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The complete history of Barack Obama's second term -- click Views/Repies for top stories
 
 
 


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Beckwith

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Holder "intensely followed and managed" effort to block Congress from Fast & Furious investigation

James Beattie (BizPacreview) is reporting that a new memo states that then-Attorney General Eric Holder was integral in managing the response of Congress' investigation of Operation Fast and Furious.

Issued by House Oversight and Government Reform chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, the memo summarizes 20,500 documents released to the committee investigating the program. The documents were disclosed Friday after U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered their release in January.

Designed to stop gun smuggling across the southwestern United States, the program was halted in 2010 after the death of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

"More than previously understood, the documents show the lengths to which senior Department officials went to keep information from Congress," the memo said. "Further, the documents reveal how senior Justice Department officials -- including Attorney General Eric Holder -- intensely followed and managed an effort to carefully limit and obstruct the information produced to Congress."

"Transparency should not require years of litigation and a court order," Chaffetz said in a statement.  

He continued:

These documents illustrate the lengths to which this administration went in order to limit and block access to subpoenaed information. Calculated efforts were made by senior DOJ officials to obstruct Congress. This attempt to prioritize a political agenda ahead of facts is unsettling and unacceptable.

Chaffetz's predecessor on the House Oversight Panel, Rep. Darrel Issa, R-Calif., weighed in:

Several on Twitter reacted to the news:


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Beckwith

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House chairman says these documents could land Eric Holder in prison

IMage725.jpg

Brian Hayes (TopRightNews) is reporting that Rep. Darrell Issa said Thursday that documents the Obama administration may be forced to produce regarding Operation Fast and Furious could criminally implicate former Attorney General Eric Holder and his staff.

And the Government Oversight Chairman predicted a Republican administration would "without a doubt" bring charges that could land Holder and his minions in jail.

On Tuesday, a federal judge invalidated President Barack Obama's use of "executive privilege" to prevent the documents from being provided to a congressional investigation, saying that some of the material had already been cited by the administration in public. The judge will hear more arguments before ordering the documents released.

Issa told Breitbart News that his continuing investigation into Fast and Furious could uncover possible criminality by former Attorney General Eric Holder and his staff, thereby providing a new incoming administration with the facts they would need to bring charges.

Issa said:

The next administration could well choose to deal with people's crimes, particularly the conspiracy to cover this up, to falsely mislead the American people. There were a number of areas in which criminal activity could alleged, and as it stands right now the biggest question is that Eric Holder swore he didn't know about this a number of times. And some of that has been proved wrong.

If we're able to see that his hand-picked US Attorney Dennis Burke was involved in communicating to people in the justice department that would indicate a number of people testified falsely.

He stressed that he believes it is important to remember the Republican candidates are the ones most likely to pursue charges relating to Fast and Furious. He said they would do this both out of a commitment to enforcement of the rule of law, and also because evidence of "false statements"–if such evidence is found–would mean that those who made them "knowingly let felons gain access to weapons for crimes."

Regarding a .50 caliber Fast and Furious sniper rifle discovered at the hideout of Mexican drug kingpin El Chapo's hideout, Issa quickly confirmed that the gun is powerful enough to "bring down a helicopter."

Issa said:

The .50 caliber rifle has a characteristic that the cartels choose it for -- which led to the purchase of those rifles during Fast and Furious. To put it simply, a .50 caliber rifle can bring down a helicopter when that helicopter is over a scene. In 2015 -- and at least once before -- helicopters were brought down in Mexico while trying to cover the scene and stop the fleeing of cartel members.

He added that cartels can use the weapon "to stop a vehicle in its tracks by basically blowing away the engine block."

Fox News reported that 34 of the approximately 2,000-2,200 guns sold and smuggled during Fast and Furious were .50 caliber rifles. The one recovered from El Chapo's hideout is the second such .50 caliber rifle recovered with ties to Fast and Furious.

A rifle used in an Islamic terrorist attack last year against a Muhammad cartoon contest in Texas also reportedly came from Operation Fast and Furious.



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Beckwith

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Adviser tells Holder how to manipulate media on Fast & Furious

Sharyl Atkisson says this is a lesson in how the administration attempts to manipulate the press and news coverage.

Below is a Fast & Furious email to Attorney General Eric Holder from a communications adviser, sent October 5th, 2011 [emphasis added below]. (Barack Obama withheld this email under executive privilege but it was recently released as a result of a lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch against the Justice Department).

p. 733

Matthew Miller to Attorney General Holder:

1. Send a letter to the Hill explaining what happened. Put in context the amount of information you get every week, say that you don't recall reading those bullets or being aware of Fast and Furious at any time before early this year, but in any event, you certainly weren't aware of the gun walking aspect of it until the news broke earlier this year (at which point you took immediate steps to have the IG investigate, etc.). This needs to happen tomorrow. In fact, it should've happened today. The last time your credibility was directly questioned was whether you had disclosed all of your amicus briefs -- the story started to break on a Thursday night, and we made people stay up all night compiling information so we could get a response out by 1 pm or so on Friday.

2. Find a way for you to get in front of a reporter or two about this. You don't want to call a press conference on this because it will blow things out perspective, but if you have any events in the next few days (preferably tomorrow), you could find a way to take two or three questions on it afterwards. Or if that's not easily doable, you could find a way to "run into" a couple of reporters on your way to something. Maybe Pete Williams, Carrie, Pete Yost -- that part can be managed. Most important is that you're in front of a camera in a relaxed manner giving a response you have rehearsed…It would be ideal if those two things happened in the same day so you didn't have two news cycles of responding -- you want to do it all at once. There may be things you need to do to go on offense as well, but I think most important right now is that you answer the charge about covering this up. Then you can move to offense.

[Note: Pete Yost of AP wrote article on Bush-era gunwalking case that seemed to so impress Holder, he wrote " WOW!" p. 539 AP presented the story as if it were "new" although I had published on the case, Wide Receiver, months earlier, with an exclusive interview with a confidential informant from the case.]

More in Stonewalled

p. 711

The more I think about the offense versus defense part, I do think you should go on offense, too. After explaining what happened, you could go back at them by saying something like: "But let's be clear what this is all about. I've ordered an investigation into what happened. But there are people on the Hill who don't care about what really happened. For them this has become about scoring political points and weakening an agency charged with cracking down on gun violence. There are a lot of powerful lobbyists and their allies on the hill who have wanted to cripple the ATF for a long time, and they're using this as an opportunity to do so. I'm not going to let them. Its clear the ATF made mistakes here. We've cleaned house, and we're going to fix the agency, but we're not going to allow it to be put out of business by people carrying water for the gun lobby." This part has to be really carefully crafted and delivered, but I think it could be effective as a one-two punch. (One, explain what happened with your testimony; two, punch back.)

p. 709

If I were you, I would want answers from the entire team (Cole, Reich, on down), on why the Department let Issa decide what to do with these memos. The whole point of the review is to find things like this and come up with plans for dealing with them. It should have been obvious that these memos were going to be a huge target, and instead of just handing them over, the Department should have put them out to reporters on its own terms, instead of letting Issa do it. Give them to lssa at the same time you give them to the press with an explanation that takes the air out of the balloon. And if the answer is we owe it to Issa to give him this stuff first -- well, that's obviously ridiculous.

p. 522

[DoJ's Tracy Schmaler discusses with White House's Eric Schultz on how to spin the press Oct. 4, 2014]

"I've talked to NYT, NBC and NPR --gave them all this. NBC not likely to go. Still waiting on other two." [Note: Then, the documents redact the 'points' Schmaler actually sent to the news outlets. That is public information that should not be redacted.]

[Schultz to Schmaler]
Any way we can fix Fox?

p. 518

[Schmaler to Schultz regarding my reporting on Fast and Furious] "No stories..From NYT, AP, Reuters, WaPo, NBC, Bloomberg … I"m also calling Sharryl"s editor and reaching out to Scheiffer.She's out of control"

[Schultz to Schmaler]  "Good. Her piece was really bad for AG. Why do you think nobody else wrote? Were they not fed the docs?…And I sent NJ's Susan Davis your way. She's writing on Issa/FandF and I said you could load her up on the leaks, etc."

p. 482

[Schmaler compliments Washington Post "Sari" Horwitz to Holder] "Sari (WaPo reporter) was good -- pointed out Issa previous briefing, that weekly reports didn't reveal tactics and noted previous op in Bush Admin."

p. 345

[Attorney Gen. Holder email below said he doesn't usually bother to read briefings sent to him directly by his top advisers, including mentions of Fast and Furious long before he said he'd heard of the case.]

"Sigh. Can I see the 2 reports mentioned below -- sure I didn't read them. I rarely do. The February e-mail shows that was my first real F/F knowledge."

p. 338

[Holder email addressing, specifically, the briefings sent to him by National Drug Intelligence Center adviser and Criminal Division chief]

"I generally don't read those."

p. 121

"Bad story coming on CBS Evening News tonight." [Justice Dept. public affairs flack to Holder chief of staff Grindler on Oct. 3, 2011]


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Beckwith

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Eric Holder says Fast & Furious critics can "kiss my ass"

Jason Howerton is reporting that a new batch of emails from Attorney General Eric Holder were revealed on Friday, further demonstrating just how frustrated he became over Congress' investigation into the "Fast and Furious" gun-walking scandal.

In one Aug. 30 email, he wrote of his critics, "Some people can kiss my ass."

HolderKissMyAss.jpg

The newly released emails are a result of the roughly 64,000 documents the U.S. Department of Justice was ordered to hand over to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. President Barack Obama previously exerted executive privilege to keep the documents from being released.

There's more stuff that you already know about here . . .



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Beckwith

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Emails show Eric Holder blasted Darrell Issa and his "idiot cronies" for Fast & Furious probe

The Huffington Post's Shadee Ashtari is reporting that Attorney General Eric Holder criticized Rep. Darrell Issa’s (R-Calif.) years-long congressional probe into "Operation Fast and Furious" as little more than an effort to "suck up to the gun lobby," according to internal emails released Monday.

The Justice Department released nearly 65,000 pages of subpoenaed documents related to the DOJ’s botched gunrunning sting, after a federal judge overruled the Obama administration’s decision to withhold the records by invoking executive privilege. The program, which targeted Mexican gun cartels, came under scrutiny after weapons involved in the operation were connected to the killing of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in 2010.

"Issa and his idiot cronies never gave a damn about this when all that was happening was that thousands of Mexicans were being killed with guns from our country," Holder wrote to members of his staff in April 2011, after Issa threatened to subpoena a Federal Firearms Licensee witness to testify on the investigation. “All they want to do -- in reality -- is cripple ATF and suck up to the gun lobby," he continued, referring to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the branch of the Justice Department that was in charge of the gunrunning operation.

"Politics at its worst -- maybe the media will get it," Holder's email added.

Issa, who heads the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has accused Holder and other top Justice Department officials of refusing to disclose confidential materials in an effort to cover up knowledge of risky gun-walking activities related to the failed ATF mission.

Justice Department spokesman Brian Fallon said the sought-after documents only further confirm that neither Holder nor other top department officials knew about the tactics used in the operation until CBS News broke the story in early 2011.

"There is nothing in the materials produced today that contradicts what the Department has said in the past about this flawed operation," Fallon said in a statement Tuesday, according to The Washington Post. "Indeed the materials produced today affirm the Inspector General’s finding that the Attorney General was not made aware of the tactics involved in the Fast and Furious operation until February 2011."

A 2012 investigation by the Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General also concluded that Holder was not aware of the gunwalking strategy and cleared him of allegations of a cover-up.

Still, Issa said on Tuesday that the disclosure was evidence of Holder and Barack Obama "illegitimately and illegally" withholding evidence from Congress. The congressman cited redactions of certain sensitive law enforcement information as cause for further investigation.

"Since these pages still do not represent the entire universe of the documents the House of Representatives is seeking related to the Justice Department’s cover-up of the botched gun-walking scandal that contributed to the death of a Border Patrol agent, our court case will continue," Issa said in a statement Tuesday.

I never tire of running this CSPAN clip that shows Holder's deputy announcing that Barack Obama ordered Fast & Furious -- although I am puzzled why it hasn't made its way to Issa's committee -- I've sent it to everybody:


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SocalJay

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Actually it's more egregious than that.  The documents that were turned over were NOT the documents previously identified by Obama under executive privilege, they are an additional 64k documents that Holder was withholding on his own.  This, according to a Fox News interview I saw.  I'm sure from where he sits that this resignation can't come soon enough.
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Using the elections as cover, Eric Holder released the Fast and Furious documents that got him cited for contempt

Joel Gehrke is reporting that Justice Department officials provided House investigators with thousands of documents related to Operation Fast and Furious that Barack Obama had previously claimed were exempt from congressional review.

In an "election eve dump," as House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) put it, DoJ handed over 64,280 pages of documents, a release that is still only a partial fulfillment of the committee's request.

"This production is nonetheless a victory for the legislative branch, a victory for transparency, and a victory for efforts to check Executive Branch power," Issa said of the release.

DoJ handed over the documents pursuant to a court order. "When Eric Holder wants to know why he was the first Attorney General held in criminal contempt of Congress, he can read the judge's order that compelled the production of 64,280 pages that he and President Obama illegitimately and illegally withheld from Congress," Issa said.  "Since these pages still do not represent the entire universe of the documents the House of Representatives is seeking related to the Justice Department's cover-up of the botched gun-walking scandal that contributed to the death of a Border Patrol agent, our court case will continue."

HolderPrison.jpg


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Beckwith

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House Oversight Committee pursues new contempt charges, fines, and possibly jail time for Eric Holder

Debra Heine is reporting that The House Oversight Committee is pursuing another contempt of court charge, and possibly a daily monetary fine,  and jail time for outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder unless he complies with a court order for outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder unless he complies with a court order to release certain Fast and Furious documents.

Via The Washington Times:  

Members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee requested U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson to fine Mr. Holder if he doesn't comply with her own order issued back in August -- the one where she said he couldn't claim executive privilege to keep private certain documents related to the federal gun-running program, "Operation Fast and Furious," Politico reported.

Judge Berman Jackson ordered the DoJ to produce the "Vaughn list" back in July in response to a Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit.  A month later, the DoJ was ordered to turn over "a privilege log of withheld documents to the House Oversight Committee." Both requests were supposed to be completed by October 1, but were not. Instead, the Attorney General announced his resignation.

According to the Washington Times, lawyers for Republican congressman are saying "the time has come when the judge should consider imposing fines on Mr. Holder, or even throwing him in jail."

 "Should the Court determine that the Attorney General has violated that Order, the Court should impose on the Attorney General an appropriate penalty to coerce his compliance with the August 20 Order, including an escalating daily monetary fine against Eric H. Holder Jr., to be paid by Mr. Holder out of his personal assets, converting to incarceration if the payment of daily monetary fines does not produce compliance within a reasonable period of time," House Counsel Kerry Kircher and other lawyers wrote in the filing, Politico reported.

A Justice Department spokesman seemed to characterize the October 1 deadline as a "stunt."

Justice Department spokesman Brian Fallon said Thursday evening: "We're at a loss to understand this latest stunt since the committee itself did not object to November as an appropriate timeline for the production of any documents. The Department will respond to the motion in due course."

In a statement issued on Friday, Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) disputed Fallon's claim that his committee agreed to an extension.

"Contrary to the counterfactual claims of the Justice Department, the House did not agree to any deadline extension absent a ruling from the judge and in fact has asked the judge to enforce her order," the chairman said. "The American people can only continue to guess at what the attorney general and his department are hiding."

Issa also slammed Holder for failing to comply with "a binding federal court order."

"The attorney general and his department are acting as if the judge in the case has an obligation to modify her rulings with which they disagree, rather than they having the obligation to comply with those rulings. That is the arrogance that landed this case in court in the first place."

That same arrogance has led to rank lawlessness throughout the Holder Justice Department for the past five and a half years and counting. 

The time has come for a reckoning.


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Judge denies DoJ request to delay release of Fast and Furious document list

Katie Pavlich is reporting that U.S. District Court Judge John D. Bateshas denied a request from the Department of Justice to delay the release of a list of Operation Fast and Furious documents being protected under Barack Obama's assertion of executive privilege.

The list, better known as a Vaughn index, was requested through a June 2012 FOIA filing by government watchdog Judicial Watch. When DOJ didn't respond to the FOIA request in the time required by law, Judicial Watch sued in September 2012, seeking all documents DOJ and the White House are withholding from Congress under executive privilege claims. President Obama made the assertion on June 20, 2012 just moments before Attorney General Eric Holder was held in contempt. In July 2014, after two years of battling for information, Judge Bates ordered the Department of Justice to release the Vaughn Index by October 1. DOJ responded by asking for a month long delay in releasing the list with a deadline of November 3, just one day before the 2014-midterm elections. That request has been denied. A short delay was granted and DOJ must produce the Vaughn index by October 22.

"The government’s arguments for even more time are unconvincing," Bates said in his ruling. "[S]eventy-five days—plus another twenty-one, based in part on Judiciary Watch’s consent—is enough time for the government to prepare the index that this Court has ordered, given that this matter has been pending for over two years. The Court will therefore extend the Department’s Vaughn index submission deadline to October 22, 2014—and no further."

"The government argues that it must devote significant numbers of attorneys to this matter if it hopes to comply with the current Vaughn index deadline ... But the Department has known about its Vaughn index obligations since July 18, 2014 ... At best, it means the Department has been slow to react to this Court’s previous Order. At worst, it means the Department has ignored that Order until now," he added.

The House Oversight Committee is also suing for the release of the Vaughn index and earlier this month U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered DOJ to produce requested information to lawmakers by November 1.

In the Vaughn index, DOJ must explain why documents have been withheld from Congress and the American people under President Obama's assertion of executive privilege. The requirements for DOJ in handling the information included in the Vaughn index are as follows:

1) identify each document withheld; (2) state the statutory exemption claimed; and (3) explain how disclosure would damage the interests protected by the claimed exemption.

"The Obama administration failed to game the courts and now will have to account for its Fast and Furious lies. Two federal courts have now rejected Eric Holder’s election-related ploy to keep this information from the American people," Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement in reaction to the ruling. "This is a battle that put Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, saw Nixonian assertions of executive privilege by Barack Obama, and a hapless Congress in the face of all this lawlessness. This latest court ruling shows again that Judicial Watch’s independent investigations and lawsuits are more effective than Congress and the rest of media. We are pleased we may get some accountability for Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and hundreds of others who lost their lives as a result of Obama’s Fast and Furious program."

Maybe this is why he decided all of a sudden to quit!

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Beckwith

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Holder presses delay on Fast & Furious documents

Josh Gerstein is reporting that Attorney General Eric Holder is again asking a federal court to delay the transfer of disputed documents relating to Operation Fast and Furious to a House committee.

In a new court filing Monday night, Justice Department lawyers asked U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson not to require Holder to turn over any of the roughly 64,000 pages of documents to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee until after her rulings can be appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

"The Department respectfully submits that it would be preferable for the parties, this Court, and the D.C. Circuit -- if an appeal were taken -- to have any injunctive order await the conclusion of the district court litigation to allow for orderly and complete appellate proceedings," DOJ lawyers wrote.

Jackson has previously denied DOJ permission to file an immediate appeal, although lawyers for Holder indicated in the new filing (posted here) that they may do so anyway. Any appeal is likely to take months and perhaps more than a year to resolve. If that process does not begin until Jackson rules definitively on the the executive privilege claim President Barack Obama has made for many of the documents, the timeline for the case being resolved could begin to approach the end of the Obama administration.

The documents in dispute relate to the Justice Department's response to congressional and media inquiries about Fast and Furious, a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives operation that appears to have resulted in as many as 2,000 weapons reaching Mexican narcotraffickers through a tactic known as gunwalking. Holder has denounced and banned the practice, which he said he and other senior department officials did not know about.

DOJ has turned over thousands of pages relating to the operation and the initial department response to the controversy but has withheld internal records about its response after February 2011, when it sent lawmakers a letter that insisted department personnel never knowingly engaged in gunwalking.

In the legal fight with the House committee, which is headed by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the Justice Department has maintained that "the entirety of its work file" related to the congressional inquiries into Fast and Furious is immune from court-ordered disclosure to the committee. Jackson has rejected that stance and asked Holder to identify which documents are predecisional and deliberative in nature.

The committee's litigation is now in a horse race (albeit a very slow one) with another lawsuit filed by the conservative group Judicial Watch, seeking the same information under the Freedom of Information Act. Some of the Justice Department's positions in the case involving the House panel seem to suggest it should received less information than a FOIA requester like Judicial Watch. Typically, congressional committees get more information than is available under FOIA.


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Holder must provide Fast and Furious document list to Congress, judge rules

The AP is reporting that a federal judge has ordered the Justice Department to provide Congress with a list of documents that are at the center of a long-running battle over a failed law enforcement program called Operation Fast and Furious.

In a court proceeding Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson set an Oct. 1 deadline for producing the list to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

The Justice Department says the documents should remain confidential and President Barack Obama has invoked executive privilege in an effort to protect them from public disclosure.

The House panel says the Justice Department documents might explain why the department took nearly a year to admit that federal agents had engaged in a controversial law enforcement tactic known as gun-walking.

The Justice Department has long prohibited the risky practice. But the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives used it with disastrous results in a federal law enforcement probe in Arizona, Operation Fast and Furious.

In the operation, federal agents permitted illicitly purchased weapons to be transported unimpeded in an effort to track them to high-level arms traffickers.

Federal agents lost control of some 2,000 weapons and many of them wound up at crime scenes in Mexico and the U.S. Two of the guns were found at the scene of the December 2010 slaying of border agent Brian Terry near the Arizona border city of Nogales.

After Wednesday's court proceeding, Justice Department spokeswoman Emily Pierce said that "we are pleased the judge recognized that executive privilege includes a deliberative process beyond presidential communications" -- a point the department has been arguing in its dispute with Congress.

In court papers, the Justice Department has said that if the courts were to reject a confidentiality claim, Congress could have unfettered access to all information from the executive branch of government aside from presidential communications.

Such a development would be in contravention of the constitutional separation of powers and over two centuries of dealings between the legislative and executive branches, the department said.

The need for some confidentiality in the executive branch is particularly strong in the current case, which involves a congressional demand for information that would reveal the process by which the executive responds to congressional inquiries, the Obama administration added.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the chairman of the House panel, said that the privilege log "will bring us closer to finding out why the Justice Department hid behind false denials in the wake of reckless conduct that contributed to the violent deaths of border patrol agent Brian Terry and countless Mexican citizens."

Congress is trying to get documents that were created after Feb. 4, 2011 -- the day the Justice Department told Sen. Chuck Grassley that ATF "makes every effort to interdict weapons that have been purchased illegally and prevent their transportation to Mexico."

Grassley is the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee. In a follow-up on May 2, 2011, the Justice Department told Grassley that "it remains our understanding that ATF's Operation Fast and Furious did not knowingly permit straw buyers to take guns into Mexico."

Three days later, a senior Justice Department official informed the committee that "there's a there there" with respect to the congressional investigation.

On Dec. 2, 2011, the Justice Department withdrew the original Feb. 4 letter which denied that gun-walking had taken place.

The Obama administration says the privilege claim is designed to protect the Justice Department's internal records related to its response to Congress -- specifically, its work file on how it responded to the congressional inquiry after the drafting of the Feb. 4, 2011 letter.

Jackson, the judge in the current case, is an appointee of Barack Obama.


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Brian Terry's brother rips Holder on Fast and Furious

[HolderFastFurious]

Matthew Boyle is reporting that in a blistering letter to Attorney General Eric Holder delivered Wednesday, Kent Terry -- the brother of murdered Border Patrol agent Brian Terry -- questioned why, years later, the Terry family still does not have the truth about Operation Fast and Furious.

"Mr. Holder I am going to get right to the point of this letter," he wrote. "I am not pleased with your behavior as America's Attorney General. Simply denying that you had no knowledge about Operation Fast and Furious is troubling in itself, but for you to not comply with Congress is even more troubling. It is shocking to know that the Attorney General of the United States had no knowledge or was not made aware of Fast and Furious until after the death of my brother, Brian Terry."

Terry continued his letter by writing that he questions why -- if Holder really did not know about Fast and Furious -- he has not held anybody in the Department of Justice or the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives accountable for the scandal.

"For you Mr. Holder to be so ill served by your own advisers on your watch is unbelievable," he wrote. "If that is the case, then you would think there would be accountability to your so called advisers who did not inform you," Terry wrote, adding, "Where is the accountability Mr. Holder?"

In 2009, at the beginning of the Obama administration, ATF agents employed a strategy in which they allowed about 2,000 AK-47s and other high-powered rifles to be smuggled to Mexican drug cartels. The controversial law enforcement tactic used in Fast and Furious -- known as "gunwalking" -- involved allowing guns suspected to be purchased for smuggling to escape law enforcement surveillance.

At Terry's murder scene in Peck Canyon in Arizona, about 17 miles inside the U.S. border with Mexico, law enforcement officials recovered two rifles connected to the operation. Fast and Furious was also connected to the murder of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officer Jaime Zapata in Mexico, and numerous other murders of innocent civilians throughout that country.

After Terry was murdered in late 2010, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) special agent John Dodson stepped forward as a whistleblower. Dodson testified before Congress and has since published a book on his experiences.

His testimony sparked a congressional investigation that has lasted since early 2011. Initially, the DOJ denied the allegations from Dodson and other whistleblowers in a Feb. 4, 2011, letter to Senator Chuck Grassley, but was ultimately forced to withdraw it. Holder himself failed to comply with a series of subpoenas from Issa's committee, which resulted in a claim of executive privilege from President Barack Obama himself, and criminal and civil contempt of Congress votes censuring Holder. The civil contempt vote launched a still-ongoing House lawsuit against the administration's failure to comply with the subpoena and Obama's executive privilege claim. More than a hundred members of Congress called for Holder's resignation over the matter leading up to the 2012 elections.

In the next parts of his letter, Terry cites the investigations from the House Committee on Oversight and Government and the DOJ's own Inspector General to note that "more than a dozen officials" at ATF and DOJ were responsible for Fast and Furious, many of whom have seen no level of accountability whatsoever for their actions.

"Mr. Holder, answer me this, why are ATF agents and other agencies that were involved in Operation Fast and Furious still actively holding jobs and actively working?" Terry wrote. "Why are they allowed to carry a gun and a badge? Why are these Agents that were originally involved still making decisions on behalf of the American people which can put Americans in harm's way?"

Terry then cited the oath of office that government officials, including Holder, take before they take office -- that they "do solemnly swear" they will "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic" and so on. Terry argued that Holder's refusal to comply with the congressional investigation is a violation of that oath.

"Mr. Holder, why not [abide] by this?" Terry asked about the oath. "Why hide behind executive privilege? It's your job to uphold the law and hold those accountable for such an illegal crime as Operation Fast and Furious. You need to release the documents to show who is responsible for such an act that led to the deaths of two federal agents who gave their all to their country. They were both brave and protected their country with honor and integrity. What has their country given them in return? Is this really your all Mr. Holder?"

Terry continued by calling Holder a "coward of an attorney general" and questioning his integrity.

"Somewhere deep inside you must have some conscience; do the honorable thing and have some integrity as an attorney general," Terry wrote. "You have children, wouldn't you want... justice for your children? Of course you would. These guns will continue to show up at murder scenes in the future, and I am sure you don't want more blood on your hands. So I ask you: stop misleading my family and the American people. Stop obstruction of justice. My family has been through enough grief with the loss of my brother, and to have no answers for why [his blood was spilled] on this soil is upsetting to me and my family; our lives are shattered for the rest of our lives and will never be the same."


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Eric Holder is a damned liar

Chelsea Schilling is reporting that Attorney General Eric Holder has denied under oath that he had any involvement in Operation Fast & Furious and claims he only became aware of the scandal in 2011 -- but newly obtained Department of Justice documents reveal Holder traveled to an April 2009 “US/Mexico Arms Trafficking Strategy Meeting” concerning gun-running between the U.S. and Mexico.

In June 2012, the Obama administration invoked executive privilege to stop disclosure of documentation to Congress following Operation Fast and Furious, a gun-walking scheme that resulted in the deaths of more than 200 people, including U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and Luis Lucio Rosales Astorga, the police chief in Hostotipaquillo, Mexico.

During the botched operation, the Justice Department’s subdivision of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms lost approximately 2,000 weapons, allowing many of them to flow freely across the U.S.-Mexico border and into the hands of members of Mexican drug cartels.

Judicial Watch obtained the latest information in a response to an August 2012 Freedom of Information Act request. According to the documents, Holder traveled to Cuernavaca and Mexico City from April 1 through April 3, 2009.

“I wanted to come to Mexico to deliver a single message: We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you in this fight against the narcotics cartels,” Holder said in his April 2 speech to the conference.  “The United States shares responsibility for this problem and we will take responsibility by joining our Mexican counterparts in every step of this fight.”

Holder said the issue of “development of an arms trafficking prosecution and enforcement strategy on both sides of the border” could not be more important.

He added, “I would like to thank the Mexican and U.S. experts who have worked so hard on this issue. On our side, Secretary Napolitano and I are committed to putting the resources in place to increase our attack on arms trafficking into Mexico.”

Holder also announced that at the end of March 2009, the Obama administration “launched a major new effort to break the backs of the cartels.

“My department is committing 100 new ATF personnel to the Southwest border in the next 100 days to supplement our ongoing Project Gunrunner, DEA is adding 16 new positions on the border, as well as mobile enforcement teams, and the FBI is creating a new intelligence group focusing on kidnapping and extortion. DHS is making similar commitments, as Secretary Napolitano will detail.”

But Holder warned that “the problem of arms trafficking will not be stopped at the border alone.”

“[T]his is a problem that must be met as part of a comprehensive attack against the cartels – an attack in depth, on both sides of the border, that focuses on the leadership and assets of the cartel,” he said. ”This is the type of full-bore, prosecution-driven approach that the U.S. Department of Justice took to dismantle La Cosa Nostra – once the most powerful organized crime group operating in the United States.”

Also, the Los Angeles Times reported 2010 memos showed senior Justice Department officials discussed the Fast and Furious gun-trafficking surveillance operation in Phoenix, Ariz., in October 2009.

On March 10, 2011, Holder told a Senate subcommittee he only recently learned about the Fast and Furious gun-walking and asked for the inspector general’s investigation.

“We cannot have a situation where guns are allowed to walk,” he said.

Also in a March 2011 Univision interview, Obama claimed neither he nor knew about the operation.

And on May 3, 2011, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., asked Holder when he first learned about the operation.

“I’m not sure of the exact date,” Holder said. “But I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.”

That statement, by the Attorney General of the United States of America is a bold-faced lie.  It's perjury, an impeachable offense, as all the artifacts in this item demonstrate.


I am still puzzled why the following video, that clearly demonstrates Project Gun Runner (Fast and Furious) was launched under the orders of Barack Obama in March, 2009, with the knowledge of Eric Holder, has not reached Congress.

 

In the video, Deputy Attorney General David Ogden announced the Obama Administration's new and aggressive "comprehensive plan" on Wednesday, March, 24, 2009. 

The key words from Ogden's announcement from the White House are:

"The president has directed us to take action.... and Attorney General Holder and I have taken several new and aggressive steps as part of the administrations comprehensive plan...to fortify its Project Gunrunner which is aimed at disrupting arms trafficking between the United States and Mexico...specifically to facilitate gun tracing..."

Two days later, Friday, March 27, 2009, Holder began the push for reinstituting the "assault-rifle ban":

And according to the artifact above, Holder was in Mexico the following Tuesday, April 1, 2009, promoting Fast and Furious.

Now you know what Obama meant when he told gun-grabber, Sarah Brady, "I just want you to know that we are working on it (gun control). We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar."

How can Obama and Holder hide from the fact that they were the initiators of Project Gunrunner/Fast & Furious?


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Holder discussed gun-running with Mexico in 2009

Chelsea Schilling is reporting that Attorney General Eric Holder has denied under oath that he had any involvement in Operation Fast & Furious and claims he only became aware of the scandal in 2011 -- but newly obtained Department of Justice documents reveal Holder traveled to an April 2009, "US/Mexico Arms Trafficking Strategy Meeting" concerning gun-running between the U.S. and Mexico.

In June 2012, the Obama administration improperly invoked executive privilege to stop disclosure of documentation to Congress following Operation Fast and Furious, a gun-walking scheme that resulted in the deaths of more than 200 people, including U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and Luis Lucio Rosales Astorga, and the police chief in Hostotipaquillo, Mexico.

During the botched operation, the Justice Department’s subdivision of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms lost approximately 2,000 weapons, allowing many of them to flow freely across the U.S.-Mexico border and into the hands of members of Mexican drug cartels.

Judicial Watch obtained the latest information in a response to an August 2012 Freedom of Information Act request. According to the documents, Holder traveled to Cuernavaca and Mexico City from April 1 through April 3, 2009.

"I wanted to come to Mexico to deliver a single message: We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you in this fight against the narcotics cartels," Holder said in his April 2 speech to the conference.  "The United States shares responsibility for this problem and we will take responsibility by joining our Mexican counterparts in every step of this fight."

Holder said the issue of "development of an arms trafficking prosecution and enforcement strategy on both sides of the border" could not be more important.

He added, "I would like to thank the Mexican and U.S. experts who have worked so hard on this issue. On our side, Secretary Napolitano and I are committed to putting the resources in place to increase our attack on arms trafficking into Mexico."

Holder also announced that at the end of March 2009, the Obama administration "launched a major new effort to break the backs of the cartels."

"My department is committing 100 new ATF personnel to the Southwest border in the next 100 days to supplement our ongoing Project Gunrunner, DEA is adding 16 new positions on the border, as well as mobile enforcement teams, and the FBI is creating a new intelligence group focusing on kidnapping and extortion. DHS is making similar commitments, as Secretary Napolitano will detail."

But Holder warned that "the problem of arms trafficking will not be stopped at the border alone."

"[T]his is a problem that must be met as part of a comprehensive attack against the cartels -- an attack in depth, on both sides of the border, that focuses on the leadership and assets of the cartel," he said. "This is the type of full-bore, prosecution-driven approach that the U.S. Department of Justice took to dismantle La Cosa Nostra -- once the most powerful organized crime group operating in the United States."

Also, the Los Angeles Times reported 2010 memos showed senior Justice Department officials discussed the Fast and Furious gun-trafficking surveillance operation in Phoenix, Ariz., in October 2009.

On March 10, 2011, Holder told a Senate subcommittee he only recently learned about the Fast and Furious gun-walking and asked for the inspector general’s investigation.

"We cannot have a situation where guns are allowed to walk," he said.

Also in a March 2011 Univision interview, Obama claimed neither he nor knew about the operation.

And on May 3, 2011, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., asked Holder when he first learned about the operation.

"I’m not sure of the exact date," Holder said. "But I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks."

video to follow

ATF Agent John Dodson told Rep. Issa’s House Oversight Committee, "Allowing loads of weapons that we knew to be destined for criminals -- this was the plan. It was so mandated."

ATF Agent Olindo James Casa said, "[O]n several occasions I personally requested to interdict or seize firearms, but I was always ordered to stand down and not to seize the firearms."

As WND reported, a panel of three high-profile constitutional attorneys agreed that the scandal could be considered an impeachable offense against Holder or Obama.

 


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Judge skeptical of Justice Department's bid to dismiss Congress' lawsuit over Fast & Furious

The Associated Press is reporting that a federal judge seemed skeptical Wednesday of the Justice Department's bid to dismiss a congressional lawsuit seeking records related to Operation Fast and Furious, a bungled federal gun-tracking operation in Arizona.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson sharply challenged the department's claim that federal courts have no jurisdiction in the dispute. Department lawyer Ian Gershengorn said the battle over the documents should be resolved by the checks and balances between the legislative and executive branches.

"I'm a check and balance," countered Jackson, an appointee of Barack Obama. "The third branch exists."

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is seeking documents that might explain what led the Justice Department to reverse course after initially denying that federal agents had used a tactic called "gun-walking" in the law enforcement operation.

Obama has invoked executive privilege and Attorney General Eric Holder has been found to be in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over the documents sought. The GOP-led House sued to get the records.

The department has turned over thousands of pages of material on the operation itself. The continuing dispute is over documents describing how the department responded once Congress started investigating.

Gershengorn said that if the suit were dismissed, Congress had other powers at its disposal, such as the power of the purse. He said that negotiations and accommodation between the House and the executive branch are messy and contentious, but that the system allows for accountability with voters.

He argued that that process was distorted by the House's lawsuit, and that there was a danger of courts becoming "a tool of the political process."

Jackson questioned why an impartial third party wouldn't help, rather than hinder, negotiations. She also noted that she delayed an earlier hearing so the two sides could try to work out an agreement through mediation, but those efforts failed.

"If you could have worked this out yourselves, wouldn't you have worked this out yourselves?" she asked.

House lawyer Kerry Kircher called the notion that there haven't been meaningful negotiations and accommodations "preposterous."

"We've been negotiating for four months," Kircher said.

He also said the House was at a disadvantage.

"This is an asymmetrical relationship here," Kircher said. "They have the documents. We don't have the documents."


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Documents "damning" for Holder

Taylor Rose is reporting that a court fight over documentation of the Fast and Furious scandal, where the U.S. government trafficked weapons to drug dealers in Mexico, is just ratcheting up now.

But Katie Pavlich, author of the New York Times bestseller "Fast and Furious: Barack Obama's Bloodiest Scandal and the Shameless Cover-Up," news editor of Townhall.com and an expert on the Fast and Furious scandal, says the documents will be "damning" for Attorney General Eric Holder, and possibly even President Obama.

She said both politicians should be concerned "based on the evidence that Attorney General Eric Holder chang[ed] his testimony multiple times under oath in front of Congress."

"I think these documents are pretty damning to him," she told WND in an exclusive interview.

It was reported just last month that a federal judge has ordered the House Oversight Committee and Holder to work with a mediator in their battle over the paperwork from the Fast and Furious scandal.

The 2009 exposure of Fast and Furious by whistleblowers revealed the government's deliberate decision to sell guns to prohibited buyers and allow them to be taken to drug cartel operations in Mexico.

Read Pavlich’s comments about the government’s false flag operation against gun dealers as well as how the government retaliated against the whistleblowers who revealed the scandal.

Pavlich earlier revealed how the government, when the operation blew up, decided to attack and retaliate against the whistleblowers who brought to the public's attention the misbehavior.

She also explained earlier to WND  how the goal of the operation was to create a false flag situation that the Obama administration could use to lobby for more gun control.

It was U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson who outlined the mediation plan, and a new status report will be due April 22. If no settlement is reached, a hearing will be held April 24 for the lawsuit by Congress against Holder over his decision to withhold tens of thousands of documents on the issue.

But Pavlich cites the timing and manner of how Obama decided to assert executive privilege over the documents -- a move made only 15 minutes before a congressional contempt vote on Holder over the documentation.

"There is plenty of evidence that shows that they are liable," Pavlich said. "These documents will show much more White House involvement."

"The fact is there are at least 200,000 documents related to Fast and Furious," said Pavlich, with "70,000 documents requested by the oversight committee and only 7,000 have been released. Many of which are completely blacked out."

Pavlich said there is the possibility that not all of the documents related to Operation Fast and Furious will be released. There are certain situations when the justice system can keep information from the American people, she said.

She said the Department of Justice first stonewalled the documents, then released some following a court order, but the case now is "exactly where the Justice Department wants it to be, wrapped up in the court system."

Pavlich does not expect the documents to be released at any time soon, as "there is no reason why they wouldn't want" to delay release until after Obama leaves office. "They are going to delay it as long as possible."

She said there are a number of repercussions possible, but "the next move" should be "to arrest Eric Holder on the Senate or House floor."

Holder has defended his refusal to release the documents by saying the release could interfere with other investigations that the Justice Department is currently conducting.

This refusal to turn over all documents requested in a subpoena in 2012 has led to Holder being held in contempt in a bi-partisan vote.

See Pavlich's video report here . . .

The Office of the Inspector General earlier cleared Holder, but found fault with several other senior officials. One of the key reasons was that the IG said he found Holder “did not learn about Operation Fast and Furious until late January or early February of 2011 and was not aware of allegations of ‘gun walking’ in the investigation until February.”

However, there have been allegations he – and possibly Obama – knew much more, and much earlier, than they have admitted.

The BATF lost track of about 2,000 guns in Fast and Furious, two of which were linked to the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December 2010.

In another related lawsuit, Holder actually has asked the federal court to delay production of the documents indefinitely.

The case was brought by Washington watchdog Judicial Watch, and Holder responded with a motion to stay the case, which essentially would suspend action indefinitely.

“It is beyond ironic that the Obama administration has initiated an anti-gun violence push as it seeking to keep secret key documents about its very own Fast and Furious gun walking scandal,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Getting beyond the Obama administration’s smokescreen, this lawsuit is about a very simple principle: the public’s right to know the full truth about an egregious political scandal that led to the death of at least one American and countless others in Mexico. The American people are sick and tired of the Obama administration trying to rewrite FOIA law to protect this president and his appointees. Americans want answers about Fast and Furious killings and lies.”

While Congress had found Holder in both civil and criminal contempt, the U.S. attorney for D.C., Ronald Machen, chose to ignore the congressional resolution that would require him to bring charges.

The Big Lie:  Holder “did not learn about Operation Fast and Furious until late January or early February of 2011 and was not aware of allegations of ‘gun walking’ in the investigation until February.”

Holder's Deputy announced Fast & Furious on March 24, 2009 and said the directive came fro Obama.


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Re: the photo above:

Ferret haz a sad!   Bad cop! No donut! 

He, Hillary, and Obama thought that a huge new outbreak of gun violence tracable to legal guns bought in AZ would cause an outcry for gun bans, possible sympathy for illegals, and more problems for Gov. Jan Brewer.  Huge political False Flag Op gone bad, . .  again.
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New "Fast and Furious" report finds DHS warning signs ignored

Richard A. Serrano is reporting that even as they lost scores of illegal firearms in their Fast and Furious operation, federal ATF agents asked their Border Patrol counterparts not to pursue criminal leads or track gun smuggling in southern Arizona so they could follow the firearms themselves, and senior Homeland Security agents "complied and the leads were not investigated," according to a new Department of Homeland Security inspector general’s report.

The report, obtained Thursday by The Times, also said that a Homeland Security special agent on the border was collaborating with the ATF in Fast and Furious, but his "senior leaders" in Arizona never read his updates about fundamental flaws with the failed gun tracking operation. Had they done so, Homeland Security officials could have tried to close down the operation before one of their Border Patrol agents, Brian Terry, was killed not far from Tucson.

Furthermore, the report determined that top Department of Homeland Security officials in Washington did not learn about Fast and Furious until Terry was shot to death in December 2010 and two of the 1,430 lost firearms were found at the scene of his murder.

Fast and Furious has led to a number of high-ranking demotions within the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and a contempt of Congress citation against Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. Now, the new Homeland Security inspector general’s findings for the first time document that the ATF also managed to mostly keep their Border Patrol counterparts in the dark about Fast and Furious.

Officials at Department of Homeland Security headquarters in Washington, responding to the report, agreed to enact a series of  recommendations to better coordinate law enforcement operations on the border.

Radha C. Sekar, acting executive associate director for management and administration for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, told the inspector general that they would assess whether senior Phoenix officials "fulfilled their duty to enforce the weapons smuggling statutes," and also would review their own policies for collaborating with other law enforcement agencies.

Charles K. Edwards, the deputy Homeland Security inspector general, said in his report that shortly after ATF launched Fast and Furious in Phoenix in October 2009,  Homeland Security special agents learned of the operation while conducting their own investigation into a Mexican gun smuggling ring.

But ATF agents told the Homeland Security special agents that the firearms were "related" to Fast and Furious and asked them to "refrain from further efforts to identify the smuggling ring’s transportation cell." The top Homeland Security agent in Phoenix  "agreed to the request," largely because federal prosecutors supported Fast and Furious.

Edwards added that Homeland Security officials tried to get the ATF to change its tactics in allowing guns to be illegally smuggled, but "ATF did not revise their strategy."

Typical ObamaMedia pre-emptive strike of a whitewash from the Department of Homeland Security's Inspector General.

I ask you, do you really think a guy (probably a lesbian) that works for Janet Napolitano is going to really prepare a report damaging to DHS?

It starts in the first paragraph with this statement -- "even as they lost scores of illegal firearms."  DHS and ATF never "lost" anything.  They never tracked those firearms in the first place.  The DHS and BATF never had any intention of tracking those firearms.  It wasn't their mission.

Second paragraph:  "...could have tried to close down the operation..." -- even if they did -- the guns were gone!  Adios!

Third paragraph:  "...top DHS officials in Washington did not learn about Fast and Furious until..." -- Fast & Furious was intiated from Washington -- see previous item.

Fourth paragraph: "...led to a number of high-ranking demotions..." -- No! People were reassigned.  Nobody was punished.

Fifth paragraph:  "...assess whether senior Phoenix officials 'fulfilled their duty...'" -- their duty was to follow their orders -- the orders that originated from Barack Obama.

Sixth paragraph:  "...Homeland Security special agents learned of the operation while conducting their own investigation..." -- I suppose this falls under the category of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing.

Seventh paragraph:  "...largely because federal prosecutors supported Fast and Furious..." -- Well, of course they supported it.  Who do "federal prosecutors" work for?  Attorney General Eric Holder, whose deputy announced the operation.

Eighth paragrah:  "...'ATF did not revise their strategy.'" -- The "strategy" was handed to ATF by their bosses at Justice -- why would they "revise" them?

And that's how the Los Angeles Times whitewashes a whitewash.

There must have been a lot of meetings between representative of the Times and the DC federales to prepare this report.

And I love the description accompanying the photo in this report:  "U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. has received persistent criticism for Operation Fast and Furious"

I suppose being held in contempt of Congress could be described as "criticism."


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Holder says White House had no "operational" role in Fast & Furious

Fred Lucas is reporting that Attorney General Eric Holder told senators on Wednesday that he did not respect the House members who voted to hold him in contempt for not cooperating in the Fast and Furious investigation, and that "the president, the White House was not involved in the operational component of Fast and Furious."

You've really got to watch what these lying bastards say, and how they say it.  Remember, "it depends on what the meaning of is, is."

Holder, is probably factually correct when he says, "the president, the White House was not involved in the operational component of Fast and Furious"  -- operative phrase "operational component."

But, according to the Deputy General of the United States of America, it was Barack Obama who gave the order initiating the operation, and it was Holder who conveyed the order to the "operators."

This video evidence from CSPAN clearly shows that on March 24, 2009, just sixty days after the inauguration, Deputy Attorney General David Ogden made the following announcement from the White House:

"The president has directed us to take action.... and Attorney General Holder and I have taken several new and aggressive steps as part of the administrations comprehensive plan...to fortify its Project Gunrunner which is aimed at disrupting arms trafficking between the United States and Mexico...specifically to facilitate gun tracing..."


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Eric Holder says he has no respect for lawmakers who held me in contempt

Joel Gehrke is reporting that Attorney General Eric Holder admitted to something that the congressional investigators probing Operation Fast and Furious must have already understood: he has no respect for the legislators who voted to hold him in contempt for refusing to hand over documents about the gun-walking scandal.

"I have to tell you that for me to really be affected by what happened, I’d have to have respect for the people who voted in that way," Holder told ABC News when asked about the historic contempt vote. "And I didn’t, so it didn’t have that huge an impact on me."

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who spearheaded the contempt vote, said that the "arrogantly dismissive" attorney general is emblematic of Barack Obama’s failure to be a unifying president.

"Attorney General Holder’s admission that he does not respect the Democratic and Republican Members of Congress who voted to hold him in contempt offers a window into why Washington is so dysfunctional," Issa said in a statement. "Finding out why the Justice Department made false denials about Operation Fast and Furious, and only corrected the record after ten months of public pressure, is a legitimate exercise of congressional authority. The Attorney General clearly believes he is above the law and is not accountable to the duly elected representatives of the American people or the institutions of our democracy."

The House held Holder in contempt after he refused to comply with a subpoena for documents pertaining to Operation Fats and Furious, which saw United States law enforcement willingly allow drug cartels to purchase weapons in the United States and smuggle them to Mexico. The operation ended when U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered by drug dealers armed with Fast and Furious weapons.

"He is asking the committee to close its investigation before it even receives the documents," Issa said during the contempt vote hearing. "I can’t accept that deal."


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The man in the mirror

Attorney General Eric Holder said today that the government will consider “imposing tough penalties on gun traffickers who help funnel weapons to dangerous criminals” while talking about gun control to U.S. mayors.

"And to consider a series of new federal laws imposing tough penalties on gun traffickers who help funnel weapons to dangerous criminals."

Anyone remember Holder's own gun-running operation called Operation Fast and Furious?


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Holder begs court to stop document release on Fast and Furious

Matthew Boyle is reporting that Attorney General Eric Holder and his Department of Justice have asked a federal court to indefinitely delay a lawsuit brought by watchdog group Judicial Watch. The lawsuit seeks the enforcement of open records requests relating to Operation Fast and Furious, as required by law.
 
Judicial Watch had filed, on June 22, 2012, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking all documents relating to Operation Fast and Furious and "specifically [a]ll records subject to the claim of executive privilege invoked by Barack Obama on or about June 20, 2012."
 
The administration has refused to comply with Judicial Watch's FOIA request, and in mid-September the group filed a lawsuit challenging Holder's denial. That lawsuit remains ongoing but within the past week the Obama administration filed what's called a "motion to stay" the suit. Such a motion is something that if granted would delay the lawsuit indefinitely.
 
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said that Holder's and Obama's desire to continually hide these Fast and Furious documents is "ironic" now that they're so gung-ho on gun control. "It is beyond ironic that the Obama administration has initiated an anti-gun violence push as it seeking to keep secret key documents about its very own Fast and Furious gun walking scandal," Fitton said in a statement. "Getting beyond the Obama administration's smokescreen, this lawsuit is about a very simple principle: the public's right to know the full truth about an egregious political scandal that led to the death of at least one American and countless others in Mexico. The American people are sick and tired of the Obama administration trying to rewrite FOIA law to protect him and his appointees. Americans want answers about Fast and Furious killings and lies."
 
The only justification Holder uses to ask the court to indefinitely delay Judicial Watch's suit is that there's another lawsuit ongoing for the same documents -- one filed by the U.S. House of Representatives. Judicial Watch has filed a brief opposing the DOJ's motion to stay.
 
As the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform was voting Holder into contempt of Congress for his refusal to cooperate with congressional investigators by failing to turn over tens of thousands of pages of Fast and Furious documents, Obama asserted the executive privilege over them. The full House of Representatives soon after voted on a bipartisan basis to hold Holder in contempt.
 
There were two parts of the contempt resolution. Holder was, and still is, in both civil and criminal contempt of Congress. The criminal resolution was forwarded to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Ronald Machen -- who works for Holder -- for prosecution. Despite being technically required by law to bring forth criminal charges against Holder, under orders from Holder's Department of Justice Machen chose to ignore the resolution.
 
The second part of the contempt resolution -- civil contempt of Congress -- allowed House Republicans to hire legal staff to challenge Obama's assertion of the executive privilege. That lawsuit remains ongoing despite Holder's and the DOJ's attempt to dismiss it and settle it.
 
It's unclear what's in the documents Obama asserted privilege over, but Obama's use of the extraordinary power appears weak. There are two types of presidential executive privilege: the presidential communications privilege and the deliberative process privilege. Use of the presidential communications privilege would require that Obama himself or his senior-most advisers were involved in the discussions.

Since Obama and his cabinet-level officials continually claim they had no knowledge of Operation Fast and Furious until early 2011 when the information became public -- and Holder claims he didn't read the briefing documents he was sent that outlined the scandal and how guns were walking while the operation was ongoing -- Obama says he's using the less powerful deliberative process privilege.
 
The reason why Obama's assertion of that deliberative process privilege over these documents is weak at best is because the Supreme Court has held that such a privilege assertion is invalidated by even the suspicion of government wrongdoing. Obama, Holder, the Department of Justice, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and virtually everyone else involved in this scandal have admitted that government wrongdoing actually took place in Operation Fast and Furious. 

In Fast and Furious, the ATF "walked" about 2,000 firearms into the hands of the Mexican drug cartels. That means through straw purchasers they allowed sales to happen and didn't stop the guns from being trafficked even though they had the legal authority to do so and were fully capable of doing so.
 
Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and hundreds of Mexican citizens -- estimates put it around at least 300 -- were killed with these firearms.
 


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Reply with quote  #23 
WE ought to re-name Obama from the Obuzo to the GUN RUNNER KING, after all, it is these TWO large scandals that he will be most remembered for (at least at this moment in time) until he truly becomes the DICTATOR-IN-CHIEF......
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Fast and Furious gun found at Mexican crime scene

Sharyl Attkisson is reporting that another weapon from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agency's controversial Operation Fast and Furious was recently recovered at a Mexican crime scene, CBS News has learned. Congressional investigators say the crime scene was likely where a recent shootout took place between reported Sinaloa drug cartel members and the Mexican military, in which Sinaloa beauty queen Maria Susana Flores Gamez and four others were killed.
 
According to Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, the Justice Department did not notify Congress of the Fast and Furious firearm recovery in November, even though Grassley has requested an accounting of weapons that surface from the case. During Fast and Furious, ATF allowed more than 2,000 weapons, including giant .50-caliber guns, to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels and other criminals. Other so-called "gunwalking" operations by ATF let hundreds more guns hit the street. Most of them have never been recovered.

The latest known recovery is a Romanian AK-47-type WASR-10 rifle. It was picked up at a crime scene Nov. 23 in Ciudad Guamuchil, Sinaloa, Mexico. That's the same area and weekend of the shootout involving Flores Gamez's death. A trace report shows the rifle was purchased by Uriel Patino, the Fast and Furious suspect who allegedly bought more than 700 weapons while under ATF's watch. Records show Patino bought the rifle and nine other semi-automatic rifles at an Arizona gun shop March 16, 2010.

Grassley has sent a letter to the Justice Department requesting more information, and asking whether the officials were planning to notify Congress "that a Fast and Furious weapon had been recovered."
 
As we know, Eric Holder is complicit in the Fast & Furious scandal, so the Justice Department provided no immediate response to CBS News.
 
Two other Fast and Furious AK-47-type rifles were found at the murder scene of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December 2010. In September 2011, ATF estimated that Fast and Furious weapons had been recovered at eight violent crimes in Mexico. As CBS News has reported, guns trafficked under ATF's watch in a separate investigation were also used in the murder of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata in Mexico in February 2011. The families of both Terry and Zapata are suing government officials for alleged negligence and related claims.


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Mexican streets run red with the blood of children

Meanwhile, Doug Ross says, Holder lies to Congress, Obama covers up, and the ObamaMedia ignores the slaughter

Thanks to the Spanish language network Univision, we now have a more complete picture of Operation Fast and Furious, the ill-fated gun-running operation orchestrated by Attorney General Eric Holder. The A.G., of course, was found in Contempt of Congress for stonewalling a House of Representatives investigation. And President Obama claimed "executive privilege" as an obvious attempt to cover up Holder's culpability.

In the mean time, Mexico's government has put Holder's death toll at over 200 dead, not to mention U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, who was killed by Mexican drug smugglers armed by Holder's Justice Department.


But the media -- with the exception of a few dogged reporters -- has largely ignored a story a dozen times bigger than Watergate. In fact, the Univision network has conducted the first substantial investigation of Fast and Furious and the slaughter of hundreds that resulted:

On January 30, 2010, a commando [team] of at least 20 hit men parked themselves outside a birthday party of high school and college students in Villas de Salvarcar, Ciudad Juarez. Near midnight, the assassins, later identified as hired guns for the Mexican cartel La Linea, broke into a one-story house and opened fire on a gathering of nearly 60 teenagers...


...Outside, lookouts gunned down a screaming neighbor and several students who had managed to escape. Fourteen young men and women were killed, and 12 more were wounded before the hit men finally fled.


...the United States government played a role in the massacre by supplying some of the firearms used by the cartel murderers. Three of the high caliber weapons fired that night in Villas de Salvarcar were linked to a gun tracing operation run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), according to a Mexican army document obtained exclusively by Univision News.


...Univision News identified a total of 57 more previously unreported firearms that were bought by straw purchasers monitored by ATF during Operation Fast and Furious, and then recovered in Mexico in sites related to murders, kidnappings, and at least one other massacre...


As part of Operation Fast and Furious, ATF allowed 1,961 guns to "walk" out of the U.S. in an effort to identify the high profile cartel leaders who received them. The agency eventually lost track of the weapons, and they often ended up in the hands of Mexican hit men , including those who ordered and carried out the attack on Salvarcar and El Aliviane, a rehabilitation center in Ciudad Juarez where 18 young men were killed on September 2, 2009.


...Following the death of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry at the hands of Mexican bandits on December 14, 2010, media and Congressional investigations prompted hearings. On September 20, the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General report, which opened the door for sanctions of 14 ATF and DOJ officials...


...In Washington, the Fast and Furious scandal became politicized, diverting the attention from the human cost in Mexico to political battles on Capitol Hill. In June, a vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt ignored the real tragedy in Mexico.


"Americans are not often moved by the pain of those outside [their country]…" Javier Sicilia, a Mexican poet whose son was killed in the midst of the violence, told Univision News. "But they are moved by the pain of their own. Well, turn around and watch the massacres..."


...Other firearms under ATF surveillance were permitted to leave the country from Texas, according to court documents and the exclusive testimony of Magdalena Avila Villalobos, the sister of an ICE agent who survived a confrontation with cartel hit men on a rural highway in Mexico on February 15, 2011. His fellow agent, Jaime Zapata, was killed during the attacks...


... "It's not from Arizona and Fast and Furious," Avila Villalobos told Univision News, speaking in her brother's stead for the first time, "but it's a very similar operation..." She later added, "Those weapons that have been recovered, it's been confirmed that they were weapons used in the shootout that killed Jaime Zapata and wounded Victor Avila." ...


The Texas-based operation and the firearms linked to the attack were bought by two trafficking rings in the state, according to Raymond Thomas, the Zapata family's lawyer...


Earlier this year, Texas Senator John Cornyn had echoed Thomas' assertions . Moreover, on September 25, Congressman Darrell Issa and Senator Charles Grassley, the politicians behind the Fast and Furious congressional report released in July, sent a letter to the Department of Justice's Office of the Inspector General, requesting an investigation into Avila's and Zapata's case...

And Eric Holder dares to claim ignorance of the entire operation. Plainly, that's impossible for a program of this magnitude.


Furthermore, Fast and Furious was designated as an OCDETF operation (Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force), which required the highest level of cooperation between 94 U.S. Attorney's Offices, the DOJ, the ATF, the FBI, the DEA, the IRS, the U.S. Coast Guard, ICE, and the U.S. Marshal's Service.


As OCDETF, it is impossible to believe that Eric Holder did not have knowledge of the operation.


Mitt Romney should mention Holder's malfeasance every chance he gets. Holder is a disgrace and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But, given his corrupt Justice Department, it will require a new president.


Mexico's streets are running red with blood of children; Eric Holder's response is to stonewall Congress and cover up. And Barack Obama is doing his level best to shield Holder from prosecution by claiming "executive privilege", which plainly does not cover obvious wrongdoing as is the case here.

And our disgusting, corrupt, state-run media has nothing to say about this slaughter. Kudos to Univision for doing the work American media used to do, in a time long ago and a place far away.

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