Presidential Clemency For Pollard?

NYC Councilman Noach Dear - Jewish Press (NY) - January 5, 2000

Out of sight, out of mind clearly does not apply to Jonathan Pollard. After spending 15 years in a Federal prison on charges of espionage, the fight for Jonathan Pollard's release is both vibrant and ongoing. However, an interesting opportunity to close this tragic chapter in American history has recently appeared from over the horizon.

This opportunity is the potential that President Clinton, in his final months as president, may issue a presidential pardon for Jonathan Pollard. To grasp this possibility of helping set Pollard free, I, along with other notable Jewish figures with access to President Clinton, have directly requested clemency for Pollard from the President.

Over the course of the Clinton presidency, I have spoken and written to the President on many occasions about Jonathan Pollard. It is my personal feeling and the opinion of many others that Jonathan Pollard was unfairly imprisoned and that his sentence of life in prison far exceeds even the most insidious violators of espionage. This year marks the fifteenth year Jonathan Pollard is sitting in prison.

Nevertheless, in my correspondences with President Clinton, he has expressed sympathy and pledged to consider the case with greater scrutiny. Recently, several new matters have come to surface that I hope will give the president more information to mull as he considers clemency. Many of these points are detailed in a recent letter I sent to President Clinton requesting that he strongly consider releasing Pollard.

In my letter. I reminded the president that in September 2000 Jonathan Pollard's new attorneys filed a motion for resentencing because of disturbing new information about the case that had come to light. Until now, all calls for a new trial have been rejected because Pollard's previous representation wasted valuable opportunities that could have led to his release.

While there are many questions surrounding the original case brought against Jonathan Pollard, the most striking point to emerge was recently brought to light in an interview with former KGB chief Vladmir Karyoshkov. When questioned about Pollard and the potential that Israel may have given the Soviet Union information obtained through Pollard, he emphatically stated that, "The KGB never received any information from Israel."

This counters sworn testimony from former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger that Israel shared Pollard's US secrets with the Soviet Union. This allegation is the basis of the Federal case against Pollard.

I hope President Clinton will consider the letter I sent and those from other major Jewish organizations fighting to release Jonathan Pollard. At this crucial time in the ongoing saga of Jonathan Pollard, it is vital that all of us write letters, make phone calls and send e/mail to President Clinton urging him to grant clemency to Jonathan Pollard.

See Also:
  • Councilman Noach Dear Writes to President Clinton
  • Calls for Pollard's Release Page
  • Jewish Unity Page
  • The Court Case 2000 Page