Ha ha ha! CIA / CYA! What a riot! But when the uncontrollable guffaws die down, here’s what I’d like to know from Senator Bond.
Some of us argued that Eric Holder was not suitable for Attorney General. Among the lengthy list of problems we cited, again and again, was that he had promised a “reckoning” for Bush administration officials who had been involved in interrogations and other post-9/11 national security policies that have kept this country safe from additional attacks.
Don’t be ridiculous, scoffed our Republican sages. For you see, unlike the rest of us, they’d gotten to spend quality time with Eric — an experienced, mature law-enforcement pro who would never, ever let political considerations enter into his decision making – and he had made a solid commitment that he absolutely would not sic the Justice Department on former Bush administration officials. Why, Sen. Bond assured the Washington Times, there was no reason not to support Holder’s confirmation — regardless of the objections raised by us knuckle-dragging, right-wing loons — because Holder had solemnly promised Bond in a private meeting that there would be no prosecutions of Bush officials.
I don’t think I was the only one who observed that Holder had made no such commitment in his confirmation hearing testimony and that the Republicans on the Judiciary Committee had not pinned him down. As I recounted in this post prior to Holder’s confirmation, Holder indicated in written answers to Senators Cornyn and Kyl that he did not support investigations of intelligence officers who relied on DOJ advice. But as far as concerned the Bush officials who formulated interrogation policy, Holder made no commitments — and was allowed to get away with making no commitments – about the propriety of investigations. And, as I noted in the post, Sen. Cornyn couldn’t have been too impressed because he voted against Holder.
So my question is: What’s the deal? Did Holder promise, as Sen. Bond said he promised, that there would be no prosecutions of Bush officials? If he did, why are Republicans not screaming for Gonzales-style hearings on why Holder dared to mislead U.S. senators? If he didn’t, then (a) why did Sen. Bond say he did, and (b) why did Republicans vote to confirm him?