Enough is Enough!
Let Jonathan Pollard Go!
by Noach Dear - August 20, 1999
The author is a New York City Councilman.
In 1986 Jonathan Pollard was charged with informing Israel about the danger to the country from Syria and Iraq. His punishment: Life in prison. In comparison: no other person passing information to a U.S. ally has served more than 10 years in prison. The average sentence for this type of crime is four years.
No one in this country condones what Mr. Pollard did. However, enough is enough! For the last 14 years, Pollard has been in a maximum security prison (seven years in solitary confinement), a term that is historically excessive for passing classified information to an ally, without intent to harm the United States -
there was no charge of treason. Pollard has served enough time and he has adequately paid for his crime. The overwhelming consensus of the Jewish community is that he should be released.
Here are the facts regarding Jonathan Pollard's case:
- Jonathan Pollard never had a trial. At the request of both the U.S. and Israeli governments, he entered into a plea agreement, which spared both governments a long, difficult, expensive and potentially embarrassing trial.
- Despite his plea bargain, Pollard received a life sentence and a recommendation that he never be paroled. This was in complete violation of the plea agreement he had reached with the government.
- Pollard was never indicted for harming the United States, or for compromising codes, agents, or war plans;
- Pollard was never charged with treason; and
- No one else, other than Jonathan Pollard, in the history of the United States has received a life sentence for passing classified information to an ally.
To point out further mistreatment of Pollard, his receiving medical attention is, to say the least difficult. On a recent visit to Duke Medical Center for a CAT Scan -
a visit that took many years for approval - Pollard was transported in a convoy of three armed vehicles and accompanied by 11 Special Operations guards in full combat gear, including helmets, bulletproof vests and machine guns. Was this necessary?
Something is missing from the puzzle - why has Pollard been in prison for 14 years? Why does he continue to be singled out to be subjected to such treatment? These are the six-million dollar questions many of our elected officials in Washington need to answer.
- As I said before, enough is enough!
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