Wednesday, November 19, 2008

NR on Holder

This piece at National Review discusses the subject of Eric Holder's return to the Department of Justice as Attorney General. Among other things, NR notes:

In any other time, Holder would simply be an uninspired choice. But these are not ordinary times — we face a serious, persistent threat from Islamist terrorists. At the same time, Democrats have expressed outrage over both the alleged politicization of the Justice Department and the reckless disregard of its storied traditions. For these times, it is difficult to imagine a worse choice for AG than Eric Holder.

Much has been made, and appropriately so, of Holder’s untoward performance in the final corrupt act of the Clinton administration: the pardons issued in the departing president’s final hours ...

Holder’s role was aptly described as “unconscionable” by a congressional committee. He steered [Marc] Rich’s allies to retain the influential former White House counsel Jack Quinn (Holder later conceded he hoped Quinn would help him become attorney general in a Gore administration); he helped Quinn directly lobby Clinton, doing an end-run around the standard pardon process (including DOJ’s pardon attorney); and he kept the deliberations hidden from the district U.S. attorney and investigative agencies prosecuting Rich so they couldn’t learn about the pardon application and register their objections.

There’s more. In 1999, over the objections of the FBI, the Bureau of Prisons, and prosecuting attorneys, Holder supported Clinton’s commutation of the sentences of 16 FALN conspirators. These pardons — of terrorists who even Holder has conceded had not expressed any remorse — were issued in the months after al-Qaeda’s 1998 U.S. embassy bombings, when the Clinton administration was pretending to be the scourge of terrorism. The commutations were nakedly political, obviously designed by Clinton to assist his wife’s impending Senate campaign by appealing to New York’s substantial Puerto Rican vote.

Equally noxious were the stealthy pardons of Susan Rosenberg and Linda EvansWeather Underground terrorists associated with Obama’s friends Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn — issued on the same day as the Rich pardon. Rosenberg and Evans had been serving decades-long sentences for bombings targeting American government facilities. With Holder again helping to circumvent the pardon process and to evade objections from prosecutors, the terrorists’ jail terms were commuted just weeks after the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole.

... To be blunt, Holder is a terrible selection. If there’s any Obama cabinet nomination that Republicans feel moved to oppose, this should be it.

See complete National Review piece on Holder here.

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