the terms “conspiracy theorists” and “paranoid” to describe them.

But are those who believe in governmental conspiracies really paranoid, in the clinical sense of the word? And if Jade Helm-like conspiracy theories are on the rise, is this an indication that, as a culture, we’re becoming more paranoid? As I detail in my upcoming book Paranoid: Exploring Suspicion From the Dubious to the Delusional, I believe the answer very well might be “yes.”

What is paranoia, clinically speaking?

The word “paranoia” is often tossed around in the same way that “depression” is. It’s used most often to mean that someone is overly suspicious (or in the case of depression, sad).

Paranoia in a clinical sense, though, refers to a pathological condition in which individuals, without good reason or evidence, consistently believe others are out to get them.

So are Texans who think that martial law is about to be imposed paranoid? Well, to the extent that their fears lack evidence, are rigidly held onto, are not modified by counter-argument, cause them distress and result in anger – then, perhaps, they are. After all, those are some of the classic characteristics seen in paranoid patients.

But you can be wary without being paranoid. Recent revelations regarding the government’s domestic spying will make even the most trusting of us a bit more concerned. There’s a thin line between “Jade Helm is designed to take away our guns” and “it’s designed take away my guns.” The latter belief – the personal one – comes closest to clinical paranoia.

So are we more paranoid?

To many, the Jade Helm conspiracy theory sounds downright delusional. It ranks up there with Area 51’s space aliens and the government’s role in blowing up the twin towers on 9/11.

Those of us old enough to remember the hoopla over Paul McCartney’s purported death realize that such conspiracies theories are nothing new. But the belief in outlandish ideas doesn’t equate to a clinical condition. Thirty percent of us believe in ghosts and 20% believe in witches. Many of us believe in things for which evidence is lacking without being labeled as being mentally ill.

Still, are Jade Helm and other conspiracy theories an indication of a trend toward increased paranoia in our society?

Perhaps. There’s reason to be concerned that paranoia may be on the rise even though data are lacking. And it could be that the realities of modern life are partially to blame.

Each day we face multiple threats to our sense of security and privacy. Security cameras are omnipresent; drones (both government and private) fly overhead. Big as well as small (micro) satellites monitor us from above. Computer hackers steal our information and identities, while the government monitors all our electronic activity. We can be tracked by the cellphones we carry.

Terrorism, while rare on our shores, is a concern for most Americans. Media coverage, which includes reports of prevented terrorist attacks, has become more and more prevalent. While reassuring us that we are thwarting terrorist plots, it also tells us that we live in an unsafe world.

All of these threaten our sense of safety. But is there scientific evidence that these factors have resulted in increased rates of paranoia? Admittedly, no. But there is precedent for environmental factors contributing to increased rates of mental illness.

We can’t help but notice

Fifty years ago, women with a Marilyn Monroe figure were satisfied with their physique, as models and actresses of the era were similarly proportioned. But within a decade, media images of women presented increasingly thinner bodies.

The result was an increase in body dissatisfaction among women and an epidemic of eating disorders that has yet to subside. Women in the 1970s didn’t stop and study images of thin models and actresses. Nonetheless, they’d been exposed to them over and over again on television and billboards, and in magazines and movies.

Similarly, we don’t “study” the security cameras that we see each day, but we do notice them. We’re aware that drones and satellites are overhead even if we can’t see them. We know there are computer hackers out there. Our brains absorb all of this information. And it is making us less trusting and more suspicious. Polls over the last several decades document this phenomenon.

Ominously, polls also indicate increased anger among Americans. I point this out because when paranoia does erupt in violence – like during the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre – it’s often the result of pent-up anger.

As noted, one can be wary but not paranoid. Not every female in the 1970s, ‘80s and ’90s who was dissatisfied with her body developed an eating disorder. Not everybody who is more concerned about security and privacy and less trusting will develop paranoia. But some will undoubtedly slip from wariness to suspicion, from suspicion to paranoia.

So when the good people of Texas wake up to the sight of armed troops in their communities, will some experience paranoia? Yes. And for some people – whether it’s justified or not – the presence of these troops will further erode an already tenuous sense of trust and security.

This article originally appeared on The ConversationThe Conversation

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME National Security

Plan to Close Guantanamo Bay Prison in the Works

Press Secretary Josh Earnest confirmed White House plan to close the prison is being drafted

The Obama Administration is drafting a plan to finally close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, officials said Wednesday, racing against the clock to fulfill a long-delayed promise by President Obama before his time in office runs out.

“The Administration is in the final stages of drafting a plan to safely and responsibly close the prison at Guantanamo Bay and to present that plan to Congress,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday.

Earnest said closing the prison is in the national security interest of the United States.

One of Obama’s first moves as President was to pledge that the prison would close within his first year in office. But he has repeatedly been stymied by opposition from congressional Republicans to transferring or releasing prisoners from the site, which Obama has decried as a propaganda tool for terrorists because of the years suspected militants have spent there without trial.

Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, a longtime proponent of closing the prison, wants to give the Obama Administration an opportunity to potentially do so through the National Defense Authorization Act. Under his plan, Congress would have the ability to review the White House’s plan for closing the prison. In the House, however, Republicans still angry about the exchange of American service member Bowe Bergdahl for Taliban detainees are pushing a plan that would make any attempts to transfer prisoners and close the prison more difficult. The White House, however, has threatened to veto the National Defense Authorization act and says Congress is still impeding efforts to close the prison.

Daphne Eviatar, senior counsel of national security at Human Rights First, said the fact that the White House is working plan could be a good first step, but questions still remain as to whether or not Congress will be able to approve any plan given many members’ opposition to closing the prison. “It’s still within the Administration’s power to do a lot to close the prison,” she said. “[The White House] can’t keep blaming Congress, but Congress also needs to do more. It shouldn’t be this political football anymore.”

There are currently 116 prisoners left in Guantanamo Bay prison, and about 800 men have been detained there since it began holding prisoners more than a decade ago. The American Civil Liberties Union says 51 of those men are still being imprisoned even though the government has cleared them for release.

Christopher Anders, senior legislative counsel at ACLU, said the plan being sent to Congress will constitute no more than an “irrelevant checking of the box.” He added that the president already has the executive authority to make detainee transfers happen without Congress.

“It’s not much different than plans that have already been sent and it’s not going to convince Congress to change its mind,” Anders said. “’Obama should tell the Secretary of Defense to approve the transfer of cleared detainees.”

Anders said the lack of transfers is the “number one obstacle” facing the president and that the Department of Defense is “digging in its heels” on closing the prison.

TIME National Security

U.S. Officials Probe Why Tennessee Shooting Suspect Visited Qatar in 2014

Four Marines and One Sailor Killed In Military Center Shootings In Chattanooga, Tennessee
Handout/Hamilton County Sheriff's Office/Getty Images Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez poses for a mugshot photo after he was was arrested on April 20, 2015, on a DUI offense

Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez also spent seven months in Jordan last year with his family

The chief suspect in the killing of five U.S. service members in Chattanooga, Tenn., on Thursday had traveled to Qatar at least once during a trip to the Middle East in 2014.

The reasons for Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez’s stopover in the Qatari capital Doha or the duration of his stay are still unknown, reports Reuters. Qatar has both native jihadist supporters as well as a U.S. air base.

Counterterrorism officials are also investigating a seven-month trip Abdulazeez took to Jordan in 2014 with his family. Officials are examining whether he became radicalized during this trip, but there is currently no evidence to suggest the 24-year-old had any contact with militant groups or individuals.

Abdulazeez, a Kuwaiti-born naturalized U.S. citizen of Jordanian descent, opened fire at a military recruiting center in Chattanooga on Thursday, before driving to a naval-reserve facility where he shot and killed four Marines. Three people were injured including a sailor who died the following Saturday. Abdulazeez was killed in a subsequent gunfight with law-enforcement officers.

On Monday, an official close to the investigation told Reuters that there was evidence that the suspect could have had access to jihadist propaganda online.

[Reuters]

TIME National Security

Study Says White Extremists Have Killed More Americans in the U.S. Than Jihadists Since 9/11

Wisconsin Community Pays Respects to Sikhs Killed in Shooting Rampage
Darren Hauck—Getty Images Two women hug as community members in Oak Creek, Wisc., pay respects to the six victims in the mass shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin on Aug. 10, 2012

Radical Islamists were also indicted more frequently than non-Muslim extremists and served longer sentences

Since 9/11, white right-wing terrorists have killed almost twice as many Americans in homegrown attacks than radical Islamists have, according to research by the New America Foundation.

In their June study, the foundation decided to examine groups “engaged in violent extremist activity” and found that white extremists were by far the most dangerous. They pointed to the recent Emanuel AME Church shooting in Charleston, S.C., and the 2012 attack on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, as well as many lesser-known attacks on Jewish institutions and on police. They found that 48 people were killed by white terrorists, while 26 were killed by radical Islamists, since Sept. 11.

The study also found that the criminal justice system judged jihadists more harshly than their non-Muslim counterparts, indicting them more frequently than non-jihadists and handing down longer sentences.

See a full breakdown of the numbers here.

TIME National Security

Pentagon Adds U.K. to List of Countries Sent Live Anthrax

anthrax
Getty Images Anthrax Bacterium

68 labs in 19 states and 4 countries mistakenly received shipments

The Pentagon has added one laboratory in the UK and another in Massachusetts to a list of laboratories that recently received shipments of live anthrax samples from a U.S. Army facility.

These shipments may have been the inadvertent result of a quality control oversight at a U.S. Army facility in Utah, Reuters reports. The Dugway Proving Ground facility, which is working with the DoD to research potential bio-weapons, routinely uses radiation to permanently deactivate anthrax spores before sending them, but it is possible for some spores to remain alive through the treatment.

These new shipments bring the total number of laboratories to have received recent live anthrax shipments from Dugway to 68, located in 19 states and 4 countries, including Australia, Canada, South Korea and Britain. The first live sample was identified on the evening of May 27 at a laboratory in Maryland.

This is the second prominent accidental Anthrax scare in recent months; in 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that as many as 75 of its workers had been exposed to a live Anthrax sample after procedures to kill the bacteria were improperly executed.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Pentagon are currently investigating the cause of these recent shipments.

[Reuters]

 

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