Video: Biden supports Pollard's release in 2007, but now says:"Over my dead body!"?
Justice4JP Release - October 2, 2011 - with link to video
Giving absolutely no clue as to the reason for his flip-flop, Vice President Joe Biden recently told a group of Jewish supporters that he told President Obama not to release Jonathan Pollard. "Over my dead body, should Pollard go free!" Biden declared. [See NY TIMES: Biden tells Obama not to free Pollard]
Biden provided no rationale for his new position, nor did he offer any explanation at all to contradict the professional opinions expressed by the former head of the CIA, the former Attorney General, several former Secretaries of State, the former head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, the former White House Legal Counsel and a host of others intimately familiar with the case, who all think freedom for Pollard is long overdue!
See link below to the 2007 video interview with Joe Biden in which he expresses support for the release of Jonathan Pollard via commutation of his sentence to time served. Biden expresses his support for clemency for Pollard at the 1:20 minute mark. Biden also clarifies that while he supports commutation, he does not believe a pardon is in order, because a pardon would erase the crime as if it never occurred. All who seek Pollard's release concur and seek only commutation to time served.
CLICK HERE to view The Biden Interview.
Biden's flip-flop on Pollard supports the NY Times contention that Biden's recent declaration that Pollard should never be released was a stunt to take the hit for his boss, Obama. The president is apparently feeling the heat, being repeatedly criticized for his total silence in response to the many requests by high ranking American official requests for Pollard's release in light of his grossly disproportionate sentence. Next month Pollard will complete his 26th year of a life sentence for an offense that usually merits a 2 to 4 year sentence.
Biden made his statement of support 4 years ago -- long before the slew of requests by senior American officials to the President, calling for Pollard's release, long before Pollard had served 26 years of an unprecedented life sentence, long before Israel made its official request for his release, and long before an endless list of American notables weighed in on Pollard's behalf, seeking his release. How much more compelling the case is for Pollard's release, today, than when Biden expressed support years ago. A flip-flop at this point in time is insult to the intelligence and a slap in the face of all who pursue simple justice.
In an essay published in the Jerusalem Post, Pollard's wife, Esther wrote that the president's powers of executive clemency are not only his privilege, they are his solemn duty.
Mrs Pollard wrote: " In cases where the justice system has discharged its responsibility appropriately and the public good would be neither benefited nor harmed by the president's intervention, it is entirely his prerogative whether or not to exercise executive clemency....But in a case like that of my husband Jonathan Pollard, where the judicial system has been subverted to prosecute one American citizen excessively and where all legal remedies have been exhausted, there is a moral imperative compelling presidential intervention...Incredibly President Obama has responded with prolonged, inscrutable silence to a virtual deluge of appeals entreating him to exercise executive clemency to free Jonathan." [Full text is here.]
It is time for the President to respond.