A Bland And Unassuming Official

Yale professor David Bromwich on the pernicious paternalism of Eric Holder:

Attorney General Holder is a bland and unassuming official who is not given to hyperbole. But his actions have been hyperbolic. During the first 92 years of the existence of the Foreign Espionage Act of 1917, three persons were prosecuted. In the first four years of the Holder justice department, six persons have been prosecuted, their good names taken from them, their lives turned upside down. Mark Mazetti among others has noted the predictable and intended result of the Holder prosecutions: government employees have become exceedingly reluctant to speak with reporters about anything the government does. The intimidation has been comparable in its effect to the Palmer Raids of 1918-1921. None of the quarries fits any common definition of a spy; they were trying to warn the American public of what was done behind their backs. Nor have their activities given information to the enemy so much as they have given eyes and ears to Americans. Yet, in keeping with the pattern of misrepresentation, Holder, when he was asked what element of the crime had necessitated the seizure of AP records, said that the leak “put the American people at risk, and that is not hyperbole.”

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