Here, you are urged and encouraged to run your mouths about something important.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Hillary: takes 'responsibility' but doesn't resign (Eric Holder redux)

Four Americans - including the U.S. Ambassador to Libya - are dead. They are dead because of bad policies and bad decisions at the State Department. In the days after the attack on the Benghazi consulate, the Obama administration - to include U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, White House press secretary Jay Carney, and Obama himself - pointed to a video as being the cause. That was proven to be false.

Cover-ups, lies, and dead Americans. Vice President Joe Biden blamed intelligence for any claims made that an anti-Muhammad video was responsible and said the administration didn't know that additional security was asked for.

The truth is that high-ranking officials at the State Department did know additional security was requested. That fact was learned at last week's House Oversight committee hearing.

Suddenly, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is now taking responsibility for what happened.

Via CNN:
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday tried to douse a political firestorm over the deadly assault on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya, saying she's responsible for the security of American diplomatic outposts.

"I take responsibility," Clinton said during a visit to Peru. "I'm in charge of the State Department's 60,000-plus people all over the world, 275 posts. The president and the vice president wouldn't be knowledgeable about specific decisions that are made by security professionals. They're the ones who weigh all of the threats and the risks and the needs and make a considered decision."
Notice how after claiming to "take responsibility," Clinton refers to the number of employees at the State Department in the same breath, as if to imply that she couldn't possibly be personally responsible for that many people.

While that's true, it's not the point. The point is that the head of the State Department is solely responsible for the culture and policy. The policy that was in place at State led to State Department officials denying security assets to people who were in desperate need of them.

This is called taking responsibility without accountability.

Shocker: DOJ seeks to dismiss Fast & Furious lawsuit

Attorney General Eric Holder was found to be in both criminal and civil contempt of Congress for not releasing documents subpoenaed in the Fast and Furious investigation. As was expected, the criminal conviction would go nowhere because Holder's subordinate is the individual responsible for prosecuting it (gotta protect the boss). That left the civil contempt conviction. The House Oversight Committee filed a lawsuit to demand the release of the documents. Barack Obama asserted Executive Privilege in order to prevent their release. He did so on the day Holder was found to be in contempt.

Now, the Justice Department is seeking a dismissal of the civil suit.

Via CBS News:
The Justice Department says federal courts should stay out of a political dispute between the Obama administration and Congress over documents in a botched law enforcement probe of gun trafficking.

In court papers filed Monday night, the department is seeking dismissal of a lawsuit by a Republican-led House committee, which is demanding that Attorney General Eric Holder produce records about Operation Fast and Furious.

The Justice Department says the Constitution does not permit the courts to resolve the political dispute between the executive branch and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The political branches have a long history of resolving disputes over congressional requests without judicial intervention, the court filing said.

President Barack Obama has invoked executive privilege and the attorney general has been found in contempt of the House for refusing to turn over records that might explain what led the department to reverse course after initially denying that federal agents had used a controversial tactic called gun-walking in the failed law enforcement operation.
There seems to be a slight problem with this argument. In U.S. v. Nixon, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that president could not assert Executive Privilege to cover up any crimes that had been committed.

A central component in the documents subpoenaed in Fast and Furious has to do with a February 4, 2011 letter signed by then Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich and addressed to Senator Charles Grassley. That letter alleged that the ATF was not allowing guns to walk into Mexico. Ten months later, the letter was withdrawn because its main assertion had been disproven.

Many of the documents subpoenaed are thought to provide some answers as to how that letter was written in the first place as well as what transpired in the months afterward.

If the precedent in this case is U.S. v. Nixon, a dismissal at this stage should not be considered likely. Then again, we've all seen some bizarre rulings these days.

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