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June 13th, 2012
02:23 PM ET

BLITZER’S BLOG: Pressure mounting on Obama to free Pollard

By Wolf Blitzer, CNN

(CNN) - The pressure is mounting on President Barack Obama to free Jonathan Jay Pollard, the American convicted of spying for Israel.

Israeli President Shimon Peres says he will ask Obama to give clemency to the former U.S. naval intelligence analyst who pleaded guilty to providing Israel with classified documents in 1987.

Peres is in Washington to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Obama.

Two congressmen, Reps. Christopher Smith, R-New Jersey, and Eliot Engel, D-New York, are circulating a letter on Capitol Hill asking the president to commute Pollard’s sentence to time served.

“What Mr. Pollard did was wrong,” the two lawmakers wrote. “He broke the law and deserved to be punished for his crime.”

But they say 25 years is a long enough sentence.

But there’s also enormous pressure from inside the U.S. law enforcement and intelligence community to keep Pollard in jail.

When asked Wednesday what the administration’s stance on the issue is, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, “Our position has not changed and will not change today. I would simply remind you that Mr. Pollard was convicted of extremely serious crimes.”

This is not the first time this issue has come up.

Under similar pressure from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Former President Bill Clinton was close to freeing Pollard near the end of his second term. Clinton was trying to negotiate an interim Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. But then-CIA Director George Tenet said he would resign if Pollard were freed.

As part of his plea agreement in 1987, Pollard pleaded guilty. Because there was no trial, the Reagan administration did not need to release any sensitive or classified information as evidence.

In exchange, Joseph E. diGenova, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, worked out an arrangement with Pollard’s defense attorneys that he would receive a substantial sentence but not the maximum sentence - life.

Yet in an extraordinary move, Judge Aubrey Robinson rejected the plea agreement and sentenced Pollard to life, citing the enormous damage to U.S. national security that then-Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger outlined in a classified memo to the court.

So the pressure is now once again on Obama. Let’s see what he does.

Editor’s note: Wolf Blitzer interviewed Pollard in a federal prison while he was awaiting his sentence. Blitzer wrote a book on the case, “Territory of Lies,” published by Harper & Row in 1989. The New York Times Book Review cited it as one of the most notable books of that year.

Watch "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer" today at 5pm ET on CNN for more on this story.

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Filed under: Israel • Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (408 Responses)
  1. JohnnnyRebel

    Anyone who thinks Israel is an "ally" of the USA is delusional!!! How about the USS Liberty incident; or the Levon Affair??? How about the fact that it is well know within the upper echelon of the US Military, that the Israeli Mossad did 9-11 ??? Pollard should be hanged for being the traitor he is. Anyone who has "dual ciitizenry" as both a US and Israeli citizen sould never be allowed to hold a government office. Their allegiance will always be toward "betraying" our government to the benefit of Israel.

    March 28, 2013 at 9:23 am |
  2. Bill

    A spy stealing secrets for a "Friendly Nation" is just as bad, if not worse than for a enemy. You know who enemies are, but friends that can not be trusted are even worse.

    August 13, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  3. Rabbi Levant

    Wold Blitzer you sir should have your journalism degree taken away for supporting the release of a traitor! You supporters of AIPAC disgust me! Please get out of our country!

    August 9, 2012 at 9:42 am |
  4. Todd

    Pollard passed classified information and received, in exchange, $10,000 cash and a very expensive diamond and sapphire ring, which Pollard later used to propose marriage to his girlfriend Anne. He also agreed to receive $1,500 per month for further espionage. Let him rot

    June 18, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  5. Josh

    People, look into your heart. He's already served 25 years, already an outrageously excessive time, for a crime in which other non-Jews have served much less time. The so-called secrets were given to America's closest ally, NOT an enemy, yet Pollard is being treated as though he gravely damaged national security by passing secrets to an enemy in a time of war. WHERE is the justice that America so proudly boasts about to the world?

    It's time to do the right thing, Mr. Obama. It's time to free Jonathan Pollard.

    June 18, 2012 at 4:03 am |
    • Todd

      He is not in jail because he's a Jew, nor is Israel America's closest ally. Pollard is in jail for violations of the Espionage Act. He's lucky he did not end up like the Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

      June 18, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • Todd

      Israel claimed initially that Pollard worked for an unauthorized rogue operation, a position they maintained for more than ten years, and agreed to cooperate with the investigation in exchange for immunity for the Israelis involved. America's closest ally you say? Israel's closest ally is only Israel.

      June 18, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  6. stephen blesofsky

    It seems that Pollard had plea agreement in place of less than life which served his interests, those of the Reagan Administration and those of Israel and the Judge overturned it. Could Pollard then have withdrawn his plea and opted for a trial? This is an important question. If he could have, but opted not to, then he is owed nothing. Israel has to lobby for it's spy lest Israel loses credibility on many levels-how that game is played. The Congressmen are part of the same game. I'd keep Pollard in jail at least until our government could profit from his release.

    June 16, 2012 at 7:09 am |
  7. Al

    If Polard is released from prison we might as well free every other criminal that has betrayed his country.
    I have a better idea, how about suspending military aid to the government of Israel until it has signed
    the nuclear non-proliferation treaty!

    June 15, 2012 at 10:07 am |
  8. Ben

    As a Jew, I don't believe that this man deserves to be freed. He spied on the US and should rot in jail for his entire life. It disgusts me that so many jews are trying to get him released, as if he is somehow better than other spies condemned simply because he is Jewish. To the jew haters out there, even though you are probably going to continue with mass paranoia and conspiracy and hate, still know this: not all Jews are AIPAC sheep, not all Jews are Israel-first America-second parasites. Many are, but many aren't. Judge every individual on their own merits, not as a collective ster

    June 15, 2012 at 9:35 am |
  9. monoblocks

    Sounds like at least TWO congressmen–across party lines, at that–are under the thumb of Israel.

    June 15, 2012 at 7:12 am |
  10. Nancy Murphy

    Exchange Pollard for Vanunu.

    June 15, 2012 at 1:57 am |
  11. jim

    Any one who petition to have this Spy released should be lock up with him!

    June 14, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
  12. evensteven

    This is an opportunity to show the Israelis that they just can't twist our arm with impunity. No, No, No.

    June 14, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
  13. Manning El Paso, TX

    Wolf you can not award Treason. He sold out his country, Would it be a good example for our military, FBI, and CIA it OK to sell out your country, Wolf will fight for you on national TV.

    June 14, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Stuart Harding

      How about we make a deal with Israel. You can have this creep who spied on us your ally and benefactor and in return we stop giving you $8 million a day. If you want to continue to steal land from the Palestinians and pretend you want peace have at it. And by the way, you deal with Iran on your own. We don't need to be involved in an unwinnable war which will go on for a thousand years.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
      • pozin

        Well said. I think you speak for most of us but I am afraid Congress and the President no longer follow mainstream American thought but do what their lobbying money sources tell them to do. This is no longer a Republic.

        June 15, 2012 at 10:40 am |
  14. Scott F.

    No! No! No!

    June 14, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  15. Liars Ortraitors?

    The crimes Mr. Pollard committed, and the extent of the damage he did, are classified. For all you comment makers alleging that his crime was so great (or was nuclear in nature) that he does not deserve clemency, you are either lying because you don't know the true nature of his crime or you illegally obtained classified information and shared it. Which are you, a liar or a traitor?

    June 14, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • evensteven

      How are you in a position to judge the severity of his crimes? The judge made a decision for life imprisonment. Let it stand.

      Israel has to decide just how good of friends they want to be, or do they just see the U.S. as a big sucker to give into whatever they want . . .

      June 14, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • Mike

      It is public infomation that Pollard was a spy for Israel (he pled guilty), he passed military secrets to Israel, and the information he passed was sensitive enough for it to remain classified, as you've pointed out. That's enough. Done. Right there. He's a spy, a traitor, and Judge Robinson did exactly the right thing. Pollard should, and will, die in jail. I congratulate the President on standing firm. I hope all presidents to come stand firm as well. If Peres wants to pout and reject his medal, to hell with him.

      On another note, one neither needs to be a liar nor a traitor to read the February 19, 1987, NYTimes article on Pollard's case which makes clear the seriousness of his crimes. One simply needs Google. The story points out another spy, Ronald Pelton, got 3 life sentences plus 10 years for passing information to the USSR. The article quotes people in the know as saying Pollard's crimes were greater in breadth and depth, and did substantially more damage. Having worked for a federal judge myself, you can believe me when I say they don't reject deals OK'd by the Justice Department and increase sentences without substantial cause. Whatever Judge Robinson saw must have been atrocious. Good for him for following his conscience.

      Tell me, why do you insist Pollard deserves extra special treatment?

      June 15, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Bruno

      Love supreme does it not seem hyirpoitccal to be blogging with such a title when you are giving people prefixes to their names and rashly asserting things about them because of their race/colour or creed. No understanding will be reached with this attitude and understanding is needed first before there can be acceptance/denial and at some stage resolution for the good of the whole.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
  16. haan

    go figure

    June 14, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  17. Griff

    Barack Obama "Good afternoon People, I'm here to spend some more of your hard savings. You will find a Horse Trough in front, so throw ll your loose change in it. I assure you I many things to waste it on!"

    June 14, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  18. Unit34Ahunter

    Pollard should only be freed when he is dead. Until then, solitary confinement 24/7.

    June 14, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
  19. Thinker23

    Mr. Pollard was a spy and he should have been and was punished for his crimes. He DOES NOT deserve to be punished more than Chinese, Russian, Iranian or Saudi spies only because he happens to be Jewish or because he was spying for Israel..

    June 14, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • Unit34Ahunter

      Yes, he should. The damage done by Pollard transcends that of any American spy since Julius Rosenberg. Death in solitary confinement is too good an outcome for Pollard. Israeli spymasters and PM's can go take a flying leap off a bridge. Shimon Peres shouldn't be handed a medal, he should be strapped to USS Liberty's anchor and dropped into the deep sea.

      June 14, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Jim22


      June 14, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Mariner V

      What kind of self-righteous BS is this. Who in their right minds would get up and defend a traitor on the grounds that he should receive a more fair and balanced consideration equal to that of other spies. He got nailed for being a traitor, not for being a jew. Ironically, they are asking for mercy for him "Because he is a jew, not because he was a spy" The original judge said it best, no deal, he gets life. By the way, he should have gotten executed, not because he was a jew but because he was a traitor! They are now trying to make him a folk hero and martyr in israel, which is the best reason to not extend any further consideration at all. Why? because Israel used him to betray us and the US should not allow itself to be held hostage by any form of terriorism. Covert operations are no less a form of terriorism than out in the front lines. When Israel used Pollack as a spy against the US Israel declared itself our enemy. You can use semantics and rhetorical florishes to pitch or spin it any way you want. The ultimate offense is that we send our enemy 3billion a year in aide and then have them spy on us. Pollack can stay in jail to hell rolls over as a statement to Israel, that for diplomatic reason while we may not be able to directly call them judas to their face, we can use Pollack to express the sentiment for us. That is why he should stay in jail forever.

      June 15, 2012 at 2:22 am |
      • Mariner V

        Sorry about the oversight, I was thinking about someone else when I put Pollack, I meant to put Pollard. Just to avoid confusion. See what happens when you go too fast. Thanks

        June 15, 2012 at 2:39 am |
  20. 911jewjob

    If he is set free its because JEWS in the govt by dictates from parasite Israel are doing this. Anyone who has been checking on israel news sources lately would understand that this is work of jew pest. all jew lobbies and jew criminal politicians in usa are working for his release, jew parasite need to be dealt with.

    June 14, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
  21. Nick

    Funny how the various POTUS since Pollard's conviction have refused a pardon. They must see a file on what he did as a spy that mere congressmen do not. Pollard is a spy. Let him rot.
    If you think Israel is a friend, then Remember the Liberty
    !If he get s a Pres pardon, I too will refrain from voting this year.

    June 14, 2012 at 11:43 am |
  22. allens

    if he is set free, obama will lose my vote. that would mean, for the first time in the 50 years i have been voting, this would be the first time i do not vote.

    June 13, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • Thinker23

      Did not Obama lose your vote yet for releasing Russian and Chinese spies?

      June 14, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
      • Jim22

        He is not really an American Citizen.

        June 14, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Mariner V

      He'll lose a lot of votes including mine. The main reason for allowing himself to be hustled by the Israelis over the issue. If he complies it will send a message of weakness. He should not do that for any reason. If anything just because of their refusal to stop the settlement expansion, he should be pushing back aggressively. Imagine the audacity of the Israelis to make demands when they refuse to cooperate when we ask them to do things for us, even after we give them 3billion a year in aid. We should be asking for anything, we should be making demands. Demand No.1: Settle this or we turn the entire area into a parking lot. Who agrees?

      June 15, 2012 at 2:44 am |
  23. maiser

    Interesting how Wolf Blitzer is using this platform to prepare the grounds for Polard's release. Not surprised where Blitzer's loyalty seems to fall!! Wasn't Blitzer a reporter for the right wing Jerusalem Post at one time!!!

    June 13, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • Mariner V

      We've got Pollard PR people all over the place. Jim22 Thinker23 and Wolf. Jim22 says Pollard is not really a citizen. Where did he get that info? Bad info he was born and raised here and applied for Israeli citizenship in 95. In case you didn't know it, so long as your a jew even if you commit a crime in the US they'll take you. The trick is to get there before you get caught here. Where do you think Pollard is going if he get out? Back to Texas where he was born? You know the answer jimbo. Get your facts straight. Notice that Jim22 didn't make allowance for a reply? Coward

      June 15, 2012 at 2:35 am |
  24. James

    Back off Mr. Blitzer. Enough pressure already to go after Iran. You

    June 13, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
  25. Jim Klimaski

    Pollard gave enough highly classified documents to fill up a 10 by 12 room from floor to ceiling. Isaerl used this material to undermine CIA operations throughout the Middle East. The material alleged to have been released by PFC Manning pales by comparison. Israel encouraged Pollard and never apologized for their participation in his theft. After we get a public apology, we can think about possible release. Not before.

    June 13, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
  26. Shame

    Obama should release the GTMO prisoners, who have been classified as non combatants and no threats. Keep the dangerous guys and put them on trial, but release those who can be released and have been classified as non combatants by both Bush and Obama administrations.

    June 13, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
  27. Amar

    Why should he be freed again??? Just because Israel is an ally gives him a right to betray his country. Keep him locked up!

    June 13, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
  28. HenryMiller

    If the key hasn't long since been thrown away, now is the time to do that.

    June 13, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
  29. theala

    Pollard needs to do his time.

    That Israel is a "friendly" country does not excuse the crime of treason. He's lucky not to have been executed.

    June 13, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
  30. Iamgr82day

    Not freeing spies. It does not matter what country he was spying for. The fact that it was Isreal does not matter. He betrayed the trust that America put in him. There is no clemency for traitors.

    June 13, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
  31. weneedabiggerboat

    If everyone feels that strongly that Pollard should not be pardonned, then it is up to each one of us to let the White House and your senators and congress persons know. Frankly I hate traitors because they commit crimes that affect all citizens of the US. (This is not to diminish any crime committed against an individual. Especially if there was violence involved.) All traitors should rot in jail, I really don't care if they were giving info to an ally or enemy. What ever their reasons whether money or ideology, they're scum.
    The one thing I don't want to see is a hero's welcome in Israel.

    June 13, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
  32. CJ

    Israel wants him free? I was Palestine given sovereignty and 20 years of peace...even trade, what do you say?

    June 13, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • Mariner V

      Good start but not enough by a long shot. How about, Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza? End all expansion of settlements and pay back all money given in aid because they have done nothing to move the process forward. Now........that's a start!

      June 15, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
  33. Champions of light

    Free "Pollard" and while your at it free "Bradley" and all the champions of freedom.

    June 13, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
  34. Peter R. Fernandez

    He is a spy, he is a traitor to his country. He should've gotten the death penalty. He should never be let free just because Israel is a friendly country. He still sold secrets to them.A spy is a spy he betrayed his country.

    June 13, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
  35. Centrist42

    The days of the Messiah are here. The neo-Nazis of the far left and neo-Nazis from the far right are marching hand in hand in pursuit of a common enemy, the Zionists (a code name reserved for most Jews and others who support Israel right to exist).

    Pollard broke the law, period. He deserves to be in jail, period. Not a reason for far-left anti-Semites and far-right anti-Semites to go on a hate binge. Israel was an Ally, is an Ally, and will be an Ally.

    The attack on the Liberty was a tragic mistake. Even with today's super technology our drones and planes make costly errors. In 1967 it was much more difficult to identify targets and in the middle of a war. But conspiracy theories never die, right? They only get recycled by idiots.

    June 13, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
  36. maltesefalconx9

    I sink zat vee should be very much nicer to zee KGB. After all, zay are a successful capitalist country wiz good relations viss zee rest of the world. As far as izraeel is concerned, 50 years of favouritism is more than adequate. Zay are nussing but a bunch of international troublemakers. And murderers.

    June 13, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
  37. Trevor

    He will die in prison in America. He will not step foot in Israel (the enemy).

    June 13, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
  38. KennyEee

    When an American is jailed overseas and we ask to have them released, we expect it! Even if this guy is an American and another country wants him released due to humanitarian reasons are we any better. Should we expect anything different. This guy has served 25 years that is long enough. Check what our gov't has done in the past to people around the world or even one of our own presidents.

    June 13, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
    • Mariner V

      25 years is enough if you get busted for a local crime. It is not enough for espionage or compromising national security. You are a dodo for thinking that they match up. Its like comparing oranges with tarantulas. In other words you need to spend time in the library to get yourself to the next level. At this pace it will take you a couple of decades but clearly you've got nothing better to do.

      June 15, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
  39. maltesefalconx9

    Electric chair ala the Rosenberg conspiracy. zzzzzzap!

    June 13, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
  40. kaliman

    Israel needs to understand that if they choose to spy on us that we will not treat the spy any differently than any other person that betrays our country. We have provided intelligence, military, diplomatic, and financial support to them more than any other country. We understand the position that they are in and will support them accordingly, but we have to draw the line somewhere.

    June 13, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
  41. maltesefalconx9

    Electric chair like the Rosenbergs. Zzzzzzzzap!

    June 13, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
  42. p. simonyi

    Pollard should have been executed for his crime. Too let him out would be a travesty.

    June 13, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
  43. Doctor Truth

    Israel should practice what they preach. If they really believe in justice and letting the punishment fit the crime they should allow Mordechai Vanunu to leave Israel. The story of what they did to him is shameful in that they basically kidnapped him of the street in Rome, brought hin back to Israel against his will, convicted him in a questionable trial and put him 18 years in prison, including more than 11 in solitary confinement. All of this because he let the world know that Israel had nukes. Seems like as a country Israel feels it can makes its own set of rules, spy on its closest alley, and take a moral high ground in telling other countries how to behave properly. What comes around goes around and Pollard is the perfect example of that.

    June 13, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
  44. RillyKewl

    I'd tie it to a Palestinian peace plan.
    It would be a worthwhile arrangement, bringing peace to the middle east.

    June 13, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
  45. Jp

    What is Israel offering in exchange? We bankroll them and fight their battles for them in the field and in the UN. They going to stop settlements?

    June 13, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
  46. BigTex1

    Also in the news...pressure builds for stupid war on Iran.

    June 13, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
  47. Americalover

    The dude is a traitor. For all the people that have died for this would be an injustice to release him. BHO will not cave in to the pressure...nor should he. Dispicable

    June 13, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
  48. Parakletos

    Blitzer used to work for AIPAC. He is far from unbiased. The pressure may, indeed, be mounting - and Blitzer is doing his best to pile on as well. Pollard shared nuclear secrets of the USA with Israel. He is a convicted spy. Israel then spread that stolen information to regimes hostile to the USA - for a fair amount of coin, to be sure. As a result, our enemies got their nukes far sooner than they otherwise would have - thus pushing the nuclear arms race into high gear during the so-called 'Cold War'. He should stay in prison until he dies. PERIOD.

    June 13, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
  49. Julie

    His sentence was inappropriate. He should have be executed for treason. Selling our country's secerts to any nation – friend or foe is treason!!

    June 13, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
  50. BigTex1

    Wolf Blitzer was an AIPAC lobbyist for years. AIPAC has been accused of spying and stealing confidential info. These are no allies...

    June 13, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
  51. Are You Kidding?

    what he did was TREASON he spied for Israel and he got caught. He should stay in jail..

    June 13, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
  52. BigTex1

    The bigger question is why do we consider Israel an ally? The take our tax dollars, bomb the USS Liberty, and spy on us as a thank you. They are worse than Iran. Cut all US aid to this terrorist state!

    June 13, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
    • Mariner V

      Would that it were that more people just new about the USS Liberty. How about the Stern Gang, the Irgun and the Haganah, the first terrorist organizations of the israelis. The Israelis get away with their propaganda because the American Public is so ignorant with regard to MidEast political history. How else do you think they get away with all of their BS. Giving Shimon Perez the Congressional Medal of Freedom is the modern day eqivalent to giving Hitler the same award for his contributions for liberating the jews. Who wouldn't be offended. If we go all the way back to the history of the 6days war, we can include sharon, perez, dayan, meir and on and on to the list of terrorist in the region. Where do you think the PLO got their game plan. The Israelis we're the first terrorist in the region.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
  53. Number4

    This man deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison. I have written to my congressman and the president asking that he not be released. I urge you to do the same. He is a traitor to this country and traitors do not deserve clemency.

    June 13, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
  54. PhillyCoder

    I don't get it. He was convicted of treason, he belongs in jail. I get that he got a harsher sentence than others convicted of treason, but like, that happens sometimes when you commit crimes. If you steal a car and get executed because the judge is having a bad day, that sucks, but you still stole the car. There's no benefit to anyone in releasing him. It all seems political to me. I'm Jewish, most of my friends are too, and we don't get who (from America) is trying to get this dude released.

    June 13, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
  55. Vic Maffei

    Pollard is an American, not a special American. Israel is a foreign power; a friend, but still a foreign power. Look, overly pro-Israel presidents have found Pollard's sentence as fair; why should Obama feel any differently.

    I see too much "special" case overtones with Israel. International good relationships are base on non-interference in each others' internal affairs.

    June 13, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
  56. J. Mark Lane

    As Grace Slick once said, "I'd rather have my country die for me." Patriotism is stupid. Adherence to fundamental moral principles is all that matters. See, e.g., Emmanuel Kant.

    June 13, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
  57. havshatuni

    It's not enough that the Israelis are always coming around whining for money, or want to start a war with Iran that they will expect us to finish for them when their toy air force accomplishes nothing, now they want us to free a traitor they paid to spy on us. I think should put Pollard in solitary for a month or two every time they ask.

    June 13, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
  58. Tazaan Nas

    With national security secrets leaking from the present administration for political purposes It is my position that more harm has been in the last three weeks than Pollard caused in 1987. Let him go!

    June 13, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
  59. Ray Howard

    I have changed my mind on this....we should free Pollard. Send him to Israel. Stop our foreign aid to Israel. Sever diplomatic ties with Israel. Treat AIPAC as a element of a foreign government (Wolf Blitzer used to work for AIPAC by the way). Stop any military cooperation with Israel. Stop allowing our elected officials from taking paid junkets to Israel. Any US citizen with dual nationality/loyalty makes a choice–stay here and be an American or go there and be an Israeli. Make Jerusalem an international city under the supervision of the UN (with an American general in charge of keeping the peace). Split up Israel–Jews over here, Arabs over there. Suddenly the image of America in the eyes of the rest of the world will improve dramatically. Losing 5,000 lives to force our will and peace upon Israel would be worth far more than than losing 5,000 lives doing whatever it is we are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    June 13, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
  60. dcleveland

    they are only bringing this up because he spied for Israel and is jewish.....if he was spying for anyone else he would rot in jail forever! The real pressure is likely coming from some Israeli lobby gr.

    June 13, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
  61. olepi

    So, if you commit Treason against your country, and become a traitor, what should your sentence be?

    June 13, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
  62. orlop

    If Israel was so worried about him why didn't they let him in their embassy instead of allowing Pollard get caught outside the gate? If we let him out of Jail he will go to Israel and be welcomed as a hero. Is that what we want?

    June 13, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • TrueGrissel

      25 years @ what 30,000.00 a year, strip him of citizenship and send him to Israel, good riddance.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
      • Mariner V

        That's why they should have given the appropriate sentence under the statute. Execution. Then you get a twofer. We save taxdollars on a deadbeat, literally and justice is served.

        June 15, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
  63. marginwalker

    Obama should instead release Leonard Peltier, who is an innocent man.

    June 13, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • theala

      Intent follows the bullet. Peltier has admitted to being there and firing shots in his own memoir. Whether or not he fired the fatal shots is irrelevant.

      He's guilty as charged and should do his time.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • ibloco2

      I freely admit I don't know a lot about the peltier case. But I find it hard to believe that if this man was innocent, that he'd still be in jail. Maybe there is some bias maybe...?

      June 14, 2012 at 9:48 am |
  64. larvadog

    Rep. Engel makes a horrible case for Pollard's release. He says it's based on his perception that Pollard's sentence was "disproportionate." The real reason, of course, is Engel's concern for doing what his Jewish constituents want. Pollard is a spy and a traitor. Keep him in prison and let him rot there.

    June 13, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • Number4

      Any many who willfully betrays his country is a disgrace and deserves to serve his full sentence.

      June 13, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • NSL

      The antisemitic innuendo in your statement is an outrageous slap in the face to the American Jewish people. At least Jackson below is a bold faced antisemite, and neither of you have the least bit of understanding of American Jews or Jews in general. You're just so full of hate you wouldn't know the truth if it bit you in the face.

      As an American Jew, with many friends who have dual citizenship of the US and Israel, none of us in any way condone what Pollard did, nor do we think his sentence should be commuted. He committed treason against our country and he's gotten the punishment he deserves.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
  65. Voiceinthewind

    They give this evil murdering killer a peace award, go figure. What an insult to all peace loving people in the world.

    June 13, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
  66. Thinks2010

    Pollard should stay right where he is.

    June 13, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • TRY


      June 13, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • V.P.

      Enough said!

      June 14, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
      • Muratcan

        Carl, that video makes me think has a secret right wing setcion, either that or somebody hasn't a clue how to do a good hit job on video by taking things out of context, editing so only the words you want to appear do, changing what the context and meaning of his speeches, and of course thinking the editor is fooling anyone.

        September 12, 2012 at 3:20 am |
  67. jv

    If there were ever an act that would be considered treasonous, releasing this guys would be it. Even circulating a petition by lawmakers to release him is an act of treason. Jeeeeez!!!

    June 13, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • Busted

      Exactly what I was thinking. How can there be any pressure on the president to release this guy. I hate the fact that there are politians who will sell out the US for some foreign country.

      June 13, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
  68. JoeP

    I bet that when (IF) Holder finds out who is leaking the classified information the Obama administration is currently using to boost his creds as strong against terrorists, they won't even lose their job, let alone get a prison term

    June 13, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • Mariner V

      You've got the wrong party. You're thinking of Bush. When he pardoned Scooter Libby and commuted his sentence after they all worked together to out Valery Plame the CIA operative. This was a breach of National Security and rises to the level of treason. What did they do? Nothing. Libby got a slap on the wrist for this violation. He was the patsy that took the hit for the rest of them. They should have all ended up in prison or even better and more appropriate, they should have been executed for what they did to Plame. Do your homework, you don't know what you're talking about.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
  69. not-Jascha

    Wolf, Ask Mitt if he'll pardon Pollard if elected.

    June 13, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
  70. Frank

    Let him rot in Jail. The only folks who want him out are the Zionists.

    June 13, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • rs1201

      And who would the "Zionists" be...pray tell? are they the opposite of what you are..."an antisemite"?

      June 13, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
      • Ray Howard

        Zionists are people who think it is OK to steal land from Arabs to give to Jews. Surely you know this.

        June 13, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
      • BigTex1

        The zi0nists would of course be the Israel-firsters that think our "ally" can spy on us and pay no consequence. This was the largest breach in US history, and endangered the lives of every US operative. He should have hanged years ago.

        June 13, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
      • Parakletos

        Zionists are those who place the concerns of Israel first and foremost, no matter their own nationality. This includes Christian Zionists. So your anti-semite canard is ill-informed.

        June 13, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
      • sir_ken_g

        Opposite only in your own bent mind.

        June 13, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
      • MarkVetro

        I think the most oppositte of a Zionist would probably be a Palestinian, and Palestinians are semitic. Look up the definition.

        June 13, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
      • WhoDoYouThinkYouAreKidding?

        Who are the Zionists? Start with Eric Cantor, Mr. Fiscal Responsibility, who pledged allegiance to Binyamin Netanyahu, ahead of his own president, and has no problem voting for extraordinary welfare payments to our so-called ally. Then there are the media magnates who prove Jews don't control western media by having any media personality fired, should they dare to speak in less than glowing terms about Israel. Anti-semite huh? You are a disingenuous moron and people are getting sick of all this Israel-first bs. Keep it up - the tide is turning.

        June 14, 2012 at 1:58 am |
      • ibloco2

        I agree. Instead of looking at his (or your's/theirs) religion, race or ethnicity, let's look at the crime he did and pled guilty to.

        June 14, 2012 at 9:52 am |
  71. Joshua Ludd

    Why should he be freed? Does it really matter what country he betrayed his own for?

    June 13, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • rs1201

      The point is that Pollard gave all the information that he stole to Israel...Israel...our strongest ally...and none of the information...if released...would have done any harm to the United States or its personnel. Israel wanted to know the troop placements of the arab armies in order to be better prepared when attacked. I don't condone what Pollard did for the simple reason that he got paid for what he did...which means that he could have stolen more sensitive information had Israel asked him to...He didn't do it out of loyalty or patriotism to Israel...he did it for money...and that's the lowest of the lowest.
      As an American Jew, I believe that he should continue his jail term. There is not enough money in the world that would make me betray my country. Israel was wrong to ask him to steal this information. Israel should have gone through the proper channels and put pressure on the administration to give them the information they needed...and not steal it.

      June 13, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
      • Ray Howard

        Israel our strongest ally? I don't think so. Israel is the country most dependent on the US for its continued existence.

        The UK, Canada, and Australia are our strongest allies. Israel is a liability.

        June 13, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
      • Number4

        We have to set an example for others who would do this. While he gave the sensitive info to one of our allies, that still cannot be tolerated. You can't just have everybody knowing your secrets, even of they are friends.

        June 13, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
      • Broadcasting

        "and none of the information...if released...would have done any harm to the United States or its personnel".....TOTAL HORSE HOCKEY! The full extent of the information he gave to Israel has still not been officially revealed.

        June 13, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
      • Parakletos

        "Eric Margolis alleges that Pollard's spying may have led to the capture and execution of CIA spies in the Eastern Bloc after Israel sold or bartered Pollard's information to the Soviet Union.[81] According to one theory, Israeli businessman and convicted Soviet spy Shabattai Kalmanovich may have been made a scapegoat for information from Pollard that had been willingly shared by Israel with the Soviets in order to secure the release of certain Jewish scientists in the USSR." (Wiki)

        Furthermore, the information was also given to South Africa, Pakistan, the USSR, and even China. So don't pretend that this guy only shared it with Israel.

        June 13, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
  72. Tullius

    Obama will never free this guy and it is highly unlikely that any other president for a very long time will do so. Any president who does that might as well jump onto the subway tracks and plant a kiss on the third rail. This guy betrayed his country and should draw his final breath in prison. As for Israel, they play the US like a cheap violin because the Jewish lobby in the US is very careful about where their political contributions go. And every politician in America knows that and will bend over backward not to offer offense to the deep pockets. How else do you think the Israelis can make a daily mockery of "the peace process" by building permanent settlements either on Palestinian lands or on Israeli land that is positioned in such a way as to divide Palestinian land in two and make thereby make it that much more difficult for Palestinians to try to build a country. Two nation solution my arse. Israel has no intention of living side by side with the Palestinians; they simply want to make life so difficult for the Palestinians that they will eventual be forced to move elsewhere.

    June 13, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • real_democrat

      That Blitzer a former AIPAC staffer would advocate for the release of this man is no surprise. The only reason they accepted his plea was to avoid a very lengthy and embarrassing trial partly as a favor to Israel. The man was out for himself, and Israel does no have some god given right to all US classified material even if it applies to them. Pollard gave up some very secret NSA material and the judge made a note of that when he sentenced him under the part of the law that includes life sentences and the death penalty.

      Remember the Liberty.

      June 14, 2012 at 9:19 am |
  73. HarvardLaw92

    Oh hell no ...

    June 13, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • Broadcasting

      Thank you! "Oh hell no" soooo right! Let that slimy traitor rot in prison. Let him be an example to anyone else who might consider betraying their country. If you love the USA.... say "Oh hell no"!

      June 13, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
  74. Jackson

    What part of "no" don't the jews understand?

    June 13, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • Busted

      They understand "No free give aways"

      June 13, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
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