Perhaps Senator Joe Lieberman wasn't totally clued in to the crowd he was hanging with, but on July 20th, he agreed to carry to President Bush a "pardon request" for a convicted terrorist that the FBI prosecuted and sent to prison for terror activities aimed against Cuba.
Watch this video (the key part I'm interested in is at about 3 min 30 sec):
What he said was:
It's my responsibility, it's my responsibility. I will carry it [the pardon request] back. I will carry it back. Yeah. I feel...I think of you like you were my family.... I'll bring it back. I'll do my best.
One of the characteristics of real states is that they maintain "a monopoly on the use of force." This is one of our key problems with the Palestinian authority which has been unable to control the variant wings of violent factions within its territories.
But the anti-Castro, violent militias that have set up and trained in Florida over the years for a hoped for invasion of Cuba violate America's responsibilities to maintain control over the violent activities of groups based inside the United States. In fact, the U.S. Southern Command has simulated many war games that posit Fidel Castro's death triggering a Cuba-directed invasion flotilla of many hundreds of small craft filled with anti-Castro violent agitants.
Lieberman may not care that the FBI prosecuted and jailed the terrorist in question, but the US military that he so often speaks in reverential terms about has its own concerns about the brand of radical extremists Joe Lieberman may want to see pardoned.
I don't want to take this criticism of Senator Lieberman too far and want to offer him a chance to recant and take it back. He can't possibly have been endorsing the release of an FBI convicted felon engaged in terrorism!
Or does Joe Lieberman's book allow for this sort of thing?
I still don't believe Lieberman knew what was going on here. I sat next to Lieberman recently at a State Department awards ceremony for Max Kampelman -- who actually is a great American in many ways and deserved his medal -- but I can't imagine for a second that Kampelman would have endorsed the gesture that Lieberman offered in the video.
Here's hoping that Senator Lieberman walks this back.
-- Steve Clemons publishes the popular political blog, The Washington Note