Eric Erickson charges Jennifer Rubin with dual loyalty, then backtracks

December 22, 2012

On Wednesday, Red State’s Erick Erickson made a not-so-veiled charge of dual loyalty against Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin (Hat Tip: American Power).

Jenn Rubin, when not pushing out Romney talking points is in favor of freeing traitors, claims to be a conservative covering the conservative movement, though she has nothing in common with conservatives other than hating terrorists. A conservative friend says she’s best understood as ‘Likud’ rather than Republican or conservative. There’s nothing wrong with being Likud, but one ought to be honest about it. (Please be sure to read this update regarding this reference)

The update to which he refers took 16 hours to get there, and includes this:

I nor the friend of mine who offered that up are anti-Semitic, but it has apparently hit a nerve that I did not intend to hit and I feel I do need to apologize for that. A friend of mine explains to me that a Jewish-American might find it insulting because it suggests they put Israel ahead of the United States.
I had not thought of that when writing it and was not my intention. Where I finally had enough of Jenn Rubin was her position on Jonathan Pollard that I cannot in any way, shape, or form comprehend as being the right position. It was that position of hers and her positions on national security, terrorism, and Israel (all three of which she and I see eye to eye on) that didn’t make me think twice about using the Likud comparison. Apparently I should have. Likud as a party is tough as nails on terrorism and security issues, but is liberal to left (by American standards) on fiscal and social policy, and that’s what I intended by the comparison, not a suggestion of misplaced loyalty. And certainly not anti-semitism.

I would not call the Likud ‘liberal to left’ on fiscal policy – the forces arrayed against the free market in this country are far different than in the US, and there is a very different balance of power here. But that’s not the point of this post.
What I want to get to is Erickson’s labeling of anyone who advocates for Jonathan Pollard’s release as having dual loyalties (yes, that still comes through in his apology) and of automatically not being a conservative. Over the last year, Lawrence Korb (formerly Caspar Weinberger’s number 2 at the Defense Department), former CIA Director R. James Woolsey, former Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Dennis DeConcini (D-AZ), former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, former US Secretary of State George Schultz, and Harvard Professor Charles Ogletree have all come out in favor of releasing Pollard. Of those, to the best of my knowledge, only Mukasey is Jewish and only DeConcini and Ogletree are not Republicans.
Additionally, some 500 American Jewish and Christian leaders called for Pollard’s release in a letter to President Obama in January. That letter cites all of the following (some of whom are already listed above) as favoring Pollard’s release:

Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, Senators Charles Schumer and Arlen Specter, Harvard Law Professors Charles Ogletree and Alan Dershowitz, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, former Assistant Secretary of Defense Lawrence Korb, Rev. Theodore Hesburgh of Notre Dame, Benjamin Hooks of the NAACP, former federal Judge George Leighton, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olsen, Pastor John Hagee, and Gary Bauer.

And 39 members of Congress.
Would Erickson accuse all of them of dual loyalty? Are none of them Republican or conservative enough for Erickson? Surely Hagee and Bauer (at least) ought to be. And if that’s the case, why is Erickson going after Jennifer with a charge like this and not after any of them?
Pollard committed a crime and he’s paid for that crime disproportionately. It’s long past time to let him go. Unfortunately, much of the American Jewish community cannot find its voice on this issue precisely because it is intimidated by the type of dual loyalty charges made by Erickson against Jennifer Rubin. But the American Jewish community ought to find its voice.
Jonathan Pollard continues to sit in jail today precisely because he spied for Israel and not for Russia or China or Cuba. Jonathan Pollard continues to sit in jail today because of Caspar Weinberger’s antipathy for Israel and Jews. Here’s what Lawrence Korb had to say about that when he came out for releasing Pollard.

“Based on the knowledge that I have first hand, I can confidently say that the punishment was so severe because of lack of sympathy for Israel by the U.S. Secretary of Defense at the time, my boss, Caspar Weinberger,” the letter stated.
According to Korb, Weinberg made great efforts to convince the judge to punish Pollard severely. “Although Pollard pleaded guilty, cooperated with the government and asked for clemency – he received disproportionate punishment,” wrote Korb. “In the end Weinberg himself did not put the Pollard story in his biography. Weinberger said that the reason for this is because the affair had been exaggerated beyond minor importance – that is, he finally understood and admitted that the story had been blown beyond proportions. “
Korb emphasized that the average penalty for the offense Pollard committed is two to four years, and even today when the law changed – the average sentence is 10 years. “So if he was sentenced today he could not sit 25 years in prison. Justice will be done if the sentence is shortened to what has already been run to date,” Korb’s letter concluded.

Mr. Erickson should stop bullying people who disagree with him.