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Sun Jul 14, 2013, 10:53 AM

 

How Eric Holder Facilitated the Most Unjust Presidential Pardon in American History

Marc Rich, the man who got away with it, died last week, and I would be remiss if I let his death pass without comment. Rich became internationally notorious in 2001, when, as a fugitive from justice, he was pardoned by Bill Clinton in the last hours of his administration. What many don’t recall is that Attorney General Eric Holder, who was then a deputy attorney general, was instrumental in securing Rich’s pardon.

Rich was a pioneering commodities trader who made billions dealing in oil and other goods. He had a habit of dealing with nations with which trade was embargoed, like Iran, Libya, Cuba, and apartheid South Africa. Rich also had a habit of not paying his taxes, to the point where one observer said that “Marc Rich is to asset concealment what Babe Ruth was to baseball.” The United States indicted Rich in 1983, hitting him with charges—tax evasion, wire fraud, racketeering, trading with the enemy—that could’ve brought life in prison. Rich fled the country.

<snip>

Finally, in 2000, he saw some return on his efforts. Eric Holder was the key man. As deputy AG, Holder was in charge of advising the president on the merits of various petitions for pardon. Jack Quinn, a lawyer for Rich, approached Holder about clemency for his client. Quinn was a confidant of Al Gore, then a candidate for president; Holder had ambitions of being named attorney general in a Gore administration. A report from the House Committee on Government Reform on the Rich debacle later concluded that Holder must have decided that cooperating in the Rich matter could pay dividends later on.

<snip>

The excuses are weak. In the words of the committee report, “it is difficult to believe that Holder’s judgment would be so monumentally poor that he could not understand how he was being manipulated by Jack Quinn.” And presidential pardons don’t just slip through like this, especially not pardons of wanted fugitives. If Holder had followed protocols and made sure the Justice Department was looped in, there’s no way that Rich would have been pardoned. Hundreds of thousands of men sit in American prisons doing unconscionably long sentences for nonviolent drug offenses. DNA tests routinely turn up cases of unjust convictions. But Marc Rich bought his pardon with money and access, and the committee’s response to that purchase is worth quoting in full:

<snip>

http://www.slate.com/blogs/crime/2013/07/02/marc_rich_presidential_pardon_how_eric_holder_facilitated_the_most_unjust.html

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Arrow 42 replies Author Time Post
Reply How Eric Holder Facilitated the Most Unjust Presidential Pardon in American History (Original post)
cali Jul 2013 OP
Demeter Jul 2013 #1
AndyA Jul 2013 #2
rhett o rick Jul 2013 #34
tularetom Jul 2013 #3
Catherina Jul 2013 #12
think Jul 2013 #32
NealK Jul 2013 #26
ProSense Jul 2013 #4
cali Jul 2013 #6
ProSense Jul 2013 #8
cali Jul 2013 #14
Fuddnik Jul 2013 #17
cali Jul 2013 #21
sabrina 1 Jul 2013 #5
ProSense Jul 2013 #7
OnyxCollie Jul 2013 #18
NealK Jul 2013 #27
LuvNewcastle Jul 2013 #9
L0oniX Jul 2013 #10
Egalitarian Thug Jul 2013 #30
Savannahmann Jul 2013 #11
truebluegreen Jul 2013 #13
Laelth Jul 2013 #15
G_j Jul 2013 #16
arely staircase Jul 2013 #19
On the Road Jul 2013 #20
cali Jul 2013 #23
On the Road Jul 2013 #41
SHRED Jul 2013 #22
Marr Jul 2013 #24
hfojvt Jul 2013 #25
xtraxritical Jul 2013 #28
Deny and Shred Jul 2013 #29
blm Jul 2013 #31
Drunken Irishman Jul 2013 #33
cali Jul 2013 #36
Drunken Irishman Jul 2013 #37
cali Jul 2013 #39
rhett o rick Jul 2013 #35
WinkyDink Jul 2013 #38
jmowreader Jul 2013 #40
indepat Jul 2013 #42

Response to cali (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 10:55 AM

1. Corruption to the Nth degree

 

So, Holder's got hidden talents...must be true, because Gawd knows he hasn't done anything for the US.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 10:56 AM

2. I think Holder needs to go.

I don't think he should have ever been made the Attorney General. He did nothing about the Wall Street tragedy, which impacted most Americans, and many are still trying to crawl out from under the rubble the collapse left.

He also did nothing about Bushco--lying to start a war that resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives seems like it should be against the law.

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Response to AndyA (Reply #2)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 02:51 PM

34. I think Clapper and Bernanke need to go but there is no chance. And here comes Comey.

 

Seems the president loves these revolving door corporatists.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 11:00 AM

3. And people are hoping that this guy will bring civil rights charge against Zimmerman

That ain't gonna happen.

I always knew Holder was incompetent. Now it seems he is corrupt as well.

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Response to tularetom (Reply #3)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 11:20 AM

12. He started out corrupt, covering for Chiquitas murder of thousands of workers

and paying off the DOJ to let Chiquita off the hook. TPP, the colonial arrogance of bringing down Morales' plane after many decades of looting Latin America, or backing coup d'etats, as in Chiquita's case, that got many more thousands murdered, gee where have we seen Eric Holder before?


...

The choice of Holder reveals a troubling disconnect between a key statement made by the president-elect during the campaign and views held by Holder. This disconnect must be examined in light of the dismal state of US foreign relations.

...

The issue of direct payments to the justice department by offending US corporations is a worrying trend. It is one that has risen sharply under the Bush administration and was first championed by former attorney general John Ashcroft. In lieu of a trial, companies are allowed to pay a fine directly to the justice department. These agreements are readily accepted by companies, as they are cost effective, avoid the stigma of public trial and don't set precedents. None of the money paid goes to affected individuals or communities, which leaves any sense of justice wanting. There is also valid concern that abuse of this system may lead to companies being less scrupulous.

Representing Chiquita, Holder brokered a deal for the banana giant to pay $25m over five years to the justice department. This arrangement was made after Chiquita admitted in 2003 to providing $1.7m over six years to the paramilitary group The United Self Defense Forces of Colombia. This group was listed as a terrorist organisation by the state department. Chiquita also allegedly provided a cache of surplus Nicaraguan army AK-47s through their own transport network. The payments continued unabated for months after Chiquita's admission.

The company claimed the payments were made to protect its workers, but it is unclear who was protected. Colombia's attorney general, Mario Iguaran, roundly rejects Chiquita's excuses. Iguaran believes the payments were made to secure the unimpeded production of bananas and to quell labour unrest. He claims that at least 4,000 people were killed by these paramilitaries. Hundreds of the victims were banana workers and labour organisers. Iguaran wishes to extradite the Chiquita executives responsible for approving the payments and a lawsuit is currently underway representing the families of 173 workers who were killed by the paramilitaries. Holder continues to represent Chiquita in the resulting civil case.

Holder's reaction to the $25m settlement is unacceptable:

If what you want to encourage is voluntary self-disclosure, what message does this send to other companies? Here's a company that voluntarily self-discloses in a national security context, where the company gets treated pretty harshly, (and) then on top of that, you go after individuals who made a really painful decision.


It's not particularly certain what this painful decision was. Chiquita stood to be in a lot more trouble if they didn't come clean given the climate after September 11. The group in question had terrorist status. The paramilitaries were intimidating and murdering workers. If you have to break the law to do business in a region, you simply need not engage in that business. Holder's commentary is difficult to comprehend in light of the facts surrounding this case.

...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2008/nov/25/attornery-general-eric-holder-chiquita


"painful decision" lol. There's more Bush-speak for us.

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Response to Catherina (Reply #12)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 02:39 PM

32. This alone should be reason enough for Holder not be head of the DOJ

 

under a Democratic administration....

IMO

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Response to tularetom (Reply #3)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 01:37 PM

26. I totally agree.

He won't do a thing and he's a corrupted scumbag.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 11:04 AM

4. "Since then, Bill Clinton hasn’t stopped apologizing for the pardons of Marc Rich and Pincus Green"

Rich was an active fugitive, a man who had used his money to evade the law, and presidents do not generally pardon people like that. What’s more, the Justice Department opposed the pardon—or would’ve, if it had known about it. But Holder and Quinn did an end-around, bringing the pardon to Clinton directly and avoiding any chance that Justice colleagues might give negative input. As the House Government Reform Committee report later put it, “Holder failed to inform the prosecutors under him that the Rich pardon was under consideration, despite the fact that he was aware of the pardon effort for almost two months before it was granted.”

<...>

Since then, Bill Clinton hasn’t stopped apologizing for the pardons of Marc Rich and Pincus Green. “It was terrible politics. It wasn't worth the damage to my reputation,” he told Newsweek in 2002—and, indeed, speculation was rampant that Rich (and his ex-wife) had bought the pardon by, in part, donating $450,000 to Clinton’s presidential library. Clinton denied that the donations had anything to do with the pardon, instead claiming that he took Holder’s advice on the matter. Holder, for his part, has distanced himself from the pardons as well. As the House Government Reform Committee report put it, he claimed that his support for the pardon “was the result of poor judgment, initially not recognizing the seriousness of the Rich case, and then, by the time that he recognized that the pardon was being considered, being distracted by other matters.”

I'm sure Bill Clinton and Al Gore had something to do with it.


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Response to ProSense (Reply #4)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 11:07 AM

6. yes, of course, but this article is about Eric Holder's role in that pardon

 

so your post is irrelevant except insofar as its intended use to obscure and deflect.

And it's rather a failure at that.

I'd ask you what you thought about Holder's role in the pardon of Marc Rich, but I know exactly the type of response you'd post, so I won't bother.

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Response to cali (Reply #6)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 11:14 AM

8. Who

"I'd ask you what you thought about Holder's role in the pardon of Marc Rich, but I know exactly the type of response you'd post, so I won't bother."

...gives a shit? This is simply a hit on Holder. The only people interested are those who always hated the man. People with any objectivity don't give a shit about these type of attacks.

At one time, Republicans indicated that they wanted to give Mr. Holder a rough confirmation ride to signal their political viability at a time when Democrats control the White House and both houses of Congress.

But the effort never gained much traction. Senator Patrick J. Leahy, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, noted Monday that his panel had voted to approve the Holder nomination by 17 to 2, with most Republicans voting in favor.

“That strong, bipartisan vote in favor was a statement that members from both sides of the aisle recognize that Mr. Holder has the character, integrity and independence to be Attorney General,” said Mr. Leahy, a Vermont Democrat. “It is a statement that we all want to restore the integrity and competence of the Justice Department and to restore another critical component — the American people’s confidence in federal law enforcement.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/03/us/politics/03holder.html



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Response to ProSense (Reply #8)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 11:27 AM

14. There are indisputable facts in this piece

 

you want to characterize it as a hit piece, fine. What facts in it are wrong?

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Response to cali (Reply #14)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 12:46 PM

17. And we wonder why no banksters get investigated, much less charged.

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Response to Fuddnik (Reply #17)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 01:22 PM

21. We shouldn't. Holder told us straight out:

 

Attorney General Eric Holder admitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that banks are simply too big to prosecute.

The Justice Department has not brought a single criminal conviction against a Wall Street executive four years after a financial crisis proven to have been precipitated by fraudulent behavior. On Wednesday, Holder admitted that the vast size of major banks and the structural integration in the economy makes criminal prosecutions basically impossible.

“I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy,” Holder said, according to the Hill. “And I think that is a function of the fact that some of these institutions have become too large.”

<snip>

http://www.salon.com/2013/03/07/holder_banks_too_big_to_prosecute/

He's a real weasel. And man, will this guy reel it in when he goes back to the private sector. He's been a great pal. to corporate interests.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 11:05 AM

5. He also facilitated the dismissal of the conviction against Republican Sen. Stevens in Alaska

based NOT on guilt or innocence, but on problems with the prosecution. Which may have been true, but when even worse problems with the Prosecution were revealed beyond any doubt, in the Don Siegelman case, Holder chose to ignore the problems.

It's very doubtful he will have much interest in the case of Trayvon Martin. Justice doesn't seem to be his motivation when making judgement calls in his capacity of AG.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #5)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 11:09 AM

7. Right,

"It's very doubtful he will have much interest in the case of Trayvon Martin. Justice doesn't seem to be his motivation when making judgement calls in his capacity of AG."

...Holder has no interest in justice: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022933401

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Response to ProSense (Reply #7)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 01:01 PM

18. Holder has no interest in justice when it comes to the Bush administration.

 

Holder Says He Will Not Permit the Criminalization of Policy Differences
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=7410267&page=1

As lawmakers call for hearings and debate brews over forming commissions to examine the Bush administration's policies on harsh interrogation techniques, Attorney General Eric Holder confirmed to a House panel that intelligence officials who relied on legal advice from the Bush-era Justice Department would not be prosecuted.

"Those intelligence community officials who acted reasonably and in good faith and in reliance on Department of Justice opinions are not going to be prosecuted,"
he told members of a House Appropriations Subcommittee, reaffirming the White House sentiment. "It would not be fair, in my view, to bring such prosecutions."


Holder: Won't criminalize terror policy disputes
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/feedarticle/8470942

Associated Press Writer= WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Eric Holder left open the possibility Thursday to prosecuting former Bush administration officials but ruled out filing charges merely over disagreements about policy.

"I will not permit the criminalization of policy differences," Holder testified before a House Appropriations subcommittee.

"However, it is my responsibility as attorney general to enforce the law. It is my duty to enforce the law. If I see evidence of wrongdoing I will pursue it to the full extent of the law," he said.


~snip~

"It is certainly the intention of this administration not to play hide and seek, or not to release certain things," said Holder. "It is not our intention to try to advance a political agenda or to try to hide things from the American people."


CIA Exhales: 99 Out of 101 Torture Cases Dropped
http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/06/cia-exhales-99-out-of-101-torture-cases-dropped/

This is how one of the darkest chapters in U.S. counterterrorism ends: with practically every instance of suspected CIA torture dodging criminal scrutiny. It’s one of the greatest gifts the Justice Department could have given the CIA as David Petraeus takes over the agency.

Over two years after Attorney General Eric Holder instructed a special prosecutor, John Durham, to “preliminar(ily) review” whether CIA interrogators unlawfully tortured detainees in their custody, Holder announced on Thursday afternoon that he’ll pursue criminal investigations in precisely two out of 101 cases of suspected detainee abuse. Some of them turned out not to have involved CIA officials after all. Both of the cases that move on to a criminal phase involved the “death in custody” of detainees, Holder said.

But just because there’s a further criminal inquiry doesn’t necessarily mean there will be any charges brought against CIA officials involved in those deaths. If Holder’s decision on Thursday doesn’t actually end the Justice Department’s review of torture in CIA facilities, it brings it awfully close, as outgoing CIA Director Leon Panetta noted.

“On this, my last day as Director, I welcome the news that the broader inquiries are behind us,” Panetta wrote to the CIA staff on Thursday. “We are now finally about to close this chapter of our Agency’s history.”


You've mentioned that torture, the war in Iraq, and domestic spying were illegal under the Bush administration. The Attorney General disagrees with you. Such things are merely "policy differences."

You need to drop the hyperbole, put away your irrational hate, and look forward.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #5)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 01:42 PM

27. "It's very doubtful he will have much interest in the case of Trayvon Martin."

I'm afraid that you are correct. He won't do a thing and doesn't care about justice.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 11:14 AM

9. Well we know how much Clinton got; I wonder how much

Holder got paid. We have got to get all these corrupt motherfuckers away from power. Things will never change until we do.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 11:17 AM

10. Law is for little people. n/t

 

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #10)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 02:19 PM

30. +1 The ruling class couldn't care less about what color jersey they wear.

 

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 11:20 AM

11. Far too many tend to comprimize ethics in favor of power.

 

Those who do so, tend to believe that they are doing a little wrong, in an effort to get more position, to do a greater good. At least, that is how it starts. The problem is that once you have ascended to that greater power position, your core base of ethical morality has been lost along the way. By that time, you are merely accumulating power for the basis of accumulating that power.

Look at those who have achieved the highest offices in the land. Both public and private. A CEO who as a young man/woman starting out may have commented on something unfair to the workers they oversaw. But by the time they have reached the pinnacle, has forgotten those workers that they hoped to help when they got high enough. The soul was lost.

DiFi, lamented often here, started out with good ideals, and good principles. Now, completely swallowed by the love of power that her position has allowed her to accumulate. I could go down the list. Find the writings, comments, and speeches of those who are in power now, and see how they rule when they reach the top. Power does indeed corrupt, that is beyond the need to debate. But I am now nearly convinced that the pursuit of that power corrupts as badly as the power does.

The series Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy comes to mind. Douglas Adams wrote that the Galactic theory on the Presidential Power was fairly simple. Anyone who wanted the power of the Presidency was certainly someone that you would not want to have that power. The message is obvious, and needs no explanation from me.

We can sit here, armchair executives, and talk about what we would do in that position. I started a thread on that very question. http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023141443

But again, we could not go from where we are, jobs, families, whatever, to that pinnacle. By the time we reached it, we would be unrecognizable from who we are now.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 11:25 AM

13. Quel surprise.

 

Holder is and has been a disaster at DoJ. I was hugely disappointed with his appointment and even more that he didn't leave after the first term.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 11:58 AM

15. k&r for exposure. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 12:00 PM

16. while Leonard Peltier rots in prison

these people disgust me!

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 01:04 PM

19. Dragging out marc rich has a very scraping the bottom of the barrel

for anything remotely anti-obama feel to it. pretty funny and very obvious.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 01:12 PM

20. So What is Slate's Reasoning That The Pardon Was Illegimitate?

There was a lot of information on this in the press at the time, but the article seems to go out of its way to avoid the specifics of the case.

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Response to On the Road (Reply #20)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 01:24 PM

23. how does it go out of its way to avoid the specifics of the case?

 

What specifics are left out? And btw, this pardon was roundly condemned at the time. Defended by practically no one. Everyone saw it for what it was. This article is simply about Holder's role in it.

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Response to cali (Reply #23)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 06:30 PM

41. The Rationale for the Pardon

is that Rich left the US to avoid prosecution by the IRS over a specific tax case. I believe it concerned the definition of which international income is considered taxable under US law. I was hoping the article would elaborate, since it's been a while.

Rich's partner chose to remain in the US and defend himself. That defense was successful, meaning that Rich fled the US for tax practices that turned out to be legal.

That is the part of the issue that IMO should have been discussed when referring to the pardon as the most unjust in American history.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 01:23 PM

22. Holder is another DLC POS

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 01:28 PM

24. And this is why Wall Street chose him to be the Obama Administration's AG.

 

We tend to watch these people after they've attained key positions and marvel at how quickly they sell out, but the fact is, most of them are only appointed because they've long since proven their willingness to... bend. For the right people.

There are exceptions, but they're symbolic appointments in seats with no real influence.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 01:31 PM

25. I yawned at that pardon though

Rich had already escaped justice by the fact that Switzerland would not extradite him. So the pardon did not really change much.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 01:59 PM

28. Almost all the President's appointments are from the corporate and banking

 

elite. He's doing his best to hand 2014 to Republicans too.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 02:10 PM

29. That is why he is there

What you call criminal, they see as a resume builder. Had he never proved that he was so capable, he would never be AG. By capable, I mean someone who won't let their principles or protocols dissuade them from protecting the 1%. They would never allow someone they weren't sure of into that position. Their apple cart may one day be upset, by not by appopintees.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 02:27 PM

31. This piece exaggerates Holder's role. Clinton WANTED Rich pardoned for Poppy Bush

and with Janet Reno gone, Holder was tasked with pushing it through.

Clinton, by then, was protecting Poppy Bush on all his operations - IranContra, BCCI, CIA drug running. Marc Rich was a named figure in both IranContra and BCCI. No surprise that Clinton wanted him pardoned for his close ally - GHWBush.

Amazes me that some of you haven't figured out WHY Jackson Stephens bankrolled Clinton's primary campaign when Bush succeeded in pushing the release of the BCCI report to Dec 1992.

Jackson Stephens was also a named figure in both IranContra and BCCI. In fact, he brought BCCI to the United States for his longtime friend, GHWBush.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 02:43 PM

33. LOL!

Oh wait...you're serious?

Did I travel back to 2001 or something? So, now Rich is Holder's fault? Let me guess, we'll even go back further and try to blame Lewinsky on Holder next!

You've really lost it.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #33)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 04:20 PM

36. yeah, your shrillness is just sooo convincing.

 

I didn't write this. and you sure as shit didn't refute one thing in it. Not one. and yes, the article certainly is relevant. It speaks to Holder's character.

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Response to cali (Reply #36)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 04:29 PM

37. What is there to refute?

It's a story that is older than this forum. How is it relevant? Why is Holder getting the blame when it was Clinton who pardoned him? Seriously, get help, cali. I'm worried about you. For real. I think you've gone off the deep end and it's unnerving.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #37)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 05:16 PM

39. oh for pity's sake read the article- which btw was written less than 2 weeks ago

 

And no, I don't need "help", honeypie. Pathetic.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 03:11 PM

35. I think he is busying working on the pardons of Bush and the gang. Just sayin. nm

 

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 04:33 PM

38. Beg to differ, big-time. TMUPPIAH = Poppy's pardon of the Iran-Contra traitors.

 

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 05:39 PM

40. Wasn't Holder in grade school when Nixon was pardoned?

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 10:22 PM

42. The names Marc Rich, Ted Stevens, and Don

Siegleman should be permanently etched in our minds as reminders that equal justice under the law must prevail if a democratic society is to flourish.

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