July 4, 2007

AP: Hypocrisies Abound

Ron Fournier, the AP's political analyst, takes a look at the effect that the Libby commutation has had on the political scene -- and sees hypocrisy everywhere. While he slams Bush for disregarding the same federal sentencing guidelines he espoused as both candidate and President, Fournier saves his most biting criticism for the wife of his predecessor:

"This commutation sends the clear signal that in this administration, cronyism and ideology trump competence and justice," said Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, a leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.

It was a brazen statement from a woman entangled in many Clinton White House scandals, including the final one: On his last day in office, President Clinton granted 140 pardons and 36 commutations, many of them controversial.

One of those pardoned was Marc Rich, who had fled the country after being indicted for tax evasion and whose wife had donated more than $1 million to Democratic causes.

Clinton's half brother, Roger, who was convicted of distributing cocaine and lobbied the White House on behalf of others, also received a pardon.

Hillary Clinton's brother, Hugh Rodham, was paid tens of thousands of dollars in his successful bid to win pardons for a businessman under investigation for money laundering and a commutation for a convicted drug trafficker. Her other brother, Tony, lobbied successfully for clemency on behalf of a couple convicted of bank fraud.

Fournier failed to mention the entirety of the Tony Rodham situation. Not only did Tony lobby on behalf of the Gregorys, he got over a hundred grand in "loans" which the Gregorys never bothered to collect, and on which Tony never paid a red cent. That only came to light when the Gregorys -- fresh from the presidential pardon for their fraudulent activities -- declared bankruptcy and listed the Rodham loans as an asset.

Oddly, Bill Clinton seems to have forgotten some of those aspects of his pardons:

In Iowa to promote the presidential candidacy of his wife, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, Mr. Clinton was asked by a radio host, David Yepsen, “You had some controversial pardons during your presidency; what’s your reaction to what President Bush did?”

“Yeah, but I think the facts were different,” Mr. Clinton said. “I think there are guidelines for what happens when somebody is convicted. You’ve got to understand, this is consistent with their philosophy; they believe that they should be able to do what they want to do, and that the law is a minor obstacle.”

Clinton fails to mention that his most controversial pardon recipient, Marc Rich (represented by Scooter Libby himself), skipped the country for 17 years to avoid trial altogether. Clinton pardoned Rich over the objections of his own Justice Department, endorsing Rich's flight from justice. That endorsement also came after Denise Rich donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Clinton's presidential library fund.

There is plenty of room to criticize Bush's commutation, particularly on the basis of hypocrisy on sentencing restrictions. Bill and Hillary Clinton have no room to make that argument, given their track record on smelly pardon decisions.


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Comments (31)

Posted by tgharris | July 4, 2007 12:16 PM

I smell a good campaign add here. Keep talking, Senator Clinton.

Posted by GarandFan | July 4, 2007 12:27 PM

To read the papers this morning, Clinton never pardoned anyone.....and who the heck is Marc Rich?

Posted by brooklyn | July 4, 2007 12:27 PM

The Clinton deceit continues to amuse.

It is not surprising in the least.

Yet, the blind supporters of their vivid malfeasance are simply stunning.

The Clintons actually made it their policy to lie about the Genocide in Rwanda.

It doesn't get much more pathetic than this...

Just another concerning sign of the troubling Democrat Party, wanting to return to the ugly days of the Clinton Malfeasance.


It is no surprise Mrs. Rodham Clinton cannot be honest about her vote to authorize the use of force in Iraq.

But, it remains quite interesting to see the Democrat Faithful, accept the Clinton dishonesty yet again.

Like some troubled substance abusers, Democrats seem addicted to the unhealthy corruption of the Clintons.

Posted by Robes | July 4, 2007 12:30 PM

The gall of the Clinton's is as usual breathtaking, but never surprising

Posted by Robes | July 4, 2007 12:33 PM

The gall of the Clinton's is as usual breathtaking, but never surprising

Posted by Tahoblue | July 4, 2007 12:36 PM

Mrc Rich is/was the husband of Denise Rich who has the chest of Dolly Parton and caught the eye of Hillary's part time room mate.

Denise also had the money from Marc Rich to buy a wing of the Clinton Library, motel and massage parlor.

The donation of one million real ones did not phase Lady Clinton one iota - she was happy to have him out of the house for a while.

Posted by leftnomore | July 4, 2007 12:37 PM

Sometimes I don't know where Ed stands on issues. On the immigration reform front, he initially was basically supportive of the Senate legislation and tried to calm readers into allowing the debate to continue. By the time the reform was filibustered, he was stridently opposed.

Now he seems to give credibility to those who slam the president on the commutation, saying GWB's critics have "plenty of room to criticize" him. But it was here that I read Ed's recommendation for this very action. Am I just reading too much into his comments? Maybe Ed would be one who'd "grow in office" like most Supreme Court justices.

Posted by Robes | July 4, 2007 1:16 PM

"Yeah, but I think the facts were different,” Mr. Clinton
then went on to say :

“It’s wrong to out that C.I.A. agent and wrong to try to cover it up,” Mr. Clinton added. “And no one was ever fired from the White House for doing it.”

Another typical Clinton whopper. Cover up what, Armitage's big mouth?
And hasn't Libby been unemployed the past several years?

Posted by DubiousD | July 4, 2007 1:36 PM

Don't forget Clinton also pardoned Henry Cisneros, who was convicted on a plea bargain of lying to the FBI. (He had been charged with perjury and obstruction of justice, the exact same charges leveled against Libby. Only in Cisneros' case, there was an underlying crime.)

Posted by KMan | July 4, 2007 1:57 PM

"Yeah, but I think the facts were different,”.

Well, sure. YOU were president at that point and are entitiled to do what you want, but apparently other presidents are not. Oh, and the media is liberal, so things you did will be overlooked or embraced, while things Bush does will be put under a microscope, blown out of proportion, or fabricated.

So I guess the facts were different.

Posted by daveinboca | July 4, 2007 2:02 PM

Didn't that fellow Geller from Hollyweird have something to say about the Clinton Inc truthiness?

Billy Jeff will remain an immortal icon for immorality---especially when he wags his finger at the audience. Do we have a video?

Posted by jr565 | July 4, 2007 2:23 PM

Clinton said:
“It’s wrong to out that C.I.A. agent and wrong to try to cover it up,” Mr. Clinton added. “And no one was ever fired from the White House for doing it.”

Er, except Libby wasn't charged with outing a CIA agent and then trying to cover it up.

Posted by GarandFan | July 4, 2007 2:34 PM

Except for Joe Wilson saying so, it's never been established that Plame was "outted". You all remember Joe, the guy the 9/11 Commission called a liar.

Posted by Mark | July 4, 2007 2:41 PM

Kudos to the AP for not following the rest of the MSM mold of ignoring Clinton dismissal of judges while having asthma attacks when Bush did it. At LEAST they mentioned it this time.

Posted by Ralph G. | July 4, 2007 3:08 PM

Clinton's pardons included mob figures, who doubtless are now serving as campaign advisors for Hillary's new ads.

Posted by Palamas | July 4, 2007 3:10 PM

Clinton also commuted the sentences of 16 FALN terrorists. I can see why he'd rather have them running around the streets loose than Scooter Libby.

Posted by bayam | July 4, 2007 3:21 PM

The gall of the Clinton's is as usual breathtaking, but never surprising

First, there is a substantial difference between a smelly pardon and a smelly pardon that appears to obstruct constitutional separation of powers. If the judiciary sentences a member of the executive, should the executive then pardon the sentence?

As for Clinton's pardons, there is no doubt that some are troubling. I can understand why Clinton would pardon his half brother, but the pardons related to financial fraud of other family members are unacceptable.

Then again, I don't see how you can compare our nations' presidents by simply reviewing lists of presidential pardons. Most pardons affect single indiviuals.

As a citizen, I'm much more concerned about corrupt legislation that affects and defrauds all taxpayers. Clinton ran a very clean government from that standpoint- unlike Bush who's Presciption Medicare and War in Iraq spending reek of cronyism and special interests winning over the average American on very grand scale.

Posted by AnonymousDrivel | July 4, 2007 3:36 PM

Eh. To hear quotes like this from Bill and Hill is expected... routine really. Does it really matter if you remind the public of this? Good on Fournier for mentioning it, but so many, especially the liberal media, protect the Clinton machine on so many other issues, this should be considered an aberration and ultimately inconsequential. Should she be reminded of this hypocrisy and Clinton history by the MSM during her campaign for the next several months, then maybe we'll recognize real progress in the reportage of all politicians and not just the one-sided critique of which we have become so accustomed.

To think that Clinton might still be elected. [*Shudder*]. And to Bill "but I think the facts were different" Clinton... this critique from a man who thinks the definition of "is" is different. Bah!

Posted by ignatzk | July 4, 2007 4:56 PM

Lest ye forget... January 20, 2001

Posted by Rose | July 4, 2007 5:22 PM

Amazing to think of the people who call themselves "MODERATES: who will work hardest of all to elect Hillary as President by exerting all their energy to nominate a RINO for the GOP ticket they KNOW that half the GOP base will NOT SUPPORT, instead of hunting for someone Less Liberal that ALL the party can get with.

Enablers! Go figure! But once the get a crush on someone, and "they're in luv!" Katie bar the door!

It's like dealing with an abused wife that thinks her murderous husband is the best hunka hunka burnin' luv on the planet!

Posted by the fly-man | July 4, 2007 5:51 PM

Look folks it's simple, don't vote for politician families.

Posted by drunk | July 4, 2007 6:05 PM

Bush commuted death sentence of Saddam Hussein
July 4, 2007

President Bush announced today that he has commuted the death sentence of the ex-Iraqi president. "I have decided that, while the failure to find WMD does not necessarily mean Iraq has not possessed WMD, it would likely be of a small quantity that does not constitute a clear and present danger to the United States. Therefore, the death sentence of Saddam is too harsh requiring this compassionate act by me. On this day of America's birthday celebration, I wish him all the best. I am pleased to know that Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi people have expressed deep gratitude to my administration and the American people for stepping into Iraq on behalf of the UN to determine the true status of WMD and therefore saved their country from a great danger and suffering."

Posted by Rose | July 4, 2007 6:14 PM

I can understand why Clinton would pardon his half brother,


We can ALL understand why Clinton pardoned HIS OWN DRUG SUPPLIER - RIGHT before the half brother began to SQUEAL on what got him into drug dealing, IN THE FIRST PLACE - SO DUH.

Still not appropriate for a man in office to PARDON his own CRONIES IN CRIME.


The Clintons and all the rest of hte Dims have always hunted for anyone with a SHRED of "GROUNDS" if you slander them hard enough, that will "ALLOW" them the inch they need to say "EVERYONE IS DOING IT - EXCEPT US, OF COURSE. BUT IT IS ALL YOU GUYS, really! NOT US."

Posted by Palamas | July 4, 2007 6:20 PM

First, there is a substantial difference between a smelly pardon and a smelly pardon that appears to obstruct constitutional separation of powers. If the judiciary sentences a member of the executive, should the executive then pardon the sentence?

You're kidding, right? There's nothing in the Constitution that prevents a pardon or commutation (which is what this actually is) of a member of the executive branch, except those who have been impeached. This is of a piece with the whole Libby affair--constructing a crime ("obstructing constitutional separation of powers"--what?) where there is none to begin with.

Posted by Keemo | July 4, 2007 6:29 PM

History will be written; the Clinton's will be described as strong armed - corrupt & very dangerous politicians who put together a "hit squad" & a "war room" in order to squash any who got in their path. I hope Killary gets the Dem nomination; that way the behaviors of both Bill & Kill will be discussed in a much different era than was before.

Posted by onlineanalyst | July 4, 2007 7:23 PM

In a brief telephone interview with The Associated Press, Hillary Clinton drew a distinction between Bush's decision to commute the sentence of White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby—which she has harshly criticized—and her husband's 140 pardons in his closing hours in office.

"I believe that presidential pardon authority is available to any president, and almost all presidents have exercised it," Clinton told the AP. "This (the Libby decision) was clearly an effort to protect the White House. ... There isn't any doubt now, what we know is that Libby was carrying out the implicit or explicit wishes of the vice president, or maybe the president as well, in the further effort to stifle dissent."

Here is what bothers me: the bolded remark above is unchallenged by the reporting agency. The Hillary Clinton sound bite becomes part of the myth surrounding the Libby conviction, and this fabrication settles itself into the accepted narrative. Slick's wife is even slicker than Slick himself.

The Lefty nutroots would have us all believe that national security was jeopardized by the "outing" of Plame. Libby was deeply engaged in critical intelligence related to national security on multiple fronts during the period of this nonsense brought to attention by the Novak article. Only the narcissistic Wilson and Plame would fancy themselves high on the radar of the VP's chief of staff.

Such fly piffle is what the Wilson, Plames, and Clintons of this world breed on and generate for the less-than-critical-thinking media reporters who spread their manure.

Posted by Al Bullock | July 4, 2007 9:19 PM

SANDY BERGER. His access to the National Archives was at the express request of Clintoon.

I cannot understand the sweeping, of Bergers sordid attempt at cleaning up Clintoons' presidential history, under the table.

You and I will never know what Berger stole, what he destroyed and the impact of the damage. The schmuck lost his lawyers license for five years. Must be a Kennedy under the skin.

Posted by jerry | July 5, 2007 6:44 AM


Once again you show your ignorance. There is strong connection between Fitzgerald's prosecution of Libby and the corrupt deal to pardon Marc Rich. Libby brokered the deal and it is more then likely that Fitzgerald went after Libby as revenge. You see, Fitzgerald prosecuted Rich and was extremely angry at Clinton for issue the pardon. When he saw an opportunity to screw lawyer who got him off he went for it. This was a blood feud between Libby and Fitzgerald over Rich and very little to do with Valerie Plame.

Posted by David M | July 5, 2007 9:46 AM

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Posted by David M | July 5, 2007 9:48 AM

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 07/05/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.