Saturday, February 23, 2008

Context: More Domestic Violence for Mrs. Clinton

In a previous post (here), I mentioned the CBS News article which mocked an operative for Hillary Clinton who attempted to link presidential hopeful Barack Obama to William Ayers, a member of a radical domestic terrorist group (the Weather Underground), via a $200 campaign donation. The operative's e-mail feigned concern over what the Republicans might do with this hideous scar in a general election scenario. But CBS News was witty enough to remember Bill Clinton's pardon of Susan Rosenberg (also a member of the Weather Underground) and the FALN terrorists.

One might also recall the sarcasm and condescension that spewed from Mrs. Clinton's campaign manager, Howard Wolfson, when it was observed that Mrs. Clinton had gotten over five thousand dollars in contributions (or twenty-six times the amount donated by Mr. Ayers) from her husband's pardon recipients. The defiant Wolfson blurted:

"We have raised over $65 million from over 200,000 people. I appreciate your bringing the instance of this $5,300 and these three people to our attention."
It is obvious that the Clinton campaign feels comfortable that it will not be particularly burdened by the mere appearance of impropriety.

But the fun hardly stops there.

Clinton also pardoned Linda Evans - still yet another member of the Weather Underground - who was arrested in May 11, 1985 after illegally purchasing two Uzi - 9 millimeter rifles, a Ruger .232-caliber rifle, a 9mm pistol and ammunition at New Orleans’ area gun shops. In her Connecticut apartment, FBI agents found a file cabinet with a drawer marked “in progress.” It contained plans to attack the Naval War College, the FBI, Israeli Aircraft Industries the New York Patrolman’s Benevolent Association and the U.S. Capitol Building. Evans was eventually indicted on eleven counts, found guilty on all eleven and sentenced to forty-one years in prison, the longest sentence in American history on a federal weapons charge.

The local U.S. Attorney’s office in New Orleans and the attorneys’ who prosecuted Evans were not consulted with respect to Clinton's commutation. U.S. Attorney John Volz considered the commutation especially “outrageous” since Evans “harbored a fugitive” wanted for murder during an armed robbery and was “involved” in the bombing of the United States’ Capitol. In Volz's mind, Clinton’s commutation of Evans’ sentence was “far worse” than other pardons that had been “publicized” - A pardon worse than that of Marc Rich? Funny how there are so many people around who share a similar view about other Clinton pardons when you just take a second to look for them. Former prosecutors Renee Clark-McGinty and Howat “Howie” Peters were equally perturbed. Clark-McGinty called the commutation “a total travesty of the judicial system” and Peters considered Evans the “scariest person” that he had ever dealt with. Peters said he was “shocked” to hear of the commutation and “would definitely have opposed” it had he been asked.

Incidentally, while Rosenberg and Evans were captured and sent to federal prison, Ayers, now a Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Illinois, Chicago, turned himself in and was never placed behind bars. Thus, there is a reason why the most recent issue of National Review tells its readers to "say a prayer for Hillary." She and the administration that she selectively ties herself to when conjuring a resume of "experience" are no less than a pot of gold when it comes to controversy worthy of exploitation in a general election.

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