"Fifteen years ago this month, on Jan. 20, 2001, his last day in office, Bill Clinton issued a pardon for international fugitive Marc Rich. It would become perhaps the most condemned official act of Clinton’s political career. A New York Times editorial called it “a shocking abuse of presidential power.” The usually Clinton-friendly New Republic noted it “is often mentioned as Exhibit A of Clintonian sliminess.”
Congressman Barney Frank added, “It was a real betrayal by Bill Clinton of all who had been strongly supportive of him to do something this unjustified. It was contemptuous.”
Marc Rich was wanted for a list of charges going back decades. He had traded illegally with America’s enemies including Ayatollah Khomeini’s Iran, where he bought about $200 million worth of oil while revolutionaries allied with Khomeini held 53 American hostages in 1979.
Rich made a large part of his wealth, approximately $2 billion between 1979 and 1994, selling oil to the apartheid regime in South Africa when it faced a UN embargo. He did deals with Khadafy’s Libya, Milosevic’s Yugoslavia, Kim Il Sung’s North Korea, Communist dictatorships in Cuba and the Soviet Union itself. Little surprise that he was on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List.
Facing prosecution by Rudy Giuliani in 1983, Rich fled to Switzerland and lived in exile.' NY Post
IMO Marc Rich was pardoned by Bill Clinton because the Israeli government pressed him repeatedly to do so. Why would they do that? At the time I was in the position of associating with quite a few international oil traders. They laughed when they talked about Rich as an oil trader and assured me that for an individual like Marc Rich to enter the oil futures and spot oil markets was a virtual impossibility. The amount of capital required was simply prohibitive. Their belief was that Rich's traffic in petroleum had to be backed with the money of a sovereign state that wished to trade for profit in this commodity. They insisted that the only state likely to have wanted to do this but inhibited by the state of its external relations was Israel.
If that was the case, then it is only logical that Rich's legal position with regard to his US taxes was badly compromised. Would the Israeli government have wanted him to pay US taxes on profits made with its money? I think not, but Israel would also not want it to be known that it had abandoned its agent. This is common practice in the world of covert action and clandestine intelligence. Such knowledge if spread around the Zionist community would reduce the willingness of others to take risks for Israel. It is for much the same reason that Israel pressed endlessly for Pollard to be released from prison. Were the Israelis sentimentally grateful for the invaluable services rendered by Rich and Pollard? Maybe they were but as a cynical past practitioner of the dark arts of covert action and espionage I doubt that was their principal motivation.
Were there incentives offered to WJC other than the unrelenting political pressure from key members of the Zionist community? Who knows?
And now the FBI has chosen to open at least some of their files on this matter to the public. Can this be other than a warning to their betters in the elected government? Is the sentiment "if you take action to stop our investigations or against us, what else will we release?" pl