Roger’s Rules

Terrorists: OK. CIA employees: not OK.

Last week I wrote about Eric Holder, the Attorney General of the United States, and the decision by the Department of Justice to dismiss the case against the Black Panthers in an episode of blatant voter intimidation (nightsticks, etc.) in Philadelphia last November. (There are, of course, degrees of intimidation. One seasoned observer called this “the most blatant form of voter intimidation I have encountered in my life in political campaigns in many states, going back to the work I did in Mississippi in the 1960s.”)

I concluded that piece by suggesting that Eric Holder was “part of the most politicized and left-wing administration in U.S. history.” To appreciate what that means, however, it is necessary to look not only at those episodes the Department of Justice smiles upon as pursuing virtue by spreading the gospel of social justice. It is also necessary to appreciate the sorts of things they take action against, as impeding the spread of social so-called justice. Andy McCarthy vividly dramatizes this aspect of spirit motivating our Department of Justice in a sobering essay at National Review Online.

As McCarthy notes, while members of the Black Panthers are re-credentialed to be election observers, CIA interrogators who labored in the service of keeping the United States safe from terrorist attacks are not so lucky. The interrogators “are retaining counsel,” McCarhy explains, and are “preparing for a lengthy investigation that likely will prove personally and professionally ruinous. The Los Angeles Times reported over the weekend that Holder is close to naming a prosecutor to probe whether the agency and its officers committed criminal misconduct.”

Let’s be clear about the stakes in this case:

The interrogators — whose use of harsh tactics resulted in the capture of leading jihadists, the disruption of mass-murder plots, and the saving of American lives — are in a different posture from that of Binyam Mohammed. Mohammed was a leading jihadist who had been plotting some of those disrupted mass-murder attacks that were to take place in American cities. He was slated for prosecution by military commission. But it turned out that he was above the law, too.

Mohammed, McCarthy reminds us, “was quietly extradited to Britain, where he is living free and clear. In fact, he’ll be speaking at a fundraiser in London later this month — if you act quickly, there are still a limited number of women-only balcony seats available.”

Disgusting, isn’t it? But this is Eric Holder’s, this is Barack Obama’s Justice Department.

  • Black Panthers who intimidate voters: OK.
  • Terrorists who plot to murder American citizens: OK.
  • Employees of the CIA who strive to protect Americans: not OK.

What’s wrong with this picture? As I asked in my earlier piece about Holder, how long will the American people put up with it?

[[UPDATE: The New York Post has the right phrase for the Justice Department’s attack on the CIA: “a witch hunt.“]]