- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 17, 2001

Noble: House Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Dan Burton, for his relentless pursuit of justice in the matter of the Marc Rich pardon.

Previously, Mr. Burton was pilloried for his perennial pursuit of the peccadilloes, perjuries and various actions of dubious legality pervasive in the Clinton administration.

Now Mr. Burton's simple call, "The American people deserve to know the facts," has been echoed by Clinton sycophants such as The New York Times and The Washington Post. In an editorial, The New York Times declared, "We sense a national need to come to grips with the wreckage, both civic and legal, left by former President Clinton," adding "A thorough investigation and a reconstruction of the events leading to the pardon are required." An editorial in The Washington Post, though slightly less kind to Mr. Burton, proclaimed, "This is a classic Clinton case. The facts suggest that he (Mr. Clinton) first abused, then wrapped himself protectively in, a presidential prerogative. The public has a legitimate interest in determining the extent of the abuse."

Mr. Clinton now faces a criminal probe into the matter, and for the first time, he seems to have few friends left. After eight years of ignored presidential malfeasance, one can almost see the stern visage of Lady Justice finally cracking into a faint grin.

Knave: New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, for her unfair treatment of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Earlier this week, this paper proudly published excerpts from Justice Thomas' eloquent address at a dinner sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute, in which he expressed his concern that our desire to be civil would dampen our determination to be principled. Justice Thomas said, "We must not allow our desire to be decent and well-mannered people to overwhelm the substance of our principles or our determination to fight for their success."

Miss Dowd was apparently taken aback by such sentiments. In her column in The New York Times last Wednesday, Miss Dowd claimed, "The hour-long speech was so self-pitying and self-aggrandizing that it evoked comparison to Bill Clinton's defense for pardoning Marc Rich." In building her mountain of criticism, she mentioned everything from mounds of red meat to Anita Hill.

This is not the first time that Mrs. Dowd has used her column to go after Justice Thomas, a man who more than most has suffered for his beliefs. In earlier columns she suggested that he would "repay his political godfather," by deciding in favor of George W. Bush during the election lawsuits, and that if Justice Thomas did become the first black American to become chief justice this achievement was not enough. Instead, he might make his real mark by "overturning Roe vs. Wade." In Miss Dowd's world that is a harsh accusation indeed. Many others would consider it a service to the nation.

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