Another Former Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Calls On President To Free Pollard
Justice4JPnews - February 22, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Aaron Troodler
Yet another prominent elected official, national intelligence leader, and legal professional has appealed to the President to free Jonathan Pollard.
Arlen Specter, a former Senator United States Senator who served as both Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, recently wrote a letter to President Obama and asked him to release Pollard, who has spent more than 25 years in a federal prison for passing classified information to Israel (the full text of the letter appears below and a copy is attached).
"Based on my experience as District Attorney of Philadelphia, Chairman of The Senate Judiciary Committee, Chairman of The Senate Intelligence Committee and my studies of incarceration, I believe Jonathan Pollard has served more than long enough," wrote Specter in his letter to the President.
"I think his spying was a very serious crime. Unfortunately, spying is not an uncommon practice even between allies and friendly nations," continued Specter. "Considering all the factors, in my judgment Jonathan Pollard should not have a life sentence....."
Specter, who was first elected to the United States Senate in 1980 and served five consecutive terms, is the longest-serving Senator in Pennsylvania's history. Specter served as Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee from 1995-1997. He succeeded former Senator Dennis DeConcini as Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who has also issued a public call for Pollard's release. Specter also served as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs and Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.
Prior to being elected to the Senate, Specter served as the District Attorney of Philadelphia from 1966-1974. A veteran of the United States Air Force and a graduate of Yale Law School, Specter also served as assistant counsel for the Warren Commission, investigating the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Specter currently practices law in Philadelphia and teaches a course at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Specter's call for Pollard's release is particularly significant because of his close relationship with President Obama. In the past, Specter has earned effusive praise from the President, who was a staunch supporter of Specter's recent re-election bid.
In addition, Specter's statement that "[u]nfortunately, spying is not an uncommon practice even between allies and friendly nations," is particularly noteworthy, in that it is a direct rebuttal to the disingenuous claim made numerous times during Pollard's incarceration by elements hostile to the case in an attempt to justify the grossly disproportionate sentence Pollard received, that allies do not spy on each other.
Further, Specter's decades of public service and his reputation as a seasoned and sophisticated statesman who has served as a high-ranking official in various judicial and intelligence roles, give his calls for Pollard's release additional weight.
Arlen Specter's letter to President Obama comes in the wake of numerous calls for clemency for Pollard from prominent government officials, high-ranking individuals in the national intelligence arena, leading professionals in the legal world, and renowned religious and communal leaders.
Former CIA Director James Woolsey, former White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum, former Deputy Attorney General and Harvard Law Professor Philip Heymann, former Senator and Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Dennis DeConcini, and Congressman Anthony Weiner of New York, each of whom had the opportunity to thoroughly review Pollard's classified file and is fully familiar with the circumstances of his case, have called for Pollard's release.
In addition, a wide array of American leaders have called for a commutation of Pollard's grossly disproportionate sentence, including former Vice President Dan Quayle, former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, former Arkansas governor and former Republican Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, Senator Charles Schumer of New York, former Assistant Secretary of Defense Lawrence Korb, former New York City Mayor and former Republican Presidential candidate Rudolph Giuliani, Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, well-known conservative leader Gary Bauer, Rev. Theodore Hesburgh of Notre Dame, Pastor John Hagee, and Harvard Law Professor Charles Ogletree, who was President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama's law professor at Harvard and remains friends with them today.
The following is the text of the letter to President Obama:
February 16, 2011
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
I write to recommend the pardon of Jonathan Pollard.
Based on my experience as District Attorney of Philadelphia, Chairman of The Senate Judiciary Committee, Chairman of The Senate Intelligence Committee and my studies of incarceration, I believe Jonathan Pollard has served more than long enough.
I think his spying was a very serious crime. Unfortunately, spying is not an uncommon practice even between allies and friendly nations.
Considering all the factors, in my judgment Jonathan Pollard should not have a life sentence without parole or a pardon.
Paul Revere Public Relations, LLC
(888) 897-7450 (phone & fax)