I cannot possibly see how this could end badly for the Obama administration.
I somehow suspect that the AP isn’t going to get all shirty for once about this quote:
Rules published by the Justice Department require that subpoenas of records of news organizations must be personally approved by the attorney general, but it was not known if that happened in this case. The letter notifying AP that its phone records had been obtained through subpoenas was sent Friday by Ronald Machen, the U.S. attorney in Washington.
William Miller, a spokesman for Machen, said Monday that in general the U.S. attorney follows “all applicable laws, federal regulations and Department of Justice policies when issuing subpoenas for phone records of media organizations.” But he would not address questions about the specifics of the AP records. “We do not comment on ongoing criminal investigations,” Miller said in an email.
The Justice Department lays out strict rules for efforts to get phone records from news organizations. A subpoena can be considered only after “all reasonable attempts” have been made to get the same information from other sources, the rules say. It was unclear what other steps, in total, the Justice Department might have taken to get information in the case.
…I think that when TS Eliot said that April was the cruelest month he hadn’t really taken into account politicians like Barack Obama. Because right now May is downright sucking for the Democratic party.
K, here’s the background. CJ Ciaramella is a reporter at the Washington Free Beacon, and he emailed the Department of Justice to find out if they had any response to the allegations being featured in Kate Pavlich’s latest book on the Operation Fast & Furious scandal (Fast and Furious: Barack Obama’s Bloodiest Scandal and the Shameless Cover-Up). Specifically, the allegation that there was a third gun found at the scene of Border Agent Brian Terry’s murder that could be traced back to that DOJ/DEA botched gunrunning operation; and that the existence of this third gun was being covered up in order to protect a confidential informant. And let me note in passing: I don’t care how highly-placed this alleged informant could be; his or her needs do not take precedence over the needs of Agent Terry’s surviving loved ones, or indeed the survivors of anybody that the US government helped murder by freely letting guns get illegally sold to Mexican narco-terrorists.
But let us move back to the main point: Ciaramella emailed the DoJ for their response to this issue… and the DoJ’s official response, in the form of one Office of Public Affairs spokeswoman Katie Dixon? Go read Media Matters for America (MMfA).
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.
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.
You’re going to see the below quoted text a lot, because it’s an excellent summation of the problem that we’re having with the Obama administration’s catastrophically incompetent Fast & Furious disaster*:
Let’s review: When we first learned about Fast and Furious, the news was that a number of assault rifles had been sold to straw purchasers. Soon, we learned that the number was approximately 2,500 and that some of those were .50 caliber sniper rifles. Then we learned that somewhere between 1,200 and 1,300 of the weapons were unaccounted for, and that the ATF had allowed another upstanding gentleman to walk grenade components into Mexico (I guess he ended up in Mexico: no one knows because the ATF lost him). And finally, we’re learning that just a few days ago, on our side of the border, U.S. Border Patrol Agents found rocket and grenade launchers, assault rifles, and C4 explosives.
(More here, including an observation that I’d rather not think about.)
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.
Back-talking the Chair of the House Oversight Committee and the Ranking Member (for now) of the Senate Judiciary Committee is not a viable long-term survival strategy. Particularly when you’re intimately involved in a burgeoning government scandal involving permitting and encouraging guns to be illegally resold to Mexican narco-terrorist organizations. Doubly so when the people that you’re back-talking have top-level government officials who are already pointing fingers and naming names.
Triply so when you yourself, Ronald Weich, can in fact be best described as part of the firewall between your boss (Attorney General Eric Holder) and one heck of a political scandal. Or possibly ‘cannon fodder.’
(Via Instapundit) This is a joke, right? Surely not even this administration is going to let people die of AIDS – even if they’re convicts – by going after humane correctional policies designed to keep uninfected convicts from being infected while still providing the infected treatment and counseling. Even if it does mean removing terminally ill, infectious convicts from the general prison population. That’s just not right.
Some states long ago implemented policies to protect the uninfected part of the prison population while providing exceptional medical treatment and counseling to the infected population.
In South Carolina, it has worked so well since 1998 that there has only been a single transmission of HIV/AIDS to a noninfected prisoner. All that may change, however, thanks to a threat from Eric Holder’s Justice Department.
South Carolina received a letter from the now-infamous Civil Rights Division that the policy of keeping infected inmates at a designated facility, instead of scattered across the state in the general prison population, may unfairly stigmatize infected prisoners. To the Obama political appointees in the Civil Rights Division, this constitutes discrimination under the Americans With Disabilities Act.
…and no arrests; no updates; and no real indication that the federal government is taking seriously an organized attempt to murder mothers and children by setting their church on fire. Remember: they used accelerant on the doors. There’s no chance at all this was meant to be a ‘prank.’
Eric Holder recently went before Congress to call for a strengthened hate crimes bill. It occurs to me that calling his office at 202-353-1555 and politely inquiring how the Department of Justice is doing in its investigation of this existing one would be an excellent way to start your work week.
PS: The response to this should not break down along partisan political lines; I will be pleasantly surprised if this turns out to be the case.