This Thanksgiving, Americans can give thanks for the termination of one of the most pro-criminal administrations in American history, though the damage done to the criminal justice system may far outlast outgoing President Barack Obama’s tenure in office.
To date, President Obama has now freed more than a thousand prisoners as part of his crusade against a criminal justice system he considers to be racist.
With fewer than 60 days remaining in his second and final term of office, the most felon-friendly president in American history just “reduced the sentences of 79 people in prison for non-violent drug crimes,” bringing his total to 1,023 commutations of prison sentences, Quartz reports.
“Unlike pardons, commutations don’t officially constitute forgiveness of a crime. They reduce a prisoner’s sentence but don’t necessarily let them go free immediately. The details of the most recent 79 commutations weren’t immediately clear.”
The 1,023 figure does not include the 6,112 allegedly non-violent drug offenders freed a year ago under retroactively applied federal sentencing guidelines.
The president’s pardon power is unreviewable in any court in the land and cannot be modified by Congress. When it comes to federal offenses, the president is free to pardon or commute the sentence of anybody for anything anywhere in America.
To Obama the fact that African-Americans are the most incarcerated group in the U.S. is proof not that they commit a lot of crimes but that they are innocent victims of racist, systemic discrimination in a country where race relations haven’t improved much since Jim Crow.
“One of the things that I’ve consistently said as president is that I’m the president of all people,” Obama said during last year’s prison break. “I am very proud that my presidency can help to galvanize and mobilize America on behalf of issues of racial disparity and racial injustice.”
Most conservatives don’t buy into Obama’s race-related nonsense.
And Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), now President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for the post of attorney general, warned last year that “when we release large numbers of criminals early, we know that a substantial number of those individuals will commit murders, rapes, assaults, robberies, and other violent crimes that would have been prevented had they remained in prison.”
While federal offenders give thanks today on this national holiday for having a criminal-loving president in the Oval Office, left-wing criminal justice critics are complaining Obama has been moving far too slowly.
“Clemency is the one administrative action President Obama can take that will not be overturned by an incoming Trump administration,” according to Jessica Jackson Sloan, director of Cut 50, a project of admitted communist Van Jones’s Dream Corps Unlimited group.
“We are grateful to the President for the 79 clemencies that were granted today – a handful of families were granted hope as the holidays approach. But there is much, much more the President can and must do.”
But Obama has in fact been doing much, much more.
The president has been attempting to fundamentally redefine and mainstream criminal behavior by fast-tracking criminals’ federal employment applications, weakening criminal law penalties, and trafficking in get-out-of-jail-free cards for thousands of imprisoned federal drug offenders.
Obama has been releasing prisoners because he believes it’s not fair to keep them locked up for their crimes. He has been defending lawless so-called sanctuary cities, and banning the metaphorical (and sometimes literal) criminal record box on federal job applications. Banning the box amounts to a kind of executive clemency that initially nullifies criminal convictions of ex-cons seeking federal employment and effectively penalizes law-abiding citizens for their good behavior, making them the equals of criminals. In other words, the policy treats criminals the same as non-criminals, and most reasonable people would say that’s not fair.
This is the first and only president to go on a tour of prisons. He has been freeing dangerous terrorists from Guantanamo Bay at a frightening clip. He rewarded illegal aliens for breaking the law and he embraced violent, anti-American Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter movements.
Obama has been defining deviancy down by attempting to de-stigmatize criminality. The Left views criminals – especially minorities – as victims of society, oppressed for mere nonconformism. Because it needs their votes, the Left presses for the restoration of felons’ voting rights.
With the 79 new commutations, Obama pretended he was acting out of a desire for fairness.
“The power to grant pardons and commutations … embodies the basic belief in our democracy that people deserve a second chance after having made a mistake in their lives that led to a conviction under our laws.”
But the belief “that people deserve a second chance” isn’t what motivated Obama to act, according to the White House website. It’s so-called social justice, pure and simple.
A Nov. 22 post on the website brags the president “granted 70 pardons” and “has commuted the sentences of more individuals in one year than in any other single year in our nation’s history.”
“The President has now commuted the sentences of 1,023 men and women incarcerated under outdated and unduly harsh sentencing laws, including 342 individuals who were serving life sentences,” the site states.
According to Department of Justice statistics, Obama has indeed granted more commutations than all other presidents since the Second World War combined.
George W. Bush issued 11 commutations. Before that Bill Clinton granted 61, preceded by George H.W. Bush (3), Ronald Reagan (13), Jimmy Carter (29), Gerald Ford (22), Richard Nixon (60), Lyndon Johnson (226), John F. Kennedy (100), Dwight D. Eisenhower (47), and Harry Truman (118).
All these recent commutations are needed, according to the White House, because the system is bad – and so is America.
Our nation faces a cycle of poverty, criminality, and incarceration that traps too many Americans and weakens too many communities. Since taking office, President Obama has fought for a smarter and more equitable criminal justice system. He has been committed to using all the tools at his disposal to remedy the unfairness at the heart of the system—including the presidential power to grant clemency.
Obama recognizes that “clemency alone cannot fix decades of overly punitive sentencing policies, or make our criminal justice system more fair and more just on the whole.”
And more presidential pardons are coming before Obama quits the White House at 12 Noon on Jan. 20.
Omar Abdel-Rahman would be a logical enough choice for President Obama to pardon on the way out. Obama has, after all, shown a willingness to release the worst of the worst among Muslim terrorists. He freed five Islamist generals in exchange for deserter and Taliban collaborator U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
Releasing the 78-year-old Blind Sheikh, whose list of U.S. targets overlapped with the targets Obama pal Bill Ayers and the Weather Underground Organization bombed or plotted to bomb in the 1970s, would delight the president’s Islamist allies.
The Arabic language newspaper al-Arabiya previously reported previously that the Obama administration offered to send Abdel-Rahman to Egypt as part a prisoner swap. Abdel-Rahman was convicted of “seditious conspiracy” in 1995 in connection with the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.
And President-elect Trump’s less-than-definitive statement that his incoming administration will not go after Clinton for her years of corruption in office and brazen criminal wrongdoing cannot be a comfort to Clinton.
Clinton is no dummy. She knows if she doesn’t secure a pardon for her many crimes in the next few weeks while her party controls the White House she’ll never get one.
Obama isn’t slow on the uptake either. He doesn’t want investigators doing a deep dive into the email scandal because he is implicated in it.
The Office of the Pardon Attorney in the Department of Justice, which advises the president, is going to be swamped with work in coming weeks.