The Corner

National Security & Defense

Obama Laments Flynn Dismissal . . . after Granting Clemency to FALN Terrorist

Former President Barack Obama speaks at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in Urbana, Ill., U.S., September 7, 2018. (John Gress/Reuters)

The best defense is a good offense. That was my first thought on learning that former president Barack Obama has decided to make himself heard on the dismissal of the prosecution of Michael Flynn. As I’ve been noting for years, notwithstanding his pretensions about never interfering in FBI investigations, Mr. Obama was smack in the middle of his administration’s investigation of the Trump campaign. This week, in the exhibits appended to the Justice Department’s Flynn dismissal motion, it was revealed that Obama was neck-deep in the investigation of Flynn, concocted into a collusion caper by his intel advisers and the FBI. It is not a spotlight the former president covets, so he’s lashing out . . . and the usual wagons are circling.

My friend Joe Connor, whose father was killed by FALN, reminds me that in one of his last official acts, Obama granted clemency to Oscar Lopez Rivera, one of that Marxist terrorist organization’s front-men. Ben Domenech put it well at the time: Lopez

recruited and trained a small army of terrorists to murder his fellow Americans. He built bomb factories. He taught the young and impressionable how to make devices that would kill and maim. . . . When he was put on trial, he admitted to doing all he had been accused of — he showed no remorse.

After quoting that excerpt from Ben, the Heritage Foundation’s Mike Gonzalez recounts that Lopez was a fugitive for five years at the time of his 1981 arrest, when police found six pounds of dynamite in his Chicago apartment. After he was originally sentenced to 55 years’ imprisonment, another 15 years were tacked on in 1988, when Lopez conspired to escape from a federal penitentiary.

Lopez could have been sprung years earlier, when President Clinton granted clemency to other FALN terrorists (in order to help his wife, Hillary, who was planning a run for the Senate in New York and hoping to court the Puerto Rican vote). But Lopez declined Clinton’s offer, which included the condition that the imprisoned militants renounce terrorism as a method of seeking Puerto Rican independence.

When Obama ordered Lopez released in January 2017, even as the scheme to ensnare Flynn was being hatched, Gonzalez further notes that Obama’s old friend, the unrepentant former terrorist Bill Ayers, gleefully tweeted, “Oscar Lopez freed!

So by all means, Mr. President, go ahead and fret about how the “rule of law” is threatened by the dismissal of a politicized case against a decorated combat commander of the United States — a case the Justice Department would not have a prayer of winning if it were tried in court. It’s touching. But some of us will remember that you figured the rule of law would get along just fine despite the get-out-of-jail card you doled out to a righteously convicted anti-American terrorist.

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