Former Democratic congressman Robert Wexler of Florida recently urged President Barack Obama of the United States to release Jonathan Pollard, who is serving a life sentence for passing classified information from the U.S. to Israel, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA). A July 25th letter from Wexler, released Friday by Pollard advocates, is considered significant because it is the first to come from within Obama's close associates.
JTA says that Wexler was the Obama campaign's "chief Jewish proxy" in the 2008 election and remains close to the White House. Wexler now directs the Center for Middle East Peace. In the letter, he wrote, "Mr. Pollard is the only person in U.S. history to receive a life sentence for disclosing classified information to an American ally." He continued, "Having spent over 25 years in incarceration, seven of which were spent in solitary confinement, and having expressed remorse for his crimes, it is my humble opinion that Mr. Pollard has served sufficient time -- both in terms of punishment for his crimes and in terms of deterrence to would-be perpetrators."
Pollard recently underwent successful kidney-related surgery, although his wife said last week that more surgery may be needed.