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Officer regrets using Pollard as spy

JERUSALEM, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- The Israeli intelligence officer who used Jonathan Pollard to spy on the U.S. Navy in the 1980s now says the mission was a mistake, reports the Jerusalem Post.

In an interview Rafi Eitan, now Israel's senior affairs minister, said, "I gave my opinion to the Americans that I made a mistake but that Israel was in dire straits, which makes people do things beyond what is permitted."

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Eitan said, "It is likely that we could have gotten the same information without him."

Pollard reportedly gave Israel crucial information about its enemies that the United States was withholding.

Eitan told the newspaper his country could and should have legally obtained the information.

Eitan said he did not know what could be done to secure Pollard's freedom.

Pollard's wife was quoted as saying, "There has been an on-going treacherous complicity between Rafi Eitan and successive governments of Israel, which more than any other factor, is what is keeping Jonathan in prison."

She rejected Eitan's claim the information could have been obtained without Pollard, saying if the Israeli government could have gotten it legitimately then it would have done so without risking using a spy in Washington.

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