Eric Holder has been tapped by PE Obama to serve as the first African American Attorney General of the United States, heading up the entire justice department. Holder is a man of accomplishment having been appointed by then President Ronald Reagan to serve as a Superior Court Judge for The District of Columbia.
However, after stepping down from the bench in 1993 his service in the DOJ under Janet Reno raises some very important questions which may shed some light on the service he might render to President Obama.
In August 1992, you will remember that a federal law enforcement agent and expert sniper shot and murdered Vicki Weaver the wife of Randy Weaver, at their home in Idaho. The federal agents also shot their young son Sam in the back and killed him as he was running away from them. The incident began, as a jury concluded, when the ATF entrapped Randy Weaver into committing a gun violation.
After an initial investigation uncovered evidence of a coverup and other potential crimes by the federal agents following the incident at "Ruby Ridge" the matter was referred to the U.S. Attorney in D.C., Eric Holder, for further proceedings. Holder recused himself from the investigation.
Then in 1993 his superior Janet Reno presided over, and was ultimately cleared, in what many Americans still to this day see as a high water mark of the governments power to overrun its own people, the invasion, burning and murder of innocent women and children at the home of Branch Davidians in Waco Texas.
Holder was deputy attorney general under Reno and declared that he was pleased that his department had been cleared of any wrongdoing in the matter, despite what Americans clearly saw on their own TV sets, and said, "David Koresh and certain Branch Davidians were responsible for the tragedy at Waco."
And then, late in the final days of the Bill Clinton presidency, Eric Holder played a central role in the presidential pardon of convicted felon Marc Rich. Here is what former Clinton adviser Dick Morris recalls of Holder's involvement:
As deputy attorney general, [Eric] Holder was the key person who made the pardon of Marc Rich possible in the final hours of the Clinton presidency.
If ever there was a person who did not deserve a presidential pardon, it's Marc Rich, the fugitive billionaire who renounced his US citizenship and moved to Switzerland to avoid prosecution for racketeering, wire fraud, 51 counts of tax fraud, evading $48 million in taxes, and engaging in illegal trades with Iran in violation of the US embargo following the 1979-80 hostage crisis.
Seventeen years later, Rich wanted a pardon, and he retained Jack Quinn, former counsel to the president, to lobby his old boss.
It was Holder who had originally recommended Quinn to one of Rich's advisers, although he claims that he did not know the identity of the client.
And he gave substantive advice to Quinn along the way. According to Quinn's notes that were produced to Congress, Holder told Quinn to take the pardon application "straight to the White House" because "the timing is good."
And once the pardon was granted, Holder sent his congratulations to Quinn.
In 2002, a congressional committee reported that Holder was a "willing participant in the plan to keep the Justice Department from knowing about and opposing" the Rich pardon.
Now, as the person chosen by PE Obama to head up the department of justice, his personal philosophy and advocacy in favor of gun control becomes much more of an issue than his intellect or his skills as a lawyer.
With a record of involvement in the government's use of force against its own citizens at Ruby Ridge and Waco Texas, as well as his demonstrated willingness to support the pardon of a convicted criminal so long as he was willing to contribute millions in cash in exchange for the favor, Holder's support for strong gun control legislation should cause a serious stiffening of the spines of those Americans who have thus far avoided giving up their healthy distrust of government.
Obama's choice of Holder may very well be the single most important catalyst in giving new life to the conservative movement in this country. While the damage Holder and Obama could inflict over the next four years will have to be watched and challenged at every turn, odds are the choice of Holder will give republicans the kind of message they have been looking for to rally their troops for a take over of Congress in 2010.