by Stephen Lendman
He’s leaving. His nightmarish reign ends. He won’t be missed. He’ll be remembered as one of America’s most lawless attorneys general.
He waged war on fundamental civil liberties. Francis Boyle called him “a total disaster for the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights, Human Rights and the Rule of Law.”
He expects his successor to be worse. Rogue states operate this way. Obama presides over a homeland police state apparatus.
He governs lawlessly. Expect another partner in crime to be nominated. Expect no letup in core rule of law principles violations.
Or war wagrd on fundamental freedoms. They’re disappearing in plain sight. They’re targeted for elimination altogether. Perhaps they’ll die before Obama’s tenure ends.
Maybe his new attorney general will get marching orders to eliminate remaining ones. Perhaps tyranny is one presidential diktat away.
Holder’s departure won’t change things. Expect worse ahead, not better. It’s the American way. It’s subservience to wealth, power and privilege.
It’s letting popular needs go begging. Criminality at the highest public and private levels flourish. Unprecedented grand theft continues.
So does war on humanity. It rages at home and abroad. Washington’s criminal class runs things. It’s bipartisan. It’s beholden to monied interests.
Corruption is deep-seated. It’s unprecedented. Washington’s complicity with corporate crooks gives it new meaning.
Justice Department officials support corrupt power. They defend what demands prosecution.
Presidents bear full responsibility. Attorneys General share it. So do congressional members and courts to the highest level.
Holder is America’s 82nd attorney general. He’s the first African-American one. He’s stepping down four months shy of six years in office.
On December 1, 2008, Obama nominated him. On February 3, 2009, he was sworn in.
He’s a former US Attorney, Clinton Deputy Attorney General and Superior Court of the District of Columbia judge.
Earlier he was a Washington-based Covington & Burling litigation partner. Perhaps he’ll return to cash in more than ever.
He was Obama’s senior campaign legal advisor. He was one of a three-member vice-presidential selection committee.
Fast and Furious was a Phoenix-based Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) so-called “gun-walking” operation from 2009 to 2011.
Licensed Arizona gun dealers were encouraged to sell firearms to known criminals. The idea was to trace them cross-border to Mexican drug cartels.
It was part of a broader Project Gunrunner operation. At issue was halting the flow of weapons to known Mexican criminals.
No high-profile drug cartel figures were arrested. Crime scene guns tracked by ATF operatives were found on both sides of the border.
Gunwalking operations became public knowledge after US Border Patrol agent Brian Terry’s murder. Disgruntled ATF agents testified before Congress.
On June 12, 2012, Holder became America’s first sitting cabinet member held in contempt by Congress.
Its members should have impeached him while they had a chance. Then prosecuted him for malfeasance and dereliction of duty in office.
Candidate Obama promised transparency, accountability and reform. Straightaway in office he broke every major pledge.
Holder served him as judge, prosecutor and executioner. He helped wage his phony war on terror.
Another on government whistleblowers. One more on journalists exposing government activities Obama and Holder want kept secret.
Holder did so when challenging Washington wrongdoing is more urgent than ever.
Press freedom was endangered on Holder’s watch. He authorized lawless surveillance power.
It includes warrantless wiretapping, accessing personal records, monitoring financial transactions, and tracking emails, Internet and cell phone use.
It’s to gather secret evidence for prosecutions. It’s done lawlessly. It continues. Obama wants truth and full disclosure suppressed.
He wants whistleblowers silenced. He targeted more than all his predecessors combined. Holder was his man at DOJ.
He conspired with him against fundamental freedoms. Gross injustice replaced it. Both men betrayed the public trust.
On fabricated national security grounds, activists, political dissidents, anti-war protestors, Muslims, Latino immigrants, lawyers who defend them, whistleblowers, and investigative journalists were ruthlessly targeted.
Waging war on truth-telling is more aggressive than ever. Holder has much to answer for.
He was involved with militarizing city and state police forces.
Obama ludicrously called him another Ramsey Clark.
Law Professor Jonathan Turley called his tenure “one of the most damaging periods in our history with a comprehensive attack on various constitutional rights and principles from free speech to the free press to international law.”
He “fought aggressively to expand the powers of the presidency and national security laws over countervailing individual rights and separation of powers principles.”
“Holder truly personifies an administration of unrivaled ambitions colliding with inescapable realities.”
“(I)t didn’t take long for (his) “Mr. Smith comes to Washington” story to become “all the king’s men.”
Obama heads a Murder, Inc. administration. He can order anyone killed by drones, bullets, knives, slit throats or other means.
He targets anyone, anywhere for any reason or none at all. US citizens are vulnerable like foreign nationals.
Core rule of law principles don’t matter. Obama’s policy circumvents them. He ignored UN Charter’s Article 2(4), stating:
“All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”
Anticipatory or preemptive self-defense against nations, groups, or individuals based on alleged threats is prohibited and lawless if undertaken.
It doesn’t matter. Obama governs extrajudicially. He usurped diktat power. He authorized detaining anyone, anywhere in the world on his say alone. Without charges, trials, due process or judicial review.
He continues Bush’s torture agenda. Holder blocked prosecutions. He did so despite international and constitutional law obligations to pursue them.
He ignored US law. Other times he twisted it for political purposes. For self-aggrandizement.
He used the long outdated 1917 Espionage Act against Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, and Chelsea (aka Bradley) Manning.
It’s a WW I relic. It has no current relevance. It belongs in history’s dustbin.
It was about interfering with military operations, supporting enemies, promoting insubordination in the ranks, or challenging military recruitment.
In Texas v. Johnson (1989), Supreme Court Justice William Brennan wrote the majority opinion, saying:
“(I)f there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea offensive or disagreeable.”
Snowden, Manning, Assange and others wrongfully charged committed no crimes. Whistleblower Protection Act provisions safeguard them. They’re supposed to.
They protect federal employees reporting misconduct. Federal agencies are prohibited from retaliating against those who do so.
Not according to Holder. He went after them vengefully. Vindictively. His DOJ was Stalinist. He justified the unjustifiable.
He supported Obama’s right to attack other countries without Security Council or congressional authorization.
He enforced a litany of police state laws. He acted lawlessly. He did it shamelessly.
He refused to prosecute Wall Street crooks. He let major ones get away with the grandest of grand theft.
A few faced slap-on-the wrist fines only. Not a single top executive did prison time.
The worst of Street practices continue. Major banks and other financial institutions are free to operate lawlessly.
To steal. To rig markets. To rip off customers. To profit handsomely from ill-gotten gains.
War profiteers thrived on Holder’s watch. Trillions of dollars of waste, fraud and abuse didn’t matter. They still don’t.
Public Citizen’s Robert Weissman called his record “badly blemished by his nearly overwhelming failure to hold corporate criminals accountable” alone.
Interventionism is official US policy. So is unbridled power. The right to wage war on humanity.
To ravage and destroy nations. To plunder their resources for profit. To exploit their people.
To do so on the pretext of national security. To commit the highest of high crimes with impunity. Holder’s OK was automatic. Rubber-stamp.
He defended entrapment. It occurs when law enforcement officials or agents induce, influence, or provoke crimes that otherwise wouldn’t be committed. It involves:
- government officials or agents initiating the idea;
- persuading individuals to act; and
- doing so despite no previous intent or willingness.
Holder supported the practice. He did so publicly. He defended the indefensible. He lied saying:
Entrapment “is (an) essential law enforcement tool in uncovering and preventing terror attacks.”
“I make no apologies for how FBI agents handle their work,” he added. Doing it extrajudicially doesn’t matter.
According to Holder, ends justify means. He wrongfully charged scores of Muslims lawlessly.
Lynne Stewart was unjustifiably imprisoned on his watch. It was for defending the wrong client. One Washington wanted convicted.
She spent 30 defending society’s most unwanted. Its most vulnerable. She and her husband Ralph Poynter uncompromisingly defend human and civil rights.
On October 2 at 10:30AM EDT, they’ll be Progressive Radio News Hour guests on the Progressive Radio Network.
This writer hosts it. The program is archived for easy listening.
Throughout his tenure, Holder failed to find a single bona fide terrorist. It didn’t matter.
He charged innocent men and women lawlessly. He imprisoned them on bogus charges. He violated constitutional and US statute laws doing so.
He gave rogue DOJ practices new meaning. He leaves office unapologetically. He won’t be missed!
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.
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