Skip to comments.Would Holder Recommend Pardon for Oklahoma City Bombers?
Posted on 01/16/2009 9:31:32 AM PST by 2nd amendment mama
The Senate Judiciary confirmation hearing of Eric Holder, President-elect Barack Obamas nominee for Attorney General of the United States, began yesterday with great fanfare and a few fireworks. Some Republican members of the committee asked very pointed questions, while Democrats blew kisses at the designee.
Rivaling Forrest Gump in sheer scope of participation in historys notorious moments, Holder appears to have played a part in every major scandal of the Clinton administration, aside from sex with Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office. There was hardly time to cover the magnitude of this nominees troubled experience, especially given that only one side of the committee was participating in real questioning. Elian Gonzales, Waco, FALN terrorist pardons, the Marc Rich pardon, nuclear technology transfers to China -- the list goes on and on. Holder has even popped up in the first big scandal to hit the Office of the President-elect, the Blagojevich corruption scandal.
Early on, Holder was asked about his recommendation as an assistant attorney general to then President Bill Clinton in favor of the granting of clemency to 16 FALN Puerto Rican terrorists who were responsible for over 130 bombings in the United States. It was revealed in the hearing today that these terrorists had not themselves asked for clemency. Yet at the same time when then-President Clinton was considering granting clemency to these terrorists, Hillary Clinton was making her inaugural run to be the junior Senator from New York and was in dire need of the Puerto Rican vote.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) asked Holder if he personally thought that the decision and the ultimate pardon of these terrorists by President Clinton was a wrong decision. Holder defended the pardon. The Presidents determination was that they had not committed any acts themselves that resulted in death or bodily injury. And on that basis and given the amount of time that they had served in jail, roughly 16 to 19 years in jail, most had 19 years, and given the length of the sentences they had received it was his determination that the clemency requests were appropriate taking all of that into consideration, Holder said.
Sessions then asked, Do you personally have an opinion whether it was right or wrong? Holder replied, I think that given all that I have described that what the President did was reasonable.
That response did not sit well at all with many of the Republican senators but in particular Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). I caught up with Coburn in the hallway outside of the hearing and asked him about the Holder response. I dont think that it was in any way reasonable to grant clemency to these terrorists, Coburn said. Terry Nichols didnt participate at all in the Oklahoma City bombing other than he was part of a conspiracy that allowed it to happen. But these people [FALN terrorists] allowed it to happen and people died. People were killed. Families lost loved ones. Thats like saying 10 years from now were going to let Terry Nichols go. I hope he rots in jail. By Eric Holders standard Terry Nichols would be free.
In a later round, Sessions went on to point out that Osama bin Laden and Khalid Sheik Mohammed were not directly responsible for the execution of the 9/11 attacks either, but they were part of the planning and conspiracy that surrounded the attacks. Yet time and again, Holder maintained that freeing these terrorists was a reasonable decision.
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, opened the morning proceedings by first playing the race card in support of this problematic nominee. It was seven score and four years ago that this nation answered the fundamental question President Lincoln posed in his Gettysburg Address and the world learned that liberty, equality and democracy could serve as the foundation for this great and united nation, Leahy said, as if the civil war had anything to do with the fitness of this nominee to serve as the attorney general of the United States.
Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) was outspoken in voicing concerns about the Holder nomination at the hearing, first taking the committee chairman to task for his refusal to co-sign any of the documentation requests or issue subpoenas to reluctant witnesses.
The chairman declined to co-sign the letter requesting records from the Clinton Library and the records have not been obtained, Specter said in his opening statement. When the minority previously had a dozen witnesses under similar circumstances, we got three. When two witnesses, Ms. Mary Jo White and Mr. Roger Adams, refused to appear, our requests for subpoenas were denied.
When confronted with this lack of cooperation in compelling document production and witnesses, Leahy replied, jammed among other things, This is not a lifelong position.
Specter went on to excoriate Holder for his refusal to appoint an independent counsel to investigate Al Gores shady campaign fundraising practices allegedly involving foreign governments (China being the most prominent) and basing fundraising operations out of the White House.
If it hadnt been the Vice President, your superior, somebody to favor, an independent counsel would have been appointed, Specter said. I think its so clear that it raises a question in my mind as to your fitness for the job.
Holder defended himself saying, We certainly didnt favor Al Gore when we decided to make that rescue of Elian Gonzales in Florida, a critical state, as it turned out, for Al Gore. When do you rescue a child from his loving family by pointing a gun in his face? It was Holder who did point out at the time that the officers finger was not on the trigger of that assault weapon when he went in and ripped Elian out of his bedroom.
A defensive Holder then accused Specter of questioning his competence as an attorney and his integrity, to which the senator replied, You are an excellent lawyer, Mr. Holder. If you werent such a good lawyer I wouldnt be so surprised. If you were a poor lawyer, an inexperienced lawyer, not a real professional, I could say, He doesnt know any better. My evaluation is that a man in your position knew better.
Senators Sessions and Coburn pressed Holder on a variety of issues ranging from the Second Amendment to the Fairness Doctrine, and at these times, Holder bobbed and weaved, refusing to answer whether he would uphold states rights to permit concealed carrying of weapons and denying that anyone in the Obama circle was planning to interfere. On the Fairness Doctrine, Holder avoided any clear answers.
Holders participation in the hearing concluded last night and the hearing will continue today with outside witnesses both in favor of and in opposition to the nomination.
Connie Hair is a freelance writer, a former speechwriter for Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) and a former media and coalitions advisor to the Senate Republican Conference.
Where have I heard this writer's name before?
Which OKC bombers?
the ones they caught, or the middle eastern men they didn’t look for?
Only the Muslim ones. But then, they already got pardoned, because Bill Clinton’s boys called off the hunt for them right away.
One other major scandal he did not play a part in was the murder of Vince Foster and subsequent cover-up. He can be held blameless in that because he wasn't Deputy AG at the time. (No, I'm not trying to defend him, I'm merely pointing out a fact.)
Holder is a hired gun. His principles are whatever gets his principal the votes he or she wants, so I doubt the OKC bombers would get mercy from him unless they could somehow be connected with a large contribution of money for Obama’s next election.
Would Holder Recommend Pardon for Oklahoma City Bombers????
.....would he pardon abortion clinic bombers?????
It appears likely that Clinton's Justice Dept. completely overlooked that to make it appear as if the bombing was perpetrated by right wing crazies. In fact, if you recall, Clinton himself blamed right wing talk shows for allegedly encouraging the bombing.
Would Condi Rice and Colin Powell be so forgiving if President Bush friended the men who bombed the Church in Alabama.
When are conservatives going to organize and get the financial backing to expose all the enemies of America holding political office and those that reside in the mainstream media?
They and the MSM had no use for suspects who didn't fit their narrative.
These people will be called to account one day.
I’m ready if somebody starts the ball rolling.
Excellent piece. Great reportage by Human Events.
I heard this AM on the radio that Holder was being questioned about the pardons and declined to answer saying that the questioner was questioning his integrity. Isn't this the entire purpose of the confirmation hearings?
Which OKC bombers?
the ones they caught, or the middle eastern men they didnt look for?
No honkies need apply.
BTW, please tell us, if you can, who questioned him about the pardons, so that we can finally give credit to a GOP Senator who isn't a wimp.
Who is this Specter guy and how soon can we get him out of office so he's not gumming up the nomination/appointment process?
Why did those idiots in Pennsylvania not get rid of him and get a real Democrat in there?!
Let's not get carried away! I think it was Arlen Specter.
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