The actions of the attorney general and the Department of Justice have been criticized for infringing on our fundamental freedoms as Americans. It seems that the security of our freedoms has been questioned several times in the last few months, and "scandal" seems to be the Republican theme of the year. However, we must ask ourselves whether these manufactured scandals have true substance and threaten the liberties and freedoms we cherish, or whether they are simply products of an ongoing political satire.
It is without doubt that freedoms of the press and speech need to be protected, but there are undisputed limits to these freedoms, limits that often come into play when national security is threatened. Rather than playing distracting and unnecessary political games, we should allow the legal institutions which protect these freedoms to do their job. All the facts are needed before jumping to conclusions. We cannot afford to take shortcuts when such fundamental rights are at stake.
There are only a few facts that we know for certain. We know that top secret information was stolen by Stephen Joo-Won Kim, a State Department contractor. We also know that the information came into the hands of James Rosen of Fox News. Whenever there is a leak of highly confidential information, it becomes a potential risk to national security. Proper action was needed to protect our nation. Eric Holder found that issuing a broad warrant was the best solution to stop the leak as fast as possible. While it is certainly our job as citizens to scrutinize, we must do so in a way that allows time for the facts to surface while understanding the scope of the danger involved.
Liberty and security are often in direct confrontation and must be balanced in a way that protects us without destroying what is worth protecting. The actions following this security breach had to be appropriate to the situation. Before deciding that the warrant issued was a violation of our freedoms, we must evaluate whether the risk to our security significantly outweighs the risk to our rights. We are all here to best serve the American public. Attorney General Holder had to rationalize these risks to best execute his job.
As a member of Congress, I believe Congress must provide oversight of actions by the Executive Branch as our system of checks and balances requires. Oversight, however, should remain just that. Congress should not fuel scandal with incomplete information. Manufactured scandals prohibit public servants from doing the job they were elected or appointed to do. Until enough evidence is present, all speculation is used only for political purposes. Eric Holder has performed his duties as attorney general well, yet he is being dragged through the mud. The demand for the resignation of Eric Holder as attorney general is a perfect example of how Republicans continue to unfairly target and intentionally hinder the Obama administration.
As this controversy unfolds, it is important that we maintain a clear mind and look at the facts before we jump to conclusions. By throwing Attorney General Eric Holder under the bus, we will only be punishing a person defending the national security of the United States. The situation is a distraction from more pressing issues such as unemployment and tax reform. The question remains: Are the people fueling the "scandals" truly doing what is in best interest to America? Unfortunately, the accusers are lost in an endless political game.