Former CIA director James Woolsey called for the release of Jonathan Pollard in
a letter to the editor, printed in The Wall Street Journal on Thursday, hinting
that Pollard’s being Jewish may be a reason he is still behind bars.
those hung up for some reason on the fact that he’s an American Jew, pretend
he’s a Greek- or Korean- or Filipino-American and free him,” Woolsey
As CIA director from 1993 to 1995, Woolsey recommended against
clemency for the spy, but now says that the nearly two decades that Pollard
served since then are enough.
“Of the more than 50 recently convicted
Soviet bloc and Chinese spies, only two – Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen – also
received life sentences, and two-thirds of these some-50 enemy spies served or
have been sentenced to less time than Pollard has already served,” Woolsey
Pollard, he added, expressed remorse for his actions,
cooperated with the US government, and pledged not to use the crime for profit
after his release.
Earlier this week, President Shimon Peres promised to
continue to work for the release of Pollard, in a meeting with his wife, Esther,
Peres met with Esther Pollard for the first time since his
trip to Washington last month, where he asked US President Barack Obama to
commute Pollard’s sentence to the more than 26 years that he has
Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.