Attorneys Demand The New Republic Retract and Apologize
Mr. Peter Beinart
Mr. David Grann
c/o The New Republic
1220 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036
October 11, 2000
Re: Jonathan Pollard
Dear Mr. Beinart and Mr. Grann:
We are attorneys for Jonathan Pollard.
We take strong issue with a statement in Mr. Grann's article The Courtship in the current issue of The New Republic, in which Mr. Grann refers to Mr. Pollard as "a convicted traitor."
In fact, Mr. Pollard has never been charged with or convicted of being a traitor. He was charged with, and pled guilty to, conspiracy to commit espionage. The distinction is significant. Treason entails aiding an enemy of the United States. Mr. Pollard was charged with, and pled guilty to, conspiracy to deliver classified information to the State of Israel, an ally of the United States. He has never aided any enemy of the United States.
The indictment filed against Mr. Pollard by the United States government does not charge him with treason, or with intending to harm the United States. Your reference to him as a "convicted traitor" is totally unfounded.
You may be interested to know that NBC's Tim Russert recently made a similar error during the first Lazio-Clinton debate. After we wrote to him, he made an on-the-air correction on Meet the Press. (Meet the Press, Sept. 17, 2000)
Mr. Pollard's sentencing proceeding was infected with falsehood and distortion, as well as with other fundamental defects, for which we have recently sought redress in the United States District Court. Because fact and not fiction, and truth and not distortion, are essential to correcting the injustice to Mr. Pollard, your deviation from the truth is very troubling.
We demand that you publish prominently in your next issue (hard copy and on-line versions) a public apology and a retraction of the accusation that Mr. Pollard is a "traitor."
Very truly yours,