USA Ready To Reject Spy Plea

Richard Willing - USA Today, December 24, 1998

Copy of "U.S. Ready to Reject Spy Plea" by Richard Willing, USA Today, Dec. 24, 1998 Follows. See *[JUSTICE FOR JP] comments below in square brackets.

WASHINGTON - The Clinton administration is unlikely to allow convicted spy Jonathan Jay Pollard, who is being considered for executive clemency, to rebut government documents that claim his spying for Israel harmed American security.

* [JUSTICE FOR JP: Neither Jonathan Pollard nor his attorneys have ever been allowed to see the secret accusations against him. Pollard has never been given the opportunity to answer his accusers, or to present evidence that would disprove the outrageous false allegations that they have "leaked" to the media.]

That renews the battle between high-profile supporters who want Pollard released from a life sentence and opponents who believe the 44-year-old former Navy analyst should remain in prison.

It also deals a blow to beleaguered Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu hopes to win Pollard's freedom, a popular cause with the Israeli right, to help him remain in power.

* [JUSTICE FOR JP: All of Israel wants Jonathan Pollard home. A recent resolution passed by the Knesset of Israel calling on President Clinton to release Jonathan Pollard was signed by 80 members of Knesset from all factions, right, left and center!]

The Israeli parliament voted this week to scrap his government and hold early elections.

In a letter to President Clinton three weeks ago, Pollard's lawyer, Larry Dub, had requested that his client be allowed to "answer his accusers" while he is being considered for clemency. If that is permitted, Dub said in an interview, he or Pollard would review "poisonous" Defense, State, Justice and CIA summaries of Pollard's case and file a response.

* [JUSTICE FOR JP: Jonathan Pollard has a team of neutral experts and professionals standing by for consultation, to assist in preparing an honest, factual, unbiased, responsible review of the documents, in order that his attorneys may prepare a documented, credible, unbiased response to the false allegations against him.]

"The deck is stacked against Jonathan, so he gets tried in the press by leaks," Dub said from Jerusalem. "All we were looking for was a little due process, just like Clinton wanted with his impeachment."

Government lawyers working on the case say Pollard's request probably will be barred because it could mean disclosing confidential security information.

* [JUSTICE FOR JP: Shades of Kafka! Not a single US official can point to a concrete example of any damage done by Pollard, and backed by evidence. Clearly it is time to declassify the secret accusations and to let the accused, Pollard, see the "charges" and the "evidence" against him.]

Joseph diGenova, the prosecutor in 1987 when Pollard pleaded guilty, says Pollard has nothing to contribute.

* [JUSTICE FOR JP: Jonathan Pollard is NOT asking to "contribute". He is asking for the opportunity to respond his accusers. He is asking for the right of every American citizen: to defend himself against false accusations being made in secret.]

"His spying . . . was one of the worst compromises of national security in history, if not the worst," diGenova says.

* [JUSTICE FOR JP: This is calculated, politically-driven, unsubstantiated hyperbole! Neither the indictment against Jonathan Pollard nor the court record in any way supports this statement. The recent historical record which includes such notable traitors as Aldrich Ames, John Walker and Harold Nicholson makes DiGenova's hyperbole downright laughable!]

(Digenova adds) "What's he going to say now, 'I didn't do it?'"

* [JUSTICE FOR JP: Jonathan Pollard has never denied that he committed a crime or that he deserved to be punished. He has repeatedly expressed his remorse. BUT, he did not commit the egregious hyperbolic "crimes" that DiGenova keeps accusing him of. Jonathan Pollard has never been indicted for any of the false accusations that DiGenova and his ilk promote in the media.]

Pollard was arrested in 1985 and pleaded guilty to one count of passing classified documents to Israel.

* [JUSTICE FOR JP: This is the only charge that Pollard was ever indicted on. There were no additional charges that were dropped. There is, and never was, any evidence to support any additional charges.]

He was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1987.

* [JUSTICE FOR JP: As a result of the Government's violation of the plea agreement, Pollard received his sentence without benefit of trial. The median sentence for the offense he committed is 2 to 4 years. Who plea bargains for a life sentence?]

In October, during the Mideast peace talks in Wye, Md., Netanyahu raised the issue of Pollard's release. Clinton agreed to review Pollard's case, even though he had turned down two previous requests for clemency.

* [JUSTICE FOR JP: By his own admission at a recent press conference in Israel , Mr. Clinton has never before reviewed this case before turning down clemency requests, even though he was sworn to. - For this latest "review" Mr. Clinton has not invited the participation of a single unbiased, expert or authority to present factual, balanced, non-partisan information to him on the case. Similarly, he has not permitted the participation of Pollard's attorneys, or of independent advocates of the case.]

The president has given the federal agencies involved in the Pollard review until Jan. 11 to make a recommendation.

* [ JUSTICE FOR JP: A review that hears from one side only is not a review at all, but a kangaroo court.]

Clinton has no deadline for his decision. The Constitution enables the president to release convicts through the power of executive clemency.

Pollard says the government reneged on an agreement not to seek life imprisonment.

* [JUSTICE FOR JP: This is a fact, supported by the court record, and is not an allegation. Again, who plea bargains for a life sentence?]

Retired admiral Sumner Shapiro, former chief of naval intelligence, says Pollard refused to keep his part of the plea bargain, misleading investigators about the documents he passed on.

* [JUSTICE FOR JP: This is an outright lie! The court record does not support this vicious, false allegation. In fact, it shows that just the opposite is true! That Pollard rendered full cooperation and that it was the Government that unilaterally violated the plea agreement. Responsible journalism would demand that Shapiro and his ilk - who continue to make outrageous charges against Pollard in the media, that are not backed by any factual evidence - either put up and show hard evidence, or shut up!

And, at very least Pollard should be afforded the opportunity to formally respond to these people. That is all that Pollard and his attorney Larry Dub requested of Mr. Clinton.]

See Also:
  • Facts of the Pollard Case