Everyone is so upset over the Manning pardon that many have made little notice of the pardon of a terrorist. We would think that such a thing would not go with so little fan fair, but it is barely spoken of.
The decision is one that points to the roots of Obama’s thinking. Any groups of people who have less or are ruled by someone else are the oppressed. They have been exploited, and the ruling group must be colonialists. And Obama once again sticks his finger in the eye of the oppressors. A country that he is leading. He does this by setting free someone who wants to punish them.
While this was definitely overshadowed by Chelsea Manning’s pardon yesterday, it’s certainly noteworthy. In addition to Manning, Obama also pardoned Oscar López Rivera, a Puerto Rican nationalist who was convicted of seditious conspiracy, use of force to commit robbery, interstate transportation of firearms and ammunition to aid in the commission of a felony, and interstate transportation of stolen vehicles.
But Obama was not the first Democrat who sought to free this terrorist. The first could not get Rivera to denounce his violence.
In 1999, President Bill Clinton offered Lopez Rivera and 15 other members of FALN conditional clemency if they would renounce violence and terrorism. While 14 FALN members accepted this offer, Lopez Rivera and another did not. Congress condemned this conditional clemency offer by an overwhelming margin.
And of course, this means that Obama had made no such demand before pardoning this murderer. And He has made not concessions on this point.
I have no regrets for what I’ve done in the Puerto Rico independence movement,” Rivera said in 1998. “The onus is not on us. The crime is colonialism.”
It may be that our president wishes to do as much damage as he can before he leaves.