Convicted spy Pollard's father traumatized by events

Pollard's father claims he can't sleep; troubled by what he sees as "an overwhelming miscarriage of justice."

January 17, 2011 13:23
2 minute read.
Morris Pollard speaks about his son Jonathan

Morris Pollard 311 AP. (photo credit: Associated Press)


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The 94-year-old father of ex-US Navy analyst Jonathan Pollard, convicted of spying for Israel, said Sunday he can’t sleep at night with his son still in prison serving a life sentence.

Morris Pollard said the 1987 sentence of his son is “such an overwhelming miscarriage of justice” that he keeps “waking up fighting with people” in his imagination.

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The elder Pollard, a former cancer researcher and director of the Lobund Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame, told the South Bend Tribune he’s particularly upset about the role that then-US defense secretary Caspar Weinberger played in a letter to the court seeking a heavy sentence.

“How can you have a man in prison on the sealed testimony of an accuser, Caspar Weinberger, who should be automatically disqualified for being convicted... as part of the Iran- Contra Affair?” he told the Tribune.

“I can’t sleep because of it.

It’s such an overwhelming miscarriage of justice that I keep waking up fighting with people.”

Jonathan Pollard is now 54.

He worked as a civilian intelligence analyst when he was arrested, tried and convicted of passing US secrets to Israel.

The elder Pollard believes the US government is using his son as a pawn in negotiations with Israel.

“You can fight for justice as much as you want to,” he says, “but the government has decided to use him as a means to get Israel to agree to certain things. This is my interpretation: He is a hostage.”

Pollard has not spoken to his son since 2003, when Jonathan phoned from prison to speak to grieving family members upon the death of his mother, Mildred Pollard, at the age of 84.

At the time, father and son spoke of reconciliation after a long period of estrangement, but ever since, the elder Pollard says, Jonathan has refused to accept phone calls or grant requests for visitation.

“I happened to be in North Carolina a couple times,” Morris Pollard told the Tribune, “and I called the prison and said, ‘I’d like to come visit my son. Can you see if it’s OK?’ And they said no.”

He said he feels “bad” about the state of the relationship but does not blame his son.

“I have a friend who is a retired federal judge in Chicago, and he said, don’t blame the person in jail on trumpedup charges,” he says, “because they change, they become angry with everyone.”

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