In making this request, Pollard claimed that American jailers had been torturing him, by denying him sleep, and using electric shock therapy on him.
I don't believe it.
Why these allegations now? Because of Abu Ghraib and Gitmo. Pollard saw an opening to make a publicity play.
Would the U.S. Department of Justice be so stupid as to mistreat a high-profile prisoner like Pollard, who has a large number of American Jews advocating for him? Are they that stupid?
A question, for the pro-Pollard crowd: what happens when an Israeli is caught spying for America? According to CAMERA (hardly an anti-Israel source):
A citizen who spies on his country for another, even a friendly one, is breaking the law, and risking his life. Everyone knows this. Americans should be loyal to the U.S., and Israelis should be loyal to Israel. Anyone who is unable to do so is living in the wrong country.
America's Spies in Israel
Yosef Amit was an intelligence officer in the Israel Defense Forces, responsible for running agents in Arab countries, who eventually rose to command an intelligence base on the border with Lebanon. While there Major Amit ran into difficulties with the law in 1978, and was discharged from the IDF. Eventually going to work as a private investigator, he was recruited into the CIA by Tom Waltz, a Jewish CIA officer based at the American embassy in Tel-Aviv.
The Americans were supposedly especially interested in information on Israeli troop movements and plans in Lebanon and the territories, which Amit provided. He also apparently passed to the Americans secret documents from Israel's internal security service, the Shin Bet, which he got from a friend who worked there.
The Shin Bet eventually caught up with Amit in 1986, when he was secretly arrested for espionage. The trial was also secret, though it is known that Amit received a long prison sentence. (Ha'aretz, Dec. 12, 1997)