Ex-CIA Head: 'No Good Reason' for Holding Pollard

James Woolsey tells Israeli radio 'my country is quite wrong' to jail Pollard, now in his 30th year in prison amid failing health.

Ari Yashar,

James Woolsey
James Woolsey
Arutz Sheva

Former CIA Director James Woolsey spoke to Galei Tzahal (IDF Radio) on Thursday, and emphasized that the ongoing incarceration of Jonathan Pollard (60), now in his 30th year behind American prison bars, has "no good reason."

Pollard has been suffering failing health and last week was hospitalized before being returned to jail; he apparently will need another surgery soon. In the interview, Woolsey was asked by interviewer Ilana Dayan why Pollard does not receive even "an ounce of mercy."

There is "no good reason," acknowledged Woolsey, elaborating that there is no reason his parole or clemency has been denied for so many long years.

According to the former CIA head, Pollard "should have been released years ago…I think my country is quite wrong on this and I cannot offer any reasonable explanation for the behavior of those either in the White House or otherwise who have not seen fit to show clemency to Pollard."

"When the Pollard issue first came to me it was when I was director of central intelligence," said Woolsey. He noted that at the time Pollard had only served a few years in prison, and when asked by then-President Bill Clinton he said he thought the materials Pollard had given Israel regarding threats to the country were damaging and important, so he opposed his release.

"In the years that have passed since then...I think he should have been released on parole or on executive clemency," said Woolsey, arguing the release is long overdue.

Woolsey back in February told Arutz Sheva "the US has had friends and allies spy against it throughout its history. We have imprisoned South Korean-Americans, Greek-Americans, Filipino-Americans for spying on the US...they stayed in prison for a few years...two or three years, in one case close to 10 years - but that's all, not close to a quarter of a century!"

Just before Pollard entered his 30th year in a US jail last month his parole request was denied. Woolsey was one of eight senior US officials who wrote to US President Barack Obama decrying the warped justice in the decision, calling it "deeply flawed."