1st letter photo

Conservative filmmaker and writer Dinesh D'Souza speaks during the final day of the 2014 Republican Leadership Conference on May 31, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Later that year, D'Souza was convicted on campaign finance fraud charges and sentenced to five years’ probation. President Donald Trump pardoned the high-profile Indian American May 31. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Presidential Pardons

President Donald Trump’s latest verbal grenade is symptomatic of his earlier anti-democratic tirades. The Ten Commandments, which he has violated throughout his life, has been replaced by a new, 11th commandment, “look after thy self.”

His recent presidential pardons include Indian American Dinesh D’Souza.

The thoroughly disgraced D’Souza was indicted by a fellow Indian American, Preet Bharara, in 2014 for using “straw donors” to funnel $20,000 to Wendy Long’s 2012 U.S. Senate campaign in New York. D’Souza pleaded guilty and was sentenced to eight months in a halfway house and five years’ probation, along with a $30,000 fine. Following his full pardon, D’Souza fired back a nasty tweet at his tormentor, Preet Bharara.

It is puzzling to understand why D'Souza is so infatuated with America and western 'civilization' in general that he would like to export the American “democratic model” to other nations.

I urge D'Souza to turn the pages of history and reflect on the sordid pattern of U.S. foreign policy decisions which have resulted in so much loss of life to advance 'American interests'.

A few examples: the 1953 CIA coup replacing the popular government of Mossadegh with the demonic Shah of Iran; the repressive 16-year rule of Jafaar Nimeiry of Sudan; the coup in Chile where thousands of civilians disappeared; the contra war in Nicaragua; the secret expansion of the Vietnam war into neighboring Cambodia and Laos; the looting of the Philippines by our 'ally' Ferdinand Marcos.

These crimes against humanity make a mockery of U.S. claims to support democratic regimes. I hope D’Souza has learned an important lesson from his indictment and resists the temptation to seek power and influence and ingratiate himself with Donald Trump and, instead, works for peace, truth and justice.

Jagjit Singh

Los Altos, Calif.

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