WASHINGTON -- (AP) -- The U.S. Senate is following their counterparts
House of Representatives, taking up a resolution on Tuesday condemning
President Clinton's offer of clemency to Puerto Rican militants.
The Senate agreed Monday night to take up the issue and will do
The Senate resolution, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Trent
and Sen. Paul Coverdell, R-Ga, says that Clinton made ``deplorable concessions
to terrorists, undermined national security and emboldened domestic and
The House of Representatives approved a similar resolution 311-41
with 93 Democrats abandoning the president to side with Republicans on the
President Clinton ignited a firestorm of criticism when he announced
that he would commute the sentences of 16 Puerto Rican militants if they
renounced violence and met other conditions of parole. Fourteen of them
accepted the offer and 11 were freed on Friday from federal prisons around the
One prisoner must serve five more years before he is released
clemency deal and the remaining two, who were already out of prison, have had
their fines of dlrs 100,000 and dlrs 50,000 eliminated under the clemency deal.
Most of those offered clemency were members of the FALN -- the
for Armed Forces of National Liberation -- which carried out some 130 bomb
attacks on political and military targets in the United States in the late 1970s and
early 1980s. The attacks killed six people and wounded dozens more.
Republicans and some members of the law enforcement community
Clinton of offering clemency to help his wife's all-but-announced Senate candidacy
from New York, home to some 1.3 million Puerto Ricans.
But the issue has turned into more of a headache for the first
lady. Mrs. Clinton
first came out against the clemency offer, angering many of New York's Puerto
Rican leaders. Then last week, she allowed that she may have been too hasty in
coming to her decision and should have consulted more with Latino leaders.
Copyright 1999 Miami Herald