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No more dual citizenships?

Reader comment on item: The FBI Fumbles [on Gamal Abdel-Hafiz]

Submitted by Adam Burczyk (United States), Mar 14, 2003 at 16:36

If true, the Abdel-Hafiz story reveals an internal conflict between a duty to the United States, and a duty to the people of Islam, or to the religious precepts of Islam.

But there are countless examples of an agent or officer of the United States burdened by similar divided allegiances, and not all of them resulted in mere dereliction of duty -- some resulted in outright espionage and sabotage.

Take the sordid case of Jonathan Jay Pollard, a US Navy intelligence officer who was duly convicted of spying on the United States, on behalf of Israel, an otherwise loyal ally. Pollard is serving life in prison for passing tens of thousands of pages of classified US information -- satellite phots, weapons systems data, and more -- to the Israelis, before he was sentenced in 1987. The man who prosecuted Pollard, Joseph diGenova, says that "Pollard ranks among the four most serious cases of national security damage in the history of this country."

I would argue AGAINST claiming Pollard's Jewishness drove the damage he did to our national security. Rather, it was Pollard's subjective sense of being a "dual citizen" of two countries, United States and Israel, that rationalized his actions.

Or take Robert Philip Hanssen, an FBI counterintelligence officer who is called the most damaging spy in United States history. His complex, multifaceted divided allegiances, to the United States on one hand, and, in any order, to money, to the Roman Catholic Church, or to the Soviet Union.

So it's important for the United States to ensure, on both an official and on an unofficial basis, that ALL of its agents or officers, regardless of race, religion, and national origin, are not divided in their allegiances, between the United States, and any other political, ideological, or religious organization.

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