Former CIA head James Woolsey is the latest figure to champion the cause of imprisoned spy Jonathan Pollard.
In a letter to the editor of today’s Wall Street Journal, Woolsey wrote, “For those hung up for some reason on the fact that he's an American Jew, pretend he's a Greek- or Korean- or Filipino-American and free him.”
Woolsey has a reputation for publishing his opinions in letters to the editor. In his writing, he pointed out that most recently-convicted spies do not receive life sentences, which Pollard is serving. The ex-CIA official said Pollard has already served more time than the majority of spies will ever face.
"There is absolutely no reason for Pollard to be imprisoned for as long as [Aldrich] Ames and [Robert] Hanssen, and substantially longer than spies from other friendly, allied, and neutral countries,” Woolsey stated.
In the 1990’s, Woolsey cautioned then-President Bill Clinton against clemency for Pollard, which he explained in the letter.
"When I recommended against clemency, Pollard had been in prison less than a decade," Woolsey wrote. "Today he has been incarcerated for over a quarter of a century under his life sentence."
Pollard is an American-born Jew convicted in 1987 of espionage for Israel. While in prison, he was made an Israeli citizen. Several high profile figures, including Shimon Peres, have petitioned for his release.