Vol: 129 Issue: 30 Saturday, June 30, 2012
On Thursday while everybody else was trying to figure out how the Supreme Court could have given the government the power to force people to buy something or pay a tax without violating the Constitution, the House of Representative voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.
The House voted in favor of the criminal contempt measure by a vote of 255-67, which included seventeen Democrats. The House also passed a civil contempt measure by a margin of 258-95.
Those Democrats without the courage to go on the record made a big show of “walking out in protest” which has become a new “thing” among Democrats. If you don’t like a law, you simply ignore it. If you think you are going to lose a vote, run away and hide.
One tires of seeing Nancy Pelosi leading yet another walkout of Congress, but only because one knows that she will eventually find her way back in.
President Obama attempted to shield Holder by asserting “executive privilege” protection. Executive privilege has been around since the earliest days of the country, and gives the executive branch the ability to withhold certain internal discussions and documents from scrutiny.
Executive privilege allows the president to obtain advice and counsel from advisors and shields those advisors from worrying about their private counsel being made public. In all cases of executive privilege, it involves the president.
If the president is not involved, then executive privilege does not apply, which makes the assertion that much more baffling, since the president steadfastly denied knowing anything about the DoJ’s gunrunning operation.
In 1927, it ruled that the executive branch was not protected from “legitimate” outside investigations. In 1948, presidential prerogatives were preserved in relation to private lawsuits where national security or military matters are involved.
During the Nixon Watergate investigation, the Supreme Court recognized the constitutional basis for executive privilege.
“Nowhere in the Constitution … is there any explicit reference to a privilege of confidentiality,” that ruling said, “yet to the extent this interest relates to the effective discharge of a president’s powers, it is constitutionally based.”
The court recognized that “those who expect public dissemination of their remarks may well temper candor with a concern for appearances and for their interest, to the detriment of the decision-making process.”
In other words, the Supreme Court laid out a balancing test of sorts: a basic need for executive confidentiality and candor, weighed against the public interests of congressional oversight, a criminal inquiry or prosecution.
The administration is doing everything it can to shield Holder from prosecution while Holder continues to stonewall the investigation. The Democrats, (with the exception of those 17 that put country ahead of party), are arguing that the investigation is nothing more than a political witch hunt designed to embarrass the president.
The facts not in question are these. The federal government conspired with American criminals to sell guns to Mexican drug lords.
Those guns eventually were shown to be responsible for the deaths of more than two hundred Mexican citizens and at least two federal law enforcement officers, one of whom was Border Patrolman Brian Terry.
Once the federal government’s involvement in the gunrunning operation became known, the various federal agencies involved closed ranks and clammed up. Eventually, the investigation led to the office of the Attorney General of the United States, who refused to obey the Congress in open violation of the law.
Those are the facts of the case, none of which are in dispute. The United States Department of Justice is directly responsible for the deaths of more than two hundred foreign nationals, and the Congress wants to know why.
So they voted to hold Eric Holder in criminal contempt for stonewalling their investigation.
The criminal contempt vote by Congress obligates the US Attorney for the District of Columbia to convene a grand jury. You see, that is how the law operates in the United States of America. The law imposes obligations upon those who have voluntarily sworn to uphold it.
I cannot stress that point strongly enough. It ISN’T an option. Sworn law enforcement officers have some discretion — they can decide not to write you a speeding ticket based on circumstances, for example.
But they are obligated to use that discretionary power in the pursuit of justice. The same law enforcement officer cannot refuse to enforce speeding laws because he doesn’t think they are fair. That is not up to him, that is up to the legislators that passed the law.
A law, once passed by a competent legal authority, is neither fair nor unfair. It is the law. Law enforcement officers swear an oath to the law, not to any person.
The Attorney General of the United States is the nation’s chief law enforcement officer. As such, he should be more accountable to the law than any other person in America.
Deputy Attorney General James Cole, also a sworn federal law enforcement officer, notified House Speaker John Boehner in a letter saying that his office would NOT pursue prosecution of Eric Holder.
The attorney general’s withholding of documents pertaining to Operation Fast and Furious, he wrote, “does not constitute a crime.”
“Therefore the department will not bring the congressional contempt citation before a grand jury or take any other action to prosecute the attorney general,” the letter said.
U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen is one of the two attorneys selected by Eric Holder to lead an investigation into the White House security leaks. He and Holder are close friends and have spoken fondly of one another in public.
Machen is the US Attorney for the District of Columbia.
With all of this, there remains a significant portion of the American public that see no problem with the Attorney General refusing to obey the law or with his subordinates refusing to uphold it. Evidently, they are equally comfortable with the idea of federal agents selling guns to Mexican drug gangs.
“And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:” (2 Thessalonians 2:12)
For this significant portion of America, the fact that the White House is occupied by a serial lawbreaker and proven liar is irrelevant because “all politicians lie” and so what’s the big deal? They have no problem with Democrats walking out of a vote rather than taking a stand.
They are already delusional. So when THE Lie does come around, it will have no difficulty finding believers. Because people that stand for nothing will fall for anything. Or anyone.
“Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10)