Jim Kouri
Attorney General Holder and his non-transparency
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By Jim Kouri
May 28, 2010

"In 1999, Eric Holder helped arrange Bill Clinton pardons for 16 unrepentant members of FALN who had been convicted of "a variety of charges that included conspiracy, sedition, violation of the Hobbes Act (extortion by force, violence or fear), armed robbery and illegal possession of weapons and explosives — including large quantities of C-4 plastic explosive, dynamite and huge caches of ammunition."

More and more Americans are discovering that the Obama Administration's definition of transparency is more Clintonian and semantic than it is honest and encouraging.

The latest embarrassment for the Obama White House is the discovery that Attorney General Eric Holder has been less than forthcoming about his activities prior to being appointed U.S. Attorney General.

Recently, the U.S. Department of Justice celebrated the one-year anniversary of Attorney General Eric Holder's 2009 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) guidelines.

Issued one year ago, Holder's guidelines were supposed to aid President Barack Obama's "new era of open government" by establishing a "criteria governing the presumption of disclosure" and creating "effective systems for responding to requests."

Unfortunately, after only the first year under these heralded guidelines, legal watchdog group Judicial Watch reported on March 17 that its officials have experienced little improvement in U.S. government transparency or accountability.

In fact, a recent analysis finds that government secrecy has actually increased under Obama. Indeed, the first year of the Obama administration is ripe with examples of absent accountability and selective transparency. From the secrecy surrounding Obama's czars, to the backroom deals in the health care legislation, there is little cause for celebration over Obama's "new era of open government."

During the celebration held in the Great Hall at the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building, the hour-long festivities featured several self-congratulatory speeches by FOIA representatives from the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

Attorney General Holder made some short remarks touting the Justice Department's work in creating a new era of transparency. According to Mr. Holder, President Obama has "delivered" on his pledge "to restore the sacred bond of trust that should exist between our nation's government and its citizens."

Justice Department officials have admitted that when members of the U.S. Senate — including Judiciary Committee members — were considering the nomination of Eric Holder as President Obama's attorney general last year, he failed to disclose all of the legal briefs he had written or signed from his time in private practice especially those briefs that are pertinent to his current positions and views during the so-called war on terrorism.

"Holder has now decided to be open and transparent with the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding his lapse remembering to turn over copies of his legal filings, including Amicus briefs on behalf of detained terrorists and enemy combatants," said Mike Baker, political strategist and private practice attorney.

"Holder also used the oldest trick in the book: he made his official statement on a Friday afternoon during a busy news cycle," Baker said.

"As part of Holder's confirmation process, a list of legal briefs to the committee was turned over to senate staffers," he said. And the list turned over to the Senate Judiciary Committee did not include filings in about seven cases.

The issue of Holder's past legal papers came up after some Republicans asked why lawyers who had previously done legal work for terror detainees now had jobs in the Justice Department, something President Barack Obama successfully avoided discussing, and something conveniently overlooked by a Justice Department now saturated with Holder colleagues whose work records show they defended terrorism suspects and 'Gitmo' detainees.

Attorney General Eric Holder didn't tell the Senate Judiciary Committee about at least six Supreme Court Amicus briefs he prepared or supported, his office acknowledged in a letter Friday, including two urging the Court to reject the Bush administration's attempt to try Jose Padilla as an enemy combatant.

"It has come to our attention that some but not all briefs submitted to the Supreme Court by or on behalf of Attorney General Holder as counselor Amicus were supplied to the Committee in the course of his confirmation process last year. We regret the omission," Assistant Attorney General Ronald Welch wrote to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy. Sen. Leahy, who has his own problems with honesty dating back to the days of the cold war, has not indicated his committee will take any action against Justice Department executives and attorneys.

For example, Attorney General Eric Holder didn't tell the Senate Judiciary Committee about at least six Supreme Court amicus briefs he prepared or supported, his office acknowledged in a letter Friday, including two urging the Court to reject the Bush administration's attempt to try Jose Padilla as an enemy combatant.

While Holder and Obama can count on the support and loyalty of the majority of Senators and congressmen, some conservative lawmakers are not ignoring the AG's suspected duplicitous behavior

"I am deeply concerned by Attorney General Holder's failure to disclose to the Judiciary Committee his third-party brief in support of Jose Padilla's Supreme Court case," said Sen. Jeff Sessions, the committee's top Republican. " Not only was the Attorney General required to provide the brief as part of his confirmation but the opinions expressed in it go to the heart of his responsibilities in matters of national security. This is an extremely serious matter and the attorney general will have to address it."

Attorney General Holder's decision to prosecute murderous, fanatical terrorists — including the 9-11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed — in civilian courts continues to infuriate many Americans, but to no avail.

Does Holder's stubborn prosecution of Guantanamo imprisoned terrorists in New York City — a mere few blocks from 9-11's Ground Zero — speak volumes about his ignorance of the true nature of the threat of terrorism? Or is there a hidden agenda at work within his Justice Department?

"From the start, Holder seemed more interested in pursuing American patriots who oppose abortion, big government program and gun control, than in capturing illegal alien gangs, terrorists and Marxist radicals who are open about their willingness to destroy the United States," said political strategist Mike Baker.

According to Baker, the Attorney General and the President of the United States view conservatives and Libertarians as the real enemy instead of the radicals who seek the destruction of America and its Constitution.

"In all my 60 years living in this once great nation, I've never seen so many Marxists, Maoists, socialists and anti-American activists working in the White House, Congress and the judicial system. These are people who view the U.S. Constitution as a hindrance and a document that prevents the change they seek. These are people who firmly believe in globalism and a One World Government," warns Baker,

While President Barack Obama claims that he sees American intelligence, homeland security and law enforcement systems working together seamlessly, he's claimed he wants the professionals in these areas to collect, share, integrate, analyze and act on intelligence "as quickly and effectively as possible to save innocent lives, not just most of the time, but all of the time," he said. "That's what the American people deserve. As president, that's exactly what I will demand."

But not everyone believes the president is serious about intelligence gathering and analysis during a time of war.. Some security experts believe that it wasn't the intelligence people who failed in the prelude to the Christmas Day attempted airline bombing, but a clear lack of leadership.

"You have a Homeland Security Secretary who believes returning war veterans are extremists and an Attorney General who's biting at the bit to prosecute intelligence agents," said former NYPD detective and US Marine intelligence officer Mike Snopes.

"And when they get caught with their pants down, right away they blame the people — the intelligence community — whom they denigrate with their usual vitriol," he added.

In addition, absent from Obama's press briefing was any mention of why he allowed the so-called "Underpants Bomber," terrorist Abdulmutallab, to be "processed" in the criminal justice system instead of having to face military justice.

"The moment he was given Miranda [warnings], the guy lawyered-up. Which means investigators will have to negotiate with him and possibly trade intelligence for a lighter prison sentence or other break," said political strategist Mike Baker.

What most Americans do not know is that Eric Holder may have personal reasons for wanting to prosecute foreign terrorists — some of whom were captured on the battlefield in foreign countries — in the U.S. federal court system. When asked about his motives for not allowing the military justice system to try Gitmo detainees, Holder and his supporters blame President George W. Bush's failure to try Gitmo terrorists in the so-called military tribunals.

However, the real reason there were so few military trials was that lawyers were continuously working to derail the military courts martial by challenging them in the civilian courts. And far too many of those lawyers are now working for Holder at the Justice Department.

In fact, during the Bush Administration, Holder's law firm, Covington & Burling, provided pro-bono services for about 20 of the enemy combatants held at Gitmo. In lawsuits Holder and his firm brought against the American people, Covington contributed more than 3,000 hours of free, top-flight legal assistance to these violent terrorists.

"From a political standpoint, Holder reserves his vitriol and passionate opposition for US intelligence officers and those law enforcement leaders who fight terrorists, or police commanders who are tough on criminal aliens," said Mike Baker.

Yet, Obama and Holder appear to enjoy immunity from any investigative journalism by the elite media, including questions regarding Holder's ties to defending enemies of the United States in the past.

"My read of Holder and his boss Obama is that they are perfectly comfortable befriending and defending terrorists. Obama's close friend — and ghostwriter — William Ayers was a bomb-maker for the fanatical Weather Underground. And Holder possesses a history of beneficence to terror organizations such as when he brokered a deal for releasing FALN bombers in New York just as Hillary Clinton began her campaign for that state's US Senate seat," claims former NYPD detective and US Marine Sidney Frances.

© Jim Kouri

 

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Jim Kouri

Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police... (more)

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