Senator Joseph Lieberman for VP?

Justice4JP Media Release - August 8, 2000

An examination of Senator Joseph Lieberman's record on the Pollard case is a good indication of what the American people can expect from Lieberman as Vice President of the United States. Consider the following points:

  • As a close advisor to President and Mrs. Clinton, Lieberman continues to play a key role in ensuring the continued incarceration of Jonathan Pollard.

  • Lieberman has never provided any substantial, or credible, explanation for his insistence that Jonathan Pollard NEVER be released from prison.

  • Lieberman has never seen the classified file on the Pollard case, and in his studied ignorance of the facts, has repeatedly shown that he does not even know what charge Pollard was indicted on.

  • Lieberman relies solely on briefings by the Intelligence community - whose vested interest in the case is blatantly obvious - to insist that Pollard never be released.

  • Although it is all part of the open record of case, Lieberman refuses to acknowledge the lack of due process, the judicial errors, the broken plea agreement, the use of secret evidence, the use of false evidence and the grossly disproportionate sentence Pollard received.

  • Lieberman has repeatedly stated that Pollard had his day in court and was fairly tried, when in fact Pollard never had a trial. Pollard gave up his right to a trial in a plea bargain which was violated by the government. Who plea bargains for a life sentence?

  • In spite of all of the glaring judicial inequities, Lieberman continues to advocate that Jonathan Pollard remain in prison forever.

    Yet Lieberman was conspicuously silent when President Clinton freed 14 unrepentant FALN (Puerto Rican) terrorists. He also had nothing to say about either Peter Lee, a convicted Chinese spy whose sole punishment was a year in a half-way house, or Lcdr. Michael Schwartz, a non-Jewish Naval officer convicted of spying for the Saudis who who never spent a day in prison. The only spy that Lieberman insists must remain in prison forever is the Jewish spy, Jonathan Pollard.

  • In advocating for the continued incarceration of Jonathan Pollard, Lieberman has pitted himself against the overwhelming majority of the American Jewish community, and all of Israel, across the entire political spectrum.

  • In his anti-Pollard stance, Lieberman goes against the rulings of his own religious leaders, in the US and Israel, who have repeatedly declared that the release of Jonathan Pollard is a religious imperative that devolves not only on all Jewish people, but upon all citizens as well. [SEE Details on the Jewish Unity Page.]

  • Lieberman has never related to Senator Charles Schumer's recent public declaration that he (unlike Lieberman) has seen the classified Pollard file and that there is nothing in it to justify the harsh treatment and Draconian sentence that Pollard received.

  • In a private conversation with Jonathan Pollard's father, Lieberman indicated that his primary concern with the case was the issue of dual loyalty and the fear that the perception of his own loyalty to America might be called into question.

  • Lieberman refuses to meet with representatives of the Pollard case to learn the facts. His anti-Pollard stance has nothing to do with altruism or morality. Rather it appears to be a self-serving means to validate himself as a player in the larger world of American power politics.


If the Pollard case can be considered an example of what voters can expect of Joseph Lieberman as Vice President of the United States, then there is much to be concerned about. Where will such a man stand on matters related to Israel and the Jewish community? Will he continue to do what he has done in the Pollard case? Will he continue to advocate to the detriment of his own kind, to prove that he is a true and loyal American?

How can any one - Jew or gentile - trust a man who has placed himself outside of his own community, refused to advocate for equal justice for one of his own, and ignored the rulings of his own religious leadership?

A recent letter published in the New York Jewish Week (03/24/00) takes an astute look at the would-be vice president:

NO MORAL GIANT by Minoo Southgate

There The Jewish Week goes again, glorifying Senator Joe Lieberman as the Jewish moral voice of the Senate, a politician with a "reputation for sobriety and rectitude - qualities in short supply in Washington ("Lieberman for Veep?", March 17)." More than once the paper has expressed such adulation, because shortly after the Clinton sex scandal Lieberman broke ranks with fellow Democrats. And harshly criticized the President's unethical conduct. By taking a moral stand, The Jewish Week believes the senator made all Jews proud. What must have skipped the paper's attention is that shortly after his harsh words, Lieberman backpedaled and moderated his criticism, sacrificing ethical principle to party politics. And at the impeachment trial, he acquitted Clinton rather than put his vote where his mouth had been. Moral cowardice and hypocrisy, not rectitude, account for such chasm between word and vote.

Caveat emptor.

See Also:
  • Senator Lieberman Page Articles
  • Six Key Points to Understanding Lieberman
  • Senate Race Page
  • Presidential Race Page