Congress Calls for Clemency for Pollard and Continues to Ignore Calls for Freedom for Vanunu

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by Eileen Fleming

 

After the most recent meeting between President Barack Obama, Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Congressmen Gary Ackerman of New York and Barney Frank of Massachusetts followed up with a letter to Obama asking for Israeli Spy, Jonathan Pollard’s sentence be commuted to time served.

Jonathan Jay Pollard was born in 1954 in Texas and grew up in an affluent family in Indiana. Until 1998 Israel publicly denied that Pollard was an Israeli spy, although it granted him citizenship in 1995.

Congressman Ackerman is the Vice Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, a member of the House Financial Services Committee and is Chair of the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia. That subcommittee is a key panel of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and has jurisdiction over U.S. policy in the Middle East.

In 1992, Rep. Gary Ackerman, called on President Bush to commute the remainder of Pollard’s sentence after visiting with Pollard on 23 December 1992, in the federal prison in Marion, Illinois.

Ackerman said then that the former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst had served enough time – seven years and he should be freed. Pollard pleaded guilty in 1986 to transmitting intelligence to Israel and was given a life sentence, but the median sentence for such an offense is 2 to 4 years.

Congressman Frank was chairman of the House Financial Services Committee from 2007 to 2011, and remains the ranking Democrat.

In November 2010, Frank spearheaded a letter to President Obama that was signed by 39 members of Congress, asking the President to commute Jonathan Pollard’s sentence.





In that letter to the President, Frank wrote, “Mr. Pollard has been incarcerated now for over twenty six years, and from our perspective this stands as a sufficient time from the standpoint of either punishment or deterrence. There is a great disparity between the amount of time that Mr. Pollard has served and the time that has been served by many others who were found guilty of similar activity on behalf of nations that, like Israel, are our allies.”

Ackerman and Frank wrote, “commuting Pollard’s sentence would go a long way in demonstrating to Israel that the bond between the United States and Israel is powerful and unwavering.

“In addition to President Peres and Prime Minister Netanyahu stressing the grave danger that a nuclear Iran poses to Israel and the United States when they recently met with President Obama, the Israeli leaders also asked the President to release Pollard.

“We further believe that at a time when Israel, our democratic ally, is being faced with a range of difficult decisions, a decision by you to commute Mr. Pollard’s sentence would not only be a humane act, but would also be taken in Israel as a further affirmation of the strong commitment the U.S. has to the ties between us, and we believe that such an affirmation could be especially useful at a time when those decisions are being made.” [1]

In January 2011, Prime Minister Netanyahu became the first Israeli prime minister to formally and publicly request the release of Jonathan Pollard in an official letter to President Obama calling for freedom for Pollard.

In April 2011, President Peres hand-delivered a personal letter from Jonathan Pollard to President Obama, in which Pollard pleaded with the President to release him. To date, there has been no response to either request from the White House.

Other calls for clemency for Pollard have come from “prominent government officials, high-ranking individuals in the national intelligence arena, leading professionals in the legal world, and renowned religious and communal leaders.” [IBID]

Some American’s who have called for Pollards release include:

Former Secretary of State George Shultz, former Senator David Durenberger who served as Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence at the time of Pollard’s conviction, former Congressman Lee Hamilton, who served as Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee at the time of Jonathan Pollard’s sentencing, former Assistant Secretary of Defense Lawrence Korb, and former National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane, who served under President Ronald Reagan at the time when Pollard was investigated and ultimately charged with disclosing classified information to an ally without intent to harm the United States

Former CIA Director James Woolsey, former Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Senator Dennis DeConcini, former White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum and former Deputy Attorney General and Harvard Law Professor Philip Heymann, who are fully aware of all of the contents of Pollard’s classified file and with the facts and circumstances of this case have joined that chorus.

And a few other’s who have called for clemency for Pollard include former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former Vice President Dan Quayle, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, Republican Senator John McCain, and Democratic Senator Charles Schumer.

Recently a bi-partisan group of eighteen prominent former United States Senators, including four former Chairmen of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence called on President Obama to commute Pollard’s sentence.

Pollard has expressed remorse publicly and in private in many letters to many Presidents and his health is of grave concern for his family and friends.

It should be noted that Pollard entered into a plea agreement and cooperated with the prosecution, but he still received a life sentence with a recommendation that he never be paroled and this is in violation of the plea agreement he had reached with the US government.

“Although Pollard insists he was motivated by concern for Israeli security, he was paid (and is still being paid) a handsome salary by the Israeli government. His Israeli handlers also provided gifts and trips to Europe for Pollard and his wife, Anne. The severity of Pollard’s sentence was based on secret testimony by [then-Defense Secretary] Caspar Weinberger, who is on record as saying that Pollard was lucky–he should have received three life sentences. Pollard provided Israeli intelligence with more than 1,000 classified U.S. documents, some consisting of hundreds of pages, comprising overall some 360 cubic feet of paper.

“According to American investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, Pollard sold information on nuclear targets in the Soviet Union to Israel. U.S. defense sources suggest that what caused the most bitter anger against Pollard in the Pentagon and throughout the American intelligence community was the fact that the information compromised human agents in the Soviet Union and elsewhere. U.S. intelligence sources have concluded that the Israeli government bartered this information to the Soviet Union.” [2]

Whatever information Pollard sold over a quarter of a century ago to Israel has done its damage to US and common sense calls to reevaluate allies.

Conscience calls for compassion and continuing Pollard’s incarceration is unconscionable; however for those with a grudge let them take comfort knowing that Pollard will forever be reviled by many for his spying on US for America’s “ally”, who also targeted with intent to destroy the Spy Ship, the USS LIBERTY in 1967: Read more…

Israel’s Nuclear Whistle Blower, Mordechai Vanunu was born in Marrakesh, Morocco on 13 October 1954, and it must be noted that WIKIPEDIA refused my edit to their error claiming Vanunu was born on the 14th– but that is another and very long story: Read more…
In April 1999, thirty-six members of the House of Representatives signed a letter calling for Israeli Nuclear Whistle Blower, Mordechai Vanunu’s release from prison because they believed “we have a duty to stand up for men and women like Mordechai Vanunu who dare to articulate a brighter vision for humanity.”

President Clinton responded with a public statement expressing concern for Vanunu and the need for Israel and other non-parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty to adhere to it and accept IAEA safeguards; but ever since the silence from the US Government over Israel’s WMD as well as Israel’s Administrative Torture and Lawless Captivity of Vanunu Mordechai has been deafening- and that is one reason why I am seeking to serve as a US House Representative.

As Vanunu told me, “All the secrets I had were published in 1989 in an important book, by [Nuclear Physicist] Frank Barnaby, The Invisible Bomb: Nuclear Arms Race in the Middle East.

The London Sunday Times hired Barnaby to vet Vanunu’s story and the two spent three long days together before Vanunu was lured to Rome, kidnapped, drugged, clubbed and shipped back to Israel for his closed door trial.

Barnaby testified at that trial:

“I found Vanunu very straightforward about his motives for violating Israel’s secrecy laws he explained to me that he believed that both the Israeli and the world public had the right to know about the information he passed on. He seemed to me to be acting ideologically.

“Israel’s political leaders have, he said, consistently lied about Israel’s nuclear-weapons programme and he found this unacceptable in a democracy. The knowledge that Vanunu had about Israel’s nuclear weapons, about the operations at Dimona, and about security at Dimona could not be of any use to anyone today. He left Dimona in October 1985.” [3]

In their letter to President Obama, on March 6, 2012, Congressmen Ackerman and Frank wrote:

“We are writing you again to urge you to use your constitutional power to commute the sentence of Jonathan Pollard. Such an action would not in any way imply doubt about his guilt. Mr. Pollard committed serious crimes, and he has admitted this and expressed remorse. The fact remains, however, that there is a great disparity between the amount of time that Mr. Pollard has served and the time that has been served by many others who were found guilty of similar activity on behalf of nations that, like Israel, are our allies. Mr. Pollard has been incarcerated now for over twenty six years, and from our perspective this stands as a sufficient time from the standpoint of either punishment or deterrence. We further believe that at a time when Israel, our democratic ally, is being faced with a range of difficult decisions, a decision by you to commute Mr. Pollard’s sentence would not only be a humane act, but would also be taken in Israel as a further affirmation of the strong commitment the U.S. has to the ties between us, and we believe that such an affirmation could be especially useful at a time when those decisions are being made.”

If I were a US congressional Representative now, I would have edited it to read: Israel is not and never was intended to be a Democracy as Ariel Sharon explained on May 28, 1993:

“The terms ‘democracy’ or ‘democratic’ are totally absent from the Declaration of Independence. This is not an accident. The intention of Zionism was not to bring democracy, needless to say. It was solely motivated by the creation in Eretz-Isrel of a Jewish state belonging to all the Jewish people and to the Jewish people alone. This is why any Jew of the Diaspora has the right to immigrate to Israel and to become a citizen of Israel.”

If I were a US congressional Representative now, I would provide every member of Congress a copy of “An Israeli in Palestine: Resisting Dispossession, Redeeming Israel” by Jeff Halper, American Israeli and co-founder and coordinator of Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions and Professor of Anthropology, who explained on page 74:

“An ethnocracy is the opposite of a democracy, although it might incorporate some elements of democracy such as universal citizenship and elections. It arises when one particular group-the Jews in Israel, the Russians in Russia, the Protestants in pre-1972 Northern Ireland, the whites in apartheid South Africa, the Shi’ite Muslims in Iran, the Malay in Malaysia and, if they had their way, the white Christian fundamentalists in the US-seize control of the government and armed forces in order to enforce a regime of exclusive privilege over other groups in what is in fact a multi-ethnic or multi-religious society. Ethnocracy, or ethno-nationalism, privileges ethnos over demos, whereby one’s ethnic affiliation, be it defined by race, descent, religion, language or national origin, takes precedence over citizenship in determining to whom a county actually ‘belongs.'”

If the ties that bind US to Israel are to persist, the Truth must be comprehended and the times must a’change for it is US collusion in Israel’s Nuclear Ambiguity/Deceptions and support of Israel’s illegal and brutal military occupation of Palestine, that are at the root of why this Homeland will never be safe from terrorism.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammad involvement in the terror upon America on that day we call 9/11, “By his own account…stemmed from his violent disagreement with U.S. foreign policy favoring Israel.” [4]

Abdulmutallab’s attempt to blow up a plane on Christmas Day in 2009, was fueled by “his sympathies toward the Palestinians and anger over Israel’s actions in Gaza.” [Ibid]

On George Washington’s birth date, his Farewell Address has been read aloud in Congress ever since 1896:

“Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all…and passionate attachments for others should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave…a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former in the quarrels and wars of the latter, without adequate justification.”
Insha’Allah/God Willing, that warning will enter into the Conscience of Congress this election cycle and bring in The Change We Can Believe In and Need!

I am Eileen Fleming for US HOUSE and I approve of all of my messages.

  1. Two Congressional Leaders Call On Obama To Free Pollard In Support Of The US-Israel Special Relationship
  2. A Tale of Two Spies
  3. BEYOND NUCLEAR: Mordechai Vanunu’s FREEDOM of SPEECH Trial and My Life as a Muckraker: 2005-2010
  4. Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, March 2010, page 35

Author Details
Eileen Fleming, A Citizen of CONSCIENCE for House of Representatives 2012 campaign can be followed at EileenFleming.org. Eileen also founded WeAreWideAwake.org, Produced “30 Minutes with Vanunu” and “13 Minutes with Vanunu” and authored “Keep Hope Alive” and “Memoirs of a Nice Irish American ‘Girl’s’ Life in Occupied Territory” and BEYOND NUCLEAR: Mordechai Vanunu’s FREEDOM of SPEECH Trial and My Life as a Muckraker: 2005-2010. Visit Eileen’s YouTube Channel
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