Twisted Appeal to President Clinton by an American History Professor

The George Washington University
Washington, DC


President Bill Clinton
The White House
1700 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.
Washington D.C. 20500

May 15, 1995

Dear Mr. President:

My letter is a straightforward appeal in behalf of Jonathan Pollard. I belong to no petitioning organization. Indeed, I am not a lawyer or an authority on American jurisprudence.

As a specialist in diplomatic history, however, I can easily cite a score and more of precedents under which individuals convicted of espionage have had their sentences foreshortened, in conjunction with their expulsion to the countries for which they committed their crimes.

Assuredly, Jonathan Pollard committed a crime, one I and other Jewish Americans have angrily and unequivocally condemned. He has paid for it during the last decade, as he should have. He will continue to pay for it if he is permanently expelled to the nation, Israel, in whose behalf he illegally transmitted classified documents, and denied the opportunity ever to return. The formula is based not on mercy, not even on justice, but on ample American and European diplomatic precedent.

Indeed, it is specifically the formula that initially was proposed to Jonathan Pollard, and on the basis of which he cooperated fully with the FBI in its 1985 investigation of his violation of American law and trust. One cannot but wonder, therefore, if the time has not come for the current Democratic administration to refuse to be held hostage any longer to the understandable but exaggerated insecurities of former secretary of defense Caspar Weinberger.

With every good wish,

Most respectfully,

Howard M. Sachar
Professor of Modern History

J4JP Note:

How ironic that the author teaches history and yet has learned nothing from it.