Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has formally requested that convicted spy Jonathan Pollard should have his sentence commuted by President Obama. The request is undoubtedly in deference to Netanyahu’s extreme right wing coalition partners who regard Pollard as a hero. According to the State Department, the White House is considering the request.
Doubtless there are Jewish voters and contributors to Democratic coffers who want to see Pollard freed and would make a greater effort to bring about the reelection of Obama in 2012 if the president were to act favorably on the request. But consider this: Pollard did far more damage to US security than any other American official who has turned traitor and he did it for money. My sources close to the damage assessment inform me that it cost more than $3 billion to change the defense department communication codes that Pollard betrayed, something that was of enormous value to the Soviets and wound up traded to them by Israel. The number of US agents in the Soviet Bloc, to include some American citizens, who were identified through information provided by Pollard and were presumably executed is in the double digits. That this man should go free to curry favor with the Israel Lobby and with a snake like Netanyahu is despicable. Bill Clinton almost did it and one wonders if a politically damaged Obama will take the plunge. If he does, the defense and intelligence communities will not stand for it, setting up an interesting confrontation with the White House over the next two years. Obama should once and for all state emphatically that Pollard will never go free.