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Obama's Mexican Gunrunning Operation


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#1501 Tom Ray

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 08:25 AM

How Eric Holder and the Justice Dept Failed Each Other

In the end, the much-heralded, much-maligned Office of the Inspector General's report on the "Fast and Furious" gun scandal tells us what we already know: Attorney General Eric Holder should resign if President Barack Obama wins another term. Even viewing the documents and investigation in a light most favorable to the current head of the Justice Department, even discounting the conspiracy theories offered by the Administration's most ardent critics, the Inspector General's report tells us that Holder ultimately failed to do what he absolutely had to do at Justice when he succeeded caretaker Attorney General Michael Mukasey in early 2009.

...

The OIG Report concludes that Holder didn't know about Fast and Furious until February 2011, and that is likely enough to protect the Attorney General from any further legal recriminations. But avoiding perjury or obstruction of justice, or being ignorant of your department's biggest scandal, is no cause for relief. His rabid detractors will never accept the idea that Holder could have been ignorant of the program. But whether he knew or not there's no dispute that he should have known. In an exemplary Justice Department, someone, anyone, should have stepped up and said to the boss: "There's something screwy going on in Arizona."
Which brings us to Lanny Breuer, the head of the Justice Department's Criminal Division. The OIG report confirms that Breuer knew about the program in 2010 and yet failed to tell his boss about it. Never mind what Breuer then said to Congress; this initial failure to report the critical information up the line is inexcusable and unacceptable.


I have not forgotten what Lanny Breuer said to Congress, nor have I forgotten that in May 2011, Holder testified to Congress that he learned of Fast and Furious "a few weeks" earlier through media reports. He damn well should have learned it in December of 2010, if not before, through his own department.

I take no joy in writing this. I don't for a moment think that Eric Holder is another Alberto Gonzales. But even if you take the politics out of this scandal -- even if you strip it down to the bare essence of governance -- the central truth of the story is that the Justice Department failed to stop something stupid (and dangerous and, ultimately, tragic) from happening. And then, when the scandal came, the Department didn't move quickly enough to confront the truth, to reveal it, and then to take responsibility for what had happened. That wasn't good enough when the hapless Gonzales was running the show, and it's not good enough now.


Ten months to retract the lie from Lanny Breuer's team was indeed too long. I'm not sure how he knows when they will take responsibility for what happened, but whenever that does occur, I agree it will have been too long.

In other news, a central gun dealer informant from Project Gunrunner speaks out:

Wide Receiver "Good Samaritan" Clarifies Role in OIG Gunwalking Report

"I can tell you this with certainty [Tucson Resident Agent in Charge Chuck] Higman [who refused to speak with the IG] did not make a move without approval from the SAC in Phoenix. Every time my bad guys ordered a serious number of guns Chuck always wrung his hands and told me that he'd have to get approval from the SAC. Yet each time [William] Newell would give his OK. Chuck was very close to retirement and in my estimation did not want to do anything that might compromise his timeline or benefits."

"The IG report made mention of unsupervised sales to the bad guys," Detty continued. "It sounds almost as if I did this without the knowledge of the case agent. Nothing could be further from the truth. Every ‘buy’ was reported to Garcia before it happened. If he had a reason for me not to sell the bad guys I would put them off saying I was out of town or had other plans-no big deal. But with only seven agents available, sometimes they couldn't get enough guys together for surveillance. People get sick, have school events with their kids, vacations, etc. In the event of an unmonitored buy I would bring a recording of the meeting along synopsis to the case agent the following day. These buys always made me nervous-these were some pretty serious s***heads I was dealing with and to have them in my home with no help outside was just ridiculous."

...

"I lay blame on SAC Newell," Detty asserted. "He was on OWR from June 2006 through its end as well as another case I brought them that is rarely publicized and accounted for another 100 or so guns going to the Sinaloan cartel. No one at DOJ rebuked him for OWR. Even though some AUSA's showed concern about the guns going to Mexico no one stopped Newell. Why wouldn't he do it on a grander scale with Burke as his US Attorney? He was unstoppable!"


That tells me blame is more properly blamed on Burke, who was allowed to just walk away from the whole mess a while back. No responsibility.

#1502 JBSF

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 09:19 AM

I find it absolutely amazing that Holder still has his job after all this. Regardless of whether he actually knew or not, the head of an organization this poorly run is accountable.

Here is a very recent parallel that went the other way...... as it probably should have:


AUSTIN, Texas — The fallout from a sex scandal at Lackland Air Force Base widened Friday, when the military ousted the top commander over the basic training unit where investigators say dozens of female recruits were sexually assaulted or harassed by their male instructors.

"But Col. Palmer did not create the environment that created the misconduct," McGee said.

Palmer isn't the first Lackland commander removed since the scandal unfolded. Axelbank in June relieved Col. Mike Paquette, commander of the 331st Training Squadron, for what a military attorney described as a loss of confidence in Paquette's leadership.

This exactly what you do when something this serious happens under a leader's watch. Its called accountability. Was it either of those Col's faults that women got harrassed? No, but do you think they would have survived by simply saying "sorry, I didn't know about it".

Sorry, ITS YOUR FUCKING JOB TO KNOW ABOUT IT, MR HOLDER!

#1503 Tom Ray

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 05:34 PM

I find it absolutely amazing that Holder still has his job after all this. Regardless of whether he actually knew or not, the head of an organization this poorly run is accountable.

Here is a very recent parallel that went the other way...... as it probably should have:


AUSTIN, Texas — The fallout from a sex scandal at Lackland Air Force Base widened Friday, when the military ousted the top commander over the basic training unit where investigators say dozens of female recruits were sexually assaulted or harassed by their male instructors.

"But Col. Palmer did not create the environment that created the misconduct," McGee said.

Palmer isn't the first Lackland commander removed since the scandal unfolded. Axelbank in June relieved Col. Mike Paquette, commander of the 331st Training Squadron, for what a military attorney described as a loss of confidence in Paquette's leadership.

This exactly what you do when something this serious happens under a leader's watch. Its called accountability. Was it either of those Col's faults that women got harrassed? No, but do you think they would have survived by simply saying "sorry, I didn't know about it".

Sorry, ITS YOUR FUCKING JOB TO KNOW ABOUT IT, MR HOLDER!


He should have known about it while the operation was ongoing, but it's a big government and people did not tell him.

He did not fire those people, instead putting them in charge of the response when Senator Grassley personally handed him letters inquiring about the allegations being made by whistleblowers. They lied to Congress.

He did not fire those people for this second failure, which tells me those lies were OK with Holder.

Holder had a choice to make in January 2011 when Grassley handed him those letters. He chose to continue the coverup, ultimately causing the bipartisan votes holding him in contempt of Congress.

#1504 Mark K

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 05:41 PM

I find it absolutely amazing that Holder still has his job after all this. Regardless of whether he actually knew or not, the head of an organization this poorly run is accountable.

Here is a very recent parallel that went the other way...... as it probably should have:


AUSTIN, Texas — The fallout from a sex scandal at Lackland Air Force Base widened Friday, when the military ousted the top commander over the basic training unit where investigators say dozens of female recruits were sexually assaulted or harassed by their male instructors.

"But Col. Palmer did not create the environment that created the misconduct," McGee said.

Palmer isn't the first Lackland commander removed since the scandal unfolded. Axelbank in June relieved Col. Mike Paquette, commander of the 331st Training Squadron, for what a military attorney described as a loss of confidence in Paquette's leadership.

This exactly what you do when something this serious happens under a leader's watch. Its called accountability. Was it either of those Col's faults that women got harrassed? No, but do you think they would have survived by simply saying "sorry, I didn't know about it".

Sorry, ITS YOUR FUCKING JOB TO KNOW ABOUT IT, MR HOLDER!


Looks like the IG came to a different conclusion. Has about 80,000 people in the dept.

The guy I was wrong about was Burke. Turned out he wasn't as responsible as I had thought. All those charges from Issa had me thinking he must have some proof against him but Issa was just guessing.

#1505 badlatitude

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 06:25 AM

Well this is an interesting turn of events, do we believe a non partisan watchdog, or do we believe a partisan member of congress?

On September 13th, Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) won an award he’d probably love to be able to decline. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a non-profit legal watchdog group dedicated to holding public officials accountable for their actions, gave Issa a Dishonorable Mention in its 8th annual Most Corrupt Members of Congress report.
CREW cites Issa for illegally revealing confidential information from a sealed wiretap in the Congressional Record — while leading a politically-motivated witch hunt intended to hurt Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder — and then shielding himself from reproach and censure by claiming that he, as a member of Congress, had constitutional protections for his unethical actions.
Posted Image

As CREW explains, “Rep. Issa [...] knew that by inserting the information in the Congressional Record, he would be immune from prosecution under the Constitution’s Speech or Debate clause, which protects members of Congress for remarks and actions that fall within the legislative sphere.” Federal law dictates that wiretap applications can only be disclosed after acquiring permission from a judge, and anyone breaking this law can be held in contempt.
The irony here is that the House of Representatives — with Issa leading the charge — were at that time (June, 2012) actively debating whether or not the attorney general — due to the botched Operation Fast and Furious, run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (informally known as the ATF) — should be held in contempt. Wait, what?
A CREW spokesperson explains, “The Department of Justice and the House Ethics Committee should make clear they won’t stand for attempts to do an end-run around the law by conducting thorough investigations. Rep. Issa’s actions are all the more egregious given that he has urged more aggressive prosecution of those who leak confidential government information.”
CREW also noted, “CREW is no defender of DOJ. We are on record as condemning the ineffective and flawed investigations carried out by the Public Integrity Section of the Criminal Division, under the leadership of Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer. But, as CREW pointed out in a June 22, 2012 letter to Mr. Issa, his committee’s vote to hold Attorney General Holder in contempt constituted an abuse of its powers and made clear Mr. Issa and his committee are not pursuing legitimate oversight, but instead are pursuing a partisan political agenda.” read more: http://www.crewsmost...ast-and-furious



#1506 Tom Ray

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 09:41 AM

Bad messenger! BAD!

I still want to see those actual wiretap applications and I'm glad Issa did what he had to do to get at least part of them out from behind the stonewall of the most transparent administration in history.

There is no longer any reason to keep them secret, except of course for the fact that they further reveal the incompetence at work in our government.

#1507 Tom Ray

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 09:46 AM

Well this is an interesting turn of events, do we believe a non partisan watchdog, or do we believe a partisan member of congress?


.... But, as CREW pointed out in a June 22, 2012 letter to Mr. Issa, his committee’s vote to hold Attorney General Holder in contempt constituted an abuse of its powers and made clear Mr. Issa and his committee are not pursuing legitimate oversight, but instead are pursuing a partisan political agenda.” read more: http://www.crewsmost...ast-and-furious


That would be the whole House, not Issa's committee, and the contempt votes were bipartisan, but facts are inconvenient things sometimes.

#1508 badlatitude

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 06:32 PM

Sorry Tom, the contempt votes from the left came from just 31 Democrats who live in predominately right wing areas who would be hurt supporting this issue. Issa pursued this already knowing that the DOJ report exonerating Holder was on the way. You did notice that Boehner scheduled the vote the same day the ACA repeal was voted on guaranteeing little media attention?
Issa is a hack, grandstanding for his own advancement and personal agenda.

#1509 Mark K

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 06:55 PM

The NRA made it clear that you either voted to hold Holder in contempt or lose your rating. They had no real debates, only allowed seven days and it's a complex issue.

Holders conduct in the face of this witch hunt was not stellar. Appears to me he fell into a "fuck you" mode himself on some things. The IG report guy said there were some documents that he withheld during the process that there was no reason to have not released earlier that he could see.

#1510 badlatitude

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 07:03 PM

The NRA made it clear that you either voted to hold Holder in contempt or lose your rating. They had no real debates, only allowed seven days and it's a complex issue.

Holders conduct in the face of this witch hunt was not stellar. Appears to me he fell into a "fuck you" mode himself on some things. The IG report guy said there were some documents that he withheld during the process that there was no reason to have not released earlier that he could see.


How would you act in the face of a witch hunt? I would have been in a fuck you too mode after 7,600 pages in 46 separate dumps. All this from a guy who had his lawyers prepare a 47 page answer why he didn't have to honor a subpoena in the Roger Clemens case.

#1511 Mark K

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 07:50 PM


The NRA made it clear that you either voted to hold Holder in contempt or lose your rating. They had no real debates, only allowed seven days and it's a complex issue.

Holders conduct in the face of this witch hunt was not stellar. Appears to me he fell into a "fuck you" mode himself on some things. The IG report guy said there were some documents that he withheld during the process that there was no reason to have not released earlier that he could see.


How would you act in the face of a witch hunt? I would have been in a fuck you too mode after 7,600 pages in 46 separate dumps. All this from a guy who had his lawyers prepare a 47 page answer why he didn't have to honor a subpoena in the Roger Clemens case.


I suspect somewhere back there, our politicians figured out it's easy pickings to make just about anybody in that position look like he's hiding something by demanding documents for on-going investigations and cases.

"Who polices the police?" Always trying to keep the door open to do that Is one of the the great things about this country, but it can be a tad problematic sometimes.

#1512 badlatitude

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 08:12 PM



The NRA made it clear that you either voted to hold Holder in contempt or lose your rating. They had no real debates, only allowed seven days and it's a complex issue.

Holders conduct in the face of this witch hunt was not stellar. Appears to me he fell into a "fuck you" mode himself on some things. The IG report guy said there were some documents that he withheld during the process that there was no reason to have not released earlier that he could see.


How would you act in the face of a witch hunt? I would have been in a fuck you too mode after 7,600 pages in 46 separate dumps. All this from a guy who had his lawyers prepare a 47 page answer why he didn't have to honor a subpoena in the Roger Clemens case.


I suspect somewhere back there, our politicians figured out it's easy pickings to make just about anybody in that position look like he's hiding something by demanding documents for on-going investigations and cases.

"Who polices the police?" Always trying to keep the door open to do that Is one of the the great things about this country, but it can be a tad problematic sometimes.


I agree completely, "Both parties at times have claimed that government doesn't work and then they go and get elected then prove it." - someone very funny said that.

#1513 Olsonist

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 08:24 PM

How would you act in the face of a witch hunt? I would have been in a fuck you too mode after 7,600 pages in 46 separate dumps. All this from a guy who had his lawyers prepare a 47 page answer why he didn't have to honor a subpoena in the Roger Clemens case.


Exactly. Same as with the Clinton witch hunt. They were just going to keep investigating Holder until they found something with some plausible plausibility. And if he says Fuck You, then he must be hiding something.

#1514 Tom Ray

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 01:29 AM

Sorry Tom, the contempt votes from the left came from just 31 Democrats who live in predominately right wing areas who would be hurt supporting this issue. Issa pursued this already knowing that the DOJ report exonerating Holder was on the way. You did notice that Boehner scheduled the vote the same day the ACA repeal was voted on guaranteeing little media attention?
Issa is a hack, grandstanding for his own advancement and personal agenda.


Fewer votes from the other side have been called a "bipartisan" vote before. I'm just going with tradition.

There would be no "witch hunt" without the coverup and the IG report did not exonerate Holder for his role in that. Only partisans are willing to excuse him for the prolonged lying and withholding of documents. Yes, he released a fraction of those requested, many of which looked like this:

Posted Image

Go ahead and defend him if your party loyalty demands it, but Holder brought that bipartisan contempt vote on himself by covering up what his agencies did. He deserves to be prosecuted.

#1515 tuk tuk joe

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 02:04 AM

Perhaps it's a matter of national security.....

#1516 Mark K

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 02:44 AM

Perhaps it's a matter of national security.....


Yes. If Obama gets re-elected, America is doomed.

#1517 tuk tuk joe

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 02:52 AM

Not much of a choice.....

#1518 Tom Ray

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 09:39 AM

Well, well, well. Seems that there is not as much smoke as some people would like...




Contempt Vote Thursday


The same day the SC announces their AHCA decision???

Won't that cost it some press attention?


Probably. Will that matter? The press that broke this scandal were the Sipsey Street Irregulars and Gun Rights Examiner. The scandal continued along without the Washington Post (or the minority committee report) mentioning the allegation that the ATF walked guns almost until the DOJ finally admitted the allegation was true. I suspect it will continue along despite being ignored as before.


Not so fast.


Well well well. Seems Dodson's lawyer is joining the demands for a retraction from Fortune magazine...

In a letter addressed to Fortune managing editor Andrew Serwer yesterday, obtained by POLITICO, Dodson's lawyer called reporter Katherine Eban's article "demonstrably false in many respects" when compared to a report from the Justice Department Inspector General released earlier this month, and said "a retraction is in order to correct the record."

"At a minimum, Fortune was on notice that this conclusion was dubious at the time the article was published, as this conclusion had already been publicly contradicted not only by the whistleblowers who had first-hand knowledge of Fast and Furious, but also by the White House, Attorney General Eric Holder, ATF Director Kenneth Melson, and the majority and minorit y staff reports of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform," Robert N. Driscoll, a lawyer at Alston & Bird LLP, wrote in the letter, sent to Serwer via email. By contrast, he went on to argue, Eban's "tale" was "based largely on one source" that failed to persuade the Inspector General.

The letter comes one week after the House Oversight Committee also demanded Fortune retract its story. "The DOJ report "firmly rejects Eban's conclusions," Committee spokesman Frederick Hill told POLITICO at the time.



#1519 Tom Ray

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 09:57 AM

The Little Spin That Could?

Fast and Furious allowed low-level "straw" buyers in gun-trafficking networks to leave with loads to track the guns to major traffickers. But some guns wound up at crime scenes in Mexico and the U.S.


It just won't die, despite the reports now showing the truth.

There was never a plan to track guns to major traffickers and guns "winding up" at Mexican crime scenes was the intent, not an incidental side-effect.

ATF, with cooperation from firearms dealers, was keeping track of sales and using the information to build a "suspect guns database" and then they were checking guns recovered at Mexican crime scenes against this database. If "major traffickers" were ever at those crime scenes, they certainly were not around when the guns were being recovered and sent back to the US, and besides, the DEA already knew about the main target ATF was trying to find, and were tapping his phones.

When guns from the suspect guns database "wound up" at crime scenes in Mexico, that was viewed as a major success by ATF. That's why they kept doing it over and over, know it would happen again and again.

#1520 Bent Sailor

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 10:58 AM

It just won't die, despite the reports now showing the truth.


Yeah, like with the moon-landing hoax & Roswell's alien landing, some people refuse to let a story die in the face of contradictory evidence. I'm sure the Mexicans will, with their abundance of access to those in the know, be able to uncover the truth for those that keep up the faith ;)

#1521 tuk tuk joe

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 11:53 AM

It'll be at least twenty years before anyone knows for sure as many of the facts are classified...

#1522 VwaP

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 03:29 PM

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=fb0JSA90kII

#1523 VwaP

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 02:41 PM

UNIVISION FINDS MORE WEAPONS LINKED TO FAST & FURIOUS



The ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious allowed over 2,000 guns to walk into the hands of already dangerous Mexican drug cartels.The agency made no attempt to interdict them. People used the guns to murder Border Patrol Agent Brian and hundreds of Mexican citizens.

Univision News found 57 unreported firearms from Fast and Furious and three of these weapons were used in a massacre on January 30, 2010. Twenty hit men surrounded a birthday party filled with high school and college students in Villas de Salvarcar, Ciudad Juarez. They opened fire on the party guests. Fourteen were murdered and twelve more were wounded. The assassins were hired by the Mexican cartel La Linea.

In August, I did my best to document the hysteria in Mexico caused by Fast and Furious. The most well known case is the murder of prominent Mexican attorney Mario Gonzalez Rodriguez, brother of then Chihuahua Attorney General Patricia Gonzalez Rodriguez. He was kidnapped, forced to “confess” on tape that his sister worked with the Juarez cartel. They found his body in a shallow grave on November 5, 2009. Two of the AK-47s connected to his death were linked to Fast and Furious.

One hour before the special vice president nominee Paul Ryan told The Daily Caller he thinks Attorney General Eric Holder should resign.

No one within the Department of Justice has been held accountable. They have been allowed to resign quietly or reassigned to another position. No one has been fired or arrested.


http://www.breitbart...ast-And-Furious


#1524 JBSF

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 04:57 PM

The Little Spin That Could?


Fast and Furious allowed low-level "straw" buyers in gun-trafficking networks to leave with loads to track the guns to major traffickers. But some guns wound up at crime scenes in Mexico and the U.S.


It just won't die, despite the reports now showing the truth.

There was never a plan to track guns to major traffickers and guns "winding up" at Mexican crime scenes was the intent, not an incidental side-effect.

ATF, with cooperation from firearms dealers, was keeping track of sales and using the information to build a "suspect guns database" and then they were checking guns recovered at Mexican crime scenes against this database. If "major traffickers" were ever at those crime scenes, they certainly were not around when the guns were being recovered and sent back to the US, and besides, the DEA already knew about the main target ATF was trying to find, and were tapping his phones.

When guns from the suspect guns database "wound up" at crime scenes in Mexico, that was viewed as a major success by ATF. That's why they kept doing it over and over, know it would happen again and again.


And why would the DOJ want US guns to show up at Mexican Crime scenes???

#1525 Tom Ray

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 11:13 AM


The Little Spin That Could?


Fast and Furious allowed low-level "straw" buyers in gun-trafficking networks to leave with loads to track the guns to major traffickers. But some guns wound up at crime scenes in Mexico and the U.S.


It just won't die, despite the reports now showing the truth.

There was never a plan to track guns to major traffickers and guns "winding up" at Mexican crime scenes was the intent, not an incidental side-effect.

ATF, with cooperation from firearms dealers, was keeping track of sales and using the information to build a "suspect guns database" and then they were checking guns recovered at Mexican crime scenes against this database. If "major traffickers" were ever at those crime scenes, they certainly were not around when the guns were being recovered and sent back to the US, and besides, the DEA already knew about the main target ATF was trying to find, and were tapping his phones.

When guns from the suspect guns database "wound up" at crime scenes in Mexico, that was viewed as a major success by ATF. That's why they kept doing it over and over, know it would happen again and again.


And why would the DOJ want US guns to show up at Mexican Crime scenes???



The idea seems to have been that the locations and circumstances would lead to information about drug kingpins. A short "time to crime" from purchase to retrieval from a crime scene indicated the program was working - the straw purchasers really were getting the guns to the cartels. If it's working, do it more, or as Dennis Burke put it in an email, "Go for bigger." Supervisors were "giddy" about the success of finding walked guns at crime scenes.

The British are getting better coverage than the Washington Post is providing.

Fast and Furious revolved around so-called "straw" purchases of firearms, in which a buyer purchase military-grade hardware from a gun-store with the intention of illegally passing it to a criminal third party. ATF agents who track suspected straw purchases typically run intensive surveillance operations allowing them to arrest suspects and recover the guns. During the Fast and Furious operation they were instructed to simply let the weapons disappear.

A record was kept of their serial numbers. The idea was that this would later allow agents to link individual weapons to particular crime scenes. Somehow, this was supposed to help the ATF build up a nuanced picture of the complex structure of a major drug cartel, which would in turn lead to high-level arrests. But it wasn't to be.

"Both line agents and gun dealers who co-operated with the ATF repeatedly expressed concerns", about the operation, the report says. "But ATF supervisors did not heed those warnings. Instead, they told agents to follow orders because this was sanctioned from above."

In total, agents watched at least 1,730 guns flood on to the black market, knowing they would be used to commit murders and other violent crimes. Their concerns about the policy were ignored. In one email to field staff printed in the report, ATF supervisor David Voth suggested that staff who objected to his orders would be fired.

"I will be damned if this case is going to suffer due to petty arguing, rumours, or other adolescent behavior," he wrote. "We are all adults, we are all professionals, and we have an exciting opportunity to use the biggest tool in our law-enforcement tool box. If you don't think this is fun, you are in the wrong line of work, period!"

John Dodson, a special agent from Phoenix who eventually blew the whistle on the "flawed" operation, told congressmen his superiors would be "giddy" with delight when "their" guns were found at a crime scene in Mexico, because they believed it "validated" their tactic. With regard to potential loss of life, an ATF boss told him: "if you are going to make an omelette, you need to scramble some eggs."

On 14 December, disaster struck when the US border patrol guard, Brian Terry, was killed during a shootout with suspected illegal aliens on the Arizona border. His killers dropped their rifles to flee faster. Two of the weapons were AK-47s which had been intentionally allowed to walk during Fast and Furious.

Rather than admit to any mistake, the ATF embarked on a cover-up. William Newell, the special agent in charge of the operation, ordered the arrest of 20 of the people agents had been watching buy weapons for months. Then, although not one senior cartel member was arrested, he held a press conference declaring the operation a success.

Newell was then asked if any weapons had been deliberately allowed to end up in the hands of criminals. He replied, "Hell no!" The report describes that statement as untrue and "shocking." It alleges that the Department of Justice continued to attempt a cover-up for several months.



#1526 Tom Ray

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 11:19 AM

Meanwhile, the super-qualified Kevin O'Reilly is oddly between jobs and Issa and Grassley want to ask him questions the Inspector General could not. The IG could not subpoena him. Issa can and says he will.

How did Kevin get that job in Iraq anyway?

Issa and Grassley learned that shortly after Newell’s July 26 2011 testimony, O’Reilly was transferred from the White House to Iraq.

“Additionally, we recently learned that, last July, O’Reilly was suddenly transferred out of the country to serve in Baghdad as the head of the Police Development Program, a multi-year, multi-billion dollar program designed to train Iraqi security forces,” Issa and Grassley wrote.

“O’Reilly’s sudden transfer to Baghdad occurred just days after the aforementioned e-mails with William Newell were produced to the Committee and Newell testified about them before Congress,” Issa and Grassley wrote. “Additionally, we have learned that O’Reilly took the place of a previously selected individual—and individual who had gone through a competitive application process and thorough vetting process, had the necessary qualifications, and whose spouse was already in Baghdad in anticipation of the individual’s arrival—to serve as the head of the Police Development Program.”



#1527 badlatitude

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 01:35 PM

"Two U.S. Border Patrol agents were shot, one fatally, Tuesday morning in an area in south Arizona known as a major drug-smuggling corridor, authorities said.
The identities of the agents were not immediately released, but the shooting occurred at the Brian Terry Station near Naco, Ariz., which is just south of Tucson. The station was named after an agent who was killed in the line of duty in December 2010. The area is considered a remote part of the state and sources tell Fox News that the shooting occurred about 8 miles from the border.
The injured agent was airlifted to a hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries.
The search for the killer is being led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Cochise County Sheriff's Office.
Two weeks ago, the station was named after Brian Terry, who died in a shootout in December 2010 not far from Tuesday's shooting".


Read more: http://www.foxnews.c.../#ixzz289AFs7IY



#1528 Tom Ray

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 12:09 PM

Washington Post Fact Checker on Gunwalking

Now that's funny. The paper that did not print the fact that there were allegations of gunwalking until 6 months after the story broke is now checking the facts, and as usual, is omitting some inconvenient ones.

“I think it’s important for us to understand that the Fast and Furious program was a field-initiated program begun under the previous administration. When Eric Holder found out about it, he discontinued it. We assigned a inspector general to do a thorough report that was just issued, confirming that in fact Eric Holder did not know about this, that he took prompt action and the people who did initiate this were held accountable.”

— President Obama during Univision interview, Sept. 20, 2012

President Obama on Thursday fielded some tough questions from Hispanic journalists and voters during a forum hosted by the Spanish-language television network Univision. Host Jorge Ramos asked Obama whether U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. should be fired over Fast and Furious, a so-called “gun-walking”operation that allowed firearms to be transferred to suspected arms traffickers — and two guns purchased by a suspect in the Fast and Furious operation were found at a crime scene where a Border Patrol agent was killed.

Obama said the previous administration initiated Fast and Furious and that Holder shut the program down after he found out about it. Let’s check the first part of that statement for veracity.


The Facts

White House spokesman Eric Schultz said the president’s Fast and Furious comments referred “to the flawed tactic of gun-walking, which despite Republicans efforts to politicize this issue, began under the previous administration.”

So Obama was supposedly talking about “Operation Wide Receiver,” which the Phoenix division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) ran between 2006 and 2007, during the George W. Bush administration.

The ATF used that program to build a dossier against suspected traffickers, but federal authorities didn’t indict anyone until after the Justice department’s gang unit accepted the case for prosecution in September 2009 — after Obama took office.*

Roughly one month after the Justice Department decided to press forward with that prosecution, the ATF’s Phoenix division launched Fast and Furious, again using gun-walking tactics. The program was similar to Wide Receiver, but it grew to involve significantly more firearms: 2,000. **

The public learned about program after authorities linked two guns bought by a suspect in the Fast and Furious operation to the slaying of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. His death turned the gun-tracking program into a politically toxic matter. ***

Holder said he didn’t know about Fast and Furious before Terry was killed on Dec. 14, 2010 in southern Arizona.**** An 18-month independent investigation by the Justice Department’s inspector general found no evidence to the contrary, according to a report released Wednesday. *****


* - The rest of that story is that Wide Receiver was rejected by prosecutors because of the gunwalking and was shut down, and reviving it under this administration was seen by Newell and others as a signal that gunwalking was OK.

** - The rest of that story is that the government of Mexico was informed of Wide Receiver but not Fast and Furious and efforts were made in WR to actually track guns that were not made in FnF, which was based on tracing recovered crime scene guns, not tracking guns.

*** - The rest of that story is that the public learned these things through gun nut bloggers and Washington Post readers had to wait many months to even begin learning what happened.

**** - The rest of that story is that on February 4th, the DOJ's denial that gunwalking took place was sent to Congress in response to an inquiry personally handed to Eric Holder by Senator Grassley. Eric Holder appeared in early May, at which time the Department was still standing by their false denial. He said he had learned of Fast and Furious "a few weeks" earlier from media sources. That means he learned of it in March, possibly April, and not from anyone in his Department. Negligent management, if it were true, but it seems to me there has been expert management of the information stonewall since December 2010.

***** - Anyone notice anything missing? The WaPo decided to examine the first part of the President's statement for accuracy. Umm... What about that second part?

We assigned a inspector general to do a thorough report that was just issued, confirming that in fact Eric Holder did not know about this, that he took prompt action and the people who did initiate this were held accountable.

First of all, learning about the program from the media months later is not prompt action.

It was apparent long before the IG report came out that certain people needed to go, yet they stayed until the report proved it beyond discussion. That's not prompt action.

Last but far from least, NO ONE has been held accountable. People have resigned, but people do that all the time. People have disgraced themselves, but punishing yourself is not what I'm after. To my knowledge, the government has taken no action against any of the individuals responsible for this mess, let alone those responsible for lying to the public and to Congress about it for months. Some lower level people have now been referred for internal disciplinary action in light of the IG report but the ones most responsible have simply been allowed to resign. Not even fired, allowed to resign.

If a bunch of gun dealers were caught knowingly selling guns illegally for months on end and after a couple of years of investigation, they simply went out of business in the locations in question (but did not give up their license to deal guns), would anyone here say they had promptly been held accountable? Or would some wonder why they had not taken responsibility for their wrongdoing at some much earlier point in the process and wonder why there are no charges?

#1529 Tom Ray

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 12:01 PM

The Smearing of Fast and Furious Whistleblower John Dodson

By this point, Dodson was used to retaliation within ATF, specifically for speaking out against Operation Fast and Furious and its tactics. He had been screamed at by supervisors, reassigned and even had his weapons taken away without valid cause. Raising questions about a program he knew would leave hundreds dead was unacceptable -- and outside of ATF’s chain of command protocol. After he made the lethal realities of Fast and Furious public, things got worse.

The same month Dodson put a face on the scandal, then ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson told the Baltimore ATF Field Division in a town hall style meeting Dodson was merely a “disgruntled” employee and alluded to him being a nut case.

A month prior, Senator Charles Grassley received a letter from Justice Department officials flat out denying the existence of gunwalking and essentially called Dodson a liar.

"At the outset, the allegation described in your January 27 letter--that ATF “sanctioned” or otherwise knowingly allowed the sale of assault weapons to a straw purchaser who then transported them into Mexico--is false.”

The same letter (which was eventually withdrawn due to falsehoods and lies) promised Grassley retaliation would not be taken against whistleblowers.

I also want to assure you that ATF has made no attempt to retaliate against any of its agents regarding this matter. We recognize the importance of protecting employees from retaliation relating to their disclosures of waste, fraud and abuse. ATF employees receive annual training on their rights under the Whistleblower Protection Act, and those with knowledge of waste, fraud, or abuse are encouraged to communicate direcvtluy with the Department’s Office of Inspector General. These protections do not negate the Department’s legitimate interest in protecting confidential information about pending criminal investigations.”

Despite this promise, former Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke, who resigned in August 2011 amid Fast and Furious fallout, admitted to leaking memos with a specific purpose of smearing Dodson.

...
In an effort to silence him, Dodson was put under the control of ATF Public Affairs Chief Scott Thomasson, who made it clear in witness accounts he didn’t care if gunwalking allegations were true, he wanted to “f*&%” Dodson and other whistleblowers, regardless of the wrong doings of the bureau as a whole throughout the operation.

He allegedly stated, "All of these whistleblowers have axes to grind. ATF needs to f--k these guys," and "we need to get whatever dirt we can on these guys and take them down"

When Thomasson was asked about the allegations against him of whistleblower retaliation were true, he allegedly said he "didn't know and didn't care," according to Oversight Committee investigators.


Throughout the past 18 months, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Darrell Issa and Senator Grassley have sent multiple warnings to ATF and the Justice Department about their retaliation toward whistleblowers exposing corruption. Those warnings didn’t seem to phase new Acting ATF Director Todd B. Jones. In a recent ATF webcast video, Jones warned ATF Special Agents not “jump their chain of command” or there would be “consequences.”


Tell Congress and the public the truth and you WILL be Dodsonized.

#1530 Tom Ray

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 12:43 PM

At last, someone actually got fired as a result of Fast and Furious gunwalking.

Unfortunately, it was whistleblower Vince Cefalu.

Veteran ATF agent Vince Cefalu, a whistleblower who became a particularly controversial figure after voicing concern about the failed Operation Fast and Furious, was “unceremoniously” handed his dismissal papers on Tuesday, according his spokesman.

...

Cefalu was fired for “lack of candor.”

...

“I have just been trying to do my job: make good cases, put away the bad guys, keep the our citizens and our agents safe,” he said in a statement after his termination. “ATF management has been bending the rules and breaking the rules. The agents want ATF to be the proud agency it once was, not a place where some managers jeopardize our citizens and our cases. The behavior of ATF management has been speaking for itself with all the transfers, reassignments, resignations. It has been a mess and an embarrassment. That’s not the ATF I have devoted my career and life to, and I do not regret trying to change it.”


He was fired for excessive candor of the kind shown in that last statement.

#1531 frenchie

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 10:32 PM

I'm not sure you can blame F&F for Vince's firing, he's been a whistleblower since way before that. Google "Road Dog".

#1532 Tom Ray

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 08:54 AM

So we're back to zero firings as a result of gunwalking?

#1533 frenchie

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 01:08 PM

Wasn't there some mid-level guys at Justice offered up as scapegoats? Burke? Cunningham?

Resigning under a cloud isn't the same as getting fired, I guess.

#1534 Tom Ray

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 01:35 PM

Wasn't there some mid-level guys at Justice offered up as scapegoats? Burke? Cunningham?

Resigning under a cloud isn't the same as getting fired, I guess.

Burke resigned when his role started to become public and controversial, which is hardly "being offered up." Same with Cunningham, but later. A couple more resigned when the OIG report came out, but it was obvious much sooner that they should go.

No, being allowed to resign is not the same as being fired. It's not the same in terms of benefits, in terms of future employment, and most importantly in terms of those remaining in power above taking responsibility for actions of their underlings. When someone fucks up really bad you fire them, you don't just let them quit. It sends a message, and not doing it does as well.

#1535 Tom Ray

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 11:07 AM

CNN gets fact-checked on gunwalking

Frieden withholds from readers that House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa issued a statement regarding the report citing not only numerous failures within the Justice Department, but by Attorney General Eric Holder, with a call for President Obama “to step in and provide accountability,” and then went on to advise “the Inspector General has indicated he will continue his investigation of matters related to Operation Fast and Furious, including retaliation against whistleblowers and an effort to have the Justice Department unseal wiretap applications sealed by courts that were approved by senior officials. The Congressional investigation will also continue to seek documents wrongfully withheld from Congress.”
Frieden also somehow fails to mention the White House refusing to cooperate with the inspector General, along with the refusal of key figures to cooperate or speak with OIG investigators.

This is not some cub reporter, but CNN’s “Justice Producer,” and Frieden knows all that, and that there’s the matters of the White House exercising executive privilege, a civil complaint against Attorney General Eric Holder to compel production of subpoenaed documents, and Congressional Republicans gearing up to subpoena a key administration official with close ties to the White House. But those relying on CNN for their news would know none of this, and would assume the investigations are a done deal, the OIG report the final word, and all that’s left is Romney “shortchanging” them.


The bias of omission is not only evident in the reporting, but apparently also in moderation of comments on the article. They just really do not want parts of this story told.

#1536 Tom Ray

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 12:08 PM

Well, it has been more than a month since the Inspector General's report accusing various government employees of mismanagement and lying came out. Grassley and Issa want to know if anyone has been punished yet.

Nah, of course not, but whistleblower Dodson is now the subject of a secret internal affairs investigation.

This is especially troubling since the Inspector General's report specifically said their office was still investigating retaliation against Dodson. Now they will have more of it to investigate.

The lawmakers say they have learned that agent, John Dodson, is the subject of an ATF internal affairs investigation. But they also say he didn't get notice of the probe or any chance to review the findings. ATF told Dodson his case would be reviewed by the bureau's Professional Review Board on Oct. 25 — this Thursday.

"Given the secrecy and timing of this alleged internal affairs investigation, it raises the question of whether this is a thinly veiled attempt to punish special agent Dodson for speaking to Congress," the lawmakers write.

Mike Campbell, a spokesman for the ATF, tells NPR that agency brass have received the letter from Congress and that they are reviewing it. He declined further comment about personnel actions.

"The IG report was pretty clear that John's version of events was vindicated," said Dodson's lawyer, Robert Driscoll, said during a telephone interview. "It's fairly outrageous the ATF would take steps to discipline John when they haven't done anything to the individual wrongdoers identified in the report. I assume that ATF leadership will rectify this situation once they review it."


:lol: :lol: LOL! Good one! ATF leadership will rectify this situation! It even includes a funny sounding word: rectify! The guy should quit law and go into stand-up.

NPR continues the effort to distort what happened:

Watchdogs concluded earlier this year that the operation, in which federal agents lost track of nearly 2,000 AK-47s and other weapons resulted from "misguided strategies ... errors in judgment and management failures."


In a nutshell, the strategy was to lose track of weapons then trace them when they were recovered at crime scenes. Somehow, this strategy resulted in the agents losing track of guns.

#1537 tuk tuk joe

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 12:11 PM

Truth is treason...

#1538 frenchie

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 12:53 AM

Well, it has been more than a month since the Inspector General's report accusing various government employees of mismanagement and lying came out. Grassley and Issa want to know if anyone has been punished yet.

Nah, of course not, but whistleblower Dodson is now the subject of a secret internal affairs investigation.

This is especially troubling since the Inspector General's report specifically said their office was still investigating retaliation against Dodson. Now they will have more of it to investigate.


Totally fucking ridiculous. Meanwhile, no investigation of... say... Burke?

I haven't read the whole report yet, but the OIG is gonna have a fucking field day with this. They definitely gave clear warning not to fuck with Dodson.

#1539 Tom Ray

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 09:19 AM

I'm on Chapter 5 of the OIG report and so far, they have called out Voth, Newell, and MacAllister for lying to them more times than I can remember. But don't worry, I'm taking notes. When I'm done, I'll be back to destroy that ridiculous propaganda piece written by Katherine Eban on the eve of Holder's contempt votes.

#1540 Tom Ray

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 09:24 AM

Obama will get to get to pick all the replacements at the ATF. Looks to me that he be able to demand the resignations of several people in the Phoenix US Attorney's office as well, based on what was said about them in the hearing.

I think he should invite agents Dobson and Focelli over for a beer soon. They earned it. They have proven their courage and the only safe place for them in the Agency now is in management, and they know who the smart prosecutors are in the region and can advise on who to pick for the Phoenix DOJ office.


This seems increasingly unlikely to the point of hilarity.

#1541 Tom Ray

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 11:38 AM

In May of 2011, when Eric Holder told Congress that he "probably" learned of Operation Fast and Furious from media reports "a few weeks" earlier, I knew it was a lie. Everyone knew it was a lie. If true, it would mean that for months, his underlings did not tell him about a significant investigation of one of his agencies. It was just plain not believable.

He did not even try that lie on the Inspector General.

I have long speculated that if he did not learn of it sooner, he must have learned of it when Senator Grassley handed him letters inquiring about it. Senators don't deliver unimportant mail in person.

Uh, yep.

Attorney General Holder told the OIG that he did not learn of the link between the firearms recovered at the Terry murder scene and Operation Fast and Furious until 2011. Holder stated that he probably learned about the link in February 2011, after he received Senator Grassley’s January 27 and 31, 2011, letters and first learned of Operation Fast and Furious.


At the time of his appearance, the Department was still standing by their claim that the ATF did not walk guns. That claim was withdrawn months later. I'll have a lot more on that later.

#1542 Bent Sailor

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 11:47 AM

I'll have a lot more on that later.


Of that we are all WELL aware, Tom :P

#1543 Tom Ray

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 11:55 AM

Lying to Congress is Bad, Sometimes.

#1544 Tom Ray

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 12:04 PM

I'll have a lot more on that later.


Of that we are all WELL aware, Tom :P


Nice of you to drop by and comment on your usual topic, Bent.

By the way, you recently seemed to be looking for an instance in which I was calling out the lamestream media for bias on guns. You didn't guess correctly on that one. Sorry to disappoint. Let me make up for it. Here's one:

http://forums.sailinganarchy.com/index.php?showtopic=120246&st=1500#entry3884320

Have at it.

#1545 Bent Sailor

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 12:23 PM


I'll have a lot more on that later.


Of that we are all WELL aware, Tom :P


Nice of you to drop by and comment on your usual topic, Bent.


Sensitive tonight are we? I guess a gentle ribbing is no longer allowed around here... :rolleyes:

By the way, you recently seemed to be looking for an instance in which I was calling out the lamestream media for bias on guns. You didn't guess correctly on that one. Sorry to disappoint. Let me make up for it. Here's one:

http://forums.sailin...00#entry3884320

Have at it.


I don't recall asking about any such thing. Honestly, the thought that you would be selective as to who you call out about your favoured subjects never crossed my mind. Perhaps you have me confused with someone else?

#1546 frenchie

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 03:27 PM

In May of 2011, when Eric Holder told Congress that he "probably" learned of Operation Fast and Furious from media reports "a few weeks" earlier, I knew it was a lie. Everyone knew it was a lie. If true, it would mean that for months, his underlings did not tell him about a significant investigation of one of his agencies. It was just plain not believable.

He did not even try that lie on the Inspector General.

I have long speculated that if he did not learn of it sooner, he must have learned of it when Senator Grassley handed him letters inquiring about it. Senators don't deliver unimportant mail in person.

Uh, yep.

Attorney General Holder told the OIG that he did not learn of the link between the firearms recovered at the Terry murder scene and Operation Fast and Furious until 2011. Holder stated that he probably learned about the link in February 2011, after he received Senator Grassley’s January 27 and 31, 2011, letters and first learned of Operation Fast and Furious.


At the time of his appearance, the Department was still standing by their claim that the ATF did not walk guns. That claim was withdrawn months later. I'll have a lot more on that later.



At what point did he tell his underlings, “Ok. We need answers on this. Not defensive bs – real answers.”?

#1547 Mark K

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 04:11 PM

He and some other people ignored it for a couple weeks, IIRC. They thought it too ridiculous to be real, just Grassley being Grassley. One of his underlings asked and the Phoenix BATF office initially BS'ed them. Weinstein tried to BS everybody too.

There has always been a big problem with the BATF, the F part. Having that in a small agency instead of the FBI makes it easy pickings for the gun lobby to starve for funding and block anybody competent from running it. Melson was a forensics expert, not a real cop. He was another in a chain of people who have been filling in as "acting" directors for quite a few years due to Congress's refusal to confirm anyone.





#1548 Tom Ray

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 05:42 PM

At what point did he tell his underlings, “Ok. We need answers on this. Not defensive bs – real answers.”?


I would hope he did that around the time of Grassley's initial inquiries, if not before. He didn't seem to know much in May when he testified to Congress. The Department finally admitted that the ATF walked guns and withdrew their initial response letter to Congress in October, IIRC. It seems to me that admitting the problem would be a good first step in solving it, so maybe he told them then.

Considering that the Inspector General and Congress would still like to speak with Kevin O'Reilly and that continuing to harass Dodson is a form of defensive BS, maybe he has not told them yet. It's hard to tell.

#1549 Bent Sailor

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 10:31 PM

Yo, Tom. Just in case you wanted to address the actual person that accused you of cherry-picking the media, perhaps you missed the below. Repeated for your benefit.


By the way, you recently seemed to be looking for an instance in which I was calling out the lamestream media for bias on guns. You didn't guess correctly on that one. Sorry to disappoint. Let me make up for it. Here's one:

http://forums.sailin...00#entry3884320

Have at it.


I don't recall asking about any such thing. Honestly, the thought that you would be selective as to who you call out about your favoured subjects never crossed my mind. Perhaps you have me confused with someone else?



#1550 frenchie

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 12:14 AM


At what point did he tell his underlings, “Ok. We need answers on this. Not defensive bs – real answers.”?


I would hope he did that around the time of Grassley's initial inquiries, if not before. He didn't seem to know much in May when he testified to Congress. The Department finally admitted that the ATF walked guns and withdrew their initial response letter to Congress in October, IIRC. It seems to me that admitting the problem would be a good first step in solving it, so maybe he told them then.

Considering that the Inspector General and Congress would still like to speak with Kevin O'Reilly and that continuing to harass Dodson is a form of defensive BS, maybe he has not told them yet. It's hard to tell.


According the the report - February 24th.

One of the conclusions of the report is that ATF doesn't seem to understand it's part of Justice. Acts like it still thinks it's a seperate agency.

#1551 Tom Ray

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 09:46 AM

You must be farther along than I am, Frenchie. I have not seen where it said that.

Does it say whether his underlings started listening at some point?

#1552 Tom Ray

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 10:38 AM

The Inspector General found that the ATF was urging gun dealers to make illegal sales and leading the dealers to believe that the guns were being seized, when in fact they were not being seized.

We found that Voth’s request to the manager of FFL2 on this occasion reflected ATF’s influence over the FFLs, and its interest throughout the case that FFL2 and FFL1 continue making sales to the Operation Fast and Furious straw purchasers because doing so advanced ATF’s investigative interests. For reasons we discuss in our analysis, we do not believe the arrangement between ATF and these FFLs was appropriate or responsible.


It was not appropriate, responsible, or for that matter, legal. It's hard to find a standard ATF investigative technique, standard or procedure this fiasco did not violate.

We also concluded that ATF’s use of cooperating FFLs in this investigation was problematic because, at a minimum, it created at least the appearance that the FFLs were continuing to sell firearms to Operation Fast and Furious subjects in order to further ATF’s investigation. We were not persuaded by the position of ATF and the U.S. Attorney’s Office that the FFLs viewed the sales as legitimate transactions, and that the government did not implicitly encourage the sales to continue. We believe that at a minimum the government’s requests for substantial assistance and its equivocal explanations about what it was doing with respect to the firearms being sold reasonably led the FFLs to believe that ATF and the U.S. Attorney’s Office were taking steps to prevent the weapons’ unlawful transfers and might have caused them to complete sales they otherwise would not have.

In addition, we found that while there were plans to indict the Operation Fast and Furious subjects several times before the shooting death of Agent Terry, that tragedy created urgency in the U.S. Attorney’s Office that did not previously exist with respect to Operation Fast and Furious and likely hastened obtaining the indictment.

In sum, while we found no evidence that the agents and prosecutors responsible for Operation Fast and Furious had improper motives or were trying to accomplish anything other than dismantling a dangerous firearms trafficking organization, we concluded that the conduct and supervision of the investigation had significant flaws. We were most troubled by the fact that an investigation of this scope and nature did not receive greater review or scrutiny in light of the substantial resources devoted to it, the extraordinary purchasing activity by a large number of subjects, and the conspicuous lack of ATF- initiated enforcement action. Indeed, no one responsible for the case at either ATF Phoenix Field Division or the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona raised a serious question or concern about the government not taking earlier measures to disrupt a trafficking operation that continued to purchase firearms with impunity for many months. Similarly, we did not find persuasive evidence that any supervisor in Phoenix, at either the U.S. Attorney’s Office or ATF, raised serious questions or concerns about the risk to public safety posed by the continuing firearms purchases or by the delay in arresting individuals who were engaging in the trafficking. This failure reflected a significant lack of oversight and urgency by both ATF and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Phoenix, and a disregard by both for the safety of individuals in the United States and Mexico.

...

In light of the extent and nature of ATF’s requests for cooperation, we did not find persuasive ATF’s and the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s position that because the FFLs continued to complete sales to subjects, they must have made an independent determination that the sales were lawful. As we described in Chapter Two, ATF has a national program to educate FFLs about the indicia of straw purchasing – which of course was precisely the activity FFL1 and FFL2 were seeing and reporting to the ATF on a regular basis with respect to Operation Fast and Furious subjects. Further, we do not believe the requests ATF made to the FFLs with respect to particular individuals – such as to provide the records of all pertinent sales, record telephone calls, sell a particular style of AK-47, or segregate the cash – could reasonably be interpreted by the FFLs as anything other than indications that the sales to Operation Fast and Furious subjects were not legitimate.


The ATF's excuse was that they told these gun dealers that while they could not instruct them to complete an illegal sale, but their cooperation sure was appreciated!

The Inspector General got the same underlying message the gun dealers got: make illegal sales.

So basically the dealers did not want to make these illegal sales, the ATF reassured them that it was OK, and the dealers went ahead with the sales, providing additional cooperation to ATF, who then let the guns walk.

Can you IMAGINE the OUTRAGE if it were the NRA and gun dealers trying to facilitate these illegal sales that the heroic ATF was trying to stop? It's not that hard...

I'm thinking the NRA (a front for the gun manufacturers) wanted to tip their dealers that the ATF is running these stings big-time, and concocted a pile of nonsense about Obama wanting to arm drug lords in order to do that. Issa and Grassley are providing political cover for the NRA's blowing of a LE sting operation.

A real concern about ATF incompetence in an on-going covert operation in a foreign country has to be handled on the QT. They are instead deliberately seeking to make it as public as possible. Cui bono?



#1553 frenchie

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 07:06 PM

You must be farther along than I am, Frenchie. I have not seen where it said that.


Not further along - like I said, I've been hopping around; not reading start-to-finish.

I read the conclusions before reading anything else.

Does it say whether his underlings started listening at some point?


I'm not sure they have yet.

That shit with Dodson is about guaranteed to cause him more trouble, and I'm pretty sure he's smarter than that.

#1554 Mark K

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 07:29 PM

The Inspector General found that the ATF was urging gun dealers to make illegal sales and leading the dealers to believe that the guns were being seized, when in fact they were not being seized.

We found that Voth’s request to the manager of FFL2 on this occasion reflected ATF’s influence over the FFLs, and its interest throughout the case that FFL2 and FFL1 continue making sales to the Operation Fast and Furious straw purchasers because doing so advanced ATF’s investigative interests. For reasons we discuss in our analysis, we do not believe the arrangement between ATF and these FFLs was appropriate or responsible.


It was not appropriate, responsible, or for that matter, legal. It's hard to find a standard ATF investigative technique, standard or procedure this fiasco did not violate.

We also concluded that ATF’s use of cooperating FFLs in this investigation was problematic because, at a minimum, it created at least the appearance that the FFLs were continuing to sell firearms to Operation Fast and Furious subjects in order to further ATF’s investigation. We were not persuaded by the position of ATF and the U.S. Attorney’s Office that the FFLs viewed the sales as legitimate transactions, and that the government did not implicitly encourage the sales to continue. We believe that at a minimum the government’s requests for substantial assistance and its equivocal explanations about what it was doing with respect to the firearms being sold reasonably led the FFLs to believe that ATF and the U.S. Attorney’s Office were taking steps to prevent the weapons’ unlawful transfers and might have caused them to complete sales they otherwise would not have.

In addition, we found that while there were plans to indict the Operation Fast and Furious subjects several times before the shooting death of Agent Terry, that tragedy created urgency in the U.S. Attorney’s Office that did not previously exist with respect to Operation Fast and Furious and likely hastened obtaining the indictment.

In sum, while we found no evidence that the agents and prosecutors responsible for Operation Fast and Furious had improper motives or were trying to accomplish anything other than dismantling a dangerous firearms trafficking organization, we concluded that the conduct and supervision of the investigation had significant flaws. We were most troubled by the fact that an investigation of this scope and nature did not receive greater review or scrutiny in light of the substantial resources devoted to it, the extraordinary purchasing activity by a large number of subjects, and the conspicuous lack of ATF- initiated enforcement action. Indeed, no one responsible for the case at either ATF Phoenix Field Division or the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona raised a serious question or concern about the government not taking earlier measures to disrupt a trafficking operation that continued to purchase firearms with impunity for many months. Similarly, we did not find persuasive evidence that any supervisor in Phoenix, at either the U.S. Attorney’s Office or ATF, raised serious questions or concerns about the risk to public safety posed by the continuing firearms purchases or by the delay in arresting individuals who were engaging in the trafficking. This failure reflected a significant lack of oversight and urgency by both ATF and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Phoenix, and a disregard by both for the safety of individuals in the United States and Mexico.

...

In light of the extent and nature of ATF’s requests for cooperation, we did not find persuasive ATF’s and the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s position that because the FFLs continued to complete sales to subjects, they must have made an independent determination that the sales were lawful. As we described in Chapter Two, ATF has a national program to educate FFLs about the indicia of straw purchasing – which of course was precisely the activity FFL1 and FFL2 were seeing and reporting to the ATF on a regular basis with respect to Operation Fast and Furious subjects. Further, we do not believe the requests ATF made to the FFLs with respect to particular individuals – such as to provide the records of all pertinent sales, record telephone calls, sell a particular style of AK-47, or segregate the cash – could reasonably be interpreted by the FFLs as anything other than indications that the sales to Operation Fast and Furious subjects were not legitimate.


The ATF's excuse was that they told these gun dealers that while they could not instruct them to complete an illegal sale, but their cooperation sure was appreciated!

The Inspector General got the same underlying message the gun dealers got: make illegal sales.

So basically the dealers did not want to make these illegal sales, the ATF reassured them that it was OK, and the dealers went ahead with the sales, providing additional cooperation to ATF, who then let the guns walk.

Can you IMAGINE the OUTRAGE if it were the NRA and gun dealers trying to facilitate these illegal sales that the heroic ATF was trying to stop? It's not that hard...

I'm thinking the NRA (a front for the gun manufacturers) wanted to tip their dealers that the ATF is running these stings big-time, and concocted a pile of nonsense about Obama wanting to arm drug lords in order to do that. Issa and Grassley are providing political cover for the NRA's blowing of a LE sting operation.

A real concern about ATF incompetence in an on-going covert operation in a foreign country has to be handled on the QT. They are instead deliberately seeking to make it as public as possible. Cui bono?


That they threatened the Congress critters with a bad rating if they did not vote to hold Holder in contempt shows why I was thinking along those lines back then, doesn't it?

#1555 Tom Ray

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 11:02 PM

That they threatened the Congress critters with a bad rating if they did not vote to hold Holder in contempt shows why I was thinking along those lines back then, doesn't it?


Not to me.

Holder's appearance before Congress met both the legal and traditional definitions of contempt. His contemptuous attitude seemed to be that anyone who would question this operation must be some kind of gun nut, and normal people just ignored such things and only occasionally heard about them in the media. His statement that he heard about Fast and Furious "a few weeks" earlier in the press was a lie, as demonstrated by the IG report.

Those are just a couple of examples of the stonewalling attitude he and his department have shown since the beginning, and continue to show. That makes the vote on contempt an issue of legitimate concern to gun owners, and the kind of thing the NRA should notice.

Holder earned his contempt votes and deserved them.

The NRA doing their job is very far from abusing their influence to blow an undercover operation and I have seen nothing to indicate that "Grassley being Grassley" would include the kinds of things you seem to think it might include. To my knowledge, he has never done anything like holding a hearing to provide political cover for illegal actions by the NRA.

#1556 Mark K

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 11:12 PM

Seems to me the report exonerated Holder."His contemptuous attitude seemed to be that anyone who would question this operation must be some kind of gun nut"? Boy, that's a pretty big "seemed" to be putting peoples gun rights-ratings on the line for.



Since the claim that F&F was a plot by him to get tougher gun laws is off the table, what dog does the NRA have in the fight over Holders contempt citation?

#1557 Tom Ray

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 11:18 PM

Part II of the Oversight Committee Report on Fast and Furious is now available.

Chairman Darrell Issa:

“The report discloses widespread management failures within the hierarchy of the Justice Department. The Justice Department has yet to evaluate these management issues and implement structural changes to prevent another disaster like Operation Fast and Furious from occurring. Furthermore, the Justice Department has taken limited action against these negligent managers.”

Senator Chuck Grassley:

“Officials in the Justice Department saw any number of warnings and some even had the gunwalking information right in front of them, yet nothing was done to stop it. Countless people may be murdered with these weapons, yet the Attorney General appears to be letting his employees slide by with little to no accountability. The Attorney General needs to make changes to ensure that department leadership provides oversight of the agencies they are tasked with supervising, instead of pointing fingers at somebody else."



#1558 Tom Ray

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 11:35 PM

Seems to me the report exonerated Holder."His contemptuous attitude seemed to be that anyone who would question this operation must be some kind of gun nut"? Boy, that's a pretty big "seemed" to be putting peoples gun rights-ratings on the line for.



Since the claim that F&F was a plot by him to get tougher gun laws is off the table, what dog does the NRA have in the fight over Holders contempt citation?


The report exonerated Holder is the incomplete party line that is going around, it's true, but the fact is it exonerated him on one point only: he did not know about Fast and Furious prior to Agent Terry's death. He did a lot of things wrong during the coverup phase. So far, that's my opinion, and I have not gotten to that part of the OIG report, but so far, I have been pleased to see the OIG reach many of the same conclusions I have about the investigation. If you just look through the report for the word "unpersuasive" you will find lots of examples. The IG seemed to like that word when he knew he was being lied to. ;)

The NRA's "dog in the fight" is the same as it ever was: many of the people responsible for this reckless operation are still employed in government and only whistleblowers have been punished. Holder and his department have made every effort to conceal what happened, standing by the denial that the ATF walked guns long after it became completely implausible. If you do not see how that kind of management of the main agency overseeing guns in the US should concern gun owners, I really can't explain it.

The OIG report proves that the program was not conceived as a plot to pad gun control statistics. It was conceived by idiots who did not have a good ability to plan ahead but who were really impressed that they could tap phones. The longer version of that statement is coming.

The OIG report also proves that certain individuals, notably Burke, were aware of the propaganda value of some of the busts in supporting more gun control in the media, and that there were discussions about using Fast and Furious statistics in support of more gun control legislation.

#1559 Mark K

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 11:42 PM

Then your belief is that the situation will change in the future, and in a way that makes the NRA's decision to use their power to shape the outcome of that vote entirely reasonable.

#1560 Tom Ray

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 11:48 PM

Huh? Nothing has to change in the future in order for me to see their behavior in that vote as reasonable. I already characterized it as "doing their job."

Holding Eric Holder in contempt for lying to Congress was the right response to his lying and the subject of the lies told by Holder and his department make the subject one of interest to the NRA.

#1561 Mark K

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 12:20 AM

So you are continuing with the party-line that Holder actively tried to cover it up?

#1562 frenchie

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 12:28 AM


Seems to me the report exonerated Holder."His contemptuous attitude seemed to be that anyone who would question this operation must be some kind of gun nut"? Boy, that's a pretty big "seemed" to be putting peoples gun rights-ratings on the line for.



Since the claim that F&F was a plot by him to get tougher gun laws is off the table, what dog does the NRA have in the fight over Holders contempt citation?


The report exonerated Holder is the incomplete party line that is going around, it's true, but the fact is it exonerated him on one point only: he did not know about Fast and Furious prior to Agent Terry's death. He did a lot of things wrong during the coverup phase. So far, that's my opinion, and I have not gotten to that part of the OIG report, but so far, I have been pleased to see the OIG reach many of the same conclusions I have about the investigation.


See, this is why it's a good idea to read the conclusions before anything else.

We found that Attorney General Holder had no involvement in drafting or
reviewing the February 4 letter that he decided to withdraw in December 2011
after concluding that it contained inaccuracies. Although Holder received
directly from Sen. Grassley the January 27 and 31 letters containing
allegations that ATF had sanctioned the sale of assault weapons to straw
purchasers, we determined that Holder had no part in the fact-gathering,
editing, or approval process that led to the Department’s issuance of an
inaccurate response on February 4.


and

We determined that Attorney General Holder did not learn about
Operation Fast and Furious until late January or early February 2011 and was
not aware of allegations of “gun walking” in the investigation until February.
We found no evidence that Department or ATF staff informed the Attorney
General about Operation Wide Receiver or Operation Fast and Furious prior to
2011. We concluded that the Attorney General’s Deputy Chief of Staff, the
Acting Deputy Attorney General, and the leadership of the Criminal Division
failed to alert the Attorney General to significant information about or flaws in
those investigations.
Although the Office of the Attorney General received various weekly
reports from components in the Department that mentioned Operation Fast
and Furious, we found that Attorney General Holder did not personally review
these reports at the time that his office received them and that his staff did not
highlight them for his review. Moreover, we determined that these reports did
not refer to agents’ failure to interdict firearms or include information that
otherwise provided notice of the improper strategy and tactics that ATF agents
were using in the investigation. Although the National Drug Intelligence Center
reports (NDIC) referred to 1,500 firearms that Celis-Acosta and straw
purchasers had trafficked to Mexican drug cartels, the reports did not state or
suggest that ATF had advance knowledge of the firearms purchases or
otherwise knowingly allowed the guns to cross the border.



#1563 frenchie

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 12:43 AM

Or you might want to just search the document for "Holder". Other interesting tidbits turn up.

Below his signature, Sen. Grassley handwrote a post script to Attorney General Holder:
You should check to see if you are getting accurate information from your staff.
You might be ill-served.


Even Grassley doesn't seem to have though Holder was guilty of more than trusting people he shouldn't.

I'm actually curious, now, how the inquiries escalated to contempt proceedings against Holder. You wouldn't happen to have a link to a good summary?

#1564 Tom Ray

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 03:08 AM



Seems to me the report exonerated Holder."His contemptuous attitude seemed to be that anyone who would question this operation must be some kind of gun nut"? Boy, that's a pretty big "seemed" to be putting peoples gun rights-ratings on the line for.



Since the claim that F&F was a plot by him to get tougher gun laws is off the table, what dog does the NRA have in the fight over Holders contempt citation?


The report exonerated Holder is the incomplete party line that is going around, it's true, but the fact is it exonerated him on one point only: he did not know about Fast and Furious prior to Agent Terry's death. He did a lot of things wrong during the coverup phase. So far, that's my opinion, and I have not gotten to that part of the OIG report, but so far, I have been pleased to see the OIG reach many of the same conclusions I have about the investigation.


See, this is why it's a good idea to read the conclusions before anything else.

We found that Attorney General Holder had no involvement in drafting or
reviewing the February 4 letter that he decided to withdraw in December 2011
after concluding that it contained inaccuracies. Although Holder received
directly from Sen. Grassley the January 27 and 31 letters containing
allegations that ATF had sanctioned the sale of assault weapons to straw
purchasers, we determined that Holder had no part in the fact-gathering,
editing, or approval process that led to the Department’s issuance of an
inaccurate response on February 4.


and

We determined that Attorney General Holder did not learn about
Operation Fast and Furious until late January or early February 2011 and was
not aware of allegations of “gun walking” in the investigation until February.
We found no evidence that Department or ATF staff informed the Attorney
General about Operation Wide Receiver or Operation Fast and Furious prior to
2011. We concluded that the Attorney General’s Deputy Chief of Staff, the
Acting Deputy Attorney General, and the leadership of the Criminal Division
failed to alert the Attorney General to significant information about or flaws in
those investigations.
Although the Office of the Attorney General received various weekly
reports from components in the Department that mentioned Operation Fast
and Furious, we found that Attorney General Holder did not personally review
these reports at the time that his office received them and that his staff did not
highlight them for his review. Moreover, we determined that these reports did
not refer to agents’ failure to interdict firearms or include information that
otherwise provided notice of the improper strategy and tactics that ATF agents
were using in the investigation. Although the National Drug Intelligence Center
reports (NDIC) referred to 1,500 firearms that Celis-Acosta and straw
purchasers had trafficked to Mexican drug cartels, the reports did not state or
suggest that ATF had advance knowledge of the firearms purchases or
otherwise knowingly allowed the guns to cross the border.


Thanks for spoiling the ending for me, but none of it refutes what I said: he did things wrong during the coverup phase.

Specifically, he could stop the punishment of whistleblowers, but did not. He lied to Congress about when he learned of the program and how he learned of it. His lies occurred long after any competent observer knew the ATF walked guns, and long before his department admitted it. Last but certainly not least, and this one applies to Obama as well, no one besides whistleblowers has been punished. None of that is refuted by what you posted above, but all of those are problems to me.

As for a summary of why he was held in contempt, here's one of the 7,000 out of 70,000 or so documents that Congress wanted to see, and that was actually "produced" for Congress. Yes, 7,000 is a lot. No, 1 in 10 is NOT a lot, especially when they look like this:

Posted Image

#1565 frenchie

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 04:06 AM

Sorry for the spoiler.

But I'm not sure why you expected someone who works for Holder to find Holder did anything wrong...?

One thing consistent about the report's conclusions: you have to be 2 levels below Holder to really get any shit on you. If the report's accurate, Holder's immediate circle are only guilty of trusting people they shouldn't have.


I'm aware the contempt charge is about only releasing part of the docs (but I thought it was 7k out of 14, not 70). What does Holder claim makes the ones he didn't release, different from the ones he did release?

#1566 frenchie

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 04:12 AM

Wait a minute.

We're talking about documents the OIG use to draft the report - and the IG himself said Holder should release them?!?

That's... confusing.

http://washingtonexa...article/2508628

#1567 Mark K

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 04:26 AM

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=DM_Vu2VGLso

It's unclear if he is saying the whole batch is relevant or just the ones "we cited" are to me.

#1568 frenchie

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 05:15 AM

"Every document we asked for, and reviewed, and cited in this report, we found to be relevant and important".

Now, if he'd stopped right there - yeah, it would be unclear. But he doesn't; he goes on:

"and in fact we don't cite, in this report, every single relevant document; obviously we had to pick and choose."

I'd say that makes it pretty clear. He's saying some of what they didn't cite directly, was relevant.


I'm just totally confused why Issa want to see the documents - and why Holder doesn't want Issa to see them - considering the report based on those documents vindicates Holder...??

#1569 Mark K

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 05:25 AM

They are in the business of law enforcement against international organized crime, and leaking the wrong thing can destroy cases and get people killed.

Then we get to the part about vetting information for redaction. This is really tough for anyone not completely up on each investigation to do, and a heck of a lot is under "need to know" SOP.

Issa has a rep for leaking. Got in trouble just this last week leaking names on Libya.

Issa is on a fishing expedition. There may be embarrassing conversations buried in there.

#1570 Tom Ray

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 10:39 AM

But I'm not sure why you expected someone who works for Holder to find Holder did anything wrong...?

One thing consistent about the report's conclusions: you have to be 2 levels below Holder to really get any shit on you. If the report's accurate, Holder's immediate circle are only guilty of trusting people they shouldn't have.


I'm aware the contempt charge is about only releasing part of the docs (but I thought it was 7k out of 14, not 70). What does Holder claim makes the ones he didn't release, different from the ones he did release?


Inspectors General are supposed to be independent and I find them pretty reliable and independent, but the fact that the OIG works for Holder is one reason that Congressional oversight is needed. They are not THAT independent.

Hoover and some others seemed suspiciously forgetful, but overall I was persuaded by the IG's case that Holder was not involved until early 2011. I just didn't believe Holder's claim to Congress in May 2011.

It seems to me that if a Senator personally delivers a letter questioning an operation, that's one good reason to look into it.

If one of your agents died, that's another.

If the Senator took the time to write a personal note cautioning that people are going to be lying about this, that's another.

If he indeed ignored all those reasons and was really as clueless as he said in May of last year, he needs to be fired. If he did not ignore tham and looked into Fast and Furious as he should have done, the letter denying gunwalking should have been withdrawn much sooner and he should not have lied to Congress.

I think he did look into the operation and then started participating the coverup, which would also be a reason to fire him. Either way, he needs to be fired. I blame his continued employment on Obama.

And I think the real number is close to 80,000 docs that were subpoenaed and responsive. I was being conservative. It's a lot more than 14k, I know that.

#1571 Tom Ray

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 10:43 AM

I'm just totally confused why Issa want to see the documents -

Oversight. You've read the report, so you know some is badly needed.

and why Holder doesn't want Issa to see them - considering the report based on those documents vindicates Holder...??

Oversight again.

I already used the report to prove that Holder lied under oath to Congress, and I haven't even gotten to the part about Holder.

Lying under oath to an oversight committee is a serious offense, even if few people seem to want to treat it that way when it's Holder and not Gonzalez doing the lying.

#1572 Tom Ray

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 10:45 AM

Wait a minute.

We're talking about documents the OIG use to draft the report - and the IG himself said Holder should release them?!?

That's... confusing.

http://washingtonexa...article/2508628


That's... a coverup.

#1573 Tom Ray

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 10:51 AM

Issa has a rep for leaking. Got in trouble just this last week leaking names on Libya.


The OIG found that Burke knowingly and illegally leaked confidential information about Dodson for the purpose of smearing him. That's among the minor things he did wrong. He was later allowed to resign, but should have been fired and should probably be facing charges.

So far, I have not seen anything from the OIG about Issa leaking anything.

#1574 frenchie

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 10:52 AM

I already used the report to prove that Holder lied under oath to Congress, and I haven't even gotten to the part about Holder.


Can you point me to it?

#1575 Tom Ray

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 11:05 AM

Can you point me to it?


In May of 2011, when Eric Holder told Congress that he "probably" learned of Operation Fast and Furious from media reports "a few weeks" earlier, I knew it was a lie. Everyone knew it was a lie. If true, it would mean that for months, his underlings did not tell him about a significant investigation of one of his agencies. It was just plain not believable.

He did not even try that lie on the Inspector General.

I have long speculated that if he did not learn of it sooner, he must have learned of it when Senator Grassley handed him letters inquiring about it. Senators don't deliver unimportant mail in person.

Uh, yep.

Attorney General Holder told the OIG that he did not learn of the link between the firearms recovered at the Terry murder scene and Operation Fast and Furious until 2011. Holder stated that he probably learned about the link in February 2011, after he received Senator Grassley’s January 27 and 31, 2011, letters and first learned of Operation Fast and Furious.


I also speculated on the reason for the lie:

Holder's appearance before Congress met both the legal and traditional definitions of contempt. His contemptuous attitude seemed to be that anyone who would question this operation must be some kind of gun nut, and normal people just ignored such things and only occasionally heard about them in the media. His statement that he heard about Fast and Furious "a few weeks" earlier in the press was a lie, as demonstrated by the IG report.

Those are just a couple of examples of the stonewalling attitude he and his department have shown since the beginning, and continue to show.



#1576 frenchie

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 11:19 AM


Can you point me to it?


In May of 2011, when Eric Holder told Congress that he "probably" learned of Operation Fast and Furious from media reports "a few weeks" earlier, I knew it was a lie. Everyone knew it was a lie. If true, it would mean that for months, his underlings did not tell him about a significant investigation of one of his agencies. It was just plain not believable.

He did not even try that lie on the Inspector General.

I have long speculated that if he did not learn of it sooner, he must have learned of it when Senator Grassley handed him letters inquiring about it. Senators don't deliver unimportant mail in person.

Uh, yep.

Attorney General Holder told the OIG that he did not learn of the link between the firearms recovered at the Terry murder scene and Operation Fast and Furious until 2011. Holder stated that he probably learned about the link in February 2011, after he received Senator Grassley’s January 27 and 31, 2011, letters and first learned of Operation Fast and Furious.


I also speculated on the reason for the lie:

Holder's appearance before Congress met both the legal and traditional definitions of contempt. His contemptuous attitude seemed to be that anyone who would question this operation must be some kind of gun nut, and normal people just ignored such things and only occasionally heard about them in the media. His statement that he heard about Fast and Furious "a few weeks" earlier in the press was a lie, as demonstrated by the IG report.

Those are just a couple of examples of the stonewalling attitude he and his department have shown since the beginning, and continue to show.


Thanks. Will read up some, think some, then comment.

#1577 Mark K

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 11:32 AM


Issa has a rep for leaking. Got in trouble just this last week leaking names on Libya.


The OIG found that Burke knowingly and illegally leaked confidential information about Dodson for the purpose of smearing him. That's among the minor things he did wrong. He was later allowed to resign, but should have been fired and should probably be facing charges.

So far, I have not seen anything from the OIG about Issa leaking anything.


Might be because they were not tasked with investigating Issa.

#1578 Tom Ray

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 12:51 PM

I'm just totally confused why Issa want to see the documents - and why Holder doesn't want Issa to see them - considering the report based on those documents vindicates Holder...??


There is a legitimate reason.

They are in the business of law enforcement against international organized crime, and leaking the wrong thing can destroy cases and get people killed.

Then we get to the part about vetting information for redaction. This is really tough for anyone not completely up on each investigation to do, and a heck of a lot is under "need to know" SOP.

Issa has a rep for leaking. Got in trouble just this last week leaking names on Libya.

Issa is on a fishing expedition. There may be embarrassing conversations buried in there.


And none of those are it.

The short version of the reason is: Presidents need unfiltered advice, and if anything they are told winds up public, they can't get it. Hence, Executive Privilege was claimed.

The counter-argument is: Presidents receiving information about wrongdoing and/or incompetence in government cannot be made a reason to shield that information from the public.

#1579 Mark K

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 01:07 PM


I'm just totally confused why Issa want to see the documents - and why Holder doesn't want Issa to see them - considering the report based on those documents vindicates Holder...??


There is a legitimate reason.

They are in the business of law enforcement against international organized crime, and leaking the wrong thing can destroy cases and get people killed.

Then we get to the part about vetting information for redaction. This is really tough for anyone not completely up on each investigation to do, and a heck of a lot is under "need to know" SOP.

Issa has a rep for leaking. Got in trouble just this last week leaking names on Libya.

Issa is on a fishing expedition. There may be embarrassing conversations buried in there.


And none of those are it.

The short version of the reason is: Presidents need unfiltered advice, and if anything they are told winds up public, they can't get it. Hence, Executive Privilege was claimed.

The counter-argument is: Presidents receiving information about wrongdoing and/or incompetence in government cannot be made a reason to shield that information from the public.


Can't have an endless fishing expedition in that Dept.

Sorry.

#1580 Tom Ray

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 01:41 PM

Thanks. Will read up some, think some, then comment.


FYI, the Prologue to the Oversight Committee report linked in this post tells the story of how Melson came to talk to Congressional investigators on July 4th of last year. It indicates that the coverup was ongoing that summer, and from some level above Director Melson. There are not that many...

Posted Image

#1581 Tom Ray

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 12:18 PM

The Executive Summary of that Oversight Committee report seems accurate to me:

Consistent with a desire for a new emphasis on prosecuting gun trafficking cases, at around the same time, Lanny Breuer, Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, assigned a prosecutor to a dormant firearms trafficking case out of the ATF Phoenix Field Division known as Operation Wide Receiver. Under prior Department leadership, Wide Receiver was not prosecuted, in part due to the reckless tactics used in the investigation. Both Breuer’s resurrection of the prosecution and the Department’s new strategy, however, provided the imprimatur for the Phoenix Field Division to create Operation Fast and Furious.

...

Department leadership’s failure to recognize Fast and Furious was a problem until it was too late was the result of a “pass-the-buck” attitude that emanated from the highest echelons of the Department of Justice. Every senior Department official interviewed during the Committees’ investigation claimed either ignorance of Fast and Furious or that it was someone else’s responsibility to ask questions or draw connections. Senior managers placed blame elsewhere and retained plausible deniability. This environment allowed Fast and Furious to fester for over a year.

Thus far, the Department has failed to reprimand any senior Department officials for their actions—or lack thereof—during Fast and Furious. In fact, several have received promotions. The management culture of the Department must change to prevent such a deadly operation from occurring again....


We have known for a long time who needed to go, but don't take my word for it.


The more I learn about this, the stronger my conclusion that everyone involved in the decision to implement this, should be strung up by their shorthairs, along with anyone stonewalling the committees trying to provide oversight of this fiasco. The stonewalling, to me, is as damning as the cluster-f that set all of this in motion.


It was a hell of a meeting. There's about 5 hours of tape there and I listened to most it. It would have been nice to have had those three agents supervisors there, Gillet and Newell, but it is highly likely they are all lawyered up these days. I honestly believe that they may be facing criminal charges here. Everybody in the ATF in the chain from them to the top dog, Melson, might as well spend their time updating their resumes and crafting the perfect letter of resignation. I see no way they can survive this.

It's that bad.

The other outfit that got slaughtered was the Phoenix DOJ office. Two people in particular, Hurley and the US DA Burke, are toast....



#1582 Mark K

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 12:59 PM

The Executive Summary of that Oversight Committee report seems accurate to me:

Consistent with a desire for a new emphasis on prosecuting gun trafficking cases, at around the same time, Lanny Breuer, Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, assigned a prosecutor to a dormant firearms trafficking case out of the ATF Phoenix Field Division known as Operation Wide Receiver. Under prior Department leadership, Wide Receiver was not prosecuted, in part due to the reckless tactics used in the investigation. Both Breuer’s resurrection of the prosecution and the Department’s new strategy, however, provided the imprimatur for the Phoenix Field Division to create Operation Fast and Furious.

...

Department leadership’s failure to recognize Fast and Furious was a problem until it was too late was the result of a “pass-the-buck” attitude that emanated from the highest echelons of the Department of Justice. Every senior Department official interviewed during the Committees’ investigation claimed either ignorance of Fast and Furious or that it was someone else’s responsibility to ask questions or draw connections. Senior managers placed blame elsewhere and retained plausible deniability. This environment allowed Fast and Furious to fester for over a year.

Thus far, the Department has failed to reprimand any senior Department officials for their actions—or lack thereof—during Fast and Furious. In fact, several have received promotions. The management culture of the Department must change to prevent such a deadly operation from occurring again....


We have known for a long time who needed to go, but don't take my word for it.


The more I learn about this, the stronger my conclusion that everyone involved in the decision to implement this, should be strung up by their shorthairs, along with anyone stonewalling the committees trying to provide oversight of this fiasco. The stonewalling, to me, is as damning as the cluster-f that set all of this in motion.


It was a hell of a meeting. There's about 5 hours of tape there and I listened to most it. It would have been nice to have had those three agents supervisors there, Gillet and Newell, but it is highly likely they are all lawyered up these days. I honestly believe that they may be facing criminal charges here. Everybody in the ATF in the chain from them to the top dog, Melson, might as well spend their time updating their resumes and crafting the perfect letter of resignation. I see no way they can survive this.

It's that bad.

The other outfit that got slaughtered was the Phoenix DOJ office. Two people in particular, Hurley and the US DA Burke, are toast....


That it turned out there were several previous similar operations likely saved a lot of peoples butts, I reckon. They will still be tainted with it though, and their careers are probably quite limited now. What was it they had Newell doing? Records?

#1583 Tom Ray

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 03:19 PM

Well, well, well. Seems that there is not as much smoke as some people would like...


That article begins:

A Fortune investigation reveals that the ATF never intentionally allowed guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels.


The Inspector General's report concludes:

In both investigations, it was not until conducting post-arrest interviews of key subjects that agents learned how the firearms were getting out of Phoenix in Operation Fast and Furious and out of Tucson in Operation Wide Receiver.

The risk to public safety was immediately evident in both investigations. Almost from the outset of each case, ATF agents learned that the purchases were financed by violent Mexican drug trafficking organizations and that the firearms were destined for Mexico.


The rest of it is not any more accurate. It seems the author relied almost exclusively on Voth, Newell, and McAllister as sources. To find references to those three in the IG report, just search the document for the word "unpersuasive" and you should find plenty. I sure did.

#1584 Tom Ray

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 03:21 PM

That it turned out there were several previous similar operations likely saved a lot of peoples butts, I reckon. They will still be tainted with it though, and their careers are probably quite limited now. What was it they had Newell doing? Records?


There was no previous operation similar to Fast and Furious in numbers of weapons and none have been similarly excoriated by the Inspector General or Congressional investigators.

They should be tainted with having been fired for it at the very least, but no such responsibility has been taken by their superiors. Only whistleblowers have been punished.

What happened to Newell and others has been covered before, but may be out of date by now. The overall pattern continues: stonewallers rewarded, whistleblowers punished.

Where are they now?

Here's what has happened to the managers of the operation:

-- Acting ATF Chief Ken Melson, who oversaw the operation, is now an adviser in the Office of Legal Affairs. He remains in ATF's Washington, D.C., headquarters.

-- Acting Deputy Director Billy Hoover, who knew his agency was walking guns and demanded an "exit strategy" just five months into the program, is now the special agent in charge of the D.C. office. He, too, did not have to relocate.

-- Deputy Director for Field Operations William McMahon received detailed briefings about the illegal operation and later admitted he shares "responsibility for mistakes that were made." Yet, he also stays in D.C., ironically as the No. 2 man at the ATF's Office of Internal Affairs.

-- Special Agent in Charge of Phoenix Bill Newell, the man most responsible for directly overseeing Fast and Furious, was promoted to the Office of Management in Washington.

-- Phoenix Deputy Chief George Gillette was also promoted to Washington as ATF's liaison to the U.S. Marshal's Service.

-- Group Supervisor David Voth managed Fast and Furious on a day-to-day basis and repeatedly stopped field agents from interdicting weapons headed to the border, according to congressional testimony. ATF boosted Voth to chief of the ATF Tobacco Division, where he now supervises more employees in Washington than he ever did in Phoenix.

An ATF spokesman in Washington says the key players did not receive promotions, but transfers.




...




So what happened to Dodson and the other whistleblowers?

"The only people who have been damaged from Fast and Furious, short of the obvious victims, are the people who tried to tell truth and blew the whistle," Dobyns said.

Dodson was told he was toxic and could no longer work in Phoenix. With sole custody of two teenagers and under water on his house mortgage, Dodson found himself with no place to be and nowhere to go.

A supervisor suggested he'd be treated fairly at an office in South Carolina. Wanting to keep his job, protect his pension and pay the mortgage, Dodson had no other choice. He and his family now live in a small apartment, facing financial troubles, still labeled persona non grata by the very agency he carries a badge for, and regularly assaulted by leaks from "ATF sources at headquarters."

Dodson has tried to remain out of the public eye, has not filed suit and says only that he wishes to return to his work as an ATF agent.

As for the others:

-- Agent Larry Alt took a transfer to Florida and has unresolved retaliation claims against the ATF.

-- Agent Pete Forcelli was demoted to a desk job. Forcelli is a respected investigator, with years as a detective with the New York City Police Department. He has requested an internal investigation to address the retaliation against him.

-- Agent James Casa also took a transfer to Florida.

-- Agent Carlos Canino, once the deputy attache in Mexico City, was moved to Tucson.

-- Agent Jose Wall, formerly assigned to Tijuana, was moved to Phoenix.

-- Agent Darren Gil, formerly the attache to Mexico, retired.



#1585 Mark K

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 04:10 PM

They call those "promotions" for the bad guys and "moves" or "desk job" the good.

You know that Dodson and Forcelli are now well known public faces, and they obeyed those orders and even cobbled together homemade "Radio Shack" trackers for a few of them, right?

#1586 Tom Ray

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 06:56 PM

Uh huh, and "they" somehow fooled the Inspector General into getting involved in the retaliation against Dodson. OIG report Footnote 138:

In late summer 2010, Dodson was detailed to Group II and ceased having involvement with Operation Fast and Furious. Dodson was subsequently assigned to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in Phoenix in October 2010. We did not investigate as part of this review whether these personnel moves were in retaliation for Dodson raising concerns about the conduct of Operation Fast and Furious, although the OIG is investigating other issues involving possible retaliation against Dodson. As we indicated in Chapter One, on January 27, 2011, Sen. Grassley’s staff brought Dodson’s concerns to the attention of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) after Dodson indicated that he was unsuccessful in his efforts to contact our office. Dodson made a significant contribution to bringing to light the flaws in Operation Fast and Furious that are described in this report.


As noted above, the administration just gave the OIG still more on that front to investigate.

Odd that the OIG is not investigating any such question about Newell or anyone else who actually did things wrong, isn't it?

#1587 Mark K

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 07:09 PM

Sent to the FBI is "retaliation"?

That's like having a trial separation from your wife, and claiming harm over her hooking you up with Megan Fox to "tide you over".

#1588 Tom Ray

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 07:15 PM

He had not blown any whistles in October 2010 and the IG said they are investigating other retaliation claims, just none against stonewallers.

#1589 Mark K

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 07:32 PM

He had not blown any whistles in October 2010 and the IG said they are investigating other retaliation claims, just none against stonewallers.


When you get specifics, be sure to post them.

#1590 Tom Ray

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 10:19 PM

I will. I suspect it is going to have to do with what Grassely is talking about here, referencing Burke's leak of info about Dodson.

"I've warned the administration several times not to retaliate against the whistle-blowers who speak to Congress," Grassley wrote in an email to NPR Thursday. "Unfortunately, there are indications that the administration leaked Privacy Act protected documents to the press in an effort to discredit Mr. Dodson with half-truths even though those documents had been withheld from Congress. It's a very serious matter that should be thoroughly investigated."



#1591 Mark K

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 11:05 PM

You mean this stuff from a year ago?

http://www.npr.org/b...nd-furious-memo

#1592 Tom Ray

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 11:07 PM

You mean this stuff from a year ago?

http://www.npr.org/b...nd-furious-memo


I imagine that's one issue. Singular. The OIG used issues. Plural.

the OIG is investigating other issues involving possible retaliation against Dodson.



#1593 Mark K

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 12:20 AM


You mean this stuff from a year ago?

http://www.npr.org/b...nd-furious-memo


I imagine that's one issue. Singular. The OIG used issues. Plural.

the OIG is investigating other issues involving possible retaliation against Dodson.


When you get specifics, be sure to post them.

#1594 Tom Ray

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 09:48 AM

The OIG found that the DOJ's February 4, 2011 letter to Congress denying gunwalking had happened "resulted from deficiencies at senior levels in the Department."

At the same time, we believe that the inaccuracies in the Department’s February 4 response to Congress resulted from deficiencies at senior levels in the Department as well as within the components. The Department officials who drafted the response readily accepted the assurances of component officials whose conduct was the subject of the very serious allegations in Sen. Grassley’s letters. These assurances were accepted even in the face of inaccurate and inconsistent information from component officials.

The responsibility for the accuracy of the representations contained in letters from the Department ultimately rests with Department leadership, and cannot be delegated to component officials even though these officials may have more familiarity with the subject matter.


The Department was not alone in accepting the stories of those whose conduct was called into question and failing to look any further, despite the seriousness of the allegations and the lies from those very same people. That's exactly how Katherine Eban "researched" her Fortune Magazine article trying to head off Holder's contempt votes.

So who in "Department leadership" has been held accountable for their failures?

#1595 tuk tuk joe

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 11:58 AM

creating jobs....;)

#1596 Mark K

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 08:34 PM

creating jobs.... ;)


"Just asking questions"

http://rationalwiki....wiki/JAQing_off

#1597 Tom Ray

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 08:46 AM

Issa is on a fishing expedition.


The Inspector General concluded:

Our review of Operation Fast and Furious and related matters revealed a series of misguided strategies, tactics, errors in judgment, and management failures that permeated ATF Headquarters and the Phoenix Field Division, as well as the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona. In this report, we described deficiencies in two operations conducted in ATF’s Phoenix Field Division between 2006 and 2010 – Operation Wide Receiver and Operation Fast and Furious. In the course of our review we identified individuals ranging from line agents and prosecutors in Phoenix and Tucson to senior ATF officials in Washington, D.C., who bore a share of responsibility for ATF’s knowing failure in both these operations to interdict firearms illegally destined for Mexico, and for doing so without adequately taking into account the danger to public safety that flowed from this risky strategy. We also found failures by Department officials related to these matters, including failing to respond accurately to a Congressional inquiry about them.


Lying to Congress is bad. Sometimes.

#1598 Tom Ray

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 12:26 PM

Congress has the right to demand explanations for the president’s managerial choices, both to exercise its own oversight function and to inform the voters its members represent.

The right of Congress to demand explanations imposes on the president, and on inferior executive officers who speak for him, the obligation to be truthful. An attorney general called before Congress to discuss the workings of the Justice Department can claim the protection of “executive privilege” and, if challenged, can defend the (doubtful) legitimacy of such a claim in the courts. But having elected to testify, he has no right to lie, either by affirmatively misrepresenting facts or by falsely claiming not to remember events. Lying to Congress is a felony — actually three felonies: perjury, false statements and obstruction of justice.

A false claim not to remember is just as much a lie as a conscious misrepresentation of a fact one remembers well. ...

Even if perjury were not a felony, lying to Congress has always been understood to be an impeachable offense. As James Iredell, later a Supreme Court justice, said in 1788 during the debate over the impeachment clause, “The president must certainly be punishable for giving false information to the Senate.” The same is true of the president’s appointees.


NY Times 2007. What has changed?

#1599 Mark K

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 05:49 PM

Congress has the right to demand explanations for the president’s managerial choices, both to exercise its own oversight function and to inform the voters its members represent.

The right of Congress to demand explanations imposes on the president, and on inferior executive officers who speak for him, the obligation to be truthful. An attorney general called before Congress to discuss the workings of the Justice Department can claim the protection of “executive privilege” and, if challenged, can defend the (doubtful) legitimacy of such a claim in the courts. But having elected to testify, he has no right to lie, either by affirmatively misrepresenting facts or by falsely claiming not to remember events. Lying to Congress is a felony — actually three felonies: perjury, false statements and obstruction of justice.

A false claim not to remember is just as much a lie as a conscious misrepresentation of a fact one remembers well. ...

Even if perjury were not a felony, lying to Congress has always been understood to be an impeachable offense. As James Iredell, later a Supreme Court justice, said in 1788 during the debate over the impeachment clause, “The president must certainly be punishable for giving false information to the Senate.” The same is true of the president’s appointees.


NY Times 2007. What has changed?


Nothing.

#1600 Tom Ray

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 09:51 PM

Something must have changed. The NY Times seemed awfully intolerant of the administration lying to Congress back in 2007, but not a peep about it this time around.

Gee, I wonder why?

Holder admits earlier perjury before Congress

His new testimony amounts to an admission that he misled Congress during that May 3 hearing. House oversight committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa and Rep. Jason Chaffetz both asked him during that hearing when he had first learned of "Fast and Furious," and he answered the same way twice.

"I did say a 'few weeks,'" Holder clarified Tuesday, responding to questions from Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee. "I probably could've said 'a couple of months.' I didn't think the term I said, 'few weeks,' was inaccurate based on what happened."

Holder also admitted to Leahy that Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley handed him letters in person in late January, months before Holder previously claimed he knew of the controversial initiative of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE). The BATFE is a division of the Department of Justice.

"I got from Sen. Grassley, what indicate [sic], a couple letters from him at the end of January, I believe it was January the 31st," Holder testified. "These letters talked about a connection between an operation and the death of Agent Terry. It did not mention Fast and Furious, it just referenced Operation Gunrunner. I asked my staff to look into this and during the month of February, I became aware of Fast and Furious from press reports and others that I received from Sen. Grassley."


February is more than a few weeks from May.


Holder knew almost nothing about the program when he came to testify about it in May, or so he said. Months later, the DOJ finally withdrew the false denial to Congress that the ATF walked guns.




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