Several months back, I recorded the audio of the exchange in question and was listening to it today while doing show prep. What I heard slapped me in the face as a direct contradiction to what Barack Obama's stance has been relative to the prosecution of CIA agents. Specifically, Obama has deferred to Holder, saying it's the Attorney General's call and that he will not interfere.
On August 28th, a column by Newt Gingrich appeared in the WASHINGTON EXAMINER in which he called B.S. on such a notion:
...the president is silent on Martha's Vineyard, and his surrogates are blaming the political prosecutions of CIA officials on the Attorney General.When I went to do a blog post to include the video of Holder and Hatch, I discovered it had been pulled.
Even if you believe this convenient division of political culpability, the Attorney General has failed to honor the law. He has given into - or faithfully carried out - the revenge fantasies of the anti-American left.
If Obama won't uphold his fundamental duty as Commander-in-Chief to defend those who have been defending America, the least he can do is insist that his Attorney General uphold his fundamental duty to defend the rule of law.
I'm not sure why the video was pulled specifically but the corner Holder was backed into in 1999 while seated in front of Hatch provides a stark contradiction between the ground he claimed while in that corner and ground the Obama administration has avoided claiming relative to CIA prosecutions.
I have the entire 10 minute audio clip but I transcribed a little over a minute of the exchange between Hatch and Holder. I will be playing the audio on my September 20th program.
Holder: The power of the president is absolute in these areas and can take into consideration a variety of things. The president has indicated that on the basis of what he termed 'equity and fairness' he thought the extension of the commutation here was appropriate, understanding that there were people who would disagree with his decision.
Hatch: Well this FALN member, Jerena, is on the FBI's ten most wanted fugitive list. The ten most wanted list, let alone fugitive. Doesn't it seem logical to you that before you give clemency to people like this, who've been convicted of seditious conspiracy and of all these other matters involving terrorism, the least law enforcement people should do is ask them to cooperate in finding one of the ten most wanted people on the FBI's list?
Holder: Well again, it is for the president to decide....
Hatch: No it isn't. It's for the Justice Department to make this determination whether they ask these people these things.
Holder: Well no, that's not, I respectfully disagree. It is for the president to decide exactly what he is or is not going to consider in making that determination.
So if Clinton had absolute authority to release the FALN terrorists in 1999, why doesn't Barack Obama have the same authority to release the CIA in 2009, Mr. Holder?
Here is a LINK TO THE LETTER 7 former CIA Directors sent to Barack Obama.