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……President Clinton’s decision to commute prison terms caused an uproar at the time. Holder was called before Congress to explain his role but declined to answer numerous questions from angry lawmakers demanding to know why the Justice Department had not sided with the FBI, federal prosecutors and other law enforcement officials, who were vehemently opposed to the grants.Some religious groups and influential individuals, including President Carter, had endorsed the commutations. But Clinton’s decision outraged law enforcement officials, who had tried to contain a bombing campaign in New York, Chicago and elsewhere in the 1970s and 1980s by groups seeking independence for Puerto Rico from the United States.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.The 16 members of the FALN (the Spanish acronym for Armed Forces of National Liberation) and Los Macheteros had been convicted in Chicago and Hartford variously of bank robbery, possession of explosives and participating in a seditious conspiracy. Overall, the two groups had been linked by the FBI to more than 130 bombings, several armed robberies, six slayings and hundreds of injuries.
From: imra <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: imra <email@example.com>
Sent: Thu, Feb 27, 2014 12:23 am
Subject: Weekly Commentary: Ambassador Shapiro Insults Israel
Weekly Commentary: Ambassador Shapiro Insults Israel Dr. Aaron Lerner Date: 26 February, 2014 It is the hallmark of American officials that when they talk that they typically string together a collection of well-honed phrases that have been vetted. So when US Ambassador Dan Shapiro repeatedly explains that the reason Jonathan Pollard is rotting in an American prison because President Obama is following the law he isn’t pitching his own off-the-cuff response. He is expressing an argument cleared at the very highest level. And that’s profoundly disturbing. Because, as the MKs who confronted Ambassador Shapiro yesterday noted, his explanation goes far beyond being a lie. It’s a lie because the very law that President Obama swore to uphold provides him with the power to send Pollard home to Israel with literally the stroke of his pen. Again: Mr. Obama can “follow the law” and free Pollard this minute. But it’s not just the lie that is disturbing. After all, Ambassador Shapiro is well aware of the powers of the president. His second well-honed phrase explains that President Obama, as a matter of policy, has pardoned considerably fewer people than previous presidents. But this vetted talking point is even more insulting to Israelis than the lie about the law. It is insulting because it asserts that President Obama’s distaste for releasing Jonathan Pollard is somehow more legitimate than our disgust over releasing terrorist murderers. The very idea that the White House has apparently vetted this argument speaks volumes of a serious problem in the US-Israel relationship. A problem that can only be truly addressed by sending Jonathan Pollard home. Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis) (Mail POB 982 Kfar Sava) Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730 INTERNET ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.imra.org.il
Comment:It is more than upsetting that Israeli officials, objecting to outside interference in the country's affairs and openly expressing their concerns, are castigated for doing so - made to feel as though it is Israel that is in the wrong.What makes it ok for the American President to directly and publically snub the PM of the only loyal ally in the region ( ouch!) , make snide remarks about the PM and Israel to other foreign leaders (OUCH!) , pressure Jewish leaders in the States for support of his plans that threaten Israel's security, (OUCH! ) and ..............yet feel that Israelis must not have the freedom to even yelp at the pain?!!!The Pollard issue is beyond understanding. We remember well that Clinton pardoned the FALN terrorists and Marc Rich . We should also remember that he promised Netanyahu that he would free Pollard at the time that the Wye agreement was in progress. SHARANSKY WAS WITNESS TO THIS PROMISE. Yet, at the last minute Clinton reneged on this.Today, many well-known Americans, including non-Jews like James Woolsey -former head of the C.I.A.- and Lt. Col. Oliver North, are calling for the immediate release of Jonathan Pollard. Many have openly brought up aspects of anti-Semitism in his longtime incarceration- and to 'teach Jews a lesson'.President Obama, who has several times pressured Israel for the release of hundreds of terrorists with blood on their hands, has the authority to authorize Pollard's release. It should be done -without condition.As I was researching this morning I came across the following article about Eric Holder, one of Obama's team. It was written in 2009 and worth reading.Chanain beloved Jerusalem