By David Turner
I have chosen a provocative title for this article because nearing his fourth decade in prison for a crime all others similarly charged see freedom within four years, Jonathan Pollard is no more likely to be freed under Barak Obama than under George W. Bush before him or Bill Clinton before him. From today it seems no exaggeration that, barring a miracle, a young and idealistic American Jew who chose to spy for Israel will be forced to pay the ultimate price for his decision.
Jonathan Pollard had serious medical conditions at the time of his arrest in his twenties. He remains seriously ill in his fifties. And, as I suggested above, barring Divine Intervention or Israel agreeing to some extreme presidential demands bordering on extortion, Jonathan Pollard will die in prison.
Why Jonathan Pollard will die in prison
“The punishment imposed,” wrote Weinberger, “should reflect the perfidy of the individual’s actions, the magnitude of the treason committed…”
“As I say, the Pollard matter was comparatively minor. It was made far bigger than its actual importance.” Pressed on why the case was made far bigger than its actual importance, Weinberger replied, “I don’t know why-it just was.” (Weinberger interview with Edwin Black, 2002)
I. The Legend begins
In a recent article appearing on-line Prof. Angelo Codevilla, a staff member of the Senate Intelligence Committee at the time Jonathan Pollard was arrested is quoted:
“Having been intimately acquainted with the materials that Pollard passed and with the sources and methods by which they were gathered, I would be willing to give expert testimony that Pollard is guilty of neither more nor less than what the indictment alleges.”
The allegation of “treason” which is represented as having influenced DC Circuit Judge Robinson to impose the life sentence was included in Weinberger’s unclassified “supplemental” memo:
“The punishment imposed should reflect the perfidy of the individual’s actions, the magnitude of the treason committed…” (emphasis added)
Prior to entering “government service” the defense secretary was a lawyer which suggest he might have known that he was using hyperbole and not “law” in describing Pollard guilty of “treason.” Just to make sure the slur would do maximal damage Weinberger repeated the charge to the press immediately leaving the judge’s chambers. Even a decade later, in a 1999 interview with Middle East Quarterly:
MEQ: You have been quoted saying that Jonathan Pollard “should have been shot.” Is this accurate?
Weinberger: Any traitor who did what he did should be shot.
Not Weinberger or any other high ranking Reagan Administration official involved in Irangate was ever called to answer for their crimes against the United States. And today as the consequence of a matter even its principle perpetrator Weinberger called, “comparatively minor,” Pollard’s “perfidy” appearing occasionally in the press the work of “unnamed administration officials” a tool distancing American Jews from Israel. And, after nearly thirty years in prison Jonathan Pollard, sentenced to life seems increasingly likely to serve out his life sentence in full.
II. Pollard violated the plea agreement