Not quite the smoking gun.
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.
While this defense may seem undignified of Holder: hey, it beats going to jail. Continue reading Fast & Furious update: Holder’s deputy CoS briefed in December 2010.
Executive summary: Patrick Cunningham is the Criminal Division chief of the Arizona US Attorney’s office; and recently he was subpoenaed by Congress over his role in Operation Fast & Furious, which is of course the disastrous program where the federal government put guns in the hands of Mexican narco-terrorist gangs without anything like proper safeguards. The thing is, Cunningham apparently thinks that he’s about to be thrown to Darrell Issa’s wolves by a Department of Justice trying to deflect scrutiny from Attorney General Eric Holder, and Cunningham has no intention of being the fall guy. So he’s sent a letter to Oversight indicating that he refuses to answer questions, on the grounds that it might incriminate him.
Or, more accurately, he refuses to answer questions under the current circumstances. Cunningham feels that “he now finds himself caugbt in the middle of a dispute between the Legislative Branch and the Executive Branch,” to quote the letter; which implies that if the Legislative Branch would be inclined to, say, be reasonable about certain things then Cunningham might be likewise reasonable about testifying.
If all of this sounds baroque: well, yes, it is. I’d call it ‘fun,’ except of course that the Justice Department got people out and out killed with this stupid Fast & Furious project of theirs.
Short version of the background: Operation Fast & Furious was a botched Department of Justice operation where the federal government catastrophically mucked up a program ostensibly designed to curtain illegal gun running to Mexico by… sustaining, encouraging, and enabling gun running to Mexico. Several hundred people have died as a result – including at least one American law enforcement official – and now questions are being asked in Congress.
Including questions by Homeland Security Chair Joe Lieberman (CT). The Daily Caller reports that the retiring Senator has instructed his staff to ‘examine’ the circumstances regarding interagency ‘miscommunication’ with regard to the Fast & Furious program; which is actually somewhat worrisome to the White House, once you translate the announcement from Political Washingtonian to Standard English. Specifically, the Daily Caller was told by a spokesman that Senator Lieberman “believe[s] that the lack of interagency coordination along the border merits further examination, and as Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, he has directed his staff to follow up with the relevant federal agencies on that topic.” In other words, Senator Lieberman has already determined that somebody in the federal government is to blame; indeed, probably a whole flock of somebodies. The only questions are, how many somebodies; and (not incidentally) how many careers are going to get blighted as a subtle hint (and Horrible Example) for the next generation of federal bureaucrats. Continue reading Joe Lieberman inserts himself into Operation Fast & Furious.
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.)
Continue reading Operation Fast & Furious… Rocket Launchers?
(H/T: Hot Air) I believe that the quasi-pop reference here is “BOOM goes the dynamite:”
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.
On the record, like.
It would appear that the DEA does not want to be the fall guy in Operation Fast & Furious*, either: DEA head Michele M. Leonhart admitted in a letter to Senator Grassley (Judiciary) and Rep. Issa (Oversight) that her organization was in fact involved in the investigation, and provided support for it. This is a significant admission by Ms. Leonhart, given that (as Bob Owens** of Pajamas Media reminds us) there is an existing allegation by the former head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives (BATFE) Phoenix office that the DEA was a full partner in the proceedings. Continue reading DEA now linked to Operation Fast & Furious.
The fact that the sordid details about Operation Fast & Furious (short edition: the federal government allowed guns to be illegally resold to Mexican narco-terrorists, who then proceeded to murder people with them) are all breaking during the debt ceiling situation is either the absolute best or the absolute worst luck for the Obama administration. On the one hand, the administration is not getting hammered with new details and demands for information every day: on the other, eventually the debt ceiling situation will be over, and when all that happens, the details will have piled up most alarmingly.
Don’t believe me? Let me just list the stuff that we’ve learned this week.:
Continue reading The Great Fast & Furious… Fast & Furious Data-Dump.