Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Holder: Disqualified!

Andrew C. McCarthy has written an interesting piece entitled, "Opposed to Holder without Apology." It discusses, of course, the nomination of Eric Holder to the position of U.S. Attorney General and should be read in its entirety here. Here are just a very few juicy highlights:

... President-Elect Obama, who promised voters counterterrorism seriousness but has now given us an AG nominee who promoted a corrupt pardon process that sprung mass-murderers from prison … that is, when he wasn’t otherwise busy securing a pass for a notorious fugitive fraudster and orchestrating a SWAT team’s gunpoint-seizure of a six-year-old child for transport to a communist tyranny.

... Let’s be blunt here: The Marc Rich pardon was one of the most disgraceful chapters in the history of the Justice Department. Not the modern history, the entire history. Rich was accused of mega-crimes: millions in fraud, tax-evasion, and trading with the America’s enemies. In 2000, he was a fugitive. He had been one for nearly two decades, during which the government had expended immense resources in a futile attempt to apprehend him. Mind you, flitting from country to country to avoid prosecution, as Rich was doing, is itself a felony. When Eric Holder aided and abetted Rich’s pardon effort, he was not only grossly violating the Justice Department policy it was his job to uphold; he was dealing with the agents of someone who was actively committing a serious federal crime. That’s why, when prosecutors deal with a fugitive’s representatives, the appropriate question is: “When is he going to turn himself in?” It’s not, as Holder essentially asked, “What can I do to help?”

... Moreover, Holder extended his helping hand with the crassest of motives: the careerist was hoping the influential Quinn would look favorably on Holder’s quest to become attorney general in a Gore administration.

... No Republican who’d entangled himself even slightly in such an incident could ever again seek a position requiring Senate confirmation. Democrat Eric Holder was in this one up to his eyeballs.

... As execrable as the Rich pardon was, it wasn’t even the worst thing that happened that day.Having already exhausted the country with his excesses, President Clinton’s swan song was one of his worst: a mind-blowing series of pardons. It included not only the Rich escapade but pardons of two Weather Underground terrorists

... To be sure, Clinton administration deliberations over the Rosenberg commutation were not as secretive as those involving Rich. While Quinn and Holder worked completely in stealth, Rosenberg’s lawyers tried a two-pronged approach: a short public relations campaign (timed for the end of Clinton’s term to make it difficult to coordinate an effective response) combined with exploitation of the Clinton White House’s bizarre pardon vetting operation — the very one that Holder, the deputy attorney general, had encouraged in order to cut the Justice Department, and particularly the Southern District, out of Clinton’s deliberations.

... The Constitution vests the power to pardon, like the power to enforce the federal law, entirely in the chief executive. The president, however, does not prosecute cases — and neither, for that matter, does Main Justice, the DOJ headquarters in Washington which Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Holder ran from 1997 through Clinton’s farewell pardon-party on January 19-20, 2001.

... Clinton could pardon whoever he wanted to pardon, for any reason, no matter how corrupt or arbitrary. He was not required to follow the pardon process. But he should have. It was Eric Holder’s job to try to get him to follow it, and, at the very least, to make certain that Clinton knew the important facts of the pardon cases and how damaging it would be to a country besieged by al-Qaeda to be giving convicted terrorists get-out-of-jail-free cards. Instead, Holder helped Clinton end-run the process. It takes courage to stand up to a president who is doing something wrong. Holder exhibited cowardice.

... More importantly, Holder, as the nation’s second-ranking law-enforcement official, fostered not only the rogue operation but the climate which made terrorist pardons possible.

... That brings us back to the preceding year, 1999. That was when Clinton, with Holder’s support, pardoned (in this instance, again, commuted the sentences of) 16 terrorists from the FALN. The pardons violated the most basic Justice Department guidelines. This savage Puerto Rican separatist group had carried out over 130 bombings against American targets, murdering six people and wounding numerous others.

... FALN terrorists were not simply devoid of regret, they had not even sought clemency — the rudimentary demonstration of contrition that DOJ regulations require before clemency may even be considered. Yet, DAG Holder processed an application on their behalf anyway, and the victims of their atrocities — such as Joseph Connor, whose father was eating lunch in Fraunces Tavern when he was killed by an FALN explosive — were ignored.

... But Holder’s support gave Clinton the illusion of Justice Department support he needed, and the commutations were granted. And when pressed by Congress to explain himself, Holder stonewalled, claiming executive privilege (you know, the maneuver today’s Democrats want Karl Rove in handcuffs over). Memo to the high horse crowd (Sen. Pat Leahy, Chuck Schumer, Russ Feingold, et al.) who’ve lectured us for three years about the evils of politicizing the Justice Department: The FALN pardons were nakedly political. As former Clinton adviser Dick Morris has observed, they were transparently done to help Hillary Clinton, then campaigning to become a U.S. senator, with New York’s heavy Puerto Rican vote. There is no other explanation for them that passes the laugh-test.

... I’ll be hoping the Senate asks him some long overdue questions. And I’ll be wondering why, with abundant legal talent at his beck and call, President-Elect Obama couldn’t do better.


Anonymous said...

Sorry, but as much as I loathed the pardon of Marc Rich, I can support nothing written by Andy McCarthy.

McCarthy has devolved into such a blind, hate-filled, right-wing extremist that, were I the American Bar Association, I would seek a thorough psychological examination for McCarthy or otherwise revoke his license to practice law.

Andy McCarthy has simply become a pox on the practice of law and the exchange of reasoned, intelligent ideas.

P.S. Ruckman, Jr. said...

Editor-Never met the man myself, personally, or even seen him. I guess there is a certain luxury to being able to read something and simply judge the value of what you read, regardless of who said it. But you certainly slandered him in an entertaining way and have made quite a contribution to "reasoned, intelligent ideas!"

Anonymous said...

Mr. Ruckman,

I understand your point. Please credit my above statement and general feelings to the fact that I once respected Mr. McCarthy's legal efforts and integrity.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, however, I have slowly watched Mr. McCarthy's work erode into mindless rage, repetitious slurs, and a bitterness so blatant and vitriolic that I am truly saddened and, quite frankly, seriously worried about the man.

Like so many, Mr. McCarthy allowed the horrors of 9/11 to rule his decisions and to do so at the expense of a vital respect for the law and for reason. Unfortunately, Mr. McCarthy seems either unable or unwilling to recapture the logic and professionalism that he forfeited more than seven years ago.

I truly admired Mr. McCarthy's work for the U.S. Justice Department in the wake of the first bombing of the World Trade Center. He toiled tirelessly and with the highest standards to bring the perpetrators in that case to justice.

But to read Mr. McCarthy then and to read him now, I respectfully submit, is a study in the works of two different men, the first a fine professional who understood that search for justice includes the use of logic and the respect for rigid standards and the second an almost mindlessly maniacal extremist who spews forth the types of guttural hatred and misplaced rage that led to the horrific results of 9/11.

I do not know what happened to Mr. McCarthy. I wonder only where he has gone and whether he will ever return.

Thank you for your time.

P.S. Ruckman, Jr. said...

Editor-Well, again, I understand that you are able to call the man irrational and emotionally unstable. Maybe you could toss me a less libelous clue here and there, perhaps explain how these characterizations are relevant to the piece that he has written here.

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