FEBRUARY 06, 2009
With the crony who orchestrated Clinton’s shameful last-minute pardons confirmed as Attorney General, the president has picked a major campaign fundraiser who defended a convicted al Qaeda terrorist to head one of the Justice Department’s most important divisions.
Barack Obama has tapped northern California attorney Tony West to run the Justice Department’s civil division, which represents the government, Congress and presidential cabinet officers in a wide range of litigation and annually handles thousands of cases dealing with significant policy issues.
Considered a mover and shaker in the Democratic Party, West was finance co-chairman of Obama’s presidential campaign and he helped raise $65 million for Obama in California alone, campaigning throughout the Golden State as well as nationally and often speaking on behalf of the former Illinois senator.
One can only imagine what might happen to any Obama political adversary that may encounter this particular division of the Justice Department, which ensures “fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.” Such an appointment also contradicts Obama’s pledge to “depoliticize” the Justice Department.
Another highlight in West’s resume is his representation of a convicted al Qaeda terrorist (John Walker Lindh) serving a 20-year prison sentence. Lindh was captured in Afghanistan in 2001 while fighting against the U.S.-backed Northern Alliance as a member of the Taliban army. He actually pleaded guilty to aiding the Taliban and carrying explosives while fighting U.S. troops in the region.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has not yet set a hearing date for West’s confirmation but, like his tainted future boss, Attorney General Eric Holder, he’s expected to get confirmed. As Clinton’s deputy attorney general, Holder orchestrated several highly questionable pardons—including a fugitive financier and a pair of jailed domestic terrorists—in the administration’s final days. Shortly after the pardon scandal, Holder admitted that his public career was over. He is undoubtedly thankful that Obama resuscitated it.
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