Obama won’t tell Holder to back off on his CIA witch hunt

May 6, 2011

Remember, these are the same people who got the initial leads to the courier who eventually lead us to bin Laden. And yet, as reported in this interview with Debra Burlingame, Obama has said that he will not tell Attorney General Eric Holder to end his investigation persecution of these CIA operatives — nor will he even talk to Holder about it:

Utterly disgraceful. “Thanks for leading us to bin Laden, guys. Here’s your reward: possible prosecution. Better start paying some lawyers a retainer. Hope you have enough savings.”

Granted, the position of the Attorney General is unique in the Cabinet: a president should never attempt to interfere in an ongoing case or use the Justice Department to go after foes or favor cronies. That’s the dread “politicization.’ President Bush’s last AG, Michael Mukasey, was very strict about that.

But these are investigations that should never have been undertaken in the first place. The interrogators in question had already been cleared of wrongdoing by career attorneys in the Justice Department. There was no reason to reopen the case, but Holder did anyway — and don’t tell me it wasn’t with Obama’s approval.

This case already stinks to Heaven-on-high of politicization meant to appease Obama’s anti-war, anti-CIA, and anti-American base. Dropping it would be doing no less than justice, something that’s been missing at the Department of Justice for nearly three years, now.

And think about the national security implications: After 9-11, we were desperate to get a lead on the people who had attacked us. DoJ lawyers at the time drew up guidelines for how prisoners could be interrogated, including the circumstances under which waterboarding was appropriate. The interrogators —who were trying to keep any more of us from being killed— acted in good faith under those guidelines. And they succeeded. To tell them that they are still vulnerable to criminal liability is to tell any future CIA (or other US official) that they, too, might be investigated and prosecuted at some future date, regardless of what they were told at the time. Just how effectively do you think they’ll do their job with that hanging over their heads?

These men and women should be given thanks, not the back of the hand.

ADDENDUM: No, I don’t think waterboarding is torture. Neither does Marc Thiessen, who wrote a great book on how Obama is courting disaster. But, even if it is torture, Charles Krauthammer writes that there are times when it is the lesser evil. And, to be honest, I’m still glad they did it. And yes, I’ve changed my thinking about whether waterboarding is torture. So there.

LINKS: Linda Chavez thinks the interrogators should be rewarded, not punished. Power Line is puzzled. Europe can’t resist its post-modern dementia and is starting to talk about “war crimes” in the assassination of bin Laden. And the UN, God love’em, wants details on the raid to make sure it was all legal. You can guess my opinion of the UN and its request.

EDIT: Updated to fix an errant link, 2/3/2013

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

Can we impeach Eric Holder now?

February 10, 2011

I’ve called before for the impeachment of Attorney General Holder; there’s plenty of evidence to justify hearings before a House committee, and I’ll bet my last dollar the facts they would uncover would make impeachment unavoidable. Eric Holder is a corrupt Attorney General who places ideology ahead of the impartial enforcement of the law. Today brings another example, this time from indefatigable election attorney J. Christian Adams, of Eric Holder’s guiding theory of justice — “It depends:”

Eric Holder’s Justice Department has even politicized compliance with the Freedom of Information Act. According to documents I have obtained, FOIA requests from liberals or politically connected civil rights groups are often given same day turn-around by the DOJ. But requests from conservatives or Republicans face long delays, if they are fulfilled at all.

The documents show a pattern of politicized compliance within the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division. In particular, I have obtained FOIA logs that demonstrate as of August 2010, the most transparent administration in history is anything but. The logs provide the index number of the information request, the date of the request, the requestor, and the date of compliance.

For example, Republican election attorney Chris Ashby of LeClair Ryan made a request for the records of five submissions made under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Ashby waited nearly eight months for a response. Afterwards, Susan Somach of the “Georgia Coalition for the Peoples’ Agenda,” a group headed by Rev. Joseph Lowery, made requests for 23 of the same type of records. While Ashby waited many months for five records, Somach waited only 20 days for 23 records.

Under the Obama DOJ, FOIA requests from conservative media never obtained any response from the Civil Rights Division, while National Public Radio obtained a response in five days.

Adams goes on to recount instance after instance in which individuals and organizations friendly to the Obama administration had their FOIA requests promptly filled, while conservatives and Republicans have had to wait long past the legal deadlines — if they get any response at all. (Pajamas Media, for whom Adams writes, has filed their own lawsuit to force the DoJ to comply with their FOIA request.) To answer the obvious counter-charge that “they all do it, so it’s no big deal,” Adams recounts how the Bush administration in its waning days rushed to fill a request from a hostile journalist, knowing he would use the information to savagely attack them. In other words, the Bush administration complied with the law without regard to the cost to itself.

The pattern is far too clear to be a coincidence: the Department of Justice under Attorney General Eric Holder willingly violates the Freedom of Information Act when the requester is a conservative or a Republican — it breaks the law.

While slow-boating FOIA requests probably won’t elicit the outrage that racially-discriminatory enforcement of the Voting Rights Act does (Or should. Hello, MSM??), I submit that it is another piece of evidence that the enforcement of our laws under Eric Holder is ideologically driven, highly politicized, and ethically corrupt. When added to Holder’s obvious left-wing dogmatism and stunning incompetence regarding civilian trials for captured al Qaeda terrorists, there can be only one conclusion: Eric Holder has got to go. Since we can’t expect his boss to give him the axe*, our only recourse is impeachment.

Gentlemen of the House Judiciary Committee, you may start your hearings.

*Eek! Violent rhetoric!

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

Department of Injustice: “Don’t enforce the Voting Rights Act.”

July 9, 2010

I linked to this in an update to the previous post, but this really deserves a post of its own: In November, 2009, the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice was told not to enforce the law regarding the integrity of voter rolls:

A lesser-known provision also obliged the states to ensure that no ineligible voters were on the rolls — including dead people, felons, and people who had moved. Our current Department of Justice is anxious to encourage the obligations to get everyone registered, but explicitly unwilling to enforce federal law requiring states to remove the dead or ineligible from the rolls.

In November 2009, the entire Voting Section was invited to a meeting with Deputy Assistant Attorney General Julie Fernandes, a political employee serving at the pleasure of the attorney general. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss Motor Voter enforcement decisions.

The room was packed with dozens of Voting Section employees when she made her announcement regarding the provisions related to voter list integrity:

  • “We have no interest in enforcing this provision of the law. It has nothing to do with increasing turnout, and we are just not going to do it.”

Jaws dropped around the room.

Yeah, I bet they did. What’s next, mandatory registration at all cemeteries?

No Cabinet officer has been impeached since Secretary of War William Belknap under President Grant. It will never happen under a Democratic Congress, but Eric Holder is a shining example of someone who deserves to be the next.

Why bother to have an election at all?

October 20, 2009

This news stopped me in my tracks. The Justice Department voided a change to local election laws in Kinston, North Carolina, that changed elections there from partisan to non-partisan races. The reason? Black voters will be able to elect candidates of their choice only if they know which ones are Democrats:

Justice concludes black voters need Democratic Party

KINSTON, N.C. | Voters in this small city decided overwhelmingly last year to do away with the party affiliation of candidates in local elections, but the Obama administration recently overruled the electorate and decided that equal rights for black voters cannot be achieved without the Democratic Party.

The Justice Department’s ruling, which affects races for City Council and mayor, went so far as to say partisan elections are needed so that black voters can elect their “candidates of choice” – identified by the department as those who are Democrats and almost exclusively black.

The department ruled that white voters in Kinston will vote for blacks only if they are Democrats and that therefore the city cannot get rid of party affiliations for local elections because that would violate black voters’ right to elect the candidates they want.

Several federal and local politicians would like the city to challenge the decision in court. They say voter apathy is the largest barrier to black voters’ election of candidates they prefer and that the Justice Department has gone too far in trying to influence election results here.

You’re darned right they have. I can’t count all the layers of “wrong” in this diktat. Here are a few, as pointed out in the article:

  • The town is majority Black. The problem isn’t African-Americans being denied their franchise, but low Black turnout for local elections. The reporter even interviewed Black town officials who opposed this decision.
  • The town is already solidly Democratic. People interviewed for the article couldn’t recall the last time anyone aligned with Republicans had won an election.
  • The decision insults Black voters in the town, by assuming that only Black candidates could authentically represent Black townsfolk and that those candidates could only be Democratic, and that the voters can’t decide their own interests for themselves.
  • The decision insults the White minority in the town by assuming they’re a) racists who wouldn’t vote for a Black candidate (just how did those Black officials get elected then, when African-American voter turnout is usually low?) and b) so partisan that they’d overlook their racism because the Black candidate is a Democrat.
  • The decision shoots dead the principle of local control over local politics, denying the people their sovereign right to decide their affairs for themselves. Remember, the law the DoJ invalidated was passed by the voters overwhelmingly last November, when Kinston Blacks turned out in large numbers to vote for Obama.  In fact, it was a rare moment when more Blacks than Whites voted there. Is Justice under Attorney General Eric Holder saying Kinston Blacks are so stupid that they would disenfranchise themselves?

When the Voting Rights Act became law in 1965, there was a good reason for it. The old Confederacy (and many parts of the rest of the nation) was dismantling the Jim Crow system of apartheid laws, and Whites in the state and local power structure were trying to rig things to keep themselves on top, often by preventing Blacks from voting at all by hook or crook. Federal intervention was necessary to assure African-American citizens their rights under the Constitution.

But, 54 years later, more than two generations have passed and Blacks are well integrated into the political system; while there may be a need for an occasional intervention, that surely isn’t the case here where, again, the town’s Black majority approved the new law. In fact, I can’t see any reason for it whatsoever, and the decision makes no sense. Given the solid Democratic lock on town offices, it isn’t as if Democrats needed to rig an election to win. There’s no benefit for them in it.

Unlike, say, in Chicago….

Whatever the reason, this is another moment in the Holder Justice Department’s troubling history regarding voting rights. Coincidentally, the Obama appointee who made this ruling also ordered the dropping of voter intimidation charges against New Black Panther Party members in Philadelphia, in a case arising from the 2008 election.

So, question: Is the Justice Department under Barack Obama and Eric Holder just inept, arrogant, and clueless about local realities, or are these parts of an effort to assure there’s a D after the name of every winner?

(via Big Government)

TRIVIA: Speaking of North Carolina, did you know the city of Wilmington is the only place in the United States to experience a coup d’etat? The legally elected government, comprising Black and White Republicans, was overthrown by armed White Democrats.

LINKS: Ed Morrissey writes about the further politicization of the Justice Department. Former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy calls the DoJ’s Civil Rights Division “cowardice central.” Background on the politicization of the division from Hans von Spakovsky.