…with apologies to kimosabe
Kevin Zeese, Popular Resistance – Eric Holder’s tenure as attorney general will be remembered for the failure to prosecute any leading bankers who were responsible for the collapse of the economy. While the SEC negotiated large fines, the DOJ prosecuted none of those who were guilty of crimes that robbed the wealth of tens of millions of Americans. The failure to prosecute bankers was one example of many where corporate power dominated the DOJ on finance, environmental, labor and other issues. This should have been an era of aggressive enforcement of corporate crime, instead corporate criminals were rarely investigated.
It will also be remembered for the mistaken lack of enforcement against war crimes; in particular torture committed by US officials during the Bush administration as well as failing to take any action against lawyers in the Department of Justice and CIA who provided legal cover to torture. Instead of putting up a red light to unauthorized wars and military action, the Holder DOJ provided legal cover the massive drone killings by President Obama (that primarily killed civilians and non-combatants) and the military attack against Libya as well as the current war on ISIS resulting in massive bombings in Syria and Iraq.
A related security-state issue that Holder has not handled well has been the dragnet surveillance being conducted by the NSA. The DOJ should have appointed an independent prosecutor who was not part of the government to investigate the NSA spying program and the role of the White House, CIA, FBI and any other intelligence agencies that may have been involved. The failure to stop this dragnet surveillance program that captures email, text messages, phone chats and telephone calls of the American people has essentially provided legal cover for this violation of the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution that protects Americans from unreasonable searches without probable cause found by an independent magistrate.
Regarding constitutional rights also undermined during the Holder era was Freedom of Speech and Assembly. The federal government coordinated crackdown of the occupy movement should have been stopped by the Department of Justice. The Holder DOJ should have told the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Protective Service, FBI and any other federal agencies involved as well as local law enforcement agencies, that it was their job to protect the right of protest. The American people have very real grievances against a corrupt economy that is unfair and puts the profits of the wealthiest Americans ahead of the necessities of working Americans. And, they have grievances against a government that is not responsive to the people because it is ruled by money which makes it dysfunctional and incapable of working for the people’s interests. The right of protest is the only remedy the American people have when the government is corrupt and dysfunctional.