Whenever I hear New York Senator Hillary Clinton talk tough about terrorism, I'm always surprised that a bolt of lightning doesn't strike her atop her $3,000.00 haircut. If I wasn't so angered by her calculating rhetoric, I'd probably roll on the floor laughing each time she spoke with her trademark shrill, piercing voice.
She's tough on terrorism as long as it brings her closer to her ultimate goal of sitting in the Oval Office. And with the Clintons, talk is cheap therefore they are all talk. But as far as actions, Bill and Hillary's political history reveals they are easily swayed to grant clemency to radical terrorists if it means garnering a few votes. So what if the terrorists killed police officers and citizens and maimed other innocent people? Hillary needed a senate seat in order to mount a campaign for the big prize -- the Presidency. There were hundreds of thousands of vote within the Latino community.
Seven years ago this week, 11 terrorists dedicated to the violent pursuit of Puerto Rican independence walked out of prison thanks to a clemency grant by President William Jefferson Clinton. There was also the promise that two more terrorists would be released in coming years.
They were members of the Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN), which has claimed responsibility for over 130 bombings in the United States, killing six Americans and wounding 84 others. Their reign of terror in New York City in the 1970s created intense fear within the city's private sector workforce, since the FALN's primary targets were American businesses and financial institutions.
President Clinton offered clemency to a total of 16 FALN members convicted of dozens of felonies against the United States, including seditious conspiracy and weapons violations. None of them contested the evidence brought against them at trial, and not a single act of terrorism has been attributed to the FALN since those 16 terrorists were imprisoned.
Not one of the incarcerated terrorists requested clemency, apologized to his victims, or expressed any remorse for his actions. The Federal Bureau of Prisons had taped at least one terrorist stating,"I don't have to ask forgiveness from anybody"
The FBI, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, two US attorneys from districts in New York, and numerous --if not all -- FALN victims and their families opposed clemency. Even the New York Police Commissioner Howard Safir condemned the presidential pardons for cop-killers as did police organizations representing over a half-million cops.
At one point during its bombing campaigns, the FALN demanded better treatment for its comrades and members who were in prison at the time. Of the 11 terrorists named, President Clinton released eight.
An internal White House memorandum reveals that releasing the FALN terrorists was seen as a way to aid Vice President Gore's campaign for President. "The VP's Puerto Rican position would be helped," wrote the President's advisor on the matter (House Report 106-488).
But former Clinton advisor Dick Morris claims, "Anyone who doesn't believe the timing, and likely the substance, of [President Clinton's] decision was linked to [the First Lady's] courtship of New York's large Puerto Rican vote is too naive for politics"
During a fundraiser following the 9-11 Al-Qaeda attacks in New York, police officers, firefighters and their families, as well as the families of cops and firemen killed at ground zero, were treated to a night of music and speeches which was televised throughout the country. When Sen. Hillary Clinton took center stage, she was booed by cops and their families. They did not forget that her and her husband were responsible for freeing cop-killing terrorists only a couple of years before.
At the time of the Clinton pardons, Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center was astounded at the lack of coverage given to this obvious travesty. In fact, during her entire senatorial campaign not one -- not one! -- reporter asked her a single question about the "terrorist-pardons-for votes" scandal. Only a few conservative publications reported anything about the sleazy deal.
When Al Gore ran for President of the United States, he escaped any scrutiny regarding his part in the terrorists pardons. Afterall, the White House memo stated the clemency of terrorists was part of helping his presidential run. The memo was out there, but the ladies and gentlemen of the press just yawned and ignored it.
When the House Judiciary Committee wished to investigate the pardons, President Clinton cited executive privilege for his refusal to turn over some documents to Congress related to his decision to offer clemency to members of the FALN terrorist group.
But his Attorney General Janet Reno did speak about the clemency of terrorists:
The Puerto Rican nationalist group FALN, 16 of whose members were pardoned by President Clinton in August, poses an "ongoing threat" to national security, according to a September report by Attorney General Janet Reno.
Only weeks after Clinton's controversial pardons, a Five-Year Interagency Counterterrorism and Technology Crime Plan released under Reno's name said that the pending release of FALN members would heighten the risk of domestic terrorism.
But what the heck -- Hillary and Al needed the Hispanic votes.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.