Monday, June 8, 2009

America to North Korea: Do As We Say, Not As We Do

Fox News and the Associated Press report that the United States "is pursuing 'every possible channel' to secure the release of two American journalists imprisoned in North Korea." Laura Ling and Euna Lee were recently found guilty of a "grave crime" and of illegally entering the country. Each was sentenced to 12 years in labor prison.

Without recitation of spefic details, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs unequivocally states that both women are "innocent" and should be "released." However, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is concerned about "secrecy" surrounding the trial and the severity of the sentences. She says North Korea should immediately grant the prisoners clemency and deport them.

Ironically, it was Mrs. Clinton's husband, Bill, who perhaps did more damage to the day-to-day practice of clemency in the United States than any other president in history. And, as President, Mr. Obama is distinguishing himself on a daily basis as one of the Republic's slowest presidents when it comes to the use of the pardon power. To date, Obama's Department of Justice has not granted a single pardon or commutation of sentence. Will it take the likes of North Korea teach the administration a lesson in mercy? See story here.

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