Romney asks why President Obama won’t release Fast and Furious documents

Romney asks why President Obama won’t release Fast and Furious documents.

Romney asks why President Obama won’t release Fast and Furious documents

Romney asks why President Obama won’t release Fast and Furious documents

It’s about time: Mitt Romney has responded to the Obama campaign’s scurrilous insinuations about his private-sector past by wondering when President Transparency might get around to letting us see those Fast and Furious documents he and Attorney General Eric Holder have been protecting:

As Romney noted, Fast and Furious is “not some personal matter,” but rather “the action of his administration.”  He might also note the Obama administration’s extreme reluctance to disclose information about such actions as its “green energy” loans, or Gulf oil drilling moratorium.  The Senate had to use subpoenas to pry information out of the Administration over the Fort Hood shootings.

This is surely one of the most secretive Administrations in history, a point highlighted with Kafkaesque absurdity when the Obama administration censored 194 pages of internal emails about… its Open Government Directive.  To paraphrase Winston Churchill’s description of Russia, Barack Obama remains a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma, issuing loud whines about other people’s lack of transparency.

Stand-down orders stymied ‘Fast & Furious’ gun tracking, memo says – Washington Times

Stand-down orders stymied ‘Fast & Furious’ gun tracking, memo says – Washington Times.

By Jerry Seper – The Washington Times

Concerned that Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents were “too close and would burn the operation,” the lead investigator in a Fast and Furious surveillance operation ordered an ATF team monitoring the pending transfer of weapons to Mexican drug smugglers to “leave the immediate area.”

While the agents were repositioning themselves, the transaction took place and the smugglers took possession of weapons purchased by “straw buyers” at a Phoenix area gun shop — leaving the area without any agents in a position to follow.

The guns were among more than 2,000 weapons purchased that ended up in the hands of drug smugglers during the Fast and Furious investigation, which began in September 2009 and was halted only after the December 2010 killing of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian A. Terry. Two Fast and Furious-purchased weapons — both AK-47 semi-automatic assault rifles — were found at the site of the Terry killing.

The surveillance snafu is outlined in a Feb. 3, 2011, memo by ATF agent Gary M. Styers recounting for agency supervisors what he told two investigators for Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, about his experience with Fast and Furious. He said the weapons transfer was to occur at a gas station, and an ATF surveillance team was in place when it was ordered to back off by lead investigator Hope McAllister.

It’s not the only time a surveillance was called off or that field agents questioned the tactics used in Fast and Furious, a risky strategy to allow weapons to flow south into Mexico. The goal was to identify the drug-cartel bosses in Mexico who were paying for the weapons. ATF supervisors had no interest in prosecuting the straw buyers on charges of “lying and buying.”

ATF senior agent Olindo James Casa told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that when surveillance teams did follow weapons purchased by straw buyers, they always were terminated without interdicting or seizing the firearms. He said the stand-down orders came from Ms. McAllister or ATF Group VII Strike Force supervisor David J. Voth, who oversaw the Fast and Furious operation.

Mr. Casa testified that he and other agents “sternly warned” their supervisors of the “consequences of their actions (or lack thereof), but were repeatedly ignored.” He said when he and others asked Ms. McAllister and Mr. Voth if they were prepared to attend the funeral of a slain agent or officer killed by a Fast and Furious weapon, neither answered “or even seemed concerned by the question.”

Mr. Grassley wants to know whether the Styers memo was forwarded to the Justice Department in Washington. Its Feb. 3 date falls one day before the department denied in a letter to him that any weapons had been “walked” to gun smugglers in Mexico.

In a letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., the veteran Iowa lawmaker said his investigators were told that the memo “caused such a stir that ATF planned to put a panel together to address the allegations but someone within DOJ suppressed the idea.”

A report by Mr. Grassley and Rep. Darrell E. Issa, California Republican and chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said Fast and Furious field agents often were told to stand down rather than interdict weapons, and when they complained, they were ignored.

ATF agent John Dodson told Mr. Issa’s committee that he and others were ordered to observe the gun smugglers but not to intervene. He said he and others monitored the purchase of weapons “almost daily,” but rather than interdict them, the agents took notes, recorded observations and tracked the movement of some of those involved for short periods, “but nothing more.”

“Knowing all the while, just days after these purchases, the guns we saw these individuals buy would begin turning up at crime scenes in the United States and Mexico, we still did nothing,” he said.

The strategy continued until Dec. 14, 2010, when two Fast and Furious AK-47s turned up just north of the Arizona-Mexico border at the site of the Terry killing.

In his memo, Mr. Styers said ATF agents were not permanently assigned to surveillance on Fast and Furious, a practice he described as “unheard of.” Instead, he said, supervisors polled offices for “agents who were available to respond at short notice.”

Holder’s contempt for House now affirmed – Washington Times

Holder’s contempt for House now affirmed – Washington Times.

Fast and Furious stonewall a result of Team Obama arrogance

By Alan Gottlieb and Dave Workman – The Washington Times

When the House of Representatives voted 255-67 to hold Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt of Congress, Mr. Holder and his Justice Department, surprisingly, wasted no time proving that they have nothing but contempt for the lawmakers who undertook that historic measure.

Justice Department officials quickly announced that there would be no prosecution and that as far as they were concerned, no crime had been committed. Mr. Holder, his agency and by proxy, the Obama White House, thumbed its collective nose at Congress, and particularly at the family of a slain Border Patrol agent, who are still waiting for answers about his murder.

How ironic that an administration that rode into office talking about openness and accountability would slam the door of secrecy on the House investigation of Operation Fast and Furious and – at least, so far – not hold anyone accountable for that disastrous misadventure. By invoking executive privilege rather than release an estimated 1,300 subpoenaed documents to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Mr. Obama and Mr. Holder have claimed full ownership of a scandal for which previously, they had plausibly denied any direct responsibility.

Can it be anything but 100-proof arrogance that now has the attorney general – the highest-ranking law enforcement official in the nation – hiding behind the president’s executive shield and his own department’s indifference to place himself essentially above the law? The Justice Department has treated House Oversight Committee members like lepers, while not removing a single individual responsible for Fast and Furious from the government payroll. Justice took a quick glance at the House vote and blew it off. All these things taken in total reflect a contemptuous indifference toward an equal branch of government that has a job to do.

At the heart of this scandal is an inconvenient truth: Agents at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) embraced an investigative technique that was disastrous, and they knew it. Had this been a completely private enterprise that was uncovered, those responsible might have already gone before a grand jury, with possible indictments and convictions. Instead, the people most closely associated with Fast and Furious are still receiving paychecks.

Back in 2009, Mr. Holder and others in the Obama administration were sharply critical of “weak” gun laws that they blamed for contributing to Mexico’s mayhem. Gun dealers, gun shows and private citizens making perfectly legal transactions got the blame.

Revelations from the investigation – conducted primarily by online journalists, CBS and Fox News – have vindicated these traditional whipping boys. But gun owners deserve to know who approved this fiasco and then let them take the rap.

When Operation Fast and Furious began disintegrating following the December 2010 slaying of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in the Arizona desert, it was revealed that law-abiding gun dealers had raised red flags. They had been told to complete transactions they believed to be linked to gun smuggling. ATF agents were allegedly told to “stand down” rather than interdict weapons.

When Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley began inquiries, the Justice Department lied to him in a letter that has since been retracted because of “inaccuracies.” When the House Oversight Committee launched an investigation, they were stonewalled. Now, after the House contempt vote, Mr. Holder and the Justice Department are telling Capitol Hill and the American people that we have no right to know what has been done in our name, using our tax money.

The people do have a right to know, especially from an administration touting itself as the “most transparent” in our history, and we need to know now, not after the November election.

Alan Gottlieb is founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation. Dave Workman is communications director of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

EDITORIAL: Holder: The case for contempt – Washington Times

EDITORIAL: Holder: The case for contempt – Washington Times.

Attorney general must sleep in bed he made

The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote Thursday on a contempt of Congress citation against Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. This unprecedented action has been made necessary by the Obama administration’s consistent refusal to reveal the whole truth about the Fast and Furious gun-walking operation and the cover-up that followed.

The contempt citation is over Mr. Holder’s failure to comply with an Oct. 12 subpoena from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform for documents necessary for Congress to fulfill its investigative function. The records in question do not deal with the Fast and Furious operation per se but with the Obama administration’s response to the investigation, the alleged retaliation and punishment of whistleblowers, and – most importantly – potential evidence of an organized and conscious effort to deceive investigators and lie to Congress.

Throughout the inquest, Mr. Holder has exhibited a pattern of at best, misstatement, and at worst, outright deception. On Feb. 4, 2011, he provided a letter to Congress that denied Fast and Furious allowed illegally bought weapons to cross into Mexico. This claim was later retracted in the face of clear evidence to the contrary. On May 3, 2011, Mr. Holder testified before the House Judiciary Committee that he did not know who approved Fast and Furious and that he had no knowledge of the operation before the investigations began. In October, however, it was documented that Mr. Holder had been sent briefings on Fast and Furious in July 2010. He again had to correct the record. Meanwhile, Justice Department employees who had been involved in Fast and Furious were subjected to what appeared to be retaliatory personnel actions for whistle-blowing activities.

The documents the committee has subpoenaed relate to Mr. Holder’s contradictory assertions and the internal communications that led to him changing his account of his personal knowledge of Fast and Furious. The fact that these are deliberative documents is the basis for the White House claim of executive privilege, which arrived shortly before the committee voted to recommend the contempt citation last week. But deliberations cannot be privileged when they are at the center of the case. If any such privilege ever existed, it was nullified when Mr. Holder began radically changing his story. This made the documents fair game because they represent the only available means to validate Mr. Holder’s version of events.

The executive-privilege defense is contradictory. On the same day Mr. Holder offered the committee a “fair compilation” of the subpoenaed documents in exchange for calling off the contempt vote, he appealed to the White House to extend executive privilege to avoid “significant, damaging consequences” should the documents be released. This calls into question how fair the compilation would have been in the first place and reinforces congressional concerns about the nature of the information in the withheld documents.

The privilege claim also widens the circle of the inquiry by implying that President Obama or his immediate staff was involved in the Fast and Furious operation, the cover-up, or both. Mr. Obama said on March 23, 2011, that neither he nor Mr. Holder authorized the gun-running operation. The documents in question and others being sought by the committee have a direct bearing on that statement. The stonewalling raises the question whether Mr. Holder has not been trying to protect himself but acting on White House orders to shield Mr. Obama.

This crisis is completely the result of Mr. Holder’s actions – his statements, his reversals and his refusal to produce documents that could potentially vindicate him. The vote is unprecedented, but so is the Obama administration’s degree of contempt for the people’s house.

The Washington Times

Four GOP lawmakers hit Holder on guns operation – Washington Times

Four GOP lawmakers hit Holder on guns operation – Washington Times.

By Jerry SeperThe Washington Times

Four senior House Republicans say Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has not fully cooperated with a congressional subpoena seeking information on the botched “Fast and Furious” gunrunning operation and suggested the nation’s top prosecutor comply with a 7-month-old subpoena or face the consequences.

“As co-equal branches of the U.S. government, the relationship between the legislative and executive branches must be predicated on honest communications and cannot be clouded by allegations of obstruction,” House Speaker John A. Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell E. Issa said in a letter Friday to Mr. Holder.

“If necessary, the House will act to fulfill our constitutional obligations in the coming weeks. It is our hope that, with your cooperation, this sad chapter in the history of American law enforcement can be put behind us,” they stated.

The four lawmakers told the attorney general the Justice Department has not sufficiently complied with a congressional subpoena seeking answers on the operation, and questioned whether false information that was provided — and later withdrawn — was “part of a broader effort by your department to obstruct a congressional investigation.”

They said the family of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian A. Terry, killed in December in a gunbattle along the Arizona-Mexico border where one of the Operation Fast and Furious-purchased assault rifles was discovered, deserved to “know the truth about the circumstances that led to Agent Terry’s murder.”

“The American people deserve to know how such a fundamentally flawed operation could have continued for so long and have a full accounting of who knew of and approved an operation that placed weapons in the hands of drug cartels,” they said.

Mr. Issa’s committee drafted a contempt of Congress resolution against Mr. Holder earlier this month for not responding to an Oct. 21 subpoena for internal Justice Department documents.

In the letter, the lawmakers said two key questions remained unanswered: Who among the Justice Department leadership was informed of the “reckless tactics” used in Fast and Furious prior to Terry’s death, and did Mr. Holder’s leadership team mislead or misinform Congress in response to a congressional subpoena?

“Fast & Furious was a fundamentally flawed operation. It was taken to an extreme that resulted in at least one death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent and unknown other consequences, because U.S. law enforcement agencies allowed thousands of firearms to be illegally ‘walked’ into Mexico and into the hands of drug cartels,” the lawmakers said.

“It is our hope that, in finding the truth, we can both provide closure to the Terry family, begin to repair our relationship with Mexico, and take steps to make necessary changes at the department,” they said.

The letter also noted that seven wiretaps were approved for the Fast and Furious operation by the department’s leadership between March 2010 and July 2010. It said whether the information used to justify the wiretaps or the information gained from them was used in any ongoing criminal prosecution was “immaterial to the question of who on your leadership team reviewed and approved the wiretaps and was therefore privy to the details of the Fast and Furious operation.”

The lawmakers said Mr. Holder’s assertion that his leadership team could approve wiretaps in 2010 and yet not have any knowledge of the tactics used in Fast and Furious until 2011 “simply cannot be accurate and furthers the perception that the department is not being forthright with Congress.”

The said the Terry family “deserves to know the truth about the circumstances” that led to their son’s death, that the whistle-blowers who brought the operation to light “deserve to be protected, not intimidated, by their government,” and the “American people deserve to know how such a fundamentally flawed operation could have continued for so long and have a full accounting of who knew of and approved an operation that placed weapons in the hands of drug cartels.”

Is Fast and Furious the Next Watergate? – Tea Party Nation

Is Fast and Furious the Next Watergate? – Tea Party Nation.

By Alan Caruba

When suspects in a crime are interrogated, they often develop memory loss. When the crime is running guns to drug cartels on both sides of the border, the crime involves the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol officer, Brian Terry, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent, Jaime Zapata, and countless Mexican citizens.

Katie Pavlich has written an extraordinary expose, “Fast and Furious: Barack Obama’s Bloodiest Scandal and its Shameless Cover-Up” (Regnery Publishing). A reporter with extensive contacts inside the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) she has meticulously documented a story that should result in contempt of Congress action against Attorney General Eric Holder and possibly Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano as well.

It is an appalling story of arrogance, stupidity, and the intimidation of ATF agents who dared to question and expose the operation. It is a story of deception at the highest levels of our government. Both Holder and Napolitano exhibited memory lapses before a congressional committee. Both knew about a federal government authorized gun-running operation to Mexico called “Fast and Furious.”

Pavlich reports that “Fast and Furious was closely followed by Department of Justice officials. On multiple occasions, U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke met with Phoenix ATF Director Bill Newell to discuss the progress of the Fast and Furious operation. ‘There were DOJ attorneys and prosecutors who were involved in this since the beginning, giving advice,” testified ATF Special Agent Peter Forcelli.

As Pavlich details it, “Operation Fast and Furious wasn’t a ‘botched’ program. It was a calculated and lethal decision to purposely place thousands of guns in the hands of ruthless criminals.”

The operation was designed to attack the Second Amendment right of Americans to purchase and bear arms, a right considered so essential to the nation that it followed directly after the First Amendment rights of free speech, freedom of the press, the prohibition of the establishment of a nationally sanctioned religion, and the right of Americans to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

We are in the grip of an administration that would restrain and erase those rights, and which engaged in a reckless and ruthless operation to achieve that goal. It is an administration that is moving toward the confirmation of a United Nations treaty that would override and eliminate the right to own and bear arms.

The facts regarding Holder’s and Napolitano’s testimony are clear:

“Eric Holder was sent five memos, personally addressed to him, in the summer of 2010 that detailed Operation Fast and Furious.” Holder claimed he first knew about the program in February 2011.

“Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has feigned ignorance when questioned about Fast and Furious. She claims she only found out about the program after Brian Terry was murdered.”

“She visited the White House with Eric Holder to visit President Obama just a day before Holder testified on Capitol Hill about Fast and Furious, leaving the reason for her visit blank.”

Pavlich writes, “These are the facts: There are still 1,400 Fast and Furious guns missing and ATF agents are not actively trying to track them down. Ten thousand round of ammunition were sold to cartel-linked straw buyers under the watch of the ATF. Eight hundred of the original 2,500 weapons sold through Fast and Furious have already been linked to criminal activity.”

The program, observers believer, was the deliberate effort to blame the violence in Mexico and in some cases in America on the gun shops, but those shops were intimidated into participating in Fast and Furious out of fear that ATF would take away their licenses.

After questioning ATF and Justice Department witnesses, Sen. Charles Grassley (Iowa, R), the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote a January 31 letter to ATF officials saying, “As you may be aware, obstructing a Congressional investigation is a crime. Additionally, denying or interfering with employee’s rights to furnish information to Congress is also against the law.”

On May 3rd Rep. Darrell Issa, (CA) Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, sent every member of his committee a 64-page draft contempt order against AG Holder, along with a 17-page memo outlining the history of the scandal. Only one attorney general has been found in contempt, Janet Reno in 1975.

Fast and Furious is redolent with memories of the Watergate coverup.

On March 23, 2011, in a Univison interview, Obama said, “First of all, I did not authorize it” and when further pressed said, “Eric Holder did not authorize it. He’s been very clear that our policy is to catch gunrunners and put them in jail.” The facts strongly suggest otherwise insofar as Fast and Furious literally authorized a gunrunning program under the aegis of ATF.

As Pavlich noted, “Many people in ATF saw what was happening and tried to warn the bureau, but the new corrupt and arrogant culture of management had become too powerful and intimidating. Field agents who spoke up were punished for having an opinion and daring to voice it. Whistleblowers had their reputation, careers, and finances shattered.”

This culture of corruption is endemic to the Obama administration and as more and more examples become known it has been in full panic mode to suppress the truth. No matter what the outcome of the testimony of two of its top appointees, the only way to save America is to vote out President Obama in November and ensure that Mitt Romney has a Republican Congress.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

Barack Obama’s Bloodiest Scandal – Katie Pavlich – Townhall Conservative Columnists

Barack Obama’s Bloodiest Scandal – Katie Pavlich – Townhall Conservative Columnists.

Katie Pavlich

Barack Obama's Bloodiest Scandal - Katie Pavlich - Townhall Conservative ColumnistsOperation Fast and Furious is the deadliest and most sinister scandal in American history. A scandal so big, it’s worse than Iran-Contra and makes Watergate look like a high school prank gone wrong.

In the early days of the Obama Administration, President Obama claimed his goal was to stop the trafficking of guns from the United States into the hands of violent Mexican drug cartels. He claimed gun dealers in the United States were responsible for sending guns to Mexico. Both of his claims were lies.

In order to push his lies and policies built around them, with a goal of implementing harsher gun control laws and reinstating the assault weapons ban, President Obama packed his administration full of anti-Second Amendment zealots. After all, personnel is policy.

In my new book, Fast and Furious: Barack Obama’s Bloodiest Scandal and Its Shameless Coverup, I document the conspiracy of senior Obama officials to subvert the Second Amendment, which led directly to the murders of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, I.C.E. Agent Jaime Zapata and countless, faceless lives in Mexico. It debunks the Obama administration’s lies, denials and excuses. This administration was willing to use humans as collateral damage to push a political agenda, and had no shame in doing so. Now, the administration has no shame in covering up their reckless actions.

Since just moments after Brian Terry was killed in the Arizona desert on December 15, 2010 by Mexican cartel thugs, carrying AK-47s provided to them by the Obama Justice Department through Operation Fast and Furious, the FBI, Homeland Security, ATF, Justice Department and the White House have been engaged in a full scale cover-up.  These are simply names of government agencies, but who are the people behind the cover-up?

I unravel a tangled web connecting President Obama, Eric Holder, Janet Napolitano and a number of advisors and political appointees behind Fast and Furious. These officials have deep loyalties to each other and their anti-Second Amendment ideology dating as far back as the Clinton Administration. In fact, many key Fast and Furious players  have deep ties to Chicago and helped craft the 1994 Clinton assault weapons ban legislation. 

If the majority of American people knew Fast and Furious like they know Solyndra or the GSA scandal, they would be outraged. Despite very few exceptions, the media has been complicit in the cover-up of Obama’s bloodiest scandal by ignoring and refusing to report about it. Why? To protect the President. This scandal, one that has left hundreds of bodies in its wake, would be deadly to the administration. This is the scandal that will bring President Obama down in November, so long as the American people know its details.

Over the weekend, GOP Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney officially made Fast and Furious a general election issue. His advisors are now directly pointing to the scandal as an example of how the Obama Administration used in its first term to “provide cover for potential efforts to restrict Second Amendment rights.” In the book, I provide the documents and interviews to prove it.

The Obama administration is acting guilty, not innocent, in its actions to continually stonewall and deny the truth. Any American who believes the President, the Attorney General of the United States, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and a long list of other government officials responsible for this reckless program are not above the law, need this book.

Operation Fast and Furious wasn’t a “botched” program. It was a calculated and lethal decision to purposely place thousand of guns into the hands of ruthless criminals. The operation was a coordinated and planned effort not to track guns, but to arm thugs south of the border for political gain. Eric Holder should be removed from office for incompetence, dishonesty and charged with perjury. My sources, documented in the book, say Janet Napolitano may also face charges of perjury and potentially obstruction of justice. It is time for President Obama to take responsibility, denounce the operation and fire those involved.

You can buy a copy at Amazon.

KUHNER: Obama’s Watergate – Washington Times

KUHNER: Obama’s Watergate – Washington Times.

Officials cover up culpability for gun smuggling and murder

By Jeffrey T. Kuhner – The Washington Times

A year ago this week, U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered. He died protecting his country from brutal Mexican gangsters. Two AK-47 assault rifles were found at his death site. We now know the horrifying truth: Agent Terry was killed by weapons that were part of an illegal Obama administration operation to smuggle arms to the dangerous drug cartels. He was a victim of his own government. This is not only a major scandal; it is a high crime that potentially reaches all the way to the White House, implicating senior officials. It is President Obama’s Watergate.

Operation Fast and Furious was run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and overseen by the Justice Department. It started under the leadership of Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. Fast and Furious enabled straw gun purchases from licensed dealers in Arizona, in which more than 2,000 weapons were smuggled to Mexican drug kingpins. ATF claims it was seeking to track the weapons as part of a larger crackdown on the growing violence in the Southwest. Instead, ATF effectively has armed murderous gangs. About 300 Mexicans have been killed by Fast and Furious weapons. More than 1,400 guns remain lost. Agent Terry likely will not be the last U.S. casualty.

Mr. Holder insists he was unaware of what took place until after media reports of the scandal appeared in early 2011. This is false. Such a vast operation only could have occurred with the full knowledge and consent of senior administration officials. Massive gun-running and smuggling is not carried out by low-level ATF bureaucrats unless there is authorization from the top. There is a systematic cover-up.

Congressional Republicans, however, are beginning to shed light on the scandal. Led by Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Rep. Darrell Issa of California, a congressional probe is exposing the Justice Department’s rampant criminality and deliberate stonewalling. Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer, who heads the department’s criminal division, helped craft a February letter to Congress that denied ATF had ever walked guns into Mexico. Yet, under pressure from congressional investigators, the department later admitted that Mr. Breuer knew about ATF gun-smuggling as far back as April 2010. In other words, Mr. Breuer has been misleading Congress. He should resign – or be fired.

Instead, Mr. Holder tenaciously insists that Mr. Breuer will keep his job. He needs to keep his friends close and potential witnesses even closer. Another example is former acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson. Internal documents show Mr. Melson directly oversaw Fast and Furious, including monitoring numerous straw purchases of AK-47s. He has admitted to congressional investigators that he, along with high-ranking ATF leaders, reassigned every “manager involved in Fast and Furious” after the scandal surfaced on Capitol Hill and in the press. Mr. Melson said he was ordered by senior Justice officials to be silent regarding the reassignments. Hence, ATF managers who possess intimate and damaging information – especially on the role of the Justice Department – essentially have been promoted to cushy bureaucratic jobs. Their silence has been bought, their complicity swept under the rug. Mr. Melson has been transferred to Justice’s main office, where he serves as a “senior adviser” on forensic science in the department’s Office of Legal Policy. Rather than being punished, Mr. Melson has been rewarded for his incompetence and criminal negligence.

Mr. Holder and his aides have given misleading, false and contradictory testimony on Capitol Hill. Perjury, obstruction of justice and abuse of power – these are high crimes and misdemeanors. Mr. Holder should be impeached. Like most liberals, he is playing the victim card, claiming Mr. Issa is a modern-day Joseph McCarthy conducting a judicial witch hunt. Regardless of this petty smear, Mr. Holder must be held responsible and accountable – not only for the botched operation, but for his flagrant attempts to deflect blame from the administration.

Mr. Holder is a shameless careerist and a ruthless Beltway operative. For years, his out-of-control Justice Department has violated the fundamental principle of our democracy, the rule of law. He has refused to prosecute members of the New Black Panthers for blatant voter intimidation that took place in the 2008 election. Career Justice lawyers have confessed publicly that Mr. Holder will not pursue cases in which the perpetrators are black and the victims white. States such as Arizona and Alabama are being sued for simply attempting to enforce federal immigration laws. Mr. Holder also opposes voter identification cards, thereby enabling fraud and vote-stealing at the ballot box. What else can we expect from one who, during the Clinton administration, helped pardon notorious tax cheat Marc Rich and Puerto Rican terrorists?

Mr. Holder clearly knew about Fast and Furious and did nothing to stop it. This is because the administration wanted to use the excuse of increased violence on the border and weapons-smuggling into Mexico to justify tighter gun-control legislation. Mr. Holder is fighting ferociously to prevent important internal Justice documents from falling into the hands of congressional investigators. If the full nature of his involvement is discovered, the Obama presidency will be in peril.

Fast and Furious is even worse than Watergate for one simple reason: No one died because of President Nixon’s political dirty tricks and abuse of government power. But Brian Terry is dead; and there are still 1,500 missing guns threatening still more lives.

What did Mr. Obama know? Massive gun-smuggling by the U.S. government into a foreign country does not happen without the explicit knowledge and approval of leading administration officials. It’s too big, too risky and too costly. Mr. Holder may not be protecting just himself and his cronies. Is he protecting the president?

Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a columnist at The Washington Times and president of the Edmund Burke Institute.

Eric Holder Impeached is a Good First Start – John Ransom – Townhall Finance

 

Seal of the United States Department of Justice

Eric Holder Impeached is a Good First Start – John Ransom – Townhall Finance.

Republicans have alleged, if not from the first, then at least for a long time, that operation Fast and Furious was a callous attempt by progressives in the plutocracy that we now call America at creating an artificial gun crisis so that the plutocracy could abridge citizens’ 2nd Amendment rights.

I mean further than they’ve already abridged them.

Now even liberals are getting the memo- or at least email evidence- that it’s true.

CBSNews has reported that new documents show that officials in the ATF discussed using the fallout from Fast and Furious as means of introducing “controversial new rules about gun sales” even as they forced gun dealers to let illegal transactions occur.

“ATF officials didn’t intend to publicly disclose their own role in letting Mexican cartels obtain the weapons,” says CBS, “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.”

Wonder what “botched” operation the Department of Justice ran on voters and citizens to get Demand Letters 1 & 2 regulations in place.   

“There is really no responsibility within the Justice Department,” Wisconsin’s Jim Sensenbrenner said according to CNN during a House hearing on Fast and Furious yesterday.

Attorney General Eric Holder responded to the committee by comparing the hearings on Fast and Furious to the hearings conducted by Senator Joe McCarthy in the 1950s on communists in government.  

No responsibility is a massive understatement for Holder now. No responsibility would imply neutrality on responsibility. Negative responsibility can only go by one word: crime.     

But Sensenbrenner should have included the executive branch of the federal government, the SEC, the IMF, SCOTUS, Congress and just about everyone from the rank of bird-Colonel on up in his indictment. Because government has seemed strangely reticent about getting to the bottom of any of many missteps that government has produced for years.     

“The thing is, if we don’t get to the bottom of this — and that requires your assistance on that,” he said to Eric Holder, “there is only one alternative that Congress has and it is called impeachment.”

Can the rest of us get the power to impeach too just like Congress has? Maybe a kind of citizen’s impeachment?   

We could really use it right now.

Because impeachment or trial has to happen and it has to be Holder – or as high up as it goes- who walks the plank- at least for Fast and Furious.  

Because here’s our thing: Some of us hicks out here in the countryside, in flyover country clinging to our guns and our religion, are starting to get the idea that mistakes aren’t just being made by the administration, but rather that mistakes are being manufactured- and then ignored by Congress.

At MF Golbal, at ATF, at Justice, at the Federal Reserve Bank, at Solyndra, the answer’s always the same: “Oops. We made a mistake.”

And they don’t just make one mistake; they make a series of mistakes… and then it’s time to cue up a two-week Obama vacation.  

They are mistaken in their reaction when evidence first comes forward of wrongdoing; they are mistaken in their statements they make under oath; they are mistaken when they mistakenly answer a question that they mistakenly answered mistakenly in the first place in front of Congress.

They are so mistaken in what they mean and what they say they mean that everything is suddenly dependent on the legal definition of the word “is.”

Call it the Clinton defense, the best legal novelty invented since the insanity plea. But of course the Clinton defense only works for government workers. The rest of us have to face the plain, ordinary law.       

And make no mistake: You know those paranoid people who think that Obama and his cronies are purposefully crashing the system from within to serve a political agenda where no crisis goes to waste?

They have a pretty darn good point now at the Department of Justice.   

And the longer these “mistakes” are allowed to happen with no remission, no trial, no perp walk, the clearer the picture becomes even without the most transparent administration in the history of the Nobel Prize.

See?

When you’re a liberal and you lose CBSNew folks, it’s over.

FOR-ever.

Think of Cronkite turning against the Vietnam War.

You can’t “fake award” yourself a prize out of that one, whether the award is for peace or for transparency.  

Fast and Furious goes way beyond anything Richard Nixon or Lyndon Johnson ever dreamed of.    

And those weren’t just congressmen demanding justice from Holder.

That’s you and me who Holder is comparing to drunken Joe McCarthy.

It’s not We, the People who are drunk on the power to deceive right now.  

We still have some of our rights unabridged.

And that’s a good first start.

Provided we make good use of them.  

PERRY: Eric Holder must go – Washington Times

 

Badge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firea...

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PERRY: Eric Holder must go – Washington Times.

Attorney general should resign or be fired

By Gov. Rick PerryThe Washington Times

Ever since the Department of Justice’s gun-running operation known as Fast and Furious became public, the Obama administration’s response has been slow and infuriating. Of particular concern is Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.’s lack of candor concerning what he knew and when he knew it.

This is not a typical case of bureaucratic bungling. A 40-year-old Border Patrol agent, Brian Terry, and possibly a U.S. immigration agent, are dead because of a horribly ill-conceived Justice Department operation that went tragically wrong.

Hundreds of Fast and Furious firearms have been implicated in criminal activity, and another 1,400 firearms are on the street because the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives engaged in gun-walking – the selling of firearms to straw purchasers in an attempt to locate major weapons traffickers in Mexico. This controversial tactic, involving thousands of weapons, means that brave law enforcement personnel along the border remain at risk.

As details come to light, a larger shadow has been cast on Mr. Holder. When initially asked under oath to say when he first knew about Fast and Furious, Mr. Holder told the House Judiciary Committee on May 3, “I’m not sure of the exact date, but I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.”

But the evidence casts serious doubt over that claim. First, President Obama had commented publicly on the operation, noting on March 22 – more than a month before Mr. Holder’s sworn statement – that an inspector general had been assigned to investigate the matter.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, had sent a letter to the Justice Department on Feb. 16 requesting documents on Fast and Furious. That Mr. Holder did not know about Fast and Furious before Mr. Grassley’s letter and Mr. Obama’s public comments is simply inconceivable.

Perhaps more damning is that records show Mr. Holder was briefed about the operation as far back as July 2010, when the director of the National Drug Intelligence Center, Michael F. Walther, sent Mr. Holder a written memo that his agency would assist in the investigation of a gun trafficker who had acquired weapons under Fast and Furious. Another memo, from Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer, notified Mr. Holder of a sealed Justice Department indictment against weapons traffickers in Arizona.

Mr. Holder’s proclaimed ignorance leaves Americans to draw one of two conclusions: Either he is guilty of extraordinary bureaucratic incompetence or he is guilty of a cover-up meant to shield him from the consequences of an operation that has left at least one federal agent dead and continues to imperil many more.

Either way, it is high time for Mr. Holder to step down. If he refuses to resign, Mr. Obama must fire him immediately.

Under the attorney general’s leadership, our nation’s top law enforcement agency proactively armed some of the most dangerous criminal organizations in North America, and at least one American is dead as a direct result. The damage done to Mr. Holder’s credibility is irreparable.

Moreover, Mr. Holder never apologized to – or even spoke with – the family of slain Border Patrol Agent Terry until he was confronted by Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, earlier this month, nearly a year after Terry’s murder.

Drug violence is a serious threat to the United States and our citizens as cartels wage a bloody turf war. Additionally, as Mr. Holder himself announced recently, an Iranian national has been arrested for seeking the assistance of Mexican drug-cartel members in a plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador in Washington.

Mexican drug cartels are a clear and present danger to America. More than 35,000 people have been killed in that country’s drug war in the past five years alone, and the violence threatens to spill across our border every day.

America simply cannot tolerate an attorney general who arms the very criminals he is supposed to protect us from and then refuses to comfort the grieving parents of a slain Border Patrol agent. Nor can we tolerate a president who lacks the courage to take decisive action in restoring justice to the Department of Justice.

It is time for Mr. Holder to go.

Gov. Rick Perry is a Texas Republican and GOP candidate for president.