R. James Woolsey, former director of the CIA, has called again for the US to release convicted spy Jonathan Pollard.
In a two-minute video, recorded on Monday at a conference in Manhattan in which Woolsey took part, Woolsey said: “If you look at other allies of the United States, such as South Korea and the Philippines, where we have caught spies, the sentence that they had has been light, not like Pollard’s; it’s been about six or seven years. What I said in The Wall Street Journal essentially was that if anybody is hung up over the fact that he’s an American Jew or that he’s Israeli, just pretend that he’s a South Korean and set him free.”
Pollard, 59, was arrested by U.S. authorities in 1985 and later sentenced to life in prison.
Woolsey said that spies of other allies, such as South Korea and the Philippines, that the U.S. has caught have received sentences of six or seven years.
“If anybody is hung up over the fact that he’s an American Jew or that he’s Israeli, just pretend that he’s a South Korean and set him free,” Woolsey said of Pollard.
“He’s been in prison a long time now, and the only people who are in prison that long are people like [convicted CIA spy Aldrich] Ames and [convicted FBI spy Robert] Hanssen who got people killed, and Pollard didn’t do that,” Woolsey said.
Woolsey led the CIA from February 1993 to January 1995.