Prospect of early release for Pollard latest twist in sensational, decades-long espionage case

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By ERIC TUCKER, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — News that the Obama administration was considering releasing Jonathan Pollard early from prison has refocused attention on a sensational espionage case from nearly 30 years ago.

Pollard is a former Navy intelligence analyst who is serving a life sentence for giving classified military documents to Israel. The case has inflamed passions since his 1985 arrest.

The U.S. is now dangling the possibility of freeing Pollard as an incentive to Israel, though the Mideast peace talks were on the verge of collapse Friday and the White House said earlier that President Barack Obama has not decided whether to release him.

The discussion has revived the familiar wedge between those who say the convicted spy has paid his debt to society and those who contend the damage he caused was incalculable.

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