Jonathan Pollard Denied Parole on False Charges; US Officials Slam Decision
Letter to Obama reveals false charge against Pollard used to deny parole
The Jewish Voice [NY] - November 26, 2014
As Jonathan Pollard enters his 30th year of a life sentence this week, breaking news that the U.S. administration has prevented the release of Jonathan Pollard on parole prompted eight former senior U.S. officials to make public a copy of their letter to President Obama which strongly protests "the unjust denial of parole to Jonathan Pollard," and reveals that the U.S. Government used a false charge against Pollard to deny him parole.
The letter was signed exclusively by those officials who have first-hand knowledge of the case and who are fully familiar with the classified file. They include:
Amb. R. James Woolsey - Former Director of the CIA
- Senator Dennis DeConcini - Former Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee
- Senator David F. Durenburger - Former Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee
- Robert C. MacFarlane - Former U.S. National Security Advisor
- Lawrence J. Korb - Former Assistant U.S. Secretary of Defense
- Prof. Angelo Codevilla - Former Senate Intelligence Committee Staff
- Congressman Lee Hamilton - Department of Homeland Security Advisor to President Obama and Former Chair of the Select
- Committee on Intelligence
- Bernard W. Nussbaum - Former White House Counsel
The letter strongly criticizes the parole process as "deeply flawed" and declares that "[t]he Parole Commission Decision document mischaracterizes Mr. Pollard's actions and makes a patently false claim upon which it bases its denial of parole."
The letter explains that the "patently false claim" is the U.S. government's allegation that "Mr. Pollard's espionage was the greatest compromise of US security to that date." This claim, say the officials, "is false and is not supported by any evidence in the public record or the classified file." They note that nevertheless this "fiction" was the reason given by the Parole Commission for denying parole.
The officials further note that at hearing, the U.S. government relied heavily on the 28-year-old discredited Weinberger document, which Pollard's security-cleared attorneys were denied access to, and which the Parole Commission was not cleared to review. The Commission was aware, they write, that in 2002, Weinberger himself had discounted the document as politically motivated.
They also point out that the Commission ignored a wealth of documentary evidence which mitigated in favor of Pollard's release; and that the Commission also ignored all of the recommendations by top level officials with first-hand knowledge of the case, which call for his unconditional release (parole is conditional).
They express dismay at the fact that the Commission also ignored all compassionate grounds for Pollard's release, and ignored Pollard's record as a model prisoner for 3 decades.
The parole process now joins the long list of failed legal processes that have denied justice to Jonathan Pollard for nearly 3 decades. The officials note that it is clearly for cases like this that the U.S. Constitution grants the president virtually unlimited powers of clemency.
The letter to Obama concludes with a severe admonition and calls for the immediate commutation of Pollard's sentence to time served:
"Denying a man his freedom based on a claim of damage that is patently false while ignoring exculpatory documentary evidence and hiding behind a veil of secret evidence is neither fair nor just nor is it the American way...We urge you to act expeditiously to commute Mr. Pollard's life sentence to the 29 years which he has already served."
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See Also: Letter by 8 Senior US Officials Slamming the unjust denial of parole to Jonathan Pollard