Tuesday, December 23, 2014
If Pres. Obama Can Free 10 Guantanamo Terrorists & 3 Cuban Spies -- Why Not Jonathan Pollard?
NEW YORK, The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA)reiterates its call of last week for President Barack Obama to free Jonathan Pollard, after President Obama freed three convicted spies who spied for an enemy regime, Cuba, and now that he has also freed ten terrorists imprisoned at Guantanamo. ---
The first of six, freed the previous week -- a Tunisian, a Palestinian and four Syrians -- captured in Pakistan and Afghanistan 12 years ago, were released to Uruguay, which in turn immediately released the men. President Obama has now also released four Afghans captured over a decade ago. There is no U.S. requirement that the government of Afghanistan continue to detain the men, meaning all ten are free (Allen McDuffee, 'U.S. Releases Four Afghan Detainees From Guantanamo,' The Atlantic, December 20, 2014).
As with the three Cubans freed last week, these men worked for America's enemies and were imprisoned for a similar period (12 years for the first six Guantanamo men, over a decade for the latest four, 13 years for the Cuban spies) -- whereas Jonathan Pollard, spying for an American ally, Israel, and whose activities cost no American lives, has sat in jail for 29 years.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, "As we noted last week, it is deeply disturbing that President Obama, who has been repeatedly urged by U.S. officials who held responsibility at the time for national security and intelligence matters to free Jonathan Pollard, has refused to do so.
"In contrast, President Obama repeatedly frees spies and terrorists who fought for America's enemies and whose activities claimed American lives.
"Jonathan Pollard passed on classified information to Israel, a U.S. ally, not a U.S. enemy. There was, thus, no treason involved. Pollard pled guilty to the charges and apologized for his crimes.
"Despite, having pled guilty as part of a plea bargain, Pollard was shown no leniency and was given the maximum sentence, comparable to that of Aldrich Ames, the chief of CIA counterintelligence in Eastern Europe, who passed critical defense secrets to the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and was found responsible for the deaths of at least 11 U.S. agents!
"A host of senior past high U.S. government officials with responsibility for relevant national security, international and legal affairs, such as former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George P. Schultz, former CIA Director R. James Woolsey, former National Security Advisor Robert C. "Bud" McFarlane, former Assistant Secretary for Defense Lawrence J. Korb, former Deputy National Security Adviser Elliott Abrams, former Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman David Durenberger, former Deputy Attorney General Philip Heymann; former White House counsel Bernard Nussbaum, former Senate Judiciary Committee Member, Dennis DeConcini, and former U.S. Ambassadors to Israel Samuel Lewis and Thomas Pickering, have all publicly and in writing stated that Jonathan Pollard's sentence has been disproportionate and urged President Obama to pardon him.
"Jonathan Pollard has already served nearly three decades behind bars, which is by far the harshest sentence ever meted out for the offense he committed -- the average term for which is a fine, or two to four years' imprisonment.
"If President Obama can free 10 Guantanamo terrorists who took up arms against America, he can certainly pardon Jonathan Pollard. He should do so without further delay."