Try digitalPLUS for 10 days for only $0.99

Opinion

News Opinion

Don't free Jonathan Pollard

In Kenneth Lasson's commentary, "Freeing Pollard benefits all" (Feb. 27), who is "all?" Jonathan Pollard passed classified information to Israel to circumvent U.S. policy. Is "all" the thousands of Americans with security clearance who do not betray that confidence, or does it refer to the country Mr. Pollard betrayed? He is serving a life sentence because of a plea bargain. His cooperation was in no way exculpatory. Mr. Lasson writes, "It is now more clear than ever that he is being severely punished for deeds he never did." Mr. Pollard confessed, and Israel acknowledged his espionage years later. That's why he's in prison.

Is this "Perhaps the administration's most egregious failure to correct a clear miscarriage of American justice?" The Innocence Project works to free prisoners wrongly convicted for crimes they didn't commit. Surely that's more egregious.

Mr. Lasson wonders why President Barack Obama doesn't use the presidential pardon as often as his predecessors did. Is there a quota?

The suggestion that pardoning Mr. Pollard would "mend political fences" begs the question: Does the special relationship with our "staunchest ally in the Middle East" need mending? As President Obama said on March 5 of last year, "Our commitment to the security of Israel is rock solid ... the [U.S.] will always have Israel's back when it comes to Israel's security." Yet the mention that the two states have different interests is often met with outrage. If there's anything to worry about, it's the permanent entangling alliances that our forefathers warned us about.

Would pardoning Mr. Pollard "… guarantee [Mr. Obama] a warm popular reception in [Israel]?" If our foreign policy courts popularity overseas, why do we repeatedly defy world opinion? The U.S. is sometimes the only U.N. vote on Israel's side against international consensus — because this is not a popularity contest.

Israel receives more annual U.S. aid than any other country, in absolute terms, and on a per capita basis. Perhaps "our staunchest ally" will refuse our generosity in these times of economic distress. Or perhaps Israel will refuse to accept the money to express disapproval of our judicial handing of Mr. Pollard. Don't hold your breath.

W.N. Howell, III, Ellicott City

  • Text NEWS to 70701 to get Baltimore Sun local news text alerts
  • Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
    Related Content
    • Obama should free Pollard

      Obama should free Pollard

      Clemency for spy would both serve justice and improve U.S.-Israeli relations

    • The endangered pollinators

      The endangered pollinators

      For those who visit the Maryland State Fair each year, the honey and wax exhibit is always a highlight. A busy hive of bees can be viewed through a plastic window, there's locally-produced honey and candles in a variety of shapes and sizes for sale, and members of the Maryland State Beekeepers...

    • Ready for Kindergarten?

      Ready for Kindergarten?

      Even Maryland's youngest students are feeling the effect of the state's switch to the more rigorous academic requirements of the Common Core standards. This week state officials reported that fewer than half the state's 4- and 5-year-olds are "fully ready" to succeed when they enter Kindergarten,...

    • Fewer assessment test [Poll]

      Fewer assessment test [Poll]

      Was it a good move for education leaders to cut back on reading and math assessment tests in Maryland schools?

    • The false god of politics

      The false god of politics

      If you visit Mount Olympus, you will see scores of crumbling statues to false gods once worshipped by ancient Greeks. The same is true in Rome, where statues of political gods, notably those named Caesar, lay in ruins.

    • We must redouble our efforts now that the Freddie Gray cameras are gone

      We must redouble our efforts now that the Freddie Gray cameras are gone

      When Baltimore burned during the recent uprising, there were news cameras everywhere to document the mayhem and rage. As pastor of the only church whose property was torched during the chaos — housing we were building to redress systemic inequities and to revitalize blighted communities was destroyed...

    • Men, their sons and their lawns

      Men, their sons and their lawns

      Along with eye color and a knack for rolling your tongue, an obsession with the grass around your house is hereditary, I have learned. It is also, apparently, a sex-linked gene, because no little girl has ever been born wanting to mow the lawn.

    • Pharmacy deserts and the myth of accessible medications

      Pharmacy deserts and the myth of accessible medications

      More than two-weeks after protests erupted in Baltimore surrounding the death of Freddie Gray, many pharmacies in inner-city Baltimore remained closed or were operating under limited hours, disrupting access to essential medications for many residents; three of them are still closed today. People,...

    Comments
    Loading

    46°