Florida Republican Rep. Allen West said it was “reprehensible” for Attorney General Eric Holder to leak to the press his long-overdue apology letter to slain Border Patrol agent Brian Terry’s family before Terry’s mother had read it.
West compared Holder’s actions to those military leaders take with respect to families of fallen soldiers.
“Having been a person that was in combat as a leader before, that’s reprehensible,” West said at a Tuesday press conference where many of the 42 members of Congress calling for Holder’s resignation amplified their demands.
“That would be just the same,” West said, “as if I lost a soldier in my unit — that I did not do anything as far as writing a letter of condolence to the parents until someone brought it to my attention that I hadn’t written a letter of condolence — and then, when I finally did decide to write a letter, I leaked it out to the Public Affairs office to try to rectify the situation.”
West added that Holder’s behavior is “not leadership” and that his lack of empathy for the families of those under his command is the “main reason why this guy has to go.”
“If something went wrong in a platoon, which is two levels lower [than where I was], that’s my responsibility as a battalion commander,” West said, responding to what he said was Holder’s habit of blaming law enforcement officials in Phoenix for Operation Fast and Furious instead of accepting responsibility.
“Wrong is wrong, and we need to hold this Attorney General accountable.”
Tennesssee Republican Rep. Diane Black added that it is “deeply, deeply troubling to me that the Attorney General of the United States seems to be, at best, blasé about the death of a Border Patrol agent whose murder is linked to Operation Fast and Furious.”
“The American people deserve answers about this, but first and foremost, the family of this young Border Patrol agent deserves answers,” Black said. She is among the 42 members of the House calling for Holder to step down.
“I found [Holder’s] testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary [Committee] a week or two ago almost insulting,” added Illinois Republican Rep. Joe Walsh.
“The attitude that he took toward the young man who was killed … was troubling,” Walsh said. “And, then, there’s this undercurrent of his call — his advocacy — for more gun control, a problem of our guns going south of the border when our own government, led by him, was complicit in that. He needs to be held accountable.”