Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Grassley's 'Mafia' retort was on the mark, His defense of Eric Holder and the 'Al Qaeda 7' was uncalled for

During a Senate Judiciary Hearing on Thursday, Sen. Chuck Grassley asked Attorney General Eric Holder if he'd be willing "to provide the names of political appointees of the [Justice] Department who previously represented [Guantanamo] detainees or advocated on detainee issues?"

Mr. Holder replied:

"With all due respect, senator, and I know that your request comes from what I would call a good place, yours was an honorable request, [however], there has been an attempt to take the names of people who represented Guantanamo detainees and to drag their reputations through the mud. There were reprehensible ads used to question their patriotism."

The Attorney General was referring to an ad - released in March by Keep America Safe, a group headed [co-founded] by former Vice President Dick Cheney's daughter, Liz Cheney - that called upon Mr. Holder to release the names of seven Justice Department officials who had worked on behalf of Guantanamo detainees. The term 'Al Qaeda 7' was used in the ad to describe the aforementioned officials. Holder was, in essence, taking a swipe at Liz Cheney and those who have dared to criticize him and the rest of the terrorist sympathizers currently working at the Justice Dept.

Mr. Holder went on to say: "I'm not going to allow these KIDS -- I'm not going to be part of that effort! And so, with all due respect, their names are out there now. The positions that they hold are out there. That's all been placed in the public record. I am simply not going to be a part of that effort… I will not allow their reputations to be besmirched. I will not be a part of that."

The Washington Examiner notes that "Holder's use of the word 'KIDS' to describe the Justice Department lawyers struck some ears as odd":
Two of the employees Grassley originally asked about were Principal Deputy Solicitor General, Neal Katyal, who works on terrorism issues despite his previous legal representation of Osama Bin Laden’s driver and bodyguard, and Jennifer Daskal, who serves in the National Security Division after a long history of advocating for detainees at Human Rights Watch. Katyal is 40 years old; Daskal is a couple of years younger.
In any case, Grassley had an interesting response to Holder's tirade:

"Well, remember that this is a request from this committee," he said, "and I think all the people on it were very sincere about it, so I'll move on. You recently said that attorneys representing [these] clients are patriots. I want to comment though that I doubt you would share the same feelings for lawyers representing the Mafia."

Nice comeback, Sen. Grassley!

But unfortunately, Senator Grassley felt the need to concur with Holder's criticism of the 'Al Qaeda 7' ad:
[The video] went too far when it referred to [Justice Dept. officials] as the 'Al Qaeda 7,' U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, told reporters in a conference call Wednesday...

In prepared remarks before the Senate Judiciary Committee today, Grassley [said] “I want to be clear with the Attorney General that I have never called into question the integrity of any employee at the department. In fact, I agree with the department that personal attacks on the integrity of department employees are uncalled for.”

Afterward, he told reporters that he’d seen the Keep America Safe video and that it was out of bounds.

“It went overboard,” Grassley said.
Apparently, Mr. Holder appreciated Sen. Grassley's denouncement of the ad, which is why, at the hearing today, he responded so respectfully to Grassley's request.

However, with all due to respect to Sen. Grassely, he needn't ingratiate himself with the likes of Eric Holder. Bear in mind that Mr. Holder is an individual who, previously, as lead attorney for Chiquita Brands International, defended the company against charges it funneled more than $1.7 million to terrorist groups and asked that charges be dismissed because, as he unabashedly and shockingly explained: "There is no clearly defined rule of international law prohibiting material support of terrorism. Indeed, there is not even consensus on the definition of terrorism."

Additionally, in 1999, when former president Clinton pardoned 16 members of the FALN terrorist organization, Eric Holder [then-deputy attorney general] not only supported the pardon, he actually pushed for it - starting as far back as 1997.

Hence, Sen. Grassley did not need to defend himself from the likes of Neal Katyal, the Justice Dept. official who represented Osama Bin Laden’s driver and bodyguard, or Eric Holder, who had the audacity to proclaim that "there is no clearly defined rule of international law prohibiting material support of terrorism".

No reason to play defense with terrorist sympathizers and no reason to prop up the 'Al Qaeda 7'.