July 05, 2007

The IBD on Clintonian Justice

The Investor's Business Daily gives us a Remembrance of Pardons Past in light of the liberal blowback over the Libby commutation:

Clinton commuted sentences for 16 members of the Puerto Rican separatist group FALN. That group had set off more than 100 bombs in the U.S., and the 16 had been convicted for a number of violent crimes, ranging from sedition to bomb-making.

Why would Clinton show such a tender heart for terrorists? Could it be he knew Hillary would need Puerto Rican votes to be elected in New York? We'll entertain alternative explanations, but that one so far seems to fit best.

Clinton also pardoned carnival operators Edgar and Vonna Jo Gregory. How did carnival operators get on his radar? Turns out they had loaned Hillary's brother, Tony Rodham, $107,000, which he never repaid. He didn't have to, as it turns out. Clinton stamped that debt "paid in full" with his pardons.

Then there was Carlos Vignali, a cocaine trafficker whose sentence Clinton commuted. And Almon Glenn Braswell, who was found guilty of mail fraud and perjury but won a pardon.
Why the pardon? Braswell and Vignali each paid Hillary's other brother, Hugh Rodham, $200,000, hoping he could win them clemency. Rodham returned the money, but only after the scandal became public.

Remember Marc Rich? He was pardoned for tax evasion. His ex-wife, Denise Rich, made substantial gifts to the Clinton library and to Hillary's senatorial campaign. Think there was a connection?

By the way, Rich later showed up in another scandal — the U.N.'s oil for food affair. Despite his pardon, he was hardly contrite.

We could go on. And on. For example, both Tyson Foods and Sun Diamond were fined millions of dollars for giving illegal gifts to Clinton's former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy. Yet, somehow Espy himself was found innocent. How's that for equal under the law?

Others also found grace under Clinton's pardon frenzy — former Rep. Mel Reynolds (found guilty of sexual assault on a child and later of bank fraud); Susan MacDougal (pardoned for her role in the Whitewater scandal); and President Clinton's brother Roger Clinton (pardoned for earlier drug convictions).

UPDATE: The impeached ex-Prez can't just bury his head for a fortnight, or run off to Dubai to give a speech, but, of course, feels the need to comment on the Libby commutation.

UPDATE: The White House fires back:

WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House on Thursday made fun of former President Clinton and his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, for criticizing President Bush's decision to erase the prison sentence of former aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

"I don't know what Arkansan is for chutzpah, but this is a gigantic case of it," presidential spokesman Tony Snow said.

Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., has scheduled hearings on Bush's commutation of Libby's 2 1/2-year sentence.

"Well, fine, knock himself out," Snow said of Conyers. "I mean, perfectly happy. And while he's at it, why doesn't he look at January 20th, 2001?"


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