Free Headline Alerts     
Worldwide Web


Wednesday, October 13, 2010     GET YOUR INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Weinberger's antipathy for Israel' called reason for Pollard's life term

WASHINGTON — For the first time, a U.S. official has acknowledged that anti-Israeli sentiment was the reason for imposing a life sentence on an American Jew convicted of relaying classified data to Israel.


A former senior Defense Department official said Jonathan Pollard has been kept in prison because of anti-Israeli sentiment with the government. The former official has called on President Barack Obama to release Pollard, a former U.S. Navy analyst, after serving 25 years in prison.

"Based on the knowledge that I have firsthand, I can confidently say that the punishment was so severe because of lack of sympathy for Israel by the U.S. Secretary of Defense at the time, my boss, Caspar Weinberger," Lawrence Korb, the former Pentagon official, wrote.

Also In This Edition

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 ally."

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 Authority.

"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 would 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."


Did Korb speak out about this subject while Weinberger was alive? Weinberger passed away several years ago. It seems awfully convenient (and politics is clearly involved) to speak out now when the man can't defend himself. Cap was tough on the Soviet Union and Ted Kennedy and thus a personal favorite of many. I'm in favor of rock solid relations with Israel, but nil nisi bonum.

Tom      1:10 p.m. / Thursday, October 14, 2010

Time to let him go. It's about justice!

Roy      2:07 a.m. / Thursday, October 14, 2010

About Us     l    Contact Us     l     l
Copyright © 2010    East West Services, Inc.    All rights reserved.