BY DAVE WORKMAN FOR SEATTLE GUN RIGHTS EXAMINER – Attorney General Eric Holder is hardly home free after the Justice Department has declined to act on last week’s 255-67 House vote to hold him in contempt of Congress, as newspaper editorial pages – the Seattle Times among them – are weighing in, and it’s not good.
The Times spoke prior to the historic House vote last week, arguing that Holder should turn over subpoenaed documents and stop stonewalling. The newspaper said Holder deserved the contempt vote, and more than 100 readers left comments. The Times now has lots of company.
There is definitely interest in the Holder affair, generated by the Bellevue-based Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. That organization, chaired by the Northwest’s leading gun rights advocate Alan Gottlieb, threw its weight behind the contempt vote.
Not only did the CCRKBA transmit a widespread e-mail alert, it also produced the blistering video calling Holder to task for Fast and Furious, and urging House Speaker John Boehner and Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa to hold him accountable. History will show that Issa and Boehner did their part while the Justice Department did nothing.
To gauge how much of a problem Holder might become for the Obama administration in a volatile election year, just read some of the editorials that have appeared in some surprising places.
The Boston Herald wrote: “But the point should not be lost that for 18 months the House has attempted to negotiate with Holder’s Justice Department the release of documents to which is entitled. That the nation’s top law enforcement officer should continue to stonewall that investigation like some sort of mafia don is beyond belief.
“And this from the man who continues to fight for the right of dead people to vote in Florida!
“There are a lot of things for which Holder should be held in contempt. Stonewalling Congress is simply the most obvious…”
Down in the Sunshine State, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel observed, “To get answers, we need those documents. Claiming executive privilege only adds to the speculation that the administration and Justice Department are hiding something.
“Congressional Democrats would disagree. On the day the House voted to hold Attorney General Holder in contempt for not turning over the documents, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and 100 Democrats walked out saying they would be “non-participants” in a witch hunt against Holder.
“Clever theatrics, sure, and we share some of their suspicions about the motives of the investigation. However, there is simply too much smoke around Attorney General Holder and the Justice Department on this to take their word at face value. Polls show the American public isn’t buying their explanation…”
The Philadelphia Inquirer ran a sizzling Op-Ed by former Justice Department special attorney George Parry, who wrote, “Recall that, in 2009, Obama advocated resurrecting the Clinton-era ban on the sale of military-style semiautomatic rifles by fatuously claiming that 90 percent of the guns seized after shootings in Mexico came from the United States. This startling statistic became an oft-repeated talking point for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D., Ill.), and other gun-control advocates.
“Unfortunately for them, their statistical proof was readily and embarrassingly debunked by gun advocates, as well as nonpartisan groups such as the Annenberg Public Policy Center.
“Now we learn that the Justice Department has been running guns to Mexico for no rational law enforcement purpose. Could it be that Holder — at the direction of the White House — was trying to inflate the number of guns sold in America and found to be used in Mexican crimes? Was this idiotic operation nothing more than an attempt by the Obama administration to manufacture bogus “proof” of the purported need for stricter gun controls in this country?
“If not, then why has Holder stonewalled Congress, to the point of being held in contempt? And why has Obama placed himself in the middle of this fiasco by asserting executive privilege?
“But if this was just an antigun stunt, then we may well be looking at Watergate redux — with several hundred murder victims, including U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, thrown in for good measure…”
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Ruth Ann Dailey had this to say: “The Obama administration’s handling of “Fast and Furious” thus far fails the Katrina test. Gunrunner started before it took the reins in Washington, but the administration’s response to tragedy has been inaccurate at best, high-handed and dishonest at worst. Was executive privilege invoked to protect undercover agents, or was it to hide the administration’s bungling? Does it really matter why?”
Yes it does matter. Holder, and now President Obama, own Fast and Furious. The longer they stonewall, the more people will believe they have something to hide.
This pair may not pay much attention to Speaker Boehner and House Republicans, but with an election looming and a very unpopular ruling by the Supreme Court on Obamacare, they will definitely watch how the newspapers and public opinion go on anything they do.