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Mr. President: Don’t Free Jonathan Pollard

One of the most prominent features of President Obama’s trip to Israel has been the incessant stream of demands he incurred for the release of convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard.

Press pool reports say the motorcade route is often stocked with people holding signs to free Pollard. Obama was heckled during his Jerusalem speech by someone demanding Pollard be set loose.

And no doubt, Obama was importuned by Prime Minister Netanyahu, who has been a tireless advocate for Pollard and who even, while out of office, visited him in jail. And with Obama on the trip was Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), one of the leading congressional proponents of Pollard’s release.

It would be an inestimable disgrace if Obama decided to make freedom for Mr. Pollard part of his Israeli Pacification Campaign.

Pollard, as you may know, was a U.S. citizen who pleaded guilty to espionage and was sentenced to life in prison in 1987. He is now a citizen of Israel but remains in U.S. federal prison.

Pollard was well paid by the Israelis for his work and allegedly promised much more. He is believed to have passed information to other countries as well.

He is a traitor, and a venal one at that, and he should stay right where he is instead of being released to Israel to bask in glory and, once he writes his book, wealth.

I don’t care who he spied for, he gave thousands of documents to the Israelis, possibly betraying more secrets than any spy in U.S. history. He damaged U.S. national security and endangered those who work to secure it.

Pollard had no idea what the Israelis would do with the information he gave and the knowledge of sources and methods they gained. Israel is a friend but a foreign nation, and it has its own concerns that don’t involve U.S. security. Who knows who they traded this information to, or how securely they were able to keep it from spies within their own ranks?

The U.S. government made a decision based on national security to keep this information secret. Jonathan Pollard had another idea, and decided to sell it instead.

In rare example of exemplarily pellucid thought, Vice President Biden is one of the administration’s most ardent opponents of releasing Pollard.

Mr. President, listen to Joe, and leave Pollard to the jail cell he so industriously earned.

33 thoughts on “Mr. President: Don’t Free Jonathan Pollard”

    1. I share Keith’s concern and think Obama just might. It won’t cost him personally, and maybe he’s willing to do it in exchange for not being further pressured on Iran. People have been critical of Obama lately because he’s been so stingy with pardons and have been calling on him to be more merciful. I don’t think these things arise spontaneously. Everything around Obama is orchestrated.

      1. I think he has been more than merciful with all the handouts he has provided to his followers.

        I agree with VP Joe on this one, keep him locked up. Maybe Pvt Manning can get an adjoining cell and discuss tricks of the trade.

        1. Pollard has served 27 years. Why did Lalas get to serve out his remaining years in Greece?

  1. Spy vs Spy – I say Robert Hanssen wins the award hands down.

    They both got life in prison …Pollard was convicted on one charge and Hanssen on 13.

    Of course, if you worked for Bill Clinton and your name is Sandy Berger it’s called mishandling classified information. Pay the $50,000 fine get a couple of years probation and case closed.

    1. Don’t forget the anti-Israel Berger also lost his national security clearance…for three whole years. We’ll never know how many top secret original documents he stole from the National Archives, what information the documents contained, and where they wound up. This is a guy who should have been tried for treason, in my opinion.

  2. Who does that, who uses a word like “pellucid”? Once again, your exemplarily command of obscure words have sent me to the dictionary to understand the meaning. Thanks, pal.

    As for the plight of the imprisioned MrPollard, all he has to do is renounce his Israeli citizenship then declare that he is a Mexican national who illegally entered the US, and they’ll release him immediately.

    1. Nice concept, but Mexico actually CONTROLS who THEIR citizens are, and don’t take kindly to illegals…

      “Upon entering Mexico, immigrants must prove who they are, that they are mentally fit, and that they can contribute to Mexican society. If they do that, they sign their papers, are given a number, and are allowed to entry into the country. ”

      Read more:

      Sadly, the only country that DOESN’T have any requirements on who comes, goes, and is a citizen is OURS…

  3. I rarely disagree with you, Keith, but I have to on this…I think…

    I’m old enough to remember when Pollard was sentenced, and I remember being completely disgusted. I may be Jewish but I’m an American first and we used to shoot spies and that’d be ok with me.


    the guy has served 25 years. he’s not a danger to anyone–he’s not in a position to do any harm any more. men who have raped and murdered children have served less time than Pollard.

    but what you said about him going back to Israel and being a hero is pretty persuasive. the sight of the Lockerbie bomber being feted was pretty disgusting.

    of course this is all academic: Obama can’t release him without Morsi whining about the Blind Sheik, and nobody wants to go THERE.

    1. Figures. The WH press pool takes the word of a “reliable Hebrew speaker” sitting near them, rather than investigate for themselves. I noticed a few hijabs in that audience of “young Jews” when a camera panned the audience to show the heckler. Preezy Revenge never goes anywhere without his plants.

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  5. After serving 26 years behind bars, Pollard’s health is deteriorating as is his wife’s,” West wrote. “If [the US] can consent to the release by the British of the Lockerbie Bomber back to Libya due to health concerns, how can we justify keeping Mr. Pollard behind bars when his crimes were clearly not as serious as a terrorist who murdered hundreds of Americans?”


    Atty. John J. Loftus
    4488 Elkcam Blvd SE St.
    Petersburg, FL 33705

    Dear President Obama,

    I am a former federal prosecutor with Q/Cosmic/code word clearances. I have personally visited Jonathan Pollard in prison several times and am intimately familiar with his case, including the classified issues. I am convinced beyond any reasonable doubt that he is truly remorseful for what he has done, and deserves to be pardoned, or in the alternative, to have his sentence commuted to time served.

    No comparable prisoner in American history has received a sentence of this magnitude. Quite frankly, Pollard was a handy receptacle for shifting blame from the intelligence community. As I discovered, Pollard could not possible have leaked our Soviet Humint assets as he lacked the necessary blue stripe security clearance to even gain access to their identities.

    Finally, the first damage assessment on Pollard showed that our national security suffered minimal, if any, damage from Pollard’s disclosure to Israel. The second damage assessment, prepared with the assistance of Soviet spy Aldridge Ames, intentionally sought to shift blame towards Pollard and away from Ames. The “blame Pollard” mantra did substantial damage to our national security as it allowed Ames and his co-spy at the FBI to continue funneling our secrets to the Soviets for several more years.

    It is not necessary to assign blame to one agency or another for the Pollard sentencing debacle. It is necessary and just to do the right thing.


    John J. Loftus
    Formerly GS-13 Supervisory Trial Attorney
    Office of Special Investigations, Criminal Division Headquarters, US Department of Justice, Washington DC

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