Monday, August 15, 2011

The Hill: Pollard, Pardon, Donations, Diplomacy

The Hill reports "Jewish supporters" of President Obama "are ramping up their lobbying campaign to release Jonathan Pollard." How? By claiming the move would "go a long way in easing tensions between the Jewish community and the White House." Pollard was given a life sentence for spying in 1987 and it has been continuously reported that "more than two dozen lawmakers and other policymakers" endorse a pardon.

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) admirably asserts a pardon would bolster U.S. relations with Israel. But a "senior member" of Pollard's campaign for clemency says a pardon might have a more profound impact on Obama's campaign donations: "There are people who have withheld giving money ... who are holding back. It should be a no-brainer ... it will get [Obama] brownie points. The hope is that he’ll do it for justice.”

The Hill reports that there was "much speculation" in late 2007 and early 2008 that President George W. Bush would pardon Pollard "during his last days in office," but does not cite a single credible authority for such an expectation. See full story here.

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