Obama Attorney General Nominee Eric Holder Helped Enable 2000 Elian Gonzalez Seizure

INSelianGonzalezGunNow that Eric Holder is in the process of trying to graduate from Barack Obama's vice-presidential search committee to President-elect Obama's apparent nominee for Attorney General, it's a good idea to remind people of Holder's role in the Elian Gonzalez case in 2000. This post largely reprises one I put up in June.


In between hosannas, someone should consider Barack Obama's "Judgment to Lead" in light of his selection of Eric Holder as his nominee for Attorney General.

Besides his already-known role as former Clinton Administration Deputy Attorney General in facilitating the Clinton pardons, including that of fugitive billionaire financier Marc Rich, there's the matter of Holder's involvement in the Elian Gonzalez case in 2000.

As the April 23, 2000 edition of the Media Research Center's CyberAlert noted at the time, Andrew Napolitano of Fox News charged that the early-Saturday seizure of the then 6 year-old Gonzalez from those who were taking care of him flagrantly disobeyed a ruling of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

In response to a question from Fox News anchor Jeff Asman, Napolitano said the following (bolds are mine throughout this post):

The order issued by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals four days ago .... said once the INS chooses the guardian, and the INS chose Lazaro Gonzalez (Elian's paternal great uncle -- Ed.) to be the guardian, and an application for asylum has been made by the guardian, the INS can not change the guardian and that's exactly what they did here."

Asman: "So is this executive overreach?"

Napolitano: "This is more than executive overreach. This is contempt of the circuit court of appeals order. This is a high class kidnapping is what it is, sanctioned by no law, sanctioned by no judge..."

In an interview later that morning, Napolitano left Holder speechless (also available in the fourth item at this link):

Napolitano: Tell me, Mr. Holder, why did you not get a court order authorizing you to go in and get the boy?

Holder: Because we didn't need a court order. INS can do this on its own.

Napolitano: You know that a court order would have given you the cloak of respectability to have seized the boy.

Holder: We didn't need an order.

Napolitano: Then why did you ask the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals for such an order if you didn't need one?

Holder: [Silence]

Napolitano: The fact is, for the first time in history you have taken a child from his residence at gunpoint to enforce your custody position, even though you did not have an order authorizing it.

Earlier in that interview, as noted in a different CyberAlert item on the same day, Holder showed that he wouldn't admit the truth, even when in plain sight:

Napolitano: When is the last time a boy, a child, was taken at the point of a gun without an order of a judge. Unprecedented in American history."

Holder: "He was not taken at the point of a gun."

Napolitano: "We have a photograph showing he was taken at the point of a gun."

Holder: "They were armed agents who went in there who acted very sensitively..."

Here is the Pulitzer Prize-winning photo taken by Alan Diaz of the Associated Press depicting how Elian Gonzalez was "was not taken at the point of a gun" (larger picture is at link):


Someone should ask Barack Obama if he is at all bothered by Mr. Holder's inability to even recognize when someone is being taken at gunpoint, and how, among all the possible Attorney General candidates out there, Mr. Holder was still deemed so deserving to be nominated as the nation's highest law enforcement official.

Don't expect that question any time soon from the Obama-mesmerized media.

Adapted from a similar post in June (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog).

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.