DOD Shows Aspin Letter to Media But Not to Pollard's Attorney
GIBSON DUNN & CRUTCHER
1050 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington DC 20036-5306
December 28, 1993
The Honorable Jamie S. Gorelick
Department of Defense
Washington, D.C. 20301
Re: Jonathan J. Pollard
Dear Ms. Gorelick:
As you may know, I represent Jonathan Pollard.
As you can see from today's The New York Times, a letter by Secretary Aspin concerning Mr. Pollard has been released to The New York Times by a Pentagon official opposed to Mr. Pollard's petition to President Clinton for a commutation of his sentence of life in prison. That letter apparently contains allegations damaging to Mr. Pollard of which he has no knowledge and to which he has been given no opportunity to respond. By releasing this letter to the press, the Government has committed a severe violation of Mr. Pollard's rights.
I have asked your deputy, Mr. Preston, to send me a copy of Mr. Aspin's letter. He has declined to do so, saying only that my request is "under consideration." It seems outrageous to me that Secretary Aspin's letter about Mr. Pollard would be leaked to the press, but that Mr. Pollard's attorney would be denied access to the letter. I therefore reiterate my request that you send me by telecopy a copy of Mr. Aspin's letter so that Mr. Pollard may respond to the charges contained in it.
Very truly yours,
Theodore B. Olson
cc: Stephen Preston, Esq.
Deputy General Counsel
OUR FILE NUMBER
The Department of Defense ignored this request and every subsequent request by Theodore Olson to see the Aspin letter and the related material. In a letter to Jewish leaders written after repeated attempts to secure the material from the DOD failed, Jonathan Pollard wrote:
"The fact that my cleared attorneys were never provided with a copy of the Aspin letter - or any of the related documents they requested for that matter, should be a source of great concern to all who believe in the principle of equal justice. Indeed, how is it that the government can withhold critical classified sentencing material from my appellate lawyers, and then turn around and provide the media with equally "sensitive" documents pertaining to my commutation request? How is justice being served by this type of unethical behavior? Or is a Jew who spied for Israel not entitled to any Constitutional rights?"