Alfonse D'Amato

It's time for the attorney general to go


Most of you already know my opinion of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, so this column should come as no surprise to you. From day one, Holder’s decisions and practices have left a bad taste in my mouth.

Months after assuming the position of supreme law enforcer in the country, Holder began actively working on behalf of detainees imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay, and allowed Justice Department attorneys with conflicts of interest to prosecute the cases.

This was just the first of several questionable incidents at the Justice Department. Things haven’t gotten much better, and it’s time for Holder to step down.

On Nov. 8, Holder testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, answering questions regarding a flawed arms trafficking investigation called Operation Fast and Furious. According to investigators, the operation used a practice known as “gun walking,” in which federal agents allowed individuals to purchase illegal weapons and freely walk away with them in the hope that the guns could be traced to arms-trafficking ringleaders.

Even in the early stages of the investigation, there were rumors of serious problems and lack of sound judgment. Holder attempted to quell those worries by writing a series of misleading letters to Charles Grassley, Republican senator from Iowa, who was questioning Holder’s tactics, and rebuffed any rumors of gun walking.

However, several agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives testified to the contrary in front of Congress, saying that they were ordered by their superiors to let suspected buyers walk away from area gun shops with AK-47s and other weapons, even though they were headed for Mexican drug cartels, rather than arrest the buyers and seize the guns there.

This is a direct contradiction to what the attorney general was reporting to Senator Grassley.

It is estimated that due to the failures of Fast and Furious, more than 2,000 illegal weapons were allowed on the streets. Sadly, Holder had to face the family of slain federal border agent Brian Terry. Members of a Mexican cartel, using two guns that fell into their hands as a result of the Fast and Furious investigation, murdered Terry.

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