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For weeks, pundits have struggled to explain why Attorney General Eric Holder continually makes awful decisions – like deciding to try foreign terrorist enemy combatants, most notably confessed 9/11 mega-terror architect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, in a New York City civilian courtroom with all the constitutional rights, privileges and protections afforded U.S. citizens. Or the decision to treat al-Qaida-trained terrorist Umar “underwear bomber” Abdulmutallab as an American criminal suspect and not a foreign enemy combatant – thus allowing him to lawyer up and avoid the very questioning that has proven in the past to yield precious intel capable of saving thousands of innocent lives.
So, the analysts put forth their various arguments: The Obama-Holder Justice Department is obsessed with proving to the world that America is fair and just, even to terrorists; they’re offering a political bone to the far left that is disappointed in Obama for his failure to “fundamentally transform” America into a socialist utopia in one year; they’re stealthily setting up Bush, Cheney and the CIA for later prosecutions; they believe capitalist America is imperialist and exploitive and that all people of color, even Islamic jihadists, are somehow quasi-“victims” of the U.S. and thus deserving of the legal presumption of innocence; and so on.
Whatever merit these observations may have, I’d like to suggest a different reason – a little more deep-seated, a little more basic and a whole lot more disturbing.
To dramatize my point, I’d like you to reflect for a few moments on one of Holder’s predecessors – Ramsey Clark, who was America’s attorney general during Lyndon Johnson’s administration.
Here’s how I summarize Ramsey Clark’s shockingly subversive life in my new book, “How Evil Works”:
After serving as America’s chief law enforcement official, Clark emerged as the radical, America-hating leftist he always was, traveling to Hanoi to support America’s enemies during the Vietnam War, meeting Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979 while condemning the “crimes of America,” accusing President George H. W. Bush of “genocide” and “crimes against humanity” for the 1991 Gulf War, and defending the terrorists who bombed the World Trade Center in 1993. After the 9/11 attacks, Clark predictably opposed any retaliation against Afghanistan or alâ€‘Qaida. Most recently, he served as chief defense counsel for Saddam Hussein in the Iraqi special tribunal’s trial of the former dictator, referring to Saddam respectfully as a “commander … courageous enough to fight more powerful countries.” After Clark complained that the tribunal, which ultimately convicted and sentenced Saddam for war crimes, was “a mockery of justice,” the Iraqi judge threw Clark out of the courtroom, declaring in Arabic, “No, you are the mockery … get him out, out!”
Somehow, no matter how malevolent the enemy, no matter how insane, widespread, and vicious his deeds, some of us mysteriously come around to siding with him.
In other words, Ramsey Clark – though he had served as America’s top justice official – proved to be a person who, at virtually every turn, sympathized with injustice by supporting America’s enemies.
To put it bluntly, some people, for whatever reason, are just plain sympathetic toward corruption and tyranny. Is Eric Holder the new Ramsey Clark?
As they say, let’s look at the record.
It’s not just since he’s been Obama’s attorney general that Holder has been making perverse decisions, such as his determination to abort the prosecution of two menacing New Black Panther Party members in paramilitary garb who brazenly threatened Philadelphia voters with a nightstick on Election Day 2008 – widely considered the most blatant voter intimidation case in modern history.
Before joining the Obama administration, Holder earned more than $2 million a year as a senior partner at the law firm of Covington & Burling, which – as Michelle Malkin reports in “Culture of Corruption,” specializes in “putting on the best terrorist defense”:
Among the firm’s other celebrity terrorist clients: 17 Yemenis held at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. The law firm employed dozens of radical attorneys such as David Remes and Marc Falkoff to provide the enemy combatants with more than 3,000 hours of pro bono representation. Covington & Burling co-authored one of three petitioners’ briefs filed in the Boumediene v. Bush detainee case, and secured victories for several other Gitmo enemy combatants in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. …
The result? One of the Yemeni Gitmo detainees defended by Holder’s firm, notes Malkin, was “released in 2005 – only to blow himself up … in a truck bombing in Mosul, Iraq, in 2008, killing 13 soldiers from the Second Iraqi Army division and seriously wounding 42 others.”
Holder’s entire track record is profoundly disturbing – from his central role as Bill Clinton’s deputy attorney general in pardoning two Weather Underground terrorists, whose lengthy terrorism sentences were commuted, to his last-minute springing of notorious fugitive tax cheat Marc Rich.
Although there are many such Holder decisions, one in particular seems especially relevant right now: In 1999, as a top Justice official in the Clinton administration, Holder successfully pushed for the release of 16 violent Puerto Rican terrorists – against the urgent protests of the many NYPD officers maimed by them, the federal prosecutor, the entire FBI and other law enforcement agencies. As the Los Angeles Times reported:
The 16 members of the FALN (the Spanish acronym for Armed Forces of National Liberation) and Los Macheteros had been convicted in Chicago and Hartford variously of bank robbery, possession of explosives and participating in a seditious conspiracy. Overall, the two groups had been linked by the FBI to more than 130 bombings, several armed robberies, six slayings and hundreds of injuries.
One hundred and thirty bombings? Pardon me, but just throwing up our hands and saying with a shrug, “Oh, that rascal Eric Holder, he’s just so liberal, that’s why he does this kind of stuff” does not satisfactorily explain why someone at the highest levels of government can consistently and reliably side with evil.
Am I saying Holder is evil? Not exactly, because if he were evil to the core, that would mean he is beyond redemption, which of course I wouldn’t know. But he is “in the grip of evil.”
What kind of evil? Whether you try to understand it by labeling it “anti-Americanism,” “leftist radicalism” or something else, in the end it boils down to this: There are people among us, including in high places – Eric Holder is far from the only one – who are somehow repelled by genuine justice and common sense, and mysteriously sympathetic toward corruption, criminality and tyranny. Until we face this admittedly painful truth, we will not truly understand much of what we see unfolding in Washington today.