Understanding "Clinton Promises To Consider Pardon For Pollard" [Jlem Post 12/14/00]

Justice4JP Release - December 14, 2000

In response to requests for clarification of the news item "Clinton Promises To Consider Pardon For Pollard" [JLEM POST 12/14/00], Justice4JP would like to point out that the Post article appears to be conveying to its readers a more positive and confident assertion than was conveyed by the New York Times item that it cited as its source.

The exact quote in the New York Times (12/13/00) upon which the Post item was based is:

"Administration officials said Prime Minister Ehud Barak of Israel raised the issue with President Clinton on Monday, and the president essentially restated the official position on the matter, telling Mr. Barak he would review the issue along with other clemency requests."

A fair reading of the above quote indicates that Mr. Clinton's attitude to Mr.Barak was largely dismissive. According to the NY Times version, President Clinton merely "restat[ed] the official position". Furthermore, according to the NY Times version, Clinton belittled Barak's request by informing him that it would get no special consideration but would be considered along with "[all the] other clemency requests".

Here is the Post's version, based on the above quote:

Clinton Promises To Consider Pardon For Pollard
Jerusalem Post - December 14, 2000

US President Bill Clinton has said he would consider a request for pardon for convicted Israeli spy Jonathon Pollard along with requests for pardon for other prisoners." The New York Times reports the US leader made the statement in a conversation with Prime Minister Ehud Barak earlier this week.

In response, the Prime Minister's Office said, '"The Pollard issue is being dealt with constantly on a discrete basis."

US presidents grant a number of pardons to prisoners at the end of their terms.

Justice4JP does not endorse either version of this report. Rather, Justice4JP takes this opportunity to remind supporters to read all such reports with a grain of salt. For example, even the response of the Prime Ministers Office cited by the Post above, needs to be understood for what it is: namely a good sound-byte to describe the fact that Prime Minister Barak is content to make meaningless, routine requests for Pollard that absolutely no one takes seriously.

Justice4JP reminds all readers that when there is serious intent to secure the release of Jonathan, first you will see it, then you will read about it. All media reports of Jonathan Pollard's impending release before it actually occurs, should be treated with scepticism and regarded as politcally-motivated headlines. For the most accurate up to date information on the Pollard case, see the Justice4JP web site.