FALN

Debra Burlingame to Paul Ryan: Why are you paling around with FALN terror apologist Luis Gutierrez?

Office of Cong. Paul Ryan
FAX: (202) 225-3393

April 23, 2013

Dear Congressman Ryan,

This message is to let you know how disappointing it was to see the news story dismissing the Boston bombings relevance to an effort to push through immigration reform without due consideration of the contents of the legislation. This dismissal was especially chilling given the fact that your immigration reform partner, Luis Gutierrez, was the chief spokesman for the political wing of the FALN terrorist organization, which carried out 146 bombings in a 25 year period, killing nine people and injuring and maiming dozens. [Ed. —See pdf file listing attacks, injuries, and damages.]

As I outlined in a lengthy piece for the Wall Street Journal, [Ed. — No pay wall.] Rep. Gutierrez was the chief advocate for the pardoning of 16 convicted FALN members, whose sentences ranged up to 90 years. These men and women were so dangerous, they were shackled for their trial and the presiding judge wore a gun under his robes because they had threatened to kill him in open court.

Rep. Gutierrez, against all evidence (including FBI undercover videotape of these people making bombs), called them “political prisoners” and threatened to marshal the Puerto Rican community against the Clintons, and Vice President Al Gore, then preparing a presidential run.

It is not surprising, therefore, that Mr. Gutierrez would not be alarmed by the fact that a wannabe terrorist under scrutiny by the FBI would be a candidate for U.S. citizenship. Terrorists have a history of defrauding the U.S. immigration system, gaming the political asylum process, and using the guest worker program to gain temporary access to the U.S., only to disappear into the population. Our overburdened system doesn’t bother to look for them. Several of the 1993 bombers came in through the Ag Jobs program. The 9/11 hijackers overstayed tourist visas. The Millennium bomber gamed the immigration system in Canada, and tried to enter the U.S. through Port Washington. He was only stopped because of an astute border agent.

Please be warned that Luis Gutierrez is NOT a good faith partner in this effort, and his history with the FALN is proof of that. The record is replete with his letters, and threats. I am including the piece I wrote for the Journal. All of my source documents were found in the Congressional investigation that took place in the wake of these pardons. Among the people I interviewed was the chief FBI agent, Rick Hahn, who hunted the FALN for years, as well as the NYC bomb squad officers who were permanently disabled in the bombings.

I have informed Joseph Connor, whose father was killed in the FALN Fraunces Tavern bombing in New York City, of your partnership with Mr. Gutierrez and your joint affirmation that the Boston bombings have no relevance to immigration legislation.

Very truly yours,

Debra Burlingame
Co-founder, 9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America

Joe Connor on Eric Holder’s AG nomination: ‘Terrorism cannot be treated as a political tool’

FALN terrorists bombed Frances Tavern, murdering Frank Connor.

Friday, while testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Joe Connor said:

Despite the warnings and recommendations to the contrary from the FBI, Bureau of Prisons, prosecutors, Janet Reno herself, then Deputy Attorney General and current Attorney General-nominee Eric Holder yesterday flatly admitted recommending release of those terrorists.

Democrat Senators Leahy, Kennedy, Biden, Kohl, Feinstein, Feingold, Schumer, and Durbin all currently serve on that committee. On September 14, 1999, they joined 87 of their fellow Senators and voted to condemn President Clinton’s pardon of 16 Los Macheteros (“the Machete Wielders”) and FALN terrorists.

Thursday, Eric Holder said those pardons were “reasonable” and indicated there had been heavy lobbying to grant clemency. Here is the audio:

What was really reasonable were the sentences the 16 terrorists had received, as Debra Burlingame pointed out in her written testimony:

Eric Holder for AG should not be put forward: Debra Burlingame

Statement of Debra Burlingame
Co-founder, 9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America
January 15, 2009
Senate Judiciary Committee Confirmation Hearing for Eric Holder

Chairman Leahy, Ranking Member Specter and Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee:

I am writing to share my views about the nomination of Eric Holder to the position of United States Attorney General.

For the last seven years, I have taken a keen interest in the workings of my government. After the widespread institutional failures of the U.S. government to protect the lives and property of its citizens from terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, it was no longer acceptable to me to be a passive observer, to accept at face value what public officials tell us about the policies and decisions they make. 9/11 reminded us all that the decisions made in Washington have real world consequences for those far removed from the center of power.

On September 11, 2001, my brother, Captain Charles F. Burlingame, III, was murdered in the cockpit of his hijacked commercial airliner which was then crashed into the Pentagon, killing all 59 of its passengers and crew, and 125 men and women working at the Department of Defense. After that difficult day, I made a personal vow to become a better citizen, which starts with becoming better informed. Since then, I have contributed in the best way I know how, sharing what I have learned with others. It is in that spirit which I write to you today.

I am well aware of Eric Holder’s academic credentials, his record of accomplishments and the high regard in which he is held by some of his colleagues and associates. His qualifications for the position to which he has been nominated are plainly evident. However, Mr. Holder’s record is clouded by actions which even his supporters admit constitute serious errors in judgment, most notably, the role he played in a series of highly controversial Presidential pardons which issued while he held the position of deputy attorney general at the Department of Justice (DOJ).

I believe the facts surrounding Mr. Holder’s conduct with respect to these pardons seriously call into the question his judgment, character and independence, and cast doubt about his willingness or ability to serve both the President and the American people with equal dedication and vigor.

Eric Holder told subordinates to alter FALN pardon recommendations

The Los Angeles Times today reported:

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.

Details of the role played by Holder, who was deputy attorney general at the time, had not been publicly known until now. The new details are of particular interest because Republican senators have vowed to revisit Holder’s role during his confirmation hearings next week.

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.

Although unmentioned in the L.A. Times’ report, none of the convicted FALN (and Los Macheteros) members personally requested clemency or pardon. Debra Burlingame wrote of this last February, in the Wall Street Journal: