Jim Kouri
Obama's Cole appointment creates Beltway firestorm
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By Jim Kouri
January 1, 2011

In a Legal Times column by written by James Cole he refers to the 9/11 attacks as "criminal acts of terrorism against a civilian population." Cole went on to state that the United States has faced "many forms of devastating crime," from the drug trade to organized crime to rape and child abuse, adding that "the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 were horrible, but so are these other things."

President Barack Obama is expected to appoint controversial lawyer James Cole as Attorney General Eric Holder's top deputy at the U.S. Justice Department. This latest recess appointment has created a firestorm since Senate Republican objected to Cole's appointment and had successfully put the brakes on his installation as the Number Two man at the Justice Department

Cole, 58, who has been a partner at the law firm Bryan Cave LLP since 1995, the White House said in a statement on Wednesday.

The number two slot has remained vacant since February 2010 when deputy attorney general, David Ogden, resigned. While the Senate Judiciary Committee, led by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), approved Cole's appointment in July, GOP members strongly criticized his attitude towards terrorists and terrorism cases.

New York's Republican Congressman Pete King reacted with obvious anger when he said, "[James] Cole is unfit for this job. This is the worst Obama appointment yet."

Cole served as a lawyer for the Saudi royals who helped finance the 9-11 terrorist attacks and raked in millions of dollars to "monitor" a collapsed insurance company that got a massive government bailout, according to a Washington, DC watchdog group.

"James Cole believes that the Middle Eastern terrorists, who attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, are simply domestic criminals who commit crimes such as rape and murder," said Tom Fitton, President of Judicial Watch in June when Cole was first nominated.

"This should concern Americans since, as a ranking official at the Justice Department, Cole would play a lead role in decision-making involving terrorism arrests and prosecutions," said Fitton.

Known as a top criminal defense attorney in Washington D.C. specializing in white-collar crime, Cole is a longtime friend of Attorney General Eric Holder, who served as deputy of the Justice Department's Public Integrity Division under Bill Clinton. It was Holder who brokered the deal to release terrorists who bombed office buildings and killed cops in New York City in the 1970s. The deal was made to garner votes for Clinton's wife who was running for New York's U.S. Senate seat.

Cole has a shady history that contradicts the president's assertion that "the American people will be well served by his integrity and commitment to the law," according to Judicial Watch.

Cole represented Saudi Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud when insurance carriers and September 11 survivors sued him and others for financing terrorists. Treasury Department documents provided evidence of extensive financial support for Al-Qaeda and other extremist groups by members of the Saudi royal family and Prince Naif ran the Al Haramain Foundation, a Saudi charity that diverted funds to Al-Qaeda before and after September 11, 2001.

In an opinion piece published by a legal journal, Cole likened the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon to the domestic crimes of murder, rape and child abuse, while arguing that the attackers ought to be treated like domestic criminals. The piece, which was included in material turned into the Senate Judiciary Committee that considered his nomination, had more to do with protecting the rights of the accused than shielding the country from terrorism, according to Judicial Watch.

Cole also made a killing when his friends — including Eric Holder — at the Justice Department hired him to work as an "independent monitor" reviewing the activities of insurance giant AIG. He got $20 million for his effort, even though the company collapsed and got a monstrous $182.3 billion government bailout. Some of the money will be paid back but the bailout is estimated to cost U.S. taxpayers a good $45 billion.

Officials at Judicial Watch state that If he gets confirmed Cole will manage the Justice Department's 100,000 employees and serve as its top official when the attorney general is unable to do so. He will also be one of the agency's most important public figures, on Capitol Hill and events nationwide.

Essentially, he will run the agency charged with enforcing the law and ensuring public safety against foreign and domestic threats.

© 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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