One difference between the man now heading the Justice Department and most of those he touted as “hundreds of successful prosecutions for terrorism” is at least the latter paid some price for deceiving or endangering the American people. Friday’s document dump (first leaked to friendly media by the DOJ) is further evidence of what Attorney General Eric Holder previously withheld that refutes his public statements and prior testimony before Congress. Senator Jeff Sessions and former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy summarize it correctly:
“The contention that the civilian criminal justice system is always an effective tool against terrorism, though wrong, is not a frivolous argument. But it is diminished when posited by unserious people — and the people running this Justice Department are embarrassing themselves. Finally today, after months of delay, DOJ officials released what they claim is the back-up for Attorney General Holder’s oft-repeated and outlandish claim that there are “hundreds” of convicted “terrorists” incarcerated in federal prisons, which “fact” supposedly shows that civilian justice processes are our best method of trying, convicting and securely detaining terrorists. The Friday data dump is a joke. No wonder they waited til everyone was headed out of town to dump it.” — Andrew McCarthy
“The information provided today confirms what Republicans have been saying all along — and removes perhaps the last remaining pillar underneath the Attorney General’s collapsing argument for the civilian trial of Khalid Sheik Mohammed. It is clear why the Attorney General was so reluctant to provide it. The Attorney General assured senators that KSM’s trial in New York City was ‘in the best interests of the American people in terms of safety.’ He justified that assertion by claiming that 300 terrorists were already safely convicted and in prison. In other words, the Attorney General was saying we’ve done this 300 times before and we can do it again. But we now know this is simply not true. The great majority of the terrorism cases cited by the Attorney General are in no way comparable to KSM’s case. Most of the convictions in this list are for far lesser offenses, such as document fraud and immigration violations, while only a small handful concern conduct even remotely similar to a mass-casualty terrorist attack. And none are on the level of KSM, who masterminded 9/11.” — Senator Jeff Sessions
Eric Holder claimed during his January 15, 2009 confirmation hearing to have learned while the DAG from his mistakes in the handling of the FALN and Marc Rich pardons. Obviously, he mostly learned he could make them with impunity and even bigger ones in furtherance of the political objectives of President Obama as the Attorney General of the United States.