U.S. Officials Oppose Leniency for Pollard

Tribune News Services - January 10, 1999

U.S. law-enforcement and intelligence officials say they remain adamantly opposed to shortening the life sentence of Jonathan Pollard, a former Navy intelligence analyst convicted of spying for Israel.

Last month, the White House asked the agencies to submit recommendations on whether Pollard should be granted clemency after demands for his release were made by Israel in October at the Middle East peace negotiations in Wye, Md.

According to these officials, the FBI, the CIA and the Pentagon will submit reports this week, arguing against leniency.

But the opposition to reducing Pollard's prison term, which has never wavered during the Clinton presidency, may not end the debate, the officials said. The president has exclusive power to grant clemency, and the officials said Clinton's aides could seek to reduce Pollard's sentence or give him a release date from prison.