Eric Holder Doesn’t Know Anything, But He Knows More Than You… And He Wants Respect

When Eric Holder visited Capitol Hill to answer lawmakers’ questions on Wednesday, he made a few things clear: There are many things related to recent Barack Obama Administration scandals that the Attorney General claims not to know. There are also some things that he knows that no one else can know. And he thinks the executive branch of government is more powerful and, therefore, deserves respect from members of the legislative branch.

The video below, courtesy of Washington Free Beacon, sums up what Americans learned from Holder’s testimony:

 


 
Of course, for all of the things that the Attorney General claims not to know, he made it very clear to Representative Louis Gohmert (R-Texas) that there are some things he isn’t ignorant about with regard to the Boston bombing… but he can’t tell anyone what they are.

“Because of political correctness there was not a thorough enough examination of Tamerlan [Tsarnaev] to determine if this kid had been radicalized,” Gohmert told Holder. “That is the concern I have. On the one hand, we go after Christian groups like Billy Graham’s group, we go after Franklin Graham’s group, but then we’re hands off when it comes to possibly offending someone who has been radicalized as a terrorist.”

“You’ve made statements as matters of fact–,” Holder began in response.

“You point out one thing that I said that was not true,” Gohmert said.

“The only observation I was going to make is that you state as a matter of fact what the FBI did and did not do. Unless somebody has done something inappropriate, you don’t have access to the FBI files,” Holder said later. “I know what the FBI did. You cannot know what I know. That’s all.”

Watch the full exchange:
 

 
Holder’s remark “You cannot know what I know” is revelatory of where he sees the Justice Department and other executive offices fitting in to the grand scheme of American government. He removes any doubt that he believes the executive branch should have unfettered ability to operate secretly and with impunity by informing lawmakers that he felt their questions had disrespected him.

“I respect the oversight role that Congress plays. This isn’t always a pleasant experience; it’s one that I recognize that you go through as an executive branch officer. The one thing I’ve tried to do is always be respectful of the people who’ve asked me questions,” he said to Representative Doug Collins (R-Ga.). “I don’t frankly think I’ve always been treated with a great deal of respect, and it’s not even a personal thing. If you don’t like me, that’s one thing, but I am the Attorney General of the United States.”

Here’s the exchange:
 

 
Holder is seemingly following a similar plan to the one he used to avoid taking any responsibility for the Fast and Furious gunwalking scandal; he is stalling by playing dumb and accusing Congress of overstepping its authority for asking questions about the few things he does claim to know — which, incidentally, are classified. The only thing that is left is for him and the President to get together and let the American people know that they will be covering their asses and making scandals disappear by exerting “executive privilege.”

Owner Only Guns, Obama Calls In The Marines, Taking A Leak On The IRS, Emails Reveal Benghazi Lies, States To Tax No-Tobacco Smokes: Thursday Afternoon News Links 5-16-2013

Brush up on the day’s headlines with Personal Liberty’s afternoon update.

Democrat Rep Wants Guns With Electronics Making Them Inoperable To All But Owner… Says He Got The Idea From James Bond

Representative John Tierney (D-Mass.) recently watched the latest James Bond movie, “Skyfall,” and came up with what he thought was a great idea: handguns with “personalization technology.” Read More…

Watch: Obama Doesn’t Want His Hair Wet, So He Calls In The Marines… To Hold Umbrellas

Just another example of the imperial President acting imperially: President Barack Obama called over Marines to shield himself and the Turkish prime minister from the rain during an outdoor press conference. Watch…

‘Audit This’ — Philadelphia Eagles’ OL Evan Mathis Literally Pees On The IRS

What a relief! It’s finally OK to publicly ridicule the Internal Revenue Service, now that the scandal-plagued agency has made a parody of itself through its discriminatory, election-season stonewalling of President Barack Obama’s political enemies. Read More…

Released Benghazi Emails ‘Directly Contradict’ White House Narrative Of Events

According to Weekly Standard blogger Stephen F. Hayes, who’s perused all 94 pages of post-Benghazi internal email communications the White House finally released on Wednesday, the Barack Obama Administration’s official, public narrative immediately following the Benghazi, Libya, attacks has zilch in common with what Administration and intelligence officials were saying among themselves as they came up with talking points to frame the President’s immediate response. Read More…

South Carolina Wants A Piece Of Growing E-Cig Market With Proposed Tax

Legislators in South Carolina, along with lawmakers in several other States, are proposing what would amount to a “sin” tax on electronic cigarettes, which are growing in popularity as traditional smokers turn to alternatives perceived as healthier. Read More…

Democrat Rep Wants Guns With Electronics Making Them Inoperable To All But Owner… Says He Got The Idea From James Bond

Representative John Tierney (D-Mass.) recently watched the latest James Bond movie, “Skyfall,” and came up with what he thought was a great idea: handguns with “personalization technology.”

“In the most recent James Bond film, Bond escapes death when his handgun, which is equipped with technology that recognizes him as its owner, becomes inoperable when it gets into the wrong hands,” Tierney’s office said in a statement introducing the bill. “This technology, however, isn’t just for the movies — it’s a reality.”

In his Personalized Handgun Safety Act, H.R. 2005, Tierney calls for all new guns made in the United States to come with technology that would disallow anyone but the gun owner to fire the weapon. He also wants older guns to be retrofitted with the technology.

The lawmaker believes that passing his bill will mean fewer tragedies resulting from children getting their hands on unattended firearms.

“Accidents like this are not as rare as we want to believe, and they are preventable,” he said. “Whether a gun owner or not, a NRA member or not, we should be able to agree on gun safety measures that will make our families and communities safer. This technology needs to be put into action.”

The Children’s Defense Fund Action Council and 13 House Democrat sponsors have backed the bill.

IRS Scandal Heats Up: Did The White House Green Light Attack On Conservatives?

The Administration of Barack Obama initially tried to downplay reports that the Internal Revenue Service placed undue scrutiny on conservative groups over the past several years, but a damning Treasury report on the IRS-Tea Party scandal released this week introduces Administration foot to Administration mouth.

The official narrative from top Federal officials that the IRS abuse of conservatives was relegated to the agency’s Cincinnati-based Determinations Unit was destroyed by the report’s repeated references to the IRS’s Washington, D.C.-based Exempt Organizations Unit and guidance specialists also working for the IRS in Washington. In fact, the Treasury Inspector General’s report notes that 10 of 12 IRS offices involved in the dubious practices are in Washington.

The White House was forced to issue a fickle statement on the explosive report.

“The report’s findings are intolerable and inexcusable,” Obama said in a statement. “The federal government must conduct itself in a way that’s worthy of the public’s trust, and that’s especially true for the IRS. The IRS must apply the law in a fair and impartial way, and its employees must act with utmost integrity. This report shows that some of its employees failed that test.”

ABC, which recently took the Obama Administration to task over the Benghazi, Libya, cover-up, has been at the forefront of coverage on much of the IRS scandal as well. Most recently, ABC political analyst Trey Hardin said that as more information comes to light about the IRS ordeal, it will likely become apparent that top Administration officials were involved in green lighting the agency’s underhanded practices.

“I will tell you this on the IRS front. I’ve worked in this town for over 20 years in the White House and on Capitol Hill, and I can say with a very strong sense of certainty that there are people very close to this president that not only knew what the IRS were doing but authorized it,” he said, tiptoeing around directly blaming Obama for the scandal.

“It simply just does not happen at an agency level like that without political advisers likely in the West Wing certainly connected to the president’s ongoing campaign organization,” he added.

Holder Testimony Mirrors Obama Administration Modus Operandi: Pass The Buck, Avoid Questions, Feign Righteous Superiority And Moral Justification For Criminal Actions

Attorney General Eric Holder fielded questions Wednesday from a number of lawmakers on Capitol Hill seeking answers about the flurry of scandals involving the Administration of President Barack Obama that have broken over the past several days, not the least of which was the Associated Press hacking fiasco.

Appearing before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday, Holder was asked about potential intelligence failures leading up to the Boston Marathon bombing, about Justice Department inquiry into the Internal Revenue Service’s abuse of conservatives and — with the most fanfare — about the AP hacking scandal.

“Just two days ago, it was revealed that the Justice Department obtained telephone records for more than 20 Associated Press reporters and editors over a two-month period,” Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) said during opening remarks. “These requests appear to be very broad and intersect important 1st Amendment protections. Any abridgement of the 1st Amendment right to the freedom of the press is very concerning, and members of the Committee want to hear an explanation from you today.”

Holder, unsurprisingly, used his time before lawmakers to skirt the explosive issues at hand and claim that Justice’s successes should outweigh any of the failures coming to light.

In a prepared opening statement that was seemingly taken straight from the Jay Carney say-a lot-say-nothing playbook, Holder said: “Particularly in recent years, the Department has taken critical steps to prevent and combat violent crime, to confront national security threats, to ensure the civil rights of everyone in this country, and to safeguard the most vulnerable members of our society. Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of my colleagues — the nearly 116,000 dedicated men and women who serve in Justice Department offices around the world — I’m pleased to report that we’ve established a remarkable record of progress in expanding our nation’s founding promise of equal justice under law, and ensuring the safety and security of our citizens.”

Holder went on to reiterate the claim that he had absolutely no involvement in authorizing the seizure of AP records, passing the buck to Deputy Attorney General James Cole.

“I’ve just been given a note that we have in fact confirmed that the deputy was the one who authorized these subpoenas,” he told the committee.

During an exchange with Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.), the Attorney General initially told lawmakers that he could not confirm who gave the green light for the probe into the AP phone records because he recused himself from the investigation.

Sensenbrenner pressed Holder: “Why were you recused?”

“I was interviewed as one of the people who had access to the info,” Holder replied, inferring that he was a potential suspect in the leak that led to the hacking.

Frustrated, Sensenbrenner suggested that Holder should go to the Truman Museum and “take a picture of the thing on his desk that said ‘the buck stops here.'”

Holder went on to address calls from the Republican National Committee for him to step down, alluding that the RNC was overreacting — which seems to be a charge lobbed at conservatives from top Administration officials with increasing frequency.

“The head of the [Republican National Committee] called for my resignation in spite of the fact that I was not the person who was involved in that decision,” he said.

Representative Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), who represents Cincinnati (where the IRS’s questionable practices were claimed to have begun), attended the hearing and asked Holder whether the Cincinnati office was the only one involved.

Holder gave non-answers.

“I simply don’t know,” Holder said. “We’ve only begun our investigation.”

But Holder did trouble himself to protect the President, telling Representative Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) that Obama was not privy to Justice’s unConstitutional spying on reporters.

After saying nothing and deflecting responsibility, Holder took the logical next step and applied Saul Alinsky’s fifth rule for radicals: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.”

Responding to Representative Darrell Issa’s (R-Calif.) harsh questioning, Holder lashed out at the lawmaker, saying, “The way you conduct yourself as a member of Congress, is unacceptable and shameful.”

Obama’s Live IRS Speech, Liberal Talking Points, Dems Talk Scandals, We Warned You About The Tax Man, And More: Wednesday Afternoon News Links 5-15-2013

Brush up on the day’s headlines with Personal Liberty’s afternoon update.

Breaking Now: Watch Obama Speak About IRS Scandal

At 6 p.m. ET today, President Barack Obama will give a statement from the White House concerning the scandal involving the Internal Revenue Service and its politcally-motivated targeting of conservative nonprofits during his reelection campaign. Watch… 

Attention, Liberals: Here Are Your Media Matters Talking Points To Defend Obama

Media Matters, as a slew of scandals hit the Barack Obama Administration, revealed how much it is willing to side with the government by releasing a series of talking points for Americans interested in defending Federal officials involved in the Associated Press hacking scandal. Read More…

The Dems Aren’t Happy: Rangel Calls On Obama To Explain Role In IRS, AP Scandals

Senator Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) got on MSNBC Wednesday and went as far as a disgraced liberal Congressman can to castigate his party’s most influential member, telling Joe Scarborough that President Barack Obama hasn’t told the American people nearly as much as he knows about scandals involving both the Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service. Read More…

FLASHBACK: We Told You The IRS Was Targeting Conservatives

Editor’s Note: This commentary by Personal Liberty’s Wayne Allyn Root was originally published on October 25, 2012. In it, Root discusses how the Internal Revenue Service has been bullying him for more than two years. He said then, that he believed the IRS’s intense focus on his personal finances was directly related to his conservative political activism. Read More… 

Former AG Says Department Of Justice Under George W. Bush Could Have Done What Holder’s Office Did To AP, But Didn’t

On MSNBC Wednesday, former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who served from 2005-2007 under President George W. Bush, said the Administration weighed whether it could subpoena information from an undisclosed source without telling that source about it — just as the Obama Administration’s Department of Justice has done in the scandal it created by doing the same thing to The Associated Press. Read More…

Attention, Liberals: Here Are Your Media Matters Talking Points To Defend Obama

Media Matters, as a slew of scandals hit the Barack Obama Administration, revealed how much it is willing to side with the government by releasing a series of talking points for Americans interested in defending Federal officials involved in the Associated Press hacking scandal.

Without further ado, here are some suggested points for our more liberal readers to use in the Personal Liberty comment section, courtesy of the leftist organization:

KEY ISSUES TO RAISE

  • If the press compromised active counter-terror operations for a story that only tipped off the terrorists, that sounds like it should be investigated.
  • It was not acceptable when the Bush Administration exposed Valerie Plame working undercover to stop terrorists from attacking us. It is not acceptable when anonymous sources do it either.
  • Is this story about a government source blowing the whistle on government misbehavior, or about a source gratuitously exposing ongoing counter-terrorism operations?
  • Did Republicans in Congress who are now exploiting the situation to score political points oppose the media shield law that likely would have protected the Associated Press in this situation?
  • How should the Justice Department strike the balance between respecting our free press and investigating damaging leaks that jeopardize counter-terrorism operations?

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Even the most liberal news organizations have called Media Matters out for its Goebbels-esque actions, like in this story from Huffington Post:

Media Matters seems to think that the facts of the matter are somehow in flux, and the larger issue is hazy enough to accommodate an allowance of the DoJ’s actions. They are wrong on both counts, and their talking points are a hot mess, as a result.

Media Matters has since issued a tail-tucking statement:

Media Matters for America monitors, analyzes, and corrects conservative misinformation in the media and was not involved with the production of the document focusing on the DOJs investigation. That document was issued by “Message Matters,” a project of the Media Matters Action Network, which posts, through a different editorial process and to a different website, a wide range of potential messaging products for progressive talkers to win public debates with conservatives.

As a media watchdog organization, Media Matters for America recognizes that a free press is necessary for quality journalism and essential to our democracy. A healthy news media is what we fight for every day. Yesterday, 52 news organizations signed a letter to the Department of Justice expressing concerns that the DOJ’s broad subpoena of Associated Press reporters’ phone records runs counter to First Amendment principles and injures the practice of journalism. We stand with those news organizations and share their concerns.

Obama’s Specialty: Trickle-Down Corruption

Over the course of about a week, Americans have been slapped in the face with example upon example of government corruption seeping from the highest levels of the Barack Obama-led Federal government. And even the most diehard supporters of the current President are hard-pressed to justify the Administration’s actions in failing to own up to mistakes and the use of Federal agencies to quell dissent.

During his first term, the Obama Justice Department sold more than 2,000 high-powered rifles to brutal Mexican drug cartels in an effort to “track” them, as a part of the now-infamous Operation Fast And Furious. The dangerous government initiative was revealed only when it was discovered that Justice had the blood of American Border Patrol agents, and likely countless other murder victims south of the border, on its hands. Republicans vocally called for answers and for actions to be taken against those responsible for the fatally flawed program, but were largely drowned out and marginalized by the efforts of top Administration officials to control what aspects of the scandal made it into media reports.

It has been well documented that Attorney General Eric Holder routinely and frequently communicated with people well-connected to America’s mainstream media — namely the left-wing spin doctors at Media Matters — to cover his agency’s mistakes and soften public perception.

In the end, Holder was cleared of wrongdoing with regard to the botched operation and much of America filed Fast and Furious as a scandal worthy of being forgotten.

Perhaps because of the easy avoidance of what should have clearly marked the beginning of the end of Holder’s career in public service, the Attorney General was emboldened. After all, the Commander in Chief stood by Holder throughout the ordeal; alas, Justice was allowed to drag its feet for months in responding to Congressional inquiries and ultimately cover up anything it wanted via executive privilege.

Now, Holder’s Justice Department stands accused of extrajudicially spying on reporters working for The Associated Press — according to the news organization’s own reports, by monitoring incoming and outgoing calls on AP office phones, phones used by AP reporters in the House of Representatives press pool, and, most egregiously, work and private phones of individual reporters.

Why? AP surmises that Justice’s spying was in retaliation to a story that the news organization published containing leaked information. From the AP:

U.S. officials have previously said in public testimony that the U.S. attorney in Washington is conducting a criminal investigation into who may have leaked information contained in a May 7, 2012, AP story about a foiled terror plot. The story disclosed details of a CIA operation in Yemen that stopped an al-Qaida plot in the spring of 2012 to detonate a bomb on an airplane bound for the United States.

Justice’s actions make a few things very clear: It believes that Federal agents can spy on Americans without warrant. It is actively involved in doing so. The agency feels inclined to deliver reprisal to organizations that wrong its Federal allies. And it is unconcerned with the consequences of spying, bullying and abrogating the Constitution because part of its reason for doing so — explicitly in this case — is to control the very media that could potentially elicit public outrage.

While Justice is involved in its own dirty deeds, another Federal agency was hard at work controlling the public message in its own way. The Internal Revenue Service reportedly requested additional information from any group that applied for tax-exempt status and was obviously conservative in its political leanings. Now, it has been revealed that the IRS’s reason for doing so was not only to make it difficult for those organizations to proliferate, but also to collect intimate details about certain groups’ financial dealings — which, in some cases, were strategically leaked to the press.

But never fear, the Justice Department announced yesterday that it would conduct a thorough investigation of the IRS’s misdeeds.

Are you beginning to see a pattern? The fox is no longer guarding the henhouse; he owns it.

Fire Holder, Impeach Obama, Blacklist Clinton

The surfeit of Barack Obama Administration scandals hitting headlines over the course of the past several days has increased the frequency of utterances of words like “fire” and “impeach” from politicians and American citizens all over the Nation.

While the calls for relief of duty are coming mostly from people on the right, those with more Democratically aligned political leanings are finding, largely for the first time since Obama’s election, that they are utterly lacking in their ability to write off the sentiment as right-wing zealotry run amok.

stooges
Credit: Ben Bullard

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus called publicly on Tuesday for the President to can Attorney General Eric Holder — a firing many conservatives have pined for since the Fast and Furious scandal — for violating the 1st Amendment in allowing the Department of Justice to spy on Associated Press reporters.

“Attorney General Eric Holder, in permitting the Justice Department to issue secret subpoenas to spy on Associated Press reporters, has trampled on the First Amendment and failed in his sworn duty to uphold the Constitution,” Priebus said in a statement to reporters.

“Because Attorney General Holder has so egregiously violated the public trust, the president should ask for his immediate resignation,” he went on.

Priebus said that if Obama fails to right the wrong by eliminating Holder, the President heading “the most transparent Administration in history” will send a clear — if damning — message to Americans.

“If President Obama does not, the message will be unmistakable: The president of the United States believes his administration is above the Constitution and does not respect the role of a free press,” the RNC chief concluded.

The case of AP spying is only one of the most recent in a running series of Administration scandals being revealed, or re-hashed, in the public eye. As the troubles pile up at the White House doorstep, Republican politicians have been granted an opportunity to make the case for Presidential impeachment without the reprisal of Democrats, suddenly neutered of their ability to defame them as right-wing nuts.

Last week, Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) suggested that the President ought to suffer impeachment for his Administration’s handling and cover-up of the Benghazi, Libya, terror attacks last September.

“People may be starting to use the I-word before too long,” Inhofe said.

“Of all the great cover-ups in history — the Pentagon papers, Iran-Contra, Watergate, all the rest of them — this … is going to go down as the most egregious cover-up in American history,” Inhofe said.

While Inhofe is of the minority Party in his chamber, his colleagues in the Republican-controlled House are uttering “Obama” and “impeachment” in the same sentences with increasing frequency.

Representative Steve Stockman (R-Texas) began talking about filing articles of impeachment against the President way back in January, as the Administration was ramping up efforts to destroy the 2nd Amendment.

“The White House’s recent announcement they will use executive orders and executive actions to infringe on our constitutionally-protected right to keep and bear arms is an unconstitutional and unconscionable attack on the very founding principles of this republic,” Stockman said in a statement. “I will seek to thwart this action by any means necessary, including but not limited to eliminating funding for implementation, defunding the White House, and even filing articles of impeachment.”

Representative Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) expressed a similar sentiment around the same time. That lawmaker said that, at the time, Obama’s “staggering” abuse of law was already grounds for impeachment.

Representative Trey Radel (R-Fla.) followed up on Gohmert’s assertion stating that he too would support a GOP-led effort to impeach Obama.

On Monday, Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said that lawmakers would be remiss to take the possibility of impeaching the President off the table until it was absolutely certain that the Administration was absolved of wrongdoing regarding the Benghazi incident.

“It’s certainly a possibility,” Chaffetz said, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. “That’s not the goal but given the continued lies perpetrated by this administration, I don’t know where it’s going to go. … I’m not taking it off the table. I’m not out there touting that but I think this gets to the highest levels of our government and integrity and honesty are paramount.”

It’s not just lawmakers who want to initiate impeachment proceedings; a number of grassroots efforts to warm public opinion to the idea of stripping Obama of his power are also doubling down. Revive America PAC, a grass-roots super group that runs presidentdowngrade.com, sent an email to supporters Monday, proclaiming, “between ‘Benghazi-gate’, ‘Fast and Furious’, Obama’s ‘Gun-Grabbing’ Executive Actions, and now the latest IRS firestorm, it’s hard to say which disgusting Obama scandal will consume his Imperial Presidency first!”

Other conservatives have been less focused on taking action against people involved with the scandals who are currently in office and more on making sure that the same people are never allowed to hold positions of political power in the future. That is the tone that Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has taken in speaking about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her failures in Benghazi.

“She was in charge of the State Department. She was asked repeatedly for increased security for Benghazi. Some of the media have been reporting that because she didn’t read them she’s protected — she wasn’t responsible because she didn’t read them? I fault her absolutely for not reading the cables.”

Paul added: “Part of being in charge is triaging what comes to your desk and what doesn’t come to your desk. And to say that Libya wasn’t important enough for her to be reading the cables from the ambassador asking for more security, I think was inexcusable.”

Paul’s solution: “She came before my committee and said she never read any of the cables. I think it precludes Hillary Clinton from ever [again] holding office.”