I know that a quick reading of the story might suggest it – short version; one Border Agent was killed and another wounded at a shootout this morning at the Brian Terry Station* in Arizona – but when Fox is referring to Fast & Furious guns found on the scene the network is referring to the 2010 Terry shooting. It’s a breaking story; presumably they’ll clean it up a little in a little while.
More info here and here. Prayers and good wishes to the families of the victims.
PS: Fire Eric Holder.
*Named after US Border Agent Brian Terry, who was killed in a shootout with drug gangs in 2010. Guns on the scene were traced to the government’s infamous Fast & Furious program, which was a program that disastrously allowed guns to be illegally resold to drug cartels and other violent criminals all over the American super-continent. The Obama administration has thus far refused to hold anyone in its administration accountable for our responsibility in the murder of hundreds of people.
[UPDATE: Welcome, Instapundit readers. Come, I will conceal nothing from you: it’s been a rotten week (the whole family’s been down with colds, which is precisely as much fun as it sounds when your youngest is two and a half). Retail therapy would be nice: hit the tip jar to the side and I promise to spend it on wargame miniatures.]
This is going to be a very visual post, and, as usual, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney provides little if any actual semantic content, so I will simply summarize each video. First off, we have the standard obfuscation:
He hates his life – or at least, he’s about to hate his life. You see, if Congress votes today to hold US Attorney General Eric Holder in criminal contempt of Congress today for Holder’s stonewalling on providing documents on the botched Operation Fast & Furious botched gunrunning scandal* then Mr. Machen is apparently the lucky individual who gets to bring charges up for a grand jury. Assuming, of course, that Holder doesn’t blink before then and give House Oversight Chair Darrell Issa the documents that Issa’s been demanding ever since Holder got caught lying about the Department of Justice’s oversight of Operation Fast & Furious.
All of this puts Machen in an absolutely no-win situation: if the US Attorney brings charges, Machen will get an unbelievable amount of push-back from both the administration (which will be passive-aggressive) and the DC local political structure (which will just be aggressive). But if Ronald Machen does not bring charges then his career is over; the DC federal power structure values obedience to Congressional prerogatives a heck of a lot more than they value obedience to Presidential ones. Presidents are ephemeral; even the successful ones have less than a decade of true power. Congress endures, and it gets mean when it’s crossed. Continue reading Meet Ronald C Machen, US Attorney for the District of Columbia.
There’s been a lot of commentary, obviously, about the information found in the latest Department of Justice Friday afternoon email dump with regards to the administration’s catastrophic Operation Fast & Furious. For those who need a reminder, OF&F was a program by which political appointees in the Obama administration ignored federal rules and basic common sense in order to facilitate the illegal resale of firearms to Mexican narco-terrorist groups. This was not done so much without proper safeguards as it was done with essentially no safeguards at all; and the program only stopped when OF&F guns appeared at the murder scene of Border Agent Brian Terry’s. Since then, the Justice Department in general – and Attorney General Eric Holder in particular – have been spinning this very much as their careers depended on it, going to far as to claim that they were unaware of the very problem until about the same time that it entered the public consciousness.
These emails contradict that narrative: as of yet, however, they do not convict the Attorney General of being anything except a slack-jawed mouth-breather who was and is so intellectually incurious that he apparently spends his entire work day locked in his office, rocking back and forth on his chair, and humming tunelessly. Or, to break the monotony, occasionally drool.
To give a quick background: Operation Fast & Furious, of course, was an incredibly botched government program where federal law enforcement agencies handed over firearms willy-nilly to Mexican narco-terrorists and then lost track of the weapons… no, really, that’s what they did, and the next person who comes up with a legitimate and/or sane reason for them doing that will be the first. As you might imagine, Congressional watchdogs – Republican ones; the Democrats are largely hiding from this one – are a bit perturbed about this, not least because it turns out that the Justice Department gave out patently false information when asked about it the first time. Which is to say, DoJ denied that it handed over firearms willy-nilly to Mexican narco-terrorists and then lost track of the weapons.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, was sending a letter to President Obama on Tuesday arguing that Holder cannot investigate himself, and requesting the president instruct the Department of Justice to appoint a special counsel.
The question is whether Holder committed perjury during a Judiciary Committee hearing on May 3.
If you read my post earlier today on the subject, you already know what happened: but in case you didn’t, the gist is that Attorney General Eric Holder claimed back in May to have only first heard of Fast & Furious at most a few weeks earlier. Unfortunately for Holder, documents have surfaced apparently showing that Holder had been briefed on the subject back in 2010 (which Holder’s spokesmen are currently denying: their claim is the risible one that the Attorney General doesn’t read all the memos sent to him by his assistant Attorney Generals). Holder then claimed that he misspoke, which leads to this epic sentence:
[House Oversight Chair Darrell] Issa told Fox News on Tuesday morning that Holder saying he didn’t understand the question rather than he didn’t know of the program is not a successful defense to perjury.
Permit me to summarize this CBS video on Operation Fast & Furious*:
Eric Holder: I only heard about Operation Fast & Furious after it blew up in 2011!
CBS: Here’s a list of memos that shows that you were briefed on Operation Fast & Furious, starting in July.
Eric Holder: Oh. That Operation Fast & Furious. Yeah. Um. I, err, misspoke . Didn’t know the details.
Congressional investigators tell CBS News there’s evidence the U.S. Attorney’s office in Arizona sought to cover up a link between their controversial gunwalking operation known as “Fast and Furious” and the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
Executive background summary, for those who don’t remember/aren’t following: Operation Fast & Furious was an incredibly ill-advised program where the federal government directed various law-enforcement agencies to permit guns to be illegally resold to Mexican narco-terrorist gangs. The above quote is referencing a situation where some of those guns were traced to the Terry murder scene: the email trail indicates that the ATF was aware of the link between the two cases from the start. This is important because the ATF later attempted to stonewall Congressional investigators out the link, in the person of US Attorney (District of Arizona) Dennis Burke. Continue reading Fast & Furious coverup in Arizona.