Clinton to Decide on Pollard's Fate Next Week

Middle East Newsline - January 8, 1999
*[See JUSTICE FOR JP Comments Below]

WASHINGTON [MENL] -- President Bill Clinton is expected to receive on Monday a report that calls for the reduction of the sentence of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard, a recommendation opposed by several current and former intelligence officials.

The U.S. NBC television network said on Wednesday night that U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno has drafted a recommendation that Pollard's life sentence to reduced 25 years in prison. This would make Pollard eligible for release in 2002.

*[JUSTICE FOR JP COMMENTS: What a sham! Jonathan Pollard is eligible for release right now! This fraudulent proposal ducks the issue. It does NOT guarantee Jonathan Pollard's release ever. IT JUST SETS UP A NEW DATE TO CONSIDER HIS RELEASE AGAIN - one so far in the future that Clinton will never have to deal with the issue personally. It does not address the major issue of the case, Jonathan Pollard's grossly disproportionate sentence. It is an affront to Israel, to the American Jewish community, and to all who value equal justice before the law in America.]

NBC said the administration's goal is to avoid Pollard's release while Clinton is still in office and to appear to grant Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu an achievement that he could use in Israel's national elections on May 17.

*[JUSTICE FOR JP: Once again, the only loser is Jonathan Pollard] Pollard has been in prison since 1985, convicted of passing U.S. Naval Intelligence secrets to Israel.

*[JUSTICE FOR JP: The usual sentence for this offense is 2 to 4 years. Jonathan Pollard is in his 14th year of a life sentence with no end in sight.]

U.S. sources said the Reno report to Clinton is opposed by senior administration officials. They include Defense Secretary William Cohen, FBI director Louis Freeh and CIA director George Tenet. Moreover, in Congress, several key senators, including Richard Shelby, chairman of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, are collecting signatures for a petition to oppose Pollard's release. The petition asserts that reducing Pollard's sentence would set a precedent for other convicted spies.

*[JUSTICE FOR JP: Clayton Lonetree, Albert Sombolay and Richard Miller were all convicted of treason - spying for enemies of the US - and all of them had their sentences drastically reduced. Convicted AFTER Pollard, who was NEVER charged with treason, all are free men today. It would therefore seem that the precedent for shortening sentences has been well established, in far more severe cases, long before consideration of shortening Pollard's sentence came up!]