Republican leader Gary Bauer joins appeal to Obama to free Pollard

Maariv News Service - November 17, 2010

Translated to English by J4JP - may be reprinted

The pressure in the United States to free the Israeli agent, Jonathan Pollard, is growing stronger and gaining new support. On the heels of the Congressional petition to Obama started by four Democrats, which now has 39 signatures, support now comes from an unexpected quarter. Conservative Republican leader, Gary Bauer, a non-Jewish and a former presidential candidate will also send his own letter to the president calling for the release of Jonathan Pollard. Up until now, support for Pollard's release has been initiated and largely supported by Jewish Democrats, so Bauer's support is a welcome move.

Bauer, who has close ties to the Evangelist community in the US, in his letter calls on Obama to use his powers of executive clemency to commute Jonathan Pollard's sentence to time-served and release him. I do not condone espionage, nor do I underestimate the gravity of Pollard's crime," he writes, "but it is patently clear that Mr. Pollard's sentence is severely disproportionate and (as several federal judges have noted) a gross miscarriage of justice."

Bauer, who is today regarded as an important leader of the Christian right wing, held several important positions in the Regan administration during the 1980's, and later founded several lobby groups for the purpose of advancing conservative values in the US. In the 2000 elections he ran against the Governor of Texas, George Bush for leadership of the Republican party and presidency of the US, but after several months withdrew due to insufficient support.

Bauer is considered in the US to be a conservative leader, and somewhat extreme. He is a strong supporter of the death sentence; a bitter opponent of abortion; opposed to same-sex marriage and opposed to stem cell experimentation. He also opposes mass immigration and his organization "American Values" opposes building a mosque at "ground zero" in New York.

Politically he follows the same line of thought as George Bush and even surpasses him. For example, he calls for tough policy toward the Arab world, China, and Russia, whereas in all matters regarding Israel he is a consistent supporter who stands by the country. He belongs to Pro-Zionist organizations. His public comments on Israel have been warmly welcomed by the Likud and others farther to the right as well.

"Religious leaders from all faiths and prominent national figures have publicly stated their support for Mr. Pollard's release," stresses Bauer in his letter, "among them the former assistant secretary of defense Korb, Rev. Hesburgh of Notre Dame, Benjamin Hooks of the NAACP, former federal judge Leighton, former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olsen, Pastor John Hagee, and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel. Perhaps most noteworthy, similar support has come from those who have seen the classified information of the damage that Pollard caused - former CIA Director James Woolsey, and former head of the Senate Intelligence Committee Senator Dennis DeConcini.

"Mr. Pollard is currently serving his

25th year of a life sentence

(seven of which were spent in solitary confinement). He was indicted on one count of passing classified information to an ally without intent to harm the United States - an offense that normally results in a 2-4 year sentence. He pled guilty under a plea agreement with which he fully complied but which was ignored by the sentencing judge.

"After more than two decades in the harshest prison conditions, Mr. Pollard's health is declining. He has repeatedly expressed remorse for his actions, and by all accounts has been a model prisoner.

"Commuting his sentence to time served would be a wholly appropriate exercise of your power of clemency -- as well as a matter of basic compassion and American justice."

  • See Also: Republican Leader Gary Bauer's letter to Obama for release of Jonathan Pollard