I’m not seeing anything to like about Eric Holder as our next Attorney General. What I see is one-third standard-issue leftist — on “hate crimes,” on racial preferences, on criminal rights, on terrorist rights (see this NRO editorial) — and two-thirds unprincipled opportunist.
It’s the unprincipled opportunism that makes Holder so unpalatable. Obama was never going to nominate other than a standard-issue leftist for this job.
Holder helped engineer a pardon for the fugitive supplier of our enemies, Marc Rich, under highly dubious circumstances. First, he steered Rich’s friends to lawyer/influence peddler Jack Quinn. According to NRO, Holder later conceded that he hoped Quinn would help him become attorney general in a Gore administration. Then, he helped Quinn lobby Clinton, avoiding the standard pardon process. He also kept the deliberations hidden from the U.S. attorney and from the relevant investigative agencies, which prevented them from objecting to the pardon application.
There are also questions as to whether Holder told the truth about his role in the Rich pardon when he testified before Congress. Dan Burton, whose committee held the hearings, doesn’t believe Holder told the whole truth.
Holder’s involvement in the deplorable pardons of FALN terrorists is less problematic. As far as I can tell, he was simply carrying out the Clintons’ desire here. Unlike with Rich, there seems to be no indication that he tried to influence those desires for personal gain. But Holder was unable to explain why he at least did not try to make the pardons contingent on cooperation by these terrorists with FBI efforts to capture an FALN member on the “ten most wanted” list (see the YouTube on this post by Scott).
The entire top crust of the Bush Justice department is said to have been prepared to resign rather than go along with a surveillance program the department’s top lawyers believed was illegal. Whatever the merits of this dispute, this is the kind of integrity Americans expect from an Attonrey General. Nothing I know about Eric Holder suggests that he would sacrifice his personal ambition over a matter of legal principle. The evidence all seems to point in the opposite direction.
This is a go-along to get-along guy. No wonder Obama wants to put him in charge of the nation’s law enforcement.
To comment on this post, go here.