Hard to believe they could top the shaved Wookie for sheer partisan corruption under color of law, but Eric Holder looks to be quite the fellow. If I was a child in a church, I'd be pulling on the Nomex and brushing up on my Spanish.
Much has been made, and appropriately so, of Holder’s untoward performance in the final corrupt act of the Clinton administration: the pardons issued in the departing president’s final hours. Of these, most notorious is the case of Marc Rich, an unrepentant fugitive wanted on extensive fraud, racketeering, and trading-with-the-enemy charges — but granted a pardon nonetheless thanks to the intercession of his ex-wife, a generous donor to Clinton’s library and legal-defense fund.Gee, coddling of terrorists including Weather Underground? Just the kind of guy Obama needs on the case, what with all his Weather pals. However, there's no way that opposition will crop up because the spineless Stupid Party know that the banner headlines - "GOP BLOCKS FIRST BLACK AG" - are ready and waiting to run against them.
Holder’s role was aptly described as “unconscionable” by a congressional committee. He steered Rich’s allies to retain the influential former White House counsel Jack Quinn (Holder later conceded he hoped Quinn would help him become attorney general in a Gore administration); he helped Quinn directly lobby Clinton, doing an end-run around the standard pardon process (including DOJ’s pardon attorney); and he kept the deliberations hidden from the district U.S. attorney and investigative agencies prosecuting Rich so they couldn’t learn about the pardon application and register their objections.
There’s more. In 1999, over the objections of the FBI, the Bureau of Prisons, and prosecuting attorneys, Holder supported Clinton’s commutation of the sentences of 16 FALN conspirators. These pardons — of terrorists who even Holder has conceded had not expressed any remorse — were issued in the months after al-Qaeda’s 1998 U.S. embassy bombings, when the Clinton administration was pretending to be the scourge of terrorism. The commutations were nakedly political, obviously designed by Clinton to assist his wife’s impending Senate campaign by appealing to New York’s substantial Puerto Rican vote.
Equally noxious were the stealthy pardons of Susan Rosenberg and Linda Evans — Weather Underground terrorists associated with Obama’s friends Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn — issued on the same day as the Rich pardon. Rosenberg and Evans had been serving decades-long sentences for bombings targeting American government facilities. With Holder again helping to circumvent the pardon process and to evade objections from prosecutors, the terrorists’ jail terms were commuted just weeks after the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole.
Under Holder’s stewardship, moreover, the Justice Department chose, in the Dickerson case, to oppose its own prosecutors and seek reversal of the conviction of a bank robber whose voluntary confession had been elicited without Miranda warnings. Taking the Justice Department's signal, the Supreme Court overruled the lower courts and vacated the conviction, upending 30 years of precedent which had held that Miranda was not part of the core Fifth Amendment guarantee. Thanks to this ruling, rendered in the comfort of pre-9/11 complacence, terrorists tried in civilian courts — which is where Obama and Holder want them to be tried — will enjoy a powerful argument against the admission of critical confession evidence.
To be blunt, Holder is a terrible selection. If there’s any Obama cabinet nomination that Republicans feel moved to oppose, this should be it.