Jonathan Pollard's wife Esther said this morning that U.S. President Bush is ready to free the imprisoned Israeli - but that Prime Minister-designate Ehud Olmert has to make the request.
Speaking on Channel Two's Monday morning television talk program, Esther Pollard said, "Someone who is very close to President Bush came to me last night and said that Bush is ready to free Jonathan even in time for the upcoming Passover holiday [which starts Wednesday night] - as long as Olmert makes an official request."
She said that the source with whom she spoke is "known very well to Mr. Olmert as trustworthy and having close ties with the U.S. President."
There is no telling whom she is referring to although I could take a few guesses.
Esther Pollard has an official website but the news section is a few days behind current events. I did look on there and failed to find any similar mention of Bush being willing to pardon Pollard.
So why pardon Pollard now? It might be because his last legal appeals have been exhausted. His last petition to have his sentence overturned was denied in July 2005 and in March 2006 the Supreme Court itself refused to re-open the case. The only way Pollard will ever be a free man now is if the President of the United States pardons him.
His wife and many others defend what Pollard did, minimizing the damage he caused to American intelligence and saying he did it to protect Israel because the US was "violating" an agreement to share intel with Israel. I've written before in some detail what a load of baloney that is.
Pollard made damn good money to spy for Israel. And when I say "spy", I mean cart out entire truckloads of data, including cipher books and extremely valuable manuals and procedures describing the very highest level of sensitive intelligence operations.
Pollard's wife and others make it seem like he was "double crossed" because he got a life sentence for pleading guilty to a single charge. Yet this is the result of a plea bargain, one condition of was the freeing of his wife Esther so she could go to Israel and agitate for his release. There's nothing unfair about the plea bargain at all.
According to Pollard's wife, the pardon (if it comes) could be here by the beginning of Passover, which begins on the night of Wednesday (tomorrow). I sincerely doubt that Bush would pardon Pollard unless there was some major political benefit to doing so and right now I don't see that happening.
I am instead reporting this both because there is a chance it could happen and because Esther seems to be talking with someone fairly high up in the Bush administration. I've heard of the October Surprise but this may indeed go down as the Passover Surprise. Keep your ears open!
Cross-posted from the doubleplusungood crimethink website Flogging the Simian