January 15th, 2009
12:50 PM ET
14 years ago

Holder: Granting clemency to Puerto Rican FALN members 'reasonable'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/15/art.holder.gi.jpg caption="Holder is testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Attorney General designate Eric Holder said during his confirmation hearing Thursday that President Clinton's 1999 decision to grant clemency to 16 convicted FALN Puerto Rican prisoners who had committed acts of violence "was reasonable."

Holder noted that there were "a lot of people in support of that clemency request," including Nobel Peace Prize laureates Jimmy Carter and Coretta Scott King.

The prisoners were "bad people," said Holder, but clemency was warranted in part because none of their acts resulted in physical harm to anyone.

A number of Republicans - as well as some Democrats - have criticized Holder for his role in the decision to grant clemency to prisoners.

The FALN - or Armed Forces of National Liberation - is a Puerto Rican terrorist group responsible for multiple bombings of U.S. military installations.

Filed under: Eric Holder
soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. Dingolfing

    To all the dimple heads beating their chest on so called "pardons".. Take it up with BILL CLINTON.. HE GRANTED THE PARDONS, NOT ERIC HOLDER...what is wrong with everyone here???? Where is the vitrol and questions of questionable pardons by THE CURRENT PRESIDENT

    If you care so much about pardons, then there should be equal concern who bush is granting pardons to unless of course it is all usual rhetoric with as much outrage as lipstick on a pig stuff..

    spare me the outrage.. there are going to be legitimate issues you can hammer the obama administration on and there will be plenty of them so save your phony vitrol for a rainy day!!!

    January 15, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  2. Ken

    Well it does make sense. Democrats are the terrorists best friends, why wouldn't they want to help them out. What a lying sack of crap this guy is, he will fit right in with the Obama administration.

    January 15, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  3. Mike, Syracuse NY

    You people supporting this need to google FALN and the pardons. The FBI tracked 146 bombings as well as numerous other felonies to FALN. 9 people, including 2 police officers died. Hundreds were injured, dozens permanently disabled. Although none of the deaths were directly traceable to those given clemancy, they refused to renounce violence, a condition of the clemancy. Clinton violated federal guidelines and FBI advice in making the pardons. The pardons were granted even though the prisoners never even asked for them! Those pardoned refused to help solve other unsolved FALN bombings, a usual condition of pardons. Congress condemned the pardons by a bipartisan vote of 95-2 in the Senate and 311-41 in the House. Internal Clinton memos showed that the effect of the pardons on the hispanic vote (Hillary was running for the Senate in a state with 1.4 million hispanic voters) was considered. Holder thinks this is 'reasonable'? So is kicking Holders butt back to wherever he came from.

    January 15, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
1 2 3 4