Consistency Finds a Jewel in Janet Reno
Pruden, Wesley, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
Whatever else she may be, Janet Reno is consistent. She "saves" children wholesale, as she did at Waco, and she "saves" them retail, as she is determined to do with Elian Gonzalez.
It's tough on the children, particularly when she gives an order for the feds to burn their house down. That's just a risk this brave lady is willing to take.
Not even the defenders of the decision to let the bureaucrats of the Justice Department and the Immigration and Naturalization Service - and not the courts - decide what happens to Elian are under any illusion about what will happen to the boy when he returns to Fidel Castro's satrap.
Cuban law decrees that Elian must be taken from his family for long periods of time to be indoctrinated into the harsh communism of the Castro dictatorship, and taken from his family permanently if the state decides that his "communist personality" is not developing satisfactorily. The carefree little boy in tennis shoes and Disney tee shirts, whose life in Miami has been suffused with love, warmth and good times, will disappear into the maw of a brutal and remorseless state.
"He is a possession of the state," Luis Fernandez said last week in a rare outburst of Cuban truth-telling. "Once the transfer takes place, no other entity can remove this." A firestorm of protest compelled Mr. Fernandez to complain that he had been misquoted by this newspaper, that he was speaking of the house where Juan Miguel Gonzalez would be staying, not of his son. He was quoted correctly. (His "explanation" makes no sense, since the house is already an undisputed possession of the state.)
Miss Reno pronounced herself "satisfied" that the father spoke freely in his visit with her. Yet Gregory Craig, the president's impeachment lawyer who hotly pursued the Castro government until he got the business to represent the father in America, now admits what was obvious to everybody, that the Castro government wrote the father's "spontaneous" remarks, bristling with venom for the United States.
Bill Clinton, on the other hand, is easily spooked by Cuba. He remembers, with a certain residual anger, that Cuban refugees rioting at a resettlement camp at Fort Chaffee, Ark., cost him re-election as governor of Arkansas in 1980. Now he wants to "normalize" relations with Fidel Castro as a part of his legacy. Sending Elian to a grim life in Cuba is a small price to pay for his own gratification. …