(please scroll down for the update)
So, the miserable hack that runs the Justice Department has a little trouble remembering things like when exactly it was he was briefed on a federally-sponsored gun-running operation.
New documents obtained by CBS News show Attorney General Eric Holder was sent briefings on the controversial Fast and Furious operation as far back as July 2010. That directly contradicts his statement to Congress.
On May 3, 2011, Holder told a Judiciary Committee hearing, "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."
Yet internal Justice Department documents show that at least ten months before that hearing, Holder began receiving frequent memos discussing Fast and Furious.
The documents came from the head of the National Drug Intelligence Center and Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer.
In Fast and Furious, ATF agents allegedly allowed thousands of weapons to cross the border and fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels.
It's called letting guns "walk," and it remained secret to the public until Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered last December. Two guns from Fast and Furious were found at the scene, and ATF agent John Dodson blew the whistle on the operation.
Ever since, the Justice Department has publicly tried to distance itself. But the new documents leave no doubt that high level Justice officials knew guns were being "walked."
Two Justice Department officials mulled it over in an email exchange Oct. 18, 2010. "It's a tricky case given the number of guns that have walked but is a significant set of prosecutions," says Jason Weinstein, Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division. Deputy Chief of the National Gang Unit James Trusty replies "I'm not sure how much grief we get for 'guns walking.' It may be more like, "Finally they're going after people who sent guns down there."
The Justice Department told CBS News that the officials in those emails were talking about a different case started before Eric Holder became Attorney General. And tonight they tell CBS News, Holder misunderstood that question from the committee - he did know about Fast and Furious - just not the details.
We're kind of scratching our head here because we thought the gross inconsistency between what documents showed of Holder having knowledge of Fast and Furious and when he told Congress he had knowledge of the program was old hat. We'll check the records.
But back to the matter at hand: so, which is it? Is Holder so incompetent that he did not desire to ask for more details regarding a program that sends U.S.-purchased guns back across the border or did he know the details all along and was just distancing himself from culpability? Either way, it shows he is not fit to be running the Justice Department and needs to be shown the door immediately.
/sound of other shoe dropping
House Republicans are calling for a special counsel to determine whether Attorney General Eric Holder misled Congress during his testimony to the House Judiciary Committee on Operation Fast and Furious, Fox News has learned.
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 knowingly made false statements of fact under oath during a Judiciary Committee hearing on May 3. At the time, Holder indicated he was not familiar with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives program known as Fast and Furious until about April 2011.
"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," Holder testified.
However, newly discovered memos suggest otherwise. For instance, one memo dated July 2010 shows Michael Walther, director of the National Drug Intelligence Center, told Holder that straw buyers in the Fast and Furious operation "are responsible for the purchase of 1,500 firearms that were then supplied to the Mexican drug trafficking cartels."
The miserable hack should just spare everybody the pain and step down.
(UPDATE #1) : This really shouldn't be all that funny but it's Iowahawk:
/picking up in the middle of phone conversation originating from Washington D.C.
Now... now Juan... let's just calm down here a minute. Just, okay.. okay... let me please explain, okay? See, the funny thing is, it turns out, a couple years back there was, well, this stimulus program money, and then there were these brainstorming sessions, where, well, there were some ideas what to do with it. So, anyhoo, one of the ideas that happened was, 'hey, what if there were, say, 2000 machine guns that got sent to Mexican drug lords?' and so forth.
Well no, of course we couldn't tell you. It would have ruined the surprise.
Well, okay, I guess the gato is out of the ol' bag-o. You know that drug cartel war problem you've been having? So, well, the idea was, hey, wouldn't it be great if somehow we could put a trace on the machine guns, and then, surprise! It'd be a like a whole pinata full of drug lord information.
Why? Well see, if we traced all the machine guns we gave to your drug lords, then we could all learn how your drug lords get their machine guns.
Well, Juan, yes, certainly, that's one hypothesis. But I mean besides from us.
Oh, those tracers. See, the funny thing is - and this is such a hoot - someone forgot to buy batteries for them. You know how it is when you buy those Christmas presents, and it's like "batteries not included," and...
If you're in the mood for more black humor, go here.