Assemblyman Sam Colman's Open Letter To Senator Lieberman

"...I feel very strongly that you owe me and the entire Jewish community an explanation... why do you advocate for his remaining in prison? Don't you understand that Pollard was arrested as an American but punished as a Jew?..." Assemblyman Sam Colman

[See Justice4JP Note following the letter.]

Hon. Joseph Lieberman
United States Senator
706 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

March 8, 2000

Dear Senator Lieberman,

I am writing to you on a matter of grave importance to the Jewish community.

I recently met with Hillary Clinton when she attended a closed-door meeting in Albany with New York State Legislators. Many topics were discussed and she was asked to state her position on Jonathan Pollard. Ms Clinton was knowledgeable about Jonathan Pollard's situation and understands that he was punished far more severely than anyone else was for the same or similar crime. She also understands that NO ONE would knowingly accept a plea-bargain for the maximum sentence and would instead opt to go to trial.

The focal Jewish position was also enunciated to Ms. Clinton. She stated that although she is open-minded on the subject of Jonathan Pollard

she is not taking a position

because it is not a one-sided issue and

because Senator Lieberman

, a Jew,

is against his release


Senator Lieberman, you are the highest ranking elected Jewish office holder in the country and, even though we (non-Connecticut residents) didn't elect you, you apparently do speak on our behalf.

As such, I feel very strongly that you owe me and the entire Jewish community an explanation. How can you justify your position? We are all critics of Jonathan Pollard's actions but why do you advocate for his remaining in prison? Don't you understand that he was arrested as an American but punished as a Jew? Jonathan was denied due justice and was never given a trial. We have been subjected to innuendo and whispering about treason for the past 15 years and yet his crime does not fit that legal definition.

I am familiar with the argument that the Jewish community is expending too much energy on behalf of Pollard - that it's not worth it and that he should be allowed to rot in jail - other issues are more important to the Jewish community. I disagree however, believing that you cannot fight for the concept of justice while condoning injustice to an individual. You cannot fight to eliminate world hunger while allowing your own family to starve. You cannot love humanity and hate your neighbors. The fight for universal good has to start with our family, our neighbors etc.

We need to understand fully what crimes Jonathan Pollard perpetrated that warrant a continued life sentence and justify his being tricked into accepting a false plea bargain. We need to know what information you have that supports your recently writing a letter to the President urging him to keep Jonathan Pollard in prison. If you cannot explain your position and if you have no justification, then you must immediately change your position and ask the President to release Jonathan Pollard.

I hope you will consent to reply publicly to all these concerns.


Sam Colman
Member of Assembly

Justice4JP Note:

Senator Lieberman has never been willing - publicly or privately - to disclose the reasons for his opposition to the release of Jonathan Pollard. Instead, hiding behind a veil of "secrecy" he has been the willing tool of the CIA in furthering its efforts to use the Pollard case to call into question both the reliability of Israel as an ally, and the loyalty of the American Jewish community.

Informed Washington sources speculate that Lieberman's position on the Pollard case is driven by his political aspirations, and not by any "secret information" he professes to know. Indeed, there is no "secret information" that could ever outweigh the need to assure equal justice and judicial fairness for all Americans. Nevertheless in his high profile role as self-professed "orthodox Jew", Lieberman's relentless anti-Pollard stance allows him to present himself as "more Catholic than the Pope." A recent article in the NY Forward (March 10, 2000) describes Senator Lieberman as a Vice Presidential hopeful, reinforcing the speculation that his anti-Pollard stance is strictly self-serving.

The fact that Hillary Clinton has - to date - chosen to ignore the judicial inequities of the Pollard case, to spurn the call for equal justice made by the New York City Council and all of New York's top Democrats, and to hide behind Senator Lieberman's self-serving anti-Pollard stance, speaks volumes.

See Also:

  • Senate Race Page
  • Hillary Spurns Top N.Y. Democrats
  • One in 60 - A Wake Up Call to Senator Lieberman
  • Return to Lieberman page