Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
September 27, 2006
WAR: Pardoning Terrorists

The Clinton legacy. As the author notes, this isn't a question of what wasn't done, but what Clinton went out of his way to do to buy votes.

UPDATE: This link should work.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 8:11 PM | War 2006 | Comments (23) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Crank, did you ever eat/drink there? Good burgers, great pints; and I'd be shocked to find any NYer who did not find those pardons dispicable. Thing is, the Clintons got used. I'm sure they got some silly endorsement off the deal. But I'd be shocked if Hillary netted votes. Anyone who gave a damn about jailed FALN killers was already in her pocket. She's just lucky it did not blow up in her face.

Posted by: abe at September 27, 2006 8:53 PM

If we define terrorist to include anyone who promotes the use of violence for political ends, then W's father pardoned terrorists, too, in connection with the Iran Contra affair. Some terrorists wear Brooks Brothers suits.

Posted by: steve at September 28, 2006 9:04 AM

Pardoned them? Hell, he hired them. Of course those are our terrorists.

Posted by: jim at September 28, 2006 9:33 AM

Steve - And if you define a duck to include anything with feet, I think I hear you quacking.

Posted by: The Crank at September 28, 2006 9:47 AM

I forgot how itchy the Iran-Contra topic is here in the land of Republicans Never Do Anything Wrong and Ollie North is a Hero and John Negroponte's Honduran Death Squads Were Necessary For The Extension Of Freedom and The End of Communism.

Posted by: jim at September 28, 2006 10:12 AM

Back to the point, these scumbags blewup a restaurant filled with diners in lower manhattan. Clinton pardoned them when his wife was courting the Puerto Rican vote. Got anything at all to say about that? Or are you going to limit your comments to "I know you are, but what am I"

Posted by: abe at September 28, 2006 10:35 AM

First of all, I'm sick of people jumping in the comments, trying to change the subject from the post, and then expecting me to answer.

Second, Jim, I refuse to argue with someone who makes up their own artificial definition of terrorism. Such arguments are rarely presented in good faith and never capable of resolution.

Posted by: The Crank at September 28, 2006 11:01 AM

"Promotes the use of violence for political ends"

That includes the American Revolution, Steve. Heck, it includes WWII. Piss poor definition.

Posted by: rbj at September 28, 2006 2:14 PM

Link's busted. What are we talking about here?

Posted by: Mr Furious at September 28, 2006 3:18 PM

Should be fixed now.

Posted by: The Crank at September 28, 2006 3:35 PM

"That includes the American Revolution, Steve. Heck, it includes WWII. Piss poor definition."

but that was justified violence. sending aid to the contras was not justified. and congress said reagan couldn't do it, but his people did it anyway. i don't mean to rehash this debate, but my point is that whatever rightists say about clinton can be said about republican presidents. i believe these presidents have more in common than we think.

Posted by: steve at September 28, 2006 3:51 PM

Funny, I don't remember Clinton being in office when terrorists attacked the World Trade Center... or demoting the officials in charge of dealing with terrorism from a cabinet level position ...

Posted by: Rob McMillin at September 28, 2006 4:01 PM

Yes, Clinton was in office in February 1993.

Posted by: The Crank at September 28, 2006 4:07 PM

Just saw on Foxnews.com that a new poll shows that more Americans blame Bush for not getting OBL yet than Clinton. And the fact that such a poll exists, and that this whole dispute is going on, shows with greater clarity than anything I've seen yet what's wrong with this country, and why it is much harder for us to win this war than it should be.

The people of a country actually dedicated to defeating its enemies, keeping themselves safe, and trying to spread democracy a bit would likely have their opinions as to what the government did right and wrong, but in the end, they'd button up for the duration of the conflict, put their heads down, and win the damn thing. They'd leave the academic discussions of what Clinton and Bush did wrong for the historians after the war was over, and not constantly interrupt and hamstring the effort while the war was going on. This shit about Clinton's record should never have become a big issue this soon.

Unfortunately, it's symptomatic of what the biggest domestic problem is regarding the war effort, which is that we (politicians, media, and people alike) are more interested in casting blame than taking responsibility; we're more interested in promoting our agenda than in realizing that we're all in this together.

We're fiddling while America burns, boys, all of us. There are far too many who, intentionally or not, would lead America to its destruction rather than be proven wrong, or at least admit to it, and correct the mistakes and move on with accomplishing the overall goal. Further gasbagging about who did, or who is doing, a better job is serving no purpose but to further embolden the terrorists.

You know all that crapola about how this action and that decision are only serving to swell the ranks of Al Queda and Co.? This stuff does it more effectively than anything that's taken place in Iraq and Afghanistan. War sends a political message, it is true, because war is a means used to achieve a plitical end. So does this stuff. This is politics too, and the terrorists are paying attention.

Posted by: Thom at September 28, 2006 4:24 PM

Thom - For the most part I agree; while the Clinton record on fighting terrorism includes a raft of mistakes we'd be wise to avoid repeating, and while there's a certain amount of nonsense from Clintonites that needs to be debunked, I've consistently taken the view that I'm not interested in blaming him. He was hardly alone in underestimating the urgency of the threat.

That said, this particular item wasn't about neglect, it was about a wholly unjustifiable (you'll note the number of comments here by liberal commenters, none of whom tries to justify it) pardon for terrorists for the transparent purpose of buying votes. That does deserve to be condemned.

Posted by: The Crank at September 28, 2006 4:32 PM

True enough, Crank, but to the extent that discussion of this issue has been raised in connection to the larger discussion regarding Clinton's record, his appearance on FOX last Sunday, etc., it's important to recognize that and try to keep people focused on the real issues, and not this kind of thing.

Posted by: Thom at September 28, 2006 4:40 PM

This sounds so much like the Lancelot scene in Holy Grail. "Let's not talk about who killed who. This is supposed to be a 'appy occasion."

As was written, stop blaming Clinton, stop blaming Bush. What works, What doesn't work. My biggest issue with the current adminstration is not their trampling of civil rights. That comes and goes with so many presidents. But this administration, especially that moron Rumsfeld, refuses to acknowledge he does anything wrong. In other words, he cannot, or will not learn from his mistakes. The problem is: how many people dies because he is a moron (and yes, so was LBJ, the argument is on this administration, not on the past).

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at September 28, 2006 9:30 PM

Darryl, This is the land of the blameless. No more is Rummy going to admit to anything wrong than is anyone on the right here. It is all good.

Crank, say what you will about my definition but Negroponte fits just about any. That man has serious blood of innocent people on his hands. Call him a murderer. Call him a terrorist. Whatever. Just because he did it in the name of this country in an (unbelieveably so) more misguided operation than the current one does not, in my opinion, justify the heinousness of his actions. I think you don' t like talking about it because it is indefensible.

On this topic. Don't know anything beyond this one article as I doubt pretty much anyone here does. Have never heard mention of it here nor pretty much anywhere else so y'all are either Johnny Come Lately Bandwagon Jumpers who are, in fact, interested in pinning everything you can on Clinton (by the way the people who attacked the WTC in '93 are in jail) but say that you aren't or you really kept this info under your hat superbly.

Posted by: jim at September 28, 2006 10:57 PM

You really don't rememeber the FALN pardon controversy? It was a very big deal at the time. Jonah Goldberg, for example, wrote about it pre-9/11 here and here.

Posted by: The Crank at September 28, 2006 11:13 PM

Jim, I appreciate your willingness to admit you felt free to chime in when you had no idea what the post was about. Keep up the good work :)

Posted by: abe at September 29, 2006 9:17 AM

Hey Abe, Apparetly you don't read the posts but thanks for your input. It's a big help. Typical.

Posted by: jim at September 29, 2006 11:16 AM

Anytime jim, I'm always looking to help.

Posted by: abe at September 29, 2006 11:25 AM

We all know that Clinton is responsible for all evil in the world...so tell me, why are so many right wing "religious" republicans closeted AND child abusers???

Posted by: RAK at September 30, 2006 4:27 PM
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