Commentary Magazine


Topic: Bloomberg administration

Re: Time to Throw Holder Under the Bus

The Washington Post editors actually like the idea of a civilian trial for KSM, but not even they can defend the incompetence of Eric Holder. They write:

The failure to solicit input from the Bloomberg administration is inexcusable. Federal prosecutors normally do not — and are not required to — consult with local jurisdictions before filing charges. But this is not a typical case, and New York is not a typical venue.

The breach of common sense also goes a long way toward explaining why Mr. Bloomberg changed his mind about the wisdom of holding a trial in Manhattan after his administration conducted its own review and crafted a security plan.

Holder’s lack of due diligence does not extend merely to the trial’s logistics. You will recall that when testifying shortly after the decision had been made, he seemed not to have considered how serious was the break from past legal precedent nor consulted with anyone with past experience in terrorism trials. Likewise, when he made the decision to reinvestigate CIA operatives who employed enhanced interrogation techniques, it does not appear that he consulted with career prosecutors who previously had declined to prosecute. Holder also did not review their declination memos, which set forth the reasons why successful prosecutions could not be obtained. And let’s not forget that the Justice Department told the president he had to release the detainee-abuse photos, only to see a perfectly acceptable solution be devised to prevent their release once a firestorm of protest erupted.

There are two explanations for such serial malpractice. First, he may have an incompetent or hopelessly biased staff that failed to present complete information and raise key issues for Holder’s consideration. Second, he may not care about getting the law right so long as he is doing the bidding of the Left’s extreme agenda and furthering what he perceives are the president’s policy goals. In either case, there is no excuse for an attorney general who gets the law wrong and continually embroils the administration in one fiasco after another.

Holder is, in a very real sense, becoming as much of a liability to Obama as Alberto Gonzales was to George W. Bush. The difference, of course, is that Obama is still early in his presidency, with an unfulfilled agenda and ample time to recover his political standing. Now, of course, Bush eventually fired Gonzales and replaced him with one of the most distinguished men to occupy that office. Maybe this is one time Obama should follow his predecessor’s example.

The Washington Post editors actually like the idea of a civilian trial for KSM, but not even they can defend the incompetence of Eric Holder. They write:

The failure to solicit input from the Bloomberg administration is inexcusable. Federal prosecutors normally do not — and are not required to — consult with local jurisdictions before filing charges. But this is not a typical case, and New York is not a typical venue.

The breach of common sense also goes a long way toward explaining why Mr. Bloomberg changed his mind about the wisdom of holding a trial in Manhattan after his administration conducted its own review and crafted a security plan.

Holder’s lack of due diligence does not extend merely to the trial’s logistics. You will recall that when testifying shortly after the decision had been made, he seemed not to have considered how serious was the break from past legal precedent nor consulted with anyone with past experience in terrorism trials. Likewise, when he made the decision to reinvestigate CIA operatives who employed enhanced interrogation techniques, it does not appear that he consulted with career prosecutors who previously had declined to prosecute. Holder also did not review their declination memos, which set forth the reasons why successful prosecutions could not be obtained. And let’s not forget that the Justice Department told the president he had to release the detainee-abuse photos, only to see a perfectly acceptable solution be devised to prevent their release once a firestorm of protest erupted.

There are two explanations for such serial malpractice. First, he may have an incompetent or hopelessly biased staff that failed to present complete information and raise key issues for Holder’s consideration. Second, he may not care about getting the law right so long as he is doing the bidding of the Left’s extreme agenda and furthering what he perceives are the president’s policy goals. In either case, there is no excuse for an attorney general who gets the law wrong and continually embroils the administration in one fiasco after another.

Holder is, in a very real sense, becoming as much of a liability to Obama as Alberto Gonzales was to George W. Bush. The difference, of course, is that Obama is still early in his presidency, with an unfulfilled agenda and ample time to recover his political standing. Now, of course, Bush eventually fired Gonzales and replaced him with one of the most distinguished men to occupy that office. Maybe this is one time Obama should follow his predecessor’s example.

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