Monday, July 13, 2009
What is a banana republic? According to a cynical yet highly accurate definition it is a place where they name a street after you one week and chase you down it the next. If Eric holder has his way, former President George W. Bush may feel that America is such a place. According to Newsweek, Attorney General Eric Holder is planning to hold hearings to investigate allegations of torture and other naughty things that went on during the Bush administration. Newsweek reports as follows.
"Four knowledgeable sources tell NEWSWEEK that he is now leaning toward appointing a prosecutor to investigate the Bush administration's brutal interrogation practices, something the president has been reluctant to do. While no final decision has been made, an announcement could come in a matter of weeks, say these sources, who decline to be identified discussing a sensitive law-enforcement matter. Such a decision would roil the country, would likely plunge Washington into a new round of partisan warfare, and could even imperil Obama's domestic priorities, including health care and energy reform. Holder knows all this, and he has been wrestling with the question for months. "I hope that whatever decision I make would not have a negative impact on the president's agenda," he says. "But that can't be a part of my decision."
The article paints a disarming portrait of Holder, one of a man who is a gentleman in an argument. The article portrays him as a tough judge who was not shy about handing out jail time yet so gentlemanly that the convicts he sent away thanked him.
The article praises Holder for his independence. It claims that President Obama is reluctant to investigate and possibly indict Bush administration figures. Eric Holder is supposedly a man of law who is now agonising over the weighty decisions he faces concerning whether or not to take legal action against Obama's predecessors. He is shocked and outraged over the treatment of prisoners from America's war on terror. How he feels about some of the tortures under Sadaam Hussein is not recorded. Cutting off hands, gouging out eyes and mailing videotapes of the gang rape of family members would only concern Holder if it were done by Americans. But since these and other horrific acts were done by America's enemies, it does not concern him. He wants America to fight a war against ruthless adversaries using gentlemen's rules.
Supposedly, Obama is opposed to the plans being weighed by his Attorney General. I do not believe this for a second. If such information is being leaked, Obama is playing games if he pretends to be opposed to Holder's plans.
If Holder establishes a precedent of subjecting predecessors in the Oval Officed to prosecution, it will be a powerfully destabilising influence on the stability of our country. Only the gravest and most pressing cause should precipitate such an action. Second guessing interrogators in a war situation shows a stunning lack of good faith. It will create ill will between the Democrats and Republicans that will be divisive and corrosive toward national unity. It will also diminish respect for America in the eyes of ruthless enemies.
Holder has every right to agonise over the actions of the Bush Administration. But he should do so as a private citizen. If Obama is truly opposed to the actions of his "maverick" Attorney General, he should send him packing. There is a saying that "Those who like the law or sausage should not watch either one being made." This is certainly true of warfare.
In any corporation, behavior such as that of Eric Holder would be rewarded with a pink slip. If Obama keeps him on, it is because he approves of what he is doing. If Eric Holder has his way, the country will be divided and vulnerable. We do not need that. And we do not need Eric Holder. Sphere: Related Content