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Competence: Stumbling from one gaffe to another and showing little appreciation for our Constitution, Attorney General Eric Holder has become a major embarrassment. Time to admit he's in over his head and let him go.
We were never big fans of the AG, but like many others, we had hoped our misgivings were wrong and that he'd be successful as the nation's top law enforcement officer. Sorry to say, he hasn't been.
Events in recent days and weeks show that Holder has little if any understanding of our nation's most precious asset, the Constitution, and seems oblivious to the actual requirements of his job.
An appearance before the House Judiciary Committee last week illustrates the problem. Holder told the panel that Justice Department decisions "are done in a political way." Thanks for the honesty, but that's not what the job requires.
This may explain why Holder could question whether Arizona's new law on illegal immigrants is "unconstitutional" and imply that those who drafted the bill were racist, and, in the next breath, admit that he hadn't even read the 17-page bill.
If he took the time to read it, he'd discover that Arizona's measure basically takes existing U.S. federal law and makes it state law too. Is the federal law unconstitutional as well?
By the way, the only reason Arizona felt the need for such a law was that the U.S. Justice Department — which Holder heads — refuses to enforce U.S. law as written. The state's porous border has become a major source of drug and human trafficking, kidnapping, murder and other crimes. In short, Arizona had no choice.
Of equal concern, Holder seems to treat the War on Terror (yes, we still use and capitalize the term) as a joke.
Fortunately, the airline underwear bomber and Faisal Shahzad, the would-be Times Square bomber, both failed. But we weren't so lucky when Malik Nadal Hasan, an Army-trained doctor who also happened to be a Muslim extremist, murdered 11 people and badly injured several others.
Fact is, the U.S. is being probed by radical Islamist terrorists, some homegrown, for a major attack. A big reason for that is they think we're weak. Someday they'll succeed.
Just this week, Steve Emerson's respected Investigative Project on Terrorism noted with concern that terrorist experts have detected a shift in terrorists' attention — from weak spots overseas to the U.S. homeland. It's only a matter of time.
Even so, there was Holder, in congressional testimony last week, virtually unable to make his mouth form the words "radical Islam" when queried if that was behind the recent upswing in terrorism. It is, of course, but the White House refuses to say so.
Anyone with a normal ration of common sense and intelligence can see that radical Islam is a serious problem. Why can't Holder?
Last November, Holder decided that 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and al-Qaida terrorist suspects Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, Walid bin Attash, Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi and Ali Abdul Aziz Ali should be tried not by the military but by a civilian court in New York — a move contrary to all logic, precedent, public opinion and decency.
At the time, under questioning by Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Holder couldn't even say whether he'd seek a trial in a civilian court for Osama bin Laden if he were caught.
Historian Martin Sklar argued in January that holding civilian trials for KSM and other terrorist murderers of 2,973 people was essentially malfeasance, "a betrayal of the public trust and a violation of the constitutional oath of office." It's hard to disagree.
By his own admission, Holder's decision making is driven by politics — not by concerns for the Constitution or public safety. Rule of law depends on a nonpolitical attorney general. Holder must go.