Tag Archives: Rep Lamar Smith

Holder, DOJ Back Off FOIA Rule Change of Saying Docs Do Not Exist

The U.S. Justice Department is withdrawing a controversial new rule regarding FOIA ( Freedom of information Act) requests in which the DOJ wanted to just deny the existence of requested documents instead of complying with the requests for government information as per the FOIA.

The FOIA is the law that gives all U.S. citizens the right to access information from the federal government. The problem with the new “rule change” announced by the DOJ that stirred up this controversy is the fact that Barack Obama has stated on numerous occasions that the U.S government under his watch would be the most open and transparent in history. This new DOJ rule that basically allows them to lie to American citizens who submit FOIA requests for information and say that it simply does not exist, flies in the face of “the most open and transparent administration in history” statements.

In a marvelous display of representing the people who elected him, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sent a letter to DOJ Chief Eric Holder in which he asked 15 pointed questions about the proposed regulations to be answered by Nov. 7th. If the DOJ still decided to go forward with the new regulations, Grassley said he would propose legislation to prevent the regulations from ever taking effect. The date of Nov. 7th was important, as Holder is scheduled to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 8th. Considering that the DOJ is currently embroiled in the Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal, Holder apparently did not want to also have to answer questions on the FOIA regulation, and so he backed off and pulled that part of the new regulation.

Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas is also to be commended for his taking a stand against Holder’s attempt to deny FOIA requests by telling the lie that they do not exist when they actually do,in his statement in another letter to the DOJ. “The rule appears to contradict both transparency principles fundamental to a functioning democracy and the president’s commitment to make ‘his administration the most open and transparent in history.’ The department should explain why it believes answering truthfully along the lines of ‘we can neither confirm nor deny records exist’ has proven to be inadequate to protect sensitive information,” Smith wrote in his letter.

In a perfect example of how disgustingly hypocritical and dis-ingenious the DOJ has become recently under Holder, spokesperson Melanie Pustay tried to cover up the attempt to lie to the citizenry by saying the documents do not exist, while breaking the FOIA laws by saying, “Our goal is to be as open and transparent as possible about the existence of exclusions and the process for invoking them while at the same time protecting the sensitive law enforcement and national security matters covered by the exclusions,” Only in Washington D.C. can someone attempt to deny lawful information requests by lying and saying they do not exist, and then try to justify it by saying their “Goal is to be as open and honest as possible.”

2012 just can’t get here fast enough!

Holder Pens Letter to Congress : "Nothing To See Hear Folks, Just Move Along"

 Attorney General Eric Holder wrote a letter to Congress on Friday, once again denying the seriousness of the Fast and Furious charges that show the ATF selling assault weapons to Mexican drug cartels which resulted in the death of two border agents and hundreds of citizens on both sides of our Southern border. First of all, we must consider both the timing and method of communication chosen by Eric Holder in this desperate attempt to avoid accountability for his incompetence/culpability in this scandal. People have died from the very guns that our government authorized the sale of, and as House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa and House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith have stated on numerous occasions, “ We are going to get to the bottom of this injustice, no matter how long it takes.

Congress was in session all week long and the best Holder can do is to write a letter on Friday ?  This is the same pattern of late Friday document dumps put out by the White House administration when forced to by FOIA requests, in hopes that it will be forgotten/ignored/missed by the media. Many executive orders have also been released on Friday nights in hoping to keep the people in the dark about just what our government is doing. Also of note is the fact that this letter comes one day after Senator Chuck Grassley distributed five memos citing the gunrunner operation by name and which were addressed to… Attorney General Eric Holder in July and August of 2010. So much for Holder’s constant denial that he knew about the gunrunner program, which was also parroted by President Obama in his “pass-my-jobs-bill-tantrum (speech) number 19 this week. Obama trusts Eric Holder, and that means that the public must do so also, evidence be damned. Maybe that is because the White House has been proven to have been briefed about Fast and Furious also.

Holder’s letter reeks of  propaganda-style spin and delusional denial any way you look at it. He is denying Congress the ability to hold those responsible for this travesty of justice accountable. He has shifted  ATF employees close to this scandal to Washington D.C. in an obvious attempt to cover his tracks. A spokesman for Rep. Issa called the letter “unconvincing.”

“If Attorney General Holder had said these things five months ago when Congress asked him about ‘Operation Fast and Furious,’ it might have been more believable,” the spokesman said. “At this point, however, it’s hard to take at face value a defense that is factually questionable, entirely self-serving, and a still incomplete account of what senior Justice Department officials knew about gun walking.” (emphasis mine)

Holder is desperate to sweep this scandal under the rug, and it shows by the penning of this letter. Rep. Lamar Smith is now calling for a special counsel to look into this situation and help get to the bottom of it. Issa has demanded a special prosecutor from the DOJ, yet Holder fails to mention that fact in his letter, proving again that this letter is nothing more than an attempt to deny responsibility for his departments actions. He is also seen to be trying to protect Senior Justice department members from the fallout. To add insult to injury in this letter, Holder tries to paint the investigations as some kind of plot to “heap disrespect on our nation’s law enforcement officers.” That ludicrous statement would be laughable if  people had not been murdered by assault weapons that were authorized by our very own government.  Here is how Eric Holder wants the public to view the ATF Fast and Furious investigations:  “The members of Congress that are trying to hold the people responsible for the Fast and Furious perversion of justice are somehow slandering our local police departments across America.” Demanding that Holder and company he held accountable is somehow supposed to be an affront to “all law enforcement across America.” This is nothing more than a simplistic attempt to pressure Congress into dropping the investigations into Fast and Furious. 

So why is Holder speaking out, ( in the media on a Friday night) all of a sudden while stonewalling this investigation? Again he wants to use ‘public discourse’ to try to spin this scandal into the famous ” Nothing to see here folks, just move along” method of trying to cover it up. He said Friday, he feels compelled to speak out now because “the public discourse concerning these issues has become so base and so harmful to interests that I hope we all share.”  Harmful to who’s interests Mr. Holder? It certainly isn’t in the public’s best  interest for our government  to be enabling assault weapons to be sold to Mexican drug cartels in any way shape or form here. People have died from these weapons, and what is in our best interest is that the Government  employees in the DOJ, ATF, DHS, etc, be held responsible for this terrible injustice. That means you Mr. Holder, as these actions occurred under your watch at the DOJ.

In the final example of  Holder’s dispicable attempt to deny responsibility for the Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal, Holder says that they did not have any knowledge of supposed “flawed tactics” being used,  and then tries to justify that statement with somehow trying to blame the Bush administration: ” Holder also made a point of noting “the flawed tactics employed” were also used “in an investigation conducted during the prior administration.”   The problem with that nonsensical statement lies in the fact that there are no reports about citizens being murdered by assault weapons that were sold by our government before Eric Holder was appointed as Attorney General by Barack Obama. Tactics and methods of operation are one thing,  people being murdered by assault weapons that resulted from the Fast and Furious government-sponsored gunrunning fiasco is quite another. Eric Holder is a disgrace to the word justice, and not only needs to be fired as Attorney General, but criminal charges must be filed, whether Barack Obama trusts him or not. 

UPDATE: Oct 9th 2011- On Fox News Sunday,  Darrell Issa calls for Holder’s immediate resignation, and says he may issue subpoenas soon . NewsMax came out with the update in an article titled:  Pressure Grows for Holder’s resignation: Subpoenas Threatened.