Feb 5 2010
AG Eric Holder is/was a senior partner with Covington & Burling, a prestigious Washington, D.C. law firm, which represents 17 Yemenis currently held at Gitmo.
Covington & Burling’s Gitmo bar roster has included some of the most radical detainee advocates; see David Remes, who peeled down to his underwear at a press conference in Yemen to draw attention to his clients’ plight and Marc Falkoff, who published a book of detainee poetry and who, in the book’s intro, compared their heroic struggle to the Jews held in concentration camps and Japanese Americans held in internment camps during WWII. [One of Falkoff’s “gentle, thoughtful” young poets–a Kuwaiti “cleared for release” and repatriated in 2005–blew himself up in a truck bomb in Mosul last March, killing 13 Iraqi army soldiers and wounding 42 others.]
The fact that Mr. Holder, while Deputy Attorney General, pushed for the release of 16 violent FALN terrorists against the advice of the FBI, the US Attorneys who prosecuted them and the NYPD officers who were maimed by them, suggests that he was perfectly willing to put politics before the national security interests of the country.
You may remember that more than two months ago, amid the controversy over the Obama administration’s decision to grant full American constitutional rights to, and hold a civilian trial for, accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed, Republican Sen. Charles Grassley asked Attorney General Eric Holder about Justice Department lawyers who before joining the Obama/Holder team had represented Guantanamo detainees or worked for groups representing them. Grassley pointed to one high-ranking Obama Justice official who formerly represented Osama bin Laden’s driver and another who works on detainee issues despite previous advocacy for detainees.
“This prior representation, I think, creates a conflict of interest problem for these individuals,” Grassley said, adding, “I want to know more about who is advising you on these decisions.” Grassley asked Holder to give the committee “the names of political appointees in your department who represent detainees or who work for organizations advocating on their behalf…the cases or projects that these appointees work with respect to detainee prior to joining the Justice Department…and the cases or projects relating to detainees that have worked on since joining the Justice Department.”
Holder was noncommittal. “I will certainly consider that request,” he said. When Grassley pressed, Holder stood firm. “I will consider that request,” he repeated. A few days later, on November 24, Grassley and the other Republican members of the Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Holder citing his “less than encouraging” response and pressing the request for information on the detainee conflicts inside the Department.
Now, two months have passed and the senators have heard nothing.
In the meantime, committee Republicans are starting to wait for Holder’s response to another letter, sent yesterday, asking for an explanation of the decision to hold accused al Qaeda Detroit bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in the civilian justice system instead of as an enemy combatant. WASHINGTON EXAMINER
Yeah, well don’t hold your breath.
Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey stops short of calling Holder and Obama fools.
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