WASHINGTON (JTA) — Pardoning Marc Rich was « a mistake, » President-elect Barack Obama said.
President Bill Clinton pardoned the financier on the eve of Clinton’s departure from office in 2001. Rich had moved to Switzerland in the early 1980s, fleeing racketeering and tax evasion charges. He sought the pardon because he wanted to return to the United States.
Making his case were his ex-wife, Denise Rich, a major contributor to Clinton’s presidential library; and a number of top Israeli and U.S. Jewish officials who cited Rich’s charitable contributions to a number of Israeli causes, including promoting peace.
Eric Holder, then the deputy attorney general and now Obama’s nominee for attorney general, shepherded the pardon through the Justice Department, although the decision was Clinton’s. Holder’s role has led to some criticism of Obama’s choice.
« Everybody who looks at his record says the guy was an outstanding attorney, an outstanding prosecutor, an outstanding judge, an outstanding No. 2 at the Justice Department, » Obama said of Holder in an interview in Wednesday’s Chicago Tribune, his first with a newspaper since his election. « And Eric has acknowledged the Rich pardon was a mistake on his part, not having caught that earlier. I agree with him. I think it was a mistake. But when you look at the totality of his experience, there’s no doubt he’s going to be an outstanding attorney general. »
The notoriety of the pardon kept Rich from returning to the United States.
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Comme son ex époux Marc Rich, Denise Rich est une collectrice de fonds pour les Démocrates.
Quel est le pire crime de « Scooter » Libby? Plame? l’Invasion de l’Irak? Marc Rich?
L’avocat de Marc Rich était nul autre que Lewis « Scooter » Libby (Leibowitz), un néoconservateur influent qui fut directeur du bureau du VP Cheney à l’aube de la guerre en Irak. Libby a été inculpé pour son rôle dans l’affaire d’espionnage au sein du lobby israélo-américain à l’AIPAC. Son nom a aussi été cité dans la liste des responsables de la fausse alerte à l’Anthrax et dans la promotion des « mauvais renseignements » relatifs aux ADM irakiennes. Paul Wolfowitz, cerveau néoconservateur et concepteur de la guerre en Irak, a même été son professeur d’université.
(Verint is the Israeli firm doing video surveillance in the Montreal metro subway sysytem. See sidebar of this site for Mtl911truth’s doc film on this subject)
Thick as Thieves: The Private (and very profitable) World of Corporate Spying
..But there is a darker side to Verint. As investigative journalist Christopher Ketcham revealed on the muckraking website CounterPunch, U.S. intelligence agencies are wary of Israeli penetration and interception of U.S. military systems and advanced computing applications through a backdoor, called a “trojan,” secretly built into enterprise architecture…
Kobi Alexander would’ve certainly known the drill, exploiting family connections for advantage over competitors with movers and shakers in Washington. As they say, the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree. Kobi’s father Zvi was a fabulously wealthy oil baron who wound up running Israel’s state oil company. Bamford recounts how Zvi won drilling franchises: he’d bribe African cabinet ministers, “often in partnership with the U.S. tax cheat Marc Rich, who became a fugitive and was given sanctuary in Israel.”
That is, until Rich was handed a pardon during the waning days of the Clinton administration. In the aftermath of Clinton’s “gifting” the tax scofflaw with a “get-out-of-jail-free” card, Rich’s close confidant, attorney and convicted felon, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, denied that Rich had conspired to hide illegal profits or violate U.S. laws.
Yet despite a documentary record of shady dealings that spanned continents–and decades–a “neutral, leaning towards favorable” opinion on Rich’s petition for pardon was signed-off by none other than former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder, Barack Obama’s apparent pick for U.S. Attorney General.
Like Kobi Alexander and his pals at Comverse, Rich too, had a dirty little secret as CNN reported back in 2001: “Marc Rich did help the Israeli security services in some way.” CNN doesn’t specify how Rich curried favor with Mossad, only that he did. Which just goes to show its a small world–of one hand washing the other.
(Memo to Obama supporters: you can forget about future Justice Department investigations of Bush cronies and war criminals. Why? Shortly before entering private practice at the tony law firm Covington & Burling, Holder was Bush’s Acting Attorney General until John Ashcroft’s nomination was confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Out of government, Holder made a killing defending Chiquita Brands International against charges that the firm paid the far-right Colombian, narcotrafficking AUC death squad millions in “protection money” to murder labor activists. But I digress.)…
For complete article by Tom Burghardt :
About Tom Burghardt: is a researcher and activist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to publishing in Covert Action Quarterly and Global Research, an independent research and media group of writers, scholars, journalists and activists based in Montreal, his articles can be read on Dissident Voice, The Intelligence Daily and Pacific Free Press. He is the editor of Police State America: U.S. Military “Civil Disturbance” Planning, distributed by AK Press. Read other articles by Tom, or visit Tom’s website.