Gee, Maybe Holder’s Nomination is in More Trouble Than I Thought?
Today’s NYTimes has an OpEd that almost made me laugh out loud. Seth Lipsky, late of the right wing but beautiful to look at (those graphics, those fonts, how I miss them!) New York Sun, offers Barack Obama some of the lamest, most boneheaded advice I have heard in a while.
Lipsky thinks that Obama should get out there and DEFEND the Marc Rich pardon on the merits. No, really, I’m not pulling your leg.
And he makes dire sounding predictions that Obama will lose his only "unfettered" presidential power if he does not become Marc Rich’s champion. Ah, Mr. President-Elect? Please, please, I really want you to succeed. I really want change in America. Please do not squander any part of your honeymoon period defending something you have no responsibility for. This was Clinton’s mistake and the Big Dawg has shown that he can take care of himself.
Lipsky admits that he considers Rich and Rich’s partner and co-felon Pincus to be friends and offers as a justification for the pardons the fact that Israeli officials backed it. Since when do leaders of foreign countries get to decide matters of US criminal justice? That has always seemed such a crazy excuse to me.
Then he goes into some convoluted analysis of why the felonies ought not to be felonies and should only cost Rich and Pincus some fines. Tell that to Leona Helmsley, she did her time and paid her debt to society. Skips right over the part where they were violating the economic santions imposed by the US on Iran. Is it only me who thinks you cannot defend an American citizen betraying their own country to illegally trade with country that had (then) recently held other American citizens hostage?
Well maybe not only to me, Lipsky admits:
Those of us who argued this point were often mocked.
Not WERE Sherlock, ARE. Are mocked.
At the time Rich and Pincus were trading with Iran, it was a terrorist nation that was being sanctioned by the US because it had invaded the sovereign territory of our embassy and held our citizens hostage. Money, cash, lucre, personal gain were more important to these two than the safety of their fellow Americans or the intergrity of our economic sanctions program. I don’t give a shit that they took a tiny fraction of their ill gotten gains and used it to do some charity work in Israel to get a couple of well placed phone calls made from Tel Aviv to DC. It was wrong when the first President Bush used pardons to shield the miscreants involved in Iran Contra, it was wrong when Bill Clinton used pardons to shield two men who had undermined US foreign/security policy.
It’s not OK if you’re a Republican and it’s not OK if you’re a Democrat either.