Eric Holder’s Double Talk Under Oath!

by Richard H. Frank

November 8, 2011 Attorney General Eric Holder appeared before the Senate Judicial Oversight Committee and testified under oath regarding the Justice Department and the ATF involvement in the “Fast and Furious” scandal.  For those of us having the stomach to endure over two hours of questioning by the Senate Committee and sort out serious inquiries from partisan rhetoric, I must conclude the exercise was a waste of time.

Following a lengthy statement by Holder listing the numerous achievements of the Obama Justice Department, he described “Fast and Furious” as a ill-conceived, poorly executed operation communicated within the DOJ through inaccurate information.  Specific questions from Senator Grassley were answered with typical Washington double talk and excuses including the following:

  • information was inaccurate as previously communicated in writing to the committee.
  • “Tactics” is the new buzz word to deflect responsibility for possession of knowledge about the operation.
  • “A few weeks” is now a substitute for describing months regarding  Holder’s knowledge of “Fast and Furious”
  • Holder contends he has acted in a “manner consistent with other Attorneys General.” Whatever that means.
  • He regrets actions of subordinates yet has held no one responsible.
  • DOJ personnel did not know information on “Fast and Furious” was inaccurate.
  • He denied any knowledge of “retaliation against whistleblowers.”
  • It “pains me” that private communications with Senator Grassley would be introduced as a question by the Senator in the hearing.
  • Holder refused to comment on details of any ongoing investigations.
  • “Political payback” was evident by inferring information being requested constitutes classified data.
  • “Fast and Furious” bothered, concerned and offended Holder. Holder refused to accept responsibility for “Fast and Furious” stating the AG cannot be expected to know details of ongoing operations by every department under the DOJ.
  • He stated that it was not fair to assume that “Fast and Furious” led to the death of Border Patrol Agent Terry, and readily admitted that he had never  personally spoken to Terry’s family.

Next the ever partisan Senator Schumer participated in the “blame game” contending that “Fast and Furious” had its genesis under the Bush Administration in the form of a program called “Wide Receiver.” His questioning placed the blame for walking guns over the border directly on the Bush DOJ and through inference directly on the Republican Administration although the program had been previously cancelled .

The real politically- driven agenda became apparent in answers to Senator Graham’s question about Guantanamo Bay and any possibility of closure, a  U.S. prison replacement or sequestering enemy combatants being held in either  Afghanistan or Iraq.  Holder’s answers were right down the Obama Administration’s talking points which are 1) all options were on the table, and 2) Administration decisions were being viewed from a practical viewpoint. Doesn’t anyone in the Obama Administration take responsibility for anything they do?

Our Founding Fathers would be aghast to see the divisiveness between the branches of Government, and the overreaching to the powers enumerated in the Constitution granted to those branches.

Viewing the Organizational Chart of the Department of Justice is a prime example of “Big Government” run amuck.  It becomes more evident each day that the individual states could do a better job of law enforcement than can our Federal Government.  We need to return to the principles under the 10th Amendment to the Constitution if the Republic is to survive.

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