The gist of the material Pollard gave to Israel was related to intelligence the United States possessed about Israel's numerous enemies and their intentions. The government's rationale for going after Pollard in such a heavy-handed way appears to have been its desire not to "upset" America's Arab allies. There seems to have been less concern about "upsetting" Israel, which is under constant threat of annihilation.
Numerous leaks about the U.S. government's spying, not only on foreign leaders, but on its own citizens, along with promises made to Pollard his supporters say were broken, should raise serious questions about the legitimacy of Pollard's life sentence and the motivation behind it. Several administrations have declined requests for clemency, even in light of Pollard's failing health and desire to live in Israel.
Israel has released murderers from its prisons after U.S. pressure in pursuit of an unobtainable peace with Palestinians, whose antipathy toward Israel never changes. The U.S. government appears to be covering something up beyond secrets that are unlikely to have much value today. President Obama should consider commuting Pollard's sentence, not necessarily as a favor to Israel, but to make good on a promise. It also would seem the right thing to do.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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