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March 31, 1989 - Image 34

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-03-31

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Children of Holocaust
Survivors Association in Michigan

Secretary Dick Cheney:
A Friend Or A Foe?

Annual Event

Honoring Sheldon and Sidney Lutz

WOLF BLITZER

Capitol Correspondent

A

Sheldon M. Lutz

Sidney A. Lutz

Sunday, April 9, 1989
7:00 PM

Movies at Prudential Town Center — Southfield
Special screening of:
HBO's "Murderers Among Us: The Simon Wiesenthal Story"

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day after Jonathan
Jay Pollard was sen-
tenced to life in prison
after pleading guilty to spy-
ing for Israel, then
Republican Rep. Richard
Cheney of Wyoming and a few
other members of the House
Intelligence Committee
received a high-level
classified briefing from the
Central Intelligence Agency.
Cheney, recently named
secretary of defense in the
Bush admiriistration, emerg-
ed from that closed-door ses-
sion to tell reporters that he
did not believe that Pollard
was part of any unauthorized
Israeli operation.
"I don't think it was a rogue
operation," he said on March
5, 1987. "I think it was a ma-
jor, very successful penetra-
tion of the U.S. government
and our intelligence agencies
by the Israeli government."
He said that such behavior
"doesn't behoove an ally," ad-
ding: "I don't think we've
heard the last of it."
Cheney, like other members
of the House panel that day,
had been informed of the ex-
act kind of top secret informa-
tion compiled by Pollard. The
congressman was clearly
angry.
"On the one hand," he said,
"Israel pleads a special rela-
tionship with the United
States, and on the other hand,
they run a major intelligelice
operation against us. There
isn't much they couldn't get if
they asked for it, but they
chose not to do it that way,
and I think the Israeli govern-
ment ought to know that
some of us are deeply concern-
ed about that kind of con-
duct."
But Cheney, even in his
deep anger and frustration,
still insisted that the United
States should not retaliate
against Israel by cutting
economic and military
assistance. "It wouldn't be in
our national interest to
significantly reduce aid levels
just because the Israelis made
a dumb mistake," he said.
Since then, the new defense
secretary has continued to
make clear that he still has a
positive appreciation of
Israel's strategic connection
to the United States. A
political conservative, the
48-year-old Cheney values
Israel's role in bolstering
Western interests in the
eastern Mediterranean.
While still in his mid-30s,

Cheney served as the White
House Chief of Staff under
President Gerald Ford _ . He
worked very closely in those
days with Secretary of State
Henry Kissinger and Na-
tional Security Adviser Brent
Scowcroft. On foreign policy,
Cheney, of course, deferred to
them.
In recent years, he has
become a major player on .
Capitol Hill. Clearly very in-
telligent and politically say-

Dick Cheney:
Voted for arms sales to Arab
nations.

-4

-•

-•

I
vy, he worked his way up the
ladder to become the House
Republican Whip in 1988 —
following a unanimous vote
among his Republican
colleagues.
His popularity was
underlined when Bush
nominated him for defense
secretary. And Cheney's
speedy confirmation hearings
4
were without incident —
unlike former Republican —4
Sen. John Tower of Texas who
had been Bush's first choice se.4
for the job.
Israeli
officials
and
American Jewish political ac-
tivists in Washington have
been scurrying since then in
their efforts to size up
Cheney. Will he prove to be a
friend of Israel at the
Pentagon?
Their assessments, based
on his voting record during 10
years in Congress, are mixed.
He has often voted in favor of
the worldwide foreign aid
package (of which Israel is the
largest individual recipient).
Occasionally, he has found
reason to oppose it. But in ex-
plaining his opposition, he
has not cited the money ap-
propriated for Israel as a
reason.
Cheney has almost always
voted in favor of U.S. arms

-40-1

4

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