I do not know the source of Mr. Dershowitz’s information on Jonathan Pollard, but it differs from most public and official sources. The Washington Jewish Week article (“Dershowitz: ‘Let Pollard go,’ ” July 3) begins, “With a little more than a year until convicted spy Jonathan Pollard is eligible for parole.…”
But a story in The Washington Post on April 2, 2014, states: “The U.S. Parole Commission, assembled at the federal prison in Butner, N.C., for a hearing Pollard had requested in December – his first request since he became eligible for consideration nearly two decades ago – was told he had changed his mind.”
Wherein lies the truth?
Further, the WJW article quotes Mr. Dershowitz as stating that “the aiding of an ally, as in Pollard’s case, does not carry a life sentence. …” He should be reminded that Julius and Ethel Rosenberg gave – not sold as did Pollard – radar and nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union, one of our two major allies in World War II. Both of the Rosenbergs were executed.
He also said that when “spies from other nations have been caught and tried by the U.S., the maximum sentence has been six-to-eight years. …” There have been several foreign spies who have been tried in the United States and sentenced to much longer sentences.
Of course, several Americans have been given life sentences for spying, among them Morton Sobell, who worked with the Rosenbergs; ex-Navy communications specialists John A. Walker and Jerry Whitworth (sentenced to 365 years); NSA analyst Ronald Pelton (three concurrent life sentences); Aldrich Ames of the CIA, et. al.
Indeed, many more persons have been sentenced to prison terms longer than Mr. Dershowitz’s “six-to-eight years,” some of whom never passed secrets to another country but only attempted to do so and were caught in a U.S. government “sting” operation.