Saturday, January 17, 2009

Why Clinton Pardoned Mark Rich

I never paid much attention to the Mark Rick controversy. All presidents pardon sleaze balls in the waning moments of their presidency, and I always assumed this was just another. The reports that there was monetary tit-for-tat was in keeping with the Clinton reputation.

The Mark Rich pardon is relevant today because of the Eric Holder Attorney General nomination and his role in the pardon. But it turns out there were international political reasons why Rich was pardoned and why the normal process was bypassed in his case: Rich was a key factor in Clinton's desperate attempt to achieve an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement by the end of his term.

Joe Conason writes about it at Salon:

But Holder understood that there were deeper reasons why the pardon was likely to be approved, which had nothing to do with the political and charitable contributions of Rich's ex-wife, the Manhattan socialite Denise Rich. The New York Times offered just a hint in a front-page story that appeared shortly after the Holder nomination was announced. Only at the very end did the Times mention the pressure from "the Israelis" that had persuaded Holder not to oppose the pardon...

Winning the pardon was a top priority for Israeli officials because Rich had long been a financial and intelligence asset of the Jewish state, carrying out missions in many hostile countries where he did business.
According to Conason, Holder did not defend his acquiesence (Clinton didn't need Holder's permission) so as not to bring up the foreign policy implications that heavily influenced his decision at the time. This was apparently the Obama transition team's strategy to get Holder through the Senate confirmation hearings relatively "unscathed."


Blogger Susannah said...

Hi Jim~ I'll confess upfront - I didn't read this post. I apologize & will come back & read it when I have more time. Just wanted you to know that I've linked to you in my post today. I hope that's okay.

take care!

1:21 PM, April 22, 2009  
Blogger Susannah said...

Okay, I've read it...very interesting. The tangled webs they weave...

I'm curious. Why not post since Jan?

1:23 PM, April 22, 2009  
Blogger Jim said...

Why no posts? I spend too much time refuting the claims on Right from the Right and American Descent. :-)

6:20 PM, April 24, 2009  
Blogger Trader Rick said...

"Jim" how old are you?

5:50 AM, December 21, 2010  
Blogger Jim said...

Old enough to have ducked under my desk or marched into air raid shelters for drills at school in case the Commies launched their missiles. Old enough to remember exactly what I was doing and what my reaction was when the president was shot in Dallas. Old enough to know the name of the "aluminum planet."

12:44 PM, December 21, 2010  

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