Now Let's Talk Clemency
New York Post - EXCLUSIVE - September 2, 2000
by Gregg Birnbaum
Convicted spy Jonathan Pollard's wife wrote to Hillary Rodham Clinton
yesterday, seeking a meeting "as soon as possible" to discuss possible
clemency for her husband, The Post has learned.
A "grateful" Esther Pollard contacted Clinton "wife to wife" after The
Post reported Thursday that the Democratic Senate candidate moved to
block Pollard's transfer to a potentially dangerous unit in the federal
prison where he is serving a life sentence.
Mrs. Pollard said Clinton's actions on behalf of her husband
demonstrated for the first time that the first lady cares about his
"It is my hope that, upon further discussion, wife to wife, your
humanitarian concern for the fate of my husband may be publicly
expressed in more specific terms as a concern for judicial equity, due
process and the rule of law, Pollard wrote, referring to the possibility
Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson responded: "We look forward to
discussing this invitation with Mrs. Pollard, or Mr. Pollard's
Mrs. Pollard, who lives in Canada, is in regular telephone contact with
her husband, who is incarcerated at Butner federal prison in North
A former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst who passed military secrets to
Israel, Pollard pleaded guilty to spying and has been behind bars for 15
Israel has admitted Pollard was a spy for the Jewish state and has
sought his freedom. The Pollard case also has become an issue in the
Senate race, where Jewish votes are crucial.
Under a special arrangement because of concerns about his safety,
Pollard has been housed for the past seven years in a small unit used
primarily to house sex offenders.
The Pollard case has become an issue in the Senate race, where Jewish
votes are crucial.
His supporters feared prison officials, for budgetary reasons, were
about to transfer him to a unit housing more-violent inmates, and that
Pollard might face attack.
Mrs. Pollard, who declined to discuss the letter, said in it that she
was disturbed the issue of her husband being moved within the prison had
"If a silver lining is to be found, perhaps it is that I am aware for
the first time of your humanitarian interest in my husband's welfare,"
she wrote to Clinton.
Pollard's supporters, including state Assemblynian Dov Hikind
(D-Brooklyn), have urged Clinton to support clemency for Pollard,
arguing his sentence is much harsher than terms other spies have
Esther Pollard's Letter to Hillary Clinton
Hillary Pulls Strings for Pollard
Jonathan Pollard Letter to Israeli Official
Pollard's Wife Seeks Help of First Lady
Senate Race page