Pollard, a civilian intelligence analyst for the U.S. Navy, began passing classified information to an Israeli Air Force Colonel. As payment, he received $10,000 cash along with a diamond and sapphire ring.
Pollard also agreed to receive $1,500 per month for further espionage. It has also been alleged that Pollard sold classified information to South Africa and made several attempts to sell classified information to Pakistan.
Here at TopSecretWriters, we recently covered Pollard’s background and the circumstances surrounding his spying for Israel.
Now, in addition to the recent statements by John McCain that Pollard should be released, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is also supporting the release of Pollard.
Henry Kissinger Says Release Jonathan
He does not mix words about it. In a March 3rd letter, Kissinger wrote, “I believe justice would be served by commuting the remainder of Pollard’s sentence of life imprisonment.” This letter was released by a Public Relations firm that has been lobbying for Pollard’s release for some time.
In the same letter, Kissinger cites quite a few big political names that helped him make his decision:
. . . having talked with [former Secretary of State] George Shultz and read the statements of former CIA Director [R. James] Woolsey, former Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman [Dennis] DeConcini, former Defense Secretary [Caspar] Weinberger, former Attorney General [Michael] Mukasey and others whose judgments and first-hand knowledge I respect, I find their unanimous support for clemency compelling.
However, what he fails to mention is that there are many more in American politics who are adamantly opposed to Pollard’s release.
In Opposition of Pollard’s Release
When he was in office, Former CIA Director George Tenet threatened to quit when the Clinton administration considered the request. In agreement with Tenet’s sentiment is former FBI and Navy lawyer M.E. “Spike” Bowman.
In an article published in the journal of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers, Bowman contends that he is against Pollard’s release because he was so close to the case and understands, “the scope of Pollard’s disclosures, or the misuses of those disclosures, and the damage they did to our own operations and sources.”
However, the pressure to release Pollard is mounting as more in Washington are weighing in on the matter.
It has already been reported that former Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee at the time of Jonathan Pollard’s sentencing; Lawrence J. Korb, assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration; former Clinton White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum and former Deputy Attorney General and Harvard Law Professor Philip Heymann all support the former spy’s release.
Both Sides Form Ranks
In November 2010, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) led a coalition of Democrats who stated that Pollard’s release would be an “affirmation of the strong commitment the U.S. has to Israel.” This past February a group supporting Pollard ran an ad on Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC with quotes, audio, and even video clips of many Washington politicians calling for his release.
Most recently, on March 10th , Senator John McCain expressed his support for Pollard’s release. The statement was made during a phone call with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and was later reported by Netanyahu.
The Prime Minister has been publicly calling for Pollard’s release since January 2011. Thus far, the White House is remaining firm on it’s position about Pollard; the request will be discussed, but “it is important to underscore that Mr. Pollard was convicted of some of the most serious crimes that anybody can be charged with.”
However, those supporting Pollard state that his punishment does not fit the crime. They cite that there have been others who have served less time for committing more serious crimes. On the other hand, those opposed to Pollard’s release state that he committed an act of treason and should be punished accordingly.Originally published on TopSecretWriters.com