Saturday, July 25, 2015

Finally!

After decades of one of the greatest travesties of justice in modern American history, the current President of the United States is preparing to right a terrible wrong.  We have no doubt that he's doing it for Machiavellian reasons: it is a carefully calculated move to curry favor with Israel, while betraying that nation and empowering Iran.  We do not congratulate the current President on this action; he is a vicious Jew-hater and is devoted to the destruction of Israel.  We only wonder why it wasn't done years ago by a legitimate president.  Nevertheless, if the following article is true, we rejoice with the family of Jonathan Pollard, and pray that he may spend his remaining years in peace, under his own vine and fig tree.  Praise God!


U.S. Preparing to Release Convicted Israeli Spy Jonathan Pollard, Officials Say

The Wall Street Journal 

By Devlin Barrett Updated July 24, 2015 6:52 p.m. ET


The Obama administration is preparing to release convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard from prison, according to U.S. officials, some of whom hope the move will smooth relations with Israel in the wake of the Iran nuclear deal.

Such a decision would end a decades long fight over Mr. Pollard, who was arrested on charges of spying for Israel in 1985 and later sentenced to life in prison. The case has long been a source of tension between the U.S. and Israel, which has argued that a life sentence for spying on behalf of a close U.S. partner is too harsh. Israel has for years sought Mr. Pollard’s early release, only to be rejected by the U.S.

Now, some U.S. officials are pushing for Mr. Pollard’s release in a matter of weeks. Others expect it could take months, possibly until his parole consideration date in November. Under sentencing laws at the time he was convicted, Mr. Pollard has to be considered for parole after 30 years,though that doesn’t mean he has to be granted parole. The Bureau of Prisons website currently lists his possible release date as Nov. 21, which is the date the federal parole commission is slated to consider whether to end his sentence.

Last year, President Barack Obama told an Israeli interviewer: “I have no plans for releasing Jonathan Pollard immediately, but what I am going to be doing is to make sure that he, like every other American who’s been sentenced, is accorded the same kinds of review and the same examination of the equities that any other individual would provide.’’
To get out before November would require unusual intervention. In the federal prison system, often the easiest way to free an inmate early is to cite deteriorating health. Mr. Pollard’s supporters say he is suffering from a host of medical ailments that should qualify him for mercy.

The U.S. has considered releasing him before but always backed away from such a move, largely because of opposition from senior leaders at the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department. When he was sentenced, then-Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger said it was hard to imagine “a greater harm to national security than that caused by” Mr. Pollard.

It is possible that such opposition could again scuttle any release, but it appears his chances of winning freedom are better now than they have ever been, U.S. officials said. Some U.S. officials said they expect he will be a free man before the year is over.

Mr. Netanyahu has personally pressed for years to get the U.S. to release Mr. Pollard, who is currently serving time in a federal prison in Butner, N.C.


Discord between Israel and the U.S., over the recent failed Middle East peace initiative and how to handle Iran, has taken the relationship between the two allies to new lows. Mr. Netanyahu has been a leading opponent of the deal struck between Tehran and six world powers to curb Iran’s nuclear program.

When U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter visited Israel earlier this week, after the nuclear deal was concluded, the two governments disagreed over how the two should deliver public remarks. Secretary of State John Kerry has announced a trip early next month to the region, but so far hasn’t included Israel as one of his stops.

The fate of Mr. Pollard is close to a national obsession in Israel, where he has become a cause célèbre.

“I can only say that like all of Israel I will be very happy if he is released,” said Noam Shalit, father of former Hamas hostage Gilad Shalit, and a public supporter of Mr. Pollard. “I can’t speak to international relations…But on the human level, I’d say it’s about time.”

Michael Oren, a member of the Knesset for the center-right Kulanu party, and Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. from 2009 to 2013, said he had been hopeful Mr. Pollard would be paroled. Mr. Oren, however, drew a distinction between the Pollard news and the tensions created by the Iran deal.

“While we are delighted that Jonathan Pollard will be a free man again, this will not change in any way our position on the nuclear deal,” he said. “The Pollard case is about justice and clemency and the nuclear deal about security and survival.”

The prospect of Mr. Pollard’s freedom still grates on many U.S. intelligence officials, in part because his release likely wouldn’t come as part of a like-for-like swap, as espionage cases are often resolved. Other officials counter that 30 years is a fair punishment and that keeping Mr. Pollard in prison until he dies would serve little purpose.

Mr. Pollard has explained his espionage activity by citing a great affinity for Israel, though counterintelligence officials say he was paid tens of thousands of dollars for his work,

From June 1984 through November 1985, Mr. Pollard removed large amounts of highly classified U.S. intelligence from his office, made copies and delivered it to Israeli operatives.

About a year after his spying began, federal agents stopped Mr. Pollard as he was leaving work and questioned him about the possible unauthorized removal of classified information.
 
During that conversation, he twice took breaks to call his wife, using a prearranged code word “cactus,” signaling that she should remove a suitcase full of classified information from their apartment. She also pleaded guilty and served three years in prison and later moved to Israel.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) said Mr. Pollard’s release “would be nothing more than a pathetic attempt by a weak administration to curry favor with our Israeli allies who across the board reject this dangerous deal with Iran.’’

A spokesman for another GOP presidential candidate, Rick Santorum said even though he supports the release of Mr. Pollard, “this does not compensate for the tremendous damage the Obama administration has done to Israeli-American relations and the damage the Iran deal poses.’’

©The Wall Street Journal, emphasis added

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1 comment:

  1. Sen. Lindsey Graham and the spokesman for Rick Santorum sound like they have a pretty good take on the situation. Praise God for Pollard's imminent release, but I don't think it's going to have quite the positive effect Obama's hoping for in trying to pacify Israel and everyone else who realizes how dangerous the Iran deal is.

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