Arutz-7 Open Letter to Mrs. Bush: Pollard Must be Freed!

IsraelNationalNews - May 22, 2005

An open letter from Arutz-7 to U.S. First Lady Laura Bush, who is visiting Israel on a humanitarian mission:

Dear Mrs. Bush,

Jonathan Pollard, an Israeli agent who was convicted of passing classified information to a U.S. ally, has served twenty years in prison. For the past 12 years, he has been incarcerated in Butner Federal Prison in North Carolina. He was transferred to Butner from Marion Federal Prison in Illinois, where he was held in an underground cell in solitary confinement for seven years.

Pollard's life sentence and subsequent treatment is a cruel and unusual punishment and is unprecedented in the history of similar cases in which punishments have ranged between 4-7 years in jail. Never has an agent working for a friendly country received such a harsh sentence.

Pollard never stood trial for his crime. Rather, he received his life sentence after entering into a plea-bargain agreement in which the government promised not to seek a life sentence. Pollard cooperated with US government investigators and pleaded guilty with the expectation that some leniency would be shown - but the legal system sorely let him down.

Your husband's predecessor, Bill Clinton, promised then-Prime Minister Netanyahu to release Pollard during the Wye talks of late 1998 as part of an overall Israeli-Palestinian Authority agreement. Though Clinton later claimed he never made such a promise, Wye participant Natan Sharansky later said: "Clinton promised him - I was there." Citing a threat by CIA head George Tenet to resign, Clinton reneged on his promise - and Pollard remained in prison.

Mrs. First Lady, as you embark on your human rights mission to the Middle East, we ask that you first look to this terrible miscarriage of justice that is happening in the US. Please remember your pledge to help end human suffering, and recall the commitment of the United States to protect life and liberty. Please, hear the cries of a man who has amply paid the price for his actions.

It's been 20 years. Jonathan Pollard should be set free.

With Blessings,
The Arutz-7 Editorial Staff

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