Debra Burlingame

The Clintons’ Terror Pardons

Updated Feb 13, 2008 (see below)

The Wall Street Journal has my opinion-editorial The Clintons’ Terror Pardons in this morning’s paper (that you can view via that link). Here is an excerpt

While the pardon scandals that marked Bill and Hillary Clinton’s final days in office are remembered as transactions involving cronies, criminals and campaign contributors, the FALN clemencies of 1999 should be remembered in the context of the increasing threat of domestic and transnational terrorism that was ramping up during the Clinton years of alleged peace and prosperity. To wit, the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the 1995 Tokyo subway Sarin attack, the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, the 1995 “Bojinka” conspiracy to hijack airplanes and crash them into buildings, the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing, the 1996 Summer Olympics bombing, Osama bin Laden’s 1996 and 1998 “Declarations of War” on America, the 1998 East African embassy bombings, the 2000 USS Sullivans bombing attempt, the 2000 USS Cole bombing, and the 2000 Millennium bombing plot.

It was within that context that the FBI gave its position on the FALN clemencies — which the White House succeeded in keeping out of news coverage but ultimately failed to suppress — stating that “the release of these individuals will psychologically and operationally enhance the ongoing violent and criminal activities of terrorist groups, not only in Puerto Rico, but throughout the world.” The White House spun the clemencies as a sign of the president’s universal commitment to “peace and reconciliation” just one year after Osama bin Laden told his followers that the United States is a “paper tiger” that can be attacked with impunity.

It would be a mistake to dismiss as “old news” the story of how and why these terrorists were released in light of the fact that it took place during the precise period when Bill Clinton now claims he was avidly engaged, even “obsessed,” with efforts to protect the public from clandestine terrorist attacks. If Bill and Hillary Clinton were willing to pander to the demands of local Hispanic politicians and leftist human-rights activists defending bomb-makers convicted of seditious conspiracy, how might they stand up to pressure from other interest groups working in less obvious ways against U.S. interests in a post-9/11 world?

Radical Islamists are a sophisticated and determined enemy who understand that violence alone will not achieve their goals. Islamist front groups, representing themselves as rights organizations, are attempting to get a foothold here as they have already in parts of Western Europe by deftly exploiting ethnic and racial politics, agitating under the banner of civil liberties even as they are clamoring for the imposition of special Shariah law privileges in the public domain. They believe that the road to America’s ultimate defeat is through the back door of policy and law and they are aggressively using money, influence and retail politics to achieve their goal.


Updated Feb 13, 2008: Editor — WOR Talk-radio host Steve Malzberg interviewed Debra Burlingame this afternoon about her commentary. Here is the audio:

We pay the enemy and America’s corporations profit

Virtually any US firm doing business in Saudi Arabia or with Iran is helping the enemy. Every American should read ex-CIA officer Robert Baer’s book, ‘Sleeping With the Devil.’ America and its corporations are so corrupt and venal, that they put corporate greed above the lives of our men and women in uniform, above the international community’s attempts to stop a new race for nuclear weapons.

Money is fungible. A percentage of all multi-million-dollar projects end up as graft in the pockets of Saudi royals. When we’re talking about tens of thousands of members of the royal family that have to be kept in the style of living to which they’re accustomed, what are the odds that some of it is going to al Qaeda coffers through “charities?” Then there are the madrassas the Saudi Wahhabis are building all over the world, including the US.

Saudi Arabia, which gave us 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11, is also supplying the vast majority of foreign fighters to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. They have a huge unemployment problem of young men under 30. Most university degrees in Saudi colleges are “Islamic Studies.” Yeah, that’s usable in the real world.

We will not rid ourselves of this problem until America ends its dependency on foreign oil. (See Imagine a world in which oil plummets to $15 bucks a barrel. Imagine what the Middle East would look like deprived of the money to finance Hamas, Hezbollah, al Qaeda, and all the other terrorist groups. Imagine what would happen if resentment and hatred of the US which props up these repressive regimes were redirected to the regimes themselves.

General Electric has admitted that it has contracts in Syria and Iran for electric power plants, oil and gas, lighting, and medical equipment (that latter is humanitarian stuff not subject to sanctions and no one is citing them). GE claims that none of it is being used for military purposes by “Iranian forces” or “Syrian forces.” Here is an excerpt from GE’s response to a 2006 inquiry by the SEC, Office of Global Security Risk:

“In addition to diagnostic, monitoring and life science medical products, our products and services that are sold or otherwise distributed include power generation systems and parts, oil & gas equipment, power control/supply and lighting products in Iran, each of which is sold or distributed pursuant to legal obligations entered into prior to February 2005. We sell our products and services directly and through distributors located in Iran and elsewhere. Our customers include private companies, government-owned electrical utilities and refineries, the Ministry of Oil, public/private hospitals and universities. To the best of our knowledge, none of the products or services we provide has been, or could be, employee in any military application or used by the armed forces of Iran for strategic, tactical or training purposes.”

How about the foreign insurgents financed by Iran, flying into Damascus, being trained in Syrian camps and crossing through the Syrian-Iraq border, what our troops call the “rat line?”

Apparently, General Electric either does not get or care that Iran has been violating international law for 30 years with impunity. Iran has engaged in proxy wars through its terrorist arm Hezbollah and through its Revolutionary Guards. It has kidnapped and killed American citizens and the citizens of its neighbors. It has provided foreign fighters, arms, and money to fight the US and Coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. It defies the international community in its pursuit of nuclear weapons. It declared war on the US — its enemy — and advocates its destruction, along with Israel.

The purpose of economic sanctions against Iran is to provide the world community with some leverage, to let the ayatollahs know that their murderous, outlaw conduct comes with a price, that there will be consequences. When companies like GE, an iconic American company founded by Thomas Edison, find legal loopholes to do business with the people who call America and its allies their sworn enemies, that not only gives comfort and life support to the ayatollahs, that sends a signal that America and its allies do not even have the support of their own people.

Some time ago, GE changed its corporate slogan from “We bring good things to life,” to “Imagination at work.” The latter is a good description of the mendacity of GE’s lawyers, who told the SEC Office of Global Security that GE’s old contracts were okay. Yet President Bill Clinton put US sanctions against Iran in place in 1995, more than twelve years ago.

When we see Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calling for “death to America” and watch Iranian fast boats charging US Navy ships, we see the enemy. General Electric sees a customer in good standing.