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Eric Holder Guns Down Gun Owners and Journalists

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

Eric Holder gets a thrill out of villainy. He’s the DOJ’s original bad boy.

Holder appears to be a bit confused about his job description. Instead of behaving like the U.S. Attorney General, he’s displaying the maturity of a 17-year-old and the cunning of a mobster.


The U.S. Attorney General has a big job. He (or she) is supposed to be America’s frontline defender of the U.S. Constitution. Unfortunately, Holder is on the frontline of the opposing side. He’s leading the charge against freedom. Here’s how.

Taxpayer-Subsidized Gun Tracking

Holder’s middle name is common sense. Which is why, within days after Silicon Valley venture capitalist Ron Conway offered a $1 million prize to privately fund “smart gun” development, Holder proposed a plan to seize $2 million from taxpayers and dump it into federal research for smart guns.

A so-called smart gun is a firearm that syncs with a radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip in a bracelet or watch. The gun will not fire unless the shooter is wearing the bracelet. Supporters claim RFID will prevent accidental deaths. However, existing smart gun technology is costly (around $1,800 for the firearm and bracelet) and prone to error.

Many people feel uncomfortable relying on RFID for self defense—just as many people would not want to rely on iPhone 5S fingerprint identity sensor technology in a life-or death situation. Besides, there is no reason why anyone should be required by the federal government to use a RFID gun over a non-RFID gun.


The private market can and will develop this technology and consumers will decide whether they like it enough to pay a premium. In the hands of the federal government’s researchers, this technology will be developed in a way that will help the government track gun owners in a worst-case scenario. Or, to support the Solyndras of smart guns in a best-case scenario.

That’s not common sense. That’s dense.

Threatening Pulitzer Prize Winning-Journalists with Jail

“There is no such thing as ‘too big to jail,’” Holder has quipped. Which is interesting considering that he has not jailed himself after he was held in contempt of Congress for failing to come clean on Fast and Furious. Nor has he jailed his girlfriend, Girls Gone Wild Extraordinaire Lois Lerner for her involvement in the IRS witch-hunt against conservative non-profits and her subsequent silence before the American people.

Instead, Holder is closing in on Pulitzer Prize winning-journalist James Risen for protecting the identity of a source for his 2006 book, State of War: The Secret History of the C.I.A. and the Bush Administration. Holder’s DOJ accuses Risen of utilizing former CIA employee Jeffrey Sterling as a source for his story about a CIA project to hand the Iranian government botched blueprints for a nuclear bomb. Sterling is now being prosecuted under the catch-all Espionage Act.


The Bush administration pursued Risen, but backed off. Now, Obama’s administration is digging up old dirt. Why? In an obvious attempt to use Risen as an scapegoat and send this chilling message to all journalists: If you even think of operating as a government watchdog, watch out: we’ll throw you in the slammer.

In the entire history of the United States, no other administration’s Department of Justice has been as ruthless as the current. Whereas Holder’s DOJ has used the Espionage Act to threaten eight whistleblowers, only three individuals have been similarly targeted for leaking “classified information” by all previous administrations combined, according to Truth-Out.org.

Risen has asked the Supreme Court to hear his case and uphold his First Amendment right to free speech. The Court is set to make a decision by next month, but Holder’s DOJ has urged the Court not to hear Risen’s case, which would require Risen to take the stand and potentially go to jail or be fined for refusing to talk.

When Obama first took office, he promised: Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government. Obama will ensure that federal agencies expedite the process for reviewing whistleblower claims and whistleblowers have full access to courts and due process.


Our lawyer-president has a tendency to break promises. About ObamaCare. About transparency. About protecting journalists. And he also has a penchant for employing other lawyers, like Holder, whose irresponsibility and immorality have resulted in innocent deaths (think U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian A. Terry and the numerous innocent Mexicans who died in the botched Fast and Furious gun-running scheme). Holder needs to take the high road—or hit the road.

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