Republican Congressman & Former FBI Agent Calls For Pollard's Release
Justice4JPnews - March 30, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Aaron Troodler
REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN & FORMER FBI AGENT CALLS FOR POLLARD'S RELEASE
Republican Congressman Michael Grimm of New York has become the latest governmental leader, and the first Republican Member of the House of Representatives, to call for Jonathan Pollard's release. Pollard has spent more than 25 years languishing in a federal prison for passing classified information to Israel, an ally of the United States.
Congressman Grimm, who represents New York's 13th Congressional District, which is comprised of Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn, previously served as an agent for the FBI for nine years. In addition, Grimm is a former U.S. Marine who served in the Gulf War and was awarded a Combat Meritorious Promotion. Congressman Grimm currently serves on the House Committee on Financial Services, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation, and the Subcommittee on Capital Markets.
Grimm, who visited Pollard at his North Carolina prison several weeks ago, made his public call for Pollard's release at an event in Brooklyn yesterday (to see a video of Congressman Grimm making his comments about Jonathan Pollard, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KUQ0idNEIo).
In discussing Pollard, Congressman Grimm referred to his own background as an FBI agent and a long-time advocate for justice as he noted that there is a consensus that Pollard's sentence is excessive.
Grimm also noted that he is working with many other individuals in Washington to secure Pollard's release. "We are doing what we can to have justice prevail, and justice in the case is to have Jonathan Pollard released from prison," Grimm said.
Over the past several months, numerous prominent government officials, high-ranking individuals in the national intelligence arena, leading professionals in the legal world, and renowned religious and communal leaders have issued public calls for clemency for Pollard.
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.
Henry Kissinger, who served as United States Secretary of State and National Security Advisor under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, and who was a member of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board at the time of Pollard's sentencing, sent a letter to President Obama requesting that he commute Pollard's sentence to time served.
Lee Hamilton, a former U.S. Congressman from Indiana who served as Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee at the time of Jonathan Pollard's sentencing, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and is currently member of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, also called on President Obama to free Pollard.
In addition, a wide array of American leaders have called for a commutation of Pollard's sentence, including former Vice President Dan Quayle, former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, Senator John McCain of Arizona, former Arkansas governor and former Republican Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, former Senator and Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Arlen Specter, 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.
Jonathan Pollard has repeatedly expressed his remorse publicly and in private in letters to many Presidents and others. His health has deteriorated significantly during his two-and-a-half decades in prison.
Pollard's life sentence is grossly disproportionate when compared to the sentences of others who have spied for allied nations. Despite the fact that Pollard entered into a plea agreement and fully cooperated with the prosecution in his case, he nonetheless received a life sentence and a recommendation that he never be paroled, which was in complete violation of the plea agreement he had reached with the government.
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