Friday, February 3, 2012

Project Gunrunner/Operation Fast and Furious update


We're late to this update due both to time constraints and the fact that there is really nothing to update. The miserable hack that heads up the Justice Department testified up on Capitol Hill again on Thursday and again merely stone-walled and again told Congress that he doesn't have to share his emails invoking a highly dubious executive priviledge and generally snarked his way through his questioning.

A petulant, angry, and defiant Attorney General Eric Holder refused yesterday to take any responsibility for the growing scandal surrounding Operation Fast and Furious, the ill-conceived and incompetently managed program in which federal agents allowed thousands of guns to be purchased in the United States by known suppliers to Mexican drug cartels.

In testimony last year before the House Oversight and Government Operations Committee chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa of California, Holder said he first learned about Fast and Furious only after media reports began appearing about the congressional investigation started in the wake of Terry's slaying. He subsequently recanted that statement and acknowledged being told about the program by aides a few months before the media reports. He has since strenuously denied intentionally misleading Congress about when he first learned of Fast and Furious, and has accused congressional Republicans of using the program to concoct a partisan witch hunt.*

And this from Jim Geraghty on Congressional Oversight Chairman, Darrell Issa (R-CA), potentially holding the miserable hack in contempt if he does not turn over the sought-after documents Issa has been asking for since October:

Thus, the administration that took military action in Libya without any authorization from force from Congress, that appointed czars with policymaking authority without congressional confirmation, and that made “recess” appointments while Congress was not in recess is invoking executive privilege to cover how the Department of Justice reacted when Congress began asking about a gun-trafficking operation that got U.S. law enforcement officers murdered by Mexican drug cartels.

All from a president who railed against a runaway imperial presidency when George W. Bush sat in the office he currently occupies.

Uh-oh. We feel another O > W moment coming on.

For those of you new to this blog or new to this story, allow us to bottom line this for you:

The Department of Justice was the focal point for a gun-running operation that allowed upwards of 2,000 guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. There is credible evidence that there was no effort to actually track the weapons to better locate/identify the bad guys on the other side of the border. Further, there is also credible evidence that this gun-running operation was carried-out to, in large part, enforce a narrative of an unchecked flow of guns from the U.S. to Mexico to, in turn, put more restrictive gun control laws into place.

Forgive us for speaking slightly out of turn. We'd be remiss if we did not mention that they did indeed manage to track at least some guns that were part of the Fast and Furious gun-running operation: the guns that were left behind at the murder scene of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in December of 2010 and those of other dead Mexican officials and innocent civilians.

Either Holder had no knowledge of an operation of this magnitude, for which he proves himself to be incompetent and unfit for the job or he had knowledge of the operation and is thusly complicit in the murder and violence it begat. Either way, Holder should step down or otherwise be relieved of his duties.

* The charge of "witch hunt", especially with respect to what some see as bullying tactics by Issa is leveled intentionally to make people think of McCarthyism. It certainly rings true to us as though many questioned the tactics and personal integrity of McCarthy himself, it never disproved the fact that there were indeed "witches" working in the State and Defense departments.


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