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Politics and Pardons Follow the Money

March 18, 2001

* Re "Clemency Inquiry Is Expanded to All 177 of Clinton's Last-Minute Cases," March 13: It's business at the same old stand. First it was Whitewater. Fruitless and costing millions. Then it was impeachment. Fruitless and costing millions. Interspersed were countless congressional investigations, overwhelmingly fruitless and costing millions. Now, in his first significant act as attorney general, John Ashcroft opens the door for the investigation of 177 Clinton pardons.

The Republicans know how to pick the public purse in their preoccupation with perceived perfidy but in the process have forgotten how to govern.

MITCHELL TENDLER

San Diego

* Until the Republicans can adequately explain George Bush Sr.'s pardons--which include Armand Hammer (who followed with a $200,000 contribution to the Republican Party) and Casper Weinberger and the other Iran-Contra club members--I do not want to hear one word about any of Bill Clinton's pardons. No, I don't agree with all of them, but I simply don't want to hear complaints about them when they are no different from the pardons Bush Sr. handed out.

Moreover, I'd like to know why Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis Libby, a former Marc Rich attorney of more than 10 years, called Rich in Switzerland two days after the pardon came through to congratulate him. Finally, I just don't trust G.W. Bush. Like many other Americans, I believe that Cheney is running the government and Bush is a quasi-figurehead. In fact, even with all of Clinton's warts, he was a great president to many Americans.

MARLENA LEVITAS

Cypress

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