Jonathan Pollard 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Documents submitted by the late American defense secretary Caspar Weinberger
that were used to incriminate Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard should no longer be
classified, Weinberger’s deputy at the time of Pollard's arrest, Lawrence Korb,
said over the weekend.
Korb said there was no reason not to hand over the
documents. But their declassification is considered very unlikely.
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he was sentenced, Pollard has never been allowed to challenge the claims in the
documents in court. His security-cleared attorneys have never been allowed
access to the secret portions of his sentencing file, though those who oppose
his release have had access and used it against him.
New York Senator
Charles Schumer and former mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who have seen the documents,
have said publicly that there was nothing in them to justify the life sentence
Pollard has been serving for 25 years. But Pollard cannot return to court,
because all his legal avenues have been exhausted, so he is seeking clemency
from US president Barack Obama.
In an opinion piece published in
Thursday’s Los Angeles Times, Korb wrote that Pollard deserved to be severely
punished for his actions but that his punishment does not fit the crime he
committed of giving classified information to a US ally.
Korb noted that
in return for his guilty plea – which spared the government the embarrassment of
conducting a trial involving highly sensitive information – and his cooperation
with the US government, the US attorney pledged not to seek a life sentence for
He suggested three reasons why he was still given a life
sentence in complete in violation of a plea agreement which Pollard
honored and the US violated: a false affidavit submitted to the
sentencing judge by Weinberger which is still classified; the Israeli
government's more than 10 years of refusal to acknowledge that Pollard
was one of its agents; and Pollard's lack of remorse for his actions - a
charge which has been repeatedly refuted.
Korb said that
since then Weinberger's false contentions had been debunked, the Israeli
government admitted that Pollard was its agent, and Pollard himself has publicly
expressed remorse on multiple occasions.
“Some now argue that Pollard
should be released because it would improve US-Israeli relations and enhance the
prospects of success of the Obama administration's Middle East peace process,”
“Although that may be true, it is not the reason I and many
others have recently written to the president requesting that he grant Pollard
clemency. The reason is that Pollard has already served far too long for the
crime for which he was convicted, and by now, whatever facts he might know would
have little effect on national security.”
Affairs Minister Rafi Eitan, during a Sunday interview on Army Radio,
responded to Korb's comments and claimed that the Israeli government
cooperated with the investigation into Pollard's actions and then-prime
minister Shimon Peres invited US defense teams to Israel.
Eitan, who was Pollard's Israeli handler, called on the US to investigate recent evidence that has come to light and reopen the investigation.
Eitan also said that he cooperated with Alan Dershowitz, American attorney and long-time supporter of Justice for Pollard.