Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Interview: Esther Pollard (Wife Of Convicted Israeli Spy, Jonathan Pollard)
Israel National News ^

Posted on 10/20/2002 12:38:09 PM PDT by RCW2001

INTRODUCTION: Prime Minister Sharon´s office contacted Esther Pollard just prior to his departure to meet with President Bush in Washington. The contact was in response to Mrs. Pollard´s latest request to be included in the PM´s entourage to Washington. Her presence in the Prime Minister´s party, it was felt, would signal Israel´s serious intent to resolve the Pollard issue at this time. Next month Jonathan Pollard will enter his 18th year of a life sentence. IMRA spoke with Mrs. Pollard in Jerusalem..

IMRA: Esther, in a recent letter, you asked Prime Minster Sharon to include you in his entourage, on what basis?

ESTHER POLLARD: I reminded the Prime Minister that the last time I made this request, his office responded that the Prime Minister regrets that there is no room on his plane for me, but otherwise he would gladly have taken me. It seemed to me that if this were really so, then surely he would not want to miss the opportunity to take me along on this upcoming trip.

IMRA: Does Mr. Sharon know that you are in Jerusalem?

ESTHER POLLARD: In my letter I indicated that there is no impediment to my joining him this time, particularly since I am currently in Jerusalem and ready to go at a moment´s notice.

IMRA: Is there any reason that you feel that this trip is particularly significant?

ESTHER POLLARD: There are a number of reasons that the issue of Jonathan Pollard can and should be resolved without any further delay.

IMRA: Such as?

ESTHER POLLARD: First of all Prime Minister has had no response from the resident to the historic letter signed by 110 Knesset Members requesting Jonathan´s immediate release, which the Prime Minister says he personally and-delivered to the President some 8 months ago. It is therefore appropriate that the Prime Minister raise the issue again and refuse to take no for an answer.

IMRA: How can you be sure that he is in a position to insist this time?

ESTHER POLLARD: As I wrote to the Prime Minister, there is not a single reason in the world left to justify Jonathan´s continued incarceration. Here we are once again facing an existential threat from Iraq and that, in fact, is the reason Jonathan is sitting in prison! Jonathan was the first to sound the alarm about Saddam Hussein - and that was eighteen years ago! At that time, Jonathan´s warning Israel was a great embarrassment to the Americans. Not only were they withholding this information from Israel, but the Americans were covertly aiding and arming Iraq!

IMRA: What did this mean for Israel?

ESTHER POLLARD: Because of Jonathan, Israel was saved from impending disaster. Because of Jonathan, Israel´s entire civil defense program changed and Israel began to prepare gas masks and sealed rooms.

IMRA: The Government of Israel surely appreciates that.

ESTHER POLLARD: The thanks that Jonathan got from Israel was to be thrown out of the Israeli Embassy and abandoned to the harshest treatment that the American prison system has meted out for the last 17 years.

IMRA: Isn´t Israel assisting Jonathan?

ESTHER POLLARD: Not at all. Not financially. Not morally. Not medically. Not legally. Not in any way whatsoever.

IMRA: What about the money that the government announced it was going to give to Jonathan? It was in all the media about 6 months ago?

ESTHER POLLARD: That was just a publicity stunt designed to undermine public support for Jonathan. It endangered Jonathan physically and jeopardized him legally. We have never, in all these years, received a cent from the government!

IMRA: Would you accept money?

ESTHER POLLARD: No. And they knew it even when they made all that noise in the media. Money is useless to us as long as Jonathan is in prison. We do not want money. We want the government to act responsibly and to fulfill its responsibility to its agent by securing his release. The government has committed itself to do so repeatedly, even in documents it filed with the Supreme Court in Israel, but it has never acted upon its commitments. Subsequent American Administrations have cynically observed Israel´s indifference to Jonathan and responded in kind.

IMRA: But aren´t there serious accusations against Jonathan?

ESTHER POLLARD: No. Only empty accusations made in the media, never in a court of law where they could easily be refuted. Even the US former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger recently admitted publicly that the Pollard case was really small stuff but that it got made into something much bigger than it was. Weinberger admits that "other issues" complicated the case. The "other issues" were none other than Jonathan´s knowledge of the build up of non-conventional weapons of war in Iraq and America´s collusion in that. I reminded the Prime Minister of this in my fax and even provided him with a copy of a recent article containing the relevant statements by Weinberger. A copy of this article is on our web site at:
www.jonathanpollard.org/2002/061402.htm

IMRA: I noticed you have a new US - IRAQ Complicity Page on the web at www.jonathanpollard.org/iraq.htm

ESTHER POLLARD: Yes. This information is very important in order to understand what fueled such overwhelming animosity towards Jonathan and why the US sought to bury him alive in prison forever. What the US feared so much was Jonathan´s understanding of the degree of US involvement in Iraq and its role in arming Iraq prior to the invasion of Kuwait, particularly at a time when none of this was public knowledge as it is today.

IMRA: So that is what is at the root of his unprecedented life sentence?

ESTHER: What is more, today it is common knowledge that Jonathan was deprived of effective assistance of counsel, sentenced on the basis of secret evidence that he has never been allowed to challenge in a court of law, and deprived of his most basic constitutional rights during sentencing. His situation was exacerbated when the lawyer the Israeli government chose and paid to handle his case never filed a notice of intent to appeal, which deprived Jonathan forever of the right to appeal the life sentence which he got in complete violation of a plea agreement which he honored and the government violated. Jonathan´s current legal case documents the overwhelming miscarriage of justice.

IMRA: So in other words, the Prime Minister would be on firm ground insisting on Jonathan´s release after 17 years of incarceration, not only morally and in light of the current threat from Iraq, but legally as well, as documented by Jonathan´s current court case? [See Current Court Case Page at www.jonathanpollard.org/court2000.htm

ESTHER POLLARD: Absolutely!

IMRA: Tell me. I read the web, and I don´t see any progress on Jonathan´s US court case. What gives? The documents seem pretty straightforward to me. Why is it dragging on for so long?

ESTHER POLLARD: We wish we knew! We have been waiting for a decision that seemed imminent months ago but still has not been received.

IMRA: Is the Prime Minister familiar with Jonathan´s US legal case?

ESTHER POLLARD: I personally brought him the legal documents more than a year ago. Our US attorneys, Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman have repeatedly offered to brief the Prime Minister. The offer still stands and has yet to be accepted.

IMRA: Let´s get back to your contact with the P.M.´s office today. You had two phone calls from the P.M. Tell me about the first call.

ESTHER POLLARD: The first call came at 1:00 p.m., which is the time Jonathan usually calls, so at first I thought it was him. Instead it was someone who said that a government official wished to speak with me to convey the Prime Minister´s response to my letter. The call was then transferred to a woman who identified herself as an assistant to the Prime Minister. She began to explain that the Prime Minister was not taking anyone with him on this trip, but that he would like me to know. And that is when I got a call-waiting signal and I knew it was Jonathan, so I asked her to hold on. I quickly told Jonathan what she said and he told me to tell her that the P.M.´s response is completely unacceptable to us.

IMRA: Did you do that?

ESTHER POLLARD: Yes. I asked her to go back to the Prime Minister and to let him know that I am not just "anyone". That I am the wife of an Israeli agent in captivity. That he is entering his 18th year of incarceration on behalf of the State of Israel, and that he is in bad shape. That this is a matter of life and death, and that Mr. Sharon´s response to our request that I be allowed to accompany him to Washington should be reconsidered in this light.

IMRA: How did she respond?

ESTHER POLLARD: She repeated that the Prime Minister was not taking anyone with him, but that he wanted me to know that this is a very important issue for him and that he intends to raise it with the President.

IMRA: Are you satisfied with that?

ESTHER POLLARD: Not at all. I told her that I would like her to remind the Prime Minister, that as he personally knows, we have some pretty important contacts in Washington, close to the President, and they assure us that the Prime Minister has never raised the issue with the President. I asked her to let the Prime Minister know that we have been told that the letter signed by 110 Knesset members, that Mr. Sharon says he hand-delivered to the President 8 months ago, was never received by the President. In fact our sources tell us that it was peddled off to some low level clerk in Condoleeza Rice´s office and treated as totally insignificant. That if indeed the Prime Minister is serious this time, and Jonathan is a real issue for him, then it is important that I be allowed to accompany him.

IMRA: The response?

ESTHER POLLARD: At first she protested that she knew nothing of any such letter signed by 110 Knesset Members and that I must be thinking of some other Prime Minister.

(IMRA note: SEE the letter at www.jonathanpollard.org/2002/022402.htm). I assured her that that was not the case, and reminded her that the letter had been given to Mr. Sharon in February to deliver to the President and that he told us that he had done so. Yet, the Americans tell us the President never received it.

IMRA: Then what?

ESTHER POLLARD: She then changed the subject and said, "Nevertheless, even if the Prime Minister were to take you with him, you would not be able to attend the meeting with the President."

IMRA: How did you respond to that?

ESTHER POLLARD: I said that that was fine. That I do not have to attend the meeting with the President. I just have to sit on the Prime Minister´s plane and that fact alone will signal to the Americans that this time, the Prime Minister is serious about Pollard. That fact would also signal to us that perhaps this time the Prime Minister is serious. I asked her to relay this to the Prime Minister and to ask him to reconsider. She promised she would do so and that she would get back to me.

IMRA: Did she get back to you?

ESTHER POLLARD: Yes. A few hours later.

IMRA: And?

ESTHER POLLARD: In the second call, she said she had consulted with the Prime Minister and that he was still not taking anybody with him. She also mentioned that anyway our request had come too late for me to be included. She suggested that I get in touch with her for his next trip. I asked her what trip. She replied, "His next trip to Washington." I asked her when that might be. She said she did not know yet.

IMRA: You know, Esther, there are many precedents in the past where persons were added to the Prime Minister´s entourage at the last moment. I can think of a number of such cases, for example, hours before take-off, Sharansky was helicoptered from his family vacation on the Golan to join Netanyahu on his first visit to Washington. So the "you´re too late for this trip" explanation is hard to follow.

ESTHER POLLARD: True! She kept saying how this is not a simple thing. I asked her, tell me, is the Prime Minister aware that just having me sit on his plane would be a big plus for him with the Israeli public? The public would then see that he really does care about Pollard. She brushed that aside saying that the issue of Pollard is very important to the Prime Minister, and she believes he will raise the issue and she thinks he will try for Pollard. But he can´t take me with him because it is too complicated.

IMRA: There are a number of instances in the past where Prime Ministers have taken the wives or families of captives to the United States.

ESTHER POLLARD: Right! I gave her several such examples, such as Prime Minister Rabin´s escorting Tami Arad to a visit with President Bush Senior.

IMRA: So you are supposed to call the PM´s office the next time you hear he is going to make a trip to Washington? Wouldn´t you think that if they were serious about taking you to Washington to raise the profile of the case, they would call you and include you in the next trip?

ESTHER POLLARD: Exactly!

IMRA: I understand that Jonathan is not in good shape.

ESTHER POLLARD: Terrible. He is in terrible shape. But he does not like me to talk about it any more.

IMRA: Why?

ESTHER POLLARD: Because we have talked about his deteriorating health a great deal in the past and there has never been any response. No help has been forthcoming. So what is the point in continuing to talk about it?

IMRA: What about help from the American Jewish leadership?

ESTHER POLLARD: Is that a joke?

IMRA: Seriously. When we ask, we always hear that the American Jewish leaders are fully committed to the Pollard case, and we always hear how involved they are. Especially after the scandal of their involvement in the Marc Rich pardon. Didn´t they all pledge to redouble their efforts on behalf of your husband?

ESTHER POLLARD: Would that that was so. The American Jewish leaders are more aware than the average person about the serious implications of this case for all Jews as long as it remains unresolved. But, they are completely unwilling - as we have so often been told - to expend any political capital whatsoever to resolve it. The indifference of the Israeli Government is an excuse and a cover for them. They act as if they are merely supporting Israeli policy on the issue by refraining from action. Their restraint is more a function of cowardice and hypocrisy than it is in support of anything.

IMRA: Aren´t you afraid that by criticizing these leaders so openly you jeopardize any chance that they will ever help Jonathan?

ESTHER POLLARD: We see no reason to hide from the truth. We are simply telling it as it is. For many years we pussyfooted around the issue trying every way we could to politely engage the Jewish leadership and Israel to do the right thing, not just to save Jonathan, but for themselves. If after all of these years and after all that has become known that shows the massive injustice in this case, the indifference towards Jonathan´s case is now more profound and all but institutionalized, what advantage is there is being less than candid about it? On November 21st, Jonathan will be entering his 18th year of a life sentence with no end in sight. The Jewish community´s failure to act is in fact at its own peril.

IMRA: Meaning?

ESTHER POLLARD: If the reason for Jonathan´s operation no longer exists, if America is no longer blind-siding Israel and engaging in war-in-the-shadows against her, then why is Jonathan still in prison? Think about it. Why is Prime Minister Sharon being summoned to Washington? To be consulted? Or to be given his marching orders? Jonathan´s continued incarceration flies in the face of any standard of fair treatment of Israel an ally. That we, as a nation, are willing to tolerate this kind of outrage speaks volumes about us as a nation and sadly reveals the true quality of our relationship with the US, a country that is thought to be our best ally. Unless and until Israel is ready and willing to act upon her own interests first, instead of those of her US ally, we are in jeopardy.

IMRA: Israel has a strong tradition of never abandoning a wounded soldier in the field; the Pollard case disturbs that tradition.

ESTHER POLLARD: What is even more troubling is that the Pollard case has set a dangerous precedent. One that allows the State to pick and choose which soldier or agent it will extend itself to rescue and which soldier or agent will be sacrificed on the altar of political expedience. We dare not allow this to continue.

IMRA: For example, you mean that the Pollard case set the precedent that allowed an Israeli soldier to bleed to death at Joseph´s Tomb in Nablus, rather than risk international scandal over Palestinian casualties that would likely have been caused had he been evacuated by force.

ESTHER POLLARD: Exactly. When we, as a nation, allowed the Government of Israel to throw Jonathan out of the Embassy, to hand over the documents to incriminate him, to abandon him morally, physically, financially and legally, we allowed our leaders to create a paradigm for abandoning us all, one by one, both individually and collectively . Five million Jews in Israel is simply five million multiplied by one. If you can abandon one, then you can just as easily abandon five million times one.

IMRA: So what is the bottom line?

ESTHER POLLARD: We have to understand what is at stake as long as Jonathan continues to rot in prison. To the extent that Israel is willing to tolerate Jonathan´s continued incarceration, she will continue to negate her own interests in favor of the US´s no matter how unfair, unreasonable or unjust. That is a very dangerous posture for a state that presumes to be an independent, sovereign nation. How many of our people will die before we wake up? How long will we allow ourselves to be sitting ducks to accommodate foreign interests?


TOPICS: Editorial; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Israel
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 10/20/2002 12:38:09 PM PDT by RCW2001
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: RCW2001
... How long will we allow ourselves to be sitting ducks to accommodate foreign interests ...
Indeed. Only Pollard is an American citizen: our interests are not foreign to him--or at least they shouldn't have been. Pollard compromised agents on the ground, some of whom were killed; he should remain where he is at least until the seventh angel of the apocalypse makes his grim entrance.
2 posted on 10/20/2002 12:43:52 PM PDT by Asclepius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RCW2001
That I am the wife of an Israeli agent in captivity.

Case closed! Throw away the key!

3 posted on 10/20/2002 12:53:07 PM PDT by MACD
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RCW2001
Rot in hell, Pollard.
4 posted on 10/20/2002 1:10:36 PM PDT by TomB
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RCW2001
A spy is a spy. Regardless whether Israel is our "ally" (sometimes" he is/was a spy. Let him remain in prison until he dies (hopefully a long time from now.)
5 posted on 10/20/2002 1:19:07 PM PDT by dark_lord
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #6 Removed by Moderator

To: RCW2001
I'd like to ask her just why if her husband acted so virtuously, he needed tens of thousands of dollars in bribes from Israeil intelligence to betray this country. In return, the Israelis sold much of the intelligence to the Russians and who knows who was killed. Let him rot in jail, and I hope its not one of the country club prison Club Feds to appease his incessant supporters. Take a poll; those in favor of Pollard's release are probably less than 10 percent of the American population.
7 posted on 10/20/2002 2:07:16 PM PDT by laconic
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: laconic
You got my points, but I will add that none other than Janet Reno was against his release when Clinton was about to make a decision on the matter.
8 posted on 10/20/2002 2:14:34 PM PDT by Thebaddog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: MACD
Indeed. In the law, this is what's called an admission against interest. Admissible as evidence. Pollard should never see the outside of prison alive.
9 posted on 10/20/2002 2:18:05 PM PDT by CatoRenasci
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: RCW2001
Some people are tempted to say that actions in favor of Israel contrary to US law may be justified as principled violations.

This may be true in the case of an American citizen who violates US law by overtly going to Israel and fighting against terrorists.

However, espionage is completely different. You never know exactly what will be done with the information. In fact (as I learned during an intelligence briefing as a PRIVATE in the National Guard), Russians have been known to pose as Israelis in order to get information out of Americans (i.e., "C'mon, you guys are supposed to help us! We're the good guys!")

The Taiwanese are another such case ... They engage in espionage in order to save money they'd otherwise have to spend buying it from us. Some American kid with info who happened to be sympathetic to the Taiwanese cause might be tempted to give them the info... But the person you're talking to could just as easily be lying to you, in reality having been sent by Beijing.

10 posted on 10/20/2002 3:03:26 PM PDT by American Soldier
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RCW2001
Pollard can just rot in the underground cells in Marion Supermax. He deserves his fate.
11 posted on 10/20/2002 3:10:27 PM PDT by CARepubGal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RCW2001
Pollard betrayed his nation, he did it consciously and he received money from Israel as the price of his betrayals. Now he's paying the price to those fellow American citizens whom he betrayed; I wonder what part of this Esther doesn't understand.
12 posted on 10/20/2002 3:21:59 PM PDT by waxhaw
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: American Soldier
A good friend of mine had a father who had a high level security position (I forget which agency) who was approached by someone claiming to be from the IRA, hoping to take advantage of the fact the man had Catholic parents from Derry. He didn't take the bait, and the so-called Irish freedom fighter was eventually caught, and it was revealed he was a Russian operative.
13 posted on 10/20/2002 4:51:39 PM PDT by Welsh Rabbit
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: RCW2001
This is precisely the reason convicted spies have to be executed IMMEDIATELY. So that they cannot be used as bait.
14 posted on 10/20/2002 4:56:58 PM PDT by dfwgator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RCW2001
I am a staunch defender of Israel these days, but Pollard should have been executed for his treason. He should certainly never get out of prison.

Who are these people who think that Americans are free to make individual "principled" decisions about spying for "allies"? I would hope that some heavily tatooed man has made Pollard his b-tch, though I doubt it...

15 posted on 10/20/2002 6:58:20 PM PDT by Another Galt
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: laconic
and I hope its not one of the country club prison Club Feds to appease his incessant supporters.

It's not. It's about 20 minutes from me. Some days I feel like riding over there and spitting in his face. Want to, it would be fun!

16 posted on 10/20/2002 7:02:03 PM PDT by Howlin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: RCW2001
Traitors like Pollard must never be rewarded.

Let him die in prison.

17 posted on 10/20/2002 7:05:21 PM PDT by LibKill
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RCW2001
How long will we allow ourselves to be sitting ducks to accommodate foreign interests?

Lol...

18 posted on 10/20/2002 7:09:12 PM PDT by Senator Pardek
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RCW2001
IMRA: Isn´t Israel assisting Jonathan?

ESTHER POLLARD: Not at all. Not financially.

Well, not anymore...

19 posted on 10/20/2002 7:10:43 PM PDT by Senator Pardek
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Howlin
If you ever do,please spit twice, and tell the piece of excrement the second was from sarasmom.
20 posted on 10/20/2002 7:23:37 PM PDT by sarasmom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: RCW2001
He served his time, more time than most in any of comparative situation. Free him.
21 posted on 10/20/2002 7:30:01 PM PDT by bvw
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Asclepius
"Pollard compromised agents on the ground, some of whom were killed"

And your evidence for that is?

Pollard was set up and took the rap for Aldrich Ames's betrayal.

Pollard had no access to info regarding "agents". He was an electronic intel analyst.

22 posted on 10/20/2002 8:10:03 PM PDT by anapikoros
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: laconic
"In return, the Israelis sold much of the intelligence to the Russians"

And the evidence for that claim is what?

23 posted on 10/20/2002 8:12:20 PM PDT by anapikoros
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Howlin
Aww crud! I thought the POS was in Supermax. Well, please spit on him for me too!
24 posted on 10/20/2002 8:14:53 PM PDT by CARepubGal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: bvw
Lol.. you sound like Dershowitz. Shoot that anti-American monster.
25 posted on 10/20/2002 8:17:07 PM PDT by Senator Pardek
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: anapikoros
... Pollard was set up and took the rap for Aldrich Ames's betrayal ..
Um, sure, this was the verdict the jury returned: we find the defendant--or, rather, we find that the defendant needs to be found guilty in lieu of someone else.

Pollard needs to remain in prison forever.
26 posted on 10/21/2002 3:26:28 AM PDT by Asclepius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Senator Pardek
What a response. Well, it is a response at least, among the dimwits who are piling-on.

I'll repeat what *I* said. Pollard served more time than anyone else in comprarble situation.

And I'll add to it: There are too many -- not all, but too many grudge bearers and jew haters running up to bash Pollard. Anyone on this thread who has bashed and jumped on him had better be looking closely at their motives for doing so. I notice some gave reasons, most just spewed out pile-on me-too vileness, which many on FR are ever wont to do, yet these days seem higher in percentage.

27 posted on 10/21/2002 4:56:15 AM PDT by bvw
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: bvw
I personally don't lose much sleep knowing Pollard's in jail, but I don't hear the screams for justice over those who've committed the same crime and walk the streets after a few years (often not that). A couple of nice summaries from Ted Olson.

.......................................

Pollard Has Been Punished Enough

March 8, 1994 - Theodore Olson, Esq. - The Wall St. Journal

It is plain than columnist Al Hunt and the anti-Pollard faction within the Clinton administration for whom he is giving voice do not like Jonathan Pollard (“President Clinton, Don’t Free the Traitor Pollard, February 24). But his rationale for opposing clemency is mostly misinformation and ignorance, and his conclusion implicitly concedes the shallowness of his convictions.

As Mr. Pollard’s attorney, I offer these counterbalancing facts:

First, the matter of motives and money. Mr. Hunt’s carefully chosen litany of phrases such as “big bucks,” “well-paid” and “well-heeled” produces a profoundly false impression. As Mr. Hunt knows, Mr. Pollard sought out the Israelis and volunteered to give, not sell, information to Israel about nuclear, chemical and biological weapons under construction by Iraq and others for use against Israel. Six months down the line, Pollard was persuaded to accept paltry sums - pocket change compared with what Washington journalists routinely receive for weekend television appearances. Intelligence services know that it is impossible to control idealists - and it is standard procedure to corrupt them with money. Mr. Pollard was wrong to acquiesce, but everyone who has studied the record objectively knows that he acted as he did because he could not stand the implications of silence in the face of another Holocaust, not for money.

Second, Mr. Hunt repeatedly uses the term “traitor.” That word describes one who commits treason, the only crime considered so egregious that is mentioned in our Constitution. It is defined by law as committing war against the U.S. or aiding its enemies. It is punishable by death. Mr. Pollard did not commit, nor was he charged with, treason. Even the government has admitted that is use of the word “treason” and “traitor” to describe Mr. Pollard was wrong and “regrettable.” The court that reviewed Mr. Pollard’s case, whose opinion Mr. Hunt quotes, said that the “traitor” could justifiably be called “rank hyperbole.”

Third, Mr. Hunt’s comparison of Mr. Pollard to the Aldrich Ames case is appalling. Mr. Ames allegedly aided the Soviet Union when they were implacable enemies of the U.S.: Mr. Pollard helped one of our closest allies. Mr. Ames is said to have betrayed American agents: Mr. Pollard told Israel about instruments of mass destruction against Jews. Mr. Ames purportedly took millions of dollars and was motivated by greed: Mr. Pollard gave defensive information to save a people that had been nearly exterminated 50 years ago. What can Mr. Hunt be thinking?

Fourth, Mr. Hunt has mischaracterized the court decision regarding the government’s violation of the Pollard plea bargain. Mr. Pollard’s appeal was rejected as untimely, not because it was lacking in merit. All three judges who considered the appeal expressed considerable skepticism concerning the government’s conduct. One of the three went so far as to call Mr. Pollard’s treatment “a fundamental miscarriage of justice.”

The fact is that the government blatantly betrayed Mr. Pollard and its written contract with him. It made three promises, and broke them all. It agreed to represent to the sentencing judge that Mr. Pollard’s cooperation had been of “considerable value” to “enforcement of the espionage laws,” but did precisely the opposite, denigrating the value and motivation for that compensation - listing it among factors “compelling a substantial sentence.” It promised to limit its sentencing argumentation to the “facts and circumstances” of Mr. Pollard’s offense, but instead heaped savage vituperation on his motives on his motives, character and “arrogance.” Finally, it agreed not to seek a sentence of life in prison, but obtained exactly such a sentence by, among other things, demanding a sentence commensurate with the crime of treason.

Fifth, Mr. Hunt rejects as “bogus and irrelevant” the assertion that Mr. Pollard’s sentence was excessive. He could not be more wrong. Mr. Pollard has served more than eight years, mostly in solitary confinement in the nation’s harshest prison. No one who gave defense information to an ally has ever been punished so severely. The government did not even charge him with harming or having reason to know that his actions would harm the U.S. Once again, Mr. Hunt has outpaces Mr. Pollard’s prosecutors by pressing to maintain a level of punishment that the prosecutors promised not to seek.

Sixth, it is curious that Mr. Hunt thinks that the information Mr. Pollard gave away “was so sensitive that officials still insist they can’t provide specifics.” What officials? The Office of Naval Intelligence has said that much of Mr. Pollard’s information “was declassified during the Gulf War.” Mr. Pollard’s chief prosecutor has urged publicly that it all be declassified.

Finally, after all of Mr. Hunt’s rhetoric, his main grievance seems to be that Israel has failed to “come clean and acknowledge what a despicable act Pollard performed.” If it did so, he concludes, then “clemency [would] be in order.” This is an amazing conclusion because Mr. Pollard himself has admitted that what he did was wrong and has expressed great remorse for his actions. And two successive Israeli prime ministers have put in writing formal requests for mercy - not forgiveness - for the Pollard affair. The significance of these extraordinary official requests cannot have been lost on President Clinton - who, incidentally, may not be anxious to acknowledge publicly that the U.S. has spied on Israel. What more does Mr. Hunt want? Some sort of Chinese Communist public act of self-abasement?

There is more, but too little space to say it all. Defense Secretary-nominee Bobby Inman has publicly admitted that he cut off Israel from promised defensive information as retaliation for Israel’s destruction of Iraq’s nuclear reactors. (Maybe Mr. Hunt can tell us how many America soldiers would have died in the Persian Gulf had Israel not taken that action.) Mr. Pollard stepped into the breach and opened the spigot that Mr. Inman had closed. He had no right to do so, but voices as diverse as Cardinal Law, Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, Benjamin Hooks, Father Drinan, Sen. Carol Mosely-Braun, Pat Robertson, dozens of Members of Congress, the city councils of New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, and two Israeli prime ministers have pleaded for an end to his punishment. Apparently many officials at State, Justice and the White House now agree.

The fundamental issue is when we can stop punishing a man who broke the law to expose a massive, malignant and malicious arms buildup so that a beleaguered people could defend themselves from weapons of terror and mass destruction. It might take some courage from President Clinton to do the right thing, but Mr. Pollard has been punished enough.

Theodore B. Olson is the former lead attorney for Jonathan Pollard.

……………………………………………….

Pollard Legal Appeal - Abbreviated Version

by Theodore Olson, Esq.

INTRODUCTION

In a very real sense, Jonathan J. Pollard is the test by which this Government's adherence to principle will be measured. He may have committed a serious crime, but that does not excuse the excesses that have pervaded his prosecution. Whatever his culpability, he was constitutionally entitled to the presumption of innocence and a public trial. It was beyond the Government's power to take these rights from him through duress or empty promises. Yet the Government conditioned its conduct toward his seriously ill wife on Mr. Pollard's agreement to plead guilty, reneged on each important promise it exchanged for his guilty plea, and denied his lawyers access to important evidence. This case is exceedingly important because requiring fair play by the Government even in the case of the most unsympathetic defendant is the assurance that all citizens will receive the same protection.

SUMMARY OF ARGUMENT

This case calls into question the conduct of the Government, not the defendant. It requires the Court to consider the limits on Government when its competitive zeal and retributive anger have been aroused by an unpopular defendant.

The Government decided to avoid what would surely have been an awkward, potentially embarrassing and inconvenient trial and to secure Mr. Pollard's cooperation in the investigation and evaluation of his activities. These were undoubtedly important objectives. To achieve them, the Government purchased Mr. Pollard's plea Of guilty in exchange for the prospect of more lenient treatment of Mrs. Pollard together with three explicit promises calculated to maximize his chances for a sentence less than life in prison. But the Government did not keep its part of the bargain because it could not restrain its desire to ensure that Mr. Pollard would never again 'see the light of day." J.A. 411.

Even if, standing alone, the Government may induce the relinquishment of constitutional rights by threats and promises involving a desperate and dependent loved one, that kind of distasteful tactic certainly requires an exacting review of the prosecutor's overall conduct toward the accused. Here, that conduct cannot withstand close scrutiny.

In blatant disregard of its agreement to limit its allocution to the "facts and circumstances of the offenses committed," the Government threw everything in its arsenal at Mr. Pollard during the sentencing process, including the prosecutor's opinions of Mr. Pollard's character, motivations and personality. If agreeing to restrict its allocution meant anything to the Government when it put that promise in writing, it meant nothing when it came time to perform.

The prosecution also agreed to represent that Mr. Pollard's cooperation had been of "considerable value" to its investigation and to the enforcement of the espionage laws. Instead, it ridiculed the value of his cooperation and heaped abuse on his motives for offering it.

Finally, the Government agreed not to seek a life sentence for Jonathan Pollard. But its vituperative allocution and its disparagement of the value of Mr. Pollard's cooperation were intended to have precisely the opposite effect. The coup de grace was delivered by two stinging denunciations of Jonathan Pollard by the nation's highest-ranking national security official, who demanded a sentence commensurate with the "magnitude of the treason committed." Treason, of course, is punishable by death, 18 U.S.C. S 2381, and is not an offense that Mr. Pollard committed. But the District Court got the message and imposed the most stringent sentence that Mr. Pollard's plea allowed.

The Government has impaired this challenge to its conduct with yet another assault on Mr. Pollard's rights. It denied his new lawyers access to the Government's classified sentencing submissions for the plainly unsustainable reason that the prosecutor did not think that new counsel had a "need" to see that vital evidence. See J.A. 505.

There is no doubt that the Government decided that Mr. Pollard was an offensive and thoroughly unpleasant individual who deserved the nastiest kind of punishment. In fact it had every right to seek such punishment -- up to the point when it bargained away that right for something that it needed from Mr. Pollard. But the Government cannot have it both ways.

In the end, this is a simple case because no crime is serious enough to countenance Governmental overreaching. The Government must never be allowed to induce the surrender of constitutional rights with promises that it cannot or does not intend to keep.

CONCLUSION

Whether or not the Government's actions toward Jonathan Pollard would have been tolerable as isolated incidents, the totality of its conduct describes a level of broken commitments and improper actions that is not acceptable. The Government wanted Mr. Pollard's cooperation and to avoid a public trial that may have had uncontrollable repercussions. At the same time, his prosecutors and his former employers wanted desperately to strike out at Mr. Pollard and send a clear message to others. But the Government could not achieve its conflicting objectives without breaking its word to Mr. Pollard. He is therefore entitled to withdraw his plea or receive a new sentencing.

28 posted on 10/21/2002 11:52:52 AM PDT by SJackson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Asclepius
If you knew anything about the Pollard case you would know that there was no jury - he was charged with one offence to which he pleaded guilty.

The government agreed to a plea bargain which the judge ignored because the CIA via Capar Weinberger gave the judge a brief falsely claiming that Pollard had done irreparable damage.

To this day the CIA has refused to give this brief to Pollard's attorneys. Making it public would expose the coverup that someone in the CIA (Ames and his controller?) used to deflect suspicion against themselves. Even when Ames was found to be the one who betrayed the US agents you and your ilk continue to blame Pollard and thru him Israel for giving the info to the Soviets.

Now the CIA is covering up the coverup to avoid even more egg on its face hence Tenent's opposition to Pollards clemency.

You could start by reading post #28 in this thread to gain just a little insight into the facts.

29 posted on 10/24/2002 5:52:12 PM PDT by anapikoros
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: anapikoros
Even when Ames was found to be the one who betrayed the US agents you and your ilk continue to blame Pollard and thru him Israel for giving the info to the Soviets.
I and my ilk would be interested to see Pollard's legal representation prove all this in an appeals court. Paranoid conspiracy theories are sometimes true, but not as often as the paranoiacs would have us believe.

Meanwhile, Pollard should be allowed to continue to ponder his role in this universe from behind prison walls. Not for us or for our satisfaction, but for him. His karmic well-being depends on it, haunted as he is by the ghosts of his many victims.
30 posted on 10/25/2002 2:18:20 PM PDT by Asclepius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson