Sunday, March 10, 2013

A misconception about Pollard

GREER FAY CASHMAN  - The Jerusalem Post
One of the reasons for a certain degree of complacency about the eventual 
release from prison of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard is that many believe 
that his freedom will be automatic once he has served 30 years. (Pollard 
began his 28th year in jail on November 21, 2012.) But that is not the case, 
former US secretary of defense Dr. Lawrence J. Korb, who has been one of the 
leading activists on Pollard’s behalf, said when asked about this at the 
Jerusalem Press Club this week. Pollard has to apply for parole, but his 
lawyers are not being given access to all the government files pertaining to 
his case.
Korb became interested in the Pollard affair after receiving a letter from 
Pollard’s father. He subsequently visited Pollard in prison and all the 
things that Pollard told him were later corroborated by the CIA.
Korb said that Pollard had been treated very harshly and had been placed in 
solitary confinement. If Pollard’s release could still be harmful to the US 
after 28 years in prison, said Korb, it would signify that America hasn’t 
progressed much in 28 years. “What information could he possibly have that’s 
still of use?” Korb also noted America’s double standards.
When Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA track down Osama 
bin Laden, received a 33-year sentence on a trumped up charge of being an 
Islamist militant, the White House was critical and raised the issue with 
the Pakistani government.
Korb doesn’t see that much difference between Pollard and Afridi.
There has been rumor to the effect that if Israel resumes negotiations with 
the Palestinians and gives in to some of their demands, this could lead to 
Pollard’s release. Korb said that making the release contingent on anything 
would be wrong.
The CIA debriefing is now in the public domain, and influential American 
figures who supported Pollard’s continued incarceration have now changed 
their minds with the realization that he did not do nearly as much damage as 
he was alleged to have done.
“He’s a human being. He’s a person.
Release him for the right reasons,” said Korb, suggesting that intelligence 
agencies had not done their job properly and that Pollard was the fall-guy 
for their incompetence.
See Also:
Why Commutation, not parole, is the only viable option for Pollard
Background following release of declassified 1987 CIA Damage Assessment
Editorial: CIA GAME CHANGER  - Jerusalem Post
OpEd: POLLARD'S CATCH - 22 - Jerusalem Post
Video: Top US Officials: Free Jonathan Pollard now!
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