June 23, 2012 By Jack Jodell
California arch-conservative 49th District Republican Congressman DARRELL ISSA has leapt into prominence of late with his overreaching investigation of Attorney General Eric Holder. I have never been much of a Holder fan, but the tactics used in Issa’s investigation have been excessive and extreme. He has been holding a virtual Kangaroo Court, deliberately denying or withholding key witnesses in order to crucify the Attorney General. His real aims, of course, are to politically embarrass President Obama, destroy Holder as the AG attempts to overturn concerted Republican efforts at voter suppression, and portray Obama as one attempting to do away with citizens’ right to own guns. Egged on by the NRA, his tactics have resembled the type of witch hunts Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy used to hold against suspected communists in the early 1950s. Now as then, they reveal a serious character defect that is found in many far-right extremists, notably a destructive paranoid delusion and the insatiable need for media attention. Issa, like many of his extremist counterparts, holds a vendetta against Eric Holder and will not rest until he has been totally vanquished.
Were Darrell Issa himself lily-white in purity, he might be forgiven for his excesses. But the fact is, he is NOT lily-white at all. For this pathetic ideologue has a very questionable past which the pro-corporate mainstream media has chosen to all but ignore. Perhaps because he has long been known as the wealthiest member of Congress, with a personal fortune estimated at $450 MILLION, he has been granted such leniency. But this blogger will afford him none of that!
Issa dropped out of high school at 17 to join the Army, where he was trained to defuse bombs. He claimed it was his unit which provided stadium-sweeping security for President Richard Nixon before all 1971 World Series games . This was proven false by the facts that Nixon never attended any 1971 World Series games, and that Issa had been transferred to a supply depot during that time due to having previously received an unfavorable performance evaluation. That same year, a fellow soldier claimed that Issa had stolen his Dodge Charger. After confronting him, the auto was mysteriously found the very next day, abandoned, on a nearby freeway. Of course, when asked about this last year, Issa denied it altogether and claimed that this fellow soldier had a drinking problem and had likely abandoned the car himself while drunk. Uh-huh. Yeah. OK. Right…
The next year, Issa’s father had a heart attack, so the future congressman was allowed a hardship discharge. He received a GED and enrolled in a small Catholic college. He was also arrested – twice – that same year. The first time, he was indcted by a grand jury on charges of having stolen a Maserati, but the charges were later dropped. The second time, he was charged with carrying a concealed weapon, after police had stopped him initially for a traffic violation and noticed a loaded gun in his glove compartment. He pled guilty to a lesser charge of posession of an unregistered firearm. For this, he received a fine and 6 months probation. 7 years later, he and his brother were charged with grand theft for allegedly faking the theft of his Mercedes Benz, but the charges were eventually dropped. Some time after that, Issa increased the insurance he was carrying at one of his companies from $150,000 to $450,000. Several months later, a fire suspiciously broke out at his warehouse and destroyed his inventory. Insurance investigators were very skeptical, as they noted two spots where an accelerant may very well have been used. They told Issa they would only pay 10% on his claim, so Issa took the $45,000 and that was that. Hmmmm…where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire. In Issa’s case, there was a pattern of repeated smoke, yet he has been allowed to alibi his way out of it most of the time. This is wrong.
Long before the 2010 congressional elections which brought the ultra-conservative Tea Party into prominence as the de facto controllers of the GOP, I warned about what would happen if the Republicans retook the House that fall. On August 31, 2010, at my old website , I wrote specifically about Darrell Issa:
“Not long ago, he spoke to some Pennsylvania Republicans, and boasted about what would happen if the GOP wins control of the House this fall, and he were to become chairman of the House Oversight Committee and get the power to subpoena. ‘I won’t use it to have corporate America live in fear that we’re going to subpoena everything. I will use it to get the very information that today the White House is either shredding or not producing.’ That means, of course… that he will tie up lots of House time and money on needless attempts to witch hunt or even impeach the President. This strongly partisan hack has already pledged to nearly double his staff to subpoena and investigate White House documents…”
Regrettably, my prediction has come true. Issa has wasted House time on one worthless probe after another, at a gigantic cost to taxpayers both in terms of money and of time that could be far better spent on creating needed jobs programs and rebuilding our tattered infrastructure. Now he has grabbed onto Eric Holder and he refuses to let go. He is guilty of abuse of power in running a very one-sided and incomplete investigatio. This reckless ideologue has promised even MORE ridiculously partisan investigations for our next Congress. We can no longer afford such nonsense!
Clearly, this “Fast and Furious” program of gun-running arms to Mexuco was botched. It unfortunately resulted in the death of an innocent American border patrol agemt in Brian Terry. It SHOULD be investigated, FULLY, from the day it first began under George W. Bush appointee Michael Mucasey. But this is something the arrogant and grandstanding Issa has refused to do!
Since there is little hope of our current Tea Party contaminated Congress doing so, it is up to us taxpayers to INSIST that Darrell Issa himself be investigated for the shady undertakings he has been involved in and yet has skillfully sidestepped over the years! We must demand that he be made fully accountable for his past activities by pressuring the media to finally get on the ball and start doing some real investigating! This con-man has been allowed far too free a hand to waste taxpayer time and money on his blatantly partisan investigations, so now it is time that the spotlight and screws be turned directly to HIM for a change!
Issa has claimed that our current President is one of the most corrupt in recent times. I would counter with the claim that Darrell Issa is one of the most corrupt congresspersons in our entire history. This man is no “great American hero”! Let’s investigate HIM and see who is correct!