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Forget the sinister political implications of the Associated Press -- DOJ Leak Investigation. Holder might be guilty of stonewalling -- but not on this issue

By all reports, it appears that the subpoena for the Associated Press’s telephone records had little or nothing to do with Eric Holder or politics. If true, the subpoena is the result of a zealous prosecutor named Jonathan Malis, a 15-year employee of the Department of Justice.

There is little doubt in my mind that the security breach was serious and did compromise national security. It was the disclosure that the United States had a mole within al Qaeda – something which precluded further infiltrations by intelligence operatives and putting the informant’s life at risk. Under these circumstances, the leak could have only come from a government employee with access to classified information. So I am grateful to Jonathan Malis for single-handedly spearheading the team effort in attempting to keep America safe.

Yes, the subpoena could be judged overly-broad and intrusive. But, I would rather err on the side of protecting American intelligence assets – especially considering that today’s mainstream media appears to be little more than a propaganda arm of the Obama Administration. But this is a national security matter, not a political one.

If one wanted to question the motives of Malis, perhaps it would be helpful to note that he fought a hard fight against Eric Holder in 2007 when he represented Chiquita Brands against a terrorism charge of funding terrorists in Columbia.

Chiquita Brands International Inc. ("Chiquita"), a multinational corporation incorporated in New Jersey and headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, pleaded guilty today before the Honorable Royce C. Lamberth of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to one count of engaging in transactions with a specially-designated global terrorist, announced Assistant Attorney General Kenneth L. Wainstein National Security Division; U.S. Attorney Jeffrey A. Taylor; Wendy Wysong, Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce ("Commerce"); and William Reid, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Washington, D.C. Office of Investigations.

Chiquita pleaded guilty pursuant to a written plea agreement. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Chiquita's sentence will include a $25 million criminal fine, the requirement to implement and maintain an effective compliance and ethics program, and five years' probation. Chiquita also has agreed to cooperate in this ongoing investigation. Sentencing will occur on June 1, 2007.

The plea agreement arises from payments that Chiquita had made for years to the violent, right-wing terrorist organization United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia – an English translation of the Spanish name of the group, "Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia" (commonly known as and referred to hereinafter as the "AUC"). The AUC had been designated by the U.S. government as a Foreign Terrorist Organization ("FTO") on Sept. 10, 2001, and as a Specially-Designated Global Terrorist ("SDGT") on Oct. 31, 2001. These designations made it a federal crime for Chiquita, as a U.S. corporation, to provide money to the AUC. In April 2003, Chiquita made a voluntary self-disclosure to the government of its payments to the AUC, giving rise to this investigation.

The plea agreement is the result of a joint investigation by the Department of Commerce and ICE. In announcing today's plea agreement, Assistant Attorney General Wainstein, U.S. Attorney Taylor, Deputy Assistant Secretary Wysong, and Special Agent in Charge Reid commended the concerted efforts of Commerce Special Agent Christopher Tafe and ICE Special Agent Theodore Schmitz. They praised Oliver John-Baptiste of the Litigation Support Unit, Paralegal Specialist Amber Wetzel, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jonathan M. Malis and Denise Cheung, and Department of Justice Trial Attorney Stephen Ponticiello, who are prosecuting the case. They also recognized the efforts of former Assistant U.S. Attorney John A. Beasley and Linda Otani McKinney, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeanne M. Hauch, and Department of Justice Trial Attorney Michael D. Taxay, all of whom worked on this matter at earlier stages.

Source: Department of Justice

Bottom line …

It does not appear that the phone records request had anything to do with political machinations and everything to do with a hard-working prosecutor trying to find out who betrayed the United States of America. Holder appears to be guilty of stonewalling in other matters, but should get a pass in the Associated Press matter.

To compare and contrast this position with true political posturing and wrongdoing, one need only look at the prosecution of Scooter Libby for an allegation in which the prosecutor already knew the name of the leaker – and chose to pursue Libby anyway; finding him guilty of making a false statement for little more than a faulty recollection and a slip of the tongue. And a chicken-shit George Bush who did not give Libby a full pardon because it would look bad on his political legacy. So much for the myth of Bush being a gentlemen (sort of like the myth of Bush being a cowboy at a working ranch).

I still believe that is is more distraction and diversion from the true scandal – Benghazi – with its potentially criminal offenses leading to the impeachment of a sitting President.

It is time we stop giving aid and comfort to our enemies by condoning leaks of classified intelligence for political or ideological advantage.

-- steve


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS

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