WASHINGTON — The United States government took a historic step back from its long-running drug war on Thursday, when Attorney GeneralEric Holder informed the governors of Washington and Colorado that the Department of Justice would allow the states to create a regime that would regulate and implement the ballot initiatives that legalized the use of marijuana for adults.
Attorney General Eric Holder called for doing away with “stand your ground” self-defense laws, telling the NAACP the statutes “sow dangerous conflict in our neighborhoods” and allow “violent situations to escalate in public.”
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“We are determined to meet division and confusion with understanding and compassion – and also with truth,” Holder said Monday in Washington, D.C., at the national convention for the African-American sororityDelta Sigma Theta. “We are resolved, as you are, to combat violence involving or directed at young people, to prevent future tragedies and to deal with the underlying attitudes, mistaken beliefs and stereotypes that serve as the basis for these too common incidents.”
After a Florida jury on Saturday found Zimmerman not guilty of state charges, civil rights groups have called for the Justice Department to weigh in on the case. The department is reviewing evidence and considering whether to take action. Zimmerman, while serving as a neighborhood watch volunteer last year in a gated community in Sanford, Fla., shot the 17-year-old Martin, who was unarmed.
Holder called Martin’s death “tragic” and “unnecessary.”
In Dan Brown’s new novel, Inferno, the lead character is struck with amnesia, unable to remember critical events even as he’s trying to save the world. Let’s borrow that useful plot device and imagine if Americanjournalists woke up and couldn’t remember who was president. It would be interesting to ask them a few questions:
What would you think of a president under whom the IRS targeted his harshest political opponents, during his reelection campaign?
What would you think of a president whose obsession with leaks and secrecy was so great that he used the Justice Department to obtain phone records of reporters, in violation of Justice’s established procedure?
What would you think of a president whose head of the Department of Justice signed a criminal warrant against a leading journalist working for the news organization most critical of the president—and monitored the movements of the journalist and even went after his mother’s phone records?
What would you think of an administration that directed the president’s press secretary repeatedly to deliver false information concerning the death of an American ambassador?
The president’s move comes on the eve of confirmation hearings Thursday for his CIA director-nominee John Brennan, and complaints from senators – including several Democrats – about secrecy surrounding the drone policy.
Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz is in charge of identifying and preventing “waste, fraud, abuse and misconduct” at the Department of Justice, which oversees ATF.
While pinning the blame on officials in both Washington and Arizona for allowing guns traced in the operation to “walk” to drug cartels in Mexico, the report by the inspector’s office also takes pressure off U.S. Attorney GeneralEric Holder, whom the House, in a largely partisan vote, had cited for contempt of Congress.
According to the report, titled “A Review of ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious and Related Matters,” Holder’s subordinates had not properly informed him in a timely manner.
Holder “did not learn about Operation Fast and Furious until late January or early February 2011,” the report said. FULL ARTICLE