Read the OP article link. The first legitimate reason I can think of to suppress documents about the "Fast and Furious" operations is that it would endanger undercover law enforcement agents still involved with the drug cartel and gun traders. Redacting their names may or may not help that.
Um... No one's asking for the documents to be made public, but for them to be made available to the oversight committee. These committees deal with classified documents all the time and are under the same oaths that those handing them over are under. That is simply not an excuse. These committees exist to examine sensitive documents in the smallest group possible for exactly this reason. There is no legitimate excuse not to hand this stuff over.
The second and more believable reason, at least if this was in Britain, is that the documents would reveal too much undercover police procedure.
Um... Except in this case, it was the procedures used which caused this whole thing to fail. Oversight committees have oversight on the executive programs they fund. That's the whole point of the system. Those programs and those running them are required to provide any information about their operations to the relevant committees upon request. Again, they exist to provide oversight. Saying "we don't want to tell you how we operate" is not a valid response.
Even in trials by jury, undercover police are not to be asked WHERE they observed a witness from, because that blows police methods. They can only be asked WHAT they observed of the witnesses' behaviour. Even if the undervover police officer was in the same room as the witness, and fully visible to the witness.
This is not a trial. It's a congressional committee asking for information about a program that they have legal oversight over. Holder refusing to hand over the documents would be like an employee refusing to explain to his boss why he lost the Flugelheim contract. Saying "something went wrong, but I'm not going to tell you what" is not a valid response. This is not about releasing these documents to the public. It's about releasing them to a small group of members of Congress who's job is to examine these sorts of documents and make assessments of them so that we *don't* have to tell the whole public (or even the whole congress) the secret details of some government operation.
We trust members of congress with details about black ops we conduct. We then trust them as elected officials to represent *us* when determining whether said operations were handled properly or were necessary. We do it this way so that we can maintain national security interests while still ensuring that "the people" have a say in what goes on. That's the whole point of our system. This is why Holder's actions really do have no grounds at all. If he's not required to report to this oversight committee, then he's not bound by the law at all
. That's a really big deal. And for some to shrug this off as partisan politics is not just ignorant, but it's dangerous as well. These sorts of hearings and oversight is the check that we citizens have against abuses of power by our own government. Weaken that and you weaken all of us. Not just Democrats or Republicans.