Former Senate intelligence staffer urges Jonathan Pollard’s release, offers expert testimony

A Hebrew sign in Israel reading "We want Pollard home." Credit: Tamar Hayardeni via Wikimedia Commons.

( Boston University international relations professor Angelo Codevilla, who was a senior staffer on the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee at the time of the arrest of Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard in 1985, wrote a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama calling for Pollard’s release and offering to give expert testimony on Pollard’s behalf.

In his letter, Codevilla noted that Pollard is the only person in U.S. history “sentenced to life imprisonment for passing information to an ally, without intent to harm America,” a crime that normally only “carries a sentence of 2-4 years.”

“Having been intimately acquainted with the materials that Pollard passed and with the ‘sources and methods’ by which they were gathered, I would be willing to give expert testimony that Pollard is guilty of neither more nor less than what the indictment alleges,” he wrote.

On Dec. 10, Bill Richardson—formerly New Mexico’s governor and the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations—also wrote a letter to Obama calling for Pollard’s release. In a conference call with reports on Tuesday, Richardson said he expects “sometime soon that I’ll get a chance to talk to [Obama] about several things,” including Pollard. Asked by what his main argument for Pollard’s release would be in a conversation with Obama, Richardson said, “You want to make the most effective argument, and the most effective argument is on humanitarian grounds.”

Pollard’s has “been punished enough, he’s been in prison 29 years, the man has suffered enough, he’s not well,” said Richardson.

Richardson said he believes the Pollard case is “reaching a point where I sense some momentum,” through increased calls for his release by both former government officials and the general public.

“I see increased social media, Facebook, [and] Twitter [activity] on this subject, and that is read, that is something that I think is increasing momentum and has increased the potential for [Pollard’s] release,” he said.

Posted on December 17, 2013 .