Monday, January 20, 2014

Politico: On Holder (Kinda), Rich and Snowden (?)

At Politico.com, Josh Gerstein makes a somewhat (OK, very) odd comparison between Bill Clinton's pardon of fugitive wealthy guy Marc Rich and a potential pardon for Edward Snowden ... the common ground being that then Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder played a critical / controversial role in the Rich pardon and now U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder could possibly play a role in a Snowden pardon. Gerstein notes additional "parallels"  - in both cases there are "calls for some form of presidential clemency" and the "the possibility of cutting a plea deal."

To which we say: Ugh!

But Gerstein also writes that Holder "was the most seriously burned by the Rich affair" - a description which, oddly, leaves room for the uninformed to guess that Holder was somehow a victim of circumstances, an innocent by-stander, who, unexpectedly, got caught up in some big mess, after merely gave a “neutral leaning towards favorable” recommendation on a Rich pardon. Gerstain adds that Holder himself describes the Rich pardon as "one of the most searing political experiences of his life — one that he thought for a time had effectively ended his government career." It was a situation which he would - if he could - reconsider!

And why on earth NOT ?!?!?!?!

Gerstein is, of course, not the first to approach Holder's disastrous course of action in the Rich case in such an odd way (see this pitiful effort by the L.A. Times, back in 2008). The rest of Gerstein's piece provides a detailed discussion of the Rich case (not the pardon) and various individuals' views about whether or not it is proper to negotiate with fugitives. Strikingly absent - given the intro - is information on Eric Holder's role in the Rich pardon! We fear it may be time to re-educate re Eric Holder and refer readers to the following links:

1/15/09 Holder Learned from His Mistakes
11/26/08 Holder Disqualified
11.20/08 Holder and the Rich Pardon
11/19/08 NR: On Holder
7/7/08 Campaign 08: Eric Holder Obama's Choice for A.G.?
6/4/08 Campaign 08: Obama and Marc Rich?

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