We viewed the disgraceful spectacle of the Holder fiasco as a disaster for the GOP and for the rights and safety of Americans generally. Lefties such as Leser look at it entirely differently. Read it, and I'll have some comments on the other side.
January 29, 2009 at 08:09:03
Holder Confirmation Controversy - GOP Members Guilty of Extortion, Obstruction of Justice and Racketeering?
by Steven Leser
As news came out of the Senate Judiciary Committee's approval of Attorney General Nominee Eric Holder, sending his nomination to the full Senate, reports came out of a possible agreement struck between Holder and various Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. One of those reports, detailed here in the Washington Times, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jan/28/exclusive-holder-assures-gop-torture-prosecution/ , suggests a deal that could be described by some ugly terms.
According to the Times:
Eric H. Holder Jr.'s confirmation as attorney general is speeding toward approval thanks in part to his private assurances to a key Republican senator that he does not intend to prosecute intelligence agency interrogators for their actions during the prior administration.
The assurances, reported by Sen. Christopher S. Bond, Missouri Republican, to The Washington Times on Wednesday, went beyond Mr. Holder's earlier public testimony in which he said he could not prejudge his actions regarding cases he had not seen.
"I believe [Mr. Holder] will look forward to keep the nation safe and not look backwards to prosecute intelligence operators who were fighting terror and kept our country safe since 9/11," Mr. Bond said in the interview.
A Holder Aide denied that any such deal had been made. As reported in Talking Points Memo here http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/01/holder-aide-we-made-no-special-promises-to-bond.php as well as the above Washington Times article, the aide said:
"Eric Holder has not made any commitments about who would or would not be prosecuted," the aide said via e-mail. "He explained his position to Senator Bond as he did in the public hearing and in his responses to written questions."
The aide pointed to Holder's written response to a question from Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ):
Prosecutorial and investigative judgments must depend on the facts, and no one is above the law. But where it is clear that a government agent has acted in "reasonable and good-faith reliance on Justice Department legal opinions" authoritatively permitting his conduct, I would find it difficult to justify commencing a full-blown criminal investigation, let alone a prosecution.
The Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee including Senator Bond had better hope that no such deal has been struck. A deal that was made under the threat of withholding something from Mr. Holder (approval of his nomination) unless he agreed not to prosecute a crime could be construed as Extortion and Obstruction of Justice. Since this Extortion and Obstruction of Justice would deal with prior bad acts (Torture and crimes against humanity) by other members of the same group, in this case, Republicans (in the Bush administration) and those to whom they gave orders, one could then assert that the GOP is an ongoing criminal organization and seek to prosecute those involved under RICO, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
This is easier understood if paraphrased. If a member of a mafia crime family went to a district attorney who is applying for membership to a country club and says he will help him get into that country club if he refuses to prosecute a member of that crime family for an unrelated crime otherwise he will block his membership, that is bribery, extortion and obstruction of justice and would also potentially lead to RICO indictments.
RICO has been applied very liberally since it was passed and according to how it reads in the Cornell University Law School site,
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode18/usc_sup_01_18_10_I_20_96.html would seem to encompass what is suggested to have transpired here. One of the reasons RICO was passed was to allow prosecutors to go after powerful organizations that commit crimes and then use threats and influence peddling to prevent those crimes from being prosecuted. That is exactly what we have here.
Mr. Holder is almost certain to be confirmed by a full Senate vote. If he did agree to what Senator Bond suggests, that probably does not constitute a crime on the part of Mr. Holder if he ignores the alleged agreement. He is, however, duty bound to name a special prosecutor to investigate the situation and he must also investigate the Bush administration's use of torture and other illegal methods of interrogation and treatment of prisoners. To do otherwise would implicate him in the alleged GOP scheme.
Even if the agreement did not happen as Senator Bond alleges, the fact that he thinks that he executed such an agreement, or that he is claiming this agreement exists as a way to try to prevent soon to be Attorney General Holder from prosecuting a crime might constitute Obstruction of Justice or a Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice. It will be interesting to see if anyone else notices this and it will be interesting to see whether Senator Bond and other Republicans back away from these statements.
Moreover, what I wonder if Senator Bond realizes is the very fact that he has publicized that he thinks an agreement is necessary proves that he believes that members of the Bush administration along with those to whom they passed interrogation orders or instructions NEED that agreement. In other words, he thinks they ARE prosecutable and guilty of some crimes. After bragging to the Washington Times about this alleged deal with Holder, Senator Bond may find himself on one of those shows detailing America's dumbest criminals.
An OEN Editor, Steven Leser specializes in Politics, Science & Health, and Entertainment topics. He has held positions within the Democratic Party including District Chair and Public Relations Chair within county organizations. Steven Leser writes for www.opednews.com, an internet only media site that has grown to become one of the highest traffic news sites in America, reaching more traffic, according to alexa.com, than all but the thirty largest daily newspapers in the US. Mr. Leser is one of the 500+ liberal pundits who, each month, are published in what has become one of the top five Liberal/progressive media sites
MBV: A final thought. One of the things we see here is that lefties criminalize political thoughts and speech. And if they want to prosecute US Senators under the RICO statute, I guess there's no doubt what they want to do with US.
Mike V. Actually, there are three Americas:
1. There is the America of the modern big government socialist left (let's call them what they are - communists). They only whined and complained about abuse of power during the Bush years because it was not THEM doing the abusing. Now we will hear no more of that talk, and we will see them go for their communist ideal, using all the power of the imperial presidency Bush built up.
2. There is the America of the modern big government right, the neocons - let's also be honest and call them what they are - fascists - as William Griggs so ably pointed out in his article Fare Thee Well, and Get Ye Lost.
The neocon fascists (who started out as Trotskyists, let's not forget), hate the modern liberal communists because they are two competing totalitarian groups.
But they also hate and despise libertarians and strict constitutionalists. An easy way to identify them is to just mention the name "Ron Paul" and they react like vampires to a cross.
The right wing fascists are as big government loving and Constitution desecrating as the left wing communists. Like the left, they never met a government program they did not love (how many did they get rid of during eight years of power? Hmmm?), and were drunk with power during the Bush years, ripping down what little was left of the Bill of Rights and spending like drunk sailors. They now only complain because it is no longer their guy in the White House - but they have no real philosophical objection of any substance to whatever the lefties now do with all the extra power the neocons have given to government.
Unfortunately, within that camp at the moment there is also a very large population of blind followers in the GOP who have been brainwashed and corrupted by the neocons for eight years (it will take years for us to deprogram those poor brainwashed souls). They are not truly fascist, and they can be saved, but they have drunk the cool-aid of executive power worship and we will need to patiently detoxify them.
3. Then there is the America of the strict construction, limited government constitutionalists and libertarians, who still believe in the bedrock principles of our Republic - natural rights, the right of revolution, the sovereignty of the people, federalism, and the concept of a written constitution with a fixed meaning, limited government, and the sacredness of the Bill of Rights. It is here that you will find the heart of the resistance, and the fire of liberty.
We may see some among the second camp join with us in fighting against the socialists simply because they hate them so much, as direct competition, but I would not trust them too much. Given the chance, the neocons will attempt to reconstitute their own version of a totalitarian nightmare - keep a close eye on them, even if they do actively fight against the left.
And as for the brainwashed GOP masses? We will have to work very hard to remind them of the truth, and of the principles of our republic they used to understand before the neocons got hold of them. It won't be easy - though four years of Obamanation may help them to see the light.
As Jefferson said, "let us hear no more of confidence in men, but bind them down with the chains of the Constitution."
well, if this pans out, and holder doesn't investigate, that won't reflect too well on obama to the constituent of voters who aren't die-hard worshippers but rather the come-as-you-may-but-democrats-only-please intellectual majority -- like college professors.
after all, they'd have to remain consistent and criminalize those thoughts and speeches by which he promised to end the torture state and hold some people accountable, right?
maybe consistency is too much to ask of the left.
Do you remember the Clinton/Reno team? Remember that it is "an on-going investigation". We have surpassed the "saturation point" now the manure is backing up against the wall. Gonna need a more powerful fan I think.
Your take on my article is interesting. I never imagined that the right to offer inducements in exchange for non-prosecutive commitments is something that anyone wanted to defend.
As I said, interesting.
- Steve Leser
There is much. Mr. Leser, that you have "never imagined."
Email me at GeorgeMason1776@aol.com and we can plumb the depths of your ignorance about our side of the national divide.
By this argument, Obama can be prosecuted as a conspirator in Blagojevich's attempt to sell his Senate seat - they are both Democrats.
In fairness, Mr. Lesser has a point. criminality in Congress has no place. Turning a blind eye to any criminal behavior was not the American way. We were in the past, true and honest men, who protected our principles even at the point of a gun.
If we are to once again stand for honesty and justice then prosecution of crimes and criminals in and out of our legislature should be the order of the day. Should we not then, prosecute the those who have committed murder in the name of convenience. Should we not start with the Justices who sat on the court of Roe v Wade? Continuing through to the current administrator who voted in favor of partial birth and live birth abortion?
Were the shoe on the other foot, would Mr. Lesser be so quick as to point to past sins? But before we call for a roast of he and his liberal friends should we not look into our own closet? Are we not the ones who allowed these culprits into our midst? Did we not sit idly by while they infiltrated our legislatures and institutions of learning? Is passivity an excuse for able bodied men?
Shall we not call it a draw, Mr. Lesser and move forward. Today we can call to unite those who believe in democracy and shun the concepts of socialism. As our sin was to allow them to prejudice our culture at the lowest level, we must now begin root them from our midst at that same level.
A revolution can begin with one man, one idea held and expressed to those who would listen. From that one man an idea can be spread a wave which changes nations. We must believe in change, we must demand change in our homes, in our schools and in our local governments. We can build from the ground up, just as we let go from the ground up.
What I see and what I read leads me to believe there are those who find the idea of democracy and it's freedoms has not died. From those small beginning we can resurrect what was once a proud and strong nation grounded in the values of God and Country.
When the foundation is laid, and the idea grown, then Mr. Lesser we will again discuss crimes of our past and see who stands to suffer the greatest.
I blog at www.defenseoftherepublic.com
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