House Says Pollard No Longer Threat
Middle East Newsline - June 21, 2012
WASHINGTON [MENL] -- A senior House member has asserted that U.S. Navy
analyst Jonathan Pollard, imprisoned since 1985, was no longer a threat to
Rep. Robert Andrews, a New Jersey Democrat, has urged President Barack
Obama to free Pollard, who has served 27 years of a life sentence for
relaying classified information to Israel. Andrews, a member of the House
Armed Services Committee, told Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder that
Pollard no longer possesses any classified information of use to a foreign
"If Mr. Pollard were released today he would pose no threat to national
security and any intelligence that he once possessed is undoubtedly
irrelevant 27 years later," Andrews said.
The letter to Obama came amid a campaign in Congress to lobby for
Pollard's release. Scores of House and Senate members have signed a letter
to Obama calling for the release of Pollard, said to have served more time
than anybody else convicted of a similar offense. Over the last 25
years, Egyptian and Saudi defendants charged with relaying U.S. defense
secrets have been sentenced to as little as two years in prison.
"Commutation will not grant him pardon for his actions rather it will
recognize that he has served more than ample time for his crime," Andrews
said. "I urge you to seriously consider this case and decide to commute
Jonathan Pollard's life sentence to time-served."
Andrews, a House member since 1990, cited support for Pollard's release
by former CIA director James Woolsey, Senate Select Committee on
Intelligence chairman Dennis DeConcini and former Secretary of State Henry
Kissinger. The letter, dated June 13, said Pollard was not given a trial and
cited the rejection of a plea bargain deal for a 10-year sentence by the
presiding judge. Obama, despite a plea earlier this month by Israeli
President Shimon Peres, has not responded to the Pollard campaign.
"The length of this sentence is unprecedented as the median sentence for
passing classified intelligence to an ally is between two and four years,"
Andrews said. "In fact, Mr. Pollard has served even longer than many who
have been convicted of spying for enemies of the United States."
JUSTICE FOR JONATHAN POLLARD
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