CONGRESSIONAL LETTER CALLS FOR POLLARD CLEMENCY

Jonathan Jay Pollard, the former civilian Naval intelligence analyst who pleaded guilty to spying for Israel, was sentenced to life in prison in 1987. According to Ian Williams' article in the July/Aug. 1993 Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, (see link below): "although Pollard insists he was motivated by concern for Israeli security, he was paid (and is still being paid) a handsome salary by the Israeli government. His Israeli handlers also provided gifts and trips to Europe for Pollard and his wife, Anne. The severity of Pollard's sentence was based on secret testimony by [then-Defense Secretary] Caspar Weinberger, who is on record as saying that Pollard was lucky--he should have received three life sentences. Pollard provided Israeli intelligence with more than 1,000 classified U.S. documents, some consisting of hundreds of pages, comprising overall some 360 cubic feet of paper.

"According to American investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, Pollard sold information on nuclear targets in the Soviet Union to Israel. U.S. defense sources suggest that what caused the most bitter anger against Pollard in the Pentagon and throughout the American intelligence community was the fact that the information compromised human agents in the Soviet Union and elsewhere. U.S. intelligence sources have concluded that the Israeli government bartered this information to the Soviet Union."

Until 1998 Israel publicly denied that Pollard was an Israeli spy--even though it granted him citizenship in 1995.

The most recent salvo in the relentless campaign to release Pollard is a letter circulated by Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) and signed by more than 30 Democratic members of the (U.S) House of Representatives calling on President Barack Obama to grant clemency to the confessed spy. Please contact the members of Congress who signed the letter reprinted below to express your opinion on their advocacy for someone who has done incalculable damage to this country. Express your appreciation to members of Congress who did not sign, and urge them to resist pressure from their Israel-first colleagues. And write President Obama to register your disapproval of this letter, which was written in coordination with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, National Council of Young Israel, B'nai B''''rith International, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, the Zionist Organization of America, Agudath Israel, and former presidential candidate Gary Bauer, a Christian Zionist whose non-profit organization "American Values" seems to be more concerned with Israel than the United States.

November 18, 2010

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

We write to urge you to use your constitutional power to extend clemency to Jonathan Pollard, thereby releasing him from prison after the time he has already served. Mr. Pollard committed serious crimes and he has expressed remorse. Such an exercise of the clemency power would not in any way imply doubt about his guilt, nor cast any aspersions on the process by which he was convicted. Those who have such views are of course entitled to continue to have them, but the clemency grant has nothing to do with that.

We believe that there has been a great disparity from the standpoint of justice between the amount of time Mr. Pollard has served and the time that has been served -- or not served at all -- by many others who were found guilty of similar activity on behalf of nations that, like Israel, are not adversarial to us. It is indisputable in our view that the nearly twenty-five years that Mr. Pollard has served stands as a sufficient time from the standpoint of either punishment or deterrence.

In summary, we see clemency for Mr. Pollard as an act of compassion justified by the way others have been treated by our justice system. We urge you to use the clemency power in this case.

Sincerely,

  1. Barney Frank (D-MA)
  2. Gary L. Ackerman (D-NY)
  3. Robert E. Andrews (D-NJ)
  4. Shelley Berkley (D-NV)
  5. Robert A. Brady (D-PA)
  6. Danny Davis (D-IL)
  7. Theodore E. Deutsch (D-FL)
  8. Eliot L. Engel (D-NY)
  9. John J. Hall (D-NY)
  10. James A. Himes (D-CT)
  11. Maurice D. Hinchey (D-NY)
  12. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX)
  13. Patrick J. Kennedy (D-RI)
  14. John Lewis (D-GA)
  15. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY)
  16. Michael E. McMahon (D-NY)
  17. Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY)
  18. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)
  19. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)
  20. John W. Olver (D-MA)
  21. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ)
  22. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ)
  23. Donald M. Payne (D-NJ)
  24. Charles B. Rangel (D-NY)
  25. Laura Richardson (D-CA)
  26. Janice D. Schakowsky (D-IL)
  27. Robert C. "Bobby" Scott (D-VA)
  28. Brad Sherman (D-CA)
  29. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS)
  30. Edolphus Towns (D-NY)
  31. Niki Tsongas (D-MA)
  32. Henry A. Waxman (D-CA)
  33. Anthony Weiner (D-NY)

FOR MORE INFORMATION: 


Jerusalem Post, Nov. 19, 2010: www.jpost.com/home/article.aspx?id=195988>;

Ian Williams, "A Tale of Two Spies," July/August 1993 Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, p. 13: http://www.wrmea.org/component/content/article/149-1993-july-august/7255-a-tale-of-two-spies.html

Paul Findley, "Clinton Under Pressure to Grant Clemency to Pollard," June 1993 Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, p. 15: http://www.wrmea.org/component/content/article/148-1993-june/7215-clinton-under-pressure-to-grant-clemency-to-pollard.html