WASHINGTON - Former US Vice President Dan Quayle recently wrote President Barack Obama a letter, urging him to free Jonathan Pollard.
"I write this letter urging you to consider commuting the sentence of Jonathan Pollard," the former VP, who served under George Bush Sr., wrote. "I believe that a life sentence for the crime committed is very extreme. Though his crime was very serious, I hope you will once again look very carefully at this pending request."
Quayle sent the letter to Obama about a week ago and waited for confirmation from the president before approving its publication.
The letter constitutes the latest example of the changing attitude among Republicans, who up until recently were considered a "lost cause" on the Pollard front because of their great sensitivity to security affairs.
Recently, former Secretary of State George Shultz and ex-Attorney General Michael Mukasey also expressed their support for commuting Pollard's sentence. Last week, senior Republican figure Mike Huckabee also joined the calls for Pollard's release while visiting Israel.
US sources engaged in efforts aimed at securing Pollard's release estimated that under the current circumstances, and after Democratic figures also called for his release, the request's rejection will be perceived as "foregoing justice based on political considerations." This would fundamentally contradict the image of President Obama, who has warmly endorsed the values of justice and equality before the law.
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