- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 18, 2001

Clinton's most treacherous act: pardon of terrorists

As we have come to expect, Commentary columnist Balint Vazsonyi goes right to the heart of the matter in his piece about the Clintons ("Reminding us of frivolity and treachery," Nov. 13).
Mr. Vazsonyi makes the case that former President Bill Clinton's speech to the students of Georgetown University was a classic example of treason, which is, as Mr. Vazsonyi says, "to serve the interest of America's enemies" in time of war.
But Mr. Vazsonyi fails to mention one of Mr. Clinton's most egregious acts: his August 1999 pardon of Puerto Rican terrorists, members of the Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN). This Marxist group was responsible for a reign of terror that included 130 bombing attacks in the United States between 1974 and 1983, which killed six and wounded many.
Mr. Clinton went ahead with this seemingly forgotten pardon despite opposition from the Justice Department, FBI Director Louis Freeh and U.S. attorneys offices in Illinois and Connecticut.
Why? The rest of the story can be found in a subchapter in the late Barbara Olson's book "The Final Days," titled, "Pardons for Terrorists Send a Signal."
Those who read her book and Mr. Vazsonyi's columns know that not all of our enemies are overseas.

THOMAS W. SCHAAF SR.
Fairfax

"Death with dignity' a matter of control

Suzanne Fields writes her Op-Ed column, "A license to kill?" in response to a federal judge's stay of Attorney General John Ashcroft's order, which would have rendered Oregon's Death With Dignity law moot, pending further adjudication.
Mrs. Fields says, "There are two issues here." Wrong. She omits the principal issue that is likely the reason Oregonians twice voted for the Death With Dignity law. The issue is control.
There are worse things than dying. Those who write about assisted suicide should visit the terminally ill at different stages of their illness. They will see sick people gradually losing the power to make decisions over their own lives until, finally, all they control lies within the four walls of a (hospital) room.
Assisted suicide laws protect physicians from liability, but they also give the ill a sense of choice and control over their death. That's really all they have left. This sense of control is the meaning of "death with dignity."

DOLORES DEMBUS BITTLEMAN
Washington

U.S. can't have its oil and burn it, too

Commentary columnist Roger Zion is right that we need to develop alternatives to Middle East oil ("Energy independence held hostage," Nov. 9). But opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil production won't lead to energy independence for the simple reason that we can't have our oil and burn it, too.
Increasing domestic production only speeds the day when we will be completely reliant on imported oil. ANWR will be worth far more in a decade or three, unless we drain it now to cruise around in our gas guzzlers.
America's oil production peaked 30 years ago. We will never be self-sufficient in oil again, whether we drain ANWR now, later or never. We need a crash program for energy efficiency and alternative energy. A tax shift, reducing payroll and income taxes while increasing oil taxes, would harness the market mechanism to build energy independence.
Higher oil prices are inevitable; oil is finite and non-OPEC production will soon decline. A tax shift would keep the oil money in our economy rather than shipping our wealth off to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

CARL HENN
Rockville


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