Korb, who had served as assistant defense secretary, said others
convicted of offenses similar to those of Pollard have been sentenced to as
little as two years, Middle East Newsline reported. In his letter to Obama, Korb said
Pollard received a "disproportionate punishment" because of pressure from
the late Weinberger, who served in the administration of then-President
Ronald Reagan from 1981 to 1987.
"Although Pollard pleaded guilty, cooperated with the government and
asked for clemency, he received disproportionate punishment," Korb said.
"Jonathan Pollard is the only person in the history of the United States to
receive a life sentence for passing classified information to an American
Korb's letter has been part of an effort in Congress to commute
Pollard's life sentence. A handful of House members have been circulating a
letter for Obama to release Pollard as part of efforts to improve U.S.
relations with Israel and promote the peace process with the Palestinian
"We further believe that at a time when Israel, our democratic ally, is
being faced with difficult decisions, a decision by you to grant clemency
not only be a humane act regarding Mr. Pollard, but it would also be taken
in Israel as a further affirmation of the strong commitment the U.S. has to
the ties between us, and we believe that such an affirmation could be
especially useful at a time when those decisions are being made," a letter
signed by Rep. Barney Frank, Rep. Bill Pascrell, Rep. Edolphus Towns and
Rep. Anthony Weiner said.
Weinberger, who had called the naval analyst the most dangerous of U.S.
spies, did not discuss the Pollard case in his autobiography. Years after he
left office, Weinberger acknowledged that the
case had been minor.
"So if he was sentenced today he could not sit 25 years in prison," Korb
said. "Justice will be done if the sentence is shortened to what has already
been run to date."