Eric Holder is by far one of the worst Attorney Generals in recent history ' so much so that it truly is confounding as to why the Democrats would be rallying around him in the midst of the Fast and Furious scandal...yet the Left stands up for Holder, calling charges against him "politically motivated."
Nancy Pelosi even went so far as to accuse Republicans of using the Fast and Furious hearings and the contempt vote as an attack on Holder as retaliation for his Justice Department's opposition to voter ID laws and Florida's push to clean up their voter roles - measures Pelosi describes as attemps to supress votes.
According to Pelosi:
These very same people who are holding [Eric Holder] in contempt are part of a nationwide scheme to suppress the vote. It is connected. It's clear as can be. It's not only to monopolize his time, it's to undermine his name.
Pelosi's conspiracy theory would make even a Birther blush - and not just because Operation Fast and Furious is a legitimate scandal that the White House, the Justice Department, and the media have been trying to keep away from the public eye for years now, but also because Eric Holder has been working against any and all attempts to keep our elections process above-board for as long as he has been Attorney General.
But let's start with Fast and Furious.
For those who may not know, Operation Fast and Furious was a gun trafficking operation where the Department of Justice (DOJ), via Homeland Security (DHS) and Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) would, allow people to buy and sell guns, which were then illegally transported across the Mexican border, instead of stopping the sales and arresting the buyers & sellers. This is known as "gun walking," and the idea was to track the guns as they crossed the border, and find out where they ended up.
But it all went wrong.
DOJ lost track of hundreds of firearms after they crossed the border, basically allowing the weapons to make it into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. The whole operation blew up in December of 2010 when Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in a firefight 11 miles from the border. While the bullet that killed Terry was too badly damaged to be linked to a specific gun, two assault rifles recovered from the firefight were linked to Fast and Furious. All told, just over 2,000 firearms were bought during the operation. Only about 400 have been recovered.
There have also been questions surrounding the death of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata, who was killed in February of 2011 by a man who was known by the AFT to be a straw purchaser, but had not been arrested for his gunrunning activities.
Fast and Furious has long been ignored by the mainstream media, and it was only after a deluge of reporting from the conservative media that Congress finally began investigating. Since then, the Fast and Furious investigation has been a jumbled mess of Justice Department obstructionism. Justice Department officials have been caught in multiple lies throughout the Congressional hearings, including Attorney General Holder himself, who lied to Congress about his knowledge of the program. On top of the outright lies emanating from DOJ, the Justice Department has been extremely sluggish in producing documents related to Fast and Furious ' and "extremely sluggish" is putting it nicely. This is what finally prompted the House Oversight and Government Reform committee to move forward with a contempt of Congress vote ' Holder still has not released all of the documents requested by Congress.
In fact, if there is a conspiracy here, it's more likely coming from the White House than from Congressional Republicans. President Obama has asserted executive privilege over the documents in question, which would imply either that the White House was directly involved in Fast and Furious (or in trying to cover it up), something they have denied throughout the investigation, or that the president is trying to use the executive privilege to avoid the embarrassment of having his AG held in contempt of Congress during an election year. Either way, it's bad news for the Obama administration ' especially when Press Secretary Jay Carney couldn't even remember Brian Terry's name during a press conference on Friday, demonstrating that the Obama administration just doesn't seem to care about their culpability in the death of a federal agent.
Eric Holder is dirty. He is on the wrong side of Fast and Furious ' there isn't any way around it. If there were, the issue would have been resolved by now ' after all, Holder and other Justice Department officials have tried every excuse in the book, even blaming President Bush, whose DOJ had its own unsuccessful "gunwalking" operation...but you would think that a rational and competent Attorney General would see the failure of Operation Wide Receiver and would see that gunwalking operations are a bad idea.
But Fast and Furious isn't the only reason Eric Holder should resign and leave Washington in disgrace. Let's go back to Congresswoman Pelosi's assertion that the contempt vote is "part of a scheme to suppress the vote."
Eric Holder's DOJ has been crusading against
attempts to keep the American election process fair and above-board almost as long as he has been Attorney General. It started very early on, when Holder's Justice Department refused to prosecute members of the New Black Panther Party after they had been videotaped wearing military-style uniforms and brandishing clubs outside a polling place in Philadelphia during the 2008 election.
The Justice Department and Attorney General Holder personally, have also been on a crusade against voter ID laws, which have been growing in popularity across the nation and have been passed in several states. According to Holder, voter ID laws are racist and unneeded ' and Holder has even held on to this opinion after one conservative activist showed just how ridiculous our election system is now when he walked into Holder's polling place and was offered Holder's ballot. Of course, no one on the Left has as yet given a coherent explanation as to why it is so egregious to require photo ID at the polling place, but not at bars, airports, hotels, banks, and any of the plethora of other places you have to show ID in order to purchase a product or service. Back in March, Holder asserted that
"there is no proof that our elections are marred by in-person voter fraud," and that voter ID laws are "a mechanism that makes it more difficult for people to exercise what is the most fundamental of American rights." And while Holder is correct that voter ID laws to make it a tiny bit more difficult to vote, is that not worth it to know that people aren't voting illegally ' particularly in light of how easy it was for one person to be offered Holder's own ballot?
After all, it is an established fact that our elections process is rife with fraudulent voter registrations. Voter registration drives (a favorite tool of the Left) collect fraudulent registrations each and every election cycle. And without voter ID laws, in-person voter fraud committed with fraudulent voter registrations is extremely difficult to prove...and Holder, Nancy Pelosi's champion for the franchise, is even fighting against attempts to clean up voter rolls.
The state of Florida has been working to get illegal registrants off of the rolls for some time, and they are now facing a law suit from Eric Holder's Justice Department, which maintains that the state has taken too long to finish the work, and has passed the deadline. The government of Florid has counter-sued, alleging that the Justice Department, specifically DHS, has stonewalled their requests to get information from a Department of Homeland Security database that would have streamlined their efforts, and should have been provided to them. Even without the database information, Florida has thus-far identified over 100 ineligible voters and removed them from the roles, and there are more to come as more counties complete their audits.
According to the DOJ's press release
about their lawsuit, "The Department of Justice has an overriding interest in protecting the rights of eligible citizens to register and vote free from unlawful burdens, while at the same time ensuring that ineligible persons do not register and vote in federal elections in violation of the law." So according to the Justice Department, Florida's attempt to remove illegal registrants is an "unlawful burden," but a Black Panther brandishing a nightstick is not.
Nancy Pelosi's comments are only the crowning moment in a saga of ridiculousness that is the Holder Justice Department. It is mind-boggling that Eric Holder would still be Attorney General after the spate of scandals that have plagued his department, and more mind-boggling still that President Obama has stuck his neck out so far during an election year to save what clearly is a sinking ship.