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Obama's Mexican Gunrunning Operation


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Holder is not the brightest porch-light on the block, and should have prepared more thoroughly and been more careful with his answers in front of that committee. He must now admit he gave a wrong answer and suffer the tedious noise that will generate.

 

Holder is bright enough to win a huge settlement against a drug company and then become attorney general, so he's smart enough to know what a lie is.

 

Lying under oath to the Congress is a serious matter for the top cop in our country, and raises the question of what he was trying to cover up with that lie. Do you suppose that the "tedious noise" will include a call from the NY Times for the Attorney General to resign, like it did last time one of them lied to Congress? Somehow, I doubt it.

 

Was it a lie or a mistake?

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It's Judge Jackson or Judge Berman Jackson. It isn't Judge Berman unless you're watching reality court TV at the laundromat. Actually, I did mean only those documents. Again, the Kenyan’s EP was

Maybe he'll be nicer now that his period is over.

People who have time to read things like the relevant Inspector General's report instead of just spewing insults and talking points know that the reality is that the stupid program was shut down under

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I know you would love to spin this as he didn't understand the question. Unfortunately only blind partisans can ttry that spin. The question was crystal clear. And the Answer as stated was a lie

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Holder is not the brightest porch-light on the block, and should have prepared more thoroughly and been more careful with his answers in front of that committee. He must now admit he gave a wrong answer and suffer the tedious noise that will generate.

 

Holder is bright enough to win a huge settlement against a drug company and then become attorney general, so he's smart enough to know what a lie is.

 

Lying under oath to the Congress is a serious matter for the top cop in our country, and raises the question of what he was trying to cover up with that lie. Do you suppose that the "tedious noise" will include a call from the NY Times for the Attorney General to resign, like it did last time one of them lied to Congress? Somehow, I doubt it.

 

Was it a lie or a mistake?

 

"When did you first learn about Fast and Furious?"

 

I think he just didn't understand the question.

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I think they got Holder for saying something stupid here myself. There had been congressional briefings at about that time that mentioned the term "Fast and Furious" as well. Memos should have crossed his desk. Issa was supposedly at one of those himself, but it's very unlikely anybody had an accurate picture in their minds of what the thing would eventually be from that.

 

Holder is not the brightest porch-light on the block, and should have prepared more thoroughly and been more careful with his answers in front of that committee. He must now admit he gave a wrong answer and suffer the tedious noise that will generate.

Tedious noise? Over 2000 guns are allowed to cross an international border. Over 200 people have been murdered. But if you voice an objection to the attorney general of the United States lying to congress about it, it’s “tedious noise”.

 

If he was trying to cover something up, I think he would have gone the Gonzo route of faking severe CRS. Can't Remember Shit. He must have thought the "probably" in his answer would serve.

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I think they got Holder for saying something stupid here myself. There had been congressional briefings at about that time that mentioned the term "Fast and Furious" as well. Memos should have crossed his desk. Issa was supposedly at one of those himself, but it's very unlikely anybody had an accurate picture in their minds of what the thing would eventually be from that.

 

Holder is not the brightest porch-light on the block, and should have prepared more thoroughly and been more careful with his answers in front of that committee. He must now admit he gave a wrong answer and suffer the tedious noise that will generate.

Tedious noise? Over 2000 guns are allowed to cross an international border. Over 200 people have been murdered. But if you voice an objection to the attorney general of the United States lying to congress about it, it’s “tedious noise”.

 

If he was trying to cover something up, I think he would have gone the Gonzo route of faking severe CRS. Can't Remember Shit. He must have thought the "probably" in his answer would serve.

 

Probably a few months ago. Probably last summer. Probably last year. Possible. Probably a few weeks ago. When in reality it was almost a year. Lie

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Holder is not the brightest porch-light on the block, and should have prepared more thoroughly and been more careful with his answers in front of that committee. He must now admit he gave a wrong answer and suffer the tedious noise that will generate.

 

Holder is bright enough to win a huge settlement against a drug company and then become attorney general, so he's smart enough to know what a lie is.

 

Lying under oath to the Congress is a serious matter for the top cop in our country, and raises the question of what he was trying to cover up with that lie. Do you suppose that the "tedious noise" will include a call from the NY Times for the Attorney General to resign, like it did last time one of them lied to Congress? Somehow, I doubt it.

 

Was it a lie or a mistake?

 

"When did you first learn about Fast and Furious?"

 

I think he just didn't understand the question.

 

It's extremely confusing. Might reference a movie. :rolleyes: Why did he think he was there in front of Congress? Sorry, he's nowhere near as stupid as they are now claiming.

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Holder is not the brightest porch-light on the block, and should have prepared more thoroughly and been more careful with his answers in front of that committee. He must now admit he gave a wrong answer and suffer the tedious noise that will generate.

 

Holder is bright enough to win a huge settlement against a drug company and then become attorney general, so he's smart enough to know what a lie is.

 

Lying under oath to the Congress is a serious matter for the top cop in our country, and raises the question of what he was trying to cover up with that lie. Do you suppose that the "tedious noise" will include a call from the NY Times for the Attorney General to resign, like it did last time one of them lied to Congress? Somehow, I doubt it.

 

Was it a lie or a mistake?

 

"When did you first learn about Fast and Furious?"

 

I think he just didn't understand the question.

 

It's extremely confusing. Might reference a movie. :rolleyes: Why did he think he was there in front of Congress? Sorry, he's nowhere near as stupid as they are now claiming.

 

Might want to re-think that. To get maximum benefit, you can't have him too smart, because only an idiot would have knowingly let F&F go down the way it did.

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The gal from CBS was on O'Reilly tonight - implied that they had lots more that they were in the process of verifying. Repeated that she was accused of being partisan; That she was screamed and sworn at by the White House Aide that was assigned to handle the press, in regards to Fast and Furious. Professionalism at it's finest.

 

Obama came out and defended him today. How soon will we see a movie "All the Presidents Gun Walker's"?

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Might want to re-think that. To get maximum benefit, you can't have him too smart, because only an idiot would have knowingly let F&F go down the way it did.

The more I hear I think Holder and Obama wanted it to come down exactly the way it did - right up to the time a border agent got killed. I think this was an attempt to control guns, specifically So called assault weapons.

 

Ironic that all the media reports about American Guns ending up in Mexican hands fizzled out at the same time Fast and Furious started hitting the media.

 

Nixon never planned or had anything to do with the Watergate break in - pretty stupid move to try and cover it up. Nixon was anything but stupid.

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Holder is bright enough to win a huge settlement against a drug company and then become attorney general, so he's smart enough to know what a lie is.

 

Lying under oath to the Congress is a serious matter for the top cop in our country, and raises the question of what he was trying to cover up with that lie. Do you suppose that the "tedious noise" will include a call from the NY Times for the Attorney General to resign, like it did last time one of them lied to Congress? Somehow, I doubt it.

 

Was it a lie or a mistake?

 

It's extremely confusing. Might reference a movie. :rolleyes: Why did he think he was there in front of Congress? Sorry, he's nowhere near as stupid as they are now claiming.

 

Might want to re-think that. To get maximum benefit, you can't have him too smart, because only an idiot would have knowingly let F&F go down the way it did.

 

An idiot or someone interested in creating calls for more gun control. Hey, Eric Holder wants more gun control. What a coincidence.

 

I know, I know, the idea that Holder had to have been told is silly conspiracy theory stuff...

 

Conspiracy theory stuff. Somebody had to know....Holder had to know....How high does this go....

 

Might want to rethink that. ;)

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More gunwalking, this time Operation Wide Receiver, which is being put forth as a previous example of the gunwalking tactic.

 

Similar, but different...

 

 

Some firearms in Wide Receive were equipped with RFID tracking devices. In Wide Receiver, it seems the illegal purchasers seemed more than slightly knowledgeable of the way the ATF and how to take their aerial and electronic tracking procedures down.

 

Knowing the time aloft numbers for virtually all planes used in government surveillance, the buyers had a simple method of getting their purchases across the border undetected. They simply drove four-hour loops around the area.

 

As surveillance planes were forced to return to base for re-fueling, the smugglers simply turned and sprinted their cargo across the border.

 

The RFID tags also turned out to be problematic.

 

Rather than making large enough holes for the tags to be laid out inside weapons, agents force-fit them into the rifles.

 

That cramming caused the antennae to be folded, reducing the effective range of the tags. And an already short battery life (36-48 hours maximum) meant that should purchasers allow the firearms to sit, the tracking devices eliminated themselves.

 

This sounds like something out of "The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight" but it's not.

 

Hmm... That didn't work too well and those tracking devices are pretty worthless, so the obvious thing to do is try the program again, but without the tracking component. :rolleyes:

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Again, where is the freakin' outrage over this? I don't care of which political persuasion anyone might be, this is absolutely the worst behavior by our government that I've heard about since Iron-Contras and everyone involved should be fired or jailed!

 

They're going to drag this out until no one remembers it anymore or cares; what corrupt arrogance!

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Again, where is the freakin' outrage over this? I don't care of which political persuasion anyone might be, this is absolutely the worst behavior by our government that I've heard about since Iron-Contras and everyone involved should be fired or jailed!

 

They're going to drag this out until no one remembers it anymore or cares; what corrupt arrogance!

Waco was a lot worse in my opinion. Same outfit though.

 

BATF is what happens when you give the DMV cool black outfits and guns with lots of accessory rails.

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Issa's latest letter to Eric Holder

 

Dear Attorney General Holder:

 

From the beginning of the congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious, the Department of Justice has offered a roving set of ever-changing explanations to justify its involvement in this reckless and deadly program. These defenses have been aimed at undermining the investigation. From the start, the Department insisted that no wrongdoing had occurred and asked Senator Grassley and me to defer our oversight responsibilities over its concerns about our purported interference with its ongoing criminal investigations. Additionally, the Department steadfastly insisted that gunwalking did not occur.

 

Once documentary and testimonial evidence strongly contradicted these claims, the Department attempted to limit the fallout from Fast and Furious to the Phoenix Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). When that effort also proved unsuccessful, the Department next argued that Fast and Furious resided only within ATF itself, before eventually also assigning blame to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Arizona. All of these efforts were designed to circle the wagons around DOJ and its political appointees.

 

To that end, just last month, you claimed that Fast and Furious did not reach the upper levels of the Justice Department. Documents discovered through the course of the investigation, however, have proved each and every one of these claims advanced by the Department to be untrue. It appears your latest defense has reached a new low. Incredibly, in your letter from Friday you now claim that you were unaware of Fast and Furious because your staff failed to inform you of information contained in memos that were specifically addressed to you. At best, this indicates negligence and incompetence in your duties as Attorney General. At worst, it places your credibility into serious doubt.

 

Following the Committee's issuance of a subpoena over six months ago, I strongly believed that the Department would fully cooperate with Congress and support this investigation with all the means at its disposal. The American people deserve no less. Unfortunately, the Department's cooperation to date has been minimal. Hundreds of pages of documents that have been produced to my Committee are duplicative, and hundreds more contain substantial redactions, rendering them virtually worthless. The Department has actively engaged in retaliation against multiple whistleblowers, and has, on numerous occasions, attempted to disseminate false and misleading information to the press in an attempt to discredit this investigation.

 

Your letter dated October 7 is deeply disappointing. Instead of pledging all necessary resources to assist the congressional investigation in discovering the truth behind the fundamentally flawed Operation Fast and Furious, your letter instead did little but obfuscate, shift blame, berate, and attempt to change the topic away from the Department's responsibility in the creation, implementation, and authorization of this reckless program. You claim that, after months of silence, you "must now address these issues" over Fast and Furious because of the harmful discourse of the past few days. Yet, the only major development of these past few days has been the release of multiple documents showing that you and your senior staff had been briefed, on numerous occasions, about Fast and Furious.

 

The Mexican Cartels

 

A month after you became Attorney General, you spoke of the danger of the Mexican drug cartels, and the Sinaloa cartel in particular. The cartels, you said, "are lucrative, they are violent, and they are operated with stunning planning and precision." You promised that under your leadership "these cartels will be destroyed." You vowed that the Department of Justice would "continue to work with [its] counterparts in Mexico, through information sharing, training and mutual cooperation to jointly fight these cartels, both in Mexico and the United States."

 

Under your leadership, however, Operation Fast and Furious has proven these promises hollow. According to one agent, Operation Fast and Furious "armed the cartel. It is disgusting." Fast and Furious simply served as a convenient means for dangerous cartels to acquire upwards of 2,000 assault-style weapons. On top of that, the Government of Mexico was not informed about Fast and Furious. In fact, DOJ and ATF officials actively engaged in hiding information about Fast and Furious from not only Mexican officials, but also U.S. law enforcement officials operating in Mexico for fear that they would inform their Mexican counterparts. This strategy is inapposite and contradicts the promises you made to the American people.

 

Your September 7, 2011 Statement

 

On September 7, 2011, you said that "[t]he notion that [Fast and Furious] reaches into the upper levels of the Justice Department is something that at this point I don't think is supported by the facts and I think once we examine it and once the facts are revealed we'll see that's not the case." Unfortunately, the facts directly contradict this statement.

 

Lanny Breuer, the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, clearly a member of the Department's senior leadership, knew about Fast and Furious as early as March 2010. In fact, I have learned that the amount of detail shared with Breuer's top deputies about Fast and Furious is simply astounding.

 

For example, Manuel Celis-Acosta was the "biggest fish" of the straw purchasing ring in Phoenix. From the time the investigation started in September 2009 until March 15, 2010, Manuel Celis-Acosta acquired at least 852 firearms valued at around $500,000 through straw purchasers. Yet in 2009, Celis-Acosta reported an Arizona taxable income of only $15,475. Between September 2009 and late January 2010, 139 of these firearms were recovered, 81 in Mexico alone. Some of these firearms were recovered less than 24 hours after they were bought.

 

This information, and hundreds of pages worth of additional information, was included in highly detailed wiretap applications sent for authorization to Breuer's top deputies. It is my understanding, the Department applied to the United States District Court for the District of Arizona for numerous wire taps from March 2010 to July 2010. These wire tap applications were reviewed and approved by several Deputy Assistant Attorney Generals, including Kenneth A. Blanco, John C. Keeney, and Jason M. Weinstein. Breuer's top deputies approved these wiretap applications to be used against individuals associated with the known drug cartels. As I understand it, the wire tap applications contain rich detail of the reckless operational tactics being employed by your agents in Phoenix. Although Breuer and his top deputies were informed of the operational details and tactics of Fast and Furious, they did nothing to stop the program. In fact, on a trip to Mexico Breuer trumpeted Fast and Furious as a promising investigation.

 

Gary Grindler, the then-Deputy Attorney General and currently your Chief of Staff, received an extremely detailed briefing on Operation Fast and Furious on March 12, 2010. In this briefing, Grindler learned such minutiae as the number of times that Uriel Patino, a straw purchaser on food stamps who ultimately acquired 720 firearms, went in to a cooperating gun store and the amount of guns that he had bought. When former Acting ATF Director Ken Melson, a career federal prosecutor, learned similar information, he became sick to his stomach:

 

I had pulled out all Patino's -- and ROIs is, I'm sorry, report of investigation -- and you know, my stomach being in knots reading the number of times he went in and the amount of guns that he bought. Transcribed interview of Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson at 42.

 

At the time of his briefing in March of last year, Grindler knew that Patino had purchased 313 weapons and paid for all of them in cash. Unlike Melson, Grindler clearly saw nothing wrong with this. If Grindler had had the sense to shut this investigation down right then, he could have prevented the purchase of an additional 407 weapons by Patino alone. Instead, Grindler did nothing to stop the program.

 

Following this briefing, it is clear that Grindler did one of two things. Either, he alerted you to the name and operational details of Fast and Furious, in which case your May 3, 2011 testimony in front of Congress was false; or, he failed to inform you of the name and the operational details of Fast and Furious, in which case Grindler engaged in gross dereliction of his duties as Acting Deputy Attorney General. It is fair to infer from the fact that Grindler remains as your Chief of Staff that he did not engage in gross dereliction of his duties and told you about the program as far back as March of 2010.

 

In the summer of 2010, at the latest, you were undoubtedly informed about Fast and Furious. On at least five occasions you were told of the connection between Fast and Furious and a specific Mexican cartel – the very cartel that you had vowed to destroy. You were informed that Manuel Celis-Acosta and his straw purchasers were responsible for the purchase of 1,500 firearms that were then supplied to Mexican drug trafficking cartels. Yet, you did nothing to stop this program.

 

You failed to own up to your responsibility to safeguard the American public by hiding behind "[a]ttorneys in [your] office and the Office of the Deputy Attorney General," who you now claim did not bring this information to your attention. Holder Letter, supra note 1. As a result of your failure to act on these memos sent to you, nearly 500 additional firearms were purchased under Fast and Furious.

 

The facts simply do not support any claim that Fast and Furious did not reach the highest levels of the Justice Department. Actually, Fast and Furious did reach the ultimate authority in the Department – you.

 

Your May 3, 2011 Statement

 

On May 3, 2011, I asked you directly when you first knew about the operation known as Fast and Furious. You responded directly, and to the point, that you weren't "sure of the exact date, but [you] probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks." This statement, made before Congress, has proven to be patently untrue. Documents released by the Department just last week showed that you received at least seven memos about Fast and Furious starting as early as July 2010.

 

In your letter Friday, you blamed your staff for failing to inform you about Operation Fast and Furious when they reviewed the memos sent to you last summer. Your staff, therefore, was certainly aware of Fast and Furious over a year ago. Lanny Breuer was aware of Fast and Furious as early as March 2010, and Gary Grindler was also aware of Fast and Furious as early as March 2010. Given this frequency of high level involvement with Fast and Furious as much as a year prior to your May 3, 2011 testimony, it simply is not believable that you were not briefed on Fast and Furious until a few weeks before your testimony. At the very least, you should have known about Fast and Furious well before then. The current paper trail, which will only grow more robust as additional documents are discovered, creates the strong perception that your statement in front of Congress was less than truthful.

 

The February 4, 2011 Letter

 

Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this intransigence is that the Department of Justice has been lying to Congress ever since the inquiry into Fast and Furious began. On February 4, 2011, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich wrote that "ATF makes every effort to interdict weapons that have been purchased illegally and prevent their transport into Mexico." This letter, vetted by both the senior ranks of ATF as well as the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, is a flat-out lie.

 

As we understand it, in March 2010, top deputies to Lanny Breuer were informed that law enforcement officers intercepted calls that demonstrated that Manuel Celis-Acosta was conspiring to purchase and transport firearms for the purpose of trafficking the firearms from the United States into Mexico. Not only was ATF aware of this information, but so was the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This information was shared with the Criminal Division. All of these organizations are components of the Department of Justice, and they were all aware of the illegal purchase of firearms and their eventual transportation into Mexico.

 

These firearms were not interdicted. They were not stopped. Your agents allowed these firearms purchases to continue, sometimes even monitoring them in person, and within days some of these weapons were being recovered in Mexico. Despite widespread knowledge within its senior ranks that this practice was occurring, when asked on numerous occasions about the veracity of this letter, the Department has shockingly continued to stand by its false statement of February 4, 2011.

 

Mr. Attorney General, you have made numerous statements about Fast and Furious that have eventually been proven to be untrue. Your lack of trustworthiness while speaking about Fast and Furious has called into question your overall credibility as Attorney General. The time for deflecting blame and obstructing our investigation is over. The time has come for you to come clean to the American public about what you knew about Fast and Furious, when you knew it, and who is going to be held accountable for failing to shut down a program that has already had deadly consequences, and will likely cause more casualties for years to come.

 

Operation Fast and Furious was the Department's most significant gun trafficking case. It related to two of your major initiatives – destroying the Mexican cartels and reducing gun violence on both sides of the border. On your watch, it went spectacularly wrong. Whether you realize yet or not, you own Fast and Furious. It is your responsibility.

 

Sincerely,

 

Darrell Issa

 

Chairman

 

 

Nothing to see here, just an attorney general and other top administration officials lying to Congress and the American people. That's certainly not news.

 

If a group of rogue gun dealers interested only in profit had done what the government has done, the screams to lock them all up would be deafening. Not to mention justified.

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Everyone knows that this is simply another vast right wing conspiracy against a Democrat Administration doing its thing. What I find curious though is why Mexico hasn't considered this an act of war. Could it be that they knew about it in advance?

 

There's clearly more here than has been revealed to date and Holder going under the bus is simply the fire-break.

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If a letter like that was sent to a Bush AG. It would have been front cover of every paper in the country. It would have led every news show and every hourly update. No need to wonder where the outrage is. This story is playing low key with most of the media because it does not serve their purpose

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If a letter like that was sent to a Bush AG. It would have been front cover of every paper in the country. It would have led every news show and every hourly update. No need to wonder where the outrage is. This story is playing low key with most of the media because it does not serve their purpose

 

Indeed. If Darrel Issa had bothered to try to investigate any of the real malfeasance promulgated by the Bush Administration, it would have been real news. But this? The perception is that it is just the same partisan tripe that we've seen out of Republicans for the last 20 years or so. And thus? It gets no legs, and Republicans can think back on the whirlwind that they've reaped for all that money spent on Whitewater, etc, etc, etc.

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Investigations and accusations flew over Bush dismissing a few federal DA's. It didn't matter that there was nothing illegal or even unethical about those actions. Hell Clinton dismissed them all. Now the AG of the US lies to congress his office is involved in the death of a border agent and it is all rightwing noise. Unfucking believable. Just like it is unbelievable that Holder never read Memos addressed to ....... HIM.

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I guess you never heard of Fitzgerald right.

 

You mean the guy who actually got a conviction on obstruction of justice against a Bush Administration official? I'm pretty familiar with that sordid tale ... or would you rather we not revisit that and instead focus on this kerfuffle in rimfire?

 

Investigations and accusations flew over Bush dismissing a few federal DA's. It didn't matter that there was nothing illegal or even unethical about those actions. Hell Clinton dismissed them all. Now the AG of the US lies to congress his office is involved in the death of a border agent and it is all rightwing noise. Unfucking believable. Just like it is unbelievable that Holder never read Memos addressed to ....... HIM.

 

Sean Hannity wants you to know that you're a 'Great American' or some similar bullshit like that.

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I guess you never heard of Fitzgerald right.

 

You mean the guy who actually got a conviction on obstruction of justice against a Bush Administration official? I'm pretty familiar with that sordid tale ... or would you rather we not revisit that and instead focus on this kerfuffle in rimfire?

 

Investigations and accusations flew over Bush dismissing a few federal DA's. It didn't matter that there was nothing illegal or even unethical about those actions. Hell Clinton dismissed them all. Now the AG of the US lies to congress his office is involved in the death of a border agent and it is all rightwing noise. Unfucking believable. Just like it is unbelievable that Holder never read Memos addressed to ....... HIM.

 

Sean Hannity wants you to know that you're a 'Great American' or some similar bullshit like that.

Nice deflection So which is worse the outing of a CIA agent or the death of a border agent? Because if you use the word Sordid I'm going with the death of the young man.

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Indeed. If Darrel Issa had bothered to try to investigate any of the real malfeasance promulgated by the Bush Administration, it would have been real news. But this? The perception is that it is just the same partisan tripe that we've seen out of Republicans for the last 20 years or so. And thus? It gets no legs, and Republicans can think back on the whirlwind that they've reaped for all that money spent on Whitewater, etc, etc, etc.

 

Your perception is that anything coming from a Republican is partisan tripe, so it's not surprising that this is your perception, but there are other points of view in the world. Some base their perceptions on the facts at hand, not partisan animosity about the past, and in this case, the facts point to some pretty disturbing conclusions about what our government was doing.

 

I think that if Darrel Issa wrote a report about Bush administration wrongdoing, it would read a lot like Elijah Cummings' report on gunwalking: one or two vague references to the wrongdoing at hand.

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Indeed. If Darrel Issa had bothered to try to investigate any of the real malfeasance promulgated by the Bush Administration, it would have been real news. But this? The perception is that it is just the same partisan tripe that we've seen out of Republicans for the last 20 years or so. And thus? It gets no legs, and Republicans can think back on the whirlwind that they've reaped for all that money spent on Whitewater, etc, etc, etc.

 

Your perception is that anything coming from a Republican is partisan tripe, so it's not surprising that this is your perception, but there are other points of view in the world. Some base their perceptions on the facts at hand, not partisan animosity about the past, and in this case, the facts point to some pretty disturbing conclusions about what our government was doing.

 

I think that if Darrel Issa wrote a report about Bush administration wrongdoing, it would read a lot like Elijah Cummings' report on gunwalking: one or two vague references to the wrongdoing at hand.

 

Right then: Tomato. Tomatoe.

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I guess you never heard of Fitzgerald right.

 

You mean the guy who actually got a conviction on obstruction of justice against a Bush Administration official? I'm pretty familiar with that sordid tale ... or would you rather we not revisit that and instead focus on this kerfuffle in rimfire?

 

Investigations and accusations flew over Bush dismissing a few federal DA's. It didn't matter that there was nothing illegal or even unethical about those actions. Hell Clinton dismissed them all. Now the AG of the US lies to congress his office is involved in the death of a border agent and it is all rightwing noise. Unfucking believable. Just like it is unbelievable that Holder never read Memos addressed to ....... HIM.

 

Sean Hannity wants you to know that you're a 'Great American' or some similar bullshit like that.

Nice deflection So which is worse the outing of a CIA agent or the death of a border agent? Because if you use the word Sordid I'm going with the death of the young man.

 

Given that outing V. Plame reportedly led to the deaths of dozens of her contacts, and the general push-back from them about the credibility of their insistence on Iraq having WMDs leading us into an UNNECESSARY WAR which cost thousands of US lives and possibly hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives, I'm going to go with Cheney and his gang of thugs as the worse actors. But yeah, if true, the allegations about "Obama's Mexican Gunrunning Operation" (sic) are not good. Still, on a scale of 1 to 10 its a 1 after a decade of 10s. Ho frickin hum.

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Issa's latest letter to Eric Holder

 

Dear Attorney General Holder:

 

From the beginning of the congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious, the Department of Justice has offered a roving set of ever-changing explanations to justify its involvement in this reckless and deadly program. These defenses have been aimed at undermining the investigation. From the start, the Department insisted that no wrongdoing had occurred and asked Senator Grassley and me to defer our oversight responsibilities over its concerns about our purported interference with its ongoing criminal investigations. Additionally, the Department steadfastly insisted that gunwalking did not occur.

 

Once documentary and testimonial evidence strongly contradicted these claims, the Department attempted to limit the fallout from Fast and Furious to the Phoenix Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). When that effort also proved unsuccessful, the Department next argued that Fast and Furious resided only within ATF itself, before eventually also assigning blame to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Arizona. All of these efforts were designed to circle the wagons around DOJ and its political appointees.

 

To that end, just last month, you claimed that Fast and Furious did not reach the upper levels of the Justice Department. Documents discovered through the course of the investigation, however, have proved each and every one of these claims advanced by the Department to be untrue. It appears your latest defense has reached a new low. Incredibly, in your letter from Friday you now claim that you were unaware of Fast and Furious because your staff failed to inform you of information contained in memos that were specifically addressed to you. At best, this indicates negligence and incompetence in your duties as Attorney General. At worst, it places your credibility into serious doubt.

 

Following the Committee's issuance of a subpoena over six months ago, I strongly believed that the Department would fully cooperate with Congress and support this investigation with all the means at its disposal. The American people deserve no less. Unfortunately, the Department's cooperation to date has been minimal. Hundreds of pages of documents that have been produced to my Committee are duplicative, and hundreds more contain substantial redactions, rendering them virtually worthless. The Department has actively engaged in retaliation against multiple whistleblowers, and has, on numerous occasions, attempted to disseminate false and misleading information to the press in an attempt to discredit this investigation.

 

Your letter dated October 7 is deeply disappointing. Instead of pledging all necessary resources to assist the congressional investigation in discovering the truth behind the fundamentally flawed Operation Fast and Furious, your letter instead did little but obfuscate, shift blame, berate, and attempt to change the topic away from the Department's responsibility in the creation, implementation, and authorization of this reckless program. You claim that, after months of silence, you "must now address these issues" over Fast and Furious because of the harmful discourse of the past few days. Yet, the only major development of these past few days has been the release of multiple documents showing that you and your senior staff had been briefed, on numerous occasions, about Fast and Furious.

 

The Mexican Cartels

 

A month after you became Attorney General, you spoke of the danger of the Mexican drug cartels, and the Sinaloa cartel in particular. The cartels, you said, "are lucrative, they are violent, and they are operated with stunning planning and precision." You promised that under your leadership "these cartels will be destroyed." You vowed that the Department of Justice would "continue to work with [its] counterparts in Mexico, through information sharing, training and mutual cooperation to jointly fight these cartels, both in Mexico and the United States."

 

Under your leadership, however, Operation Fast and Furious has proven these promises hollow. According to one agent, Operation Fast and Furious "armed the cartel. It is disgusting." Fast and Furious simply served as a convenient means for dangerous cartels to acquire upwards of 2,000 assault-style weapons. On top of that, the Government of Mexico was not informed about Fast and Furious. In fact, DOJ and ATF officials actively engaged in hiding information about Fast and Furious from not only Mexican officials, but also U.S. law enforcement officials operating in Mexico for fear that they would inform their Mexican counterparts. This strategy is inapposite and contradicts the promises you made to the American people.

 

Your September 7, 2011 Statement

 

On September 7, 2011, you said that "[t]he notion that [Fast and Furious] reaches into the upper levels of the Justice Department is something that at this point I don't think is supported by the facts and I think once we examine it and once the facts are revealed we'll see that's not the case." Unfortunately, the facts directly contradict this statement.

 

Lanny Breuer, the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, clearly a member of the Department's senior leadership, knew about Fast and Furious as early as March 2010. In fact, I have learned that the amount of detail shared with Breuer's top deputies about Fast and Furious is simply astounding.

 

For example, Manuel Celis-Acosta was the "biggest fish" of the straw purchasing ring in Phoenix. From the time the investigation started in September 2009 until March 15, 2010, Manuel Celis-Acosta acquired at least 852 firearms valued at around $500,000 through straw purchasers. Yet in 2009, Celis-Acosta reported an Arizona taxable income of only $15,475. Between September 2009 and late January 2010, 139 of these firearms were recovered, 81 in Mexico alone. Some of these firearms were recovered less than 24 hours after they were bought.

 

This information, and hundreds of pages worth of additional information, was included in highly detailed wiretap applications sent for authorization to Breuer's top deputies. It is my understanding, the Department applied to the United States District Court for the District of Arizona for numerous wire taps from March 2010 to July 2010. These wire tap applications were reviewed and approved by several Deputy Assistant Attorney Generals, including Kenneth A. Blanco, John C. Keeney, and Jason M. Weinstein. Breuer's top deputies approved these wiretap applications to be used against individuals associated with the known drug cartels. As I understand it, the wire tap applications contain rich detail of the reckless operational tactics being employed by your agents in Phoenix. Although Breuer and his top deputies were informed of the operational details and tactics of Fast and Furious, they did nothing to stop the program. In fact, on a trip to Mexico Breuer trumpeted Fast and Furious as a promising investigation.

 

Gary Grindler, the then-Deputy Attorney General and currently your Chief of Staff, received an extremely detailed briefing on Operation Fast and Furious on March 12, 2010. In this briefing, Grindler learned such minutiae as the number of times that Uriel Patino, a straw purchaser on food stamps who ultimately acquired 720 firearms, went in to a cooperating gun store and the amount of guns that he had bought. When former Acting ATF Director Ken Melson, a career federal prosecutor, learned similar information, he became sick to his stomach:

 

I had pulled out all Patino's -- and ROIs is, I'm sorry, report of investigation -- and you know, my stomach being in knots reading the number of times he went in and the amount of guns that he bought. Transcribed interview of Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson at 42.

 

At the time of his briefing in March of last year, Grindler knew that Patino had purchased 313 weapons and paid for all of them in cash. Unlike Melson, Grindler clearly saw nothing wrong with this. If Grindler had had the sense to shut this investigation down right then, he could have prevented the purchase of an additional 407 weapons by Patino alone. Instead, Grindler did nothing to stop the program.

 

Following this briefing, it is clear that Grindler did one of two things. Either, he alerted you to the name and operational details of Fast and Furious, in which case your May 3, 2011 testimony in front of Congress was false; or, he failed to inform you of the name and the operational details of Fast and Furious, in which case Grindler engaged in gross dereliction of his duties as Acting Deputy Attorney General. It is fair to infer from the fact that Grindler remains as your Chief of Staff that he did not engage in gross dereliction of his duties and told you about the program as far back as March of 2010.

 

In the summer of 2010, at the latest, you were undoubtedly informed about Fast and Furious. On at least five occasions you were told of the connection between Fast and Furious and a specific Mexican cartel – the very cartel that you had vowed to destroy. You were informed that Manuel Celis-Acosta and his straw purchasers were responsible for the purchase of 1,500 firearms that were then supplied to Mexican drug trafficking cartels. Yet, you did nothing to stop this program.

 

You failed to own up to your responsibility to safeguard the American public by hiding behind "[a]ttorneys in [your] office and the Office of the Deputy Attorney General," who you now claim did not bring this information to your attention. Holder Letter, supra note 1. As a result of your failure to act on these memos sent to you, nearly 500 additional firearms were purchased under Fast and Furious.

 

The facts simply do not support any claim that Fast and Furious did not reach the highest levels of the Justice Department. Actually, Fast and Furious did reach the ultimate authority in the Department – you.

 

Your May 3, 2011 Statement

 

On May 3, 2011, I asked you directly when you first knew about the operation known as Fast and Furious. You responded directly, and to the point, that you weren't "sure of the exact date, but [you] probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks." This statement, made before Congress, has proven to be patently untrue. Documents released by the Department just last week showed that you received at least seven memos about Fast and Furious starting as early as July 2010.

 

In your letter Friday, you blamed your staff for failing to inform you about Operation Fast and Furious when they reviewed the memos sent to you last summer. Your staff, therefore, was certainly aware of Fast and Furious over a year ago. Lanny Breuer was aware of Fast and Furious as early as March 2010, and Gary Grindler was also aware of Fast and Furious as early as March 2010. Given this frequency of high level involvement with Fast and Furious as much as a year prior to your May 3, 2011 testimony, it simply is not believable that you were not briefed on Fast and Furious until a few weeks before your testimony. At the very least, you should have known about Fast and Furious well before then. The current paper trail, which will only grow more robust as additional documents are discovered, creates the strong perception that your statement in front of Congress was less than truthful.

 

The February 4, 2011 Letter

 

Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this intransigence is that the Department of Justice has been lying to Congress ever since the inquiry into Fast and Furious began. On February 4, 2011, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich wrote that "ATF makes every effort to interdict weapons that have been purchased illegally and prevent their transport into Mexico." This letter, vetted by both the senior ranks of ATF as well as the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, is a flat-out lie.

 

As we understand it, in March 2010, top deputies to Lanny Breuer were informed that law enforcement officers intercepted calls that demonstrated that Manuel Celis-Acosta was conspiring to purchase and transport firearms for the purpose of trafficking the firearms from the United States into Mexico. Not only was ATF aware of this information, but so was the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This information was shared with the Criminal Division. All of these organizations are components of the Department of Justice, and they were all aware of the illegal purchase of firearms and their eventual transportation into Mexico.

 

These firearms were not interdicted. They were not stopped. Your agents allowed these firearms purchases to continue, sometimes even monitoring them in person, and within days some of these weapons were being recovered in Mexico. Despite widespread knowledge within its senior ranks that this practice was occurring, when asked on numerous occasions about the veracity of this letter, the Department has shockingly continued to stand by its false statement of February 4, 2011.

 

Mr. Attorney General, you have made numerous statements about Fast and Furious that have eventually been proven to be untrue. Your lack of trustworthiness while speaking about Fast and Furious has called into question your overall credibility as Attorney General. The time for deflecting blame and obstructing our investigation is over. The time has come for you to come clean to the American public about what you knew about Fast and Furious, when you knew it, and who is going to be held accountable for failing to shut down a program that has already had deadly consequences, and will likely cause more casualties for years to come.

 

Operation Fast and Furious was the Department's most significant gun trafficking case. It related to two of your major initiatives – destroying the Mexican cartels and reducing gun violence on both sides of the border. On your watch, it went spectacularly wrong. Whether you realize yet or not, you own Fast and Furious. It is your responsibility.

 

Sincerely,

 

Darrell Issa

 

Chairman

 

 

Nothing to see here, just an attorney general and other top administration officials lying to Congress and the American people. That's certainly not news.

 

If a group of rogue gun dealers interested only in profit had done what the government has done, the screams to lock them all up would be deafening. Not to mention justified.

 

Seems an admission Issa is unable to prove Holder was briefed in detail. Gives an appeal to incredulity (unbelievable you were not briefed), and a statement that since it happened on his watch he has to be responsible. Fair enough. He will have to endure much tedious noise for that. It comes with the job.

 

This made Melson "sick to his stomach" back in 2010, and yet he continued it? Man, that needs some more detail. Better get him back up for more testimony. Issa can do that too.

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I guess you never heard of Fitzgerald right.

 

You mean the guy who actually got a conviction on obstruction of justice against a Bush Administration official? I'm pretty familiar with that sordid tale ... or would you rather we not revisit that and instead focus on this kerfuffle in rimfire?

 

Investigations and accusations flew over Bush dismissing a few federal DA's. It didn't matter that there was nothing illegal or even unethical about those actions. Hell Clinton dismissed them all. Now the AG of the US lies to congress his office is involved in the death of a border agent and it is all rightwing noise. Unfucking believable. Just like it is unbelievable that Holder never read Memos addressed to ....... HIM.

 

Sean Hannity wants you to know that you're a 'Great American' or some similar bullshit like that.

Nice deflection So which is worse the outing of a CIA agent or the death of a border agent? Because if you use the word Sordid I'm going with the death of the young man.

 

Given that outing V. Plame reportedly led to the deaths of dozens of her contacts, and the general push-back from them about the credibility of their insistence on Iraq having WMDs leading us into an UNNECESSARY WAR which cost thousands of US lives and possibly hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives, I'm going to go with Cheney and his gang of thugs as the worse actors. But yeah, if true, the allegations about "Obama's Mexican Gunrunning Operation" (sic) are not good. Still, on a scale of 1 to 10 its a 1 after a decade of 10s. Ho frickin hum.

The outing of Plame led to the Iraq war - Holy shit WTF are you smoking???

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Issa's latest letter to Eric Holder

 

Dear Attorney General Holder:

 

From the beginning of the congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious, the Department of Justice has offered a roving set of ever-changing explanations to justify its involvement in this reckless and deadly program. These defenses have been aimed at undermining the investigation. From the start, the Department insisted that no wrongdoing had occurred and asked Senator Grassley and me to defer our oversight responsibilities over its concerns about our purported interference with its ongoing criminal investigations. Additionally, the Department steadfastly insisted that gunwalking did not occur.

 

Once documentary and testimonial evidence strongly contradicted these claims, the Department attempted to limit the fallout from Fast and Furious to the Phoenix Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). When that effort also proved unsuccessful, the Department next argued that Fast and Furious resided only within ATF itself, before eventually also assigning blame to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Arizona. All of these efforts were designed to circle the wagons around DOJ and its political appointees.

 

To that end, just last month, you claimed that Fast and Furious did not reach the upper levels of the Justice Department. Documents discovered through the course of the investigation, however, have proved each and every one of these claims advanced by the Department to be untrue. It appears your latest defense has reached a new low. Incredibly, in your letter from Friday you now claim that you were unaware of Fast and Furious because your staff failed to inform you of information contained in memos that were specifically addressed to you. At best, this indicates negligence and incompetence in your duties as Attorney General. At worst, it places your credibility into serious doubt.

 

Following the Committee's issuance of a subpoena over six months ago, I strongly believed that the Department would fully cooperate with Congress and support this investigation with all the means at its disposal. The American people deserve no less. Unfortunately, the Department's cooperation to date has been minimal. Hundreds of pages of documents that have been produced to my Committee are duplicative, and hundreds more contain substantial redactions, rendering them virtually worthless. The Department has actively engaged in retaliation against multiple whistleblowers, and has, on numerous occasions, attempted to disseminate false and misleading information to the press in an attempt to discredit this investigation.

 

Your letter dated October 7 is deeply disappointing. Instead of pledging all necessary resources to assist the congressional investigation in discovering the truth behind the fundamentally flawed Operation Fast and Furious, your letter instead did little but obfuscate, shift blame, berate, and attempt to change the topic away from the Department's responsibility in the creation, implementation, and authorization of this reckless program. You claim that, after months of silence, you "must now address these issues" over Fast and Furious because of the harmful discourse of the past few days. Yet, the only major development of these past few days has been the release of multiple documents showing that you and your senior staff had been briefed, on numerous occasions, about Fast and Furious.

 

The Mexican Cartels

 

A month after you became Attorney General, you spoke of the danger of the Mexican drug cartels, and the Sinaloa cartel in particular. The cartels, you said, "are lucrative, they are violent, and they are operated with stunning planning and precision." You promised that under your leadership "these cartels will be destroyed." You vowed that the Department of Justice would "continue to work with [its] counterparts in Mexico, through information sharing, training and mutual cooperation to jointly fight these cartels, both in Mexico and the United States."

 

Under your leadership, however, Operation Fast and Furious has proven these promises hollow. According to one agent, Operation Fast and Furious "armed the cartel. It is disgusting." Fast and Furious simply served as a convenient means for dangerous cartels to acquire upwards of 2,000 assault-style weapons. On top of that, the Government of Mexico was not informed about Fast and Furious. In fact, DOJ and ATF officials actively engaged in hiding information about Fast and Furious from not only Mexican officials, but also U.S. law enforcement officials operating in Mexico for fear that they would inform their Mexican counterparts. This strategy is inapposite and contradicts the promises you made to the American people.

 

Your September 7, 2011 Statement

 

On September 7, 2011, you said that "[t]he notion that [Fast and Furious] reaches into the upper levels of the Justice Department is something that at this point I don't think is supported by the facts and I think once we examine it and once the facts are revealed we'll see that's not the case." Unfortunately, the facts directly contradict this statement.

 

Lanny Breuer, the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, clearly a member of the Department's senior leadership, knew about Fast and Furious as early as March 2010. In fact, I have learned that the amount of detail shared with Breuer's top deputies about Fast and Furious is simply astounding.

 

For example, Manuel Celis-Acosta was the "biggest fish" of the straw purchasing ring in Phoenix. From the time the investigation started in September 2009 until March 15, 2010, Manuel Celis-Acosta acquired at least 852 firearms valued at around $500,000 through straw purchasers. Yet in 2009, Celis-Acosta reported an Arizona taxable income of only $15,475. Between September 2009 and late January 2010, 139 of these firearms were recovered, 81 in Mexico alone. Some of these firearms were recovered less than 24 hours after they were bought.

 

This information, and hundreds of pages worth of additional information, was included in highly detailed wiretap applications sent for authorization to Breuer's top deputies. It is my understanding, the Department applied to the United States District Court for the District of Arizona for numerous wire taps from March 2010 to July 2010. These wire tap applications were reviewed and approved by several Deputy Assistant Attorney Generals, including Kenneth A. Blanco, John C. Keeney, and Jason M. Weinstein. Breuer's top deputies approved these wiretap applications to be used against individuals associated with the known drug cartels. As I understand it, the wire tap applications contain rich detail of the reckless operational tactics being employed by your agents in Phoenix. Although Breuer and his top deputies were informed of the operational details and tactics of Fast and Furious, they did nothing to stop the program. In fact, on a trip to Mexico Breuer trumpeted Fast and Furious as a promising investigation.

 

Gary Grindler, the then-Deputy Attorney General and currently your Chief of Staff, received an extremely detailed briefing on Operation Fast and Furious on March 12, 2010. In this briefing, Grindler learned such minutiae as the number of times that Uriel Patino, a straw purchaser on food stamps who ultimately acquired 720 firearms, went in to a cooperating gun store and the amount of guns that he had bought. When former Acting ATF Director Ken Melson, a career federal prosecutor, learned similar information, he became sick to his stomach:

 

I had pulled out all Patino's -- and ROIs is, I'm sorry, report of investigation -- and you know, my stomach being in knots reading the number of times he went in and the amount of guns that he bought. Transcribed interview of Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson at 42.

 

At the time of his briefing in March of last year, Grindler knew that Patino had purchased 313 weapons and paid for all of them in cash. Unlike Melson, Grindler clearly saw nothing wrong with this. If Grindler had had the sense to shut this investigation down right then, he could have prevented the purchase of an additional 407 weapons by Patino alone. Instead, Grindler did nothing to stop the program.

 

Following this briefing, it is clear that Grindler did one of two things. Either, he alerted you to the name and operational details of Fast and Furious, in which case your May 3, 2011 testimony in front of Congress was false; or, he failed to inform you of the name and the operational details of Fast and Furious, in which case Grindler engaged in gross dereliction of his duties as Acting Deputy Attorney General. It is fair to infer from the fact that Grindler remains as your Chief of Staff that he did not engage in gross dereliction of his duties and told you about the program as far back as March of 2010.

 

In the summer of 2010, at the latest, you were undoubtedly informed about Fast and Furious. On at least five occasions you were told of the connection between Fast and Furious and a specific Mexican cartel – the very cartel that you had vowed to destroy. You were informed that Manuel Celis-Acosta and his straw purchasers were responsible for the purchase of 1,500 firearms that were then supplied to Mexican drug trafficking cartels. Yet, you did nothing to stop this program.

 

You failed to own up to your responsibility to safeguard the American public by hiding behind "[a]ttorneys in [your] office and the Office of the Deputy Attorney General," who you now claim did not bring this information to your attention. Holder Letter, supra note 1. As a result of your failure to act on these memos sent to you, nearly 500 additional firearms were purchased under Fast and Furious.

 

The facts simply do not support any claim that Fast and Furious did not reach the highest levels of the Justice Department. Actually, Fast and Furious did reach the ultimate authority in the Department – you.

 

Your May 3, 2011 Statement

 

On May 3, 2011, I asked you directly when you first knew about the operation known as Fast and Furious. You responded directly, and to the point, that you weren't "sure of the exact date, but [you] probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks." This statement, made before Congress, has proven to be patently untrue. Documents released by the Department just last week showed that you received at least seven memos about Fast and Furious starting as early as July 2010.

 

In your letter Friday, you blamed your staff for failing to inform you about Operation Fast and Furious when they reviewed the memos sent to you last summer. Your staff, therefore, was certainly aware of Fast and Furious over a year ago. Lanny Breuer was aware of Fast and Furious as early as March 2010, and Gary Grindler was also aware of Fast and Furious as early as March 2010. Given this frequency of high level involvement with Fast and Furious as much as a year prior to your May 3, 2011 testimony, it simply is not believable that you were not briefed on Fast and Furious until a few weeks before your testimony. At the very least, you should have known about Fast and Furious well before then. The current paper trail, which will only grow more robust as additional documents are discovered, creates the strong perception that your statement in front of Congress was less than truthful.

 

The February 4, 2011 Letter

 

Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this intransigence is that the Department of Justice has been lying to Congress ever since the inquiry into Fast and Furious began. On February 4, 2011, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich wrote that "ATF makes every effort to interdict weapons that have been purchased illegally and prevent their transport into Mexico." This letter, vetted by both the senior ranks of ATF as well as the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, is a flat-out lie.

 

As we understand it, in March 2010, top deputies to Lanny Breuer were informed that law enforcement officers intercepted calls that demonstrated that Manuel Celis-Acosta was conspiring to purchase and transport firearms for the purpose of trafficking the firearms from the United States into Mexico. Not only was ATF aware of this information, but so was the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This information was shared with the Criminal Division. All of these organizations are components of the Department of Justice, and they were all aware of the illegal purchase of firearms and their eventual transportation into Mexico.

 

These firearms were not interdicted. They were not stopped. Your agents allowed these firearms purchases to continue, sometimes even monitoring them in person, and within days some of these weapons were being recovered in Mexico. Despite widespread knowledge within its senior ranks that this practice was occurring, when asked on numerous occasions about the veracity of this letter, the Department has shockingly continued to stand by its false statement of February 4, 2011.

 

Mr. Attorney General, you have made numerous statements about Fast and Furious that have eventually been proven to be untrue. Your lack of trustworthiness while speaking about Fast and Furious has called into question your overall credibility as Attorney General. The time for deflecting blame and obstructing our investigation is over. The time has come for you to come clean to the American public about what you knew about Fast and Furious, when you knew it, and who is going to be held accountable for failing to shut down a program that has already had deadly consequences, and will likely cause more casualties for years to come.

 

Operation Fast and Furious was the Department's most significant gun trafficking case. It related to two of your major initiatives – destroying the Mexican cartels and reducing gun violence on both sides of the border. On your watch, it went spectacularly wrong. Whether you realize yet or not, you own Fast and Furious. It is your responsibility.

 

Sincerely,

 

Darrell Issa

 

Chairman

 

 

Nothing to see here, just an attorney general and other top administration officials lying to Congress and the American people. That's certainly not news.

 

If a group of rogue gun dealers interested only in profit had done what the government has done, the screams to lock them all up would be deafening. Not to mention justified.

 

Seems an admission Issa is unable to prove Holder was briefed in detail. Gives an appeal to incredulity (unbelievable you were not briefed), and a statement that since it happened on his watch he has to be responsible. Fair enough. He will have to endure much tedious noise for that. It comes with the job.

 

This made Melson "sick to his stomach" back in 2010, and yet he continued it? Man, that needs some more detail. Better get him back up for more testimony.incompetento that too.

Given the paper trail either Holder was lying or incompitent or both. Remember this is the guy who requested and got Rich a pardon, If I remember correctly he also claimed that he had not read the whole Rich file - like the part that he was one of the countries most wanted criminals.

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Given that outing V. Plame reportedly led to the deaths of dozens of her contacts, and the general push-back from them about the credibility of their insistence on Iraq having WMDs leading us into an UNNECESSARY WAR which cost thousands of US lives and possibly hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives, I'm going to go with Cheney and his gang of thugs as the worse actors. But yeah, if true, the allegations about "Obama's Mexican Gunrunning Operation" (sic) are not good. Still, on a scale of 1 to 10 its a 1 after a decade of 10s. Ho frickin hum.

The outing of Plame led to the Iraq war - Holy shit WTF are you smoking???

 

Not so good with the reading comprehension, eh? No wonder you're such a winger.

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Given that outing V. Plame reportedly led to the deaths of dozens of her contacts, and the general push-back from them about the credibility of their insistence on Iraq having WMDs leading us into an UNNECESSARY WAR which cost thousands of US lives and possibly hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives, I'm going to go with Cheney and his gang of thugs as the worse actors. But yeah, if true, the allegations about "Obama's Mexican Gunrunning Operation" (sic) are not good. Still, on a scale of 1 to 10 its a 1 after a decade of 10s. Ho frickin hum.

The outing of Plame led to the Iraq war - Holy shit WTF are you smoking???

 

Not so good with the reading comprehension, eh? No wonder you're such a winger.

Care to provide a cite for that dozens of contacts that were killed claim?

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Given that outing V. Plame reportedly led to the deaths of dozens of her contacts, and the general push-back from them about the credibility of their insistence on Iraq having WMDs leading us into an UNNECESSARY WAR which cost thousands of US lives and possibly hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives, I'm going to go with Cheney and his gang of thugs as the worse actors. But yeah, if true, the allegations about "Obama's Mexican Gunrunning Operation" (sic) are not good. Still, on a scale of 1 to 10 its a 1 after a decade of 10s. Ho frickin hum.

The outing of Plame led to the Iraq war - Holy shit WTF are you smoking???

 

Not so good with the reading comprehension, eh? No wonder you're such a winger.

Care to provide a cite for that dozens of contacts that were killed claim?

He didn't claim anyone was killed, he said it "reportedly led to deaths" which means about nothing.

(Besides, it was Richard Armitage who told Novak about Plame.)

All of which will be small consolation to the families of the over 200 murdered to date with F&F guns.

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Issa's latest letter to Eric Holder

 

Dear Attorney General Holder:

 

From the beginning of the congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious, the Department of Justice has offered a roving set of ever-changing explanations to justify its involvement in this reckless and deadly program. These defenses have been aimed at undermining the investigation. From the start, the Department insisted that no wrongdoing had occurred and asked Senator Grassley and me to defer our oversight responsibilities over its concerns about our purported interference with its ongoing criminal investigations. Additionally, the Department steadfastly insisted that gunwalking did not occur.

 

Once documentary and testimonial evidence strongly contradicted these claims, the Department attempted to limit the fallout from Fast and Furious to the Phoenix Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). When that effort also proved unsuccessful, the Department next argued that Fast and Furious resided only within ATF itself, before eventually also assigning blame to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Arizona. All of these efforts were designed to circle the wagons around DOJ and its political appointees.

 

To that end, just last month, you claimed that Fast and Furious did not reach the upper levels of the Justice Department. Documents discovered through the course of the investigation, however, have proved each and every one of these claims advanced by the Department to be untrue. It appears your latest defense has reached a new low. Incredibly, in your letter from Friday you now claim that you were unaware of Fast and Furious because your staff failed to inform you of information contained in memos that were specifically addressed to you. At best, this indicates negligence and incompetence in your duties as Attorney General. At worst, it places your credibility into serious doubt.

 

Following the Committee's issuance of a subpoena over six months ago, I strongly believed that the Department would fully cooperate with Congress and support this investigation with all the means at its disposal. The American people deserve no less. Unfortunately, the Department's cooperation to date has been minimal. Hundreds of pages of documents that have been produced to my Committee are duplicative, and hundreds more contain substantial redactions, rendering them virtually worthless. The Department has actively engaged in retaliation against multiple whistleblowers, and has, on numerous occasions, attempted to disseminate false and misleading information to the press in an attempt to discredit this investigation.

 

Your letter dated October 7 is deeply disappointing. Instead of pledging all necessary resources to assist the congressional investigation in discovering the truth behind the fundamentally flawed Operation Fast and Furious, your letter instead did little but obfuscate, shift blame, berate, and attempt to change the topic away from the Department's responsibility in the creation, implementation, and authorization of this reckless program. You claim that, after months of silence, you "must now address these issues" over Fast and Furious because of the harmful discourse of the past few days. Yet, the only major development of these past few days has been the release of multiple documents showing that you and your senior staff had been briefed, on numerous occasions, about Fast and Furious.

 

The Mexican Cartels

 

A month after you became Attorney General, you spoke of the danger of the Mexican drug cartels, and the Sinaloa cartel in particular. The cartels, you said, "are lucrative, they are violent, and they are operated with stunning planning and precision." You promised that under your leadership "these cartels will be destroyed." You vowed that the Department of Justice would "continue to work with [its] counterparts in Mexico, through information sharing, training and mutual cooperation to jointly fight these cartels, both in Mexico and the United States."

 

Under your leadership, however, Operation Fast and Furious has proven these promises hollow. According to one agent, Operation Fast and Furious "armed the cartel. It is disgusting." Fast and Furious simply served as a convenient means for dangerous cartels to acquire upwards of 2,000 assault-style weapons. On top of that, the Government of Mexico was not informed about Fast and Furious. In fact, DOJ and ATF officials actively engaged in hiding information about Fast and Furious from not only Mexican officials, but also U.S. law enforcement officials operating in Mexico for fear that they would inform their Mexican counterparts. This strategy is inapposite and contradicts the promises you made to the American people.

 

Your September 7, 2011 Statement

 

On September 7, 2011, you said that "[t]he notion that [Fast and Furious] reaches into the upper levels of the Justice Department is something that at this point I don't think is supported by the facts and I think once we examine it and once the facts are revealed we'll see that's not the case." Unfortunately, the facts directly contradict this statement.

 

Lanny Breuer, the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, clearly a member of the Department's senior leadership, knew about Fast and Furious as early as March 2010. In fact, I have learned that the amount of detail shared with Breuer's top deputies about Fast and Furious is simply astounding.

 

For example, Manuel Celis-Acosta was the "biggest fish" of the straw purchasing ring in Phoenix. From the time the investigation started in September 2009 until March 15, 2010, Manuel Celis-Acosta acquired at least 852 firearms valued at around $500,000 through straw purchasers. Yet in 2009, Celis-Acosta reported an Arizona taxable income of only $15,475. Between September 2009 and late January 2010, 139 of these firearms were recovered, 81 in Mexico alone. Some of these firearms were recovered less than 24 hours after they were bought.

 

This information, and hundreds of pages worth of additional information, was included in highly detailed wiretap applications sent for authorization to Breuer's top deputies. It is my understanding, the Department applied to the United States District Court for the District of Arizona for numerous wire taps from March 2010 to July 2010. These wire tap applications were reviewed and approved by several Deputy Assistant Attorney Generals, including Kenneth A. Blanco, John C. Keeney, and Jason M. Weinstein. Breuer's top deputies approved these wiretap applications to be used against individuals associated with the known drug cartels. As I understand it, the wire tap applications contain rich detail of the reckless operational tactics being employed by your agents in Phoenix. Although Breuer and his top deputies were informed of the operational details and tactics of Fast and Furious, they did nothing to stop the program. In fact, on a trip to Mexico Breuer trumpeted Fast and Furious as a promising investigation.

 

Gary Grindler, the then-Deputy Attorney General and currently your Chief of Staff, received an extremely detailed briefing on Operation Fast and Furious on March 12, 2010. In this briefing, Grindler learned such minutiae as the number of times that Uriel Patino, a straw purchaser on food stamps who ultimately acquired 720 firearms, went in to a cooperating gun store and the amount of guns that he had bought. When former Acting ATF Director Ken Melson, a career federal prosecutor, learned similar information, he became sick to his stomach:

 

I had pulled out all Patino's -- and ROIs is, I'm sorry, report of investigation -- and you know, my stomach being in knots reading the number of times he went in and the amount of guns that he bought. Transcribed interview of Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson at 42.

 

At the time of his briefing in March of last year, Grindler knew that Patino had purchased 313 weapons and paid for all of them in cash. Unlike Melson, Grindler clearly saw nothing wrong with this. If Grindler had had the sense to shut this investigation down right then, he could have prevented the purchase of an additional 407 weapons by Patino alone. Instead, Grindler did nothing to stop the program.

 

Following this briefing, it is clear that Grindler did one of two things. Either, he alerted you to the name and operational details of Fast and Furious, in which case your May 3, 2011 testimony in front of Congress was false; or, he failed to inform you of the name and the operational details of Fast and Furious, in which case Grindler engaged in gross dereliction of his duties as Acting Deputy Attorney General. It is fair to infer from the fact that Grindler remains as your Chief of Staff that he did not engage in gross dereliction of his duties and told you about the program as far back as March of 2010.

 

In the summer of 2010, at the latest, you were undoubtedly informed about Fast and Furious. On at least five occasions you were told of the connection between Fast and Furious and a specific Mexican cartel – the very cartel that you had vowed to destroy. You were informed that Manuel Celis-Acosta and his straw purchasers were responsible for the purchase of 1,500 firearms that were then supplied to Mexican drug trafficking cartels. Yet, you did nothing to stop this program.

 

You failed to own up to your responsibility to safeguard the American public by hiding behind "[a]ttorneys in [your] office and the Office of the Deputy Attorney General," who you now claim did not bring this information to your attention. Holder Letter, supra note 1. As a result of your failure to act on these memos sent to you, nearly 500 additional firearms were purchased under Fast and Furious.

 

The facts simply do not support any claim that Fast and Furious did not reach the highest levels of the Justice Department. Actually, Fast and Furious did reach the ultimate authority in the Department – you.

 

Your May 3, 2011 Statement

 

On May 3, 2011, I asked you directly when you first knew about the operation known as Fast and Furious. You responded directly, and to the point, that you weren't "sure of the exact date, but [you] probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks." This statement, made before Congress, has proven to be patently untrue. Documents released by the Department just last week showed that you received at least seven memos about Fast and Furious starting as early as July 2010.

 

In your letter Friday, you blamed your staff for failing to inform you about Operation Fast and Furious when they reviewed the memos sent to you last summer. Your staff, therefore, was certainly aware of Fast and Furious over a year ago. Lanny Breuer was aware of Fast and Furious as early as March 2010, and Gary Grindler was also aware of Fast and Furious as early as March 2010. Given this frequency of high level involvement with Fast and Furious as much as a year prior to your May 3, 2011 testimony, it simply is not believable that you were not briefed on Fast and Furious until a few weeks before your testimony. At the very least, you should have known about Fast and Furious well before then. The current paper trail, which will only grow more robust as additional documents are discovered, creates the strong perception that your statement in front of Congress was less than truthful.

 

The February 4, 2011 Letter

 

Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this intransigence is that the Department of Justice has been lying to Congress ever since the inquiry into Fast and Furious began. On February 4, 2011, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich wrote that "ATF makes every effort to interdict weapons that have been purchased illegally and prevent their transport into Mexico." This letter, vetted by both the senior ranks of ATF as well as the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, is a flat-out lie.

 

As we understand it, in March 2010, top deputies to Lanny Breuer were informed that law enforcement officers intercepted calls that demonstrated that Manuel Celis-Acosta was conspiring to purchase and transport firearms for the purpose of trafficking the firearms from the United States into Mexico. Not only was ATF aware of this information, but so was the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This information was shared with the Criminal Division. All of these organizations are components of the Department of Justice, and they were all aware of the illegal purchase of firearms and their eventual transportation into Mexico.

 

These firearms were not interdicted. They were not stopped. Your agents allowed these firearms purchases to continue, sometimes even monitoring them in person, and within days some of these weapons were being recovered in Mexico. Despite widespread knowledge within its senior ranks that this practice was occurring, when asked on numerous occasions about the veracity of this letter, the Department has shockingly continued to stand by its false statement of February 4, 2011.

 

Mr. Attorney General, you have made numerous statements about Fast and Furious that have eventually been proven to be untrue. Your lack of trustworthiness while speaking about Fast and Furious has called into question your overall credibility as Attorney General. The time for deflecting blame and obstructing our investigation is over. The time has come for you to come clean to the American public about what you knew about Fast and Furious, when you knew it, and who is going to be held accountable for failing to shut down a program that has already had deadly consequences, and will likely cause more casualties for years to come.

 

Operation Fast and Furious was the Department's most significant gun trafficking case. It related to two of your major initiatives – destroying the Mexican cartels and reducing gun violence on both sides of the border. On your watch, it went spectacularly wrong. Whether you realize yet or not, you own Fast and Furious. It is your responsibility.

 

Sincerely,

 

Darrell Issa

 

Chairman

 

 

Nothing to see here, just an attorney general and other top administration officials lying to Congress and the American people. That's certainly not news.

 

If a group of rogue gun dealers interested only in profit had done what the government has done, the screams to lock them all up would be deafening. Not to mention justified.

 

Seems an admission Issa is unable to prove Holder was briefed in detail. Gives an appeal to incredulity (unbelievable you were not briefed), and a statement that since it happened on his watch he has to be responsible. Fair enough. He will have to endure much tedious noise for that. It comes with the job.

 

This made Melson "sick to his stomach" back in 2010, and yet he continued it? Man, that needs some more detail. Better get him back up for more testimony. Issa can do that too.

 

That appeal is backed up by facts: it is known that Grindler was fully briefed, and it is known that he is still Holder's Chief of Staff. Issa is right that it is implausible that if he had not done his duty, he would still have that job.

 

Holder came to Congress to testify under oath about Fast and Furious and denied knowing of the program, something that was an obvious lie. He will likely get away with it, so in that sense you're right to call complaints about his criminal behavior "tedious noise."

 

It will take a man like Howard Baker to make justice happen here, but all we have are partisans who don't see anything wrong with lying under oath, as long as the person doing the lying has a D behind his name.

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Issa's latest letter to Eric Holder

 

Dear Attorney General Holder:

 

From the beginning of the congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious, the Department of Justice has offered a roving set of ever-changing explanations to justify its involvement in this reckless and deadly program. These defenses have been aimed at undermining the investigation. From the start, the Department insisted that no wrongdoing had occurred and asked Senator Grassley and me to defer our oversight responsibilities over its concerns about our purported interference with its ongoing criminal investigations. Additionally, the Department steadfastly insisted that gunwalking did not occur.

 

Once documentary and testimonial evidence strongly contradicted these claims, the Department attempted to limit the fallout from Fast and Furious to the Phoenix Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). When that effort also proved unsuccessful, the Department next argued that Fast and Furious resided only within ATF itself, before eventually also assigning blame to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Arizona. All of these efforts were designed to circle the wagons around DOJ and its political appointees.

 

To that end, just last month, you claimed that Fast and Furious did not reach the upper levels of the Justice Department. Documents discovered through the course of the investigation, however, have proved each and every one of these claims advanced by the Department to be untrue. It appears your latest defense has reached a new low. Incredibly, in your letter from Friday you now claim that you were unaware of Fast and Furious because your staff failed to inform you of information contained in memos that were specifically addressed to you. At best, this indicates negligence and incompetence in your duties as Attorney General. At worst, it places your credibility into serious doubt.

 

Following the Committee's issuance of a subpoena over six months ago, I strongly believed that the Department would fully cooperate with Congress and support this investigation with all the means at its disposal. The American people deserve no less. Unfortunately, the Department's cooperation to date has been minimal. Hundreds of pages of documents that have been produced to my Committee are duplicative, and hundreds more contain substantial redactions, rendering them virtually worthless. The Department has actively engaged in retaliation against multiple whistleblowers, and has, on numerous occasions, attempted to disseminate false and misleading information to the press in an attempt to discredit this investigation.

 

Your letter dated October 7 is deeply disappointing. Instead of pledging all necessary resources to assist the congressional investigation in discovering the truth behind the fundamentally flawed Operation Fast and Furious, your letter instead did little but obfuscate, shift blame, berate, and attempt to change the topic away from the Department's responsibility in the creation, implementation, and authorization of this reckless program. You claim that, after months of silence, you "must now address these issues" over Fast and Furious because of the harmful discourse of the past few days. Yet, the only major development of these past few days has been the release of multiple documents showing that you and your senior staff had been briefed, on numerous occasions, about Fast and Furious.

 

The Mexican Cartels

 

A month after you became Attorney General, you spoke of the danger of the Mexican drug cartels, and the Sinaloa cartel in particular. The cartels, you said, "are lucrative, they are violent, and they are operated with stunning planning and precision." You promised that under your leadership "these cartels will be destroyed." You vowed that the Department of Justice would "continue to work with [its] counterparts in Mexico, through information sharing, training and mutual cooperation to jointly fight these cartels, both in Mexico and the United States."

 

Under your leadership, however, Operation Fast and Furious has proven these promises hollow. According to one agent, Operation Fast and Furious "armed the cartel. It is disgusting." Fast and Furious simply served as a convenient means for dangerous cartels to acquire upwards of 2,000 assault-style weapons. On top of that, the Government of Mexico was not informed about Fast and Furious. In fact, DOJ and ATF officials actively engaged in hiding information about Fast and Furious from not only Mexican officials, but also U.S. law enforcement officials operating in Mexico for fear that they would inform their Mexican counterparts. This strategy is inapposite and contradicts the promises you made to the American people.

 

Your September 7, 2011 Statement

 

On September 7, 2011, you said that "[t]he notion that [Fast and Furious] reaches into the upper levels of the Justice Department is something that at this point I don't think is supported by the facts and I think once we examine it and once the facts are revealed we'll see that's not the case." Unfortunately, the facts directly contradict this statement.

 

Lanny Breuer, the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, clearly a member of the Department's senior leadership, knew about Fast and Furious as early as March 2010. In fact, I have learned that the amount of detail shared with Breuer's top deputies about Fast and Furious is simply astounding.

 

For example, Manuel Celis-Acosta was the "biggest fish" of the straw purchasing ring in Phoenix. From the time the investigation started in September 2009 until March 15, 2010, Manuel Celis-Acosta acquired at least 852 firearms valued at around $500,000 through straw purchasers. Yet in 2009, Celis-Acosta reported an Arizona taxable income of only $15,475. Between September 2009 and late January 2010, 139 of these firearms were recovered, 81 in Mexico alone. Some of these firearms were recovered less than 24 hours after they were bought.

 

This information, and hundreds of pages worth of additional information, was included in highly detailed wiretap applications sent for authorization to Breuer's top deputies. It is my understanding, the Department applied to the United States District Court for the District of Arizona for numerous wire taps from March 2010 to July 2010. These wire tap applications were reviewed and approved by several Deputy Assistant Attorney Generals, including Kenneth A. Blanco, John C. Keeney, and Jason M. Weinstein. Breuer's top deputies approved these wiretap applications to be used against individuals associated with the known drug cartels. As I understand it, the wire tap applications contain rich detail of the reckless operational tactics being employed by your agents in Phoenix. Although Breuer and his top deputies were informed of the operational details and tactics of Fast and Furious, they did nothing to stop the program. In fact, on a trip to Mexico Breuer trumpeted Fast and Furious as a promising investigation.

 

Gary Grindler, the then-Deputy Attorney General and currently your Chief of Staff, received an extremely detailed briefing on Operation Fast and Furious on March 12, 2010. In this briefing, Grindler learned such minutiae as the number of times that Uriel Patino, a straw purchaser on food stamps who ultimately acquired 720 firearms, went in to a cooperating gun store and the amount of guns that he had bought. When former Acting ATF Director Ken Melson, a career federal prosecutor, learned similar information, he became sick to his stomach:

 

I had pulled out all Patino's -- and ROIs is, I'm sorry, report of investigation -- and you know, my stomach being in knots reading the number of times he went in and the amount of guns that he bought. Transcribed interview of Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson at 42.

 

At the time of his briefing in March of last year, Grindler knew that Patino had purchased 313 weapons and paid for all of them in cash. Unlike Melson, Grindler clearly saw nothing wrong with this. If Grindler had had the sense to shut this investigation down right then, he could have prevented the purchase of an additional 407 weapons by Patino alone. Instead, Grindler did nothing to stop the program.

 

Following this briefing, it is clear that Grindler did one of two things. Either, he alerted you to the name and operational details of Fast and Furious, in which case your May 3, 2011 testimony in front of Congress was false; or, he failed to inform you of the name and the operational details of Fast and Furious, in which case Grindler engaged in gross dereliction of his duties as Acting Deputy Attorney General. It is fair to infer from the fact that Grindler remains as your Chief of Staff that he did not engage in gross dereliction of his duties and told you about the program as far back as March of 2010.

 

In the summer of 2010, at the latest, you were undoubtedly informed about Fast and Furious. On at least five occasions you were told of the connection between Fast and Furious and a specific Mexican cartel – the very cartel that you had vowed to destroy. You were informed that Manuel Celis-Acosta and his straw purchasers were responsible for the purchase of 1,500 firearms that were then supplied to Mexican drug trafficking cartels. Yet, you did nothing to stop this program.

 

You failed to own up to your responsibility to safeguard the American public by hiding behind "[a]ttorneys in [your] office and the Office of the Deputy Attorney General," who you now claim did not bring this information to your attention. Holder Letter, supra note 1. As a result of your failure to act on these memos sent to you, nearly 500 additional firearms were purchased under Fast and Furious.

 

The facts simply do not support any claim that Fast and Furious did not reach the highest levels of the Justice Department. Actually, Fast and Furious did reach the ultimate authority in the Department – you.

 

Your May 3, 2011 Statement

 

On May 3, 2011, I asked you directly when you first knew about the operation known as Fast and Furious. You responded directly, and to the point, that you weren't "sure of the exact date, but [you] probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks." This statement, made before Congress, has proven to be patently untrue. Documents released by the Department just last week showed that you received at least seven memos about Fast and Furious starting as early as July 2010.

 

In your letter Friday, you blamed your staff for failing to inform you about Operation Fast and Furious when they reviewed the memos sent to you last summer. Your staff, therefore, was certainly aware of Fast and Furious over a year ago. Lanny Breuer was aware of Fast and Furious as early as March 2010, and Gary Grindler was also aware of Fast and Furious as early as March 2010. Given this frequency of high level involvement with Fast and Furious as much as a year prior to your May 3, 2011 testimony, it simply is not believable that you were not briefed on Fast and Furious until a few weeks before your testimony. At the very least, you should have known about Fast and Furious well before then. The current paper trail, which will only grow more robust as additional documents are discovered, creates the strong perception that your statement in front of Congress was less than truthful.

 

The February 4, 2011 Letter

 

Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this intransigence is that the Department of Justice has been lying to Congress ever since the inquiry into Fast and Furious began. On February 4, 2011, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich wrote that "ATF makes every effort to interdict weapons that have been purchased illegally and prevent their transport into Mexico." This letter, vetted by both the senior ranks of ATF as well as the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, is a flat-out lie.

 

As we understand it, in March 2010, top deputies to Lanny Breuer were informed that law enforcement officers intercepted calls that demonstrated that Manuel Celis-Acosta was conspiring to purchase and transport firearms for the purpose of trafficking the firearms from the United States into Mexico. Not only was ATF aware of this information, but so was the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This information was shared with the Criminal Division. All of these organizations are components of the Department of Justice, and they were all aware of the illegal purchase of firearms and their eventual transportation into Mexico.

 

These firearms were not interdicted. They were not stopped. Your agents allowed these firearms purchases to continue, sometimes even monitoring them in person, and within days some of these weapons were being recovered in Mexico. Despite widespread knowledge within its senior ranks that this practice was occurring, when asked on numerous occasions about the veracity of this letter, the Department has shockingly continued to stand by its false statement of February 4, 2011.

 

Mr. Attorney General, you have made numerous statements about Fast and Furious that have eventually been proven to be untrue. Your lack of trustworthiness while speaking about Fast and Furious has called into question your overall credibility as Attorney General. The time for deflecting blame and obstructing our investigation is over. The time has come for you to come clean to the American public about what you knew about Fast and Furious, when you knew it, and who is going to be held accountable for failing to shut down a program that has already had deadly consequences, and will likely cause more casualties for years to come.

 

Operation Fast and Furious was the Department's most significant gun trafficking case. It related to two of your major initiatives – destroying the Mexican cartels and reducing gun violence on both sides of the border. On your watch, it went spectacularly wrong. Whether you realize yet or not, you own Fast and Furious. It is your responsibility.

 

Sincerely,

 

Darrell Issa

 

Chairman

 

 

Nothing to see here, just an attorney general and other top administration officials lying to Congress and the American people. That's certainly not news.

 

If a group of rogue gun dealers interested only in profit had done what the government has done, the screams to lock them all up would be deafening. Not to mention justified.

 

Seems an admission Issa is unable to prove Holder was briefed in detail. Gives an appeal to incredulity (unbelievable you were not briefed), and a statement that since it happened on his watch he has to be responsible. Fair enough. He will have to endure much tedious noise for that. It comes with the job.

 

This made Melson "sick to his stomach" back in 2010, and yet he continued it? Man, that needs some more detail. Better get him back up for more testimony. Issa can do that too.

 

That appeal is backed up by facts: it is known that Grindler was fully briefed, and it is known that he is still Holder's Chief of Staff. Issa is right that it is implausible that if he had not done his duty, he would still have that job.

 

Holder came to Congress to testify under oath about Fast and Furious and denied knowing of the program, something that was an obvious lie. He will likely get away with it, so in that sense you're right to call complaints about his criminal behavior "tedious noise."

 

It will take a man like Howard Baker to make justice happen here, but all we have are partisans who don't see anything wrong with lying under oath, as long as the person doing the lying has a D behind his name.

 

Who are the partisans who see nothing wrong with lying under oath?

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Who are the partisans who see nothing wrong with lying under oath?

 

Why was Issa given limited access to some documents, but Grassley was not?

 

The answer will give you but one name among many. I'd say the broader answer is: anyone who tolerates it in silence instead of making tedious noise about it. You, for example. :P

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Who are the partisans who see nothing wrong with lying under oath?

 

Why was Issa given limited access to some documents, but Grassley was not?

 

The answer will give you but one name among many. I'd say the broader answer is: anyone who tolerates it in silence instead of making tedious noise about it. You, for example. :P

 

That would be anyone who is not already jumped to a conclusion that not even Issa, who has seen all the unedited documents in camera, is willing to do.

 

Pretty weak straw man, even for one of yours.

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Gary Grindler, the then-Deputy Attorney General and currently your Chief of Staff, received an extremely detailed briefing on Operation Fast and Furious on March 12, 2010. In this briefing, Grindler learned such minutiae as the number of times that Uriel Patino, a straw purchaser on food stamps who ultimately acquired 720 firearms, went in to a cooperating gun store and the amount of guns that he had bought. When former Acting ATF Director Ken Melson, a career federal prosecutor, learned similar information, he became sick to his stomach:

 

I had pulled out all Patino's -- and ROIs is, I'm sorry, report of investigation -- and you know, my stomach being in knots reading the number of times he went in and the amount of guns that he bought. Transcribed interview of Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson at 42.

 

That appeal is backed up by facts: it is known that Grindler was fully briefed, and it is known that he is still Holder's Chief of Staff. Issa is right that it is implausible that if he had not done his duty, he would still have that job.

 

 

Can you clarify two things for me?

 

Who "fully briefed" Grindler on March 12, 2010?

 

When did Melson pull all Patino's ROIs and develop the urge to hurl?

 

Thanks.

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Who are the partisans who see nothing wrong with lying under oath?

 

Why was Issa given limited access to some documents, but Grassley was not?

 

The answer will give you but one name among many. I'd say the broader answer is: anyone who tolerates it in silence instead of making tedious noise about it. You, for example. :P

 

That would be anyone who is not already jumped to a conclusion that not even Issa, who has seen all the unedited documents in camera, is willing to do.

 

Pretty weak straw man, even for one of yours.

 

I concluded that Holder must be lying. Issa said this:

 

Mr. Attorney General, you have made numerous statements about Fast and Furious that have eventually been proven to be untrue. Your lack of trustworthiness while speaking about Fast and Furious has called into question your overall credibility as Attorney General.

 

Looks like a conclusion that Holder must be lying to me. How about you?

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Gary Grindler, the then-Deputy Attorney General and currently your Chief of Staff, received an extremely detailed briefing on Operation Fast and Furious on March 12, 2010. In this briefing, Grindler learned such minutiae as the number of times that Uriel Patino, a straw purchaser on food stamps who ultimately acquired 720 firearms, went in to a cooperating gun store and the amount of guns that he had bought. When former Acting ATF Director Ken Melson, a career federal prosecutor, learned similar information, he became sick to his stomach:

 

I had pulled out all Patino's -- and ROIs is, I'm sorry, report of investigation -- and you know, my stomach being in knots reading the number of times he went in and the amount of guns that he bought. Transcribed interview of Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson at 42.

 

That appeal is backed up by facts: it is known that Grindler was fully briefed, and it is known that he is still Holder's Chief of Staff. Issa is right that it is implausible that if he had not done his duty, he would still have that job.

 

 

Can you clarify two things for me?

 

Who "fully briefed" Grindler on March 12, 2010?

 

When did Melson pull all Patino's ROIs and develop the urge to hurl?

 

Thanks.

 

Sure, but first I want to make sure we both understand words in English the same way. Please address this question without answering it with a stupid and irrelevant question like you did the last time.

 

 

Testimony of Agent Dodson:

 

dodsontestimony.gif

 

Hey wabbit, what do you suppose he meant by the words "keep the straw purchaser under surveillance while allowing the guns to walk" in the hands of the "unknown third party"?

 

So, since I couldn't figure it out, enlighten me. What do you suppose he meant by the words "keep the straw purchaser under surveillance while allowing the guns to walk" in the hands of the "unknown third party"?

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Gary Grindler, the then-Deputy Attorney General and currently your Chief of Staff, received an extremely detailed briefing on Operation Fast and Furious on March 12, 2010. In this briefing, Grindler learned such minutiae as the number of times that Uriel Patino, a straw purchaser on food stamps who ultimately acquired 720 firearms, went in to a cooperating gun store and the amount of guns that he had bought. When former Acting ATF Director Ken Melson, a career federal prosecutor, learned similar information, he became sick to his stomach:

 

I had pulled out all Patino's -- and ROIs is, I'm sorry, report of investigation -- and you know, my stomach being in knots reading the number of times he went in and the amount of guns that he bought. Transcribed interview of Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson at 42.

 

That appeal is backed up by facts: it is known that Grindler was fully briefed, and it is known that he is still Holder's Chief of Staff. Issa is right that it is implausible that if he had not done his duty, he would still have that job.

 

 

Can you clarify two things for me?

 

Who "fully briefed" Grindler on March 12, 2010?

 

When did Melson pull all Patino's ROIs and develop the urge to hurl?

 

Thanks.

 

Sure, but first I want to make sure we both understand words in English the same way. Please address this question without answering it with a stupid and irrelevant question like you did the last time.

 

Testimony of Agent Dodson:

 

dodsontestimony.gif

 

Hey wabbit, what do you suppose he meant by the words "keep the straw purchaser under surveillance while allowing the guns to walk" in the hands of the "unknown third party"?

 

So, since I couldn't figure it out, enlighten me. What do you suppose he meant by the words "keep the straw purchaser under surveillance while allowing the guns to walk" in the hands of the "unknown third party"?

 

I'm pretty sure that we've covered this ground before (you really get the broken record award), it seems to mean that he was told keep the straw purchaser under surveillance. Beats me why they didn't have enough manpower to keep both the straw purchaser and the guns under surveillance. Seems pretty stupid.

 

I look forward to hearing your answer to my two very simple questions.

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I'm pretty sure that we've covered this ground before (you really get the broken record award), it seems to mean that he was told keep the straw purchaser under surveillance. Beats me why they didn't have enough manpower to keep both the straw purchaser and the guns under surveillance. Seems pretty stupid.

 

I look forward to hearing your answer to my two very simple questions.

 

We did indeed, when I claimed that the order to track the straw buyers while the guns disappeared in the hands of an unknown third party constituted an order not to track the guns. You seemed to disagree at the time:

 

 

So, since I couldn't figure it out, enlighten me. What do you suppose he meant by the words "keep the straw purchaser under surveillance while allowing the guns to walk" in the hands of the "unknown third party"?

 

If Mommy orders Junior to eat his broccoli, is that the same as Mommy ordering Junior not to eat his chicken?

 

If Dodson's superiors order him to track a straw purchaser while the guns disappear in the hands of an unknown third party, is that the same as Dodson's superiors ordering him not to track the guns?

 

It seems like it is to me, and your statement above implies that you know that he can't do both at the same time, but I would still appreciate a direct answer to my question.

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Adam Winkler, UCLA law professor, agrees with me that the only two possibilities are that Holder committed perjury or he is incompetent.

 

If he didn't commit perjury, Holder is nevertheless guilty of remarkable incompetence for his failure to oversee such a sensitive operation as selling guns to violent drug cartels.

 

The Atlanta Journal Constitution's Jamie Dupree provides the subpoena

 

House Republicans today announced that they had sent subpoenas to Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department to gain more information about Operation Fast and Furious, the controversial gun-walking program that allowed weapons to go to Mexican drug gangs.

 

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) says his Oversight Committee wants some very basic information, described below.

 

=

 

The subpoena seeks the following:

 

In accordance with the attached schedule instructions, you, Eric H. Holder Jr., are required to produce all records in unredacted form described below:

 

  1. All communications referring or relating to Operation Fast and Furious, the Jacob Chambers case, or any Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) firearms trafficking case based in Phoenix, Arizona, to or from the following individuals:

a. Eric Holder Jr., Attorney General;

 

b. David Ogden, Former Deputy Attorney General;

 

c. Gary Grindler, Office of the Attorney General and former Acting Deputy Attorney General;

 

d. James Cole, Deputy Attorney General;

 

e. Lanny Breuer, Assistant Attorney General;

 

f. Ronald Weich, Assistant Attorney General;

 

g. Kenneth Blanco, Deputy Assistant Attorney General;

 

h. Jason Weinstein, Deputy Assistant Attorney General;

 

i. John Keeney, Deputy Assistant Attorney General;

 

j. Bruce Swartz, Deputy Assistant Attorney General;

 

k. Matt Axelrod, Associate Deputy Attorney General;

 

l. Ed Siskel, former Associate Deputy Attorney General;

 

m. Brad Smith, Office of the Deputy Attorney General;

 

n. Kevin Carwile, Section Chief, Capital Case Unit, Criminal Division;

 

o. Joseph Cooley, Criminal Fraud Section, Criminal Division; and,

 

p. James Trusty, Acting Chief, Organized Crime and Gang Section.

 

2. All communications between and among Department of Justice (DOJ) employees and Executive Office of the President employees, including but not limited to Associate Communications Director Eric Schultz, referring or relating to Operation Fast and Furious or any other firearms trafficking cases.

 

3. All communications between DOJ employees and Executive Office of the President employees referring or relating to the President's March 22, 2011 interview with Jorge Ramos of Univision.

 

4. All documents and communications referring or relating to any instances prior to February 4, 2011 where the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) failed to interdict weapons that had been illegally purchased or transferred.

 

5. All documents and communications referring or relating to any instances prior to February 4, 2011 where ATF broke off surveillance of weapons and subsequently became aware that those weapons entered Mexico.

 

6. All documents and communications referring or relating to the murder of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata, including but not limited to documents and communications regarding Zapata's mission when he was murdered, Form for Reporting Information That May Become Testimony (FD-302), photographs of the crime scene, and investigative reports prepared by the FBI.

 

7. All communications to or from William Newell, former Special Agent-in-Charge for ATF's Phoenix Field Division, between:

 

a. December 14, 2010 to January 25, 2011; and,

 

b. March 16, 2009 to March 19, 2009.

 

8. All Reports of Investigation (ROIs) related to Operation Fast and Furious or ATF Case Number 785115-10-0004.

 

9. All communications between and among Matt Axelrod, Kenneth Melson, and William Hoover referring or relating to ROIs identified pursuant to Paragraph 7.

 

10. All documents and communications between and among former U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke, Attorney General Eric Holder Jr., former Acting Deputy Attorney General Gary Grindler, Deputy Attorney General James Cole, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, and Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein referring or relating to Operation Fast and Furious or any OCDETF case originating in Arizona.

 

11. All communications sent or received between:

 

a. December 16, 2009 and December 18, 2009, and;

 

b. March 9, 2011 and March 14, 2011, to or from the following individuals:

 

  • Emory Hurley, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona;
  • Michael Morrissey, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona;
  • Patrick Cunningham, Chief, Criminal Division, Office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona;
  • David Voth, Group Supervisor, ATF; and,
  • Hope MacAllister, Special Agent, ATF.

12. All communications sent or received between December 15, 2010 and December 17, 2010 to or from the following individuals in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Arizona:

 

a. Dennis Burke, former United States Attorney;

 

b. Emory Hurley, Assistant United States Attorney;

 

c. Michael Morrissey, Assistant United States Attorney; and,

 

d. Patrick Cunningham, Chief of the Criminal Division.

 

13. All communications sent or received between August 7, 2009 and March 19, 2011 between and among former Ambassador to Mexico Carlos Pascual; Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer; and, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Bruce Swartz.

 

14. All communications sent or received between August 7, 2009 and March 19, 2011 between and among former Ambassador to Mexico Carlos Pascual and any Department of Justice employee based in Mexico City referring or relating to firearms trafficking initiatives, Operation Fast and Furious or any firearms trafficking case based in Arizona, or any visits by Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer to Mexico.

 

15. Any FD-302 relating to targets, suspects, defendants, or their associates, bosses, or financiers in the Fast and Furious investigation, including but not limited to any FD-302s ATF Special Agent Hope MacAllister provided to ATF leadership during the calendar year 2011.

 

16. Any investigative reports prepared by the FBI or Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) referring or relating to targets, suspects, or defendants in the Fast and Furious case.

 

17. Any investigative reports prepared by the FBI or DEA relating to the individuals described to Committee staff at the October 5, 2011 briefing at Justice Department headquarters as Target Number 1 and Target Number 2.

 

18. All documents and communications in the possession, custody or control of the DEA referring or relating to Manuel Fabian Celis-Acosta.

 

19. All documents and communications between and among FBI employees in Arizona and the FBI Laboratory, including but not limited to employees in the Firearms/Toolmark Unit, referring or relating to the firearms recovered during the course of the investigation of Brian Terry's death.

 

20. All agendas, meeting notes, meeting minutes, and follow-up reports for the Attorney General's Advisory Committee of U.S. Attorneys between March 1, 2009 and July 31, 2011, referring or relating to Operation Fast and Furious.

 

21. All weekly reports and memoranda for the Attorney General, either directly or through the Deputy Attorney General, from any employee in the Criminal Division, ATF, DEA, FBI, or the National Drug Intelligence Center created between November 1, 2009 and September 30, 2011.

 

22. All surveillance tapes recorded by pole cameras inside the Lone Wolf Trading Co. store between 12:00 a.m. on October 3, 2010 and 12:00 a.m. on October 7, 2010.

 

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I'm pretty sure that we've covered this ground before (you really get the broken record award), it seems to mean that he was told keep the straw purchaser under surveillance. Beats me why they didn't have enough manpower to keep both the straw purchaser and the guns under surveillance. Seems pretty stupid.

 

I look forward to hearing your answer to my two very simple questions.

 

We did indeed, when I claimed that the order to track the straw buyers while the guns disappeared in the hands of an unknown third party constituted an order not to track the guns. You seemed to disagree at the time:

 

 

So, since I couldn't figure it out, enlighten me. What do you suppose he meant by the words "keep the straw purchaser under surveillance while allowing the guns to walk" in the hands of the "unknown third party"?

 

If Mommy orders Junior to eat his broccoli, is that the same as Mommy ordering Junior not to eat his chicken?

 

If Dodson's superiors order him to track a straw purchaser while the guns disappear in the hands of an unknown third party, is that the same as Dodson's superiors ordering him not to track the guns?

It seems like it is to me, and your statement above implies that you know that he can't do both at the same time, but I would still appreciate a direct answer to my question.

 

No, it's not the same thing.

 

Now answer my questions.

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I'm pretty sure that we've covered this ground before (you really get the broken record award), it seems to mean that he was told keep the straw purchaser under surveillance. Beats me why they didn't have enough manpower to keep both the straw purchaser and the guns under surveillance. Seems pretty stupid.

 

I look forward to hearing your answer to my two very simple questions.

 

We did indeed, when I claimed that the order to track the straw buyers while the guns disappeared in the hands of an unknown third party constituted an order not to track the guns. You seemed to disagree at the time:

 

So, since I couldn't figure it out, enlighten me. What do you suppose he meant by the words "keep the straw purchaser under surveillance while allowing the guns to walk" in the hands of the "unknown third party"?

 

If Mommy orders Junior to eat his broccoli, is that the same as Mommy ordering Junior not to eat his chicken?

 

If Dodson's superiors order him to track a straw purchaser while the guns disappear in the hands of an unknown third party, is that the same as Dodson's superiors ordering him not to track the guns?

It seems like it is to me, and your statement above implies that you know that he can't do both at the same time, but I would still appreciate a direct answer to my question.

 

No, it's not the same thing.

 

Now answer my questions.

 

If you don't understand that people can't go both ways at a fork in the road, we're not going to be able to communicate. The agents were upset because they were ordered to stop tracking the guns and let them walk. If the order to continue watching the straw buyer had not had that effect, Dodson would not have mentioned the incident in his testimony. That's what this whole scandal is about.

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If you don't understand that people can't go both ways at a fork in the road, we're not going to be able to communicate. The agents were upset because they were ordered to stop tracking the guns and let them walk. If the order to continue watching the straw buyer had not had that effect, Dodson would not have mentioned the incident in his testimony. That's what this whole scandal is about.

 

Really? Judging by your thread title I thought this whole scandal was about Obama personally being involved in trafficking guns to Mexico.

 

I understand that you don't agree with my answer. But I did answer your question. Telling someone to do one thing is not the same as ordering someone not to do something else. It just isn't.

 

Now kindly answer my questions.

 

Who "fully briefed" Grindler on March 12, 2010?

 

When did Melson pull all Patino's ROIs and develop the urge to hurl?

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If you don't understand that people can't go both ways at a fork in the road, we're not going to be able to communicate. The agents were upset because they were ordered to stop tracking the guns and let them walk. If the order to continue watching the straw buyer had not had that effect, Dodson would not have mentioned the incident in his testimony. That's what this whole scandal is about.

 

Really? Judging by your thread title I thought this whole scandal was about Obama personally being involved in trafficking guns to Mexico.

 

I understand that you don't agree with my answer. But I did answer your question. Telling someone to do one thing is not the same as ordering someone not to do something else. It just isn't.

 

 

I did not start the thread nor advise NGS on the title he chose.

 

This is not a matter of agreement on a subjective subject. Ordering someone to take one of two mutually exclusive courses of action is also ordering him not to take the other. It just is.

 

Not having the manpower to do both is possibly an excuse for being stupid in one instance, but agent Dodson went on to say that "Surveillance operations like this were the rule, not the exception. This was not a matter of some weapons getting away from us, or allowing a few to walk so as to follow them to a much larger or significant target. Allowing loads of weapons that we knew to be destined for criminals - this was the plan. It was so mandated."

 

If it still "beats you" why they did not follow both the straw buyers and the guns, there's your answer: it was so mandated. Or, it was a stupid mistake that they kept making over and over again for many months on end, but even I do not believe in that level of government incompetence.

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If you don't understand that people can't go both ways at a fork in the road, we're not going to be able to communicate. The agents were upset because they were ordered to stop tracking the guns and let them walk. If the order to continue watching the straw buyer had not had that effect, Dodson would not have mentioned the incident in his testimony. That's what this whole scandal is about.

 

Really? Judging by your thread title I thought this whole scandal was about Obama personally being involved in trafficking guns to Mexico.

 

I understand that you don't agree with my answer. But I did answer your question. Telling someone to do one thing is not the same as ordering someone not to do something else. It just isn't.

 

 

I did not start the thread nor advise NGS on the title he chose.

 

This is not a matter of agreement on a subjective subject. Ordering someone to take one of two mutually exclusive courses of action is also ordering him not to take the other. It just is.

 

Not having the manpower to do both is possibly an excuse for being stupid in one instance, but agent Dodson went on to say that "Surveillance operations like this were the rule, not the exception. This was not a matter of some weapons getting away from us, or allowing a few to walk so as to follow them to a much larger or significant target. Allowing loads of weapons that we knew to be destined for criminals - this was the plan. It was so mandated."

 

If it still "beats you" why they did not follow both the straw buyers and the guns, there's your answer: it was so mandated. Or, it was a stupid mistake that they kept making over and over again for many months on end, but even I do not believe in that level of government incompetence.

 

I don't care that you don't agree with my answer.

 

You said that you would answer my questions if I answered yours.

 

It appears that you were lying.

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I don't care that you don't agree with my answer.

 

You said that you would answer my questions if I answered yours.

 

It appears that you were lying.

 

That's one possibility based on what I said...

 

Can you clarify two things for me?

 

Who "fully briefed" Grindler on March 12, 2010?

 

When did Melson pull all Patino's ROIs and develop the urge to hurl?

 

Thanks.

 

Sure, but first I want to make sure we both understand words in English the same way.

 

The other is that I discovered, as I feared, that you do not understand that a person can not simultaneously take both forks in a road. Taking one results in not taking the other.

 

As I thought my reply made clear, I don't wish to continue talking to someone who does not understand that basic fact about this scandal.

 

Come back when you have figured out that Dodson was not pissed at being told to tail a lawbreaker, he was pissed that being told to tail a lawbreaker meant letting guns walk. Until then, you and I can't communicate because we don't understand words in English the same way.

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If you don't understand that people can't go both ways at a fork in the road, we're not going to be able to communicate. The agents were upset because they were ordered to stop tracking the guns and let them walk. If the order to continue watching the straw buyer had not had that effect, Dodson would not have mentioned the incident in his testimony. That's what this whole scandal is about.

 

Really? Judging by your thread title I thought this whole scandal was about Obama personally being involved in trafficking guns to Mexico.

 

I understand that you don't agree with my answer. But I did answer your question. Telling someone to do one thing is not the same as ordering someone not to do something else. It just isn't.

 

 

I did not start the thread nor advise NGS on the title he chose.

 

This is not a matter of agreement on a subjective subject. Ordering someone to take one of two mutually exclusive courses of action is also ordering him not to take the other. It just is.

 

Not having the manpower to do both is possibly an excuse for being stupid in one instance, but agent Dodson went on to say that "Surveillance operations like this were the rule, not the exception. This was not a matter of some weapons getting away from us, or allowing a few to walk so as to follow them to a much larger or significant target. Allowing loads of weapons that we knew to be destined for criminals - this was the plan. It was so mandated."

 

If it still "beats you" why they did not follow both the straw buyers and the guns, there's your answer: it was so mandated. Or, it was a stupid mistake that they kept making over and over again for many months on end, but even I do not believe in that level of government incompetence.

 

How did Obama Know about F&F before Holder?

 

 

 

(WH staff later seen running to the liberal dictionary for a new definition for the word "know".)

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How did Obama Know about F&F before Holder?

 

 

 

(WH staff later seen running to the liberal dictionary for a new definition for the word "know".)

 

Obama knew before Holder, and also knew that Holder did not know. He managed to find that out without letting Holder know. Additionally, someone at the head of the DOJ ordered an IG investigation into Fast and Furious before Holder found out about it. Or something.

 

I wonder if he knew about the Grenade Walking?

 

Sources tell CBS News that, in January 2010, ATF had Kingery under surveillance after he bought about 50 grenade bodies and headed to Mexico. But they say prosecutors wouldn't agree to make a case. So, as ATF agents looked on, Kingery and the grenade parts crossed the border -- and simply disappeared.

 

Six months later, Kingery allegedly got caught leaving the U.S. for Mexico with 114 disassembled grenades in a tire. One ATF agent told investigators he literally begged prosecutors to keep Kingery in custody this time, fearing he was supplying narco-terrorists, but was again ordered to let Kingery go.

 

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Problem is, the subpoenas didn't include Dept of State higher - ups because they were in on this from the beginning. Hillary especially.

 

Nobody saw any need to inform Hillary that our foreign policy with Mexico included knowingly allowing thousands of guns to be sold to criminals down there, any more than they saw any need to inform Eric Holder that one of his agencies was apparently trying to find a cartel buyer who actually worked for another of his agencies. Somebody else was supposed to see to the coordination of all that. Bush, probably.

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Tom, I saw a piece about a week ago that indicated Hillary was in on the initial concept and planning stages but then delegated meeting attendance to deputies and assistants. I'll try to dig up the link when I'm not on the phone. Suggestion was this led back to 2009.

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ABC reports on gunwalking during the Bush administration:

 

The documents show that the special agent in charge of the ATF’s Phoenix office, William Newell, was involved in a 2007 incident that resulted in guns slipping into Mexico and, later, part of Fast and Furious. Newell was the special agent in charge of the Phoenix office until earlier this year.

 

The incident arose on Sept. 27, 2007, when ATF agents were conducting surveillance on subjects under investigation for gun trafficking and they hoped to work with the Mexican government to interdict them. The emails’ existence was first reported by The Associated Press Friday night.

 

Confusion over the incident came to the attention of ATF headquarters from Carson Carroll, who was then the deputy assistant director for the Office of Field Operations.

 

“ATF agents observed this vehicle [carrying guns] commit to the border and reach the Mexican side until it could no longer be seen,” Carroll wrote in a Sept. 28, 2007 email. “We, the ATF … did not get a response from the Mexican side until 20 minutes later, who then informed us that they did not see the vehicle cross. For the first time we are working hand in hand with the GOM [Government of Mexico] and providing them with what they want and this is what we get!”

 

The following day, ATF Acting Director for Field Operation William Hoover was demanding information on the strategy.

 

“Have we discussed the strategy with the U.S. Attorney’s Office re letting the guns walk? Do we have this approval in writing? Have we discussed and thought thru the consequences of same?” Hoover wrote to Newell and Carroll. “Are we tracking south of the border? Same re U.S. Attorney’s Office. Did we find out why they missed the hand-off of the vehicle? What are the expected outcomes?

 

“I do not want any firearms to go south until further notice,” Hoover wrote on Oct 5. “I expect a full briefing paper on my desk Tuesday morning from SAC Newell with every question answered.”

 

On Oct. 6, 2007, Newell wrote in an email, “I’m so frustrated with this whole mess I’m shutting the case down and any further attempts to do something similar. We’re done trying to pursue new and innovative initiatives – it’s not worth the hassle.”

 

Newell testified earlier this year about his role in Fast and Furious and acknowledged mistakes.

 

 

OK, then. Newell got so frustrated with the innovation of gunwalking back in 2007 that he quit doing it. Naturally, anyone who does something that stupid gets promoted, so he decided to go back to gunwalking a couple of years later. Now he has acknowledged mistakes. The thing to do is promote him again and then act surprised when the same thing happens again.

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Tom, I saw a piece about a week ago that indicated Hillary was in on the initial concept and planning stages but then delegated meeting attendance to deputies and assistants. I'll try to dig up the link when I'm not on the phone. Suggestion was this led back to 2009.

 

Sipsey Street Irregulars says that Hillary knew, and knew enough to ensure plausible deniability.

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And from the "laws that should not be needed, but apparently are" file:

 

Senate Bars Funding for Future Gunwalking Operations

 

As news reports reveal similar past operations to Fast and Furious, Cornyn's amendment would ban Justice Department appropriations to be used for "the knowing transfer of firearms to agents of drug cartels where law enforcement personnel of the United States do not continuously monitor or control such firearms at all times."

 

Asked how the term "agents" would be defined, an aide said the term is "self-explanatory."

 

The amendment, which would be part of a "minibus" appropriations bill for fiscal year 2012 that contains Mikulski's jurisdiction as well as agriculture, transportation and housing spending, could be approved as early as Tuesday.

 

The vote comes as the Department of Justice as well as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is under scrutiny for Operation Fast and Furious, which Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, a key congressional investigator, said Tuesday "went critically wrong."

 

"By March of 2010, the ATF had gathered evidence that the intent of the straw buyers was to transfer these weapons to criminals and Mexican drug cartels," Grassley told an audience at Judicial Watch, which has been petitioning the government to release documents on the operation.

 

Noting that rather than shutting it down, Grassley said the operation continued with false assurances to gun dealers that the suspects would be stopped before damage was done.

 

Instead, the operation wasn't brought to an end until U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed on Dec. 15, 2010.

 

"Two of the weapons bought right under the ATF's nose nearly a year earlier turned up at the murder scene," Grassley noted.

 

But an attorney representing one of the ATF officials at the center of this storm sees it differently, insisting the description that the guns were allowed to "walk" is not fair. He describes the ATF behavior in this case as "not an unusual strategy, it's a typical strategy. It does not involve allowing guns to walk."

 

 

No, not at all, which is why Agent Canino said they "threw away the rule book" for this program.

 

dodsontestimony.gif

 

See? They just ordered agents to watch straw buyers, a very typical strategy. Nothing unusual about it at all. One wonders why it was even talked about in front of Congress?

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The Washington Post is trying the "Bush did it too" defense

 

...it turns out there was another gun operation run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives years before, using the same tactics of allowing guns to flow illegally onto U.S. streets and into Mexico. This operation was conducted under the Bush administration’s Justice Department.

 

...

 

According to Justice spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler, some of the e-mails used in the attempt to discredit Holder were referring to the Tucson case, Wide Receiver.More specifically, Schmaler said that when the e-mails mention “guns walking,” they are referring to the 2006-07 Tucson case, Operation Wide Receiver. Schmaler said neither of the officials knew about guns walking in the Fast and Furious case.

 

On Oct. 16, 2010, James Trusty, chief of the Organized Crime and Gang section, wrote to Criminal Division Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein:

 

“Looks like we’ll be able to unseal the Tucson case sooner than the Fast and Furious,” he wrote. “It’s not clear how much we’re involved in the main F and F case, but we have Tucson. . . . I’m not sure how much grief we get for ‘guns walking,’ it [sic] may be more like, ‘Finally, they’re going after people who sent guns down there.’ ”

 

The next day, Oct. 17, 2010, Weinstein replied:

 

“Do you think we should try to have Lanny [breuer] participate in press when Fast and Furious and Laura’s Tucson case are unsealed?” he wrote. “It’s a tricky case given the number of guns that have walked but it is a significant set of prosecutions.” Breuer is the assistant attorney general for the Criminal Division.

 

Whether the issue was Operation Wide Receiver or Fast and Furious, Justice should have acknowledged the tactics to Congress when asked, said a spokesman for Issa. “In February, the Justice Department asserted to Congress it had no knowledge of gun walking by ATF agents,” said the spokesman, Frederick Hill.

 

Grassley staffers said Thursday night that it was Jason Weinstein, the Criminal Division deputy assistant attorney general, who was the lead Justice Department official who briefed the Senate Judiciary staff in February and left the impression that no gun walking had occurred.

 

Grassley and Issa released more documents Thursday, charging that Holder received at least five memos describing Fast and Furious, beginning in July 2010.

 

 

Actually, the tactics were different in a number of significant ways, as the ABC report linked above shows. In the case mentioned, the Government of Mexico let the guns walk after being informed they were crossing the border. The ATF agents were able to inform the Mexican government that the guns were crossing because they were actually tracking the guns, or at least trying.

 

A similarity between the two programs seems to be that Gunwalker Bill Newell continued plowing ahead back in 2007 long after it was clear that they were arming criminals and losing guns.

 

As usual, the Washington Post reporting suffers from bias of omission on those points, and it is interesting what else they omitted. They say the email to Weinstein said, "It’s not clear how much we’re involved in the main F and F case, but we have Tucson. . . . " That's true, as far as it goes. Here is a more complete version. I guess they didn't quite have room on the website for a few extra words. "It’s not clear how much we’re involved in the main F and F case, but we have Tucson and now a new, related case with (deleted) targets."

 

They were concerned about how much grief they would get for guns walking, but they'll get more grief for trying to deceive the Senate back in February. It's always the coverup that gets 'em.

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Classic case of shutting the barn door after the donkeys have escaped.

 

Thanks for keeping this one on the burner. Am I just being paranoid, or has the furor died a bit? Or are Issa and company just waiting for a more appropriately scandalous moment to "bust a cap" on this?

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About that missing third gun at the murder scene of Agent Terry...

 

Was there a fourth and fifth gun as well? Congress has asked the FBI to clarify conflicting reports.

 

A Justice Department spokeswoman said that Issa’s false accusation “maligns the dedicated agents investigating the murder of Agent Terry” and “mischaracterizes evidence in an ongoing case.”

 

“The FBI has made clear that reports of a third gun recovered from the perpetrators at the scene of Agent Terry’s murder are false,” Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler said in a statement to reporters.

 

“When law enforcement analyzes evidence from a crime scene, it refers to some of the items seized as ‘known’ items or ‘Ks’ for shorthand,” Schmaler explained. “Certain items were analyzed as ‘known’ items from the crime scene of Agent Terry’s murder, including the two firearms referenced by Chairman Issa and designated by the FBI as Known Specimens ‘K2’ and ‘K3’.”

 

“According to the FBI, the item that Chairman Issa refers to as ‘K1’ is a blood sample from Agent Terry, not a firearm. For this reason, it was not listed on the ballistics report prepared by the FBI,” Schmaler continued.

 

Issa is an idiot or a liar. Pick one.

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W., given the amount of stonewalling and outright deception and ineptness shown so far, if the two guns recovered were "K3" and "K2" , it would be logical to think that "K1" was another firearm. No idiocy involved.

 

But before we lose our way in the forest of minutiae, let us remember that it was Holder's DOJ that let guns "walk" into Mexico. Mr Holder mentioned Fast and Furious in 09 and memos of gunwalking crossed his desk almost a year prior to his " recollection"'of it, and Mrs.Clinton was in on the initial planning and sent deputies to meetings since 09. How high DOES this go?

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About that missing third gun at the murder scene of Agent Terry...

 

Was there a fourth and fifth gun as well? Congress has asked the FBI to clarify conflicting reports.

 

A Justice Department spokeswoman said that Issa's false accusation "maligns the dedicated agents investigating the murder of Agent Terry" and "mischaracterizes evidence in an ongoing case."

 

"The FBI has made clear that reports of a third gun recovered from the perpetrators at the scene of Agent Terry's murder are false," Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler said in a statement to reporters.

 

"When law enforcement analyzes evidence from a crime scene, it refers to some of the items seized as 'known' items or 'Ks' for shorthand," Schmaler explained. "Certain items were analyzed as 'known' items from the crime scene of Agent Terry's murder, including the two firearms referenced by Chairman Issa and designated by the FBI as Known Specimens 'K2' and 'K3'."

 

"According to the FBI, the item that Chairman Issa refers to as 'K1' is a blood sample from Agent Terry, not a firearm. For this reason, it was not listed on the ballistics report prepared by the FBI," Schmaler continued.

 

Issa is an idiot or a liar. Pick one.

 

Or possibly someone who relies on evidence other than statements from a DOJ that has lied about this scandal over and over from the beginning.

 

By the way, your quote there has no source. Would you mind posting the link where you got it?

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