Found here. Short version: they found a Fast & Furious gun in El Chapo’s personal stash. So, basically, the feds more or less utterly f*cked the whole thing up from top to bottom, then gave it a spin so that the failure would be nice and evenly spread.
And what a fascinating rogues’ gallery they are, too. Via @GeorgiaTipsheet, meet the seventeen Democrats who voted to hold Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for his ongoing coverup of the Fast & Furious gunrunning schedule:
The Obama administration – in the form of Attorney General Eric Holder – admitted today in Congressional testimony that Operation Fast & Furious program was ‘reckless,’ and will likely end up getting even more people killed.
Rep. Ted Poe, R-TX: Would you agree that this operation was reckless? It was a reckless operation on the part of the United States?
Attorney General Eric Holder: I mean, I think that the way that it was carried out I’d certainly say it was flawed, reckless, yeah I’d probably agree with that. I mean it was done inappropriately, and has had tragic consequences and is going – as I’ve said in my opening statement – it’s going to continue to have tragic consequences…
Rep. Poe: More people are going to die? Probably?
AG Holder: Unfortunately, I think that that’s probably true.
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.
You should be able to listen in via here: the program is Cam & Co., which starts at 9 PM EST and goes on until midnight. I should be on some time after 10 PM.
Meanwhile: Attorney General Eric Holder is very upset:
In his most forceful criticism of Republicans during his time as attorney general, Holder said that he had said little so far about the gun-smuggling probe because the Justice Department inspector general is investigating it but that he could not sit idly by while a Republican congressman suggested that law enforcement and government employees be considered accessories to murder.
Actually, ‘sitting idly by’ would be a bit of an improvement there, Mister Attorney General. For that matter, ‘sitting idly by’ is more or less the basic defense that Holder is trying to make in the first place: to wit, that the Attorney General had not lied when he falsely claimed that he was unaware of Operation Fast & Furious* before April of 2011 or so. Apparently, Holder had somehow missed the import of multiple memos from July 2010 that spelled out that the operation involved straw purchasers who were “responsible for the purchase of 1500 firearms that were then supplied to Mexican drug trafficking cartels;” it’s an interesting thing to see a Cabinet official attempt to make the argument that he’s too intellectually incurious to be guilty of perjury, but I guess that you have to play the hand that you’re dealt.
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.
A self-styled drug-trafficking group calling itself the “Zeta Killers” claimed responsibility this week for the recent murders of at least 35 people believed to belong to the Zetas, Mexico’s most violent criminal organization.
The claim by the “Mata Zetas” has stoked fears that Mexico, like Colombia a generation before, may be witnessing the rise of paramilitary drug gangs that seek society’s approval and tacit consent from the government to help society confront its ills, in this case, the Zetas.
(Via AoSHQ Headlines) Before you start cheering, the WSJ article goes on to note that these guys (they call themselves Los Mata Zetas, or “Zeta Killers”) are probably not so much ‘annoyed Mexican citizens taking the law into their own hands’ as they are ‘rival drug gang members using vigilantism as a cover’ – although I suppose that you could be a violent drug gang member and still find the Zetas appalling. Which they are. It’s just that it’s an open question whether these people are any better: while the WSJ did report that the group assassinated 35 people, the AP notes that that total “included 12 women and two minors.” While killing hangers-on of a drug gang may be an effective terrorist tactic, it is nonetheless still a terrorist tactic. And it’s a tactic that suggests that angels – even the Old Testament (read: scary) ones – are thin on the ground in Mexico right now. Continue reading Drug-related/vigilante/(both) violence escalates in Mexico.
UPDATE: Carol Greenberg of Conservative Outlooks – who was on the original call – reported that Issa did not quite call for a special prosecutor. This may be a nuance issue on Issa’s part: I was not able to participate in this particular call myself, so I couldn’t say authoritatively.
Yes, my brothers and sisters: it’s that magical time in an administration where the old tradition is observed of cursing Jimmy Carter’s bones and liver for signing the Independent Counsel Act. Because Darrell Issa called for a special prosecutor earlier this week:
House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa on Tuesday called for a special prosecutor to investigate the growing “Fast and Furious” scandal, in which the Obama administration allowed guns to walk to Mexico, where they fell into the hands of drug lords and were found at the murder scene of at least one U.S. border agent.
Issa complained in a conference call that, “there is ongoing cover up of a pattern of wrongdoing that can’t be explained by any ordinary people (who tried) to do the right thing but made a mistake.”