Eric Holder is in hot water yet again, this time for the completely illegal and totally unacceptable act of spying on the Associated Press. The basics of the story are that the AP reported that the CIA had foiled a terror plot and published a story about it the day before the Obama administration was set to announce it themselves. The Justice Department then put taps on 20 Associated Press phones used by over 100 reporters in a desperate attempt to find out who leaked the info on the CIA operation.
Holder and Obama are in major damage-control mode over this one now that they've pissed off basically every news organization in the country. Besides trying to scapegoat an underling, Holder lamely claimed that the taps were necessary for public security. "It put the American people at risk and that is not hyperbole," Holder said in a statement of extreme hyperbole. It's hard to imagine that anyone could believe that releasing information that Obama was about to release anyway, information about a plot that was already foiled, would "put the American people at risk." So now we have Holder not only lying to the public, but lying poorly.
In a just society, Holder would be immediately fired for this, if not indicted for eavesdropping and the obvious breach of the Constitution entailed in warantlessly spying on the press. But we already know the phrase "U.S. Department of Justice" is an oxymoron, not least of all because they continue to employ Holder. Here's his three most egregious (and possibly criminal) pre-AP-probe actions.
1. Selling Guns to Drug Cartels
Operation Fast & Furious was a scheme set in motion by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms with the supposed purpose of tracking illegal gun purchases in Mexico. The ATF instructed gun stores in the Southwest to let over 2,000 weapons "walk," meaning they were sold to people who legally shouldn't have been allowed to buy them. andThose weapons were then transported across the border, where the ATF was supposed to track them. The only problem was that the ATF didn't actually have a plan for tracking them, and the guns promptly disappeared upon crossing the border. Worse, the suspects in the case, the narco-leaders that the ATF was supposedly trying to find, were already known to various U.S. law-enforcement agencies. So the end result of the program was that 2,000 guns ended up in the hands of murderous drug cartels. Oh, and two of the weapons were found at the murder scene of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.
It's not clear whether Holder was advised of the scheme beforehand. But what is clear is that he did a ton of work to make sure no one was held accountable, most notably blocking the release of documents relating to the case.
This was the first major indication that Holder is an unfit attorney general. He may or may not have been involved in the sale of the guns, but he definitely covered the tracks of the responsible parties in the U.S. government. This makes him, at best, an accomplice-after-the-fact to gun smuggling and, by extension, murder.
2. The Invention Of "Too Big to Prosecute"
And we thought "Too Big to Fail" was bad. Following revelations that international banking giant HSBC had been laundering money for years for an unsavory cast of characters including Mexican drug cartels (those guys are everywhere), the Iranian government and even aAl-freaking-Qaeda, the Department of Justice simply decided not to prosecute them. Although they announced HSBC would have to pay a "historic" settlement equalling about one week's profit, not a single person faced or will face criminal charges. Just think about that for a moment: for helping to financially support al-Qaeda, their total punishment was ... nothing.
Holder, in explaining the decision not to prosecute the bankers that colluded with terrorist organizations, said "“"I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy.”"
Translating this to regular-people-speak, Holder is literally saying that the heads of HSBC are above the law. According to Eric Holder, no matter what they do, they can't be prosecuted because that would "have a negative impact" on global finance. Again, these are guys that worked closely with drug cartels and terrorist organizations. Without money laundering, aAl-Qaeda would be unable to operate, but Holder thinks it's perfectly fine to financially support their continued existence.
But, if you're a 16sixteen-year-old-boy whose non-banker father may have had some connection to al-Qaeda, Holder thinks the government has every right to assassinate you. Which brings me to my next point ... :
3. He Thinks the Government Can Kill You
Yes, you. Holder literally believes the U.S. government has the right to assassinate anyone, including U.S. citizens, without ever having to explain to anyone why they did it. As Obama continues to add names to his "kill list," Holder remains his most stalwart defender. According to Justice Department memos, the Ppresident (and any president that comes after him) can kill you just because he decides it would be a good idea.
The Constitution, of course, guarantees that no-one can be subject to punishment without due process. Holder famously redefined the term, saying "'Due process' and 'judicial process' are not one and the same, particularly when it comes to national security." Never mind that this flies completely counter to both the spirit and the letter of the Constitution. As Stephen Colbert brilliantly explained, Holder is saying "Due process just means there's a process that we do."
Rand Paul was eventually able to drag a grudging admission out of Holder that the government probably can't kill you without trial if you're on U.S. soil. The entire text of Holder's letter to Paul reads:
"It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: “Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?” The answer to that question is no.
Eric H. Holder, Jr."
But this leaves an obvious loophole: who's to say what constitutes "engaged in combat?" If you're a member of Anonymous trying to hack into HSBC's servers, are you "engaged in combat" against the U.S.? What if you're a reporter for the AP working on a story that Holder thinks will "put the American people at risk?"
We're not going to get answers to these questions from the Obama administration or from Eric Holder anytime soon. But it's already far too late for explanations. Holder should have been fired a long time ago, and he needs to be fired now. No hyperbole.