James Woolsey: Release of Jonathan Pollard Is 'Long Past Time'

Bill Hoffmann - Newsmax - July 28, 2015

Former CIA Director James Woolsey tells Newsmax TV the upcoming release of Jonathan Pollard, the ex-U.S. Navy intelligence officer convicted of spying for Israel, is way overdue.

"It's long past time. When we have spies from enemies like Russia and China and they've gotten American spies killed, as has happened in those cases, they may get sentenced to life," Woolsey, now chairman of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said Tuesday on "The Steve Malzberg Show."

"But spies for friendly countries, such as South Korea, Philippines, Greece, typically spend four or five or six, maybe seven or eight years in prison. Pollard's been there for 30."

Pollard, who will be released in November, was convicted of spying for Israel in 1987 and hit with a life sentence. He has long been eligible for parole, but was unable to gain his freedom despite longstanding efforts by Israel.

Woolsey admitted he had opposed Pollard's release for the first "five or six years" of his incarceration, but said there's no longer any reason to keep him locked up.

  • See Also: original article with video of interview. (Woolsey discusses Pollard at the 5:05 point.)