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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.

Post by:
Filed under: Israel • Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (408 Responses)
  1. Fool me twice

    Keep the loser in prison permanently. Bury him at sea with bin laden.

    June 13, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
  2. chillouteveryone

    His crime was treason. Don't care if it's an ally or not, you don't get to give away classified US information to a foreign entity. I don't believe in the death penalty, but i have no problem locking him away for life.

    June 13, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
  3. mmanr1918

    he is a traitor he was working irony into the intelligence analyst , in other words he know perfectly what he was doing , the israeli jews suppose be the best friend of U.S. take all informations this american jew traitor given to them, the muslin and the jews are the same both don't matter born here in america ,grow here , married here , remain for the rest of their lives muslin and jews, we know that how many muslin soldiers killed their american mate, the jews only are more fallaciously and their jobs into hight place were they introduce with others jews ready to make their dirty job

    June 13, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
  4. TJeff1776

    Methinks twenty-five years is long enough. The American people are DRUNK with endless jail time for ALL crimes and misdemeaners. It was to Israel the info was given...not Russia or China Israel is our strongest ally.

    June 13, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • John in NY

      Your right, I don't think he should have served 25 years, instead he should have swung from a rope!

      June 13, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • Ray Howard

      Israel is not our strongest ally. Israel is dependent on the US and is in fact a liability. When we go off and fight Israel's wars, Israel can't even fight along side us, as that would only make matters worse. With "friends" like Israel we will have all the enemies we will ever need.

      June 13, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
  5. George Torres

    If he were, for the sake of argument, an Amercican of French, British, Dutch, Palestinian, or whatever, would he be released. Mr. Pollard committed treason, and spied for a foreign country, as a paid civilian intelligence anaylist. And Israel is a foreign country. Some people in the USA think Israel is a State of the USA. Keep in mind that Mr. Pollard renounced his US citizenship, and Israel afforded him Israeli citizenship, because soon or later, they feel, a US president will bend to their will and release him to Israel. THIS MAN DOES NOT DESERVE TO BE RELEASED, AND I WILL BE GREATLY DISAPPOINTED IF HE IS RELEASED!

    June 13, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
  6. Eric Sandberg

    As Wolf used to be a registered agent of an Israeli lobbing group it should surprise no one that he is loyal to Israel. I recently asked a Jewish American friend who would he choose if he had to pick one country's interest between Israel and the United States and he proudly chose Israel. That says it all.

    June 13, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
  7. Anomic Office Drone

    No special treatment for spies. If anything, catching an "ally" spying on us should be considered worse than an enemy spy.

    June 13, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
  8. mmanr1918

    he has to pay for his crime, that happen with the people of the middle east , they born american for two or more generations but they still loyal to the country they older came, he born american but he is jew, when he decide to whom be loyal he chose his race jew, like any muslin born here in america these people are the same america can trust on any of these two fanatic people, but the best these jews has the nerve to ask freedom to the president of U.S.

    June 13, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
  9. Lewy

    America must never again kowtow to the jew crowd. Remember the USS Liberty.

    June 13, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
  10. Glider2001

    If there is any legitimate reason to release Pollard early, it is most certainly not to appease the Israeli government.

    June 13, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
  11. NN

    "The pressure is mounting on President Barack Obama to free Jonathan Jay Pollard, the American convicted of spying for Israel."- If that statement isn't a bunch of slanted hype, I don't know what is. Two fringe Congressmen circulating a petition and an indirect mention by Peres do not constitute mounting pressure. And pressure is not a strong enough word to describe the opposition to freeing Pollard, it is more like revolt. This article has been written by someone who is trying to make news, and not report it.

    June 13, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
  12. michael collins

    Mr. Pollard should never be realeased from prision. A double agent is still a traitor even though Israel is an ally. Ask yourselves what Mr. Pollard has that would make the Mossad want him now.

    June 13, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
  13. Gee

    israel wouldn't free a person if the shoe was on the other foot. I hate israel and its double standards. The israeli government is cancer to the rest of the world. I hope I live long enough to see it fall.

    June 13, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
  14. Michael

    The administration should in no way consider releasing Pollard. He was an American who betrayed his country. If Pollard – who has since renounced his citizenship for an Israeli one – was of any nationality other than Israeli (think Iranian), would this even be a topic of conversation? As we are in an election year you can see the pressure mounting from the various Jewish activist groups looking for something in exchange for their perceived vote. The Israeli Prime Minister himself has called for Pollard’s release. He particularly should be ashamed of himself for he has not shown himself to be a friend of America considering the billions of taxpayer money his country receives every year and the way that he refuses to heed any advice we give him. Mr. Obama needs to consider very carefully the blowback from voters, especially in the south and mid-west, who will not view favorably our releasing Pollard. The life sentence Pollard got was a gift, he should consider himself lucky – we use to execute traitors.

    June 13, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
  15. elpueblo

    I don't agree that he should be freed, but if it is being considered than Freedom for Oscar Lopez Rivera should also be considred. He's paid for his offense with 30 years of his life. According to president Bill Clinton, the sentences received by López Rivera and the other Nationalists were judged to be "out of proportion to the nationalists' offenses."[10] U.S. Government statistics showed their sentences were almost 20 times greater than sentences for similar offenses by the American population at large.[5][18

    June 13, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
  16. sftommy

    Quid pro quo, What does Israel offer in return?

    There are a few things they can DO for us in the middle east that we can't because of US domestic politics, like take down Syria or Iran a peg with some heavy strikes, or covert operations. Israel has best intelligence agents in the region maybe the world, and they want a favor....

    June 13, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • Ray Howard

      You mean make Israel fight its own wars against Iran and Syria? I'm all for that.

      June 13, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
  17. Sterling Orr

    Why not he hates Israel anyways.

    June 13, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
  18. thailand68

    Anyone who knowingly and willingly spies for another nation should be hung. Anyone who thinks that the State of Israel is a friend of the USA is a fool. Just check out the story of the USS Liberty in 1967. What is strange is that there have been more people of spying for of 'friend' Israel than our 'enemy' Iran. Think about that for a moment!

    June 13, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
  19. sftommy

    so if we free Pollard, what will Israel give US?
    A heavy strike on Iran or Syria's political and military infrastructures might make it worth while...

    June 13, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
  20. Hard Target

    Israel has assessed the coming presidential race and sees Obama as more than vulnerable. This is their last gasp effort to get their spy out of jail before a Republican administration comes in. If Obama caves, it is game on for Romney. He should go on the attack on this one for sure. Pollard is despicable and deserves to die in jail. Those who are trusted with the nations' secrets know what is at stake. He chose his fate.

    June 13, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • Ray Howard

      Romney kowtows to Israel more than Obama does. The first place Romney goes to kick off his campaigns is Israel's Herzliya Conference. At least Obama has stood up to Israel a little bit and I am glad for that because I voted for him in 2008. Won't vote for him this time though.

      June 13, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
  21. Max Powers

    I'm sure they have others spying for them by now.

    June 13, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
  22. Bandersnatch

    Let Pollard sit in a cell and rot.

    He's lucky not to be hanging from a tree.

    June 13, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
  23. westpoint 48

    He knew what he was doing, Israel knew what he was doing was a crime.Let him go just before he passes away so he can be buried in the promised land.

    June 13, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
  24. YANKEL

    We should just cut ties with Israel . The U.S. has no treaty with them and they do what they want anyway. The Israelis should get out of Palestine already . Look at all the turmoil the Jews have caused since "Planting their flag" there because it says so in the Old Testament.

    June 13, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
  25. Cliff Cooper

    Here's a thought. Our President shlould be willing to trade Mr. Pollard for a full disclosure of Israel's actions which led to their Air Force attack on the USS Liberty during the six-day war. Or does anyone out there remember the USS Liberty? I am certain the widows of dead US Navy crewmen remember that ship.

    June 13, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
  26. Tak

    I don't care for whom he spied, he is a traitor to the United States of America pure and simple. Too bad we couldn't have sent him to Gitmo. He would have been a real hit with all those al Queda types. They wouldn't know what to do with Pollard, welcome him as a fellow enemy of the U.S. or kill him as an Israeli asset. Twenty-five years is too short a sentence for the bastard at any rate.

    June 13, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
  27. Jim

    He may be a hero in Israel but not here. In the US he is a traitor. He is lucky to be alive. Let him rot in prison.

    June 13, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
  28. Loren

    Treason is treason, whether the treason benefits friend or foe. Mr. Pollard should be grateful he was not hung from his neck until dead, the punishment most who commit treason receive.

    June 13, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
  29. sir_ken_g

    Blah Blah Blah. Happens every year or so. Let him rot.

    June 13, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
  30. John

    I say let him go – if the Israeli's are willing to give up EVERY part of the Golan, West Bank, and Gaza strip. If they do that (and only after every Jew is gone) then hand them over to their Prime Minister, shortly before shooting the lot of them and sending the bodies back to Israel. Yes allies do occasionally spy on each other. The difference is that those spies generally are looking for things that represent a direct threat to their nation, to nationals operating in foreign areas, and for situations were they can lend a hand to their ally. Israel has done none of that, instead stealing US secrets to build WMDs and blackmailing the US with the threat of a Middle East war to protect them.

    Frankly I say it's past time we got rid of them. Better an enemy who keeps their word than an back-stabbing ally that changes sides with whichever way the wind is blowing.

    June 13, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
  31. scranton

    Hell no! He betrayed his country for another.

    June 13, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
  32. allens

    he betrayed his country. it does not matter who he did it for. he should spend his life where he is.

    June 13, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
  33. Joe

    Pollard is a confessed and convicted treasonist. He should remain in prison. This should not be the President's decision to arbitrarily release him and the President would be wise not to do so.

    June 13, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • Joe

      It really isn't my position to say what the President should or should not do. I simply don't believe Pollard should be released. The crimes for which he was convicted merit his punishment.

      June 13, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
  34. Katrina

    The one question I have is, why did Israel have the need to spy on the United States when its friend, the United States, unconditionally supports it?

    June 13, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
  35. Veritas

    He didn't just pass classified information to Israel, he passed it to PAKISTAN as well. So his apologists can shut up with their "he only passed secrets to allies, so what's the harm?" spiel. We'll never know the full extent of his crime, but the fact that he was sentenced to life when the standard sentence for the crimes he was convicted of is 10 years should speak volumes about the damage he did to our country.

    His position as a Navy intelligence analyst gave him access to sensitive nuclear reactor information and possibly nuclear weapon information as well. I'm sure the Pakistanis were glad to have his help with their program.

    This guy should have been executed. Never free him!!

    June 13, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
  36. Airborne

    Excuse my spelling errors. This subject really gets my blood boiling. I'm retired military and have no use for traitors.

    June 13, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
  37. JiminNM

    Let the dude rot in jail!

    June 13, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
  38. suttonmom

    What has spy for a friendly nation got to do with anything??? This guy is a traitor and deserves every year he got. Israel is not our friend. Friends do not spy on friends.

    June 13, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
  39. Michigander5

    Obama wont let this guy go; it would be political §-uï-cïd-e. There would be NO WAY he would win re-election if he let this guy go.

    June 13, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
  40. kulnawahed

    Let's examine the apparent dual loyalties of Reps. Smith and Engels (the Congressional advocates for Pollard's release). How much funding do they receive from the pro-Israel lobby?

    June 13, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • SuttonmomDMccartneymail

      Very good question. They are selling out their own country.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
  41. Airborne

    No way he should have been shot. Then we would be going over this 25 years later. Traitors need to be dealt with severally and quickly. If your thinking of selling out The United States wrong going to pay for it with your life.

    June 13, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
  42. TMACNYC

    he is right where he belongs in Jail.

    June 13, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
  43. rylandstewart

    I am insulted that this so called "American" Congressman is going to bat to free this foreigner(He is now an Israeli citizen) stating that the punishment is "too harsh". He might want to review some of the sentences his fellow Americans are in jail for .... some for 40 years for small amounts of drugs.... The issue here is those people can't afford to pay the Congressman his price for "speaking up" for Pollared. What are the Israelis offering him in exchange for his support to free this traitor? That's what Congress should be investigating. Wonder why Blitzer didn't ask him that question? Nobody does anything in DC for free or out of some humanitarian purpose.

    June 13, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
  44. Propaganda Dailies

    Wolf, what happened there?
    1. Where was the disclosure of your previous position as a lobbyist for Israeli interests?
    2. Where was the disclosure of your notoriety in this case way back in the 80s?
    3. Where were the questions to the Republican Senator about his political motivations for supporting Pollard's release?
    4. How come there was very little talk about what Pollard ACTUALLY did?

    I'm truly disappointed in CNN today.

    June 13, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
  45. kulnawahed

    I wonder how much funding is given by AIPAC or by ZOA-affiliated donors to the Reps. Smith and Engel. It's time to de-claw AIPAC and to scrutinize the dual loyalties of certain legislators.

    June 13, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
  46. Kevin

    Are you kidding me? Free a person who provide our Nations intelligence secrets to a foreign country? That is crazy!! What is up with the two congressmen or Senators and their friends pushing this initiative. They should be voted out this year. Many of us fight for Republican or Democratic causes when we should be fighting for American Causes and for our American brothers and Sisters irrespective of color. Dont remain blind people. Voluntary blind eye never realize real lies. Many hate Obama for no real reason, all this man has done was try to fix our country and ever step of the way he is been blocked by politicians in office that are in dept to their Corporate masters. I'm not saying he is perfect, but everyone benefits under him, and under Romney many will suffer.

    June 13, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
  47. peter

    That ex prosecutor digenova put that congressman in his place in the interview. Did you see the congressman with his tail between his legs? I agree with most of the comments here. Let the traitor rot in jail.

    June 13, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
  48. WobblyOne

    Let him rot. And to his supporters, I wish you could join him. I wonder how much money the Israelis are paying the two congressmen?

    June 13, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
  49. Walid Mizyed

    Russia would be next. There are several American-Russian agents convicted of espionage. Even formar FBI agents. Would they be entiltled to the same treatment?!?!?!?!?

    June 13, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  50. Michael

    To all the commentators: You all realize that Pollard will be released in 2015, right? At the time of Pollard's sentencing there was a rule that mandated parole after 30 years of imprisonment for certain prisoners who had maintained a clean record in prison. The Bureau of Prisons (BOP) projects his release date as November 21, 2015.

    June 13, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  51. Mike

    He is lucky to have not faced a firing squad.

    DO NOT RELEASE HIM!!

    June 13, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  52. jr

    Wolf,
    A little moderating of the attorney would have been nice.

    June 13, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  53. Griff

    "Politics and Obama?? If this guy was a Muslim, you can bet Obama would have had him released 2yrs ago. But all Muslims hate the Israelis especially Barack Obama!!!!"

    June 13, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  54. Steve

    Never! May he pass in prison. He betrayed his country. If the president lets him out I will not vote for him.

    June 13, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
  55. Steve

    No! Never. He should die in prison. He betrayed our country. How many people were adversally affected by this guy?

    June 13, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  56. evensteven

    The AIPAC and Israelis have pushed the limits on dictating to the U.S. what we can and cannot do. It's time for the U.S. to put Israel and Israeli interests in their place. The U.S. needs to draw a line in the sand—and as Netanyahu has explained—you just don't cross it.

    No to Pollard.

    June 13, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  57. jim

    Let him go. After all, he was only spying on us for our master, Israel. We need to become a more obedient lapdog.

    June 13, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  58. robert

    this country has given Israel a million dollars a day for military equipment (foreigh aid)which is more than any country has received. this country has given every citizen in Israel twenty thousand dollars to placate them from sending nuclear missles to Iraq when Saddam Hussein was send medium range missles into Israel. the "state" of Israel has treated the Palestians like the Nazis treated them and two wrongs do not make a right. Pollard should be an example of how this country treats spies: life behind bars which is a better deal than other countries...which would be death...immediately. i say NO to releasing this traitor. send a message to Israel and the Israel lobby: NO...

    June 13, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  59. ducdebrabant

    If Pollard is freed, I'm afraid that anybody tempted to spy for a "friendly" government will believe that government's pressure– should he be caught– will cause him to receive a lighter sentence. Spying is spying. There's nothing Israel can offer us in the way of cooperating to get Pollard freed that they shouldn't be giving us anyway, and if they're willing to withhold cooperation in order to get Pollard freed, all that tells me is that they're not such a good ally as all that.

    June 13, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  60. Griff

    "I'm and Englishman, and if I could help my country by penetating another countries files, that would be my duty! But if I'm just selling documents for profit, then I have to be held responsible. But you cannot find me Guilty from protecting my own Country!"

    June 13, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  61. Rossum76

    Proud to be a American today. For once both Democrats and Republicans overwhelmingly agree on something to not free this man.

    June 13, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • Ray Howard

      Of course they do. Israel and its supporters here in the US know how to play both sides.

      June 13, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
  62. Phil

    I apologize, I just read up on the definition of Treason and what Pollard did was clearly that. It is a pity that he was not executed for his crimes.

    June 13, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  63. Wolf Blitzer

    He's an enemy of the United States. Case closed.

    June 13, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  64. Alex

    Pollard violated his oath as naval officer in aiding a foreign government. He pled guilty. He deserves to spend the rest of his life in and die in prison.
    The President should not cave to pressure of the country that Pollard spied for. Israel has no shame.

    June 13, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  65. Phil

    Let him rot. While his crime may not be treason, he betrayed his country, no man can have two masters.

    June 13, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • Jim22

      FORMER CIA DIRECTOR JAMES WOOLSEY:
      "[It was clear] 5 years ago that the punishment quite clearly was excessive. It is time for [Jonathan Pollard] to be released...and there should not be any quid pro quo."

      June 13, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • Redspotz

      Pollard should only leave prison when he's toes- up.

      June 13, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • JPDean

      What?! Of course the crime is treason !

      June 13, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
  66. Tim C

    I hope he's not freed. Being an Israeli should not give one carte blanche to commit crimes against the US. I'm so tired of all this bending over backwards to please the Israel lobby. It's really sickening.

    June 13, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • 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 13, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • Marc

      Your anti-Semitism is what's truly disgusting. Other spies have been treated far less harshly than this man. Get your facts straight before you spew your hatred.

      June 13, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
      • sir_ken_g

        Calling out the Israeli lobby is well justified.

        June 13, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
      • SuttonmomDMccartneymail

        Marc, you are truly disgusting. Calling Pollard a traitor is NOT anti-semantic. He is a traitor. All you are doing is pulling the anti Semite card.

        June 13, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
      • Tim C

        I'm not an anti-Semite. Quite the contrary. But the US gives Israel billions of dollars a year because of the Israeli lobby and to protect big oil's warez, and the end result is the anhialation of the Palestinian people and perpetual war in the middle East.

        As far as other spies, they're not my immediate concern in my post. I think all spies should be punished very harshly. It's not my fault they're not held longer. If it were up to me, they would be.

        June 14, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
      • Patriot

        Marc, it's people like you,who defend the indefencable, that make the old anti-semitism canard a badge of honour rather than a slur.

        June 16, 2012 at 11:41 am |
  67. Pax

    No way–maybe in another 25 years

    June 13, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  68. musings

    What has been rumored, and what we still don't know, is whether his wanton disregard for what Israel would do with the intelligence – they sold it to the Soviet Union in order to get refuseniks out and into Israel, resulting in the cover of Russian and probably CIA spies being blown. They were killed in front of firing squads because of Pollard's actions. He stole the "crown jewels" of the intelligence community, and they don't want it ever to happen again. So apparently he is serving as a lesson to anyone who would turn around and do it again, and also subject the US to same perfidy by a supposed friend.

    How long would it be before China, for instance, benefitted from some dual patriotism?

    June 13, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • Phil

      Amen....

      June 13, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • David

      Although there were suspicions at the time that the American agents in the former USSR were blown through Pollard, subsequent revelations showed that these agents were identified by Aldrich Ames and other Americans who were paid for the information and that there was no "transfer" either intentionally or through espionage of any of the information Pollard gave Israel.

      June 13, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
      • SuttonmomDMccartneymail

        It doesn't matter. He's a traitor.

        June 13, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
  69. Joshua

    I sure would like to see that Victim Impact Statement. My guess is that everything in that document that was originally attributed to Pollard can now be pinned squarely on Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen. 25 years is too much. Just let him go home already.

    June 13, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • abe

      Let him go !!? Let him ROT !!

      June 13, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • evensteven

      . . . and your rank in the IDF is?

      June 13, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • rylandstewart

      Before you go all soft on a person that betrayed your country and mine and you think he has served enough time, go look in our jails, review the sentences of your fellow citizens. So many of them are locked up for life without parole for crimes much less serious than what this dog did. Free him? Not a chance!!! He should rot in jail. If it's good enough for our own citizens to serve disproportionate sentences, so should he. He is not special. Just a rotten traitor to his country until Israel offered him a better deal and then he became a citizen of that treacherous country.

      June 13, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • Good Grief

      I'm with you Joshua. While frankly I'm no big fan of Israel....TWENTY FIVE years is nearly half a life. Enough already here too!

      June 13, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • sir_ken_g

      False . Don't lie for your buddy.

      June 13, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • Jim

      Wrong answer. If we want to change pour minds on his sentence hang him.

      June 13, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Wendell

      You are a pawn for Israel and its lobbyists, as the are pushing this issue. They are not our trustworthy allies they pretend to be. They have sold us out if it benefits there interests, including our Nuclear submarine navigation secrets to the soviets. President Obama you owe nothing to the Israeli lobby and it won't move any peace negotiation further along. He is a traitor and cost our country billions. This will not help you in the swing states.

      June 13, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • royalblue

      He should never be released. A person who spies on his own country should stay locked.

      June 13, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
  70. genebrady

    Let the traitor ROT. The insult is thatIsrael, who profitted from his information is the one asking for his release. That is insane and a slap in the face to ALL Americans.

    June 13, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  71. John

    Are you kidding me? He should have been executed along with his son!!!!!

    June 13, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • Joshua

      Who are you talking about? Pollard doesn't have any children!

      June 13, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
      • Jimmy

        You must be a fellow "member of the tribe'. He deserved to get the DEATH penalty for his treason which cost
        many US agents their LIVES. NO special treatment for kosher criminals.

        June 13, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • Ray Howard

      You must be thinking about the Walkers–they spied for the USSR.

      June 13, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  72. Justus

    Funny how no congressmen from, say, the the Midwest or the South, are pushing for commutation. Beware of foreign influences (meddling) in U.S. affairs...

    June 13, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • abe

      It's Israel who's been asking for years to let their boy go !! How dare they take our billions and turn around spy on us and sell the secrets to Russia !! The atom bomb secret all over again and it's on going !!

      June 13, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  73. Mariner V

    This is the perfect example of Israel asking the United States to do something that is clearly against our national interest and we would be idiots to comply. Let us be clear, Israel has spies in the pentagon and god know where else looking out for their interest while they tell us they are our friends. Friends don't spy on one another. Enemies and competitors spy on one another. Pollard was caught spying for Israel and he compromised our national security. Is 25years enough time? No it is not, he should have been exectuted, so life seems like a pretty good deal considering the alternative. If Obama yields, it will be one of the single most examples to be used against him by the gop in the future for illustrating blowing it with regard to foreign policy. Let us provide a contrast here. The Israelis have said no to almost every request of the US to help facilitate moving the MidEast resolutions forward. Everytime we ask for a settlement freeze, the Israelis say no, tell us to go and screw ourselves and continue to build. Remember Sharon's "We will not be another Czechslovakia."The Pollard debacle is far more serious in terms of associated cost to National Security and they want us to be humane and compassionate with regard to commuting his sentence. Pollards actions on behalf of Israel is one of the most egreious examples of Israel being out of touch with the times. They want us to extend to Pollard what they are not willing to extend to Palestine or the world community. They want us to give the man a break for spying on the United States as their agent. We would be out of our minds to extend to the Israelis what is clearly a directive to illustrate that they have gone off the reservation. What are we going to say, ok but could you be less blatant when you spy on us in the future. We should not be playing Deal or No Deal with the Israelis. But if we are the answer should be "NO DEAL!"

    June 13, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Edward

      Fully agree! NO DEAL!

      June 13, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • CosmicC

      Everyone spies on everyone else. Do you really think we don't spy on England and visa versa? More importantly, spies are always caught and then later released as part of a trade. Israel is particularly bad at this. They frequently release hundreds of terrorists to get back a single soldier, even a dead one. If we do give him up, it should be for a good reason. We should get value for the trade.

      June 13, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
      • Mariner V

        This is the tried and true rationalization of the effete. You want to spy on another country go ahead, you get busted you pay a price. As one of the individuals who stated that he was a jew has said here, what Pollard did is not only an indictment against Israel but taints the character of good decent jews everywhere. I'm not jewish but I can understand their point of view. In other words, "your actions as a jew, make the rest of the jews look bad and all jews pay a price for your actions, in terms of public perception." This is especially true in relationship to matters that rise to the level of national security and we all know what happen to the Rosenbergs and the stigma that was attached because of their heritage. Pollard made a choice. The choice he made was to look out for the interest of Israel and sell out the United States. We call that treason. Israel's position is that Pollard has already served enough time for the crimes committed. Someone said that his actions were not really that serious and didn't compromise our security. Compared to what? I mean are getting daily briefings from the CIA, I know I'm not, so how would he actually know. Here is what we do know, he is in jail for life for spying for the Israelis against the United States. That the Israelis have the audacity to ask us to commute his sentence while virtually stonewalling us on every relevant issue to moving peace talks in the MidEast, has to be one of the most egregious request by their politicians. It is equal too and amounts to the famous quote about President Lincoln: " Aside from the assassination of the President in the theatre, how did you like the play? It shows how fare off the reservations the Israelis have wandered. This isn't Monopoly, we don't reward traitors with get out of jail free passes. It is time for US Reps to let Israel know there are no more chumps in the White House, they left the stage when Bush and his group of clowns left office.

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

      I could not agree with you more. I suspect that most of those people blogging on here that want him to be freed are Jews/Israelis.

      June 13, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
  74. purnellmeagrejr

    It's 100 per cent political. I say this not in judgment; it's jut the way it is.ANything to do with Isrtael is politicla – this probably a bit more than most things.

    June 13, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  75. Gary

    NO! As a Jew who spent his entire career in the intelligence community I feel I speak for all of us when I oppose Pollard's release. He made all Jews in the IC suspect of dual loyalties by spying for Israel (whose security is not iron-clad in any event).

    June 13, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • Joshua

      Then maybe Reagan shouldn't have sold chemical weapons to Saddam. If that had never happened, Pollard would have never passed info on said programs to Israel. Oh, and did I forget about the Reagan administration refusing to honor the Memorandum of Understanding regarding intelligence documents pertaining to Israel's national security? Or what about the stab in the back the Reagan administration gave Israel during Iran-Contra?

      June 13, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
      • name change

        Stab in the back during Iran Contra? You mean stab in the back to "Country Number 1?" Yeah, I remember that.

        June 13, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
      • sir_ken_g

        Your traitorous zionism is showing.

        June 13, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
      • Jim

        Joshua,
        You are surely not an American? What is your nationality?

        June 13, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
      • Thomas Paine

        The capital of the United States of America is Washington, D.C., not Tel Aviv. We do not answer to the Jewish regime in the Middle East that is willing to throw everyone under the bus in order to protect its own interests. If you do not like that, "Joshua", then go to Israel and stay there so that you may be of service to your masters. You have the right of return. Use it.

        June 13, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
      • Wendell

        So you Logic is two wrongs make a right. I read the 1983 MOU you are referring to and it is extremely ambiguous as to how much Intel support we give Israel, and Pollards making his own Intel policy decision shows what a self righteous scumbag he is. He should rot in jail. And Joshua go back to AIPAC and get more money to sell your lies.

        June 13, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
      • Mariner V

        Your argument is so ridiculously feeble I can't believe you would even leave it here. This is almost like, "if there was no apple in paradise, then the snake couldn't have tempted adam" Better still. If my aunt had a man's reproducitve system........she would be my uncle. You've gotta do better than this because this isn't bible studies or anantomy 101. What Pollack did and the reasons he did it are on a whole different level than the cartoon channel.

        June 13, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • George Torres

      Thank you Gary. I'm not Jewish, but I grew up in the predominantly Jewish neigborhood in NYC, and hve great memories of my experiences, and think the Amercian Jewish community is one of the most important communities in the USA. Their support for the civil rights movement, was extremely important and influential. But the nitty griity is that Jay Pollard was a spy, and he committed treason. His crime should not be minimized, and their is a lot more to this story then what meets the eye. Also he got paid. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

      June 13, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
  76. 111Dave111

    Any one US citizen who thinks Isreal is more important the the United States, should renounce their US citizenship and move to Isreal.

    I hear the Golan Heights are nice.

    June 13, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • Joshua

      Compared to the hellhole next door in Syria, it's just like heaven.

      June 13, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
      • Soloman

        Then please go...

        June 13, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • CosmicC

      Actually, the Golan is beautiful. I guess that's besides the point.

      June 13, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
      • sir_ken_g

        Yes it is....

        June 13, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
  77. tony

    I understand he stole Americas most valuable and nuclear arms making secrets and gave them to a foreign power. The consequences of which, are decades of stalemate and ongoing major war risk in the Middle East Peace Process.

    June 13, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  78. steveincny22

    Contrary to the "conventional wisdom" spewed as propaganda by the American politicians who are terrified by the Jewish lobby, the Israel's agenda is seldom in the best interest of the USA. Pollard is a criminal who gave secrets to a rogue nation and should not be released.

    June 13, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  79. rhall

    Clemency? Here's the perfect example of the CNN bias toward the U.S.'s "special ally" by devoting coverage to build "support" for a full pardon of convicted spy Pollard - by none other than Wolf Blitzer. There can be no doubt where the Wolf's true loyalty has always been. If a journalist has a obious conflict of interest in his profession, like Wolf Blitzer has, then he shouldn't be permitted to have a platform to spread his bias.

    June 13, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • CosmicC

      I guess we were reading different articles. I read the one that served as a warning that this was going on. Without this article, this effort my not be public. Now that the lights are on, there's little chance that he'll receive clemency...at least not this year.

      June 13, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • Mark

      I am indifferent to his release – but your logic is flawed. By your reasoning, we shouldn't report news? Wolf is not the congressman or Israeli delegation seeking release – he is reporting those who are pursuing it – sorry but I want to read the news, and this is news. I don't want it censored to appease the anti-Israel folks – who are no better than the pro-Israeli folks.

      June 13, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • Mariner V

      Hard to disagree with your assessment. I find it astounding on a certain level. Those who support Pollack generally have been bamboozled into believing that he is a jewish hero. Dual nationals who pledge their allegiance to Israel first and the US second, should leave here and go and live in Israel and never come back. No harm no foul. We can understand that you see yourself as a Jew first and everything is relegated to that reality. But don't tell us Pollack who was a US citizen, is now a hero in Israel for betraying the US and then ask us to release him from prison because his sentence was to harsh. Now we're getting into goofyland, he should have been executed, as it stands life in prison was by any standard of reason a better deal.

      June 13, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
  80. Oy Vey

    Why not hang him before releasing his carcass to our wonderful Israeli allies? Remember the Liberty?

    June 13, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  81. Rossum76

    25 years is not enough for treason. I'm surprised he wasn't executed. You do realize that is what is supposed to happen. Remember the Rosenburgs? I could care less who he was spying for or what his ethnicity is treason is treason and 25 years does not diminish that fact.

    June 13, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Joshua

      You would have a point, if the crime committed were treason. The crime was "passing information to an ally". Typically, the max sentence on that is 10 years, if not less. He's bearing the metaphorical cross (pun intended) for the crimes that Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen committed. Just let him go home.

      June 13, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
      • name change

        Check out the comments re Pakistan.

        June 13, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
      • abe

        If you think Israel is a real ally of our country, you've been drinking AIPAC's (Jewish Lobby) cool aid like most of our politicians !! Wake up and smell the rot !!

        June 13, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
      • TNPatriot

        Joshua, he was NOT convicted of 'passing information to an ally", he plead guilty to conspiracy to deliver national defense information to a foreign government, which carried a maximum prison term of life. Get your fact straight before you make a fool of yourself.

        June 13, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
      • sir_ken_g

        ...and on to Russia a mortal enemy in that context. Still are.

        June 13, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
      • Jim

        He is a spy. Hang him.

        June 13, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
      • Wendell

        He did not pass secrets to an ally, he passed secrets to the soviets and to south Africa. He is a traitor, and deserves Life imprisonment.

        June 13, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
      • Fool me twice

        Let them all rot.

        June 13, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
      • Phil

        By any other name it was treason. Here I'm ready to seem anti-Semitic when I'm not, but it is true that Pollard's release is a tenet of Israeli politics. Plus, you can be sure he'd receive a hero's welcome when he returns. His crime, as well as the persistent Israeli efforts to get him released, are a slap in the face to the U.S., as is his self-righteous lack of remorse. Finally, why just give one more proof to the non-Israeli Middle East, a majority there, that we're reflexively pro-Israel? What does Israel have to do to us that we won't bend over and say, please, let me have another? Let him rot.

        June 13, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
      • Mariner V

        You dont' know what you're talking about. Unless you get daily briefings from the CIA, you don't know the whole story. And based on your comments here, you don't know what you're talking about. You can try to marginalize what he did the bottom line is that the judge who had all of the info was compelled to give a life sentence based on that info, even after Pollack had a deal for a lesser sentence on the table. The judge said, "Sorry boys, no deal, he's going for life"

        June 13, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
  82. Ira Radnick

    I would have gone to prison for life, so why not this scumbag? Let him rot!

    June 13, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • musings

      I wonder how many of us, if offered money to spy for another country in which we have some sentiment invested, would go ahead and do it? I happen to like France. Would France then go to bat for me if they took the secrets I gave them and used them to do a deal somewhere else in the world like Israel did? Not on your pate de fois gras they wouldn't. I would rot in jail. The difference is that the American Pollard is perceived as an Israeli patriot without being, I believe, Israeli at all. He's an American Jew, that's all. And the lobbying for him by Israel basically says that some people are entitled to more justice than other people. It's chutzpah. Now let's see what President cuts a deal to benefit from that, at the expense of his own country. I pity Pollard, but I also think he is getting off easily in that he was not executed (the way the Soviets executed people whose cover his actions blew, if the rumor is correct).

      June 13, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
      • TMLA1023

        For those of us who signed all of the oaths with good faith in our heart, NOT MANY.

        June 13, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  83. Don Hill 3rd

    The deal should have been honored, not sure 25 is enough, this guy is a spy no matter how you look at it. Most are shot in other places in the world including Israel. He should be grateful if he gets out.

    June 13, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  84. PeterD

    Appology coming soon.

    June 13, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  85. 111Dave111

    a U.S. naval intelligence analyst who provided Israel with classified documents, is a traitor.

    June 13, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  86. waheid

    Absolutely not! The man is a convicted spy. The fact that he was spying for Israel should not in any way entitle him to special treatment. Let him rot in jail. He is a U.S. citizen. He betrayed his country. Let him rot in jail.

    June 13, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  87. PeterD

    He will appoogise under pressure and release him.

    June 13, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  88. Kevin

    A traitor and a spy and not anything more because he did it for Israel. He is a patriot to them, a scoundrel and a POS to anyone who values this nations security. What he deserved was the death penalty, not a parade.

    June 13, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  89. Dan Wolski

    If the next analyst is of English descent, an ally, do we release him when he gives classified data to England, our "ally"? What happens the next time when a Jew wants to help his homeland? The fact that he got life in lieu of the a death sentence in a plea deal means that he gave up some very significant information.

    June 13, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  90. TJ

    Too bad we weren't at war then, we could have just executed this clown and not have to deal with any of this.

    Note to Isreal – If you don't want your spies to do the time, then don't be having them hand over our cryptographic keys.

    Either way, he was a US citizen who decided to commit treason, now he gets to sit in a nice, comfortable prison cell for the rest of his life so he can congratulate himself on how smart he was.

    I hope this loser dies of a very old age, in prison.

    June 13, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  91. just passing by

    Pollard should rot in jail.

    What Blitzer doesn't tell you is that Pollard also tried to sell his secrets to Pakistan – for money. He's not the patriot he paints himself to be.

    For some odd reason, Blitzer also fails to mention the reason why Pollard was tossed into the can: he broke his plea bargain – repeatedly. So it wasn't an "extraordinary move" for Judge Robinson to sentence Pollard to life, which he richly deserves.

    Pollard is slime.

    June 13, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • name change

      The Pakistan business got buried in the rest of it, but there was certainly a Pakistan angle and you may have gotten it right. And what about the Israelis in moving trucks, caught at kings Bay, Georgia, on the property of a US Trident sub base? And about 50 million other Israeli espionage incidents? I guess i feel bad for anyone in prison for 25 years, but I don't think the entire story has ever been exposed.

      June 13, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  92. TDiddy

    he was a spy? Why is he still alive? At least keep him in jail for life!

    June 13, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  93. dominick

    hi. I believe they owe us for the inadvertent taking of lives and the accidental destroying of our ship. Is that soft enough?

    June 13, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  94. William

    I assure you that I am not anti-semetic, but Israel is no friend of the US. Not only do they have spies on us, but remember the torpedo/bombing of our warship by Israel. They are hell-bent determined to not take any US advice about the settlements in the west bank assuring that there will be no piece. They do their own thing ignoring any advice or help that our state department tries to ask them for.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • CosmicC

      If you start with a disclaimer about something you're not, you probably are just that but don't want to admit it.

      June 13, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  95. HH

    Seriously? If Mr. Blitzer is going to post something like this as a tease for his segment, he still needs to provide critical information as to the seriousness of the crime. Reading this makes it seem as if Mr. Pollard was unjustly convicted of some minor offense and now President Obama is responsible. Ridiculous.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  96. marguerite

    ship was totaled.
    sailors were lost.
    pay us.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  97. allaboutbuff

    SHAME on the administration if they think about releasing Pollard. He took part in obvious treason and should not be freed. We must take the hard stance that if you engage in espionage within our agencies, you must pay a high price. Don't listen to the voices that want him freed because they are heavily biased and don't respect the sensitivity of our intelligence.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  98. Herky Bird

    He should consider himself lucky. As a traitor, he should have been executed!

    June 13, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  99. marguerite

    Will we ever get payment for the destruction of our ship and demise of our sailors?

    June 13, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Fool me twice

      USS LIBERTY and the US military killed on it?

      June 13, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
  100. there is profit in fear aka payback

    ....NOTE TO: President Obama. DON'T DO IT..........NO....NO.....NO.....NO...AND DOUBLE NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 13, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
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