Member of House Armed Services Committee: Pollard Poses No Threat To National Security, Should Be Released

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pollardRepresentative Robert Andrews (D-NJ) is the latest member of Congress to formally urge President Obama to commute Jonathan Pollard’s sentence to time served (the full text of Congressman Andrews’ letter to the President appears below).

In his letter to the President and Attorney General Eric Holder, Congressman Andrews, who is a member of theHouse Committee on Armed Services, notes that Pollard’s release poses no threat to national security. He also notes the disproportionate nature of Pollard’s sentence and remarks that he was sentenced to life in prison without benefit of trial, as the result of a plea agreement which Pollard honored and the government abrogated.

Pollard has spent more than 26 years of an unprecedented life sentence languishing in a federal prison for passing classified information to Israel, an ally of the United States. The median sentence for this offense is 2 to 4 years. No one else in the history of the United States has ever received a life sentence for this offense.

“I write to you out of concern for the ailing Jonathan Pollard and request that you commute his sentence to time-served, a position supported by former CIA director James Woolsey, former Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Dennis DeConcini, and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger,” wrote Congressman Andrews in his letter to the President.

“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,” continued Congressman Andrews. “Commutation will not grant him pardon for his actions rather it will recognize that he has served more than ample time for his crime. I urge you to seriously consider this case and decide to commute Jonathan Pollard’s life sentence to time-served.”

In addition to serving on the House Committee on Armed Services, Congressman Andrews,who has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1990, is a member of the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, as well as the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation, and he is the Ranking Member on the Panel on Defense Acquisition Reform. Congressman Andrews also serves on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, is the Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions, and is a member of theSubcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training.

Congressman Andrews’ letter to the President comes as a bi-partisan “Dear Colleague” letter is being circulated in the U.S. House of Representatives in support of clemency for Jonathan Pollard. Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Congressman Christopher Smith (R-NJ) are soliciting signatures on a letter to President Obama, which urges the President to commute Pollard’s sentence to time served.

Numerous American leaders have called for a commutation of Pollard’s sentence, includingformer U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger; former Secretary of State George Shultz; former CIA Director James Woolsey;former Attorney General Michael Mukasey; former National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane;former Assistant Secretary of Defense Lawrence Korb;former White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum;former Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Senator Dennis DeConcini; former Senator David Durenberger, whoserved as Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence at the time of Pollard’s conviction;former Congressman Lee Hamilton, who served as Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee at the time of Jonathan Pollard’s sentencing; and Senators John McCain and Charles Schumer.

Pollard has repeatedly expressed his remorse publicly and in private in letters to many Presidents and others. His health has deteriorated significantly during his more than two-and-a-half decades in prison.

Despite the fact that Pollard entered into a plea agreement and fully cooperated with the prosecution in his case, he nonetheless received a life sentence and a recommendation that he never be paroled, which was in complete violation of the plea agreement he had reached with the government.

The following is the text of Congressman Andrews’ letter to President Obama:

June 13, 2012

President Barack Obama

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20500-0001

Dear Mr. President:

I write to you out of concern for the ailing Jonathan Pollard and request that you commute his sentence to time-served, a position supported by former CIA director James Woolsey, former Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Dennis DeConcini, and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Mr. Pollard was arrested for spying for and giving classified documents to Israel, a close friend and ally of the United States. He has now been incarcerated for 27 on the charge of one count of espionage.

In exchange for bypassing a trial, Pollard pled guilty in exchange for a lighter sentence; however, the court reneged on its promise and gave him the maximum sentence of life in prison with the recommendation that he be denied parole. The length of this sentence is unprecedented as the median sentence for passing classified intelligence to an ally is between two and four years. In fact, Mr. Pollard has served even longer than many who have been convicted of spying for enemies of the United States.

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. Commutation will not grant him pardon for his actions rather it will recognize that he has served more than ample time for his crime. I urge you to seriously consider this case and decide to commute Jonathan Pollard’s life sentence to time-served.

Sincerely,

Robert E. Andrews

Member of Congress

Cc: Eric Holder, United States Attorney General

{Matzav.com Newscenter}

1 COMMENT

  1. This is a perversion of justice.
    Let’s face it.
    Pollard is not incarcerated for spying.
    He is being held in prison because he is a Jew !!

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