U.S. Owes Pollard Not Merely A Pardon, But Also Apologies & Debts Of Gratitude

Aaron I. Reichel, Esq. - The Jewish Press [NY] - February 4, 1994

I respectfully object to the granting of a mere pardon to Jonathan Pollard, the U.S. government employee who was imprisoned improperly for the crime of leaking,

to an ally

, information that the U.S. had pledged and then refused to produce.

The United States owes him at least 10


  1. For withholding medications from Jonathan Pollard's wife, and nearly causing her to die in the process;

  2. For thereby pressuring Pollard into a coerced plea bargain, and for violating Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure by never asking Pollard whether he was entering his plea voluntarily or whether the plea was actually the product of force, threats, or promises;

  3. For the government's feeding the African-American sentencing judge the inflammatory and false allegation that Pollard had helped the apartheid government of South Africa;

  4. For the since-disgraced Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger's pressuring the sentencing judge to violate the applicable plea bargain by sentencing Pollard to life imprisonment, and for the said judge's lack of backbone, as revealed by his caving-in to this improper pressure;

  5. For condemning Pollard to serve a longer term for helping an ally than actual spies in the employ of our enemies, who were sentenced by colleagues of the sentencer on the bench;

  6. For upholding of this outrageous and egregious sentence and miscarriage of justice by an appellate panel of judges on a technicality; although the vote was split, Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg voted to perpetuate the injustice;

  7. By the President's nominating Judge Ginsberg to the Supreme Court nevertheless, with the complicity of the legislative branch of our government (although it is hoped that many of the members of Congress who voted for her were unaware of this low point in her career);

  8. For incarcerating Pollard in solitary confinement in a prison known to harbor not merely murderers, but murderers of prison guards;

  9. For issuing a memo, over the signature of the properly humiliated and improperly humiliating Secretary of Defense Les Aspin (who now unquestionably merits his de facto dismissal), accusing Pollard of trying to transmit sensitive information from his prison cell 14 times (a patently absurd charge in light of the fact that Pollard's attorney has stated that Pollard was never even told, once, not to do what he was allegedly doing). Had Pollard actually been attempting to transmit classified information from prison, he should have either had his letter-writing privileges restricted or he should have been asked to refrain from further similar activity; by the admitted failure of the supposedly tipped-off elements in our government's intelligence community to attempt to stop Pollard after the first of his alleged attempted leaks, our


    - not Pollard - was jeopardizing our security, since censors (who purportedly excised the supposedly classified material) do not necessarily catch everything of significance. It should be obvious that Pollard was being framed just as a groundswell of support for his cause was growing from

    influential people beyond the Jewish faith

    (including a prominent African-American United States Senator and popular Christian University President, in a full-page ad in

    The New York Times.

    Even were this preposterous accusation of post-incarceration disclosure of classified information true (again, not to any enemies of our country), it would be perfectly legitimate morally, if not legally, since when all three branches of our government, as indicated above, violated the letter and/or the spirit of the plea bargain, they in effect vitiated it, so Pollard might not have been bound, in some respects, to uphold his side of the already broken bargain; and

  10. For leaking to the press Aspin's "confidential" memo to the president, ironically criticizing Pollard's alleged continuing leaks.

Pollard also deserves a debt of gratitude from the United States for fulfilling the obligation that some of its public servants, violated when they failed to transmit promised information to our ally, Israel.

A second debt of gratitude from the United States is owed Pollard for having transmitted information about Iraq that alerted Israel to the gravity of Hussein's capabilities in the mid-1980's. This enabled Israel to properly prepare for the gas attacks that were planned for the Persian Gulf War, and to stay on the defensive and thereby keep the Arabs from breaking up the United States' carefully assembled and delicate coalition. Pollard may thereby have helped to save more American lives, and the lives of more Arabs, than anybody who actually fought in the Gulf War.

Those who are upset by the few thousand dollars Pollard accepted as salary as a bona fide agent (after originally submitting material to the Israelis


) in return for risking his freedom for the rest of his life, should think twice when offering their free advice and should contrast this relative pittance to the seven


dollars in "loan forgiveness" extorted by Egypt from the United States for Egypt's merely sending a token force to the front to fight a war against Iraq to protect all Arab "moderate" governments, including its own.

Independently of the above, decent people of good will are also still awaiting an apology from the United States to


for the USA's having condemned Israel's pre-emptive strike that destroyed Iraq's nuclear reactor that, thereby, became vitally helpful to the United States, particularly when the USA sent hundreds of thousands of troops to fight against Iraq.

The United States also owes Israel a second apology, for the USA's not having divulged to its long-time Israeli ally,

information it was obligated, by bilateral agreement, to divulge

, which




, if not legal grounds, Pollard's decision to divulge the information to Israel in compliance with the agreement in which the United States had promised to relay all intelligence vital to Israel's survival.