Subject: What's the big deal
about Mark Rich?
I keep reading about how Bill Clinton's pardon
of Mark Rich will come back to haunt proposed
Attorney General Eric Holder, who didn't block
the pardon (he didn't strongly support it, either).
But what's the big deal about Mark Rich?
I looked into what he was pardoned for, and it was
only civil offenses, not criminal. What
I found out was:
1. He is accused of tax evasion, for not
paying taxes on income earned by his company
whose headquarters were
overseas (like Haliburton).
2. There's reasonable question about his
owing the taxes, since he probably was not a U.S. citizen at the time.
3. His attorney, Scooter Libby (Cheney's
bitch), claims Rich did not violate tax laws.
4. He made his big bundle of money during
the oil boycott, where he supplied the US with oil that it otherwise
couldn't have gotten,
at prices below what we were paying directly to the oil producers.
He did, however,
sell the oil at double
the amount he paid for it.
5. He had a "special relationship" with
Ayatollah Khomeini, enabling him to keep in touch with Iran during the
6. He is accused of trading with Iran during
the hostage crisis. While he seems to agree that he did so, remember
his company was not
a US company and may not, therefore, have been subject to the US law about
trading with the enemy.
7. Note that his company was not the only
one to continue trading with Iran at that time -- I believe Haliburton
did some work with them,
too, and it is clear that the Reagan team had some dealings with Iran during
the hostage crisis.
8. And what's so bad about dealing with
the enemy? Remember Prescott Bush and the Nazis?
9. No one in the US was able to find something
that they could indict Rich for (criminally).
10. Support for his pardon came from such
luminaries as the king of Spain and the prime minister of Israel
(not to mention leading
So it seems that Mark Rich did less to harm the
US than, say, Dick Cheney had done by that time, or Prescott Bush,
and certainly much less than the group that GHWBush
pardoned. I ask again, so what's the big deal?
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