AG criticized for 'terrorist' paroles
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder "has lied about his role in granting pardons to terrorists" under Presidents Clinton and Obama and should be removed from office, according to Cliff Kincaid, president of America's Survival Inc.
Kincaid moderated a daylong conference on Tuesday at the National Press Club, sponsored by his Washington-based investigative organization.
Speakers included Richard Hahn, an FBI agent who led numerous terrorism investigations before retiring in 1999; Humberto Fontova, an author whose family fled Cuba in 1961; Joseph Connor, whose father died in a 1975 New York City bombing by Puerto Rican terrorists; and Larry Grathwohl, who infiltrated the radical Weather Underground in the 1960s for police and the FBI.
In 1999, Holder, then a deputy attorney general, pushed to pardon 14 federal prisoners who belonged to a Puerto Rican terror group, the FALN, Kincaid and Connor said.
The FALN exploded more than 100 bombs in the United States during the 1970s.
The 14 prisoners, convicted in the 1980s on conspiracy and bomb-making charges, were sentenced to up to 85 years in prison.
Two others refused to accept paroles.
FBI and federal prison officials, two U.S. attorneys, the Fraternal Order of Police and at least one Justice Department official opposed the paroles.
In 2009, as the Senate considered his nomination as attorney general, Holder said those paroled "were not directly involved in incidents that led to death or injuries."
Hahn, the former FBI agent, said Holder "could not possibly know" that, because the parolees were not charged in any fatal bombings despite evidence of complicity.
Kincaid blamed Holder's Justice Department for the 2010 paroles of Carlos Torres, a FALN co-founder, and Marilyn Buck, a Weather Underground and Black Liberation Army member.
Buck -- convicted in the mid-'80s of various crimes, including a 1981 robbery that killed a security guard and two policemen -- died soon after her release.
"Freedom for terrorists seems to be a policy started under Clinton and continued under Obama ... and they both have one thing in common -- Eric Holder," Kincaid said.
He and Grathwohl accused Holder of trying to halt an investigation into a deadly 1970 bombing in San Francisco. Both have long accused Weather Underground leaders William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn of complicity in that attack, although neither was ever charged in the case.
The couple, who now live in Chicago, have been involved in President Obama's political campaigns, and Obama has acknowledged their friendship.
"In addition to prosecuting Ayers and Dohrn, there is an obligation to pursue the terrorist fugitives ... here and in places like Cuba," Kincaid said.
He accused the Obama White House of trying to loosen Cuban travel and trade restrictions even as the communist-ruled island nation "continues to wage war on the United States."
He and Fontova said Cuban intelligence agents actively operate here while political dissidents in Cuba are "being beaten up, tortured and killed" by the Castro regime.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Judge orders nonprofit tax form release in case against IRS
- Senators approve Keystone pipeline
- Poll shows giant gap between what public, scientists think
- Penn State University eyes changes to sexual misconduct case handling
- Rock pythons creep into Everglades
- Obama calls for government spending surge
- Overhaul of military benefit programs sought
- Former Idaho National Guard soldier’s benefits claims yield indictment
- Homeland chief says cuts over immigration puts U.S. at risk
- 2 GOP senators to back Lynch for attorney general
- NASA pauses to honor its fallen