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The AG has invaded the CIA with a political fight.

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Holder’s Witch Hunt

The AG has invaded the CIA with a political fight.

Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision to prosecute CIA personnel is an outrageous act of political theater that has the potential to significantly damage our nation’s long-term intelligence gathering capabilities. Despite the Administration’s subtle attempts to distance itself from the Justice Department’s investigation, anyone in touch with reality knows that the Attorney General could not pursue this destructive end without the President’s unmitigated support.  President Obama has turned a deaf ear to the pleas of seven former CIA directors while using Mr. Holder to oblige the left’s political base.

 Mr. Holder has a clear history of putting the President’s agenda ahead of the law and the interests of the American people.  As Deputy and then Acting Attorney General during the Clinton Administration, Mr. Holder was intimately involved in the controversial pardons issued by President Clinton hours before he left office, particularly the highly controversial pardons of fugitive tax evader Marc Rich and a number of FALN terrorists.  In the Rich pardon case, Mr. Holder simply shielded career Justice Department lawyers from any knowledge of the situation so as to preempt any objection from his colleagues.  Before paving the way for President Clinton to commute the FALN terrorists’ sentences, Mr. Holder ignored two warnings that such an action would undermine four pending Federal investigations.

 Mr. Holder’s actions in the Rich and FALN matters do not appear to have been the product of naïveté or misjudgment.  Rather, they appear to have been the actions of a man who bent to the prevailing political winds and put aside good judgment in favor of performing personal favors for a President.  In continuing this pattern, Mr. Holder’s resumed his manipulation of nonpartisan Justice Department lawyers shortly after taking office this year.  In March, he rejected his Office of Legal Counsel’s opinion that said the longstanding DC voting rights bill before Congress was unconstitutional.  Knowing his Department was at odds with President Obama, Holder made headlines by finding lawyers at the Solicitor General’s office who would defend the legislation as constitutional if it came before the Supreme Court.  In May, Holder ignored the pleas of six more nonpartisan attorneys at the Justice Department when he inexplicably dropped a civil lawsuit against a group of Black Panthers who used paramilitary uniforms, a nightstick, and racial threats to intimidate voters in the November 2008 elections.

 In August, Mr. Holder unveiled his CIA Witch Hunt.  Considering the political nature of the debate over interrogation techniques, and Mr. Holder’s loathsome legal career, it is hard to imagine the investigation of the CIA as a legitimate inquest in the name of justice.  It is more likely an Obama-manufactured political maneuver to placate the far-left wing of the Democrat Party. This tip of the hat to the radical left is well timed, as the Administration has been forced to slow its plans for further government expansion while it continues taking hits in the energy and health care debates.  

 Don’t be fooled by Holder’s claims of a heightened sense of responsibility to his country, the President’s wishes be damned — this is more of the political theatre that has become the hallmark of the Obama Administration.

 Despite the evidence and dangerous consequences, Eric Holder’s Witch Hunt moves forward.  Nevermind the nonpartisan Justice Department lawyers who determined that prosecution is not warranted.  Nevermind the unprecedented, written objection of seven former CIA Directors sent to President Obama.  Nevermind our current CIA Director, Leon Panetta, who said, “I don’t believe there is a basis for any kind of additional action” in reviewing the CIA interrogation techniques.  Nevermind the chilling effect this investigation may already be having on current CIA officers and our nation’s intelligence gathering capabilities. 
 Mr. Holder, the ultimate partisan, has invaded the CIA with a political fight, and in doing so, serves only the President who allows this to continue, not the People.

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Mr. Burton, a Republican, is the 14-term Representative of the 5th District of Indiana. He was the Chairman of the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight from 1997-2002.

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