Me? I think it’s mostly a top-down problem. Holder can’t let past his lips anything that is not part of his Obama-derived marching orders. After all, the President is his boss. If our president, B. Hussein O., has dismissed the notion of “radical Islam” then no matter how often a member of his cabinet is asked directly to respond to a question about -gasp — “radical Islam” — that person will stonewall. After all, what can any interlocutor do to a cabinet member that BHO won’t execute in spades? He plays by Chicago rules.
So that’s the background of this bizarre morality play, with Holder stumbling through his lines while up against a Texas Congressional Representative who happens to be the ranking minority member of the House Judiciary Committee.
The Judiciary is powerful; it has a broad reach into all sorts of concerns, from anti-trust matters through civil liberties right on down to Homeland Security. Should the elections in November change the complexion of the House from Blue to Red, Representative Lamar Smith will occupy one of the most powerful seats in Congress. And, yes, you can bet on it: Eric Holder understands this fact of life on the Hill quite well. While it may seem during the video that Mr. Holder is limited intellectually and somewhat hearing-impaired, rest assured he is exquisitely aware of the Honorable Lamar Smith’s standing in the political pecking order.
The video I have come to think of as “Just Say It!” is one Andrew McCarthy calls painful, even as he reminds us of Holder’s own verbal attacks on Americans (the links are Mr. McCarthy’s; the emphasis is mine):
This YouTube clip from the attorney general’s testimony today will be the most painful two minutes of video you will ever watch. Mr. Holder would obviously rather get a root-canal than utter the words “radical Islam” (despite the fact that his description of the American people as “a nation of cowards” on race and of Bush officials as war criminals seemed to roll of the tongue without much difficulty).
Before you watch the video, read the statement that Lamar Smith directed at Holder prior to questioning him. It is these prefatory remarks, which will guide his subsequent questions. The Congressman has his ducks lined up nicely, though we only get to see one question addressed (sort of) by the Attorney General. If the rest is Youtubed, I didn't find it.
Mr. Attorney General, in the last year three serious terrorist attempts-one of which was successful-have occurred in the U.S.
Army Major Nadal Hasan went on a shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas, killing 14 innocent Americans and wounding 30 others.
Omar Farouk Abdulmutallab boarded a plane headed for Detroit with explosives hidden under his clothes. His attack was thwarted by a poorly made bomb and alert passengers.
And Faisal Shahzad, a naturalized citizen, parked a car loaded with explosives in New York City’s Times Square. This attack was stymied by his ineptness and alert pedestrians.
Our national security policy should consist of more than relying on dumb bombers and smart citizens. Sooner or later, a terrorist is going to build a bomb that works.
I’m surprised Holder didn’t interrupt this for a little truth-telling. Something to the effect of, “hey it works for us”.
The Congressman then puts the needle in and proceeds to jam it home, point by point (bulleting for emphasis is mine. The italicized sections are my mind-reading of the Attorney General's replies). While that video is entertaining in a creepy kind of way, what Congressman Smith says to Holder is the meat of the problem with Obama & Co.
Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a You Tube version of Smith’s remarks. Our downfall may be that we will always prefer circuses and clowns to reality. With the news at an all time high for drear, watching Holder hem and haw is a break from the dark clouds. At any rate, here is the meat. Dessert follows in the form of Holder’s head on a plate.
As Commander-in-Chief, the President is responsible for protecting the American people. Unfortunately, several of this Administration’s policies have put Americans at greater risk.
- First, the President’s campaign promise to close the terrorist detention center at Guantanamo Bay has not reduced the threat of terrorism. Yeah, because that’s all it was: a promise. Like, “the check’s in the mail”. Turned out to be more difficult to do than it was to sign one of those Magic Executive Orders. Call it part of our learning curve.
In fact, those transferred to other countries can be and are released. And former Gitmo detainees often return to terrorism. Piffle. So they go to some sandbox and kill Americans and our allies. At least they’re not in Gitmo, which is the point. Besides, what part of our voter base is that?
- Second, trying Gitmo terrorists in civilian courts is a dangerous proposal that has no legal precedent. Once in the U.S., terrorists can argue for additional constitutional rights, making it harder for prosecutors to obtain convictions. Legal precedence? Dangerous? Can you say “a vote-grabber”? This is about winning the political race, not about any
. war on terrorreining in a few lone wolf psychos
- Third, treating terrorists like common criminals makes Americans less safe. Giving terrorists the “right to remain silent” limits our ability to interrogate them and obtain intelligence that could prevent attacks and save lives. Yawn. Tell it to your constituents, fellah. We don’t care. We don’t have to care. We won, remember?
According to news reports, Mr. Attorney General, you recently said that you now want to work with Congress to limit terrorists’ Miranda rights.
That’s surprising since it is this Administration that has insisted on extending constitutional rights to terrorists in the first place. What, you want consistency?? We’re still trying to figure out where to stuff KSM.
If the Administration treated terrorists like enemy combatants and tried them in military commissions at Guantanamo Bay Detention Center, they wouldn’t need to be read a Miranda warning. Maybe not, but we’d need protection from our far left base of support. They voted for us based on our promises. So we have to pretend we know what we’re doing.
- Fourth, the Obama administration’s opposition to REAL ID weakens national security. The administration wants to repeal the law, which was enacted after 9-11 to prevent terrorists from obtaining legitimate forms of identification. This would give terrorists cover to plot and carry out attacks inside the United States. So what is it you don’t understand about union control, Mr. Smith? Read my lips: no REAL ID if we can stop it.
- And fifth, the Administration’s push for amnesty for illegal immigrants makes America less safe.Good luck on that one, Congressman. Even some of your spineless Republicans friends are with us on that.
Then Congressman Smith turns to Immigration and Amnesty, two issues that fall under the purview of the Judiciary Committee:
- - - - - - - - -
The arrest of the Times Square bomber-a recently naturalized citizen-is another reason why we must reject proposals to give amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.
If we can’t detect a potential terrorist who submits himself to our security process — as Shahzad did — how can we identify other potential terrorists who will apply for amnesty?
Amnesty could legalize many would-be terrorists who are already in the U.S. and give them cover to plot attacks against innocent Americans.
It makes no sense to deny the link between immigration enforcement and national security. If we want to prevent attacks, we need to keep terrorists from getting visas and stop them from coming to the U.S. and obtaining citizenship. That means enforcing our immigration laws.
If we don’t enforce our immigration laws, terrorists are not “slipping through the cracks” … they’re walking through the front door.
Success in the War on Terror means preventing attacks, not just responding to attempts. The goal is to detect and deter, not just make arrests after the bomb is set.
But to achieve this goal, we need to:
1. improve our intelligence-gathering by interrogating terrorists-not reading them Miranda warnings.
2 […] End the failed policy of releasing terrorists overseas.
3. […] prevent terrorists from using our immigration system to enter or stay in the U.S.
After those opening remarks, Congressman Smith proceeded to question Obama’s Attorney General, which led to the (in)famous video. Here is a nicely adapted one from the You Tube channel Definite Opinion:
[If you want to see the undiluted, real root canal version, go here. I prefer this Compare and Contrast version, which is from the You Tube channel created and maintained by Standing Guard at the blog, No Sheeples Here.
Of course, this latest display of ineptitude by Holder was too delicious to pass up. Seems like everyone piled on. Beltway Blips has a whole page devoted to those who weighed in, pro and con.
Greg, at Rhymes with Right, lays out his reasons for finding Holder’s stonewalling a “dismal performance”. Then in an update, he links to this unsigned editorial from the Washington Times on Friday (remember…this is the same cabinet official who picked Black History Month to call white Americans “cowards”):
Let’s avoid all the mealy-mouthed euphemisms: In the now-infamous New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.’s Justice Department stands accused of being dishonest, racist, political hacks. The department’s responses to those charges have been so weak that they may as well have pleaded nolo contendere. A hearing today by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights provides the department one more chance to adequately explain itself. Right now, no adequate explanation seems to exist.
Anybody wanna whistle a few bars of “Who’s Sorry Now”?
Michelle Malkin’s commenters take him apart. One, going by the nic “Virginia Patriot”, says:
Islam is the problem, there is no “radical version”. Mohammed wrote the original terrorism manual, the Koran.
I do wish those trying to create a moderate version good luck, though.
“The original terrorism manual”? Spot-on. Too bad more people aren’t reading it. We need to know that book as much as we need to know our own Constitution. If you don’t understand the enemy’s playbook, especially when he’s gone to such trouble to litter the land with copies in English, then you can’t strategize successfully.
Hy Science had a few posts on the debacle, and then links to this snip from Jennifer Rubin:
…. Stumbling on and on under questioning by Rep. Lamar Smith, Holder makes apparent the Obama administration’s political and moral confusion about the enemy we are fighting. The question is simple: did radical Islam motivate the attacks that have occurred since Obama assumed the presidency? Holder seems utterly unwilling or unable to formulate a coherent response, and tragically unable to distinguish between radical jihadism and the Muslim religion more generally. If you want to know what is deficient in the Obama team’s conception and approach to the war against Islamic fundamentalists, you will find no better example. One wonders -- how would Obama respond?
Obama would’ve responded more smoothly but he wouldn’t have allowed “radical Islam” to be discussed vis-à-vis terrorism.
My guess is that the apparent unwillingness to “formulate a coherent response” is deliberate. It is no less stupid for being done purposely, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t plan it. Holder didn’t show up in that chair with no talking points. It’s just that he wasn’t prepared to be confronted on the issue of language. Which gives you an idea of how out of touch this administration really is.
This stark editorial in today's Washington Times (the best analysisI’ve seen so far) lays out the core of “Obama’s Invisible Islam”.It finishes this way:
President Obama’s continuing solicitude toward the faith of Muhammad is inexplicable, and as these acts of denial continue, it is becoming dangerous. The United States will not defeat an enemy it is afraid to identify.
Holder should have been ready for that question, but he's unready for much of what goes on outside the Beltway. Arizona? Sorry, he hasn't had time to read the bill, but he knows it's illegal (it isn't).
If Obama didn’t have his hands full heaping scorn on those who don’t agree with him, he’d have had time to look at what people are saying. But suffering as he does from Oval Office-itis (“It’s mine. I won.”) the Big Guy doesn’t hear the undercurrent of dissatisfaction with his administration's handling of our national security and our foreign relations. People are torn between disgust and dismay at our leader’s continuing gaffes.
Here are a few examples. I’m sure you have your own list. President Obama --
- points at us and lectures, while he bows to our enemies.
- gears up the p.c. language police to ‘revise’ government papers so that the word ‘terrorism’ has been airbrushed out.
- decides that New York City will have the KSM trial, without bothering to ask NYC. They beat him down on that poorly-planned idea and now he finds that no one else wants it either.
- nor does anyone want Gitmo-America. Not even the inmates want to move if it means coming here.
- plays golf while Poland mourns the loss of its entire leadership.
- apologizes for
histhis country at every opportunity, but ignores his own missteps. If Reagan was the “Great Communicator” Obama will be remembered as the “Great Apologizer”.
With a few years to run yet, there are untold numbers of apologies to be made, fixes to be broken, failures to see two steps ahead.
Help yourself, Mr. President. They’ll make wonderful talking points for your opponent in the next election. At the rate you’re going, the opposition will have a full-length movie, maybe even a “Stumbles and Gaffes II” if you don’t learn to dance any better than this.
As for Bag-holder Holder, make no mistake: his boss is pulling the strings that make his mouth move. He’s just the warm body in front of the Judiciary Committee.