Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 7, 2016

Obama Dispatches Holder to Ferguson, Cites Progress in Iraq (Video)

(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/File Photo)

Obama sends Holder to Ferguson, reports progress in Iraq. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Updated 7:03 p.m. | President Barack Obama, back in Washington for a day of meetings in the midst of his August vacation, on Monday reported “progress” in the expanded campaign of U.S. airstrikes on Iraqi insurgents near Mosul, and again called for calm in the riot-torn streets of Ferguson, Mo.

He announced that Attorney General Eric Holder will travel to Ferguson on Wednesday to talk with local leaders about the riots that have rocked the St. Louis suburb since the Aug. 9 police shooting of an unarmed black teenager.

Asked about the militarization of American law enforcement that some have said is exacerbating clashes between police and protesters in Ferguson, Obama said it may be time to review the use of federal dollars to purchase surplus military vehicles and gear.

“There’s a big difference between our military and our local law enforcement,” he said. “And we don’t want those lines blurred.”

Some civil rights leaders have urged the president to speak out more forcefully on the shooting of Michael Brown, but on Monday, Obama instead called for restraint on the part of both police and protesters.“While I understand the passions and the anger that arise over the death of Michael Brown, giving into that anger by looting or carrying guns, and even attacking the police only serves to raise tensions and stir chaos. It undermines rather than advancing justice,” he said.

“Let me also be clear that our constitutional rights to speak freely, to assemble, and to report in the press must be vigilantly safeguarded: especially in moments like these. There’s no excuse for excessive force by police or any action that denies people the right to protest peacefully.”

The president also reiterated that U.S. action in Iraq against the Islamic State rebels, who are also known as ISIS or ISIL, will be limited — though he acknowledged that defeating ISIL could “take time.”

“Today, with our support, Iraqi and Kurdish forces took a major step forward by recapturing the largest dam in Iraq, near the city of Mosul,” he said.

“Let’s remember, ISIL poses a threat to all Iraqis and to the entire region. They claim to represent Sunni grievances but they slaughter Sunni men, women and children. They claim to oppose foreign forces but they actively recruit foreign fighters to advance their hateful ideology.

“So the Iraqi people need to reject them and unite to begin to push them out of the land they have occupied, as we’re seeing at Mosul Dam. And this is going to take time. There’re going to be many challenges ahead.”

He said the administration had consulted with Congress about the strategy.

Earlier, two top Republican senators who have consistently criticized the president’s handling of the rise of the Islamic State insurgents praised Obama’s decision to ramp up air support for Iraqi and Kurdish forces.

“We applaud President Obama’s decision,” said Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina in a joint statement. “The success that we and our Iraqi partners have had thus far in this operation is encouraging. … These actions should now be expanded into a broader strategy to degrade ISIS both in Syria and Iraq, as we have been advocating. Without a sustained effort to retake Mosul — a center of ISIS activity in Iraq — and to degrade their home base in Syria, we will lose momentum.”

Several news organizations reported last week that Holder’s Justice Department had asked Ferguson authorities not to release a surveillance camera video showing the shooting victim robbing a convenience store just minutes before the shooting — a request the police refused.

On Monday, Holder made it clear he was not happy with the locals’ handling of the case.

“I realize there is tremendous interest … but I ask for the public’s patience as we conduct this investigation,” he said in a statement after meeting with Obama. “The selective release of sensitive information that we have seen in this case so far is troubling to me. No matter how others pursue their own separate inquiries, the Justice Department is resolved to preserve the integrity of its investigation.”



As Ferguson Police-Protestor Clashes Escalate, Congress Weighs In

CBC Members Call for Full DOJ Investigation Into Ferguson Shooting

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  • ShadrachSmith

    Holder is going to Ferguson because Obama’s DNC is producing an election cycle morality play in the medium of street theater to be reviewed by friendly critics in the MSM. This is what it looks like when the DNC adopts the community organizing principles of Alinsky as basic campaign strategy. They were looking for a white cop to kill a black teen, and when Mike Brown went down, they jumped in.

    Ferguson is where the DNC will locate their political street theater for this cycle. The production has been funded, the cast is in place, and only the producers of the theater – Obama’s DNC – can stop the show now.

  • Packard Day

    It is certainly a relief to know that so little is going on around the country right now that Eric Holder can devote his full attention and the vast resources of the FBI to get to the bottom of this terrible crime in Feguson.

    South Chicago, Detroit, Newark, New Orleans, Atlanta, New York, and LA: You and your own homicide problems will all just have to wait your turn. We will get to you…eventually.

    IRS, VA, HHS, Wall Street, Homeland Security, NSA, CIA, and CDC: Stand easy. There will be no DOJ investigations going on in any of your departments until January 2017. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

    Exitus acta probat…ehh?

  • Layla

    When exactly is Holder going to NY and Chicago, where dozens have been killed in recent days?

  • Layla

    Then you quite obviously weren’t watching the black commentators last night on the news…..Obama has lost his black base and with good reason.

  • ShadrachSmith

    You are wrong. It is the black activists who get out the black vote. This is Obama’s street theater to motivate blacks to vote in the ’14 cycle. The street theater will continue right through the election, count on it.

    If it shuts down before the election, you are correct, if not, not.

  • SIyD0g


  • drthomasedavis

    Holder is going to Ferguson as back up for the New Black Panther goons supporting the rioters. Holder is their tool in Washington and a rabble rouser in his own right.

  • obamas_evil_ring_of_power

    We certainly may hope holder will catch a stray bullet ….

  • AmericanBlues


    In 1970, Eric Holder, along with other Black ARMED militant Columbia University
    students that referred to themselves as the ‘Student Afro-American Society (SAAS)’, took control of an abandoned Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) headquarters for a 5-day occupation (did you see the word “ARMED” people??).
    This is the same man who refused to press charges against ARMED Black Panthers at a Philadelphia voting poll location in 2008 but who is attempting
    to take guns away from America’s citizens, while at the same time stockpiling
    millions and millions of bullets in Government facilities to weaken the supply.
    This is the same man who forced gun shops to sell hundreds of guns to the Mexican drug Cartel pigeons while, quite possibly, DELIBERATELY losing contact with them as the drug Cartel murdered dozens of people WITH THOSE GUNS, including a Texas farmer. He also personally became the head lawyer at GITMO in order to defend terrorists immediately after the 9/11 attacks, appointed and then controlled a judge’s actions at the Fort Hood trial of Maj. Nidal Hasan, where the judge banned all evidence of the killer’s Jihadi motives, recently released GITMOS’s highest ranking terrorists as well as a solider fighting in Afghanistan turned deserter-turned terrorist (whom he recently re-enlisted in the military instead of charging him for treason), deliberately stirs up race relations along
    with the entire Obama regime so as to tear this country apart, refuses
    to this day to guard U.S. boarders and has had his hand in too many sinister going-on’s to ever count.
    Yet he is this President’s right hand man and the TRUE second in command in this country.
    He’s right about being an “Activist” but I strongly suspect he would like the public to think of this as more along the lines of an immature college “thing” – innocent but righteous. Unfortunately, Holder’s college activist days included guns.

  • Iceman

    Today’s liberalism is basically communism. Without the manifesto.

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