Monday, October 3, 2011

Joe Biden: I prevented Pollard's clemency - Told Obama: "Over my dead body"

A report published by the New York Times Saturday reveals that Vice President Joe Biden prevented President Obama from pardoning Jonathan Pollard.

According to the report, Biden said in a meeting with 15 rabbis that “President Obama was considering clemency, but I told him, ‘Over my dead body are we going to let him out before his time is up.”

If it were up to me, he would stay in jail for life,” Biden was quoted as saying.

In a video interview he gave in 2007 Joe Biden expressed support for Pollard's release via commutation of his sentence to time served.

Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin on Sunday sent a letter to US Vice President Joe Biden, in response to a New York Times report quoting Biden as saying he opposed granting clemency to Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard. Rivlin wrote in the letter that "Pollard has paid a heavy price for his actions. He has been jailed for many years and has faced disproportionate punishment, far beyond the accepted norms of the American justice system." The Knesset speaker added that it was time "to show him some mercy and free him immediately." Rivlin stated that the issue of Pollard had become "absurd, on a universal, human and legal level."

Rabbi Efraim Goldberg, one of the participants in that meeting, told Hamodia newspaper, he was dismayed by the Statement, "I was and remain deeply troubled by his dismissal of any chance of clemency for Pollard."