Former senior U.S. officials slam ‘unjust denial of parole’ for Jonathan Pollard

Jonathan Pollard. Credit: U.S. Navy.

( Eight former senior U.S. officials have written a letter to President Barack Obama that strongly protests the “unjust denial of parole” for Jonathan Pollard, an American citizen convicted of spying for Israel in 1985.

The Campaign for the Release of Jonathan Pollard on Wednesday said a U.S. Justice Department parole board has rejected a request to have Pollard released. The group quoted U.S. officials as saying that freeing Pollard would “constitute contempt for the severity of the offense and promote a lack of respect for the law.”

The former officials’ letter, meanwhile, blasted the parole process as “deeply flawed” and called the U.S. government’s contention that Pollard’s espionage “was the greatest compromise of U.S. security to that date” a “patently false claim.” That claim “is not supported by any evidence in the public record or the classified file [on Pollard],” the officials added.

The letter was signed by individuals with extensive first-hand knowledge of the Pollard case, including R. James Woolsey, former director of the CIA; Dennis DeConcini, former chair of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee; David F. Durenburger, also a former chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee; Robert C. MacFarlane, former U.S. National Security Advisor; Lawrence J. Korb, former Assistant U.S. Secretary of Defense; Prof. Angelo Codevilla, a former Senate Intelligence Committee staffer; Lee Hamilton, former chair of the House Select Committee on Intelligence; and attorney Bernard W. Nussbaum, former White House counsel.

While the Campaign for the Release of Jonathan Pollard did not reveal any further details on the parole hearing, it suggested that it would soon release evidence highlighting the White House’s attempts to prevent Pollard from being released.

Posted on November 20, 2014 .