We all remember the embarrassing list of presidential pardons that finalized Bill Clinton’s legacy of sleaze. It was a tawdry list of 145 drug dealers, income tax evaders and the notorious Marc Rich, who fled the United States in the midst of his trial on charges of making oil deals with Iran during the hostage crisis.
Clinton also pardoned corrupt former Congressman Dan Rostenkowski (18 terms, 17 indictments) and his own cokehead brother, Roger Clinton.
Since taking office, George W. Bush has issued 113 pardons, but there are four more he needs to add to his list.
Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, two former border patrol agents, are now serving hard time in prison. If you are unfamiliar with these two men, you are getting far too much of your news from the mainstream media, which has virtually ignored their story. Ramos and Compean were on duty along the Rio Grande in Texas when a Mexican drug smuggler named Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila tried to flee back across the river into Mexico. Aldrete-Davila brandished what the agents thought was a gun. Ramos and Compean fired their firearms at the suspect, but when he continued to flee, they logically assumed he had not been injured.
Fast forward two weeks, and our tax dollars were being used to transport the drug smuggler back into the United States, where he was given full immunity to testify against Ramos and Compean — for shooting him in the buttocks! They were tried and sentenced to ten years each.
Subsequent information has shown that “evidence” brought against Ramos and Compean was fabricated by officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Certain members of Congress are investigating. Meanwhile, these two valiant agents rot in prison. In fact, Ramos recently was attacked by Latino gang members in his cell in Yazoo City Federal Correctional Complex in Mississippi and beaten bloody.
The fate of Ramos and Compean may be a cakewalk compared to what awaits Duane “Dog” Chapman, known to watchers of his A&E cable program as “Dog the Bounty Hunter.” In 2003, Dog and his posse caught and captured the notorious serial rapist Andrew Luster, who is now spending several decades in prison. Unfortunately, Dog and the guys caught up with Luster in the Mexican city of Puerto Vallarta. Now, believe it or not, the Mexican government is demanding that Duane Chapman be extradited back to Mexico to stand trial for “deprivation of liberty.” And one of our pin-headed federal judges has approved the extradition!
Finally, there is the case of Lewis “Scooter” Libby, whose primary crime was serving as chief of staff for one of the Left’s most hated enemies, Vice President Dick Cheney. As former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson, R-TN, has said, this trial is “a travesty and an injustice.” As chairman of the Senate Government Affairs Committee in the late 1990s, Thompson led the effort to allow the Office of Independent Counsel to expire.
Additionally, Thompson pointed out, it was obvious that Valerie Plame, the CIA operative whose identity was leaked, was not covered under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act.
“When you put too much power in the hands of unelected, unaccountable people who have every incentive to focus massive resources onto one particular person, and gets the plaudits in the media for doing so, it’s a bad thing,” Thompson said in an interview with ABC News after attending part of Libby’s trial. “Many, many times an injustice can occur.”
So let’s review: Two border agents shoot a drug smuggler and end up serving time in federal prison. A bounty hunter brings a dangerous serial rapist to justice and gets extradited to face the hell of a Mexican prison. And Scooter Libby faces a possible sentence of 20 years in prison for leaking the name of a CIA employee whose name was already known, while Bill Clinton’s former security advisor, Sandy Berger, gets a slap on the wrist for stuffing Top Secret documents in his pants and stealing them from the National Archives.
Pardon these men immediately, Mr. President.
© Copyright 2007 by Doug Patton
Doug Patton is a freelance columnist who has served as a political speechwriter and public policy advisor. His weekly columns are published in newspapers across the country and on selected Internet web sites, including Human Events Online, TheConservativeVoice.com and GOPUSA.com, where he is a senior writer and state editor. Readers may e-mail him at email@example.com.