Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Cohen's Defense of Holder

Andrew Cohen expects "no great suspense" with respect to the nomination of Eric Holder to be U.S. Attorney General of the United States. In a less than stellar sounding endorsement, Cohen says Holder:
... will be confirmed easily because he is a smart, capable and honest man who is significantly more qualified for the top job at the Justice Department than were his three immediate predecessors (John Ashcroft, Alberto Gonzales and Michael Mukasey).
Of course, in addition to being more "qualified," Democrats control the Senate and have the votes to confirm anyone, regardless of their perceived relative qualifications. But Cohen says Republicans do not have "any legitimate ammunition to throw." Yes, Holder has made some "controversial choices" but has never shown a "pattern of misconduct or even, necessarily, poor judgment." Did you catch that? "Necessarily?"

Speaking of poor judgment, here is Cohen's sophisticated analysis of Holder's stumbling, bumbling and inexcusable participation in the Marc Rich pardon:
Marc Rich? Please. It’s 2009. The Twin Towers are gone. And Bernie Madoff (and the guys at Lehman Bros and Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae) make Marc Rich look like a dime-store candy thief.
PardonPower had no idea Madoff and the other "guys" were pardoned! Nor were we informed that they funded Iraq in its effort to kill American troops. But, hey, it is 2009! FALN terrorist bombings, murders and robberies? Hey, it is 2009. Pardons for Weather Underground members? Hey, it is 2009. This "defense" certainly goes far!

Cohen says "the sole mystery" regarding Holder's nomination is whether or not he will be able to avoid scrutiny of his record and judgement and, instead, lecture America on what he see as "the major legal questions of our time" (justice for fugitives and terrorists evidently not being in that category). And he (Cohen) invites Holder to direct the focus away from his own dubious decision making and, instead, get on a "soapbox" and "transform" the hearing into a "clarion call for the incoming administration." That is to say, Cohen would like to see the Holder nomination to become still yet another Bush mud-slinging exercise. There is little doubt that that would be one way to protect the nominee from deserved scrutiny. Although it is not clear to us how critics of the administration's "enhanced interrogation program" would respond to the defense:
Hey, it is 2009." See Andrew Cohen's work here.


Libertarian Jay said...

its 2009?!?!? what a ridiculous statement. so are we going to pardon OJ now because he was wasnt stealing $40 billion? due to not other viable options, i support the nomination of Holder, but that statement was crazy.

David said...

To say, "funded Iraq in its effort to kill American troops" seems a stretch. I think our government was supporting Iraq (over Iran) at the time, and I believe Rich was buying oil from both. If you buy a Hummer today are you 'funding an effort to kill Iraqi civilians'?

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

EDITOR:In July of 2005, Business Week magazine claimed that it had uncovered documents which suggested Marc Rich bought oil from Iraq just one month after he was pardoned and that he was associated with similar transactions by three additional companies that year. This raised the distinct possibility that Rich had substantially contributed to a program of illegal surcharges used by Saddam Hussein to buy weapons, some of which were used by so-called “insurgents” after his fall. In this manner, Rich was perhaps continuing his “remarkable” string of “contributions” to the world. See comments in his pardon application.

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