In his Letter to the Editor (“Parsing Pollard,” Nov. 11), Norman Polmar expresses an apparently popular opinion in which punishment — no matter how harsh — is assumed correct just because someone may have committed a crime.
Polmar makes five points that would prove Pollard committed a crime. But that is exactly why he plea-bargained. Then Polmar makes the heartless claim that the government didn’t have to abide by their deal because the judicial branch of government is not bound by the executive branch.
When it is you or your loved one in prison for a quarter of a century, this must seem like high-falutin’ crossing of fingers by the government. And to imply Cap Weinberger is blameless in cruelly tricking this man or his lawyers negates the fact that the Secretary of Defense insisted that neither the lawyers nor Pollard himself be allowed to read the case against him.
Polmar goes on to say that people were put in mortal danger because of Pollard’s actions. I don’t know if this is at all correct. Were it not for his sharing secrets, it is more likely people would have died.
In any case, other spies who actually did put people in harm’s way never served as long as Pollard. Typically this crime gets less than 10 years, with less time actually served, yet Pollard is given life without parole. Why is he being treated so much more harshly?
Ironically, Polmar answers this question with his assertion that other spies have been given as harsh a punishment: the Rosenbergs!
Exactly. And what might the Rosenbergs and Pollard have in common? Their religion. That is why it is sickening that we as a community are not up-in-arms on a daily basis that Pollard rots in prison while people of other religions, convicted of the same crime, are free.
And it is disappointing that many Americans who profess to care about justice are happy enough to look the other way when it involves a Jew.