Naturally the State Department, led by Hillary Clinton, would proclaim the War on Terror over. To Hillary and Attorney General Eric Holder, the War on Terror was obviously over when politics demanded: two years before the attacks of 9/11/01, when they unleashed sworn, unrepentant terrorists on the American public.
In an attempt to gain support from New York’s Hispanic community for Hillary’s run for Senator Moynihan’s vacant senate seat, then-Deputy AG Holder engineered the Clintons’ August 1999 politically craven pardons of 16 unrepentant members of the Puerto Rican terrorist group, FALN. Incredibly, two terrorists were so committed to their cause that they refused the clemency offer.
- the FBI and other agencies recommended against clemency,
- the terrorists never requested clemency,
- the terrorists were provided 30 days to decide to accept the offers,
- the terrorists were not obligated to provide information for unsolved crimes as a condition of release,
- terror advocates were granted at least 9 meetings with DoJ staff including then Deputy AG Eric Holder
- victims and families of victims were ignored.
FALN remains the most prolific terrorist organization ever to wage war against the American people, proudly claiming responsibility for over 130 bombings and incendiary attacks in the U.S. and Puerto Rico between 1974 and 1983, killing six and wounding scores.
Among these vicious, cold-blooded attacks was the January 24, 1975, lunchtime bombing of New York City’s historic Fraunces Tavern. Four innocent men were murdered that day, including my 33-year-old father, Frank Connor. Our father had been very excited to get home from work that night to celebrate my brother’s and my recent 11th and 9th birthdays with his young family. Instead, after my father’s funeral, mourners shared a dinner in our home that was meant for our birthday celebration.
Members of the FALN threatened Judge Thomas McMillen’s life during their Chicago trial. Carmen Valentine told the judge, “You are lucky that we cannot take you right now,” and called the judge a terrorist. Dylcia Pagan warned the courtroom: “All of you, I would advise you to watch your backs.” And Ida Rodriguez told the judge, “You say we have no remorse. You’re right. … Your jails and your long sentences will not frighten us.” These terrorists convinced McMillen that they would continue being terrorists “as long as you live. If there was a death penalty, I’d impose the penalty on you without hesitation.”
Indeed, after 18 years in prison, FALN member Ricardo Jimenez explained to Tim Russert on Meet the Press, just days after his September 10, 1999 release, that people died at Fraunces Tavern because “measures were not taken that were necessary by the people who owned those establishments.” As I watched this surreal interview I thought, “My father was eating lunch in a crowded restaurant in New York City. What precautions should the owners have taken?”
In 2011, I led a group of family members and a Fraunces survivor to FALN leader Oscar Lopez’s parole hearing in the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana. Lopez was one of the two who turned down the Clinton release in 1999 and remained as unrepentant, if not more pathetic, in 2011 as he was as a young revolutionary (and self proclaimed community organizer from Chicago) in the 1970s.
These are the people the Departments of State and Justice unleashed on the American people!
So to the Obama Administration, the War on Terror is over because it suits their current political needs, as it did the Clintons and Holder in 1999.
As I said in testifying at Eric Holder’s AG senate confirmation hearing in 2009, he and the Clintons played Russian Roulette with the American people by releasing sworn terrorists into the population. Unfortunately, I was proven prophetic by Holder's next game of Russian Roulette, Operation Fast & Furious, which resulted in hundreds dead, including heroic Border Agent Brian Terry.
We warned during the 1999 Congressional investigation into the pardons that the release of unrepentant terrorists would only embolden terrorists to strike us again. Never did we think it would happen to our family again.
Incredibly, almost two years to the day from their release, the savage attacks of 9/11 occured. My father’s god son and nephew, my closest cousin, Steve Schlag, was one of 3,000 innocent souls murdered as I and so many others watched helplessly from our downtown offices only blocks from the World Trade Center and Fraunces Tavern.
For Holder, the Clintons, and now Obama, terrorism is a tool to be used for political gain; families, victims, and the citizenry be damned.