Joseph de Genova, who served as the prosecutor in the case of Jonathan Pollard, said on Sunday that he believes there is no chance that President Barack Obama will pardon Pollard.
Speaking in an interview on Israel’s Channel 10 News, de Genova also said Obama is hostile toward Israel and charged the president of being a master in double-talk.
“No spy for a friendly country in the history of the United States has ever done as much damage as Mr. Pollard did to our national security,” he said, adding, “The damage that Mr. Pollard did cost three billion dollars to fix.”
Several former officials in the U.S. administration, including former CIA chief James Woolsey and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger have publicly called for Pollard’s release, but de Genova disagrees and he explained why.
“I’m happy that Mr. Woolsey and Dr. Kissinger think that he should be released, but Dr. Kissinger and Mr. Woolsey know absolutely nothing about the case,” he said. “Most of the CIA directors feel that that’s the kind of thing you cannot excuse, because if you do, you encourage other Americans to do the same thing.”
He added, “[Pollard] was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole, which means after ten years – which was a number of years ago – he could apply for parole, and if they granted him release he would be released. He’s never done that.”
De Genova noted that unless Pollard asks for parole, he will remain in prison for life, unless he is granted clemency by the President. He said, however, that the possibility that Obama would grant Pollard clemency is unlikely.
“President Obama says that no one has been more supportive of Israel than President Obama,” he said. “I think that President Obama is a really good double-talk artist. He could do himself a lot of good with the American Jewish community by pardoning or granting clemency or a commutation of sentence to Jonathan Pollard, but I don’t see that in his make-up. What I see in President Obama is an animus toward Israel.”
Finally, said de Genova, “If I were [Pollard’s] lawyer, I would bring all those wonderful high-powered individuals – Dr. Kissinger, Jim Woolsey – apply for parole, ask for a hearing, and bring them all in. I would think that the U.S. parole board would be mightily impressed with them.”