Going West


Under normal circumstances, Presidential appointments to Federal posts earn — and deserve — no more scrutiny than an individual cockroach in the horde that just scurried back under your fridge. In fact, most Americans can name only the Federal appointees who draw extreme controversy in the form of the ire of the President’s opposition. Think: Democrat with “nanny issues” or Republican who is black.

President Barack Obama’s decision to elevate Tony West to the position of acting associate attorney general, which will rank him third on the ladder at the Department of Justice, falls into the “abnormal” category. West, who currently serves as the assistant attorney general for the Civil Division, embodies the spectacularly poor judgment that seems to coincide with nearly every declaration that has escaped Obama’s fevered brain.

Prior to his entrenchment in the dark corners of the Obama Administration, West enjoyed a career as a noteworthy attorney — albeit noteworthy for his choice of clientele rather than any legal hurdles he may have leapt along the way. West is the ambulance-chaser who rode shotgun in the courtroom for John Walker Lindh, among other clients of ill repute. If you’re scratching your head in an effort to locate Lindh’s name, check in Afghanistan. Lindh is the infamous “American Taliban” who joined the jihadis and took up arms for Islamofascism, only to be caught and stuffed in a cage for 20 years. West is the guy who tried to spring him.

And now, West is in line to play catcher for Attorney General Eric Holder. With Obama at the top, Holder right behind him and West backing Holder, Obama has created a Federal law enforcement agency run by the man behind Operation Fast and Furious and the man behind any Tariq, Dhakir or Hakim who gets nicked aiming an AK-47 at the 1st Ranger Battalion. To quote the sage: “What could possibly go wrong?”

In an interview Sunday with Fox News, J. Christian Adams — the former Justice Department lawyer who blew the whistle on Holder’s refusal to prosecute Obama’s allies in the New Black Panther Party hate group — said: “The most dangerous thing is that West is overseeing Gitmo policy. It’s not that he’s just some guy at the Justice Department licking envelopes.” Appointing a radical like West to the No. 3 spot would actually give him direct authority over operations like the terrorist detainee facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. While I’m sure that would make it convenient for West to reminisce with some of his old pals, we’re not talking about giving the wolf the keys to the chicken coop; we’re talking about giving the wolf the keys to your front door.

In the wake of West’s advancement, some have questioned the nature of discourse in a Justice Department run by people like Obama, Holder and West.  My response: Exactly what debate do we think actually rages through the halls of the DoJ? A President with the same respect for the Constitution as Bill Maher has for women, an Attorney General with the same respect for the rule of law as — well — Maher has for women and soon to be an associate attorney general with the same level of respect for the security of our Nation. Something tells me the only debate raging through the halls of the Department of Justice involves which falafel joint has the best takeout.

In the interest of full disclosure, West made it to the job from which he’s moving up with an 82-4 vote in the Senate. That means a fair number of Republican Senators either fell asleep at the switch or willingly flipped it in the wrong direction. Either situation requires a gross dereliction of duty. The politicians who purport to represent conservatives fumbled the ball on an entirely unacceptable and potentially dangerous liberal DoJ appointee. You’ll forgive me if I don’t pass out from the shock.

But the Republicans in the Senate who nodded off and let West slip past them are accomplices after the fact. The big question is: What kind of President — what kind of man — allows this man inside the DoJ unless he’s wearing leg irons? After three years of Obama and his cronies’ wild ride, we already know the answer.

–Ben Crystal

Personal Liberty

Ben Crystal

is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College and has burned the better part of the last two decades getting over the damage done by modern-day higher education. He now lives in Savannah, Ga., where he has hosted an award-winning radio talk show and been featured as a political analyst for television. Currently a principal at Saltymoss Productions—a media company specializing in concept television and campaign production, speechwriting and media strategy—Ben has written numerous articles on the subjects of municipal authoritarianism, the economic fallacy of sin taxes and analyses of congressional abuses of power.

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