Free Jonathan Pollard?

Free Jonathan Pollard?

My favorite paragraph of the week comes from a piece by Bret Stephens in today’s Wall Street Journal (3/19/13) “Don’t Free Jonathan Pollard”.  Mr. Stephens speaks to the myriad policy “issues” pulling Israel, indeed the entire region, into a quagmire despite Obama’s insistence that he has Israel’s back. (Hey Isreal, don’t bet your life on Obama’s promises!)

The one thing that most concerns Stephens is that President Obama could feasibly announce the release of former Navy intelligence analyst and convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard as an act of goodwill to our Israeli friends.

Stephens acknowledges that

“[t]here is a humanitarian case to be made for Pollard’s release. He has now served 28 years of a life sentence, which comes to nearly half his life, and he is said to be in failing health. Compare that with the seven years served by Robert Kim, another Navy analyst who spied for another friendly country, in his case South Korea.”

Hence, the humanitarian argument points out inequities in sentences handed down to other spies in light of the purportedly harsh sentence given to Pollard.

Stephens will have not of that, and for good reason:

What’s inequitable about Pollard’s sentence isn’t that his is too heavy. It’s that the sentences of spies such as Aldrich Ames, Robert Hanssen and Robert Kim have been too light. Particularly in the age of digital downloads, WikiLeaks and self-appointed transparency crusaders, the U.S. needs to make harsh examples of those who betray its secrets. (emphasis added)  That goes especially for those who spy on behalf of friendly countries or, as Bradley Manning imagined, in the ostensible interests of humanity at large.

So, there you have it, my favorite paragraph of the week.  What do you think about the Pollard issue?

See “Free Jonathan Pollard? REVISITED” OBS 3/26/13

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