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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Eric Holder Is Feeling the Heat He Deserves From Republicans On Capitol Hill

Eric Holder

Attorney General Eric Holder is under increasing fire from Congressional Republicans for a variety of alleged lapses.

As a progressive blogger, I normally would come to the support of a relatively competent official in a Democratic administration. But Holder has been an abject failure as "the people's lawyer," and if right wingers can force him out, they have my full support.

To put it in blunt terms, Holder is getting what he deserves for allowing a fiasco like the political prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman to remain intact. For that matter, Holder's boss, President Obama, also is having a pretty horrific month of June--and he deserves it for failing to support investigations into gross justice-related abuses during the George W. Bush years.

Andrew Kreig, of the D.C.-based Justice-Integrity Project, puts it in perspective with a splendid piece titled "Obama, Holder Merit Scant Pity After GOP Attacks on DOJ." Writes Kreig:

Republicans on Capitol Hill this week escalated their attacks on Obama administration for alleged national security leaks, fatal lapses in gun-control and supposed interference with state power to curtail voting fraud lapses. Some Republicans are questioning the integrity of Attorney General Eric Holder . . . and calling for his resignation. 
Democrats are used to relying on the civil liberties community for support in such battles. But here the facts are still largely hidden. Also, Obama officials who have pooh-poohed domestic civil rights issues for most of their administration don't deserve much support as they withstand attacks, fairly or not, for their own conduct. 
Led by Holder, the Obama administration has whitewashed bogus Bush-era political prosecutions in Alabama, New Jersey, North Carolina and elsewhere. Also, it has crushed civil rights protections for torture victims and other detainees and whistleblowers. Further, it has fostered an unprecedented crusade against news reporters such as James Risen of the New York Times who are covering such issues. The DOJ's overall strategy clearly came from high levels at the White House. Why, therefore, should civil rights advocates grieve if Republicans hound Holder and snipe at the White House?

Sounds like a case of "what goes around, comes around." And to answer Kreig's question, civil-rights advocates should sit quietly and let Holder and Obama twist in the wind.

After all, this is an administration that argued against U.S. Supreme Court review of convictions in the Siegelman case, even though public documents raised serious questions about bias from the trial-court judge--and the case was decided on bogus jury instructions. This also is an administration that argued citizens "do not have a right to not be framed" by rogue prosecutors.

Kreig provides important context related to the Siegelman case and other political prosecutions:

Criticism of Holder and Obama from grassroots Democrats and independents on a variety of regional domestic due process issues may have even more impact in undermining perceptions that Obama is committed, as a former law school instructor, to due process and other fairness under the law. The mainstream national media defer to the wisdom of courts and Congress on such matters. But the alternative independent media are filled with reports suggesting that Holder's Justice Department is highly political and self-serving, and willing to sabotage the rights of Democrats and others for short-term reasons. 
Such claims are percolating around the country, often involving allegations that our Project has previously documented. The gist is that the Obama Justice Department is pursuing transparently unfair prosecutions trumped up by predecessors in the Bush Justice Department for political reasons. 
The most notorious of these cases is the federal prosecution of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, convicted of corruption charges in 2006 and this week denied by the Supreme Court of what may be his final appeal before he is resentenced by federal judge Mark Fuller in Alabama. Other notorious cases pursued by the Obama/Holder DOJ include the failed prosecution of former New Jersey assemblyman Louis Manzo initiated by Bush U.S. Attorney Chris Christie, now the state's governor. Another is the failed campaign finance prosecution in North Carolina of former Democratic Presidential candidate John Edwards. That case was initiated by Bush U.S. attorney George Holding, now a GOP congressional candidate.

Kreig cites new commentaries that address the Supreme Court's recent decision to deny certiorari review in the Siegelman case. One of those is a Huffington Post piece titled "Corruption, Bribery, and the 'Quid Pro Quo' Conumdrum," by Bennett Gershman, a law professor at Pace University. Writes Gershman:

One point is abundantly clear: a prosecutor's charging power is the most dangerous power of all, because it can be used by prosecutors to target for prosecution almost anyone a prosecutor wants to get. Indeed, a Congressional Committee investigating allegations of selective prosecution by the Bush administration's Justice Department heard abundant testimony supporting that claim by Governor Siegelman -- that he was the most powerful Democrat in Alabama, that state republicans desperately wanted to take him down, and according to a former U.S. Attorney in Alabama, federal prosecutors knew the case was weak but went on a "fishing expedition" to "find anything they could find against [Siegelman]." The Siegelman case may be one of the most egregiously bad faith prosecutions by the Justice Department ever, maybe even worse than the bad faith prosecutions of the late Senator Ted Stevens and John Edwards. Indeed, 113 state Attorneys General of both political parties decried the Siegelman prosecution and supported, unsuccessfully, review by the U.S. Supreme Court. 
Judges also make a difference in corruption trials, and the stark difference in verdicts in cases 1 and 2 may be attributable, in part, to the competence and ethics of the presiding judges. Alabama court observers have claimed that the judge in the Siegelman trial -- Mark Fuller -- harbored a strong bias against Siegelman. His bribery instruction to the jury has been assailed for diluting the quid pro quo requirement for bribery -- he did not advise the jury that it had to find an explicit promise or understanding -- before it could convict. Even with that deficient instruction, the jury deliberated 11 days and reported itself deadlocked several times before finding guilt on only a few of the numerous counts.

Ironically, the Supreme Court's decision to deny review of the Siegelman case was announced on June 4. And that seemed to kick off a dreadful month for the Obama administration. How bad has it been. Dana Milbank, of The Washington Post, sums it up succinctly in a column titled "Pileup at the White House." Writes Milbank:


It has been a Junius Horribilis for President Obama. 
Job growth has stalled, the Democrats have been humiliated in Wisconsin, the attorney general is facing a contempt-of-Congress citation, talks with Pakistan have broken down, Bill Clinton is contradicting Obama, Mitt Romney is outraising him, Democrats and Republicans alike are complaining about a “cascade” of national-security leaks from his administration, and he is now on record as saying that the “private sector is doing fine.” 
Could it get any worse?

It might get worse for Obama on November 6. It might get worse for Holder sooner than that. If it does, they will have nobody but themselves to blame.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/06/wells-fargo-takes-revenge-on-blog-for-posting-how-its-improper-foreclosure-led-to-a-suidice.html

". . . Now if you are moved by the Rousseau story in a position to help, the first thing to do is make a donation to his wife and family. And other thing to do is circulate this story widely, either by e-mailing or tweeting this post, or sending the short, readable, but nevertheless gripping Truthout story along. Wells is trying to muzzle those who expose its conduct, and the best way to put a stop to that is to make those coverup efforts bring even more attention to the underlying crime . . . .

I AM MOVED BY THE ROUSSEAU STORY because where was the current administration and its legal eagles to fly over the USA in protecting our CONTRACT!

I call the current dictator in chief heading the U.S. what the international community gave as an acronym, POTUS ["President of the United States of America"].

This title - brand - POTUS -- includes Bush one and two the butchers, mass murdering war criminals and but of course there are the Clintons who betrayed Russia and have pissed off the Russian Federation for us to have to pay for, their hubris in Kosovo and wherever the dumb idea of "Global Initiative" could rape, pillage and plunder the earth!

Add our current no such idea, United States Constitutional HARVARD [another one, Bush Jr. and then Barry?] graduates?! TO LEAD!? OMG, America the super power in the aught years.

It is a RACKET, POTUS and the global kings, queens, popes and other dress up like chosen from some place other than EARTH ...

A crime syndicate, globalization and wearing its new mask to cover up colonization by way of the Bilderbergers, see Mr. Tucker and American Free Press for the real news regarding whole truths.

MONIES of computer keystrokes that pay for the MOVIE we the majority of people in the United States of America are forced to believe and therefore, follow so-called higher intellects as leaders of a free world?

Mitt Romney got picked by Bilderbergers so We The People MUST get ourselves organized, assembled and decide our futures rather than acquiesce to the same old story about POTUS as though
WTP chose and / or choose.

70% BLUE DEMOCRATS in the State of Oregon. Chief Justice, Ann L. Aiken, and the United States District Court in the District of Oregon, Division of Portland, were participatory in the same
Wells Fargo style of "Who Do We
Cheat 'Em, and How," JACKAL CODE OF LAWYER CONDUCT. Karma may not be kind to the RICO classless, in the State of Oregon Aiken's son, one of the five, used the assisted suicide equipment that was more than likely traded and exchanged in the retirement portfolios since the Legislature made the equipment illegal immediately.

Home foreclosures were not stopped until enough BOOTY was stolen IN THE BLUE STATE OF OREGON.

Anonymous said...

IMAGINATION

The end game, golden rule and this fact cannot be disputed.

We have the so-named "Blair-Bush-Obama Doctrine" we are living in the now.

It is a definite decided earth agenda ["Agenda 21"], and this now that was "imaged long ago," by and through a conglomerate imagination of a particular few people.

In "modern time," the WHOM are families that own "transnational corporations."

An ongoing Agenda that has been an ongoing "Bilderberger Members" chosen life in the model of their style, and the list of precisely who and whom these "people" are, is never in total transparency.

However, see American Free Press, Mr. Tucker deserves America's greatest bow in honor of giving to We The People, deep mole true news which exposes the most critical point of power.

We must pay attention since the chosen ones we get from the transnational dictators are not a voted in Constitutional Republic's good law.

Mitt Romney and Barry Sotero or name a "puppet" that has not been corrupted by the imagination:

- richest dictator in earth leading the super power USA as a Golden Roman Army Empire should, can and therefore, does.

Time to reboot our imaginations.

No more worship George Soros or Koch Brothers ... what to do.

Robby Scott Hill said...

We have two political parties for a reason. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, for long enough to purge my own ranks of career politicians who have forgotten what it means to be a Liberal Democrat. Not dropping the charges against former Governor Don Siegelman & allowing Reagan/Bush appointed officials to run amok in the South is House Negro behavior. Like Artur Davis, Eric Holder has chosen to carry the Tea Party's water. Having decided that all of those Poor White Trash & Field Negroes in Alabama can't afford their bill rate, Holder & Davis willingly switch sides on economic issues as soon as the CCC's check clears the bank. They figure as long as they show up in Selma once a year to pay lip service to Civil Rights, Working People won't know how we are getting stabbed in the back on a daily basis.

legalschnauzer said...

Looks like Dems finally are realizing Obama might lose in Nov. It might be too late, even against a candidate as weak as Romney.

Hard to believe that the party that pushed for the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act now has given us a president (a black guy!) who doesn't give a rip about civil rights. Pathetic.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505245_162-57453027/dems-obama-could-lose-donors-better-get-moving/

Robby Scott Hill said...

He no longer has the 270 electoral votes that Huffington Post has been claiming. http://www.270towin.com/index.php#.T9oeObVEhDR

Anonymous said...

Cloning bad imaginations and what a stab in the back alright!

All the people who voted Obama were more than "sold down the river," as slaves to a system of biometric gulag technology.

American censor machines, mostly afraid of governing one's own shadow. Feeling powerful?

Preventing the fullest imaginations that grow a more lucid dream, to blossom above the pond scum and rise, therefore, above the lower fantasies as lesser than subhuman.

Democrat and / or Republican. American or globalist.

What peril our imaginations are in, our choices remain impotent?

Really?!

jeffrey spruill said...

Right on Andrew Kreig.

That piglet-Karl Rove deserves to be in prison with Ralph Reed in the next cell.

Instead the piglet is being introduced on Sean Hannity's show as a "Great American."

What used to be up is now down!

Robby Scott Hill said...

As Charles Payne puts it, the Councils operated by "unleashing a wave of economic reprisals against anyone, Black or white, seen as a threat to the status quo."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Citizens%27_Council

e.a.f. said...

Obama, in my opinion is still a better bet than Romney. However, I believe people expected more from Obama. With the republicans, well we all knew what Bush was about & didn't expect much.

Obama's team I would expect would want to look at areas they could make him look good. The economy wasn't his fault, but people will blame him. What he could have done at least was to ensure the citizens felt like there was fair play at work & justice might prevail.

Cleaning up the justice system would have been an easier task than turning around the economy & would have had more impact. As less than stellar judges & prosecutors were weeded out, people would have felt they might get a fair shake. it would have also provided the Obama team with some much needed good news press releases.

legalschnauzer said...

Good points, e.a.f., and I might add that had Obama cleaned up the justice system--and it had unmasked numerous Bushies as thugs and criminals--it would have weakened the GOP. American voters might seem clueless at times, but they do understand blatant thuggery, and had a few Bushies been prosecuted, the GOP probably would not have won the House in 2010. That would have given Obama a much better chance to push through the kind of progressive economic agenda we need to get out of the Bush recession.

Anonymous said...

Mitt Romney, is a "practicing Mormon" and this is our problem in the United States, RELIGION is in control of our so-called Constitutional Republic.

The "Mormon Faith," or call the other sect of "Mormon, aka Latter Day Saints," and we get the "American version of "Jewry."

No, Obama and Romney and Bush and Clinton are not U.S. Constitutional "Presidents" by any stretch of the IMAGINATION.

Our "Pine Cones" (pituitary glands) as humans have been intentionally manufactured into allowing the Karl Roves ET AL, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, ET AL, ALL who are no doubt FORCED to be exactly what we get in the aught years and that is, totalitarian control of our "imaginations!" Really?

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=31463

Research is based on formerly classified CIA and State Department files, personal interviews, and international investigations.

Obama's birth certificate has never been the issue. The real issue, which affects his eligibility to serve as President of the United States, is his past and likely current Indonesian citizenship.

The reader will be taken through the labyrinth of covert CIA operations in Africa, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and other regions. The real history of President Obama, his family, and the CIA quickly emerges as the reader wades into the murky waters of America's covert foreign operations.

Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist, author and syndicated columnist. He has written for several renowned papers and blogs.

Madsen is a regular contributor on Russia Today. He has been a frequent political and national security commentator on Fox News and has also appeared on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, and MS-NBC.

Madsen has taken on Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity on their television shows. He has been invited to testifty as a witness before the US House of Representatives, the UN Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and an terrorism investigation panel of the French government.

As a U.S. Naval Officer, he managed one of the first computer security programs for the U.S. Navy. He subsequently worked for the National Security Agency, the Naval Data Automation Command, Department of State, RCA Corporation, and Computer Sciences Corporation.

Madsen is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), Association for Intelligence Officers (AFIO), and the National Press Club.

Wayne Madsen is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Wayne Madsen