Pollard talk ‘a sign of desperation’?

Former CIA Director Michael Hayden on Sunday criticized Secretary of State John Kerry for using jailed Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard as a bargaining chip in Mideast peace negotiations with the Israelis.

Last week, reports surfaced that Kerry was considering offering up the civil naval intelligence analyst as an incentive to keep Israel in peace talks with the Palestinians.

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According to The New York Times, the U.S. government would release Pollard, who was convicted of spying for Israel in the 1980s, and Israel would release hundreds of Palestinian prisoners and slow the construction of its settlements in the West Bank.

Hayden slammed Kerry’s reported decision to include Pollard’s release in negotiations.

It’s “almost a sign of desperation that you would throw this into the pot in order to keep the Israelis talking with the Palestinians,” he said.

The move could send a complicated message about other people believed to have spied on the U.S., Hayden said, including Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked information about controversial U.S. surveillance programs.

While the State Department would be talking about Pollard, the U.S. people “would be hearing Snowden and they would believe that this … could actually be politically negotiated,” he said.