Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Excuses, Excuses

Methinks the Obama Administration doth protest too much about its dubious record of the most whistleblower prosecutions in presidential history. The New York Times today has the White House and its Justice Department actually blaming their predecessors for the number of petty leak cases they were apparently forced to prosecute.

They also blame technology and emails for the ease in prosecuting stupid leak cases at the same time they insist that the blatant paper and e-trails of Wall Street crimes are just too hard to parse. They're twisting themselves into enough pretzels to choke ten Dubyas. They're desperately trying to wipe off the well-deserved egg on their face for their dumb prosecutions of John Edwards and Roger Clemens.

Eric Holder apparently just realized he does not want incompetence and pettiness to be his legacy. And President Obama doesn't want anyone to think that going back on a campaign promise to protect government whistleblowers is going to be part of his legacy, either. The six whistleblower prosecutions done under his watch in the past three years are totally accidental! From The Times:

When we took office in January 2009, I don’t think bringing a lot of leak cases was high on anyone’s agenda,” said Matthew Miller, who was director of public affairs at the Justice Department until July. “But then they came up one by one, and without anyone realizing it, we had set a record.”
Like most presidents, Mr. Obama has been infuriated by some leaks, but aides say he never ordered investigations. Current and former officials said Mr. Obama and Mr. Holder, who are social friends, have avoided discussing investigations and prosecutions to avoid any appearance of improper White House influence, a charge Democrats lodged against the Bush administration.
Asked whether the White House had a role in the leak cases, a spokesman for the National Security Council, Tommy Vietor, said, “Decisions about leak prosecutions are made by the Department of Justice.”
For decades, the Justice Department was where leak complaints from the intelligence agencies went to die. The department’s counterespionage section was more interested in finding foreign spies than American blabbermouths, officials said.
Now that Holder has ordered, or pretended to order, leak investigations into recent revelations on  American cyber-attacks against an Iranian nuclear facility and another underwear bombing plot involving a double or maybe a triple CIA agent, his department is trying to downplay its own role in prosecuting leaks that simply exposed government stupidity and wrongdoing. For example, the prosecution of Thomas Drake deservedly fell apart because far from exposing government secrets, he was merely exposing government waste.

According to The Times, Holder could have halted any of the left-over cases but went ahead anyway for fear that the lawyers under him might get mad. That, to put it delicately, is quite a stretch. Especially since it was only two weeks ago that Eric Holder bragged to Congress that the Obama Administration is a gung-ho champion of going after leakers.

Damned if he does and damned if he doesn't, the poor guy. Having it both ways is so exhausting. And to be slapped with a contempt of Congress charge to boot, and be forced to beg his own boss for executive privilege protection. Oh, the humanity. Oh, what a racket.


Zee said...


Thank you for including Eric Holder's Herculean effort to avoid revealing what the Justice Deparment knew about Operation Fast & Furious in his long list of failings as U.S. Attorney General

While I don't have much use for Darrell Issa, and though the Congressional investigation of Fast & Furious clearly has a large political component--but what doesn't these days?--I think it is quite legitimate for Congress to ask how hundreds of

"[f]irearms 'walked' by the ATF have been found at violent crime scenes on both sides of the Mexico–United States border, including scenes involving the deaths of many Mexicans and at least one U.S. federal agent, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. " --Wikipedia

Holder's desperate plea to Obama to shield him under the cover of "executive privilege" is shameful, perhaps the final nail in the coffin of his so-called legacy.

4Runner said...

Wanna stop the leaks? Resurrect Tricky Dick Nixon and put the White House Plumbers on the case. No pain, no drain.

Denis Neville said...

The current frenzy over Operation Fast & Furious contrasts with Iran Contra and the Reagan administration's felonious dealings with terrorists and terror-sponsoring nations.

Oh, what a racket.

“A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.” - Smedley Butler

The few go by many names, Illuminati, Bilderbergers, Globalists. It's always the same families and fortunes. And it all ends the same. They enslave us and send our sons and daughters off to fight their imperial wars. The USA is the only nation that spreads democracy out of the barrels of weapons. Perpetual state of war is the end-game.

“O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle--be Thou near them! With them - in spirit - we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with hurricanes of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it - for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.” – Mark Twain, “The War Prayer”

“For the powerful, crimes are those that others commit.” - Noam Chomsky, Imperial Ambitions: Conversations on the Post-9/11 World

Oh, what a racket!

Denis Neville said...

No excuses!

Moyers & Company this Friday: Yves Smith [Naked Capitalism] and Matt Taibbi [Rolling Stone].

Moyers also provides an update on the nuns on the bus.

Bill Moyers is a national treasure.

Suzan said...

Methinks Holder is going to be held to account.

And I heard the details include the drug cartels from more than just Colombia, thus the guns everywhere.

Thanks, K!

Good times.

Oh, and what Dennis N. said.