ShareThis Page

The Pollard apologists: Reject their pleas

| Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

President Obama is in Israel today. And as with several of his predecessors, he'll be bombarded with pleas to release convicted spy Jonathan Pollard. The entreaties should be rejected with an emphatic “NO!”

Mr. Pollard, 58, is serving a life term in a North Carolina prison for spying for Israel. And he's a particularly egregious weasel.

Every two weeks for 18 months, the former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst delivered suitcases packed with classified documents to the Israelis. And the information imparted risked exposure of American intelligence sources and methods.

As one would expect in such matters, the very Israeli establishment that now seeks Pollard's release once disavowed him. When he was exposed in 1985, the Israeli Embassy in Washington denied him refuge. Israeli officials even went as far as to say his spying was a rogue operation. That's also pretty standard spookcraft.

The veneer of denial, however, was stripped away when Israel granted Pollard citizenship in 1995. Not long thereafter, Israel owned up to the truth — he was an Israeli agent.

Those seeking Pollard's release either cite his failing health or that the punishment does not fit the crime. But the former has no place in the debate. As for the latter, Pollard is a traitor who endangered the United States. Life imprisonment indeed is as fitting a sentence today as it was then.

Jonathan Pollard should remain in prison.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.