Those big brains in the State and Treasury departments had Louis Farrakhan right where they wanted him. True to form, they let him off the hook.
These geniuses should have let Libyan leader Col. Muammar el Kadafi give that $1 billion to Farrakhan. It would have been fascinating to see what the Nation of Islam leader would have done with it. The bottom line is he would have had to produce. The job of redeeming America's inner cities -- improving the schools, upgrading the housing, starting businesses to employ the jobless -- would have been Farrakhan's.
That is a job Americans have already decided they don't want their tax dollars used for and which businesses have been reluctant to do. Why not give it to somebody who wants it? Or at least says he does? If he succeeds, then problems that desperately need solutions will be solved. If he fails, he's discredited forever as a black leader. It would have been clearly a win-win situation for white America.
In addition, Farrakhan's acceptance of the money would have left him with the nagging question of whether any of it was involved in the slave trade, what with the State Department's claim that it has evidence southern Sudanese have been sold into slavery in Libya.
We even could have struck a deal with Kadafi: When you give Farrakhan the money, throw in the two suspects in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. But President Clinton killed all possibility of that with his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention by proclaiming that "as long as Libya refuses to give up the people who blew up Pan Am 103, they will pay a price from the United States."
The last I heard, the two people Libya refuses to hand over were suspects, to be tried. How do they get a fair trial when the president of the United States says before a television audience of millions that the pair is already guilty? Listening to Clinton, you'd think that not only is America not doing a presumption of innocence thing anymore, we're not even doing the fair-trial thing.
So, jackasses to the bitter end, officials of our government refuse to let Farrakhan take the $1 billion. Yeah, they sure showed him. They showed him that they don't even recognize an opportunity that would benefit the entire country when it's presented to them on a silver platter.
Remember back in 1971, when inmates at New York's Attica prison rioted? One of their demands -- remember, this was the age of leftist hubris -- was to be taken to a "nonimperialist" country. State and federal officials dug in their heels. They refused, showing the country they would never knuckle under to radical scum and convicts. Instead, they sent in state troopers who tried to shoot everything in sight, even prison guards taken as hostages. Yep, good, clear thinking, guys.
If I'm in charge, I take these characters up on their offer. The country would be rid of them for good. We wouldn't have to worry about that messy and bureaucratic business of parole or that nasty thing called recidivism. In fact, I'd have thrown in every convict in every state of the union. I'd have cleared all the prisons. The suckers would have gone whether they wanted to or not.
"Guess what?" I'd have told the entire lot. "You guys just decided you want to live in a nonimperialist country."
Fidel Castro, eminently smarter than most American leaders, did just that to us in the 1980 Mariel boat lift from Cuba. When disgruntled Cubans demonstrated and said they wanted to seek political asylum and freedom in the United States, Castro let them go. He threw in with them every reprobate and miscreant in Cuban prisons. I imagine he discussed this with his advisers before the boat lift, and the conversation went something like this:
Fidel: "We have people here who neither realize nor appreciate living in this socialist paradise. They commit crimes. They're intractable and incorrigible. What do we do with such people?"
Advisers: "Well, boss, why not send them somewhere else?"
Fidel: "An excellent suggestion, comrades. But what country would be stupid enough to accept such people without question?"
Fidel and the advisers exchange glances and then break into smiles.
Fidel and advisers: "Estados Unidos!"
If Farrakhan lives in Cuba, Castro lets him take the dough and then puts a 90 percent tax on it. But he lives in the United States, under a government too daffy to realize that $1 billion Farrakhan is using is $1 billion Kadafi can't use.
Gregory P. Kane's column appears Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Pub Date: 9/04/96