Justice Department Refuses to Release Jonathan Pollard Clemency Request

Justice Department Refuses to Release Jonathan Pollard Clemency Request- IRmep

Thursday, June 23, 2011 6:08 PM
From: “IRmep” books@inre.org
Since September, 2010 the Israel Lobby Archive has sought public release of Israeli spy Jonathan J. Pollard’s application for clemency filed with the US Pardon Attorney (OPA) and related correspondence.  Presidential pardons for US citizens committing crimes for Israel have been repetitive and problematic.  President Bill Clinton pardoned arms smuggler and Iran-Contra affair operative Adolph Schwimmer (1917-2011) despite his refusal to file the mandatory statement of contrition.  President Geoge W. Bush quietly pardononed smuggler Charles Winters (1913-1984) after intense behind the scenes lobbying.

IRmep’s final in a series of FOIA appeals for release was narrow, seeking only Pollard’s statement of contrition and sections of Pollard’s pardon request to President Obama indicating his awareness of the significant harm he caused to US national security.

On June 17, 2011, the Office of Information Policy of the US Department of Justice ruled that no segment of Pollard’s clemency appeal could be released stating, “After carefully considering your appeal, I am affirming OPA’s action on your request .  OPA properly withheld certain information that is protected from disclosure under the FOIA pursuant to 5. U.S.C. section 552(b)(6).  This provision concerns material the release of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of the personal privacy of third parties.”


The Justice Department did release additional documents under the Pollard FOIA.  On January 28, 2008 pro bono counsel for Pollard from Curtis Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP sought access to a classified memo filed by former Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger to aid in sentencing.  This request, filed directly to then AG Michael Mukasey by Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman was denied by J. Patrick Rowan on June 12, 2008.


Lauer and Semmelman failed in a similar court attempt to gain access to the Weinberger memo in 2006.


The Justice Department, in response to the FOIA, also released a 2009 IRmep essay published at Antiwar.com titled “Pro-Israel Pardons and Leniency Too Costly to Continue” by Grant F. Smith.


Archive root:      http://irmep.org/ILA/pollard

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