By Paul R. Hollrah, Guest Blogger
Just eight words are proof enough that we can never again allow Democrats to run the United States Department of Justice. Those words are: Bill Clinton, Janet Reno, Barack Obama and Eric Holder.
Attorney General Eric Holder
During the month of February 1993, agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tax, and Firearms learned that the Branch Davidians, a religious sect located near Waco, Texas, had purchased 45 AR15 receivers for assault rifles… all legal firearms components. However, under the suspicion that the Davidians might be using the receivers to manufacture illegal fully-automatic weapons, the BATF asked for and received a federal warrant to search the Davidian compound.
On April 17, after weeks of resistance by David Koresh and his followers, Attorney General Janet Reno approved a full-scale assault on the Davidian compound. Her decision was affirmed by Bill Clinton on April 18 and the order was given. Federal agents, in an 80 vehicle convoy, attacked the Davidian compound with armored vehicles, tear gas and scores of heavily armed agents. Within minutes, the compound was fully engaged in flame and 76 residents, including 20 children and 2 pregnant women, perished in the flames.
Then, after eight years of the George W. Bush Administration, during which time the Department of Justice was ably and honorably administered by Attorney Generals Ashcroft, Gonzales, and Mukasey, the White House was occupied by Barack Obama and his team of Chicago-style thugs. As attorney general, Obama chose Eric Holder, a Washington lawyer with a long history of legal administration colored by hyper-partisanship and political payoffs.
Holder’s criminal past goes back to December 1994 when he was United States Attorney for the District of Columbia. In the aftermath of the failed Hillarycare debacle, several physicians filed suit against the Clinton Administration, charging that they were barred from participating in closed-door negotiations while pro-Hillarycare advocates were allowed in.
The White House staff member in charge of the Hillarycare negotiations was Hillary Clinton’s senior aide, Ira Magaziner, who claimed in a sworn affidavit that only federal government employees had participated in the White House meetings. That sworn testimony was patently false, but when the Magaziner case was brought before U.S. Attorney Eric Holder he refused to prosecute (Scooter Libby must be green with envy.)
However, until recent weeks, Holder’s most celebrated crime in support of Democratic hanky-panky occurred during the closing days of the Clinton Administration when pardons were sold to the highest bidder. The most notorious of these were pardons for fugitive international financier Marc Rich, an FBI “ten-most-wanted” fugitive who’d been on the run from U.S. authorities for 18 years, and the 16 imprisoned members of the Puerto Rican terrorist group, FALN.
In the Rich case, then-Deputy Attorney General Holder advised Rich’s attorney, former White House Counsel Jack Quinn, to bypass normal procedures and send his pardon request directly to the White House. Rich’s ex-wife, Denise, had given more than $1 million to the Democrat Party and to the Clinton Library and had visited Clinton on numerous occasions when Hillary was not in residence, so Clinton was more than anxious to be helpful. Quinn did as Holder suggested and a telephone conversation was quickly arranged between Clinton and Holder.
In that conversation, Holder informed Clinton that, on the merits of the Rich pardon, he was “neutral, leaning toward favorable.” It was all Clinton needed to hear. The pardon, which Jimmy Carter characterized as “disgraceful” and “attributable to large gifts,” was granted. In subsequent testimony before House and Senate hearings, Holder was as slippery as an eel. He said, “I did not view (my interaction) as a recommendation, because I did not have the ability to look at all the materials that had been vetted through the way we normally vet materials.”
In other words, what Holder told the Congress was that Clinton could have obtained equally informed advice by consulting a person chosen at random from the Washington, D.C., telephone directory… someone who had never heard of Marc or Denise Rich.
The Rich pardon was preceded by an equally outrageous Clinton pardon. On August 11, 1999, Clinton commuted the sentences of 16 members of the FALN, a violent Puerto Rican terrorist group that set off at least 130 bombs in the United States between 1974 and 1983, mostly in New York and Chicago. The terrorists were convicted of conspiracy to commit robbery, bomb-making and sedition, as well as firearms and explosives violations, with prison terms ranging from 35 to 105 years. In their terror attacks, they were responsible for no less than six deaths and the permanent maiming of dozens more, including law enforcement officers.
The commutation was opposed by the U.S. Attorney, the FBI, the Bureau of Prisons, a number of FALN victims and the Fraternal Order of Police. However, following Holder’s appointment as Deputy Attorney General, he received a memo from three Puerto Rican members of Congress, Representatives Gutierrez, Velazquez, and Serrano, asking that he review the clemency request. In July 1999, Holder ignored the opposition and recommended clemency for the terrorists. Who benefited most from the commutations? Hillary Rodham Clinton, who was campaigning for a seat in the U.S. Senate and needed the votes of the New York Puerto Rican community.
And now, as Attorney General of the United States, Eric Holder once again finds himself in the midst of a political firestorm… a firestorm that may ultimately make Teapot Dome, Abscam, Travelgate, Filegate or any of the numerous Clinton scandals pale by comparison, a firestorm that Forbes Magazine suggests may ultimately become Obama’s Watergate.
In recent months, it has been learned that, sometime around September 2009, in a program called Operation Fast and Furious, BATF agents began pressuring Arizona gun stores to sell firearms to buyers whom the BATF thought would resell the guns to Mexican cartels, hoping to trace the guns to drug kingpins. Since gun store owners cannot do business without a federal license, and since the BATF has the authority to shut down a gun store if the store’s paperwork is not in order or if the merchant is uncooperative, those requests were seen as more than simple requests.
As a result, gun store owners found themselves between a rock and a hard place. The law requires them to report suspicious activity and to refuse to sell firearms to people they think may be breaking the law, yet BATF agents were telling them to sell firearms to suspicious-looking people who wanted to buy assault rifles by the dozens. In fact, while BATF agents continued to apprehend gun smugglers transporting large numbers of weapons into Mexico, they were ordered by their superiors to let the smugglers pass. Peter Forcelli, a BATF agent, told congressional investigators that, “We weren’t giving guns to people who were hunting bear. We were giving guns to people who were killing other humans.”
What sets Operation Fast and Furious apart from previous political scandals is that no one was killed in Teapot Dome, Abscam, or Watergate, and only one person, Clinton confidante Vince Foster, lost his life during the many Clinton scandals. Operation Fast and Furious has been directly linked to the murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, in Arizona and the killing of Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) Special Agent Jaime Zapata in the Mexican state of San Luis Potosi. And although it is not known exactly how many Mexican nationals have lost their lives to Fast and Furious weapons, the Attorney General of Mexico has been able to tie at least 200 deaths to Fast and Furious weapons. Only 600 of the 2500 smuggled weapons have been recovered, many at the scene of grisly murders.
In an appearance before the House Judiciary Committee on May 3, 2011, Holder testified that he could not recall the exact date on which he first learned of Operation Fast and Furious. He said he’d “probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.”
But now, documents have surfaced showing that Holder was made aware of the “gun walking” operation at least nine months earlier. In a July 2010 memorandum, Michael Walther, Director of the National Drug Intelligence Center, told Holder that straw buyers in Operation Fast and Furious were “responsible for the purchase of 1,500 firearms that were then supplied to the Mexican drug trafficking cartels.” This was followed by an October 18, 2010 memorandum from one of Holder’s chief deputies, Lanny Breuer, head of the DOJ Criminal Division, advising Holder that prosecutors were prepared to issue indictments in Operation Fast and Furious.
More than 40,000 people have died in that country’s bloody drug wars and Mexican government officials are furious. They are demanding that those responsible for the smuggling of thousands of assault weapons into Mexico be extradited for trial in Mexican courts.
During the mid-1990s, when Holder served as U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, he initiated a program called Operation Ceasefire, designed to reduce violent crime by getting guns out of the hands of criminals. Now, it appears he has completely changed sides on the issue. Having witnessed the damage that Barack Obama and Eric Holder have done to our great nation I can think of no greater justice than to see Holder extradited to Mexico… no greater pleasure than to stand at the border as he is led away in handcuffs and leg irons in the custody of the Mexican national police.
Paul R. Hollrah
Hollrah is a senior fellow at the Lincoln Heritage Institute and a contributing editor for Family Security Matters and a number of online publications. He resides in northeast Oklahoma.
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