In a fresh insult to victims of terrorism everywhere, outgoing President Barack Obama decided to commute the 70-year sentence of communist terror leader Oscar Lopez Rivera (shown), whose terrorist group unleashed a wave of savage violence that included more than 120 bombings across the United States. The brutal Fidel Castro-backed Marxist-Leninist terror group, known as the “Armed Forces of National Liberation” (FALN), murdered six and injured dozens of Americans amid its campaign to enslave Puerto Rico under communist rule. Critics and victims of terror expressed outrage, with some suggesting the move was a green light by Obama for future communist terrorism against innocent Americans.
But far from being a surprise, the latest radical move is merely a reflection of Obama's radical roots. After all, the virtually unknown extremist who grabbed the presidency with the backing of the establishment got his political career off the ground in the home of Castro-backed communist terrorist William Ayers of the Weather Underground — a close ally of the FALN terrorists. According to FBI operative Larry Grathwohl who infiltrated the outfit, Ayers' Weathermen group was plotting to exterminate 25 million anti-communist Americans in death camps once they overthrew America with help from foreign communist dictatorships. Like Obama and Ayers, Lopez Rivera was also a “community organizer” in Chicago.
Under Obama's scheme, announced on January 17, the FALN terrorist leader Lopez Rivera will officially be a free man on May 17. Whether he will resume his terrorist activities remains to be seen. But it is noteworthy that the convicted terror leader refused a previous offer of freedom conditioned upon his renunciation of violence and terrorism. He has never expressed remorse. And as far as anyone knows, Lopez Rivera still believes in the use of terrorism and in murdering innocent people to bring about totalitarian communist enslavement of the Puerto Rican people. Apparently he has some allies in Congress, including longtime Marxist-Leninist activist Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), who gushed that he was “overjoyed and overwhelmed with emotion.”
Perhaps the most infamous attack by the FALN terror group was a 1975 bombing at Fraunces Tavern in New York that killed four innocent victims and injured more than 50. Before that, the FALN had bombed Exxon, Union Carbide, Federal Reserve Bank buildings, and other targets. Among the many victims was a police officer with the New York Police Department, who was maimed and blinded. By 1977, the communist terrorists were bombing Defense Department personnel, too. In an attack on the Mobil building, FALN terrorists killed another victim, critically injuring many more. Fortunately, the terrorists were also rather incompetent, so despite being busted with massive amounts of explosives, their war of terrorism and enslavement was not as deadly as it might have been.
Lopez Rivera was a key player in it all, helping to lead the terrorist group's operations in Chicago and the surrounding area. He was arrested in 1981, when the FBI found large quantities of dynamite, firearms, explosives material, fake identification, and more in his apartments. The terror leader was charged and convicted in federal court for “seditious conspiracy,” violating the Hobbs Act, illegal possession of weapons, interstate transportation of stolen cars, armed robbery, interstate transportation of firearms, and conspiracy to transport explosives with intent to destroy government property. He was sentenced to more than 50 years in prison by a federal court that same year.
Apologists for communism and terrorism have claimed that there is no “proof” Lopez Rivera directly murdered anyone, which, as critics have pointed out, could also be said of Osama bin Laden or Terry Nichols. But in his indictment, prosecutors listed 28 terrorist bombings across the Chicago region as “overt acts” in support of the conspiracy he was convicted of participating in. At his trial, a FALN witness also described, under oath, how Lopez Rivera had personally trained him in how to produce deadly bombs. Throughout the ordeal, he refused to recognize the legitimacy of the court, and he never expressed regret for the murder and mayhem he and his co-conspirators unleashed.
Adding insult to injury, rather than serving his sentence peacefully, the terror leader and his communist co-conspirators concocted a plot to break him out of federal prison at Leavenworth in Kansas by murdering prison guards. Had the plot not been stopped, it would almost certainly have left prison officials and law-enforcement officers dead. After his associates were busted with bombs and guns plotting the escape, Lopez Rivera had his sentence extended by 15 years, time which he will never serve thanks to an outgoing Obama who seems determined to support terrorism and terrorists of any variety all over the world.
But the FALN terror leader could have been free almost a decade ago. With Obama's future scandal-plagued Attorney General Eric “Fast-and-Furious” Holder operating behind the scenes, then-President Bill Clinton offered in 1999 to commute the sentences of a more than a dozen FALN terrorists, including Lopez Rivera. Eleven were eventually freed. But Lopez Rivera refused the offer because he would have to renounce terror, serve another 10 years, and leave some of his co-conspirators behind. Victims of the FALN's terror campaign were horrified, and the spectacle was so unpopular that even Clinton's wife Hillary Clinton was forced to criticize the move by her husband amid her campaign for the U.S. Senate.
At the time, investigative journalist William F. Jasper with The New American blasted the move by Clinton. “The President’s clemency for FALN thugs opens the door to new acts of violence and exposes the hypocrisy of [Clinton's] supposed tough stance against terrorism,” Jasper wrote. “This White House-sponsored, massive, terrorist jailbreak was a flagrant and visceral broadside against America’s national security.” Numerous law-enforcement personnel who spoke to The New American also expressed outrage at the release of communist terrorists from prison.
Aside from a handful of far-left extremists in entertainment, academia, and government, commentators were aghast at Obama's decision, blasting the “unconscionable” move to free an unrepentant terrorist. Even some establishment voices were taken aback by the move. “The FALN's season of insurrection is long over,” wrote columnist Charles Lane with the far-left Washington Post in a piece that was also run by the pro-Obama Chicago Tribune. “But for the group's victims, as well as for all Americans concerned with the consequences our government applies to terrorists, this last-minute get-out-of-jail-free card for Oscar Lopez Rivera seems anything but well-timed.”
On the other hand, Obama's Castro-backed terrorist friend Bill Ayers, who wanted to exterminate 25 million Americans in death camps with help from Beijing, Havana, and Moscow, was ecstatic when he learned of the news. “Still in the air, dancing in the aisles,” the unrepentant communist terrorist and Obama ally wrote on Facebook after hearing of Lopez Rivera's imminent release. The day before, Ayers tweeted that he was on his way to Havana — headquarters of the mass-murdering Communist Cuban dictatorship, which helped finance and guide his terror attacks in America — but that he would return in time to “rise up” in Washington, D.C., for Donald Trump's inauguration.
The Communist Party USA and its official mouthpiece People's World also celebrated the decision. “Oscar will be freed!” wrote the communist propagandists, absurdly describing the terrorist as a “political prisoner” who was in prison merely for “fighting for his country's independence.” Also celebrating the move was Jacobin magazine, which falsely argued that Lopez Rivera's conviction on “seditious conspiracy” charges was the equivalent of a “thought crime.”
The far-left Spanish-language broadcaster Univision, which targets Hispanics with deception and propaganda, completely whitewashed the terror leader's crimes. In what critics described as “fake news,” the increasingly discredited Univision even suggested the terrorist was jailed merely for pursuing the “independence ideal, assuring that all human beings have the right to want their country to be free and sovereign.” Much of the English-speaking establishment media simply ignored the explosive developments altogether, focusing instead on Obama's decision to free leaker Bradley Manning.
Ironically, despite decades of scheming by Lopez Rivera and the totalitarian forces behind his terror campaign, the people of Puerto Rico themselves do not wish to be independent from the United States — much less to live under a Stalinist regime akin to the barbaric dictatorship enslaving Cuba that also backed the FALN. Today, just a tiny radical fringe in Puerto Rico supports the FALN agenda. But that does not mean the terrorists and the forces behind them are no longer a threat to life, liberty, and property.
With this move freeing Lopez Rivera, Obama has again disrespected victims of terrorism and American law enforcement, while emboldening communists and terrorists everywhere. But unfortunately, the latest scheme from the White House follows a long pattern over the last eight years of this administration. From aiding and abetting Marxist mass-murderers in Cuba and El Salvador to shilling for amnesty and seats in Congress for brutal Marxist terrorists in Colombia and beyond, Obama has been among the biggest enablers of terrorism in U.S. history. It is time for Congress and the next administration to find out what has been going on.
Photo: Oscar Lopez Rivera