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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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soundoff (408 Responses)
  1. jggm

    He gave secrets away to a foreign country. Look at Private Bradley Manning who was all but crying out for help to his superiors before he leaked classified information. Just because its Israel is the only reason why this is even in the news. I'll be watching and following this.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • Parakletos

      "In 2002, Netanyahu visited Pollard in prison, and, in 2007, claimed that if he were to be elected Prime Minister he would bring about Pollard's release." (Wiki page on Pollard)

      Either Netanyahu made promises that he had no reason to believe he could keep, or he has power over the USA that surpasses what is known to the general public. Either way, however, such hubris should never be rewarded. Israel supported a spy within the USA. They should be happy that we didn't execute the guy for treason. Instead, they're trying to paint him as some kind of Israeli patriot - when the facts of the case clearly show that he was in it for his own money-grubbing reasons. Furthermore, Israel wasn't the only country to benefit from this traitor's actions. Pakistan, China, South Africa, and even the Soviets benefited. And some have speculated that some of our own spies died as a result of some of the information Pollard dolled out.

      He belongs where he is, and should stay where he is until he dies.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
  2. miketerr

    Only America would give Shimon Peres the Presidential Medal of Freedom on the same day he asks clemency for an Israeli spy. Insanity reigns at the highest levels of our governments.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  3. dominick

    Unequal favoritism. Why not ask him to make a payment to the widows whose husbands were taken from them when their ship was repeatedly attacked.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  4. dominick

    Talk about inequality. He hurt us. Enough of this favorite son crud. While peres is here, ask him to make restitution for the deaths suffered when they repeatedly attacked our ship. Give the widows and survivors some cash.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  5. olivedrab

    I suppose the apostrophe in traitor's was a waste of a keystoke.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  6. olivedrab

    How about this? We shoot Pollard as a traitor, the appropriate end for all traitor's, and we quit financing Isreal and Egypt and Saudi and Kuwait and who ever the hell else is feeding at the trough of the U.S taxpayer. .

    June 13, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  7. Justice

    Mr. Pollard breached a verys acred trust when he stole classified information from our government. Regardless of his ethnicity (he is now an Israeli citizen and has renounced his American citizenship) he deserves no clemency. The argument that he spied for a freindly nation is completely fallacious and should make us take a hard look at who our friends really are.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Broadcasting

      Thank you! That "friendly nation" then traded the stolen information to a "not so friendly nation" in exchange for jewish prisoners. Let that slimy traitorous little bastard rot in prison.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
  8. Ali Baba

    I'm sure he will be freed since Washington is "Israeli occuppied territory." Then he will be compensated to the tune of millions of dollars from the US government.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  9. Wyobob

    Why is he still alive, and why are we still friends with israel? The only punishment for treason is execution. We have been feeding and housing him for over 25 years, what a waste of out taxpayer dollars, he should be put in a cell with sandusky and manson.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  10. Mike500

    Spies should be executed. Pollard was already given a break. Let him rot in prison.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  11. EMO

    He is a spy that seriously betrayed his country. The twenty five years is not long enough for the crimes he committed. Why in the world was Israel stealing from the USA anway. Don't we give them enough?

    June 13, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • Parakletos

      Not only that, but Israel denied receiving the information for many years. And when they finally admitted to it, the USA demanded that they return the materials. Israel only returned the low-level stuff, even though we knew that Pollard had given them much MUCH more than that.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
  12. rsaunders

    In another time his sentence would have been about six months. That's how long it would take for appeals and reviews and then he would have been put up against a wall and shot.
    It would send a very unfortunate message if this crime were forgiven. Let him serve his time.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  13. fritz

    No! Keep him locked up! This man was a spy for Israel! We supported them with billions of dollars so they could survive in a sea of Islamic hatred. Then they have the arrogance and gall to spy on us!? Listen up Israel! We support your continued existance! But we will NEVER tolerate our so called ally to spy on us! We should keep your spy locked up for life as a hard lesson so that you never do that again!

    June 13, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  14. USS Liberty

    No, we do not need to release a treasonous spy just for the sake of placating Israel. They get away with enough already because of our blind allegiance. Think they'd do it for us? Remember the USS Liberty!!!!

    June 13, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • Broadcasting

      THANK YOU! 34 Americans murdered and over 170 wounded by Israel and still no justice after 45 years.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
  15. Don

    He's lucky he only got life.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  16. pbernasc

    the question is why Israel keep begging (pressuring when they think they have leverage) the USA administrations to get him free.
    I bet he would go to Israel, drop the US citizenship and become a citizen of Israel.
    One reason might well be, there are things Pollard knows about Israel that are still hidden from or simple unknown to the US intelligence community, that would probably would put Israel in a very weak position with the USA. This probably worries Israel that one day, because of aging, Pollard might spill them out while he still is in custody of the US.
    Israel is trying to pressure Obama to release Pollard by threatening the President that they will push Jews in the US to vote against Obama if he doesn't release Pollard.

    To me this means only one thing : screw Israel.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • Parakletos

      He already dropped the US citizenship while in Prison. If he were to be released, he would be deported to Israel - and likely be greeted with open arms as a hero.

      June 13, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
  17. George Samuels

    The question is like "Is this an election year"?

    June 13, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  18. Lee

    Why is Chris Smith, republican from New Jersey (R-Fetus), trying to get a convicted TRAITOR out of jail???

    June 13, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • TNPatriot

      The Obvious reason, Jewish/Israeli campaign donations, combined with the fact that he pays allegience to Israel over the United States..he is no different than Pollard!

      June 13, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
  19. USS Liberty

    Not only "NO", but "H311 NO". Enough of this placating Israel BS. Remember the USS Liberty!!!!

    June 13, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • Bob

      34 murdered US sailors – NEVER FORGET THE USS LIBERTY!

      June 13, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
      • Ray Howard

        Never forget? Most Americans don't even know about the USS Liberty.

        June 13, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  20. Eric

    During the cold war, it was standard practice to exchange spies between the US and Russia. The Israelis badly want Pollard released for their own political agenda. If he is released, it should be part of an exchange with Israel. For example, Israel should have to return the Sheinbein family members who fled to Israel after the son murdered and dismembered a friend in drug deal.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • Broadcasting

      Let them keep that worthless punk Sheinbien. Pollard needs to rot in prison for betraying his country and costing the lives of assets who were lost when Israel traded the stolen information to a "not so friendly nation" in exchange for jewish prisoners held there.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
  21. Harry Wortz

    There are people who have been in jail longer than Pollard for growing marijuana. He should never see the light of day again as a free man.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  22. Griff

    "It's more about, what you stood to gain yourself when you're spying. How much was he paid???"

    June 13, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  23. Athos

    ... and if he had been spying for Iran or some other "bad" government?

    June 13, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  24. zZWilhelmZz

    let him rot

    June 13, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  25. Al Passante

    What are the grounds for clemency? Does he deserve special treatment simply because he is Jewish and spied for Israel, an "ally" whose Air Force and Navy were alleged to have deliberately sunk a U.S. Navy research ship? Not a sufficient reason for me.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  26. conrad matt

    Releasing Pollard is an insult to any serviceman past or present. It will forever prove that the US is a puppet of Israel.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  27. DJR

    What does Pollard know? Obviously something is a concern here. Spy's are hung in 1776, 1865, 1917, 1944. Whats the concern 20 plus years later? The PEOPLE can't decide if we don't have an idea of whats he got?

    June 13, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  28. Guest

    Why the hell would you want to free a spy? In many other countries he would have been shot.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  29. JimmyJam

    No Way, No How...Hell No! Don't release a Traitor...Make him spend the rest of his life in Prison, that's what he deserves

    June 13, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  30. Kingofthenet

    I say this as a lifelong Democrat, IF President Obama releases this Treasonous Lowlife, i am voting for Romney. I don't think he will thou.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Professor

      I was about to write the same thing: I would NEVER vote for the president if he released this traitor. And Frankly, I think the president should look Peres in the eye and tell him it would be appreciated if no official of the Israeli government ever brought Pollard's name up again during meetings between our governments. The subject should be treated as closed – just as Hanssen's is considered closed.

      June 13, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
  31. JP

    "enormous damage to U.S. national security that then-Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger outlined in a classified memo to the court." We should be executing spies not discussing their release. Reason 1001 why we should cut off aid to Israel.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  32. Joe Mandela

    Pollard is a Jew. Blitzer is a Jew. I wonder where all those perceptions about Jewish influence in the media come from.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  33. Christopher Rose

    In a time where everybody questions the loyalty of candidates from either party I find it patently absurd either side would want to pardon this man. I think the judge was right to implement this sentence. We are a nation of laws, not men. If Hansen and Ames deserve to be in prison for life, so does this guy. Case Closed.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Joshua

      Um, Pollard is essentially bearing the blame for crimes committed by Ames and Hanssen.

      June 13, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
      • name change

        No, he's not. He's essentially bearing the blame for the gazillion others who have been caught spying for Israel and have received nothing more than a pat on the wrist, if that. Remember the head of AIPAC bragging about how AIPAC controlled the Clinton Administration? The blind support of Israel, no matter what, has gotten way, way out of control. And to all those who commented on the Liberty incident: you are ALL right on target.

        June 13, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  34. chill

    Keep the traitor in jail where he belongs. If these Congressmen want to lobby for the interests of Israel, then they should resign and register as such.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  35. stevec

    Perez is in Washington to get a medal from Obama, and then asks to free a convicted spy. POllard should do his sentence, for the crime he was convicted of.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  36. Sal

    Let the traitor rot in prison. They do not deserve to be released, and those kinds will do anything for money!

    June 13, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  37. extinct eagle

    since when did Israeli spies have more clout than regular criminals? ohh wait, this is the united states of israel...

    June 13, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  38. Dan Farnkoff

    In case nobody thinks a place like Israel could ever be a danger to the U.S., I urge you to google
    "US Liberty". I think we get along better now, but still. All those guys died and there were no consequences.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Bob

      I'm glad to see someone else who remembers the deliberate and willful murder of 34 US Sailors aboard the USS Liberty.

      June 13, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • Parakletos

      We only get along better now because we give them what we do. These are fair-weather friends at best. They have absolutely no love of the USA. The religion pushes the idea of a one-world government, with Israel leading it.

      They're worse than spoiled children. And they'll do much more than hold their breath until they get their way. Saying 'No' to Israel can be extremely costly. But giving in to their blackmail only encourages more of it. They should be cut off completely. We don't have the money to be giving them anyhow. And once they're cut off, you will see their true feelings for the USA. They're not the least bit grateful for the support they're getting. They expect it. It's more like 'tribute' than 'aid'.

      June 13, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
  39. Bob

    Free him from the back of a C-130 cruising at 30,000 feet above Tel Aviv, sans parachute.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  40. Brian in DC

    Rot in jail you traitorous pig.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  41. Ace

    When Israel conquers the U.S. THEN they can release Pollard.
    He should NEVER be allowed out of prison and is lucky for some reason that he wasn't executed as convicted spies should be subjected to according to the law.
    Just because we protect Israel doesn't mean they can dictate to us how we rule our nation. If they don't like it, they can try to see how long they'd last without us having their backs all the time.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  42. Kris Craig

    If it wasn't for the plea agreement, I'd say let the spy rot. Israel has been far too aggressive in its spying on us, particularly given that we're arguably their closest ally.

    That being said, I don't like it when judges unilaterally decide not to honor plea agreements. I understand they're technically within their right to do so, but it serves only to discourage future defendants from cooperating in sensitive criminal cases. Besides, it's just plain dishonorable. The defendant and the prosecution came to a mutual agreement. The defendant upheld his end of the bargain.

    For that reason and that reason ALONE, I think it's time we let him return home. At very least, it can serve as a repudiation of what that judge did.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  43. Randi L.

    Unbelievable! Why are these congress members intervening on behalf of someone who sought to give away American national secrets to a foreign power? This guy should serve his entire sentence. Every day of it.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  44. kurtinco

    Let him rot. Spies past and future need to know that they will not receive clemency when they damage the security of the United States of America. Period.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  45. AgrippaMT

    It would be disgusting and craven of the U.S. government to release Johnathan Pollard, just as it is disgusting and craven to watch Wolf Blitzer leading the latest campaign for his release. Never forget that Blitzer himself is a native born Israeli jew.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  46. Robert Schiele

    If Obama has two functioning brain cells left, he won't do this. Pollard was convicted, sentenced, and should serve out his sentence. The fact that the Israelis don't like this (Pollard was spying for them, after all) is and should be immaterial. For Obama to pardon Pollard under Israeli pressure would only serve to "prove" what this country's worst anti-Semites have always alleged.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  47. Sailor101

    For the damage this "guy" did to the US Navy and personally to me and other sailors he needs to rot in a US Marine Corp Red Line Brigg for the rest of h is life!

    IS1(SW) USNR

    June 13, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  48. TobinFrost2012

    President Barack Obama can kiss his re-election for another 4-year term goodbye, if he bows to the relentless pressure from Israel and pro-Israeli former/current Senate and Congressional lawmakers and USIC officials, who have been petitioning for Pollard's release. Pollard betrayed the trust given to him by the U.S. government and U.S. Navy Intelligence. He knew exactly what he was doing. The primary US Navy Counterintelligence Agent investigating the case believed Pollard's action were premeditated. Meaning, he had planned to enlist in the Navy, with the sole purpose of gaining access to TS/SCI national security data/information, he would be supplying to the Israelis. Which also leads me to believe that either IDF's Intelligence Directorate, Mossad and/or Shin Bet tasked him to join the Navy with the sole intent of supplying them with US national security information regarding US Naval Intelligence data/information.

    Mr. President: I implore you to stand your ground as this nation's Commander-in-Chief and leader of the free world, and do not even waste 60-seconds of your time reconsidering commuting Pollard's federal prison sentence or reducing his sentence. Life is life! Pollard is a traitor.

    If you sign off on the release of Pollard from federal custody, then your actions will only show this country and the world that you are not a President who should be respected or trusted to protect this country from "...all enemies...foreign and domestic..." The simple fact that Israel did not inform our own intelligence community senior officials of what Pollard was doing – as our allies, shows they are not our friends. What friend accepts stolen goods from your own house – knowing those goods and property to be have been acquired without your knowledge or permission, and sells them for their own benefit?! No friend of mine!

    June 13, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  49. notEnough

    Keep him in jail until he dies.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  50. AngryJew

    Reps. Christopher Smith and Eliot Engel are behaving like traitors. Do they serve the USA or Israel?

    June 13, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  51. oeblio

    Pollard is an unrepentant traitor. Let him rot.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  52. AngryJew

    Let this rat stay in jail. Since he is more loyal to Israel than his country let him pay the price for his betrayal.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  53. DJ Reality

    What Pollard was wrong. However, what the government did was wrong as well. After 25 years behind bars it is time to let Pollard out and maybe let him emigrate to Israel where he belongs.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  54. bobdevo

    Hows about we free Pollard – an Israeli spy working against the best interests of the United States of America, AFTER we free Bradley Manning, who blew the whistle on war crimes and is being punished for telling the truth.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  55. David

    This is wrong on so many levels, where to begin? Peres receiving a Medal of Freedom? An "ally" requesting clemency for one of THEIR spies in our jails? A spy requesting leniency? This whole thing is absurd.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  56. Cetus

    This guy is a traitor. The fact that he committed treason for a supposed ally is not exculpatory.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  57. David

    Sorry, but the fact that a hand full of people want Pollard released does not erase the fact that he committed treason. In most of the world, and in the United States in all but a few instances, the penalty for this kind of espionage is death. Pollard should have been put in front of a firing squad and under NO circumstances should he ever be released from prison. His arrogance and self-righteousness when he was caught giving away state secrets only confirms that he deserved little mercy for his crimes.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  58. Mark

    Let the traitor rot in prison. Better yet, send his sorry rear to Guantanimo!!!!

    June 13, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  59. David Green

    Mr. Pollard betrayed to a foreign nation a huge quantity of secret documents: I think something along the lines of a stack 8 feet by 8 feet by 8 feet. When the FBI raided his house, his wife, forewarned, stuffed 70 pounds of classified documents in a suitcase and dumped them at the neighbors. That's just a small proportion of what Pollard stole from the US government and the American people, who financed through their hard work and taxes the research that lead over decades to all of these secrets.....Some of the secrets known to be betrayed were extremely important to the United States and involved for exampled classified techniques for using spy satellites to take pictures when they were not directly overhead a target. He also allegedly betrayed to Israel a vast encyclopedia which the NSA used to direct surveillance of foreign entities. He basically gave Israel the NSA's playbook. How do you quantify the economic damage this man has done to our national security apparatus? It took more than a decade for the NSA and NRO to recover from some of his antics. How many lives were lost because of this creature's poisonous behavior?

    Mr. Pollard is up for parole in 3 years, in 2015, because at the time of his sentencing inmates with good records were eligible for parole after 30 years if given life in the federal system. He doesn't need parole. He'll be out in 3 years anyway. He should be thankful for that. He ought to get life in supermax without parole – the Robert Hanson treatment. He can get out in 2015 and head to Israel, of which he has been a citizen since 1995...I think people who read this blog, it's important to note, Wolf Blitzer used to work for the Jerusalem Post and is also I believe a dual citizen of the United States and Israel.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  60. Malcolm Spence


    The Israelis cost us big time. This was big misstep by them and we should show them it will cost them dearly. Then other disloyal American Jews will think twice before betraying us to a foreign country.

    If the President wants to show he is tough this is the way. Israel, their lobby and their congressional stooges get way too much latitude from the USA.

    Does those Congressman represent the US and their districts or their contributors?

    June 13, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  61. Ray Howard

    Hey Wolf! If you want to do some investigative reporting why don't you dig into the Ariel Weinmann case and tell America the details of his case? Who was he spying for and why is the US hiding the details?

    June 13, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  62. Carolyn Khanna

    While it might seem that 25 years is a long time, the President should look to the US law enforcement and intelligence community for advice and not be influenced by Shimon Peres.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  63. Web

    Pollard should only be released if the Israeli govt allows Mordechai Vanunu to leave Israel.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • AngryJew

      Very good point.

      June 13, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • Mike

      He's the guy who let us know Israel was nuclear, right? If so, good point. Double standard.

      June 15, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  64. Mike

    Seriously?? That piece of garbage needs to rot in jail.....forever.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  65. Ray Howard

    To say that "pressure is mounting" is a bit of an exaggeration isn't it? What pressure?

    June 13, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  66. gillis

    Guilty as charged. No free get out of jail card for the traitor.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  67. Boomer4

    Casper Weinberger probably distorted the circumstances for his own reasons. In any case, a deal was made by the US government and then not honored. Prior to that, if I recall, Pollard was disobeying orders but acting in accordance with a formal documented agreement for information exchange between the US and Israel. We are supposed to be a nation governed by laws, not personal likes and dislikes.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • AngryJew

      Where does it read that it is ok to spy for Israel? He was a spy and should rot in jail. Screw Israel.

      June 13, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • Mike

      Judges are NOT part of any plea agreement. They are under no obligation to agree to it. It is made clear to the defendant both by the prosector and, during elocution, the court that any plea agreement serves as a recommendation by the parties that the court act in a certain way. Pollard knew the deal. He knew he ran the risk that the judge would say no. In this case, Judge Robinson chose not to accept the plea agreement – rightly in my opinion – and sentenced him accordingly. The "government" did not cheat Pollard out of anything.

      June 15, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
  68. 111Dave111

    Remember the Liberty

    June 13, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  69. Norman

    I urge President Obama not to only reject Pollard's clemency pleas, but even reject the subject when it is being brought up. Here is a traitor who sold his country's top secrets, then took Israeli's citizenship (talking about gall!), and on top of that, he gets a stipend or a salary of about $55000 paid by his Israeli handlers!! Astonishing, to say the least.

    It is a known fact that our government knows about the existence of other "Pollards" in our country, and is trying very hard to apprehend them, using Pollard as a bargaining chip. The Isreali lobby is a powerful one, and is flexing its muscles in an election year, when politicians will do anything to get votes, even if it means pardoning traitors like Pollard.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  70. Havshotuni

    Pollard is a good friend to the Israelis who, whatever they may claim for the purpose of getting money out of us, are NOT friends of ours. Now while the warlord Nathanyahu is crying for a war with Iran that he can't finish - now is not the time to give in to his incessant whining. About anything. Because he knows his own people are not up to the job, NathanY wants not only to spend American money, but also to shed American blood. Getting back to Pollard, leave the punk in jail.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  71. Jim McGuire

    Pollard is a traitor and he should have been executed for his crimes.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  72. 111Dave111

    The Conservative Jewish lobby in the US and Isreal want this,

    But not the American people.

    He is lucky he wasn't shot.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  73. Floyd from Ilinois

    Commute his sentence already, and then put him on the first El Al flight available, with instructions to never return to this nation.

    If the Its Reallies want him that bad, they can have him.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  74. Carla Vazq

    Who is Pollard?

    Who is Blizter? And do we even need him?

    June 13, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  75. Ray Howard

    Pollard spied on the US for Israel. He deserves what he got.
    Obama recently gave Shimon Peres the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
    Now Peres asks for Pollard to be released.
    Obama's support is down among US Jewish voters.
    Pretty cheap way for Obama to buy some votes....and get some campaign contributions...

    Remember the USS Liberty!!Attacked June 9, 1967. 34 US military membes killed. 170 wounded. Captain of the ship received the Medal of Honor.

    Wake up America!

    June 13, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  76. SoWhat

    This traitor should have gotten the death penalty. No way he should be freed.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  77. Rob

    Yes, let's release him to encourage more destruction to our country. I wonder what these senators are getting out of the deal.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  78. robotdude

    Besides the physical/mental harm this guy caused to a number of people, quite a bit of financial damage was done to the USA which we got to pay for (and probably still are paying for). Who knows how many people suffered or were killed because of his spying? Guy is a traitor to his country. Leave him in there for life.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  79. patriot

    Israel spies on the USA and steals top classified documents seriously damaging our national security in 1987; and still Uncle Sam sends this rogue nation billions of US tax dollars. Israel attacks and destroys the USS Liberty killing and wounding scores of US soldiers in 1967; and still Uncle Sam sends this rogue nation billions of US tax dollars. Is Uncle Sam an Israeli (like so many of our dual citizen national leaders)?

    June 13, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Bob

      I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who remembers the deliberate and willful murder of 34 US Sailors aboard the USS Liberty.

      June 13, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  80. John M

    Being convicted of a treasonous act should bring the death sentence for any U.S. citizen, regardless of the country helped by the information.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  81. Peikovianyi

    He did the crime, so he does the time.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  82. brown

    Keep him in jail.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  83. valwayne

    I have absolutely no problem keeping someone who betrayed our country in Prison until the day he dies, even if he betrayed us to a friend and ally. However, its sounds like he had a deal and kept his side of the deal, and then the judge reneged. That's not right! He should serve the full sentence that was part of the deal, but he shouldn't be made to serve more than that!

    June 13, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  84. Howard

    In another time, Jonathan Pollard would've been sentenced to death for his betrayal of his country. At a time when young Americans are dying for their country in distant parts of the world, it would be a betrayal of them to free a man who gave away his country's secrets. Mr. Pollard's "original sin" was that he allowed his sympathies for Israel to compromise his loyalties to the land of his birth.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  85. truefax

    Spy's face excution or life that's just the way it is. It comes with the territory, you are either a loyal citizen or you aren't.

    This man was in our military, he took an oath. He SHOULD have been shot.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  86. C. Ainsworth

    The man is a traitor. It doesn't matter who he gave the information to, only that he stole it. He should consider himself fortunate we're no longer in the habit of executing spies.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  87. Moewolf

    Why all the sympathy for a traitor?

    June 13, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
  88. Mike

    He is a spy, let him rot in jail. He is a terrorist, just like all the people in Guantanamo. Ship him to Guantanamo. Why should we treat him different just cause he spied for Israel?

    June 13, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  89. ItSOnLyME

    No way, no how! Period. Pollard was tried, convicted, and sentenced. End of story. He stays in jail. I don't care if he was spying for Mickey Mouse, he was a spy.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  90. baycommuter

    You're missing something– Pollard is scheduled to be released in 2015 in any case under federal sentencing rules in effect when he was convicted.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  91. Bob

    They can have that spy back in a pine box.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  92. Alan

    If he frees this traitor, he will not get my vote.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
  93. PumpNDump

    Let him rot in jail. The fact remains that the following countries engage in substantial military and industrial espionage against the US: Israel (#1), China, Russia, Japan and France. He knew exactly what he was doing.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  94. Steven Harnack

    Wow! While the Republicans are screaming bloody murders about some leaks of information during Obama's Presidency, pressure is being put on Obama to free Pollard? Give amnesty to the current leakers first.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  95. Yakobi

    For trying to release a convicted spy, Reps. Christopher Smith and Eliot Engel should be voted out of office in November!

    June 13, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  96. raj

    what a double standard of US policy:) we will bend over for Isreal and do whatever it takes to keep them happy..

    June 13, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  97. Manning El Paso, TX

    Wolf, Pollard sold out his country, why should Obama free him?

    June 13, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  98. Jim Thomas

    What he did makes him a traitor to the USA.He is lucky to be alive.Thumbs DOWN to him getting out of jail ever.He did it once,he will do it again.Jim Thomas Phx.Az.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  99. Easyrhino

    Twenty five years too long a sentence? Isn't treason a capital offense?

    June 13, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  100. Esther Lerner Brenner

    Thank you, Wolf1 You are a treasure.

    Ut is way past time to free Pollard. He is no criminal or danger to the USA.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • AngryJew

      The traitor Pollard should rot in jail.

      June 13, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • miketerr

      He pled guilty to being a criminal. With that fact clearly established, would you care to admit that he is also likely a danger to the US?

      June 13, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
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