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Posted at 9:14 PM ET, 01/11/2011

Exclusive: George Shultz calls for Jonathan Pollard's release

By Jennifer Rubin

In a remarkable development in the Jonathan Pollard case, the former secretary of state and highly respected national security figure George P. Shultz has written to the president asking for Pollard to be released:

January 11, 2011

The President

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President,

I am writing to join with many others in urging you to consider that Jonathan Pollard has now paid a huge price for his espionage on behalf of Israel and should be released from prison.

I am impressed that the people who are best informed about the classified material he passed to Israel, former CIA Director James Woolsey and former Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Dennis DeConcini, favor his release.

I find the letter you received from former Attorney General Michael Mukasey of the Bush administration particularly compelling.

With my respect,

Sincerely yours,

George P. Shultz

This is an extraordinary letter, because Shultz is not only a respected Republican and a strong defender of America's national security, but he served in the Reagan administration with Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, who wrote the letter that the court used to issue Pollard's sentence. Conservatives, in effect, have offered Obama all the support he might need should he be inclined to pardon Pollard.

The question remains: Will he?

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 11, 2011; 9:14 PM ET
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We basically have a situation in this nation in which Obama's allies are at constant WAR with the Tea Party.

There are constant attacks on the Tea Party.

The acts of war against the Tea Party have included FALSE CHARGES OF RACISM.

Now Obama's people are trying a SMEAR CAMPAIGN - attempting to link innocent people to the crimes of a mentally disturbed person.

These are INFLAMMATORY acts of war.

The NAACP resolution last summer - and the subsequent report this fall - same thing.

Obama has NEVER spoken out against these tactics - so one must conclude that Obama personally is supporting and encouraging these acts.

We basically have a situation in this country in which the President of the United States is keeping, on the side, a force of people who are much like the SS - and contantly at war with a large portion of the population.

These are Nazi tactics - designed to enforce a far-left-wing agenda - and designed to discourage and deter people from voicing opposition to the governement.

AND designed to discourage and deter people from participating in the American political process.

That is the TRUTH.


Posted by: RainForestRising | January 11, 2011 9:25 PM | Report abuse


Everytime there is a Muslim terrorist committing a crime, we see Obama running to the microphones, telling people to NOT to jump to conclusions.

IN SHARP CONTRAST, this weekend we saw Obama's people rushing to define these crimes as associated with the Tea Party, and Obama's political opponents.

This kind of conduct has NO PLACE IN AMERICA.

Seriously folks.

Obama should be called out for this conduct.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 11, 2011 9:30 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: RainForestRising | January 11, 2011 9:39 PM | Report abuse

What is the source of this Jennifer?

Posted by: AndreDeAngelis | January 11, 2011 9:54 PM | Report abuse

"I find the letter you received from former Attorney General Michael Mukasey of the Bush administration particularly compelling."

Hmmm, does anyone else find something deeply fishy about this?

If the case was particularly compelling, wasn't it as compelling two years ago when Mukasey was the AG?

There's much more going on here with this full court press than a humanitarian campaign in a newspaper!

Seymour Hersh is a VERY contraversial figure, but for what it's worth, here's a link to a piece he wrote for the New Yorker 12 years ago entitled "Why Pollard Should Never Be Released".

Posted by: 54465446 | January 11, 2011 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Getting back to the main point of the week

Obama's allies conducted a smear campaign this weekend - and that needs to be fully investigated.

In fact, Obama's FBI Director was standing next to Dupnik when Dupnik made inflammatory statements against innocent Americans - attempting to link them to crimes they did not commit.

In fact, Dupnik had prior reports of the actions of the suspect. Dupnik ACTUALLY had evidence which pointed AWAY from the Tea Party.

Instead of quietly conducting a professional criminal investigation, the country saw Dupnik trumping up charges at American who he must have known were completely innocent.

This was an intentional smear campaign -

What Obama people were involved in this smear campaign???

What Obama Federal officials took part, or remained silent, while Obama's operation smeared innocent people???



Posted by: RainForestRising | January 11, 2011 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, yeah, yeah. A bunch of Republicans are using Pollard to try and pry a few Jewish votes out of the Democratic coalition. Who cares?
The man was an admitted spy, and who knows to whom Israel sold the material he leaked. He was sentenced, let the sentence be carried out.

Posted by: kstack | January 12, 2011 7:52 AM | Report abuse


Thanks for the link. This sentence, if true, should rule out an early release:

"The Israeli government has acknowledged that Pollard was indeed spying on its behalf but has refused -- despite constant entreaties -- to provide the United States with a complete list of the documents that were turned over to it."

Posted by: Inagua1 | January 12, 2011 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Practically every legal and intelligence expert has concluded that Jonathan Pollard should never have been imprisoned.
Jonathan was sent to jail because he was the only Jew that a group of anti Semitic and anti Israel Defence and State Department thugs could get their hands on. The other Jews, Israeli politicians and diplomats for the most part, were untouchable. Thus Jonathan is serving time for them because in truth, Jonathan's supposed "crimes" were remarkably minor, and the Defence and State people really wanted to punish Israel.

Posted by: kenhe | January 12, 2011 9:08 AM | Report abuse

What is the source of this Jennifer?

Posted by: AndreDeAngelis

The letter was released to the media.

Posted by: Jennifer Rubin | January 12, 2011 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Jennifer, I should have pointed out before that pardon is the wrong term to use. You are really looking for a commutation of his sentence. No matter whether you are pro or anti, a pardon for a lawful espionage conviction would be unprecedented in our nation's history as far as my research can tell.

The restoration of Pollard's rights as a citizen would be horrific, even if you believe that he should be released.

Posted by: 54465446 | January 12, 2011 2:46 PM | Report abuse

“Those Juggling Fiends”… Appellate Judge Stephen Williams 1992 dissent excerpt:

“Pollard’s plea agreement required him to plead guilty and to cooperate. On its side, the government made three promises of significance here.

First, it would bring to the court’s attention “the nature, extent and value of [Pollard's] cooperation and testimony” and would represent that the information supplied was of “considerable value to the Government’s damage assessment analysis, its investigation of this criminal case, and the enforcement of the espionage laws.”

Second, it would not ask for a life sentence (this promise was implicit but it is not contested by the government), though it would be free to recommend a “substantial period of incarceration.”

Third, the government limited its reserved right of allocution to “the facts and circumstances” of Pollard’s crimes. The government complied in spirit with none of its promises; with the third, it complied in neither letter nor spirit.
…On the promise not to ask for a life sentence, the government coupled its adherence to the letter with an even more flagrant violation of the agreement’s spirit.

It presented memoranda from Secretary of Defense Weinberger saying that “no crime is more deserving of severe punishment than conducting espionage activities against one’s own country,” that “it is difficult for me … to conceive of a greater harm to national security than that caused by the defendant,” and that “the punishment imposed should reflect the perfidy of [his] actions, the magnitude of the treason committed, and the needs of national security.”

While these remarks did not expressly endorse a life sentence (or use a synonym…) the repeated use of superlatives implied an appeal for the maximum. Weinberger’s reference to treason took the point further. Whereas treason carries the death penalty, and involves aiding the nation’s enemies, Pollard was charged with espionage, carrying a maximum of life imprisonment and encompassing aid even to friendly nations – here, Israel.

Of course the sentencing judge knew the difference, but the government’s barrage expressed a viewpoint that the government had promised not to express. Weinberger’s subtext was that the heaviest possible sentence was the lightest that was just. …

That the government had reserved the right to seek “a substantial period of incarceration” does not change the analysis. Of course the government remained free to lay out the details of the crime and its impact on national security. These, coupled with an explicit plea for a substantial sentence, might well have secured the government’s objective. But the availability of these methods scarcely entitled it to wheel out the heaviest rhetorical weapons, calling for a life sentence in all but name……


Posted by: furtiveadmirer | January 16, 2011 2:48 AM | Report abuse

...Finally, despite its agreement to confine its allocution to the “facts and circumstances” of the offenses, the government told the district judge that Pollard’s expressions of remorse were “both belated and hollow” and “grounded in the fact he was caught (emphasis in original); that Pollard was a “recidivist” who was “contemptuous of this Court’s authority” and “unworthy of trust”; that Pollard felt “blind contempt” for the U.S. military, and had a “warped” and “skewed” perspective; that Pollard was “traitorous,” “arrogant [and] deceitful,” “without remorse,” and “literally addicted to the high lifestyle funded by his espionage activities.”

The assistant U.S. Attorney note that he (the assistant) had been brought up to regard two sins as “unforgivable,” arrogance and deception – precisely the two sins that he repeatedly imputed to Pollard. Pollard’s “loyalty to Israel transcends his loyalty to the United States,” said Secretary Weinberger.

The government devoted much space to marshaling evidence that Pollard was driven by greed (“enamored of the prospect for monetary gain”; motivated by “the lure of money”), and not materially affected by anti-terrorist concerns, or, by implied extension, by any sympathy for Israel.

The government contends that in the phrase by which it retained “full right of allocution at all times concerning the facts and circumstances of the offenses,” the limiting reference to “facts and circumstances” was a nullity. This is hard to swallow. As the majority points out, the contrast with the language in Anne Pollard’s plea agreement suggests that here the parties intended to excluded some otherwise acceptable elements of an allocution."

Posted by: furtiveadmirer | January 16, 2011 2:51 AM | Report abuse

Even Pollard Deserves Better Than Government Sandbagging
September 4, 1991 - L. Gordon Crovitz
The Wall Street Journal: Rule of Law section

"Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger signed court papers in 1987 that urged a stiff sentence for an American caught spying. "The magnitude of the treason committed," Mr. Weinberger wrote, was so serious that "no crime is more deserving of severe punishment." Guided by the defense secretary's statement that he could not "conceive of greater harm to national security," federal Judge Aubrey Robinson sentenced the spy to the maximum term - life imprisonment.

Three cheers for a judge tough on crime, but hold on. Mr. Weinberger's claim that Jonathan Pollard committed treason by spying for Israel was bad law or curious diplomacy. The capital offense of treason is one of the few crimes defined by the Constitution. "Treason against the U.S. shall consist only in levying war against them, or, in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort."

Prosecutors never claimed that Pollard, who pleaded guilty to an espionage conspiracy count, either made war against the U.S. or by helping Israel helped an enemy. A prosecutor repeated the slur by calling Pollard's actions, "traitorous conduct."

With this kind of hyperbole muddying the case, it's not surprising that Pollard's lawyers have good arguments for a reduced sentence from the federal appeals court in Washington, which will hear Pollard's appeal next week.

It's hard to call up much sympathy for any spy. Even Pollard agrees that his crime deserves considerable time in jail. He took advantage of his job as a U.S. Navy analyst to pass intelligence to Israel. In 1986, he pleaded guilty to delivering secrets to a foreign government. Still, a nation of civil liberties deserves a new look at Pollard's life sentence in the penitentiary in Marion, Ill., where for the past five years he has spent 23 hours a day in solitary.

Pollard spied for an ally; his neighboring jail cells house former CIA agent Edwin Wilson, who armed Libya, and John Walker, the former Navy officer whose family sold military secrets to the Soviets. Pollard, who is Jewish, tried to justify himself partially as helping Israel, not hurting the U.S. He pointed out in a letter reprinted on these pages during the Persian Gulf War that many of the U.S. spy photos he supplied to Israel "were of a number of Iraqi chemical weapons manufacturing plants which the Reagan administration did not want to admit existed." Other material helped the Israelis evade detection when they bombed PLO headquarters in Tunis in 1985.

The most compelling reason to wonder if justice was done is not what Pollard did or didn't do. It is a more narrowly legal question: For all the Perfidy of Pollard's spying, is there any justification for the behaviour of prosecutors and other government officials involved in this case?

See Part 4...

Posted by: furtiveadmirer | January 16, 2011 2:56 AM | Report abuse

It would have been one thing for Pollard to get a life sentence after a trial and conviction, but the key is that prosecutors instead got him to agree to a plea bargain. Prosecutors pledged in exchange to recommend only "a substantial period of incarceration and a monetary fine," not life imprisonment. The bounds of prosecutorial zeal do not allow the government to violate plea agreements. The appeals judges will hear evidence, including the "traitor" red herring, that prosecutors breached their contract with Pollard.

Prosecutors promised in the plea agreement to detail for the judge only the "facts and circumstances of the offenses." In the usual course of events, this silence on a defendant's character would have given the sentencing judge a clear hint for a sentence far below the maximum.

Instead, Pollard's lawyers note that in court the prosecutor went beyond a recitation of the facts of his offenses. In addition to the traitor claim, the assistant U.S. attorney pressed for a stiff sentence by using the phrase "arrogance and deception" seven times to describe Pollard, with "vengeful," "contemptuous" and "venal" thrown in for good measure.

Prosecutors also trivialized his cooperation and admitted in court papers that they "wired" the plea by holding Pollard's [then-] wife hostage to a deal - much as prosecutors got Michael Milken to plead guilty by threatening to go after his brother. There is no rule against wiring pleas by hinging deals on freeing third parties from prosecution., but the Supreme Court requires strict judicial review to prove voluntariness.

The appeals judges are in no position to weight the harm to the U.S. from Pollard's spying, but they know that prosecutors were willing to settle for a plea that many court watchers guessed would justify a sentence of 15 to 20 years. If they want evidence of the impact of prosecutors going beyond the plea bargain, Exhibit A is the shorter jail terms given to Americans who spied for our enemies. A good case could be made for shooting all spies, but disproportionality should raise eyebrows:

James Hall, an Army officer who sold classified plans to the Soviet Union and East Germany, was sentenced in 1989 to 40 years in jail.

Clayton Lonetree, the Marine sergeant in Moscow, spied for the Soviets and was sentenced in 1987 to 30 years.

Richard Miller, the first FBI agent ever tried for espionage, turned over secrets, including a counter-intelligence manual, to the Soviets. Last year, he was sentenced to 20 years. With the time Miller has served and the judge's urging of leniency, he could be paroled next year.

Abdelkader Helmy, a missile researcher, was sentenced in 1989 for selling technology to Egypt that found its way to Iraq. He got less than five years.

See Part V...

Posted by: furtiveadmirer | January 16, 2011 3:00 AM | Report abuse

...Samuel Morison, a Navy analyst, removed scores of confidential material, including photos he sold that were printed in Jane's Defense Weekly. In 1985, he was sentenced to two years.
Papers filed in Pollard's appeal argue that the question for the court is "limits on government when its competitive zeal and retributive anger have been aroused by an unpopular defendant." If these words sound like ACLU boilerplate, the Pollard appeal is also interesting as the most recent example of what be called civil-libertarian conservatism.

Pollard's lawyer on appeal is Theodore Olson, a former Reagan Justice Department official who was victim of a groundless investigation by one of Congress's special prosecutors. Mr. Olson's decision to take on the Pollard's case follows Robert Bork's success in reversing the RICO conviction of Robert Wallach in the Wedtech case. Mr. Bork, the former judge and trashed Supreme Court nominee, is also arguing the unconstitutionality of RICO as applied to commodities traders in Chicago.

The Pollard case raises broad questions about how to treat spies for our allies, but also presents a more constantly pressing domestic issue. That is that no crime entitles prosecutors to induce plea bargains with broken promises or bullying tactics. Nothing Pollard passed on to the Israelis would harm American interests as much as a declaration by judges that there are no limits on prosecutors."

The topic is Jonathan Pollard. Why does the columnist allow the other unrelated comments? They can write elsewhere for sure. DELETE THEM.

Posted by: furtiveadmirer | January 16, 2011 3:03 AM | Report abuse

..So the government was free to relate not only the intelligence implications of Pollard’s acts, but also details supporting an inference that his motive was pecuniary. But if the limit meant anything, it could not allow the government to wrap the raw facts in an inflammatory rhetoric, endlessly alluding to its (necessarily subjective) opinions that Pollard was greedy and immoral, depicting his conduct as the apogee of espionage, naming him a traitor, and delivering a tirade on his “arrogance and deceit.”

Taken together, the government’s three promises worked a substantial restraint on the government’s allocution. Its commitments to restrict itself to facts and circumstances, and to assess Pollard’s cooperation as having considerable value, closed off a means by which it might demand a life sentence in all but name….

Pollard’s sentence should be vacated and the case remanded for resentencing. This should occur before a new judge as [the Santobello case] indicates, even though “the fault here rests on the prosecutor (diGenova), not on the sentencing judge.” …

Though I do not wish to be too critical of the government, and though the analogy is inexact on some points, the case does remind me of Macbeth’s curse against the witches, whose promises – and their sophistical interpretations of them – led them to doom:

'And be these juggling fiends no more believ’d,
That palter with us in a double sense;
That keep the word of promise to our ear,
And break it to our hope.' ”


Posted by: furtiveadmirer | January 16, 2011 3:22 AM | Report abuse

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