Let justice prevail in the Pollard caseEspionage is...

the Forum

October 10, 1991

Let justice prevail in the Pollard case

Espionage is defined as handing or surreptitiously obtaining information and delivering it to an enemy, an adversary or a competitor. When information is extended to a friend, it is completely different.

In the Camp David accords, the United States promised to share pertinent information about the Middle East with Israel. In the case of Jonathan Jay Pollard, he transferred information concerning PLO force concentrations, Arab biochemical installations and other pertinent knowledge deemed relevant to the security of Israel while he was serving as a civilian employee of the U.S. Navy.

Pollard does not deny having committed a violation. He pleaded guilty, as he had been promised a more lenient sentence if he did. He did not have to plead. Nonetheless, he was handed a life sentence as punishment. There is no precedent for such a harsh and grotesquely cruel sentence for the transfer of information to a friendly nation. It is even a harsher punishment than was meted out to the Walkers, who were engaged for years in military spying on behalf of the Soviet Union, a country which less than a year ago was considered an arch-enemy of the United States.

The irascibility and vindictiveness of former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger in the Pollard case renders the whole procedure a travesty. In truth, the U.S. position was not harmed at all by the felony of Pollard.

Six years in solitary confinement in a maximum-security jail in Marion, Ill., is more than sufficient punishment. The American people and taxpayers would be better served to let Jonathan Pollard be a free and self-supporting individual than to have him rotting in a cell. Let justice, forgiveness and fairness prevail, if we are the great and free society we think we are.

Blanche Sachs

Randallstown

Loans for Israel

I understand it is technically true that Israel has not actually defaulted on loans from the U.S.; some have been forgiven, and others have been repaid with U.S. taxpayer money.

Prior to the 1980s, Israel received from this country a combination of loans and grants; however, this was later changed to just grants. The amount of the grant was to be at least enough to cover the pay-back of the loans. Which means that the lender was giving the borrower the money with which to repay the loan!

As regards the proposed loan guarantee of $10 billion which Israel has requested (demanded?), it is also true that Israel is only asking the U.S. to co-sign loans that it will apply for from private banks. But it is not true that this will cost us nothing. The U.S. government will have to put aside a certain percentage of the loan guarantee in order to cover a possible default, and that amount must come out of the budget.

Additionally, if we (God forbid!) follow the same course as previously, we will be issuing grants to Israel to cover the repayment of the loan.

It seems to me that a far better use for this loan guarantee would be to assist the Soviet Union. In this way, we would be assisting not only Russian Jews (assuming they stay where they are instead of emigrating to Israel) but all needy citizens there, and we would not be a party to further displacing the Palestinians, who are currently existing miserably in refugee camps and literally have no other place to go. Russian Jews are living in paradise as compared with Palestinians in refugee camps.

Doris Rausch

Columbia

Head-ache

"Oriole Park at Camden Yard" certainly is a mouthful. However, the acronym "OPACY" could be the answer to an Evening Sun headline writer's nightmare. Jack Meckler

Randallstown

Washington perks

Thanks for the gruesome details on perks enjoyed by Washington lawmakers.

But it's legal, isn't it?

Just like the lottery and stock market. And dog racing and horse racing - with brutal cruelty inflicted on innocent animals.

B. J. Small

Baltimore

MAAD's priorities

The Oct. 1 Evening Sun published a story on the governor'=9proposed budget cuts with statements attributed to Evelyn Armiger. As chairman of the Maryland State Organization for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, I wish to clarify that Ms. Armiger is neither a lobbyist nor a spokesperson for MADD Maryland. In addition, the statements attributed to her do not represent the position of MADD Maryland.

MADD is obviously concerned about any action that would reduce the state's ability to enforce its impaired driving laws, and to provide emergency care and transportation to medical facilities for the victims of drunk-driving crashes and vehicle accidents. However, MADD Maryland is not prepared to tell Governor Schaefer what he should not cut in the state budget until we are able to offer and support an alternative solution.

The need to reduce the loss of human life and the suffering caused by drunk-driving crashes is as important today as it ever was. MADD also recognizes the need for fiscal responsibility at all levels of government. Any alternative solution proposed by MADD Maryland will recognize both of these needs.

Will Chapman

Annapolis

The writer is chairman of the MADD Maryland chapter. 5

Money handlers

Enough is enough! House leaders move to shut down their private bank!

The closing down of this particular bank only proves one thing: With 8,300 checks bouncing, members of Congress don't know how to handle their money. I wonder how they are handling ours?

Roger Warren Jr.

Linthicum Heights

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