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August 28, 2014 / 2 Elul, 5774
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Time To Let Jonathan Pollard Go

Jonathan Pollard’s long incarceration has taken its toll and he is now seriously ill. While he is not the first inmate to suffer in this manner, most are given consideration for compassionate early release. It in no way diminishes the severity of his crimes to suggest he should be sent home. His sentence was Draconian, as attested to by a growing number of former senior federal officials, including several from Congress and the intelligence community.

In this connection, we were disappointed that retiring Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman, who in the past pointedly refused to get involved with the issue, still does not seem interested – this despite his call for Congress to have “mercy” on United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, who has been heavily criticized for her statements after the Benghazi attack. The circumstances are obviously very different but we were struck, nevertheless, by his compassion for Ms. Rice, which stands in such stark contrast to his disinterest in Mr. Pollard’s plight.

Several years ago his Senate colleague, New York’s Charles Schumer, said in an interview after being asked about his reported review of the classified Pollard case file:

Pollard should have been punished, he spied on the United States. But the sentence he received is disproportionate. When I got the top-secret briefing you alluded to, it didn’t teach me anything that I didn’t know from open sources.

Sen. Lieberman once told an interviewer that he had had “a classified briefing” in the matter and noted that “Pollard did some terrible things” – though he also acknowledged that “he’s been in a long time…but if you’re asking if I’m going to get involved, no.” When pressed further he said,

He’s been in a very long time. Our system of justice unfortunately sometimes produces results like this. Two people, even in the same state, can both be charged with murder and convicted of murder. One gets a life sentence for some reason and maybe that is commuted to 25 years; the other gets executed. I mean, that’s just the way it is.”

Mr. Lieberman’s words speak for themselves.

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5 Responses to “Time To Let Jonathan Pollard Go”

  1. Hannah Sealine Bacharach says:

    Let's give credit, where credit is due. Don't forget Lieberman's 1999 letter to then-president clinton urging him not to grant Pollard clemency. Yes- he DID get involved. Thanks in good part to him, Pollard remained in prison. This kind of involvement Pollard does NOT need. (At this point, Lieberman has a lot more to repent, than Pollard.)

  2. Pollard sold out his country and got LIFE. Why should he be pardoned or his sentence commuted? I don't hear you beating that drum for any other prisoner. You state as fact that he is "seriously ill", however the only source for that is the woman who claims to be his wife.

  3. way, way *past* time to let JP go …

  4. Hannah Sealine Bacharach says:

    He should be pardoned, or have his sentence commuted because his sentence is harsher than those who committed more serious offenses. I'm pretty sure that isn't justice.

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