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September 26, 2014

Good Riddance Mr. Holder

Joe Charlebois

The Attorney General of the United States has resigned. The most politicized era of the Department of Justice may continue, but it won’t be with Eric Holder at the helm. The attorney general announced that he will serve for a few more months until his successor is confirmed by the U. S. Senate.


It is no coincidence that Mr. Holder has decided to resign since a federal judge has required that the Justice Department hand over documents pertaining to the Fast and Furious scandal. Operation Fast and Furious was an illegitimate dump of weapons into the hands on Mexican drug cartels through legal gun dealers in the United States.


The intent of this politically motivated gun running scheme was to allow these specific weapons to get into the hands of the cartels so that when a crime was committed they would be able to trace the guns back to dealers in the United States. The operation failed miserably; it did not do what it set out to do as few of the weapons were ever traced and hundreds of Mexicans, and U.S. Border Agent Brian Terry, lost their lives at the other end of these guns.


If President Barack Obama’s administration was under attack by those looking to uncover the truth, it was Attorney General Holder who snuffed out the investigation. Mr. Holder had not only kept scandals such as Fast and Furious under wraps until now; but, like a good consiglieri, he used his power to intimidate and threaten those seeking to uncover this and other administration misdeeds.


Not only did the attorney general authorized surveillance of members of the Associated Press, he also had the Department of Justice go before a judge requesting wiretap authorization of Fox News’ James Rosen because he was a “co-conspirator to a North Korean spy network.”


Mr. Holder has always stood on the side of those who look to attack America or America’s constitutional obligations of equal justice under the law by tilting the scales of justice in what he deemed fair and just.  For example, when a clear cut case of voter intimidation in 2008 by the New Black Panther Party in Philadelphia was decided by a default judgment it was the Obama Administration and Mr. Holder who stepped in and dropped the charges against them. When states sought to implement laws that would prevent voter fraud, the Justice Department under Attorney General Holder brought suits against them under the reasoning that the use of voter identification is somehow discriminatory.


When terrorists were to be tried under the purview of military tribunals, it was Mr. Holder and his office which demanded that these enemy combatants be tried in civilian courts as ordinary criminals. It was also the Department of Justice under Mr. Holder that has refused to treat the shootings at Fort Hood by Nidal Hassan as a terrorist attack calling it “workplace violence.”


The end of Mr. Holder’s time as attorney general is a welcome one. With all that will be uncovered by the dedicated Freedom of Information Act requests by groups like Landmark Legal Foundation, I am certain that there is much more to come.


That being said unless the Republicans fight hard for a more honest man to head the Department of Justice, nothing will change during the last two years of President Obama’s second term.


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