Gunwalker: Why is the White House “hiding” a key witness?

April 10, 2012

In an article last July about possible White House knowledge of Operation Fast and Furious, I quoted the following from a CBS report:

At a lengthy hearing on ATF’s controversial gunwalking operation today, a key ATF manager told Congress he discussed the case with a White House National Security staffer as early as September 2010. The communications were between ATF Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix office, Bill Newell, and White House National Security Director for North America Kevin O’Reilly. Newell said the two are longtime friends. The content of what Newell shared with O’Reilly is unclear and wasn’t fully explored at the hearing.

It’s the first time anyone has publicly stated that a White House official had any familiarity with ATF’s operation Fast and Furious, which allowed thousands of weapons to fall into the hands of suspected traffickers for Mexican drug cartels in an attempt to gain intelligence. It’s unknown as to whether O’Reilly shared information with anybody else at the White House.

Congressional investigators obtained an email from Newell to O’Reilly in September of last year in which Newell began with the words: “you didn’t get this from me.”

“What does that mean,” one member of Congress asked Newell, ” ‘you didn’t get this from me?’ “

“Obviously he was a friend of mine,” Newell replied, “and I shouldn’t have been sending that to him.”

Newell told Congress that O’Reilly had asked him for information.

Now, however, the White House is blocking access to O’Reilly, hiding him behind claims of “executive privilege:”

White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler sent a letter Thursday to Republican lawmakers Rep. Darrell Issa and Sen. Chuck Grassley, refusing their request to speak with Kevin O’Reilly, a former National Security staff member whose emails place him in the middle of the unfolding scandal. Issa and Grassley had written to Ruemmler on March 28, asking the White House to step aside and let O’Reilly talk to investigators.

Grassley is the GOP ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Issa chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, whose members include Chaffetz.

“[O’Reilly’s] personal attorney indicated that he’s more than willing to talk to the committee, on the record, under oath”” [Rep. Jake] Chaffetz told Kelly during her Friday afternoon broadcast. “It is only the White House and the White House Counsel that is saying they will not make him available.”

(…)

Ruemmler also cited executive privilege and confidentiality as reasons for denying the lawmakers’ request.

Anyone who remembers the Nixon administration is probably having flashbacks right now at the mention of executive privilege. Not that it doesn’t have its place –it’s necessary in order to let aides feel comfortable offering the president their best, most candid advice without fear of a congressional witch-hunt– but it has also been abused to hide embarrassing or even scandalous facts.

The request to speak with O’Reilly resulted from requests and subpoenas demanding all communications between O’Reilly and his friend, Bill Newell. Ruemmler claims the White House has turned over everything it has, while Chaffetz says the emails were never delivered — in spite of the legally binding subpoena.

Hence the desire to speak to Mr. O’Reilly, who is himself willing to talk, if only the Obama White House would let him.

Ask yourself this: If there really is no scandal; if, as Ruemmler claims, the House and Senate investigators have all the documents they need; if O’Reilly has no damaging information to reveal… then why won’t they let him testify? What are they hiding? What are they afraid of?

Executive privilege won’t cut it; we’re not talking about confidential advice offered by a subordinate to the president or a cabinet member. O’Reilly was involved in communications about a program that, probably illegally, provided guns (and other weapons) to vicious criminal gangs in Mexico, arguably an act of war. Over 300 Mexicans and at least one, perhaps two, US federal agents have been killed with these weapons. “Walked” firearms are showing up at crime scenes in the United States. Executive privilege doesn’t cover being an accessory to murder.

Congress has every right under its oversight function to interview O’Reilly to hear what he has to say about Operation Fast and Furious, and the White House should drop its risible claims of privilege. If they don’t, it’s time for contempt proceedings.

The dead and their families are owed no less.

LINKS: More at American Thinker and Hot Air.

RELATED: Earlier posts on Operation Fast and Furious, aka “Gunwalker.”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Saturday Links Fiesta

March 3, 2012

Time to clear out some backlogged links; I think you’ll find something worth reading under each category:

MEDIA:

If you’ve ever doubted that the MSM is full of hypocritical cowards, this should clear things right up: BBC Chief admits Christianity treated worse than other religions. And by “other religions,” I don’t think they mean Judaism… (via Howie)

ECONOMY:

I’ve said before that the Democrats’ policies (“Quantitative easing,” aka “printing money;” a devotion to radical environmental agendas) will cause inflation, for example in the cost of gasoline. But the Consumer Price Index (CPI) pegs inflation at a modest 3.1%. So, was I wrong? No, I wasn’t. Real inflation for the things you buy everyday is at more than 8% for the previous year. And it will get worse. (via Fausta)

Meanwhile, James Pethokoukis rips into Treasury Secretary Geithner’s arrogance and financial ignorance. I’m so glad Turbo-Tax Timmy is watching our money. Aren’t you?

PRESIDENT OBAMA:

The One has warned Iran not to call his bluff over his opposition to their development of nuclear weapons. Ed Lasky asks “Why shouldn’t they?” Hey, it’s worked so well in the past!

In light of the coming election, George Will has argued that Republicans should concentrate on capturing Congress, making Obama a relative lame-duck with a limited opportunity to do harm for the next four years. While I agree we need to take Congress to implement much-needed reforms, I strongly disagree that Obama would be a gelded president. So does Bryan Preston, in a must-read article. Three words: Supreme Court appointments.

As part of his class-warfare campaign to get reelected, Obama likes to excoriate oil companies for the supposedly obscene profits they rake in. And gullible people lap it up. At Power Line, John Hinderaker shows how much ExxonMobil puts back in to the American economy, making them a good corporate citizen, not evil.

OPERATION FAST & FURIOUS:

Here’s an excellent summary of what we know about “Gunwalker’ and the scandalous behavior of the administration, so far. Long, but very worthwhile. (via Moe Lane)

In what is one of the better examples of chutzpah I’ve seen in a while, Attorney General Eric Holder wants credit for stopping Fast and Furious. Really, this guy knows no shame.

CBS’ Sharyl Attkisson, one of the few MSM reporters giving Gunwalker serious coverage, reports that the gun used to kill ICE Agent Jaime Zapata in Mexico in 2010 also came from an ATF undercover operation. That is, it was ultimately supplied by our Department of Justice. That makes two US federal agents and over 300 Mexicans killed by “walked” guns.

I wonder if Eric Holder wants credit for that, too?

Oh, and as Mary Chastain points out, the gun that killed Mr. Zapata came from a second Gunwalker-style operation. Just how many of these fiascoes lie waiting to be discovered? Well…

MEXICO:

A potentially larger problem than Operation Fast and Furious is the danger of our southern neighbor becoming a failed state, or, at the least, the Mexican government losing control of large swathes of its territory on our mutual border. Some say that’s overstating the problem. But, what if the warning is coming from the governor legislators of a Mexican state bordering Texas? “Nuevo Leon on the verge of collapse.”

But, that’s okay. Obama and Napolitano say the border is more secure than ever.

I feel reassured, don’t you?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Fast and Furious: the targeted cartel heads were our informants

February 10, 2012

Great. Just great. As they say on Twitter, #EpicFail :

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has acknowledged that guns were allowed into the hands of Mexican criminals for more than a year in the hope of catching “big fish.”

The memorandum from staffers with the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform says the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration were investigating a drug-trafficking organization and had identified cartel associates a year before the ATF even learned who they were. At some point before the ATF’s Fast and Furious investigation progressed — congressional investigators don’t know when — the cartel members became FBI informants.

“These were the ‘big fish,’” says the memo, written on behalf of Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa. “DEA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had jointly opened a separate investigation targeting these two cartel associates….Yet, ATF spent the next year engaging in the reckless tactics of Fast and Furious in attempting to identify them.”

According to Issa and Grassley, the cartel suspects, whose names were not released, were regarded by FBI as “national-security assets.” One pleaded guilty to a minor offense. The other was not charged. “Both became FBI informants and are now considered unindictable,” the memo says. “This means that the entire goal of Fast and Furious — to target these two individuals and bring them to justice — was a failure.”

Representatives with the Justice Department and its subagencies declined to comment.

In other words, not only did the right hand not know what the left hand was doing, but all the fingers on the same hand were blithering idiots. In sum, one sub-agency of the US Department of Justice was supplying untraceable guns to murderous cartels to catch drug lords working as informants for another sub-agency of the US Department of Justice.

And all it cost was the life of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, possibly that of ICE Agent Jaime Zapata, and over 300 Mexican nationals.

I can understand why DoJ representatives declined to make a statement. They probably wanted to consult with their defense attorneys, first.

Read the rest at Bob Owens’ personal blog.

RELATED: Earlier Gunwalker posts.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Three questions on Operation Fast and Furious

February 7, 2012

There’s a great article today by Bob Owens at Pajamas Media. Here’s an excerpt:

Whether Operation Fast and Furious was a legitimate law enforcement operation, as the Department of Justice claims, or was part of a plot to impose gun control, it was radically different from all other border gun operations in one crucial way. Operation Fast and Furious was the only border gun operation that was undertaken with the full intention of the straw-purchased guns leaving the control of law enforcement officers and reaching the armories of drug cartel murderers. That fact alone should lead to the impeachment or administrative removal of everyone, from field agents to political appointees and elected officials that knew or should have known about the plot.

But that is only half of the horror story.

Operation Fast and Furious was specifically conceived so that “walked” guns would be recovered at crime scenes in Mexico. Their serial numbers would be provided to the ATF by Mexican authorities for tracing. Regardless of motive, the entire operation was premised on weapons being recovered at crime scenes in Mexico, and law enforcement agencies are well aware that criminals primarily abandon weapons only after they’ve been used in serious felony crimes such as murder or attempted murder.

Operation Fast and Furious was conceived knowing that Mexican nationals would be sacrificed in significant numbers if the tracing operation had any chance of working.

Operation Fast and Furious allowed more than 2,000 weapons to “walk,” indicating that those in charge of the operation were willing to let thousands of Mexican nationals die in an effort to identify the ringleaders of a cartel’s weapon acquisition team.

The Department of Justice claims that they did this so that they could trace the weapons to higher-ups in the cartels and take down entire gun-smuggling networks. Decent people can disagree on many aspects of crime fighting and the amount of risk we should be willing to absorb to fight crime, but we should all agree that no criminal network is worth sacrificing the lives of hundreds or thousands of victims.  Yet that is precisely the way Operation Fast and Furious was designed to work.

Bob then follows up with three questions and explorations of their implications. Read the whole thing.

These are the kinds of questions the press should be asking of the administration. But, just as importantly, these are the kinds of questions we should be peppering our congresscritters and senators with every day, letting them know we want them asked, we want answers, and we will hold them to account for not asking.

RELATED: Previous posts on Operation Fast and Furious, aka “Gunwalker.”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Did AG Holder know about Fast and Furious long before he claimed to have known?

January 29, 2012

I know, I know. The idea that Attorney General Eric Holder, that paragon of the Rule of Law, might have lied to the House Oversight Committee when he claimed he had heard of Operation Fast and Furious “only a few weeks” before his testimony last May is hard to accept. Inconceivable, in fact.

Except that’s not what the latest Friday-night dump of emails seems to say:

Also among the documents are Justice Department emails involving a former top aide to Attorney General Eric Holder. The emails show that then-deputy chief of staff Monty Wilkinson was notified by then-U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke the day after [Border Patrol Agent Brian] Terry was slain that guns found at the murder scene were connected to an investigation that Burke and Wilkinson had planned to discuss. The emails did not identify the investigation, but it was Operation Fast and Furious.

(Emphases added)

Keep this in mind: Wilkinson was Holder’s deputy chief of staff and, while the name “Fast and Furious” wasn’t used, it’s not credible that he didn’t know that was the investigation Burke was referring to. The mention in the email indicates a reference to an earlier conversation or conversations.

What’s even more unbelievable is that Wilkinson, having received news of the death of a federal agent by criminals using weapons they obtained as part of this “investigation” wouldn’t tell his boss, the chief of staff, and that neither of them would tell their “boss of bosses.”

Attorney General Eric Holder.

So, to ask of Mr. Holder the famous question from Watergate — What did he know and when did he know it? — we now have a pretty good idea.

He likely knew everything and he knew it at the latest the day after Brian Terry was murdered.

Months before he claimed in his testimony.

So either the Attorney General of the United States either lied under oath to the committee, or his memory is so bad regarding important DoJ events that he is incompetent to serve in his office.

Regardless (and my bet is on “liar”), Eric Holder is unfit to be US Attorney General and must go.

LINKS. More at Hot Air. Earlier Gunwalker posts.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


It’s about time: Arizona to launch investigation of Operation Fast and Furious

January 23, 2012

It’s bad enough when states have to act to enforce federal law that Washington itself refuses to enforce, as did Arizona and other states when they passed tough anti-illegal immigration laws. But what is a state or local government supposed to do when the federal government is not just refusing to enforce the law, but may itself be one of the lawbreakers?

Answer: Start your own investigation.

Arizona’s state legislature will open its own investigation into the Obama administration’s disgraced gun-running program, known as “Fast and Furious,” the speaker of the state House said Friday.

Speaker Andy Tobin created the committee, and charged it with looking at whether the program broke any state laws — raising the possibility of state penalties against those responsible for the operation.

(…)

Mr. Tobin will announce the committee’s jurisdiction at a press conference in Phoenix on Monday. The committee is charged with looking into the facts about the program, what impact it had on Arizona and whether any of the state’s laws were broken.

A report is due back by March 30.

To recap, Operation Fast and Furious (aka “Gunwalker”) was a program that fed thousands of heavy-duty firearms to Mexican drug cartels, without the knowledge of the Mexican government. Guns were purchased by “straw buyers” who were allowed to walk the firearms over the border into Mexico. The originator of this scheme was the United States Department of Justice, which, through its subordinate law-enforcement agencies, pressured legitimate gun dealers in Arizona to sell these weapons knowing that these sales were likely violations of federal statutes and regulations.

The ostensible purpose was to trace these weapons back to their cartel users, though how that was supposed to work given that the weapons were untraceable until they showed up at Mexican and US crime scenes is unknown.

What is known, however, is that over 300 Mexican military, federal agents, police officers, and civilians are dead from weapons obtained via Gunwalker. In addition, at least one and maybe two US federal officers also were killed with “walked” guns. And the Department of Justice is stonewalling congressional investigating committees, to the extent that –and it appalls me to have to write this– a high-ranking DOJ official is now “pleading the Fifth.” (1)

So, having had enough, the State of Arizona is launching its own inquiry, with the possibility of criminal action down the road.

I wish our neighbors to the East good hunting.

via Big Government

RELATED: Hot Air has news video on the Arizona investigation. See these earlier Gunwalker posts for background links.

Footnote:
(1) Probably because he wants a deal and refuses to be the fall guy. Rats and sinking ships, and all that.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Eric Holder is a funny man

December 30, 2011

So funny, in fact, it makes you wish you could smack him across his sanctimonious, hypocritical mouth:

The number of officers killed in the line of duty jumped 13 percent in 2011 compared with the year before — and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder condemned the increase as “a devastating and unacceptable trend” that he blamed on illegal firearms.

The number of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty rose to 173 this year, from 153 in 2010, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund announced Wednesday. This year’s figure is 23 percent higher than 122 killed in the line of duty in 2009.

Holder said “too many guns have fallen into the hands of those who are not legally permitted to possess them,” in explaining the increase.

Four words for you, Mr. Attorney-General: Operation Fast and Furious (1). It takes a special kind of brass to stand there po-faced before the press and cluck your tongue about the number of officers killed by illegal weapons, considering agencies under your supervision supplied thousands of firearms (and even grenades?) to Mexican drug cartels, even laundering money for them.

Let’s forget for a moment the over 200 Mexican civilians, soldiers, and federal agents killed by weapons supplied by Operation Fast and Furious (aka “Gunwalker”). After all, no one cares about dead Mexicans, do they?

But let’s talk about cops, law-enforcement officers, since you’re so obviously concerned about their safety. Persons such as Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, gunned down by smugglers in Arizona in late 2010: two weapons found at the scene were linked to Gunwalker, while a possible third “walked” firearm, which may have fired the killing shots, has gone missing.

And that makes this ending to the Politico piece so… special:

For much of the past year, one fatality in particular has weighed heavily on Holder’s mind, that of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, whose December 2010 murder sparked interest and public investigations into the Justice Department’s botched Fast and Furious gun-walking program.

Yeah, I bet it weighs heavily on his mind — as a reminder of his moral or even criminal guilt and his incompetence.

But, it not just one Border Patrol officer on some lonely stretch of the border, Eric. Guns linked to Operation Fast and Furious have been found at the scenes of at least 11 violent crimes inside the United States. There is evidence for other Gunwalker-style operations in states as far from the border as Indiana.

How many of those weapons have been involved in the cop-killings you decry, Mr. Attorney General? How much of that increase has been fed by your department? And yet you can stand there and feign outrage over “illegal firearms?”

Maybe you’re impressed with this farcical bit of mummery. Maybe the lackey media is, too.

But, I assure you, the rest of us aren’t.

via Pirate’s Cove

RELATED: Earlier posts about Gunwalker.

UPDATE: Welcome readers of The Sundries Shack!

Footnote:
(1) Executive summary: Gunwalker was a joint operation of several American law-enforcement agencies and apparently run out of the US Attorney’s office in Arizona. Legitimate gun-dealers in Arizona were encouraged by these agencies to sell thousands of heavy firearms to “straw buyers,” persons acting as covert agents for Mexican drug cartels. No effort was made to trace or keep track of these weapons, which are only found again when they turn up at crime scenes or during police operations. Unlike an earlier (but very different) operation, the Mexican government was not consulted for this, nor were our agents in Mexico kept informed. As a consequence, people have died on both sides of the border and the DoJ is stonewalling to a degree not seen since Nixon. Yeah, it’s a big steaming mess.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Operation Fast and Furious: it looks like I was wrong

December 8, 2011

Several bloggers and writers have speculated that advancing a left-wing gun-control agenda was the reason behind the mind-bogglingly idiotic operation to allow and encourage gun dealers in the American Southwest to sell firearms to “straw buyers” — people operating as agents for the Mexican drug cartels who would then smuggle the weapons back to their murderous bosses in Mexico. I’ve been resistant, thinking to myself that, whatever the reason behind the operation also known as “Gunwalker,” it couldn’t be something this asinine, this stupid.

My friends, I’m here to admit I may very well have been wrong. CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson, who’s been almost the sole MSM voice following this story, has the details:

Documents obtained by CBS News show that the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) discussed using their covert operation “Fast and Furious” to argue for controversial new rules about gun sales.
PICTURES: ATF “Gunwalking” scandal timeline

In Fast and Furious, ATF secretly encouraged gun dealers to sell to suspected traffickers for Mexican drug cartels to go after the “big fish.” But ATF whistleblowers told CBS News and Congress it was a dangerous practice called “gunwalking,” and it put thousands of weapons on the street. Many were used in violent crimes in Mexico. Two were found at the murder scene of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.

ATF officials didn’t intend to publicly disclose their own role in letting Mexican cartels obtain the weapons, but emails show they discussed using the sales, including sales encouraged by ATF, to justify a new gun regulation called “Demand Letter 3″. That would require some U.S. gun shops to report the sale of multiple rifles or “long guns.” Demand Letter 3 was so named because it would be the third ATF program demanding gun dealers report tracing information.

On July 14, 2010 after ATF headquarters in Washington D.C. received an update on Fast and Furious, ATF Field Ops Assistant Director Mark Chait emailed Bill Newell, ATF’s Phoenix Special Agent in Charge of Fast and Furious:

“Bill – can you see if these guns were all purchased from the same (licensed gun dealer) and at one time. We are looking at anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long gun multiple sales. Thanks.”

In other words, the ATF wanted to link gun violence in Mexico to firearms sold in the United States in order to justify a further regulatory burden on Americans’ rights under the 2nd Amendment. The only problem here is that the government created this “crisis” by pressing gun dealers into selling the weapons to suspected straw buyers… when it wasn’t selling them to the cartels directly.

Pretty slick, isn’t it? The government wants a new regulation that’s been resisted by gun dealers and 2nd Amendment advocates, so it feeds guns to the murderous cartels, inciting the violence and giving it a reason to say “Hey, there’s a real problem here” and argue for more restrictions on firearms. Circle closed, astroturf laid.

Meanwhile, legitimate gun dealers are made to look like idiots who’d sell any amount of weaponry to anyone with enough cash without batting  an eye. Far from it: some dealers did see a big looming problem and wanted to make sure they weren’t left to hang for it. Attkisson quotes an email from one to the ATF:

“I wanted to make sure that none of the firearms that were sold per our conversation with you and various ATF agents could or would ever end up south of the border or in the hands of the bad guys. I guess I am looking for a bit of reassurance that the guns are not getting south or in the wrong hands…I want to help ATF with its investigation but not at the risk of agents (sic) safety because I have some very close friends that are US Border Patrol agents in southern AZ as well as my concern for all the agents (sic) safety that protect our country.”

That was from spring, 2010. US Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was shot dead the following December by cartel operatives using guns obtained through Operation Fast and Furious.

I don’t know whether “Demand Letter 3″ was the reason for Operation Fast and Furious, or if the operation was already underway and someone saw an opportunity to advance the gun-control agenda, but it really doesn’t matter. In addition to Agent Terry, two other US agents were shot in Mexico, perhaps with “walked” guns. One, Jaime Zapata, died. Over two hundred Mexican soldiers, marines, federal agents, and civilians have died thanks to Operation Fast and Furious.

Someone, meaning several people, up to and including the Attorney General of the United States and even his boss, needs to be held to account for this fiasco.

And that includes jail time.

RELATED: AG Holder is scheduled to testify today before Darrell Issa’s (R-CA) House committee. In the wake of this news, it should be interesting, to say the least. Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), who’s been spearheading the investigation in the upper chamber, has called for the resignation of Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer for deceiving Congress. Breuer has admitted to knowing about Fast and Furious, but tried to pass the blame to an earlier Bush-era program. Earlier posts dealing with Operation Fast and Furious.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Eric Holder cracking under pressure?

November 30, 2011

The Daily Caller has been carrying lots of articles about the growing calls for Attorney General Holder’s resignation over the Fast and Furious gun-trafficking scandal. And apparently it’s getting to him: when a TDC reporter tried to ask him a question about the growing clamor, Holder snapped:

Embattled Attorney General Eric Holder today demanded The Daily Caller stop publishing articles about the growing calls in Congress for his resignation because of the failed Operation Fast and Furious gun-walking program.

As Holder’s aide was escorting the attorney general offstage following his remarks Tuesday afternoon at the White House, a Daily Caller reporter introduced himself and shook Holder’s hand. The reporter asked him for a response to the growing chorus of federal legislators demanding his resignation.

Holder stepped towards the exit, then turned around, stepped back toward the reporter, and sternly said, “You guys need to — you need to stop this. It’s not an organic thing that’s just happening. You guys are behind it.”

Holder then walked offstage without answering TheDC’s request for comment about calls for his resignation.

Visit TDC for the video.

I honestly feel sorry for our Attorney General; after all, it’s not easy being an admitted incompetent who doesn’t read memos on major DoJ operations and who thinks voting rights laws protect only some Americans, based on their skin color. For the worst AG since Wilson’s A. Mitchell Palmer, these have got to be tough, stressful times.

Which is why I think the poor dear should do the right thing and resign to “spend more time with his family.”

Before he does any more damage.

PS: Bravo, TDC!

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Gunwalker: top Holder aide going under the bus? And no, Bush didn’t “do it, too.”

November 1, 2011

It looks like a close ally of Attorney General Eric Holder, head of the Criminal Division Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, has decided (1) to throw himself under the fabled bus in order to protect his boss from the unfolding fiasco of Operation Fast and Furious:

The Obama administration appears to be attempting to defend Attorney General Eric Holder as the Justice Department dumped more than 650 pages worth of Operation Fast and Furious documents on congressional investigators late Monday.

There are two reasons why the timing of this release is significant: first, 28 members of Congress are currently calling on Holder to resign immediately. Second, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer is testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday — and this appears to be an attempt to divert pressure for Fast and Furious away from Holder.

The new documents, according to Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, “indicate that contrary to previous denials by the Justice Department, the criminal division has a great deal of culpability in sweeping the previous Wide Receiver strategy under the rug and then allowing the subsequent Operation Fast and Furious to continue without asking key questions.”

“Most importantly, officials raised very appropriate questions related to Operation Wide Receiver at the same time that many of these same officials were receiving briefings on Operation Fast and Furious,” Grassley said in a statement. “It begs the question why they didn’t ask the same important policy questions about an ongoing case being run out of the same field division.”

Operation Wide Receiver was a Bush administration program similar in nature to Operation Fast and Furious. In a statement he gave after the release of the new documents, Breuer took responsibility for not having learned from the mistakes made during Wide Receiver and implementing the failed tactics again under Fast and Furious.

“When the allegations related to Operation Fast and Furious became public earlier this year, the leadership of ATF and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona repeatedly assured individuals in the Criminal Division and the leadership of the Department of Justice that those allegations were not true,” Breuer said. “As a result, I did not draw a connection between the unacceptable tactics used by the ATF years earlier in Operation Wide Receiver and the allegations made about Operation Fast and Furious, and therefore did not, at that time, alert others within Department leadership of any similarities between the two. That was a mistake, and I regret not having done so.”

That reads like a political suicide note to me, how about you? Even if he is pulling the “I accept responsibility but no blame” scam.

Before we go any further, let’s set the record straight, since it looks like Team Hopenchange is setting up a “Bush did it too!” excuse and Grassley may be buying into it. The referenced Bush-era program, Operation Wide Receiver, was a stupid idea that, when it went wrong, was stopped by responsible adults in DC. Per Bob Owens at PJMedia:

In Operation Wide Receiver, Tucson agents allowed the sales of more than 500 firearms to known straw purchasers. Like Gunrunner/Fast and Furious, the operation apparently backfired.

Some firearms in Wide Receiver were equipped with RFID tracking devices. In Wide Receiver, it seems the illegal purchasers seemed more than slightly knowledgeable of the ATF and how to take their aerial and electronic tracking procedures down.

Knowing the time aloft numbers for virtually all planes used in government surveillance, the buyers had a simple method of getting their purchases across the border undetected. They simply drove four-hour loops around the area.

As surveillance planes were forced to return to base for refueling, the smugglers simply turned and sprinted their cargo across the border.

The RFID tags also turned out to be problematic.

Rather than making large enough holes for the tags to be laid out inside weapons, agents force-fit them into the rifles.

That cramming caused the antennae to be folded, reducing the effective range of the tags. And an already short battery life (36-48 hours maximum) meant that should purchasers allow the firearms to sit, the tracking devices eliminated themselves.

Once it was realized that Wide Receiver was having the unintended result of letting guns slip across the border and that the plans to track them had failed, the operation was stopped.

In the case of Fast and Furious, however, there was no plan or capability to track the guns, and the US government deliberately facilitated their transit to Mexico — including possibly selling guns directly to cartel buyers. See the difference? The Bush administration stopped Wide Receiver after it realized the operation was a failure and around 450 guns had reached Mexico. That’s bad enough, but Operation Fast and Furious represents a quantum leap in boneheadedness, because getting guns to Mexico was the objective. And it succeeded, to the tune of at least 2,000 weapons and maybe as many as 12,000. (2)

So let’s not fall for this latest variation on “It’s Bush’s fault!”, shall we?

Meanwhile, Lanny Breuer is scheduled to testify today. This is no low-level, coffee-fetching flunky we’re talking about; as head of the Criminal Division, Breuer is an appointee of the President and reports directly to Eric Holder’s chief deputy and, you can bet, often briefs Holder, himself. If he’s being set up to take the fall, it means they’re worried the trail leads straight to Holder — and perhaps to his boss.

The timing of the document dump and Breuer’s mea culpa is interesting (in that Washington way), because it was recently announced that AG Holder himself would testify before the House Judiciary Committee on December 8th. This latest development could be a show born of panic, meant to build a firebreak between Holder and the Gunwalker scandal: Breuer confesses “mistakes were made” and resigns.

Then Holder can testify that he was “shocked, shocked” to learn what was going on and that “lessons will be learned” and “steps taken” — and then he’ll breathe a sigh of relief over his narrow escape when he gets back to his limo.

All nice and neat and clean.

And no one will have answered for two dead US federal agents and over 200 Mexicans.

RELATED: Earlier posts on Gunwalker. More at Hot Air. Bob’s just not buying it.

Footnotes:
(1) Or was encouraged to, for the greater good. This is Washington, after all.
(2) Which probably doesn’t include the count of grenades.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Popcorn!! AG Holder to testify on “Fast and Furious”

October 28, 2011

Under oath, baby, under oath:

CBS News has learned Attorney General Eric Holder has agreed to appear before the House Judiciary Committee regarding “Fast and Furious.” The hearing will take place Dec. 8th.

Judiciary Committee member and head of the House Oversight Committee Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) had requested that Holder appear, in part to dig deeper into when-he-knew-what about ATF’s so-called “gunwalking” operation Fast and Furious.

In May, Holder testified that he only first heard about Fast and Furious a few weeks before. However, as CBS News reported, documents and memos indicate he had been sent multiple briefings mentioning Fast and Furious in 2010.

Holder later explained in a letter to Congress that he didn’t read those memos, and that in any event, nobody at the Justice Department who knew of Fast and Furious was aware of the specific “gunwalking” tactics used.

Could this be the moment Holder falls on his sword for Obama?

CBS’ Sharyl Attkisson (aka, She Who Was Screamed At) also reports that Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) wants a public hearing with former ATF Director Ken Melson. Melson, you may recall, rejected the presence of DoJ “minders” and testified before the committee last July without telling his bosses, bringing his own lawyer and and directly tying top subordinates of Eric Holder to Operation Fast and Furious. My guess is that Cummings wants Democrats to be seen as pro-active on this in order to give his caucus some distance from a scandal that could (should) threaten Obama’s reelection.

Or he wants to play attack dog. Could be either.

Regardless, the real show will be before the House Judiciary Committee when Eric Holder raises his right hand and starts answering or dodging pointed questions about what he knew, when he knew it, who developed this felony stupid plan, and who approved it.

Can’t wait.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Lying or incompetent? The Janet Napolitano edition

October 28, 2011

So, which is it, Madame Secretary? Or is it both?

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet “The System Worked” Napolitano testified before the House Judiciary Committee and did her best Sergeant Schultz impression, claiming she knew nothing about Operation Fast and Furious (aka Gunwalker) until Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed late last year:

House Republicans on Wednesday turned their sharp questioning over “Operation Fast and Furious” toward Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who acknowledged her agents were twice told to “stand down” in deference to what she called a “very troublesome” operation.

Napolitano, at one point likening the questioning to a cross-examination, said repeatedly she only learned of “Fast and Furious” after Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in December. She emphasized the operation, conceived and run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, “was an ATF operation,” under the auspices of the Justice Department, not her department.

Well played, Janet! Denying knowledge of Gunwalker while pointing a big finger at Justice! Guess your boss isn’t the only one who can throw people under the bus.

Call me “cynical,” but Secretary Napolitano’s testimony lacks a certain something… Let’s call it “credibility.”

Look at the facts: Janet Napolitano was Governor of Arizona from 2003 to 2009, when Barack Obama appointed her DHS Secretary. Arizona has a huge problem with cartel-related smuggling and violence. She would have been intimately familiar with the problems on her southern border. It is inconceivable that, both as the immediate past governor of a key state, a cabinet official,  and head of the agency charged with security of the US border, she would not have been briefed on a major cross-border gun-smuggling operation, particularly when we were running it.

Consider also that Dennis Burke, her former chief of staff when she was Arizona’s governor and a senior adviser to her at DHS, was the US Attorney for Arizona during Operation Fast and Furious and participated in the inter-agency task force overseeing the operation fiasco.

This is Napolitano’s former chief of staff, someone she worked closely with for years, whom she probably helped get the US Attorney’s job, and who was her protege in Arizona politics. Does she seriously expect us to believe he never briefed her, never even mentioned it to his friend and mentor? Remember, Gunwalker started in mid-2009; Agent Terry was killed in November, 2010.  For over a year, Burke told his friend the Director of Homeland Security nothing? Nor was she briefed by anyone at the DoJ?

Seriously, Janet?

Lying, incompetent, or both, folks. You make the call.

RELATED: Earlier posts about Gunwalker.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Good news! We’re letting grenades “walk,” too!!

October 14, 2011

What’s next, armored vehicles? According to CBS’ Sharyl Attkisson, BATF was forced to watch while hundreds of grenades were shipped to drug cartels in Mexico:

There’s a new twist in the government’s “gunwalking” scandal involving an even more dangerous weapon: grenades.

CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson, who has reported on this story from the beginning, said on “The Early Show” that the investigation into the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)’s so-called “Fast and Furious” operation branches out to a case involving grenades. Sources tell her a suspect was left to traffic and manufacture them for Mexican drug cartels.

Police say Jean Baptiste Kingery, a U.S. citizen, was a veritable grenade machine. He’s accused of smuggling parts for as many as 2,000 grenades into Mexico for killer drug cartels — sometimes under the direct watch of U.S. law enforcement.

Law enforcement sources say Kingery could have been prosecuted in the U.S. twice for violating export control laws, but that, each time, prosecutors in Arizona refused to make a case.

Grenades are weapons-of-choice for the cartels. An attack on Aug. 25 in a Monterrey, Mexico casino killed 53 people.

Sources tell CBS News that, in January 2010, ATF had Kingery under surveillance after he bought about 50 grenade bodies and headed to Mexico. But they say prosecutors wouldn’t agree to make a case. So, as ATF agents looked on, Kingery and the grenade parts crossed the border — and simply disappeared.

Emphasis added. I sure hope it wasn’t a “walked” grenade used in that atrocity.

We need a special prosecutor — NOW!

Click through for video and more nauseating details. Hint: “novelty items.

Exit question: Are these people nuts?

via Hot Air

RELATED: Earlier posts on Gunwalker.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Such a good question!

October 13, 2011

How is it that President Obama knew about Operation Fast and Furious before Attorney General Eric Holder?

It couldn’t be that Holder was lying, could it? Nah… 

via Breitbart TV

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Gunwalker: Holder subpoenaed

October 12, 2011

Following up on his promise from yesterday, Rep. Darrell Issa’s House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has issued a subpoena to Attorney-General Eric Holder for documents relating to Operation Fast and Furious.

They’re asking for a lot:

In accordance with the attached schedule instructions, you, Eric H. Holder Jr., are required to produce all records in unredacted form described below:

All communications referring or relating to Operation Fast and Furious, the Jacob Chambers case, or any Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) firearms trafficking case based in Phoenix, Arizona, to or from the following individuals:

a. Eric Holder Jr., Attorney General;

b. David Ogden, Former Deputy Attorney General;

c. Gary Grindler, Office of the Attorney General and former Acting Deputy Attorney General;

d. James Cole, Deputy Attorney General;

e. Lanny Breuer, Assistant Attorney General;

f. Ronald Weich, Assistant Attorney General;

g. Kenneth Blanco, Deputy Assistant Attorney General;

h. Jason Weinstein, Deputy Assistant Attorney General;

i. John Keeney, Deputy Assistant Attorney General;

j. Bruce Swartz, Deputy Assistant Attorney General;

k. Matt Axelrod, Associate Deputy Attorney General;

l. Ed Siskel, former Associate Deputy Attorney General;

m. Brad Smith, Office of the Deputy Attorney General;

n. Kevin Carwile, Section Chief, Capital Case Unit, Criminal Division;

o. Joseph Cooley, Criminal Fraud Section, Criminal Division; and,

p. James Trusty, Acting Chief, Organized Crime and Gang Section.

2. All communications between and among Department of Justice (DOJ) employees and Executive Office of the President employees, including but not limited to Associate Communications Director Eric Schultz, referring or relating to Operation Fast and Furious or any other firearms trafficking cases.

3. All communications between DOJ employees and Executive Office of the President employees referring or relating to the President’s March 22, 2011 interview with Jorge Ramos of Univision.

4. All documents and communications referring or relating to any instances prior to February 4, 2011 where the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) failed to interdict weapons that had been illegally purchased or transferred.

5. All documents and communications referring or relating to any instances prior to February 4, 2011 where ATF broke off surveillance of weapons and subsequently became aware that those weapons entered Mexico.

6. All documents and communications referring or relating to the murder of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata, including but not limited to documents and communications regarding Zapata’s mission when he was murdered, Form for Reporting Information That May Become Testimony (FD-302), photographs of the crime scene, and investigative reports prepared by the FBI.

And that’s not even half.

The command that the documents not be in any way redacted shouldn’t be surprising; as far back as last June, Issa was berating Holder for supplying documents that were covered in black ink, going so far as to tell the Attorney General he should be ashamed.

But it’s specification 19 that’s of particular interest:

All documents and communications between and among FBI employees in Arizona and the FBI Laboratory, including but not limited to employees in the Firearms/Toolmark Unit, referring or relating to the firearms recovered during the course of the investigation of Brian Terry’s death

I’m not 100% certain, but I believe this is in reference to a supposed “third gun” found at the scene of the murder of Border Patrol Agent Terry, a gun which has since vanished. That would indicate the committee is not just looking to find out “who knew what and when did they know it,” but also specific information that would indicate a cover up and evidence tampering.

Expect Holder to slow-walk this one as much as possible, perhaps even challenging the subpoena in court. Given the DoJ’s reluctance to cooperate so far, I suspect the unredacted documents contain at least a few bombs waiting to go off.

But even that is fraught with risk for Holder and his boss: eventually the committee will get the documents, their power to investigate as part of their oversight function being widely acknowledged. But, the longer this fight, if there is a fight, goes on, the more trouble it is for Obama and his reelection campaign. At some point, Axelrod is going to come to The One and tell him it’s time to throw Holder under the bus, after which the President and the Attorney General in whom he has complete confidence will have a little chat.

Or will they? The Republicans won’t let this go, even after a Holder resignation or firing. And, once cut loose, Holder will have very strong reasons to name names in order to save his own skin, including “anyone” at the White House who may have known details of Fast and Furious.

Remember, it was a disaffected lawyer who finally broke the wall of silence around the Nixon White House to avoid becoming the scapegoat.

One other note: In case you’re wondering why Holder wasn’t commanded to testify in person, consider this to be “step one” — looking for information that would lead to questions that can then be put to the Attorney General in a “step two,” questions he would have to answer under oath before Congress and the nation.

Stay tuned…

RELATED: Prior Gunwalker posts.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Gunwalker: subpoenas on the way?

October 11, 2011

And probably including one for Eric Holder. Looks like Chairman Issa (R-CA) has decided “no more Mr. Nice Guy:”

CBS News has learned a congressional subpoena directed to Attorney General Eric Holder could go out as early as Tuesday, ordering him to turn over documents to lawmakers about when he was aware of a controversial gun smuggling operation known as Fast and Furious.

CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson reports the the subpoena will come from the House Oversight Committee, led by Republican Darrell Issa. It will ask for communications among senior Justice Department officials related to Fast and Furious and “gunwalking.”

(…)

The subpoena will list those officials, says Attkisson – more than a dozen of them – by name.

(…)

A source familiar with the Oversight Committee’s plans tells CBS News the subpoena request was prompted by the Justice Department dragging its feet in voluntarily turning over information to investigators, and new documents obtained by CBS News last week which seem to contradict Holder’s account of when he learned of the operation.

The subpoenas will come in the wake of a stunning letter from Attorney General Holder castigating the majority members of Issa’s House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and Rep. Issa’s equally firm shove-back.

This move represents a crossing of the Rubicon as far as the investigation into Operation Fast and Furious goes; congressional subpoenas are not to be dismissed lightly. Will the administration fight them? As Ed at Hot Air figures it, Obama would be smart to warm up that bus and throw Holder under it, pronto; the last thing he needs is a major scandal in the limelight during his reelection bid. But, Obama has rarely show smarts in anything to do with public image or relations with Congress since becoming president. Quite the contrary, as administration officials have literally screamed at reporters who dared to cover Gunwalker honestly.

Frankly, I expect Obama and Holder to fight this well past the point of diminishing returns.

Time to stock up on popcorn.

RELATED: Earlier Gunwalker posts.

UPDATE: Oh, my. Now the DEA is implicated, too. Per Chairman Issa:

It was a joint operation in which DEA knew more than ATF.

As they say, there’s never just one roach under the carpet.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Gunwalker: “Does no one care about the dead Mexicans?”

October 10, 2011

Subbing for Hugh Hewitt on the radio last week, the great Mark Steyn asked a darned good question that touched on hypocritical liberal bigotry:

“Now real Mexicans are dead,” he continued. “Does the president of the United States, does his attorney general, does CNN, does The New York Times, does NPR — do they not care about dead Mexicans?

“I mean, forget the United States Border Patrol guys that were killed about these ‘Fast & Furious’ guns. Real-live, or previously live, citizens of third world countries — the kind of people that NPR, The New York Times claim to love — are dead because of this.”

“Why isn’t that a national scandal?” he pleaded. “This is absolutely a — Iran-Contra didn’t rack of that kind of body count. Watergate didn’t rack up that kind of body count. Sarah Palin’s daughter’s boyfriend’s mother, or whatever stupid story they were chasing around Wasilla for months, that didn’t rack up a body count. There were hundreds of dead Mexicans from a gun running program run by the United States.”

The answer, of course, is that they only care about the dead Mexicans when they’re useful for attacking a Republican administration

Click through for a recording of the segment.

RELATED: At Fausta’s blog, read all about how Sinaloa’s top assassin was hoarding weapons obtained via Operation Fast and Furious. Earlier Gunwalker posts.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Gunwalker: panic at the Justice Department

October 7, 2011

Not surprising, since the Attorney General of the United States has been exposed for lying to Congress. According to the NY Post’s Michael Walsh (via ST’s Hot Headlines), DoJ and Obama administration spokesmen have been coming up with one fig leaf after another to explain why Eric holder isn’t culpable in this fiasco:

And coverup there seems to be. On top of stonewalling Rep. Darrell Issa’s House investigation of the mess, Justice has floated a series of contradictory excuses:

  • There was no such program.
  • Even if there were, Holder never knew about it.
  • Even if he should have known about it, he might not have read Breuer’s memos.
  • Even if he read Breuer’s memos, he misunderstood the simple question: “When did you first know about the program, officially, I believe, called Fast and Furious?”

With the recent exposure of another apparent “gunwalking” operation, Wide Receiver, that may date back to the Bush administration, some are already pushing a “Bush-did-it-too” meme. If true, it shows the rot at Justice goes deeper than we thought — but it has nothing to do with whether Holder may have committed perjury.

If Holder is so innocent, why, sources inside Justice say, are folks there engaging in a panicked orgy of finger-pointing and blame-shifting?

Good question. I’m waiting for the “The dog ate the memo” excuse. Should be coming right up.

In his article, Michael Walsh says the panic has reached “stage two.” On the contrary, inside Main Justice at least, I’m sure it’s reached stage three with a bullet, since the President yesterday gave Holder the dreaded “vote of confidence:”

President Barack Obama said Thursday he has complete confidence in Attorney General Eric Holder amid Republican accusations that the attorney general was aware months sooner than he’s acknowledged about a flawed operation to stem gun-smuggling.

At a White House news conference, the president said Holder has been very aggressive in pursuing gun-running and cash transactions that support drug cartels in Mexico.

Holder “indicated that he was not aware of what was happening in Fast and Furious,” the president said. “Certainly I was not, and I think both he and I would have been very unhappy if somebody had suggested that guns were allowed to pass through” to arms traffickers rather than being seized by agents.

(Emphasis added)

We all know what it means when a president expresses confidence in a controversial cabinet secretary, right? It’s usually followed in short order by a resignation “to spend more time with my family” or to “pursue other opportunities,” while the president crosses his fingers behind his back in the hope this makes the scandal go away before it gets to him.

In other words, that sound you hear is the Obama bus warming up — always room for one more under it!

Oh, and regarding that “Bush did it too” diversion, Operation “Wide Receiver:” Bob Owens at Pajamas Media shoots that down in short order. “Wide Receiver” and “Fast and Furious” were fundamentally different operations.

While it’s fun to engage in a bit of schadenfreude at Eric Holder’s expense (Lord knows, he richly deserves it), let’s keep in mind that this is a very serious scandal, in which agencies of the federal government are accused of allowing Mexican drug cartels to obtain heavy firearms in violation of US law — perhaps even selling to them directly. This has been done without the knowledge of our agents in Mexico or of the Mexican government, which is waging a violent war against those same cartels.

And, unlike Watergate or other big federal scandals, this one has resulted in death: three US federal agents have been shot with guns tied to Fast and Furious, two of whom have died. Over 200 Mexicans have died at the hands of gunmen wielding “walked” firearms. If the situation had been reversed, we would rightfully consider it an act of war.

Even if Eric Holder does resign, the investigation into Operation Fast and Furious must go on and the demand for a special prosecutor must be relentless and loud.

Justice for the dead demands no less.

RELATED: Prior Gunwalker posts.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Gunwalker: What Mr. Holder remembers isn’t what Mr. Chaffetz heard, and CNN takes notice

October 5, 2011

Remember, after documents came out showing that Attorney General Eric Holder had been informed of details regarding Operation Fast and Furious (aka “gunwalker,” aka “felony stupid“) long before he claimed to have heard of the operation, the Justice Department tried to hem and haw by claiming that he knew the name, but not much else.

That isn’t how Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) remembers it, and he claims the video backs him up:

In statements this week to Fox News and CBS, officials at Justice claimed Holder misunderstood Issa’s questions during the May 3 hearing.

But Chaffetz told TheDC that video of the hearing clearlly shows him restating Holder’s testimony for the record. “You said it was in just the last few weeks that you had heard of this [Operation Fast and Furious], right?” Chaffetz asked Holder.

Holder didn’t object to Chaffetz’s characterization of his testimony even though, Chaffetz now says, he had ample opportunity to clarify the record.

“My impression was [that] he was indifferent, and leading us to believe he knew nothing about the operation,” Chaffetz told TheDC. “But it seems the more we’ve learned, maybe that wasn’t the case.”

Though Chaffetz wouldn’t definitively say whether or not he believes Holder committed perjury, he did say the responses he has received from the Attorney General and his staff are troubling.

“I was really surprised to hear the [DOJ] spokesperson say that the Attorney General misunderstood the question,” Chaffetz said. “I restated what the Attorney General had said and he didn’t refute it. He had an opportunity to clarify and he obviously didn’t. So, for the spokesperson to say the Attorney General misunderstood the question doesn’t hold any water.”

(via Jimmie Bise at The Sundries Shack)

Remember, Holder was under oath. Can you say “perjury?”

Hey, if it was good enough for Scooter Libby…

Meanwhile, more of the MSM is starting to cover the scandal. Now it’s at CNN, where Anderson Cooper interviewed Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and seemed doubtful, to put it nicely, of Holder’s claim to have misunderstood. Visit Hot Air for the video. Apparently the administration is falling back on the “Bush did it too!” excuse, as Cooper references a BATF operation called “Wide Receiver.” Ed correctly notes, though, that a lot of questions have to be answered about Wide Receiver  before we can let them get away with that claim:

Wide Receiver apparently allowed a small number of weapons to get into the hands of gun traffickers — but did any of those cross the border? If so, did the Bush administration coordinate that effort with the Mexican government? The issue here [i.e., regarding Operation Fast and Furious. --Phineas] isn’t the idea of a sting operation, but the fact that the Department of Justice knowingly allowed weapons to flow over the border and get into the hands of drug cartels.

Issa said he is willing to investigate Wide Receiver, too. Unlike the administration, our side has some integrity left.

Let’s get something straight: this isn’t just about Eric Holder, even though he richly deserves to be fired and remembered in infamy. Fast and Furious involved multiple agencies (minimally the BATF, DoJ, the Phoenix US Attorney’s Office, and the FBI) at all levels from bottom to top. Federal agents have been killed by “walked” guns, as have over 200 Mexican soldiers, federal agents, and civilians. There are strong indications of evidence tampering and witness tampering. There is evidence that staff within the White House itself knew, though is it an open question as to just what they knew and how high the knowledge went.

The point, though, is that these are all agencies and departments of the Executive Branch, which cannot with credibility investigate itself in such a far-reaching scandal.

It is time for a special prosecutor and it is time to make people answer under oath to a grand jury.

RELATED: Earlier Gunwalker posts.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Gunwalker: mean reporter makes poor little White House cry

October 4, 2011

Well, boo-hoo. It seems CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson, who’s one of the few MSM reporters paying close attention to Operation Fast and Furious, has been getting yelled at by White House and Department of Justice aides over her coverage of the scandal. As she told radio host Laura Ingraham:

6:05 – Laura: So they were literally screaming at you?
Attkisson: Yes. Well the DOJ woman was just yelling at me. The guy from the White House on Friday night literally screamed at me and cussed at me. [Laura: Who was the person? Who was the person at Justice screaming?] Eric Schultz. Oh, the person screaming was [DOJ spokeswoman] Tracy Schmaler, she was yelling not screaming. And the person who screamed at me was Eric Schultz at the White House.”

(…)

8:28 – …Is it sort of a drip, drip. And I’m certainly not the one to make the case for DOJ and White House about what I’m doing wrong. They will tell you that I’m the only reporter–as they told me–that is not reasonable. They say the Washington Post is reasonable, the LA Times is reasonable, the New York Times is reasonable, I’m the only one who thinks this is a story, and they think I’m unfair and biased by pursuing it.

Visit Jammie Wearing Fool for the rest.

Meanwhile, the Obama White House and the Holder DoJ can cry me a freaking river.

via Snowflakes in Hell.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


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