The Attorney General's Quasi-Apology
Saying 'sorry' may be just so much bourgeois sentimentalism to AG Eric Holder, but thanks to a strong American judicial system still revered by the majority, the top Justice official held his nose and delivered a quasi-apology to the family of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
Holder's latest backpedaling episode began at Tuesday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. Senator John Cornyn forced Holder to admit he had not apologized to murdered Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry's family. His refusal to say "I'm sorry" in front of the committee prompted some in the media to rightfully criticize Holder's callous follow-up to Cornyn's question.
I have not apologized to them, but I certainly regret what happened... It pains me whenever there is the death of a law enforcement official, especially under the circumstances. It is not fair, however, to say the mistakes that happened in Fast and Furious directly led to the death of Agent Terry.
After his refusal to accept responsibility for the murders that occurred under his watch, Holder was met with a deluge of criticism and tears from the Terry family. Within 24 hours of Tuesday's hearing the attorney general was in damage control mode. Holder dashed off a letter to the murdered agent's parents. The words "I am sorry" appear in the first paragraph. Holder should have left it at that.
But he once again projected blame on the "overheated rhetoric" of an oppositional Congress. AG Holder defended himself to the Terrys with the same opening remarks he read at the Senate Judiciary hearing. How personal.
From Tuesday's testimony:
Like each of you, I want to know why and how firearms that should have been under surveillance could wind up in the hands of Mexican drug cartels. But beyond identifying where errors occurred and ensuring that they never occur again, we must be careful not to lose sight of the critical problem that this flawed investigation has highlighted: we are losing the battle to stop the flow of illegal guns to Mexico.
Today, I would like to correct some of the inaccurate - and irresponsible - accusations surrounding Fast and Furious. Some of the overheated rhetoric might lead you to believe that this local, Arizona-based operation was somehow the cause of the epidemic of gun violence in Mexico. In fact, Fast and Furious was a flawed response to, not the cause of, the flow of illegal guns from the United States into Mexico.
From the 'apology' letter:
More broadly, I am committed to focusing on the national security crisis that this fundamentally flawed investigation highlighted: we are losing the battle to stop the flood of illegal guns from the U.S. to Mexico.
While some in Congress have opposed our efforts, we are committed to providing the men and women in law enforcement the tools they need to win this critical war against the cartels.
Rather, my criticism has been aimed at those who have used inflammatory and inappropriate rhetoric about the operation in an effort to score political points.
I want to know why and how firearms that should have been under surveillance could wind up in the hands of Mexican drug cartels.
As the Terry family struggles with Brian's murder, Holder tells them in effect, 'I'm sorry for the loss of your son but it's Congress' fault you blame me.'
In an interview two days after Holder's sworn testimony, Terry's mother, Josephine, expressed what most Americans who have been following this story feel, "I sat in a chair and cried. It was so inhumane."
Congressman Paul Gosar (R-Az) understands Mrs. Terry's pain. Frustrated with the lack of mainstream coverage and public relations mea culpas, he's enlisted fellow members of Congress to join him this Tuesday for a press conference. Together they will call for Holder's immediate resignation and the truth about Fast and Furious. Thirty-eight congressmen are now on record demanding the attorney general resign and be held accountable for the catastrophic government program.
As top man at the DOJ Holder is responsible for the gunwalking program that led to so many deaths. Quick to defend militant Black Panther thugs threatening voters with nightsticks, more than happy to call us "a nation of cowards" when it comes to race and willing to give enemy combatants constitutional protections, Holder has repeatedly demonstrated his disregard for the rule of law. The DOJ chief undermines law enforcement personnel sworn to serve and protect while giving the bad guys a pass.
And despite mounds of evidence, the attorney general still refuses to come clean about his involvement in Fast and Furious. Until he does, his apology means nothing. The Terry family is right--Holder needs to go.
Read more M. Catharine Evans at Potter Williams Report