Dear Editor: 

Replying to Dave Hanson's retort about presidential pardons (“Another aspect of presidential pardons”), I don't entirely disagree with what Hanson said regarding two people he mentioned who were pardoned by Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.   

Marc Rich now deceased, was a scumbag, along with the terrorist Oscar Rivera, and, if anything the pardon system is flawed and too many criminals who don't deserve pardons get them, like Paul Manafort, Duncan Hunter and Chris Collins, the former congressmen, and the mercenaries who killed 17 innocent civilians in Iraq in 2007.  

The pardon system, with many bad actors getting out when they are undeserving, reflects how corrupt our political system is, and how supporters of both parties benefit by doling out favors to former presidents.

But with so much dark money in politics today, and how neither party seems bothered by the obscene amounts of money it takes to run for the senate or presidency, I doubt we will see any reforms of the pardon system. It would be interesting to follow up on past pardons to learn what some of these former criminals did or are doing once out of prison. 

As far as Chelsea Manning goes, she paid a big price being tortured in prison while in solitary confinement and the classified documents she released while in the military amounted to nothing. Manning had to return to prison for awhile because she refused to testify against Julian Assange, who revealed war crimes committed by the U.S. in Iraq. 

Assange, not a U.S citizen, embarrassed the military establishment and the Democratic neo-liberals so they are committed to having him either die in prison in the U.K, or be extradited to the U.S.  Both Republican and Democratic war hawks would be happy if Assange died, as they want us to believe that we never torture or commit war crimes.  

Finally, whether Hunter Biden is going to cause problems later for his dad remains to be seen, and if he is guilty of a crime let him be tried and a jury decide his fate. Meanwhile, I will advocate for more international cooperation in fighting the virus pandemic, climate change and transparency and accountability in all levels of government.

Grant Wiegert