Skip to comments.Esther Pollard Appeals to Obama for Her Husbandís Release
Posted on 06/04/2009 9:39:21 AM PDT by Avi Kane
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“...some people say it’s a miscarriage of justice...”
That claim can be made within our judicial system because our system takes such precautions to rightfully make the government prove it’s case to a high state of probability.
However, specifically in this case, one of critical spying and intelligence methods, every government will have security protocols that are going to come out of high ranking government officials. So, the defense claim is nearly guaranteed due to national security.
A defense claim of “release the classified documents” so I can defend myself is almost prerequisite in any spying case. It’s also certain that the documents won’t be released. Everything I’ve read on this case points to not just the highest security classifications but executive intervention to protect national security. I haven’t seen anything that supports the claim that there has been declassification of ALL of the information.
Just as the Bush Admin, imo, rightfully waterboarded/tortured high level terrorists to protect the nation...there are circumstances where unique intervention in a national security spying case gets intervention.
Civil Rights and Libertarian complaints aside, sometimes you have to trust your government. I’m sure you’re aware that Israel does the same thing and probably to a greater extent due to their precarious and vulnerable position in the Middle East.
This tension has played out throughout American history - between total freedom and limits on that freedom, as it does in other countries.
>>Im tempted to believe that Theodore Olson wouldnt have represented him for years if he didnt believe he was denied justice.
Oh, come on, you really believe that.
Lawyers do it for the money.
Who paid Olson’s fees? Only if he did it pro bono would his representation mean anything else.
In general I’d a agree with you, but Ted Olson is a political animal, and it’s odd to go from representing Ronald Reagan in Iran-Contra. But he represented Wen Ho Lee too, so maybe spies interest him. I wouldn’t base a decision either way on Olson’s presence, his interest could be primarily a function of the unusual legal issues.
Well right now Olson’s involved in litigation to overturn the voter ban on homosexual marriage in California.
Anyway, don’t think the Pollard issue works to the benefit of Israel or the American Jewish community.
Let bygones be bygones, let sleeping dogs lie.
Easy for me to say, eh.
But part of the reason for the book being thrown at him was specifically that a friend, Israel, had been running such an OP against its best friend and benefactor.
I think there was tremendous anger in the Defense and Intelligence state organs of America against both Pollard and Eitan.
Pollard (among others) should have hanged, and I’d be happy to urinate on his grave.
Not really, attorneys (and judges) have necessary security clearances, and when necessary proceedings are non-public. You may recall discussions of the process relative to GITMO trials. In any case, that’s no longer an issue, the information in the letter is declassified, there’s no reason not to declassify the letter, certainly no reason not to let his attorneys read it. As I understand it the primary legal issues revolve around the fact that he was presumably sentenced based on the letter, the content of which was in all liklihood unrelated to the crime he plead guilty to. The fact that other than 60 seconds in the courtroom, neither he nor his attorneys know what the basis of his sentencing was, thus were unable to contest the facts. And the fact that his attorney “forgot” to file his appeal, thus it was denied. A decision (not to get an appeal) upheld 2-1 on appeal. It may not be a miscarriage, we can’t know, but the system was clearly abused. I’ll note if he’d received the death penalty as many suggest, he’d have gotten his appeal.
>>Ill note if hed received the death penalty as many suggest, hed have gotten his appeal.
Ah, now the sentence makes sense. No one wanted any more dirty laundry aired.
There's another one who should have been treated to a short rope and a long drop.
Yes, but we don’t execute people much any more.
“We” were sure in a hurry to get rid of Timothy McVeigh ...
This is a tangent, of course, but I still wonder what he knew, and who wanted to silence that knowledge.
I am an Okie. The bombing shook my windows. I remember there was a John Doe #3, local news described as middle eastern, mentioned in the first few days, then silence about him. I have said all along that killing McVeigh was a mistake. Only if a cover-up was going on, would it make sense to get rid of him. author Jayna Davis has written a book about this, tho I have not read it. Yet.
“Why inject anti-simitism into Pollards treason? How does this apply for his spying for Pakistan and South Africa?”
Because Pollard is Jewish.
“BTW, rather than reducing Pollards sentence because others got lighter sentences, why not seek similar just sentences for others found guilty of treason against the US?”
I’m for that, but you have to announce it in advance. You can’t just arbitrarily and capriciously do it. Nor can you, of course, re-sentence someone already in prison to a harsher sentence.
“Someone mentioned to me that the damage Pollard caused was worse that Ames, Jannsen, the Walker Family and others COMBINED.”
Maybe, maybe not. A couple of things:
1. It appears that Weinberger relied upon an analysis of this case by Aldrich Ames. Gee, might there be something wrong with that?
2. 24 years have gone by since Pollard entered prison. Are these secrets STILL the crown jewels?
3. Others who have done critical damage have had far, far lesser sentences.
I’ll reiterate - my preference is that all traitors should be punished, and I’d like to see very, very severe punishments so as to completely discourage any repetition in the future. But you cannot have people convicted of similar offenses given grossly disparate treatment - such is anathema to our claim to have a “justice” system.
Cap Weinberger was never a friend of Israel's, not by a long stretch of the imagination. It was principally his influence that led to Pollard's severe sentence.
Also, as SJackson mentioned, since Aldrich Ames contributed heavily to the analysis of the damage caused, the amount of damage claimed (or believed) was probably skewed. It is not at all incredible to believe that Ames added a bunch of information that he stole to Pollard's list, to distract attention from himself.
We'll never know. I'm not big on conspiracy theories, but I suspect there was more to be learned.
Or it could mean that he didn't get any kind of payoff, or not near the payoff, that he was looking for. After all, unprincipled applies to a lot of things - sheer greed is as much a part of it as not caring about your nation's security.
Why, in your estimation, is he not doing so. And how come the certainty that he would get it....
And why ask for his release when hes not willing to go on a parole hearing himself.
Now there are some interesting questions. I was, frankly, unaware that he has never asked for parole, and that he is unwilling to do so. That changes the thing a bit for me - if he seems willing to sit and rot, why lift a finger for him, even in the presence of some very questionable actions surrounding his sentencing? Could there be some tactical legal reason why he won’t ask for parole?
“I cannot agree. He spied, he is a traitor, his neck should have been stretched.
I don’t care what the reasoning is behind the “other side” . “
Stretch his neck, and every other one. But do make sure you do it to everyone - not merely him. Others during the Cold War spied for enemy nations like the Soviets, East Germany and other Eastern European nations (effectively the Soviets), China, the Norks and Cuba (effectively the USSR) - so they should also have been executed...but they weren’t, they were sentenced to lesser terms and released early.
My issue here isn’t about coddling traitors - I, too, would like them all executed or serving life sentences - it is simply and ONLY about Equal Justice Under Law. Pollard, as thoroughly despicable as his actions were, hasn’t gotten that. There was an ex parte communication from the government, which Pollard didn’t know about and couldn’t contest in any fashion, and it was based on analysis and conclusions made by Aldrich Ames, later shown to be a Soviet spy. If we allow that kind of crap, what makes us better than a nation that simply shoots people in the back of the head on suspicion of treason?
Do you know how much, if any, he got paid for representing Pollard? I don't - it is a simple, unloaded, question.