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A Willie Horton Moment?

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James Taranto has this column at WSJ, quoting a two-year-old Rolling Stone piece on Republican warnings that swapping terrorists for the deserter would be "Obama's Willie Horton moment."

Taranto also provides a reminder on the reality of the Willie Horton episode:

Willie Horton has become a sort of urban legend on the left, which seems to remember him vaguely as a victim of some sort of discrimination. In fact he is an actual man, now 62 years old and incarcerated in Maryland. He had previously served time in Massachusetts for the brutal 1974 murder of gas-station attendant Joseph Fournier. But in 1986 he was released on weekend furlough. He deserted and turned up the following year in Maryland, where he broke into a home, tied up and pistol-whipped the man of the house, and raped his fiancée.

In 1976, Gov. Dukakis had vetoed a bill to exclude first-degree murderers from the furlough program. But for that decision, Horton would have been unable to commit his subsequent crimes. Before Dukakis ever faced George H.W. Bush, Al Gore sought to hold him responsible for his furlough policy, which had been the subject of a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation by the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune.
Horton was a genuine example of a stupid soft-on-crime decision resulting in the violent victimization of innocent people.  The use of this episode by political opponents was completely justified.  It is entirely appropriate that voters understand the real consequences of these decisions to real people.

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Worse than a Willie Horton moment.

This administration has not released just one man who had no control over others; it has released five top terrorists that once controlled major terrorist actions and will go right back to their previous employment.

In return, this administration received a terrorist supporting military deserter who was the direct cause of death for six men of his military unit.

Hopefully the military does the right thing and brings up the charges of desertion during war time and sends this dirtbag to Ft. Leavenworth!!!

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