Thursday, March 11, 2010
Exposed: Eric Holder Lied At Confirmation Hearings
Holder did not mention placing his signature on an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in the Jose Padilla case advocating for rights for terrorists.
During his confirmation more than a year ago, Attorney General Eric Holder failed to notify lawmakers he had contributed to a legal brief dealing with the use of federal courts in fighting terrorism, the Justice Department acknowledged on Wednesday.Contrast that last point, which terrorist's rights advocate Eric Holder endorsed with his signature, with the one directly preceding it, and with Obama AG Eric Holder's more recent, and directly conflicting, assertion made in defense of the STUPID decision to Mirandize the Christmas bomber:
“The brief should have been disclosed as part of the confirmation process,” Justice Department spokesman Matt Miller said in a statement. “In preparing thousands of pages for submission, it was unfortunately and inadvertently missed.”
Still, the “amicus brief,” filed with the Supreme Court in 2004, resonates years later as Holder finds himself defending the handling of some recent terrorism cases, particularly the interrogation of alleged “Christmas Day bomber” Umar F. Abdulmutallab.
The brief – filed by Holder, then a private attorney, former Attorney General Janet Reno and two other Clinton-era officials – argued that the President lacks authority to hold Jose Padilla, a U.S citizen declared an “enemy combatant,” indefinitely without charge.
In making their case, Holder and the others argued that using federal courts to fight terrorism, which includes providing Miranda rights to terror suspects, would not “impair” the government’s ability to obtain intelligence, which they called “the primary tool for preventing terrorist attacks.”
But the brief did acknowledge a possible risk in such use of the federal court system – a risk, the brief said, that is outweighed by the advantages.
“I am confident that … the decision to address Mr. Abdulmutallab's actions through our criminal justice system has not, and will not, compromise our ability to obtain information needed to detect and prevent future attacks,” Holder said in a Feb. 3 letter to lawmakers. “Neither advising Abdulmutallab of his Miranda rights nor granting him access to counsel prevents us from obtaining intelligence from him.”Let me rephrase that: neither advising an enemy combatant that he does not have to say anything, nor affording him the services of a lawyer who will do everything he can to keep his client silent, will prevent the United States security apparatus from learning from him what he knows, including what he knows about other threats. What AG Eric Holder cannot say, of course, is that he thinks all Americans are idiots, and not just the people who voted for Obama. As he will learn in November, he's wrong about more than just that.
Michelle Malkin is very familiar with career terrorist enabler Eric Holder's forgetfullness:
Power Line's Paul Mirengoff observes that Holder's supposed fealty to "proud legal traditions" was suddenly and selectively absent during his confirmation hearings.
Let me remind you that before his confirmation, Holder “forgot” to mention that disgraced former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich had appointed him to probe corruption in the state’s casino licensing decisions. Holder pocketed $300,000 and — surprise, surprise — concluded that no corruption existed. Refresher:Before Eric Holder was President-elect Barack Obama’s choice to be attorney general, he was Gov. Blagojevich’s pick to sort out a mess involving Illinois’ long-dormant casino license.
Blagojevich and Holder appeared together at a March 24, 2004, news conference to announce Holder’s role as “special investigator to the Illinois Gaming Board” — a post that was to pay Holder and his Washington, D.C. law firm up to $300,000.
Holder, however, omitted that event from his 47-page response to a Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire made public this week — an oversight he plans to correct after a Chicago Sun-Times inquiry, Obama’s transition team indicated late Tuesday.
“Eric Holder has given hundreds of press interviews,” Obama transition spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter said in a statement. “He did his best to report them all to the committee, but as he noted in the questionnaire itself, some were undoubtedly missed in the effort to reconstruct a list of them.”
Holder signed the questionnaire on Sunday — five days after Blagojevich’s arrest for allegedly putting Obama’s U.S. Senate seat up for sale. The Judiciary Committee asked him to provide lists and “copies of transcripts or tape recordings of all speeches or talks delivered by you” and “all interviews you have given to newspapers, magazines or other publications.”
The March 2004 Chicago news conference where Holder and Blagojevich spoke was widely covered because of a controversial 4-1 Gaming Board vote earlier that month to allow a casino to be built in Rosemont. That vote defied the recommendation of the board’s staff, which had raised concerns about alleged organized-crime links to the Rosemont casino’s developer.
Holder's supporters like to talk about the "proud" tradition of lawyers defending unpopular clients. But Holder doesn't seem to have been proud enough of this tradition to disclose important instances in which he followed it.As usual, Andrew McCarthy puts it all in perspective:
You guys need to get with the program. So the attorney general, while he was in private practice at a firm that openly bragged about its "pro bono" representation of numerous Gitmo detainees, chose during our war with al-Qaeda to file a brief on behalf of an al-Qaeda operative who tried to kill lots of Americans. So he argued that such people ought to be treated as criminal defendants swaddled in the Bill of Rights rather than enemy combatants detained for interrogation and war-crimes commissions. So what? What, are you, like, saying that the positions Holder voluntarily took as a private lawyer zealously representing unpopular clients might shed some light on the policies he would implement in the completely unrelated role of top Justice Department official?Bottom line: Eric Holder knows that giving terrorist enemy combatants Miranda rights to which they are in no way entitled leaves his fellow citizens more vulnerable to attack in ways they would not be if the enemy were quarantined inside the military commission system outside the country at Club Gitmo, where he belongs.
That's the most shameful, over the top, outrageous, and, frankly, disgusting thing I've ever heard. Somebody call Keith Olbermann!
Holder knows his advocacy of full Constitutional protections for the enemy is unacceptable, repugnant, even horrifying, to any decent, thoughtful American. He knows his position has been specifically rejected in more than one court-of-appeals decision and by the Supreme Court itself, which specifically vacated the decision of an appeals court that agreed with Holder. That's why he covered up his endorsement of the Padilla amicus brief - he didn't want to have to answer for it in a Senate confirmation hearing.
And that is why more recently he was dragged kicking and screaming by Keep America Safe into revealing the names of Justice Department lawyers who flocked to Guantanamo to game the civil justice system and defend detainees and terrorists already represented by military lawyers.
Perhaps now Holder will be held to account, for blatantly risking national security and the safety of his fellow citizens, in the attentive arenas of the New Media and informed public opinion.
TROUBLE AT DOJ: Holder Failed To Disclose Dirty Bomber Brief
NYT: Sen. Kyl Says Holder’s Explanation “Strained Credulity”
Sen. Sessions: “Deeply Concerned” About Padilla Brief Oversight
BURCK & PERINO: Holder’s “Acceptable Risk”
ABC: Questions Arise Over Holder’s Padilla Amicus Brief