Jonathan Pollard

Chanukah Hanukkah Beginning in About Two Weeks

Shalom Y’all:

Chanukah Hanukkah is almost here. We light the first candle on the evening of December 6. For you last minuters, these bibs, onesies, t shirts and sweatshirts for kids are great gifts.

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A real delight!

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In this midst of all last week’s horror, a bit of good news: Jonathan Pollard, the convicted American spy accused of passing secret information to Israel, was finally released this past Friday after thirty years in jail. But his troubles are far from over. He has to stay in the United States for the next five years and check in regularly with his parole officer. Furthermore, just to make sure he does not attempt to escape from  America, he is required to wear an electronic bracelet at all times.

Originally, he was not allowed to have any internet access (in today’s world that’s an information blackout), but his pro bono lawyers managed to allow him access if his computer usage is monitored at all times. This would include any computer he uses during the course of his employment. Needless to say, no employer would agree to have its computers monitored. He was offered a job as an analyst in a financial firm, but obviously he will not be able to accept the job offer if his work computer is monitored.

His lawyers have appealed these conditions and a hearing is expected to be held this coming week in a New York court. HIs lawyers, Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman have called these conditions unreasonable, vindictive and unlawful. They say there is no reason to monitor Pollard because, after thirty years, he has no information that would be valuable to anyone. Furthermore, his disclosure of this stale information would result in a quick return to jail to serve out the rest of his life sentence.  This type of monitoring is generally used only for pedophiles, stalkers and those who are a danger to others. Pollard certainly does not fall into this category.

Two New York Congressmen, Eliot Engel and Jerrold Nadler asked US Attorney- General Loretta Lynch to allow Pollard to move to Israel if he renounces his American citizenship, like the Cuban spy who was allowed to return to Cuba after he renounced his American citizenship. No word yet on her response.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu asked President Obama to intervene to allow Pollard to go to Israel, but the President said he will not intervene.

One day all the facts in this strange case will come to light. Starting with the judge’s decision to hand down a life sentence for a crime which is usually punished with two to four years jail time, to the government’s failure to live up to its promises on the plea deal, to his Lebanese attorney’s failure to file a timely appeal to the life sentence, to the failure to obtain parole much earlier, the book on this case will be a runaway best seller. However, the likelihood it will be written and published anytime soon is quite remote.

At least Pollard is out of jail and can live relatively freely now.

Update: Pollard is under a house curfew from 7AM to 7PM every day. This means he cannot leave the house to go to synagogue before 7AM and after 7PM. Furthermore, he cannot accept dinner invitations on weekdays or the Sabbath that will entail his return to the house after 7PM.

As if this were not bad enough, even when he is allowed out- between 7AM and 7PM he is only permitted to go to a small area within New York City. This despite the fact that he is obligated to wear his GPS bracelet 24/7.

Since not only will his home computer be monitored, but his business computer as well, his prospective employer has withdrawn the job offer since that business, and any other business as well, does not want the government constantly monitoring its communications and actions.

This is freedom?

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Jewish Baby and Kids T Shirts and Gifts, Jonathan Pollard, Politics, Pollard | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jonathan Pollard’s Parole Request Denied

Shalom Y’All:

Today Jonathan Pollard begins his 30th year in prison for a crime for which others typically serve only two to four years.  He was hospitalized three days ago and is in poor health.

His parole request, the first since his incarceration, was summarily denied in August of this year on the grounds that the breath and scope of the material he gave to the Israelis was the greatest comprise of US security to date. This allegation is totally false and was based primarily on the document prepared by Casper Weinberger, a former secretary of defense, nearly 22 years ago, which has since been proven to contain many falsehoods. Years later Weinberger himself backtracked and said that the Pollard case was a relatively”minor matter.”

Despite the fact that Pollard is a model prisoner, is no longer a security risk, and scored highly on factors indicating suitability for release,  those present at the parole hearing characterized it as a “kangaroo court” and a “lynching.”

Although the parole board said it would conduct another review of the case in February 2015 and another parole hearing five months later, it made clear that the US government would again vigorously oppose Pollard’s parole request.

The letter informing Pollard of the rejection of his parole request was harsh and said in part, “You passed thousands of Top Secret documents to Israeli agents, threatening US relations in the Middle East among the Arab countries.” The letter concluded by stating, “Given all this information, paroling you at this time would depreciate the seriousness of the offense and promote disrespect for the law.”

In response, eight former high level US officials wrote a strongly worded letter to President Obama denouncing the Parole Board’s decision and charging the administration with basing its “unjust denial” on a “patently false” document -the Weinberger Memorandum. The signatories include former CIA director, Amb. R. James Woolsey; Lawrence Kolb, former assistant US Secretary of Defense; and former National Security Advisor Robert MacFarlane.

The letter writers pointed out that the parole board ignored all evidence in Pollard’s favor, including his high score on a test measuring “suitability for release,” his age, his family situation, poor health, and his wife’s cancer. They denounced the “grossly disproportionate” treatment of Pollard, and said his “unconditional release is long overdue.” They criticized the “unjust parole process” and called it “deeply flawed.” Furthermore they said that the Commission had falsely characterized Pollard’s spying as “the greatest compromise of US security to that date,” a charge which they said was wholly unsupported, and the document on which it was based was known to be unreliable.

The writers are familiar with the Pollard file and its classified documents and know of what they write.

So why is Pollard still in jail? There are certainly no security reasons for his continued incarceration. One explanation currently in vogue is that the US government wishes to use him as a bargaining chip to get concessions from Israel. That this has validity is shown by the fact that the US was willing to free Pollard if, during the latest attempt at peace negotiations with the Palestinians, Israel completed the last round of Palestinian prisoners releases. The talks broke down before this became a reality.

Now that the parole option is useless, Pollard’s attorneys and supporters are going back to the only available option: a pardon by the US president. To achieve this, US Jews will once again be urged to send letters to Congress and the President.  Pollard’s lawyers hope the renewed pressure not only from US Jews, but also from civil liberty movements will be successful.

All people of good conscience should actively participate in trying to get President Obama to pardon Pollard. This shows the President that many people favor Pollard’s release and may persuade the President to act.

Hopefully, the Administration will come to its senses and put an end to this mockery of justice. If not, Pollard’s freedom will be in the hands of the next President. I just hope Pollard lives long enough to enjoy it.

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Pardon Pollard Now

Shalom Y’All:

It’s been a while since my last post and I’ve been doing some thinking. I know most people are not really interested in reading just about new Jewish t shirt designs. So I’ve decided to turn this blog into a forum for discussing issues,  especially those of interest to Jews, and for showcasing interesting Jewish stories, books, pictures and personalities. Of course, if I create a design relating to a post, I’ll feature it. But that will just be the icing on the cake.

Today’s topic is a serious one- the continued incarceration of Jonathan Pollard  (he’s currently in his 29th year of imprisonment) for passing classified information to an ally a crime for which most people serve 2-4 years. He was NOT convicted of treason-which is passing classified information to an ENEMY!

Let me put this another way. Jonathan Pollard, despite his  plea deal with the government, is the only person ever to have received the maximum punishment for his crime- life imprisonment

The United States recently asked Israel to release over 100 prisoners in its jails, many of whom are guilty of having murdered Jews, as a sign of good will towards the Palestinians. These criminals murdered people, but they are being set free and receiving a hero’s welcome when they return to their homes. Obviously, family members of their victims, as well as other Israeli citizens, are very upset at the release, since not only have these men committed murder, but they will try to kill additional Jews if they can. It’s like releasing those convicted in taking part in the 9/11 massacre as a good will gesture towards Saudi Arabia or Iran, except of course neither of these countries have sworn to destroy the United States.

However, Pollard, whose crime did not kill a single person, is still being held in prison.

Recent disclosures show a pattern of US spying on Israel, including surveillance of former Israeli Prime Ministers. Of course countries spy on each other. That ‘s part of the international game of intelligence. However, usually those caught spying for an ally are given short sentences of 2-4 years and then released.  Pollard is the only one ever to have received a sentence of life imprisonment for spying for an ally. The sentence for this crime is currently capped at ten years, showing that the government does not think this crime deserves life imprisonment.

Pollard agreed to plead guilty to one count of passing information to an ally to avoid life imprisonment. However, the judge, in violation of the plea agreement, sentenced Pollard to life imprisonment. Totally unbelievably, Pollard’s lawyer never appealed the sentence, thus sealing Pollard’s fate.

The list of those recommending Pollard be freed include: former CIA Director James Woolsey, Angelo Codevilla- a senior staffer on the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee at the time of  Pollard’s arrest in 1985,  former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Shultz, former CIA Director James Woolsey, William Webster, who headed the FBI at the time of Pollard’s arrest, etc.

Let’s summarize. Obama pressured Israel to free prisoners convicted of killing Israelis and Obama had the US spy on Israel, an ally. Pollard has expressed regret for his actions, which did not kill a single American,  and has been in jail about seven times longer than those convicted of spying for allies and longer than others convicted of spying for such countries as Saudi Arabia, home of the 9/11 hijackers, and China.

The continued incarceration of Jonathan Pollard is not only wasting taxpayers money, but is a blight on the American justice system. Enough is enough.  Pollard’s more than done his time. Now’s the time to set him free.  Free Pollard now! 

If you agree, please call the White House at: 202-456-1111, or 202-456-1414, or write a letter toPresident Obama at:

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20500

You can email if you want, but emails are not very effective.

Thanks.

UPDATE: An Iranian engineer who worked for a U. S. defense contractor was recently given a 10 year sentence for spying for  Iran, an ENEMY. Yet Pollard is serving his 29th year in prison for spying for an ALLY. Is this just?

Free Pollard now!

Categories: Jewish Blog, Jonathan Pollard | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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