The Justice Department has announced that Attorney General Eric Holder has “removed himself from a decision to subpoena phone records of The Associated Press,” The Huffington Post reports. The AP is Holder’s latest victim of unjustified scrutiny after the Department of Justice secretly snooped and seized the AP’s phone records that spanned over a two-month period in early 2012.
All sides, The U.S. Department of Justice and the White House are now throwing their hands in the air and placing blame on the other. The DOJ has said that “This is being handled entirely by the U.S. Attorney in D.C.” The White House made a statement saying that they “have no knowledge of any attempt by the Justice Department to seek phone records of the AP. We are not involved in decisions made in connection with criminal investigations, as those matters are handled independently by the Justice Department.”
And now the icing on the cake, the connecting position between the DOJ and the White House, which is Attorney General Holder, said earlier today that “he recused himself last year from a national security leak probe in which prosecutors obtained the phone records of AP journalists.”
By the DOJ and White House both placing blame on one another, they both end up placing blame on Holder. If he’s not with one group, he’s with the other. Holder is the common denominator and the smoking gun. Whether he recused himself last year or not, he still knew that the DOJ’s intrusion of the AP was happening. And with Holder being the AG, he most certainly has the power to call off an intrusion of which he obviously had knowledge.
So, either he did nothing out of lack of care and accountability, or he supported it. And considering this man’s blotched past of filth and abuse of power, the latter is a safe bet.
Believing the Occupy Movement was a threat to the corporate banks that Covington Burling, the law firm for which Holder worked, represented, he allowed the DOJ to infiltrate and spy on the Movement. Holder is also the man who went after and indicted six whisteblowers under the 1917 Espionage Act. But these incidents are just the tip of the iceberg.
Holder’s dirtiness is attributed to his representation of Chiquita Brands International, an American corporation who paid protection money to the paramilitary group United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia. This militia is responsible for over 60 massacres in Uraba, killing almost 4,000 people, and taking land from nearly 60,000 more. This made Chiquita be the first and only U.S. company to be convicted of financing terrorism. He represents bloodmoney.
Holder has been voraciously intruding upon his own countrymen for the sake of national security, yet, he represented a company that funds violence and war.
He is just a mere continuation of the foiled legacy of intrusive U.S. attorney generals, like Alberto Gonzales and John Ashcroft, who abused their respective offices to constantly strip away the inherited American rights of free speech and privacy. Both of which resigned from their office.
Ashcroft, who so famously supported the Patriot Act, resigned from his office in 2005. Gonzales wanted to place a charge against The New York Times under the Espionage Act because the NYT alerted the public that the National Security Agency was spying on American citizens without warrants. He resigned in 2007.
And if history is any indication, hopefully the same fate awaits Holder.
Joshua de Leon is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire.