Background on Former CIA Director’s Call for Pollard’s Release
July 5, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: PRETEND POLLARD IS A GREEK-AMERICAN AND FREE HIM!
Woolsey Reiterates Call For Pollard’s Immediate Release; Cites
Former CIA Director R. James Woolsey has reiterated his unequivocal call the
immediate release of Jonathan Pollard.
In a letter to the editor that was published in The Wall Street Journal
(7/5/12), Woolsey underscores the gross disproportionality of Pollard’s
sentence and calls for his immediate release.
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.
In his letter, Woolsey writes that he was initially opposed to clemency for
Pollard when he was the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency during
President Bill Clinton’s first term in office; but with the passage of time
he has reversed position and is now a strong and vocal supporter of Pollard’s
Woolsey states that the disproportionate amount of time Jonathan has served
when compared with others who have committed far more serious crimes spying
for enemies of the U.S. and especially when compared with others convicted
of similar crimes compels Pollard’s immediate release.
Woolsey notes that the sentences of numerous enemy spies who spied for enemy
states such as China and the Soviet bloc pale in comparison to Pollard’s
unprecedented life sentence:
“Of the more than 50 recently convicted Soviet bloc and Chinese spies, only
two - Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen - also received life sentences, and
two-thirds of these some-50 enemy spies served or have been sentenced to
less time than Pollard has already served,” wrote Woolsey.
“The recently convicted spies for such countries as Saudi Arabia, Ghana,
Ecuador, Egypt, the Philippines and South Korea are serving less than a
decade. One especially damaging Greek-American spy, Steven Lalas, received
a 14-year sentence, just over half of what Pollard has already served.
“Pollard has cooperated fully with the U.S. government, pledged not to
profit from his crime (e.g., from book sales), and has many times expressed
remorse for what he did.
“There is absolutely no reason for Pollard to be imprisoned for as long as
Ames and Hanssen, and substantially longer than spies from other friendly,
allied, and neutral countries. For those hung up for some reason on the
fact that he’s an American Jew, pretend he’s a Greek- or Korean- or
Filipino-American and free him.”
A copy of Woolsey’s letter as printed in the Walls Street Journal follows
the text below.
Woolsey’s comments come 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
In addition to Woolsey, numerous American leaders have called for a
commutation of Pollard’s sentence, including former U.S. Secretary of State
Henry Kissinger; former Secretary of State George Shultz; 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, who
served 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 severely deteriorated
after nearly three decades in prison.
Pollard received his life sentence without benefit of trial, as the result
of a plea agreement which he honored and the government abrogated.
Because of a gross deficiency on the part of his attorney who neglected to
file a notice of intent to appeal following his sentencing hearing, Pollard
has been forever deprived of his right to a direct appeal of his life
sentence. The only appeals he was able to bring were collateral, and were
dismissed on technicality, not substance.
All legal avenues of relief have been exhausted. The only possible relief
that remains is executive clemency.
SEE COPY OF R.JAMES WOOLSEY LETTER ONLINE