On the record, time to fire Holder

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When the Senate confirmed Eric Holder, he became the most qualified Attorney General in U.S. history.  Appointed to the bench by Ronald Reagan and serving as Acting AG under George Bush, his credentials both as a prosecutor and judge were unimpeachable.

However, when Holder dutifully challenged Arizona’s “papers please” immigration law, he became an anathema to the virulent right (incited by the NRA) – which branded him as “the most corrupt Attorney General” in our history, while conveniently overlooking the genuinely “corrupt” legacy of his Republican predecessors.

Darrel Issa then tried to blame Holder for the “Fast and Furious” operation – which he unknowingly inherited from Republican Michael Mukasey (who failed to mention it). 

When Holder invoked the Voting Rights Act to oppose Republican voter suppression efforts in Texas, South Carolina, and Florida, Issa’s “oversight” committee held him in contempt of Congress—even after Holder provided over 1000 documents and President Obama invoked Executive Privilege to abbreviate Issa’s pointless partisan circus.

Thus, while there may be as-yet-unreleased information justifying Holder’s departure, nothing in the Sentinel’s editorial (“On the record, time to fire Holder”, May 31, 2013) remotely supports that pandering conclusion.

While senior officials routinely brief news editors “off the record” – thereby providing an informed context without precluding further reporting and/or Congressional testimony – Holder has become the media’s “scapegoat” for the fundamental conflict between the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the post-9/11 “USA Patriot Act”, and the rights of a Free Press, as guaranteed by the First Amendment.

As AG, Holder is sworn to enforce all those laws – and nothing therein exempts the press from criminal liability in the context of national security leaks.  Nevertheless, even as the Sentinel flails aimlessly, Holder has ordered a review of DOJ investigative guidelines – including revisions offered by the press and FBI in 2004, but rejected by the “Bushies”.

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