Resignation holds many questions

admin

Daniel Maibenco

 

The Department of Justice is charged with upholding the law and being accountable for all its actions. No matter what issue is presented, this government agency is supposed to judge and prosecute groups and individuals fairly. Sounds simple, right? Yet during the past five years, there has been a constant tug-of-war between Holder and the Department of Justice against congress.

On Sept. 25, 2014, Eric Holder officially announced his resignation as Attorney General. Given the Obama administration’s history of having politicians such as Hillary Clinton and Rahm Emanuel leave their positions to pursue other interests, many people give no thought to this announcement. But, a few scandals and other interesting facts from the past few years have given me reason to think that Holder’s resignation may mean something more.

One such example is the DOJ’s targeting of Fox News reporter James Rosen. In 2009, Rosen asked a state department contractor about their opinion on North Korea’s nuclear program. Rosen later reported that his confidential source thought North Korea was planning on doing nuclear tests.

In 2010, the confidential informant was later indicted for leaking the information, but in 2013, Rosen was named as a criminal co-conspirator by Holder in the case. By being labeled as an accomplice in the investigation, the DOJ was given the right to monitor Rosen’s e-mails, phone calls and actions.

To journalists, this is a slap in the face. Rosen was targeted, but with on no legal grounds. By interviewing his source, Rosen committed no crime. Rosen expressed first amendment rights, but was targeted because the DOJ did not like the subject on which he was reporting.

Another big issue during Eric Holder’s tenure was the first Fort Hood shooting in Texas. On Nov. 5, 2009, Army major Nidal Malik Hassan opened fire at the army base—13 were killed and 30 were wounded.

Hasan, a Muslim, allegedly became a jihadi and had severe mental issues. If Hasan used the concept of jihad to attack the army base, then the shooting is a terrorist attack. However, according to the DOJ, this is workplace violence.

What’s the difference? If the shooting is a terrorist attack, the victims and their families are given purple hearts and full benefits for being wounded or killed in a combat zone. Since this is seen as a workplace violence, the victims get reduced benefits.

This is truly disappointing. The DOJ let politics get in the way of giving these veterans who have suffered the benefits and recognition they deserve. Political correctness or fear of offending others should not matter. Regardless, if religion may or may not have been a factor, a man DID terrorize a community by committing this heinous act.

The most controversial issue for Holder, however, is the Fast and Furious program. From 2006-2011, the DOJ and the ATF had a gun walking operation ongoing between Arizona and Mexico in an attempt to curb the smuggling of U.S. purchased guns to the Mexican drug cartels as well as violence at the border. This fell apart when the ATF lost track of at least half of the firearms bought by “straw purchasers” and several of these guns were used to commit homicides, including the murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

Ever since this catastrophe came up, the DOJ has refused to release any documents or details about their investigation into the matter. Eric Holder has refused to name who authorized this operation and who or what was involved in it.

His refusal to cooperate made him the first and only Attorney General as well presidential cabinet member to be held in contempt of Congress. A few days ago, a federal judge ruled that the delayed documents must be released by Oct. 22. Holder resigned shortly afterwards.

Now the question is, “What legacy does Holder leave us?” All throughout his tenure he has been a controversial figure. He has dealt with some, not all, of the issues presented to him. He has handpicked what issues he wants answered. It is not justice for all, but serving an agenda. This all leaves one question: does Eric Holder leave office at the top of his game? I think not.