John R. Smith
November 19, 2013
Attorney General Eric Holder is regarded by some as the most dangerous man in America, but you won’t find him on any most-wanted lists.
That’s because he is accused of doing his dirty work while wearing a lawman’s badge. He’s like Little Bill, the sheriff in “Unforgiven” — any nefarious act he commits is OK because he is the law.
The evidence is accumulating that Holder is more motivated by politics than the rule of law. Many Americans are deeply troubled that Obama’s chief legal officer seems to prefer overlooking America’s rule of law and favoring executive fiat. Holder chooses not to enforce laws that he and Obama don’t like.
Examples of Holder’s questionable decisions abound, including vendettas against financial institutions and actions and lawsuits brought by his Justice Department against journalists and financial rating services. The agency’s fraud lawsuit against Standard & Poor’s for publishing financial opinions smacked of political retribution against the company that downgraded U.S. credit following the 2011 debt-limit fight. Proof? Other rating firms offering the same bond opinions were excused from the federal investigation. Further, rating firms’ bond opinions have historically been protected under the First Amendment freedom of speech.
Then there was the investigation of journalists earlier this year by Holder’s Justice Department. In seeking a warrant — approved personally by Holder — to search the email of a Fox News reporter, the affidavit stated that the Justice Department believed the reporter had “committed or is committing a violation” of the Espionage Act. That is a criminal charge the agency had to back down from later. The Justice Department not only violated its internal guidelines, but the warrant either contained false claims about the reporter or the agency never really intended to prosecute him. Either way, it’s prosecutorial dishonesty. Holder also authorized seizing thousands of Associated Press phone records. This and the deadly “Fast and Furious” disaster prompted calls for him to resign, resulting in Holder being held in contempt of Congress with articles of impeachment filed against him for high crimes and misdemeanors.
The deeper problem is that Holder harms the nation’s long-term interests because he does not understand how value is created in America. He has made a recent career of going after “greedy” businesses, as if there was some law against greed. He fails to comprehend that value must be created before anyone can own it, spend it or redistribute it. Economic value is spawned by people who create businesses, commerce and jobs. They do so by putting their money at risk. Wealth is generated only if the creators of value overcome substantial hardship and risks — not the least of which is the potential for government punishment — and become successful. When that happens, only then can wealth be distributed among the various stakeholders, including owners, shareholders, managers and workers. Holder presumably thinks that wealth is created by bending the laws of the land to fine businesses and individuals tens of billions of dollars, which help pay for his boss’ redistribution programs that dole out “free” money to people.
When governments go bad or go wild, they create people who operate like Holder. He sees his job at least partially as treating big banks as a political ATM machine and as going after segments of American society and the political world that are adversaries to his boss’ political interests.
Holder completely disregards former President Calvin Coolidge’s adage that under the American “republic, the rewards of industry belong to those who earn them.”
Government’s prosecutorial power can reduce an individual or business to bankruptcy. Worse, the threat of prosecution can intimidate an individual into submission and a guilty plea, even if they are innocent, simply because there’s no sense in betting one’s personal wealth on the prosecutor’s roulette wheel. Even if individuals eventually win, they can lose their entire net worth in the long battle to prevail.
If bankers and business executives are now guilty just because Eric Holder says so, and if the Justice Department measures success by the prominent scalps he takes, there is no justice.
This article was posted: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at 6:21 am