Clearing The Air On Pollard
The New Jersey Jewish News - Editorial - January 28, 1999
A Monday, Jan. 25, Washington Post editorial finally clears some of the fog
that has descended over the Jonathan Pollard case. Not that the Post
has gone soft on Pollard. No way. The editorial reiterates a view of
the convicted spy as "a contemptible and duplicitous mercenary" who
"has earned no favor, nomercy, no benefit of any doubt."
What is remarkable about the editorial, nevertheless, is its
"as a defendant in an American courtroom, [Pollard] should have the
protections available to others on trial." Pollard does not have those
protections, writes the Post, because "he is in the position of having
fate determined in part by materials to which he had no access and
proceedings of which he was not a part."
How can the intelligence community leak the damage assessment of
espionage to journalists and members of Congress, while at the same
continue to withhold them from Pollard and his attorneys? Pollard
opportunity to refute the evidence against him.
"The requirement here is not for relief for a...spy
some degree of greater openness for the American people," writes the
"Especially with the passage of time, cannot a way be found to pierce
the secrecy and provide the public with a better means of judging
fairness was achieved in this case?" Just so.
The Post is quite right that all Americans have a stake in the answer
lingering question of whether justice was done. All the recent leaks
the government's case for continued secrecy. If the "facts" can be
readers of The New Yorker, why not with the accused?
The Justice Department should share all damage assessment materials with
Pollard's attorneys, allowing the give-and-take of the judicial
arrive at the truth of whether Pollard is guilty of such crimes that
not be pardoned or granted clemency until he leaves jail in a