January 9th 2009
The LA Times seems to have snapped out of its Obama-love stupor and has done some serious reporting on Eric Holder, the nominee for Attorney General:
Attorney general nominee Eric H. Holder Jr. repeatedly pushed some of his subordinates at the Clinton Justice Department to drop their opposition to a controversial 1999 grant of clemency to 16 members of two violent Puerto Rican nationalist organizations, according to interviews and documents.
Details of the role played by Holder, who was deputy attorney general at the time, had not been publicly known until now. The new details are of particular interest because Republican senators have vowed to revisit Holder’s role during his confirmation hearings next week.
This pardon, outrageous as it was, was overshadowed at the time by the Rich pardon. But in our post-9/11 world, it is clearly the most controversial item in Holder’s record. Even at the time, Congress howled in protest and called Holder to the carpet, but he refused to answer their questions about why Clinton and Holder ignored the cries of the FBI, federal prosecutors and other law enforcement officials, who were vehemently opposed to the clemency grants.
The LAT report goes on to show how Holder squashed all opposition to granting clemency to the FALN terrorists:
New interviews and an examination of previously undisclosed documents indicate that Holder played an active role in changing the position of the Justice Department on the commutations.
Holder instructed his staff at Justice’s Office of the Pardon Attorney to effectively replace the department’s original report recommending against any commutations, which had been sent to the White House in 1996, with one that favored clemency for at least half the prisoners, according to these interviews and documents.
And after Pardon Attorney Roger Adams resisted, Holder’s chief of staff instructed him to draft a neutral “options memo” instead, Adams said.
The options memo allowed Clinton to grant the commutations without appearing to go against the Justice Department’s wishes, Adams and his predecessor, Margaret Colgate Love, said in their first public comments on the case.
“I remember this well, because it was such a big deal to consider clemency for a group of people convicted of such heinous crimes,” said Adams, the agency’s top pardon lawyer from 1997 until 2008. He said he told Holder of his “strong opposition to any clemency in several internal memos and a draft report recommending denial” and in at least one face-to-face meeting. But each time Holder wasn’t satisfied, Adams said.
Adams is right about the heinous crimes: the 16 FALN operatives were convicted of crimes including bank robbery, possession of explosives and participating in a seditious conspiracy. The FBI linked FALN to more than 130 bombings, several armed robberies, six slayings and hundreds of injuries.
What does the Obama transition team do in light of these charges? Blame Clinton! Here’s the quote, from transition spokesmouth Nick Shapiro:
“President Clinton made the ultimate decision to commute these sentences ….”
hat-tip: Michelle Malkin via Twitter
Posted in Obama Drama | 17 Comments » | |
Leave a Reply
[The "Comment Box" is WYSIWYG except that you have to double space between paragraphs!
Type it the way you want it to look -- Just remember to double up those line spaces.]
You must be logged in to post a comment.