The New York Post
August 31, 1999

                  By DICK MORRIS

                 IN his rush to do favors for his wife's Senate run,
                 President Clinton has given Hillary a time bomb
                 which could well destroy her candidacy. His
                 decision to offer a conditional clemency to 16
                 convicted terrorists from the FALN, a Puerto
                 Rican nationalist group, will backfire massively.

                 Bowing to the pleas of a host of liberal New York
                 City politicians, Clinton offered clemency to
                 terrorists affiliated with a group that has taken
                 "credit" for at least 100 bombings of political and
                 military facilities in the United States. Then it came
                 out that the two U.S. attorneys in the jurisdictions
                 where the terrorists were convicted opposed the
                 clemency, as did the Justice Department officials
                 who reviewed it.

                 This hands Guiliani a gold-plated issue to use
                 against Hillary. It summons memories of how
                 George Bush used Mike Dukakis' furlough of a
                 murderer (who proceeded to strike again) to win
                 the 1988 election. These FALN terrorists will
                 become the Willie Hortons of the 2000 Senate

                 Her problem is clear: Does she back the clemency
                 or oppose it? If she breaks with her husband and
                 opposes it, she'll earn the wrath of New York's
                 minority political establishment. Reps. Jose E.
                 Serrano, Charles B. Rangel, Nydia M. Velazquez
                 and Eliot L. Engel all had urged clemency. They
                 won't take kindly to being contradicted.

                 But heaven help her if she supports the clemency.
                 Here's the ad Rudy can run:

                 My name is Diana Berger. In 1975, I lost my
                 husband - and my son, Adrian, lost his father -
                 when terrorists from the FALN blew up a
                 restaurant in Manhattan where he was eating
                 lunch, minding his own business. Now, President
                 Clinton has offered clemency to 16 FALN
                 terrorists who are now in prison for helping to
                 carry out the group's bombings. Hillary is
                 supporting clemency. Mayor Guiliani and the U.S.
                 attorneys who prosecuted the cases are against it.

                 So am I. So is Adrian. His father would agree. If
                 only he were still here.

                 The next ad might feature former bomb-squad
                 detective Richard Pastorella, who was blinded by
                 an FALN bomb. He might ask the Clintons to
                 restore his sight as they free the terrorists who
                 helped take it. If these ads ever run, that's it for

                 As first lady, Hillary can hide in the White House
                 and be sure nobody ever pops the question: Do
                 you support clemency? But as a Senate
                 candidate, to quote Joe Louis, "She can run, but
                 she can't hide." Sometime on one of her listening
                 tours, a voter or reporter will be very interested in
                 hearing how she feels about it.

                 Liberals like to suggest that those offered
                 clemency were convicted of relatively trivial
                 crimes, but sources at the Justice Department tell
                 another story. One of those Clinton would release
                 is Juan Segarra Palmer, convicted in connection
                 with the $7 million Wells Fargo armored car
                 robbery, one of the largest in history. "One of the
                 masterminds" of the robbery, according to
                 sources close to the case, Palmer has also refused
                 to assist in locating Victor Gerena and Filiberto
                 Ojeda Rios, two key terrorists still at large.

                 Likely, the president offered to grant clemency -
                 for only the fifth time since taking office - to help
                 Hillary. He doesn't go out of his way to let
                 offenders go: His other clemencies were for a
                 bankruptcy and pot smoking. He thought he was
                 handing Hillary a wonderful chance to appeal to
                 New York's large Puerto Rican voting bloc.

                 This isn't the first time pardons have gotten Clinton
                 in hot water. As lame-duck governor of
                 Arkansas, after losing his re-election fight in 1980,
                 he granted dozens of pardons to people serving
                 time in Arkansas prisons. One man - a convicted
                 murderer in his 80s who was suffering from
                 cancer - promptly went out and killed somebody

                 Clinton was so worried that the pardon could
                 backfire that he ran an ad apologizing for the
                 pardons and promising never again to pardon a
                 killer. That mea culpa advertisement ran alongside
                 the ad apologizing for his having raised car-license
                 fees, but never got much attention.

                 So now another clemency is haunting another
                 Clinton. Usually, the president can be counted on
                 never to make the same mistake twice. But, likely
                 after hectoring from Hillary, he granted the

                 Liberals defending the clemency will find it
                 especially embarrassing that none of the terrorists
                 has yet accepted the president's offer. Apparently
                 he imposed an outrageous condition: that they
                 renounce acts of violence and stop associating
                 with their FALN buddies. That they are uncertain
                 about accepting this condition eloquently attests to
                 how little they deserve the clemency in the first

                 It gets worse. After reviewing tapes of the phone
                 conversations and letters from the jailed terrorists,
                 officials with the federal Bureau of Prisons that
                 even if they pledged to refrain from violence, they
                 might still kill somebody.

                 Bill has just handed Rudy an issue that can kill
                 Hillary's candidacy. With Guiliani's record as a
                 prosecutor and his tough-on-crime positions, he is
                 ideally suited to take full advantage of the blunder.
                 Just watch.