The New York Post
September 30th, 1999



                 Some of the 16 FALN prisoners offered
                 clemency by President Clinton have vowed to
                 return to violence once they are freed, according
                 to tapes made by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, it
                 was reported today.

                 At least some of the imprisoned Puerto Ricans
                 nationalists were taped saying that "as soon as
                 they get out of there [prison], they were going to
                 return to violence," the report in Newsweek
                 quotes a law-enforcement official as saying.

                 The still-secret audiotapes are the main reason the
                 prisons bureau, which rarely gets involved in
                 clemency decisions, strongly urged Clinton not to
                 grant clemency to members of the group, it adds.

                 The FALN is blamed for 130 bombings during
                 the '70s and '80s.

                 Mayor Giuliani, who has criticized the clemency
                 offer, said it was now time for the president to
                 admit he was wrong.

                 "Rather than continuing to defend this, it would be
                 in the best interest of the country if the president
                 admitted this serious mistake and immediately
                 rescinded the offer of clemency to these
                 criminals," Giuliani said.

                 White House scandal spokesman Jim Kennedy
                 declined any comment on the alleged tapes, but
                 said Clinton got a "full range of views" before
                 offering to commute the sentences of the FALN

                 Clemency advocates say the 16 members of the
                 FALN - whose Spanish acronym means Armed
                 Forces of National Liberation - in question
                 weren't directly blamed for any deaths or injuries.
                 Critics note that several of the lethal bombings
                 remain unsolved.

                 One of the FALN's victims, former NYPD
                 Detective Anthony Senft, said he was not
                 surprised that members of the group still backed

                 Senft was among the police officers maimed in the
                 FALN's New Year's Eve 1983 bombing of police
                 headquarters, along with Rocco Pascarella and
                 Salvatore Pastorella.

                 Senft, partially blinded by the attack, said
                 yesterday he "always believed they would
                 reorganize and start killing again" if freed.

                 "Terrorists are terrorists regardless of color,
                 ethnicity or religion. How can the president let
                 them out to hurt more innocent adults and

                 "What more do you need? Do you want us to
                 make the bombs for them?" Senft asked

                 Senft said he hopes to address Congress this
                 week to question the president's decision - and
                 demand an investigation into the process that led
                 to the move.

                 Kennedy said the members offered clemency -
                 including Dylcia Pagan, wife of chief FALN
                 bomber William Morales - "had all made
                 statements disavowing their past actions."

                 The 16 haven't publicly renounced violence yet,
                 though the White House says it expects to hear
                 "quite soon" from their lawyers.

                 All phone calls by federal prisoners are monitored
                 except when they talk to their lawyers. All
                 prisoners are warned of the tapings during
                 orientation and notices are posted on all prison
                 phones, prison officials say.

                 Normally privacy laws bar release of the prison
                 tapes but they can be subpoenaed and released
                 by Congress.

                 Sen. Paul Coverdell (R-Ga.), who chairs a
                 terrorism subcommittee, will "likely" hold hearings,
                 to determine precisely what information Clinton
                 had when he decided to offer clemency -
                 apparently over the objections of
                 law-enforcement officials.

                 But some Puerto Rican officials say Clinton didn't
                 go far enough - they say the FALN members are
                 political prisoners and should have been offered
                 clemency without the requirement of renouncing

                 Asked about the Newsweek report, Hillary
                 spokesman Howard Wolfson said, "Her position
                 has been throughout that the prisoners should not
                 be released until they explicitly renounce