Thursday, November 22, 2012

In line behind the turkeys...

Nothing but the truth?              In case you missed this article from the algemeiner, I’ll share a few of its main points:

During a “victory” celebration today in Gaza Hamas terror leader Ismail Haniyeh called on Palestinians in the West Bank to launch a third Intifada...
…Crowds took to the streets in Gaza Thursday to celebrate what Hamas declared as a victory against Israel’s military campaign, Operation Pillar of Defense...
“This historic victory is the beginning of the liberation of all of Palestine and the liberation of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the release of all Palestinian prisoners,” he cried. “Gaza will not return to what it was. The siege and political and economic isolation of the Gaza Strip has ended and will not come back. The Occupation will think again before starting a war against the opposition and against another Arab country.”
…On Wednesday Hamas terror chief Khaled Meshaal spoke with Christiane Amanpour in an interview on CNN. When pressed as to whether or not he would recognize Israel he said, according to a translation provided by CNN, “I accept a state of the 1967.  How can I accept Israel?  They have occupied my land.  I need recognition, not the Israelis.  This is a reversed question.”
He also said that an agreement would have to come based “according to the border of 1967 with the right to return.”

A Palestinian victory? Did I miss something? Although Israel stopped far short of scorching Gaza, for eight days Hamas was punished for its misdeeds. But they weren’t punished enough. Their leader, Ismail Haniyeh, should be imprisoned for calling for a third intifada. Perhaps because he wasn’t, that’s what constitutes a victory.

Or could it be that the impunity with which Haniyeh is treated is like a permanent pardon. Why aren’t he and Khaled Meshaal regarded as war criminals? Isn’t it time that, instead of photo ops with the Palestinian Abbas, Hilary Clinton should be showing the world that blatant attacks on civilian populations merit dire consequences?

Apparently, she’s not following President Obama’s lead. He’s setting a record for NOT issuing Presidential pardons! Although that’s great for the prison industry, more than a few people worthy of release are festering in jail cells. Obama could fix that. [please see: President Obama's poor pardoning record - The Week
... President Obama is on track to free fewer prisoners than almost every other president in American ...]

Has he bothered to consider the case of 1st Lt. Michael Behenna? Behenna deserves a hero’s welcome rather than imprisonment. [please see for yourself: Please sign this Pardon Petition: . GE Stokes. Infuriating ...]

Also, something is seriously wrong when Jonathan Pollard begins his 28th year in a North Carolina federal prison for a crime that never carries more than an eight-year sentence. [Please see: Justice for Jonathan Pollard
The official web site for Jonathan Pollard ]

He was a Jewish spy for Israel! No one was harmed due to his espionage, if it deserves to be called that. In fact, President Bill Clinton agreed to pardon Pollard, but reneged in favor of pardoning Marc Rich, a donor to Clinton’s re-election campaign.

That would seem to be old news but for the fact that President Obama is very familiar with the case and the injustice that continues:

Judge Abner Mikva, an early mentor of the president who served as Clinton's first White House counsel, said that before the 2008 election he and Obama had discussed Clinton's pardon of financier Marc Rich. [my emphasis] The pardon for Rich, whose ex-wife was a major donor to Democrats, was seen as a damaging political favor, even by many Clinton supporters.
"I do remember a lengthy discussion about Marc Rich and it wasn't so much about the power as it was about how even a good president can be corrupted by the pardons process," Mikva recalled. "I think Marc Rich looms larger with Barack Obama than with other presidents because I think he was very, very dismayed by the Marc Rich pardon and the basis on which it appears to have been granted."  [my emphasis]

To make sense of this, it’s necessary to see who guides our President to make pardons. After all, when his record is compared to former leaders, the issue seems to be one that has gone unnoticed:

“…But Obama has parceled out forgiveness far more rarely than his recent predecessors, pardoning just 22 individuals while denying 1,019.
He has given pardons to roughly 1 of every 50 individuals whose applications were processed by the Justice Department. At this point in his presidency, Ronald Reagan had pardoned 1 of every 3 such applicants. George H.W. Bush had pardoned 1 in 16. Bill Clinton had pardoned 1 in 8. George W. Bush had pardoned 1 in 33.
Obama also has been stingy with commutations, applications for early release by those still serving federal prison sentences.
Under Reagan and Clinton, applicants for commutations had a 1 in 100 chance of success. Under George W. Bush, that fell to a little less than 1 in 1,000. Under Obama, an applicant's chance is slightly less than 1 in 5,000...”

One man may hold the answers. And it’s not President Obama:

To determine who receives clemency, Obama, like his predecessors, relies on recommendations from the Office of the Pardon Attorney, the arm of the Justice Department that reviews applications. The office — led by Pardon Attorney Ronald Rodgers, a former military judge and federal prosecutor — rarely dispenses endorsements, however. [my emphasis]

Attorney Rodgers may be the wrong man for the job. The following site raises some important questions. All of them relate to our leader’s ability to competently delegate responsibility. As you will see from the article, it’s long past time to examine that:

Following a disturbing investigation last month, law professors urge the Senate Judiciary Committee to investigate the Office of the Pardon Attorney.

In it, you’ll find this telling quote: “These legal experts [from Harvard Law, Stanford Law, George Washington University Law School, New York University School of Law, among others] see exactly what we see: a pardon attorney’s office that is failing to provide the president with the unbiased information he needs to fulfill his constitutional clemency power fully and fairly…and all taxpayers---should demand answers from OPA before continuing to subsidize this incompetent, if not corrupt, office.”

                                        B. Koplen  11/22/12

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