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The stuff you won't see in the liberal media (click "Replies" for top stories)
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Beckwith

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Disturbing look into how the Obama-Holder DoJ operated in Fast & Furious

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S. Noble (IndependentSentinel) is reporting that the third Fast & Furious report by the House Oversight Committee shows a pattern of obstruction by the Obama-Holder Department of Justice. It provides a disturbing look into how government operated under Barack Obama.

Because of the obstruction of congress by the executive branch, this investigation has been going on for six years.

While the Democrats and the media have us watching the Russia hoax, the House Oversight Committee is investigating Operation Fast & Furious. It has been given little attention in the press.

What this most recent report shows is strong and shocking evidence of obstruction of congress by the Holder Justice Department.

The 262-page report shows a consistent pattern of deliberate stonewalling by the administration claiming to be the most transparent in history.

Holder withheld thousands of documents and Obama gave him cover with executive privilege. After two years, long past the media cycle, some documents were released.

The best one can say about Fast & Furious is it was insanely idiotic. A more sinister suggestion by some is it might have been part of the plan to abolish or water down the Second Amendment.

No one was held accountable, some were promoted

While managers kept their jobs, retired or were promoted, whistleblowers were punished. One agent was told he was toxic and could no longer work in Phoenix. He had to uproot his family, lost his financial security, and was treated like a pariah. Another transferred to Florida and faced retaliation. A third was demoted to a desk job and suffered isolation as a persona non grata.

There was little regard for Agent Terry and his family. The family was not told the truth and officials would not give accurate responses to congress. The reaction to his murder was inappropriate as a result.

This report is a very troubling look into the "most transparent administration ever" that had no regard for the public’s right to know. They kept Americans in the dark and did whatever they wanted. Even more disturbing is that Barack Obama enjoys a 63% approval rating and Eric Holder hopes to become president in 2020.


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Beckwith

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What a real presidential scandal looks like

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Daniel John Sobieski (DirectorBlue) says as liberal McCarthyism continues searching for Russian monsters under Trump administration beds, it might serve us well to remember the Obama administration scandals, for which there were no special prosecutors appointed, no grand juries convened, not even a leaked memo to The New York Times via a friendly professor at Columbia University.

A few years ago, Barack Obama called the scandals swirling around his administration "phony scandals". As The Hill reported in 2013:

"With an endless parade of distractions, political posturing and phony scandals, Washington has taken its eye off the ball," Obama said in an economic address at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill….

Obama on Wednesday did not specify which controversies were "phony," but the administration has been attacked over National Security Agency surveillance programs leaked to the public, the IRS's targeting of conservative groups, the Department of Justice's seizing of media phone records, and last year's attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

Phony scandals are those that do not have a smidgeon of evidence of a crime, like alleged Trump collusion with the Russians or obstruction of an investigation that was never stopped or even slowed down. Phony scandals do not produce body bags as  the Obama administration produced in Benghazi and during Operation Fast and Furious -- the Obama administration's gun-running operation in which it armed Mexican drug lords and cartels with heavy weapons for which the U.S. Border Patrol had no match or protection. That gun-running operation led to the murder of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

On Wednesday, in the shadow of the Russia investigations and the testimony of former FBI Director James Comey, the House Oversight Committee produced a fact-laden report documenting the collusion between the administration of President Barack Hussein Obama and Mexican drug cartels and the obstruction of justice by Attorney General Eric Holder in this, er, "mater". As Fox News reported:

Members of a congressional committee at a public hearing Wednesday blasted former President Barack Obama and his attorney general for allegedly covering up an investigation into the death of a Border Patrol agent killed as a result of a botched government gun-running project known as Operation Fast and Furious.

131008-holder-terry.jpgThe House Oversight Committee also Wednesday released a scathing, nearly 300-page report that found Holder's Justice Department tried to hide the facts from the loved ones of slain Border Patrol Brian Terry -- seeing his family as more of a "nuisance" than one deserving straight answers -- and slamming Obama's assertion of executive privilege to deny Congress access to records pertaining to Fast and Furious….

Terry's death exposed Operation Fast and Furious, a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) operation in which the federal government allowed criminals to buy guns in Phoenix-area shops with the intention of tracking them as they were transported into Mexico. But the agency lost track of more than 1,400 of the 2,000 guns they allowed smugglers to buy. Two of those guns were found at the scene of Terry's killing.

"More than five years after Brian's murder, the Terry family still wonders about key details of Operation Fast and Furious," the committee's report states. "The Justice Department's obstruction of Congress's investigation contributed to the Terry family's inability to find answers."

That executive privilege was even, we are not making this up, extended to cover Eric Holder's wife.  The extent of the cover-up and the obstruction of justice in Fast and Furious is mind-bogglin. The statute of limitations has not run out and perhaps it is time to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate those, President Obama and Eric Holder, who are arguably guilty of criminal negligence in the death of agent Brian Terry and hundreds of Mexican nationals. As former ATF agent John Dodson wrote in 2015 in the Washington Times:

A political firestorm erupted when it was revealed that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), as part of a program dubbed "Operation Fast and Furious," had provided Brian Terry's murderers with the weapons used to take his life.

The details of Operation Fast and Furious in the nearly five years since the Terry murder have been documented through congressional investigations, committee hearings and Office of the Inspector General reports revealing government retaliation against whistleblowers, lies, stonewalling, cover-ups, email and document scandals, President Obama's assertion of executive privilege, and the first-ever citation for contempt of Congress levied against a sitting U.S. attorney general.

Brian Terry's mother, Josephine testified to the extent pf the cover-up, lies and obstruction by the Obama administration and Eric Holder before the House Oversight Committee on June 6, 2017. Her statement reads, in part:

16. From the moment a bullet was fired from one of those Fast and Furious guns, from the moment that bullet entered Brian's body, and ended his life - Brian's government, my government, your government -- began to hide the truth.  

17. One of ATF's Fast and Furious leaders dismissed Brian's death by saying, "You have to scramble a few eggs to make an omelet."  

18. That man has since been promoted by ATF and given awards by the Justice Department.  Did you know that?

19. ATF and DOJ made sure that all those involved were given new jobs or allowed to retire with their government pensions and benefits.

20. No one was punished or prosecuted.

21. When I pay my taxes and when you pay yours, we are funding the comfort of those who helped murder my son.

22. We know that Brian encountered bad people the night he was killed.

23. We know there was a gun battle.

24. We know Brian was shot and killed.

25. We know the gun used to kill him was fired by a drug trafficker.

26. We know the gun was put in the murderer's hands by our government.

27. But, there is so much more that we don't know.

28. I need you to have overturned President Obama's executive privilege order that hides many of the of facts from Operation Fast and Furious.  

29. I need you to ask President Trump to keep the promise he made to my family on his campaign trail and let you see those documents.

30. Only one possible motivation remains for all of those involved who have covered-up Operation Fast and Furious.  

31. That is to conceal their own shame and disgrace; quite possibly their crimes.  

The operative word here is crimes. Real crimes, not fantasy crimes as in the" Russia, Russia, Russia" Democrat witch hunt. More interesting than the Comey memo would be the release of al the documents withheld under the Obama administration's claim of executive privilege. President Trump should revoke the claim of executive privilege in Fast and Furious and grant the Terry family both closure and the truth as they have requested:

In testimony Wednesday before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Robert Heyer, a cousin who oversees the foundation named for agent Brian Terry, said it is "time for the dirty little secrets of Fast and Furious to be exposed."

"We urge the Trump administration and the Department of Justice to revisit the claim of executive privilege," Heyer added in his written statement. "The American public deserves to see the documents previously sealed by executive order, and for those documents to be turned over to congressional investigators."…

Although many key documents are still missing, the report says, new records show Justice Department administrators sought to cover up the Fast and Furious scandal while viewing Terry's family members as a "public relations nuisance" rather than victims.

ATF agent Dodson has long tried to reveal the truth about Fast and Furious and the running of deadly weapons to Mexican drug lords.  . Investors Business Daily editorialized on  Dodson's attempt to spread the truth on the Obama administration's effort to supply Mexican drug lords with semiautomatic weapons:

ATF Special Agent John Dodson is a national hero who in 2011 blew the whistle on Operation Fast and Furious, the Obama administration's gun-running operation to Mexico.

Testifying before Congress, he disclosed that his supervisors had authorized the flow of semiautomatic weapons into Mexico instead of interdicting them, weapons that found their way into the hands of Mexican drug cartels with deadly results.

Dodson has put his intimate Fast and Furious knowledge into a book titled "The Unarmed Truth." It provides the first inside account of how the Obama administration permitted and helped sell some 2,000 guns to Mexican drug cartels, guns used in the murder of two federal agents and hundreds of Mexican citizens.. …

The operation was exposed when Brian was killed in December 2010 by an illegal immigrant working for the Sinaloa Cartel near Nogales, Ariz., just 10 miles from Mexico. Two Fast and Furious weapons were found at the murder scene.

Two such weapons also were used to murder Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata in Mexico on Feb. 15, 2011, came from suspects who were under ATF watch but not arrested at the time….

"Allowing loads of weapons that we knew to be destined for criminals, this was the plan. It was so mandated," Dodson, then attached to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' (ATF) Phoenix office, testified before Rep. Darrell Issa's House Government Reform and Oversight Committee on June 15, 2011..

"Rather than conduct enforcement actions, we took notes, we recorded observations, we tracked movements of these individuals for a short time after their purchases, but nothing more," Dodson testified.

"Knowing all the while, just days after these purchases, the guns that we saw these individuals buy would begin turning up at crime scenes in the United States and Mexico, we still did nothing."

The Obama administration has done its best to hide the truth about Fast and Furious, with AG Holder arguably lying to Congress about his knowledge and involvement and repeatedly saying he "didn't get the memo." American citizens and Mexican nationals to this day are in jeopardy from criminals using weapons the Obama administration funneled to them. As Fox News reported about Mexican drug kigpin "El Chapo":

A .50-caliber rifle found at Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's hideout in Mexico was funneled through the gun-smuggling investigation known as Fast and Furious, sources confirmed Tuesday to Fox News.

A .50-caliber is a massive rifle that can stop a car or, as it was intended, take down a helicopter…

Federal law enforcement sources told Fox News that ‘El Chapo' would put his guardsmen on hilltops to be on guard for Mexican police helicopters that would fly through valleys conducting raids. The sole purpose of the guardsmen would be to shoot down those helicopters, sources said.

As for Holder's claim that he wasn't in the loop, Investor's Business Daily noted the paper trail indicated otherwise:

Somewhere, Scooter Libby must be scratching his head. He was indicted and convicted simply because his recall of when a meeting occurred differed from others. He didn't lie about a gun-running operation that led to the deaths of two American agents and at least 200 Mexicans.

But Attorney General Eric Holder did, according to memos obtained by CBS News and Fox News.

They show Holder lied to Congress on May 2, 2011, when he was asked about when he knew about the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' Fast and Furious gun-running operation. He told House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa he was "not sure of the exact date, but I probably learned about Fast and Furious over the last few weeks."

Holder learned of the operation as early as July 2010 in a memo from the director of the National Drug Intelligence Center informing him of an operation run by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force out of the Phoenix ATF office, under which "straw purchasers are responsible for the purchase of 1,500 firearms that were then supplied to Mexican drug cartels."

So Eric Holder knew about Fast and Furious months before  Brian Terry's murder. He not only knew about it, he even bragged about it to Mexican officials during a trip to Mexico:

A 2-year-old video shows a high Justice official saying "the president has directed us," including the attorney general, to speed up Project Gunrunner and the offshoot that got a border agent killed….

The video shows Deputy Attorney General David Ogden, who would resign nine months later after less than a year's service, telling reporters at a Department of Justice briefing of major policy initiatives to fight the Mexican drug cartels.

"The president has directed us to take action to fight these cartels," Ogden begins, "and Attorney General Holder and I are taking several new and aggressive steps as part of the administration's comprehensive plan."

At the president's direction, Ogden said, the administration's plan included DOJ's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives "increasing its efforts by adding 37 new employees in three new offices, using $10 million in Recovery Act funds and redeploying 100 personnel to the Southwest border in the next 45 days to fortify its Project Gunrunner," of which Operation Fast and Furious would be a part.

As we have noted, Attorney General Eric Holder himself gave a speech to Mexican authorities in Cuernavaca, Mexico, on April 2, 2009, taking credit for Gunrunner as well as Fast and Furious for himself and the Obama administration.

Holder told the audience: "Last week, our 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."

Project Gunrunner was the precursor for Fast and Furious. The cartel member who actually pulled the trigger of the gun that killed Brian Terry has been captured and will get his final justice. Eric Holder, whose department knowingly and willfully put the murder weapon in his hands while running guns to Mexican drug cartels, has not. But that may change under the new sheriff in town. As the respected gun news website AmmoLand reports:

The brother of a slain Border Patrol agent says Donald Trump has promised answers about the Operation Fast and Furious "gunwalking" program leading to Brian Terry's death.

Kent Terry met with Trump, and says the presumptive Republican nominee will use his authority to act if he's elected president, Terry said in a Twitter post Tuesday.

"Mr. Trump said ‘It's a shame Fast and Furious started and shame on them for what they are doing about it," Terry explained to this column, referring to an event at a community college in Michigan (see photo).  "When I become president I will open the books on Fast and Furious and Brian. God bless your family Kent.'

"Then at end of campaign speech when he got off stage he remembered me again," Terry elaborated. "First time in Brian's death I honestly believe Mr. Trump will get answers."

Final justice will happen when Eric Holder and Barack accountable for their lies on Fast and Furious, the withholding of documents under the guise of "executive privilege', something even extended to Holder's wife, and the entire cover-up on why Brian Terry had to die. Eric Holder has never been prosecuted for his contempt of Congress citation in this matter. Attorney General Ssessions, call your office. President Trump, keep your promise.


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Beckwith

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Suspected triggerman in border agent's murder arrested

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Fox News is reporting that the cartel member suspected of shooting and killing Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in 2010 with a gun supplied by the U.S. government was arrested in Mexico Wednesday, senior law enforcement, Border Patrol, and congressional sources told Fox News.

The suspect, Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes, was apprehended by a joint U.S.-Mexico law enforcement task force that included the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Marshals and the Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC).

A $250,000 reward had been sought for information leading to the arrest of Osorio-Arellanes, who was captured at a ranch on the border of the Mexican states of Sinaloa and Chihuahua. U.S. authorities have said they will seek his extradition.

Terry was killed on Dec. 14, 2010 in a gunfight between Border Patrol agents and members of a five-man cartel "rip crew," that regularly patrolled the desert along the U.S.-Mexico border looking for drug dealers to rob.

The agent's death exposed Operation Fast and Furious, a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) operation in which the federal government allowed criminals to buy guns in Phoenix-area shops with the intention of tracking them once they made their way into Mexico. But the agency lost track of more than 1,400 of the 2,000 guns they allowed smugglers to buy. Two of those guns were found at the scene of Terry's killing.

The operation set off a political firestorm, and then-Attorney General Eric Holder was held in contempt of Congress after he refused to divulge documents for a congressional investigation.

Four members of the "rip crew" already been sentenced to jail time in the U.S. Manual Osorio-Arellanes was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to first-degree murder in February 2014.

In October 2015, Ivan Soto-Barraza and Jesus Sanchez-Meza were convicted by a federal jury of nine different charges, including first-degree murder and attempted armed robbery.

Rosario Rafael Burboa-Alvarez, accused of assembling the "rip crew," was sentenced to 27 years in prison after striking a plea agreement with prosecutors.

The last remaining member of the "rip crew," Jesus Rosario Favela-Astorga, is believed to still be at large.

Never forget who was behind the gun-walking scheme that cause so much death:


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Beckwith

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Donald Trump promised Terry brother answers on Fast & Furious

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David Codrea (Ammoland) is reporting that the brother of a slain Border Patrol agent says Donald Trump has promised answers about the Operation Fast and Furious "gunwalking" program leading to Brian Terry's death. Kent Terry met with Trump, and says the presumptive Republican nominee will use his authority to act if he's elected president, Terry said in a Twitter post Tuesday.

"Mr. Trump said 'It's a shame Fast and Furious started and shame on them for what they are doing about it," Terry explained to this column, referring to an event at a community college in Michigan (see photo).  "When I become president I will open the books on Fast and Furious and Brian. God bless your family Kent.'

"Then at end of campaign speech when he got off stage he remembered me again," Terry elaborated. "First time in Brian's death I honestly believe Mr. Trump will get answers."

This is not only newsworthy, it could prove explosive. It could provide the necessary authority to break the logjam and allow the complete truth about Operation Fast and Furious "gunwalking" to come to light. It's not unfair to speculate that could put the fear of God into some of those who have tried their best to keep the truth buried, and would up the stakes for involved Democrats to keep Trump from getting elected. It would also be tremendously beneficial to his campaign, and to rallying Americans sick of the cover-up and demanding of justice. But only if that pledge is publicly acknowledged.

This would be a winning campaign issue for Trump, not as something to exploit, but as another chance to show a big difference between the two candidates. That in itself could get honest investigative journalists asking what Hillary knew and when she knew it. For starters, how is it guns were intentionally allowed to "walk" to Mexico without that government being informed and without close coordination between respective law enforcement agencies?  What was Hillary's State department doing while diplomatic channels were reportedly being bypassed and  arms export laws were apparently being ignored by "principles" that "induced" or "willfully caused" violations? Was State really in the dark? Was that due to incompetent leadership or a criminal cover-up? And why did the White House counsel refuse to permit testimony to House Oversight by the National Security Council Director of North American Affairs after emails showed he was getting "off the record" information from ATF's Phoenix SAC about its Gun Runner Impact Teams?

Opening up State and DOJ to see what secrets remain intentionally hidden (like why Eric Holder testified in May 2011 that he'd only heard about Fast and Furious a few week earlier when Obama said he knew about things in March, and why emails to Holder's aide show he was informed of the Terry murder the night it happened — not to mention Sharyl Attkisson's initial CBS News report was in February!) is an action only a strong and independent executive can order. Interested Americans have long grown weary of the stonewalling and obfuscation, the obstruction and the contempt, none of which ever seems to produce results beyond noise.

All the inquiries seem to provide are more opportunities to lull the gullible back to sleep by painting things as a no-big-deal "botched gun sting," rather than what a knowledgeable source claimed early on: Guns were being allowed to cross the border in violation of U.S. and Mexican law so they could be used "to pad statistics." And no one has ever been held truly accountable for what appears to be a criminal conspiracy that has resulted (and continues to result) in the deaths of untold numbers of people.

It's painfully obvious by now neither House Oversight nor Senate Judiciary have the juice to force complete and open disclosures from an obstructionist White House, and all the court has done is offer continued opportunities to stall.  Opening all the books and ordering cooperation from all departments is absolutely something that would be a legitimate executive action for a president to take, so the question is, will Donald Trump come through if elected?

Brian Terry
U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry

Will Trump publicly pledge to end all White House-controlled Fast and Furious stonewalling and to open up all relevant records? Will he rescind White House refusals to let potentially key witnesses testify? Will he order executive departments and agencies to fully cooperate, and to open appropriate investigations and share information with the people's representatives and the media?

Will Donald Trump issue a statement promising to oversee and ensure that the complete truth is revealed and that justice will be done, for the surviving family members of Brian Terry and ICE agent Jaime Zapata, for all the other victims, and for the American people?



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Beckwith

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Court-ordered document dump puts focus on Fast & Furious

Paul Sperry (NYPost) is reporting that Barack Obama's deadly-but-forgotten gun-running scandal, "Fast and Furious," has lain dormant for years, thanks to White House stonewalling and media compliance. But newly uncovered e-mails have reopened the case, exposing the anatomy of a cover-up by an administration that promised to be the most transparent in history.

A federal judge has forced the release of more than 20,000 pages of emails and memos previously locked up under Obama’s phony executive-privilege claim. A preliminary review shows top Obama officials deliberately obstructing congressional probes into the border gun-running operation.

Fast and Furious was a Justice Department program that allowed assault weapons -- including .50-caliber rifles powerful enough to take down a helicopter -- to be sold to Mexican drug cartels allegedly as a way to track them. But internal documents later revealed the real goal was to gin up a crisis requiring a crackdown on guns in America. Fast and Furious was merely a pretext for imposing stricter gun laws.

Only, the scheme backfired when Justice agents lost track of the nearly 2,000 guns sold through the program and they started turning up at murder scenes on both sides of the border -- including one that claimed the life of US Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

While then-Attorney General Eric Holder was focused on politics, people were dying. At least 20 other deaths or violent crimes have been linked to Fast and Furious-trafficked guns.

The program came to light only after Terry’s 2010 death at the hands of Mexican bandits, who shot him in the back with government-issued semiautomatic weapons. Caught red-handed, "the most transparent administration in history" flat-out lied about the program to Congress, denying it ever even existed.

Then Team Obama conspired to derail investigations into who was responsible by first withholding documents under subpoena -- for which Holder earned a contempt-of-Congress citation -- and later claiming executive privilege to keep evidence sealed.

But thanks to the court order, Justice has to cough up the "sensitive" documents. So far it’s produced 20,500 lightly redacted pages, though congressional investigators say they hardly cover all the internal department communications under subpoena. They maintain the administration continues to "withhold thousands of documents."

Even so, the batch in hand reveals the lengths to which senior Obama operatives went to keep information from Congress.

The degree of obstruction was "more than previously understood," House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz said in a recent memo to other members of his panel.

"The documents reveal how senior Justice Department officials -- including Attorney General Holder -- intensely followed and managed an effort to carefully limit and obstruct the information produced to Congress," he asserted.

They also indict Holder deputy Lanny Breuer, an old Clinton hand, who had to step down in 2013 after falsely denying authorizing Fast and Furious.

Their efforts to impede investigations included:

•  Devising strategies to redact or otherwise withhold relevant information;
•  Manipulating media coverage to control fallout;
•  Scapegoating the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) for the scandal.

For instance, a June 2011 e-mail discusses withholding ATF lab reports from Congress, and a July 2011 e-mail details senior Justice officials agreeing to "stay away from a representation that we’ll fully cooperate."
 
The next month, they went into full damage-control mode, with associate Deputy Attorney General Matt Axelrod warning an ATF official that providing details about Fast and Furious "strikes us as unwise."

Then in late August 2011, another e-mail reveals that Holder had instructed his staff to have an official at ATF "close the door to his office" to prevent information about the mushrooming scandal from leaking.

Talking points drafted for Holder and other brass for congressional hearings made clear that Justice intended to make ousted ATF officials the fall guys for the scandal.

"These (personnel) changes will help us move past the controversy that has surrounded Fast and Furious," Assistant Attorney General Ron Weich wrote in August 2011.

In an October 2011 e-mail to his chief of staff, moreover, Holder stated that he agreed with a strategy to first release documents to friendly media "with an explanation that takes the air out" of them, instead "of just handing them over" to Congress.

"Calculated efforts were made by senior officials to obstruct Congress," Chaffetz fumed.

"Over the course of the investigation," he recounted, "the Justice Department has provided false information, stonewalled document requests, produced scores of blacked-out pages and duplicate documents and refused to comply with two congressional subpoenas."

Though Obama prides himself on openness, transparency and accountability, the behavior of his administration belies such lofty principles. "Transparency should not require years of litigation and a court order," Chaffetz pointed out.

Obama insists Fast & Furious is just another "phony" scandal whipped up by Republicans to dog his presidency. What does his heir apparent Hillary Clinton think?

The anti-gun zealot has been silent on the gun-proliferation scandal. But then, she’s been busy sweeping subpoenaed e-mails under the rug of her own scandal.

Let us never forget who ordered Operation Fast & Furious:


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Fast & Furious emails withheld by Department of Justice


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Don't be fooled -- Team Obama is still stonewalling Fast & Furious

Bob Owens (BearingArms) says Team Obama has been stonewalling investigators for four years over its Operation Fast and Furious.

Fast and Furious was a gun-smuggling plot that armed the Sinaloa drug cartel with thousands of weapons in an apparent attempt to scapegoat American gun dealers in border states for drug cartel violence in Mexico.

Today, part of that wall came down.

Four years after asserting executive privilege to block Congress from obtaining documents relating to a controversial federal gun trafficking investigation, Barack Obama relented Friday, turning over to lawmakers thousands of pages of records that led to unusual House votes holding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt in 2012.

In January, a federal district court judge rejected Obama's executive privilege claim over records detailing the Justice Department and White House's response to Operation Fast and Furious, a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigation that may have allowed as many as 2,000 firearms to pass into the hands of Mexican drug cartels.In her ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson did not turn down Obama's privilege assertion on the merits. Instead, she said authorized public disclosures about the operation in a Justice Department inspector general report essentially mooted the administration's drive to keep the records secret.

Tellingly, the Obama Administration has only turned over some of the requested documentation. The White House is still withholding an undisclosed number of documents, presumably including those which might explain why low-level ATF field agents in Arizona were in direct communication with the White House.

There has long been speculation that Operation Fast and Furious, one of up to ten gun-walking operations in states along the southern border, was an attempt to add material support to the Obama Administration's so called "90-percent lie." Soon after taking office, Obama, Eric Holder, and Hillary Clinton pushed the blatant falsehood that 90-percent of the guns recovered from crime scenes in Mexico came from gun dealers in the United States. The reality was that only 8-percent were traced to American gun dealers.

The guns that Obama's ATF smuggled across the border were primarily semi-automatic rifles, 5.7x28mm pistols, and .50 BMG rifles. These are the exact same kind of firearms that he and Attorney General Eric Holder had stated on numerous occasions that they would like to make illegal. Was Fast and Furious nothing more or less attempt to smuggle guns into Mexico to inflate gun trace data and violence, in a bloody attempt to create conditions justifying an "assault weapon" ban?

You can be sure that we'll never know.

What we do know is that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would have been part of conversations about the gun-walking plot, and that the mainstream media is no more interested in finding out about her role in a scheme that has left hundreds of people dead on both sides of the border than they have been about Benghazi or her breaches in national data security which are clearly criminal.

Fast & Furious is another failure of the Republican-controlled House, along with Benghazi and the IRS scandal.

All the evidence of wrongdoing by Team Obama and not one person has been indicted.


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Obama's gun control hypocrisy

Jason DeWitt (TopRightNews) wants to know if you still believe Barack Obama is worried about the safety of your children?

From Federalist Papers:

Obama-administration scandals never resolve. They just vanish -- usually, under a new scandal. So it was with one of Obama's earliest embarrassments, "Operation Fast and Furious," designed to help the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) dismantle drug cartels operating inside the United States and disrupt drug-trafficking routes. Instead, it put into the hands of criminals south of the border some 2,000 weapons, which have been used to kill hundreds of Mexicans and at least one American, U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

Now, Fast and Furious is back in the news. Earlier this month, a raid on the hidey-hole of drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman recovered not only the notorious drug lord, but a ("massive") .50-caliber rifle, capable of stopping a car or shooting down a helicopter, that originated with the ATF program. Rest easy, though: Only 34 such rifles were sold through the program.

The news comes just days after a federal judge rejected Obama's assertion of executive privilege to deny Congress access to Fast and Furious–related records it requested back in 2012 as part of an investigation into the gun-walking operation. Despite the IRS scandal, Benghazi, and a host of other accusations of malfeasance against this White House, it remains Obama's sole assertion of executive privilege.

Three-and-a-half years later, the question is still: Why?

In November 2009, the ATF's Phoenix field office launched an operation in which guns bought by drug-cartel straw purchasers in the U.S. were allowed to "walk" across the border into Mexico. ATF agents would then track the guns as they made their way through the ranks of the cartel. At least, that was the theory. In reality, once the guns walked across the border, they were gone. Whistleblowers reported, and investigators later confirmed, that the ATF made no effort to trace the guns.

Makes one rethink the authenticity of those tears.

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Super-rifle found in El Chapo's weapons cache traced to Fast & Furious

William La Jeunesse (FoxNews) is reporting that a .50-caliber rifle found at Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman’s hideout in Mexico was funneled through the gun-smuggling investigation known as Fast and Furious, sources confirmed Tuesday to Fox News.

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A .50-caliber is a massive rifle that can stop a car or, as it was intended, take down a helicopter.

After the raid on Jan. 8 in the city of Los Mochis that killed five of his men and wounded one Mexican marine, officials found a number of weapons inside the house where Guzman was staying, including the rifle, officials said.

When agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives checked serial numbers of the eight weapons found in his possession, they found one of the two .50-caliber weapons traced back to the ATF program, sources said.

Federal officials told Fox News they are not sure how many of the weapons seized from Guzman’s house actually originated in the U.S. and where they were purchased, but are investigating.

Out of the roughly 2,000 weapons sold through Fast and Furious, 34 were .50-caliber rifles that can take down a helicopter, according to officials.

Federal law enforcement sources told Fox News that "El Chapo" would put his guardsmen on hilltops to be on guard for Mexican police helicopters that would fly through valleys conducting raids. The sole purpose of the guardsmen would be to shoot down those helicopters, sources said.

The Fast and Furious operation involved federal agents allowing criminals to buy guns with the intention of tracking them.

Instead, agents from the ATF lost track of 1,400 of the 2,000 guns involved in the sting operation.

The operation allowed criminals to buy guns in Phoenix-area shops with the intention of tracking them once they made their way into Mexico.

The operation became a major distraction for the Obama administration as Republicans in Congress conducted a series of inquiries into how the Justice Department allowed such an operation to happen.

Former Attorney General Eric Holder was held in contempt after he refused to divulge documents for a congressional investigation into the matter.

This is the third time a weapon from the Fast and Furious program has been found at a high-profile Mexican crime scene.

The bullets for the Barret are the standard .50 caliber and are a handful:

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Federal judge rules against Obama on executive privilege to conceal "Fast & Furious" documents

IMage706.jpg Aaron Kliegman (WashingtonFreeBeacon) is reporting that a federal judge ruled Tuesday that Barack Obama cannot use executive privilege to prevent Congress from viewing records on Operation Fast and Furious, a gunrunning program that let thousands of firearms cross the border into Mexico.

U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who was nominated by Obama to the bench, said the administration had to release the documents that it was withholding by citing executive privilege.

The judge wrote in her decision that the relevant information already made public by the Justice Department has mitigated the impact of any further disclosures because any damage resulting from deliberations "has already been self-inflicted."

Jackson was not questioning Obama's executive privilege claim in itself but that it is rendered invalid by what the Justice Department has previously released.

The administration also has to hand over to Congress "attorney-client privileged material, attorney work product, private information, law enforcement sensitive material, or foreign policy sensitive material."

The lawsuit dates back to a June 2012 vote in the House of Representatives to hold then-Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for not handing over the records.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives launched Operation Fast and Furious in 2009, and it lasted until 2011.

The ATF lost thousands of firearms as a result, two of which were linked to the  2010 murder of a Border Patrol agent in Arizona.

The Obama administration can appeal the ruling, but it is unclear if it will do so.

Related:  Rifle capable of taking down helicopter found at "El Chapo" hideout purchased through Fast & Furious program


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Mexican killer of ICE agent extradited to U.S. linked to ATF's Fast & Furious

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Jim Kouri is reporting that one of the prime suspects in the murder of a member of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Special Agent Jaime Zapata, and the attempted slaying of his partner, Special Agent Victor Avila was extradited to the United States by the Mexican government for his part in the drug-cartel's ambush. U.S. Department of Justice officials said that although 34-year-old Jose Emanuel Garcia Sota (a/k/a Juan Manuel Maldonado Amezcua, Zafado or Safado), of San Luis Potosi, Mexico, had been charged on May 6, 2013, he made his second U.S. court appearance on Friday more than two years later. The case is believed to have been linked to the botched Fast and Furious operation run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

One count of the murder complaint is connected to the slaying of ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata, who alongside Avila was attacked while on assignment in Mexico, allegedly by members of Los Zetas drug cartel. Agent Zapata joined Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry as a murder victim linked to a U.S. government operation that ended up doing more harm than good, according to investigators and lawmakers.

"It has been over four and a half years since ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata valiantly lost his life and Special Agent Victor Avila suffered grave injuries when they were ambushed by gunfire while on assignment in Mexico," said Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell. "As evidenced by today's announcement, the passage of time has not lessened our resolve to keep our promise to the family of Special Agent Zapata and to Special Agent Avila and his family, and bring to justice those responsible for this senseless and brutal attack. And we are grateful to the Government of Mexico for its continued partnership in this case."

Five months following the drug cartel members gunning down Agents Zapata and Avila, the White House reported that Agent Zapata's family were demanding the government investigate the firearms used by the suspects during the attack on the two unarmed law enforcement officials. To this day, no American official has been implicated or charged for the questionable operation many believe was conducted to show the need for more gun control laws in the United States.

According to a joint U.S. Senate and House statement at the time, the gun that killed Zapata and wounded Víctor Ávila -- a semi-automatic WASR-10 rifle -- was purchased by Otilio Osorio in the Dallas, Texas.  The serial number had been expertly removed from the weapon and it was smuggled into Mexico along with nine additional rifles. Congressional investigators have stated that Osorio was known by the ATF to be a straw purchaser months before he purchased the gun used to kill Zapata, leading them to question the Bureau's Operation Fast and Furious gun smuggling investigation that allegedly led to the illegal purchase and export of the murder weapon.

The statement from Congressman Darrell Issa and Senator Chuck Grassley said that they "are pressing for additional information into the murder of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata and the tactics used while conducting surveillance on known straw purchasers, raising concerns similar to policies of Operation Fast and Furious out of the Phoenix office."

The letter explains "the inconsistent statements by the Justice Department regarding Otilio Osorio, his brother Ranferi Osorio, and Kelvin Morrison.  The three straw purchasers were known to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or ATF, long before one of the guns purchased by the brothers was linked to the murder of Agent Zapata."

Several other criminal charges include "one count of attempted murder of an officer or employee of the United States; one count of attempted murder of an internationally protected person; and one count of using, carrying, brandishing and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence causing death."

"Four years ago, on a Mexican roadside, two American heroes came under attack in a violent ambush by members of Los Zetas, a dangerous criminal cartel," acting U.S. Attorney Vincent Cohen Jr. said in a statement. "Four people have already accepted responsibility for their actions, and now a fifth will be brought to an American courtroom for justice. We will not stop in the pursuit of justice  --  no matter how far away and how long it takes."

According to the Justice Department's records: "Four defendants previously pleaded guilty to offenses based on their roles in the incident. Julian Zapata Espinoza (aka Piolin), 34, pleaded guilty May 23, 2013, to murder and attempted murder. Ruben Dario Venegas Rivera (aka Catracho), 27, pleaded guilty Aug. 1, 2011, to federal charges concerning the murder of Zapata and attempted murder of Avila. Jose Ismael Nava Villagran (aka Cacho), 33, pleaded guilty Jan. 4, 2012, also to federal charges concerning the murder and attempted murder of the ICE agents. Francisco Carbajal Flores (aka Dalmata), 40, pleaded guilty Jan. 10, 2012, to conspiracy to conduct the affairs of an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity and to being an accessory after the fact to the murder and attempted murder of the agents."

As part of their guilty pleas, Zapata Espinoza, Venegas and Nava admitted to being members of a Los Zetas "hit squad" and to participating directly in the Feb. 15, 2011, ambush of the two special agents. The fourth defendant, Carbajal, acknowledged assisting Zetas members after the attack.


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Two convicted in murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry

Michael Kiefer is reporting that two members of a "rip crew" that engaged in a fatal firefight with U.S. Border Patrol Agents near the Mexican border in December 2010 were found guilty of murder today by a U.S. District Court jury in Tucson.

Agent Brian Terry was killed in the fight, and guns found at the scene were traced to the scandalously flawed federal gun-running sting operation called "Fast and Furious."

Jurors convicted Ivan Soto-Barraza and Jesus Leonel Sanchez-Meza, who were extradited from Mexico to stand trial for Terry's death, on all counts: first-degree murder -- though neither is believed to have fired the fatal bullet -- second-degree murder, conspiracy, attempted robbery, carrying a firearm in a violent crime, and four counts of assaulting a federal officer.

The case stems from the shootout December 2010. Terry and three other agents were staked out above an arroyo southwest of Rio Rico, 11 miles north of the Mexican border.

Soto-Barraza and Sanchez-Meza were part of a five-man rip crew looking for drug smugglers to rob. Both admitted they had entered the country illegally from Mexico and were carrying semi-automatic rifles as they patrolled the area. The Border Patrol agents shouted "Policia," and began firing non-lethal bean-bag rounds, drawing fire from unknown members of the rip crew.

Terry took a bullet in the back and quickly bled to death. One of the rip-crew members was also wounded and the others fled.

The wounded rip-crew member pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to 30 years in prison; an organizer of the crew who was not present at the firefight also pleaded guilty and is expected to be sentenced to 30 years as well. Two members of the crew are still at large. Soto-Barraza and Sanchez-Meza were extradited from Mexico; they face mandatory natural life sentences.

The prosecution based its first-degree murder charges on the theory of felony murder, meaning that someone died during the commission of a felony, in this case, attempted robbery. The defense admitted that the two men were guilty of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery -- the "commerce," in this case, being drug trafficking. But they argued that the crew members could not have committed attempted robbery because there were no potential robbery targets anywhere in the vicinity when the shooting started.

Both men denied they fired their weapons, but pinpointing who the shooter was is irrelevant in felony murder.

The defense also claimed self-defense in the second-degree murder and assault charges, saying that the crew members believed they were under attack and some of them returned fired because they were not aware that the shooters were law-enforcement officers.

The jury sided with the prosecution and found Soto-Barraza and Sanchez-Meza guilty on all counts.

Prosecutors also convinced the judge to forbid any mention during the trial of "Fast and Furious," the embarrassing Arizona-based federal operation that allowed criminals to purchase more than 1,000 weapons with the hope of tracking them to cartel leaders. To avoid appearance of conflict of interest, the U.S. Attorney's Office for Arizona recused itself from the case, and it was assigned to prosecutors at the U.S. Attorney's Office in San Diego.


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Email proves that White House And DoJ colluded with CBS to silence Sharyl Attkisson

Jeff Dunetz is reporting that a document obtained by Judicial Watch via a Freedom of Information Act request proves that Justice Department colluded with the White House and CBS to silence a Sharyl Attkisson investigation into Fast and Furious, and a negative piece about Rep. Darryl Issa by then National Journal ReporterSusan Davis was actually planted by the DoJ.

Judicial Watch announced Thursday that it received from the Obama Department of Justice a treasure trove of documents pertaining to Operation Fast and Furious. The documents were forced out of the Obama administration through a June 2012 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and subsequent September 2012 FOIA lawsuit.

A total of 10,112 documents, comprised of approximately 42,000 pages, were disclosed to Judicial Watch in the new release, which is already producing dividends.

Our initial review of the documents shows the DoJ and White House targeted then-CBS journalist Sharyl Attkisson :

  • On October 4, 2011, Holder's top press aide Tracy Schmaler tells White House Deputy Press Sectary Eric Schultz, "I'm also calling Sharryl's [sic] editor and reaching out to Scheiffer. She's out of control"

Schultz responded, "Good. Her piece was really bad for the AG."

Schultz also detailed to Schmaler that he was working with a journalist (Susan Davis, formerly of the National Journal) to target Rep. Darryl Issa (R-CA), the House Republican leading the charge on Fast and Furious:

"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."

(Davis authored a critical profile of Issa a few weeks later.)

This one email chain implicates both the Obama White House and the Department of Justice in an effort to secretly undermine a congressional investigation and to suppress critical media reporting of the Obama administration.  No wonder Obama waited until after he was safely reelected (and even after this year's elections) to finally release this material that documents obstruction and abuse at the highest levels.


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Garland Islamist bought Fast & Furious pistol

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It's been 8 months since the last Fast & Furious firearm was used in a brutal attack, but now there's another high-profile shooting with one of Obama's and Holder's hot guns.

Mark Tapson is reporting that Nadir Soofi, one of the jihadists who attempted to massacre the attendees at the "Draw Muhammad" event in Garland, Texas earlier this year, had apparently bought a firearm five years ago that was part of former Attorney General Eric Holder's "Fast and Furious" debacle, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Soofi purchased the 9-millimeter handgun at a suburban Phoenix shop called Lone Wolf Trading Co., known among gun smugglers for selling illegal firearms. What he didn't know was that Lone Wolf was at the center of the Fast and Furious federal sting operation targeting Mexican drug lords and traffickers.

His purchase caught the attention of authorities, who for some reason allowed the purchase despite Soofi's history of misdemeanor drug and assault charges, and despite the false information he provided on the gun purchase form he filled out.

Then this May, Soofi and his roommate Elton Simpson, outfitted in body armor and heavily armed, attacked the Garland cartoonists' convention and wounded a security officer before being slain themselves by local police.

The next day the Department of Justice sent an "urgent firearms disposition request" to Lone Wolf, seeking more information about Soofi and the pistol he bought in 2010.

The FBI so far has refused to release any details, so it's unclear whether the gun sold during the botched Fast and Furious operation ended up being used in a terrorist attack against Americans. FBI Director James B. Comey earlier this month said, "We're still sorting that out."

As the Times notes,

At the time of the 2010 gun purchase, Soofi ran a Phoenix pizza parlor. His mother said that was about the same time he met Simpson, who worked for Soofi at the restaurant. They later shared an apartment...

Sharon Soofi said her son had told her he wanted the pistol for protection because his restaurant was in a "rough area." She said he also acquired an AK-47 assault rifle at the end of last year or early this year, when authorities believe he and Simpson were plotting an attack on the Super Bowl in Arizona.

"I tried to convince him that, what in the world do you need an AK-47 for?" she said in a telephone interview. Soofi told her they practiced target shooting in the desert. Her younger son, Ali Soofi, was living with his brother and Simpson at the time, she said, but left after becoming frightened by the weapons, ammunition and militant Islamist literature.

She blamed Simpson for radicalizing her son, who she said had no history of religious extremism. A month before Soofi bought the pistol, Simpson was indicted on charges of lying to the FBI about his plans to travel to Somalia and engage in "violent jihad," according to federal court documents.



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Fast and Furious gun used in Phoenix apartment shooting

Patrick Howlery is reporting that shocking new crime scene photos show the serial number of the Department of Justice Fast and Furious rifle used in a bloody apartment shooting in Phoenix, Arizona.

The photos, obtained by the nonprofit group Judicial Watch in a lawsuit against the city of Phoenix and provided to The Daily Caller, depict the grisly aftermath of a July 29, 2013 shooting in a Phoenix apartment that wounded two people. Four arrests were made in the case. Suspects Bruno Brizuela, Jonathan Mejinez-Sanchez, Jovanny Andrade, and Kayonte Scott were believed to have been using an acquaintance's car, which was abandoned near the crime scene after hitting a fence.

Joaquin Bojorquez-Romero was shot in the leg and Jobani Flores was shot in the head. Victim Cleiver Nava-Diaz was not injured.

A rifle found in the abandoned car came from Attorney General Eric Holder's Fast and Furious program, which put firearms into the black market on the Southern border in a failed attempt to reinforce Team Obama's lie that "90% of the firearms used by Mexican criminals come from the United States." The AK-47 style rifle was purchased in 2009 by Sean Christopher Seward, who pled guilty to trafficking firearms that he bought while the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms was monitoring his activities as part of Fast and Furious.

Fast & Furious rifle found in suspects car:

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Serial number of Fast & Furious rifle:

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Phoenix crime scene:

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Jobani Flores, one of the shooting victims:

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Way to go Barack Obama and Eric Holder!


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Judicial Watch statement on the release of an enormous trove of DoJ Fast & Furious documents

Judicial Watch announced today that it received from the Obama Department of Justice (DoJ) on November 18, 2014, a large production of documents pertaining to Operation Fast and Furious. The documents were forced out of the Obama administration through a June 2012 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)  request and subsequent September 2012 FOIA lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. Department of Justice (No. 1:12-cv-01510)).

A total of 10,112 documents, comprised of approximately 42,000 pages, were disclosed to Judicial Watch in the new production.  The documents are being posted and most are now available on the Judicial Watch Internet site at http://www.judicialwatch.org/fast-furious-documents-released/.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton made the following statement:

Judicial Watch’s tenacious lawsuit has led to the first public disclosure of Fast and Furious documents at the heart of the historic contempt citation against Attorney General Eric Holder.  These documents, many of which are heavily blacked out, withheld for over two years by President Obama, are a road map the Obama administration’s Fast and Furious cover-up and deadly lies.

Our supporters should be proud that their contributions helped our team of lawyers and investigators break through the Obama/Holder stonewall on Fast and Furious.  Our disclosures exposed as fraud Obama’s assertions of executive privilege and led to Holder’s surprise resignation.  And it was because of our lawsuit that Congress finally obtained information it had sought for years on Fast and Furious.

We are posting these documents for the public to review and hope that crowd-sourcing our investigation will lead to more accountability for the Fast and Furious outrage.  The documents are explosive.  For instance, our initial review of the documents shows the DoJ and White House targeted then-CBS journalist Sharyl Attkisson:

  • On October 4, 2011, Holder’s top press aide Tracy Schmaler tells White House Deputy Press Sectary Eric Schultz, "I'm also calling Sharryl’s [sic] editor and reaching out to Scheiffer. She’s out of control."

Schultz responded, "Good.  Her piece was really bad for the AG."

Schultz also detailed to Schmaler that he was working with a journalist (Susan Davis, formerly of the National Journal) to target Rep. Darryl Issa (R-CA), the House Republican leading the charge on Fast and Furious:

"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."

(Davis authored a critical profile of Issa a few weeks later.)

This one email chain implicates both the Obama White House and the Department of Justice in an effort to secretly undermine a congressional investigation and to suppress critical media reporting of the Obama administration.  No wonder Obama waited until after he was safely reelected (and even after this year’s elections) to finally release this material that documents obstruction and abuse at the highest levels.

The documents show that Obama made the extraordinary assertion of executive privilege over emails between Eric Holder and his wife, Sharon Malone.  The emails show that Holder sent his spouse internal DoJ emails about Fast and Furious developments.  There is nothing that would have been covered by executive privilege in these or other key records that show Barack Obama abused his power to keep them secret during his reelection campaign up until now.

Our team will continue to review these documents and will continue our court fight for more information -- as Obama continues to withhold at least 5,000 records in their entirety.


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20 Examples of the violent legacy of Fast & Furious

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42 weapons recovered by Mexican military in Naco, Sonora, Mexico, 20 Nov 2009. Operation Fast and Furious suspect Uriel Patino bought 19 of the weapons one to two weeks earlier. From: Justice Dept. Inspector General

Sharyl Attkisson says Since 2011, the Justice Department has refused repeated requests from Congress and the news media to fully disclose details of incidents involving guns that had been illegally trafficked to Mexican drug cartels under the watch of U.S. agents in Operation Fast and Furious. The partial list below was compiled using available information.

Known crimes linked to "walked" weapons:

Deaths: 43
   •  2 U.S. federal agents
   •  3 Mexican police
   •  1 terrorist torture/kidnaping/murder in Mexico

Attempted murders or injuries: 3
   •  1 in Mexico; 2 in U.S.

Kidnapings: 4 (all in Mexico)

Assaults/Shootouts: 4 incidents
   •  2 in Mexico against military; 2 in U.S. against Phoenix law enforcement

1. Nov. 14, 2009 Mexican Kidnaping Crime Scene -- One AK-47 type assault rifle purchased by a Fast and Furious suspect was recovered in Atoyac de Alvarez, Mexico after the Mexican military rescued a kidnap victim.

2. Dec. 9, 2009 Cartel Crime Scene Seizure in Mexico -- Mexican Army recovered 900 pounds of cocaine, 132 pounds of methamphetamine, $2 million U.S. dollars and 48 firearms in Mexicali, Mexico.  Twenty of the weapons had been purchased by Fast and Furious suspects.

3. Dec. 18, 2009 Crime Scene in Mexico -- Mexican law enforcement agents recovered five firearms in Tijuana, Mexico, four of which had been originally purchased by a Fast and Furious suspect.

4. Date unknown, 2010 Mexican Men Assault Phoenix Detectives -- Arizona state police revealed that two guns from Fast and Furious were found in an arrest involving two Mexican men who assaulted detectives outside Phoenix in 2010. Nobody was seriously hurt.

5. Jan. 8, 2010 Mexican Army Seizure -- Two weapons purchased by a Fast and Furious suspect were recovered as part of a 14-gun seizure by the Mexican Army in Tijuana, Mexico and an Indian Seizure of Fast and Furious Weapons at Tohono O'odham Indian reservation, Arizona, Feb. 20, 2010. Photo: Dept. of Justice Inspector General

6. Feb. 20, 2010 U.S. Crime Scene Seizure -- Agents in Arizona at the Tohono O'odham Indian reservation seized 37 AK-47 style weapons purchased ten days earlier by a Fast and Furious suspect.

7. Feb. 26 and 27, 2010 Cartel Weapons Seizures in Mexico -- ATF notified U.S. Attorney's office of two large recovery incidents in Mexico that believed to include Fast and Furious weapons. An email on the Feb. 26 incident stated: "big Mexican Army seizure last night in Sinaloa from 'Chapo' Guzman's guys."

8. July 1, 2010 Two Murders in Mexico -- Two AK-47 type assault rifles purchased by Fast and Furious suspects were recovered in Sonora, Mexico after a shootout between Mexican cartels. Two murders involving the weapons were reported in the incident.

9. July 26, 2010 Firing of Rifle in Mexico -- A giant .50 caliber Barrett rifle purchased by a Fast and Furious suspect was recovered in Durango, Mexico after apparently having been fired. No further details were given.

10. Aug. 13, 2010 Mexican Military vs. Armed Group -- Two AK-47 type assault rifles purchased by a Fast and Furious target were recovered in Durango, Mexico after a confrontation between the Mexican military and an "armed group."

11. Nov. 14, 2010 Terrorist Torture Murder of Mexican Official's Brother -- Two Fast and Furious "walked" AK-47 variant rifles were found at the scene of a shoot-out with suspects in the Oct. 2010 terrorist torture, kidnap and murder of the brother of a Mexican state attorney general, Patricia Gonzalez Rodriguez.

12. Dec. 14, 2010 Border Patrol Agent Murder -- Two or three AK-47 style rifles found at the murder scene of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, who was killed in Arizona by illegal immigrant bandits, had been sold to Mexican drug cartels by Fast and Furious weapons trafficking suspects under ATF's watch.

13. Feb. 15, 2011 U.S. Immigration and Customs Agent Murdered in Mexico, Partner Injured. -- Immigration and Customs (ICE) Agent Jaime Zapata was murdered and his partner injured in a suspected cartel ambush in Mexico. Two weapons linked to suspects who were under ATF surveillance were used in the murder.

14. May 27, 2011 Mexican Military Helicopter Downed, 29 Cartel Members Killed -- A Mexican military helicopter was forced to land after drug cartel suspects fired upon it near Jalisco, western Mexico. Authorities seized more than 70 assault rifles and other weapons from the suspects including three AK-47 type assault rifles sold to Fast and Furious suspects.

15. Aug 17, 2011 11 Violent Crimes in U.S. -- The Justice Department reported that Fast and Furious guns had been recovered, so far, at 11 violent crime scenes in the U.S. but refused to provide details requested by Congress. Later, the Justice Department revised the number and said there were only two violent crime scenes.

16. Sept. 14, 2011 8 Violent Crimes in Mexico: 3 Murders, 4 Kidnappings, 1 Attempted Homicide -- Fast and Furious weapons were reported to be tied to at least eight violent crimes in Mexico including three murders, four kidnappings and an attempted homicide.

17. Nov. 23, 2012 Five Killed, Including Beauty Queen, in Mexico -- A weapon purchased by a Fast and Furious suspect under ATF's watch was recovered scene of a shootout between Sinaloa drug cartel members and Mexican military in Ciudad Guamuchil, Sinaloa, Mexico. Sinaloa beauty queen Maria Susana Flores Gamez and four others were killed.

19. July 29, 2013 Gang-style Assault in Phoenix -- An AK-47 rifle that was part of Fast and Furious was used in the gang-style assault on an apartment building in Phoenix that left two people wounded.

19. Aug. 14, 2013 Three Weapons Recovered at Mexican Crime Scenes -- Three WASR-10 762-calibur Romanian rifles sold to Fast and Furious suspects under ATF's watch turned up at crime scenes in Mexico.

20. Oct. 10, 2013 Three Mexican Police Murdered -- A grenade linked to Jean Baptiste Kingery, whom federal officials allowed to traffic unimpeded, was linked to a drug cartel shootout in Tepatitlin, Jalisco, Mexico in which three Jalisco State police officers were murdered and four cartel members were killed.

Related:  Video about the grenade-walking case of Jean Baptiste Kingery

Related:  Video of the second "walked" weapons linked to Agent Zapata murder

Related:  Video of the story on a Fast and Furious weapon found at shootout in Mexico that killed five

Related:  Video report on Fast and Furious rifles in the terrorist-torture case

Related:  Fast and Furious rifles in the terrorist-torture case

Related:  Downed Mexican military helicopter involving Fast and Furious weapons

Related:  Fast and Furious guns being recovered at 11 violent crime scenes in U.S.

Related:  Fast and Furious weapons tied to three more murders in Mexico

Related:  Fast and Furious rifle used in gang-style assault in Phoenix

Related:  Three Fast and Furious rifles recovered at Mexican crime scenes

Related:  Links to all Fast and Furious reports here

If this isn't Pulitzer material I don't know what is.

All this because Team Obama wanted to support their meme that 90% of all guns in Mexico came from the United States.

On March 30, the 30th anniversary of the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, Jim Brady, who sustained a debilitating head wound in the attack, and his wife, Sarah, came to Capitol Hill to push for a ban on the controversial "large magazines." Brady, for whom the law requiring background checks on handgun purchasers is named, then met with White House press secretary Jay Carney.  During the meeting, Obama dropped in and, according to Sarah Brady, brought up the issue of gun control, "to fill us in that it was very much on his agenda," she said.

"I just want you to know that we are working on it," Brady recalled Obama telling them. "We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar."

And "Operation Fast & Furious" was born at the direction of Barack Obama.



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U. S. lawmen allowed drug cartels' grenade trafficker to operate freely

Sharyl Attkisson is reporting that a long-awaited report from the Department of Justice's inspector general sharply criticizes U.S. law enforcement officials for allowing a grenade trafficker for vicious Mexican drug cartels to operate unfettered, endangering public safety.

The Office of the Inspector General calls the federal operation "poorly conceived and executed" and "particularly irresponsible" because of information agents had about a dangerous suspect.

The case reminded some observers of how the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms allowed thousands of assault rifles to be trafficked to Mexican drug cartels in the ill-fated Operation Fast and Furious.

In fact,  Jean Baptiste Kingery,  the California man accused of being a grenade trafficker, came to the attention of the inspector general's office during the probe of Fast and Furious, which also occurred on Attorney General Eric Holder's watch as head of the Justice Department.

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The missteps of the Arizona U.S. Attorney's Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms allowed Kingery, a 43-year-old U.S. citizen, to move massive amounts of grenade parts and ammunition to Mexico's ruthless drug cartels, Inspector General Michael Horowitz concluded.

This "grenade walking" mirrored, in some respects, the controversial gun-walking strategy used in ATF's Operation Fast and Furious and also involved the same U.S. attorney and ATF offices.

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Grenade hull, fuse assembly, spoon and grande pin ordered by Kingery and
received by ATF on Nov. 2009. (Photo: DOJ-OIG Oversight Report)

Horowitz's  93-page report concludes:

Kingery should have been arrested and charged with violating the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) … long before he finally was. We also believe that some of the decision-making in the Kingery case reflected agents' and prosecutors' inadequate consideration of the risk to public safety in the United States and Mexico created by Kingery's illegal activities.

Roots of the operation

ATF began watching Kingery in 2004 "related to AK47 purchases," according to an internal email that also says "it is believed that he is trafficking them to Mexico."

A full five years later, in late 2009, ATF also learned Kingery was dealing in grenades: He'd ordered 120 grenade bodies on the Internet.

Documents show ATF secretly intercepted the grenade bodies Kingery had ordered, marked them and delivered them to him on Jan. 26, 2010. The agency's plan was to follow Kingery to his weapons factory in Mexico, with help from Mexican authorities and U.S. Immigration and Customs (ICE) agents.

ATF agents realized they might lose track of Kingery and the grenade parts in Mexico. But their emails show little attention to those who could be killed.

Instead, officials expressed concern with tying the grenades to Kingery after the weapons reached Mexico.

"Even in a post blast, as long as the safety lever is recovered we will be able to identify these tagged grenades," one email says.

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Truck spare tire contains grenade hulls and components. (Photo: DOJ-OIG Oversight Report)

"Seriously flawed" planning and execution

The inspector general concludes that  "ATF agents' planning and execution of the November 2009 operation was seriously flawed."

Horowitz's report faults the plan for not including adequate resources to conduct surveillance or meaningful coordination with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials.

The inspector general calls the operation "poorly conceived and executed" and "particularly irresponsible in light of the totality of information about Kingery available to agents at the time."

Even within ATF, the plan to allow Kingery to traffic grenade parts into a foreign country and track him to his factory drew strong objections.

A lead ATF official in Mexico wrote:

That's not possible. We are forbidden from doing that type of activity. If ICE is telling you they can do that, they are full of [expletive].

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Grenade hulls and components seized from spare tire of Kingery's vehicle on June 15, 2010.

Grenade Walker resurfaces

Officials did lose track of Kingery in Mexico. But that wasn't the last time he would be on law enforcement's radar, yet allowed to remain on the street.

Kingery resurfaced several months later in 2010, trying to smuggle a stash of grenade bodies and ammunition into Mexico.

But the inspector general concluded the prosecutor with the federal prosecutor  "decided not to charge Kingery" in hopes of agents working him as a "source," and ATF's senior leadership in Arizona did not raise objections.

Horowitz's report says the U.S. Attorney's Office and ATF should have brought charges "immediately" against Kingery or taken steps to control his movements and the danger he posed to the public.

Evidence photos later turned over to Congress under subpoena showed a frightening collection of grenade parts and fuse assemblies and more than 2,000 rounds of ammunition hidden in a spare tire of Kingery's SUV that  crossed from the U.S. to Mexico.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Arizona said to have blocked Kingery's arrest is the same one that oversaw Fast and Furious during the same time period.

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Grenade fuse assemblies received by ATF in January 2010.

In Fast and Furious, ATF agents let thousands of assault rifles and other weapons be sold to Mexican drug cartels unimpeded. The strategy was to try to get to the cartel kingpins, but it was halted after CBS News reported that weapons from Fast and Furious were used by cartel thugs in the murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry on Dec. 14, 2010.

Weapons trafficked by other ATF suspects under surveillance were used two months later in the ambush and cartel murder of Immigration and Customs agent Jaime Zapata in Mexico on Feb. 15, 2011.

Mexico raid and arrest

In 2011, a year and half after Kingery was said to be caught smuggling grenade parts from the U.S. to Mexico but released, Mexican authorities raided Kingery's factory in Mexico and arrested him. The authorities say  say he confessed to teaching cartel members how to build grenades and convert semi-automatic weapons to automatic.

Responding to the inspector general's report, the Justice Department, which oversees ATF and all U.S. attorney's offices, said ATF has made "positive steps toward improving coordination and information sharing with ICE."

In a two-page letter to Horowitz dated Oct. 28, Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole  adds that ATF already was "actively addressing the issue of risk management in criminal investigations."

Horowitz's report says marked grenade hulls from ATF's November 2009 operation involving Kingery may have been used by drug cartel members in a March 2011 gun battle with Mexican soldiers.

According to a Justice Department "Significant Information Report," evidence connected a Kingery grenade to a fierce battle in Guadalajara that took the lives of three Mexican police in October 2013. Authorities say five members of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel used at least nine firearms and 10 hand grenades in their attack on Mexican police.

Read the Significant Information Report

5 Ways Fast and Furious Tarnishes Eric Holder's Justice Department


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Obama asserts Fast & Furious executive privilege claim for Holder's wife

Judicial Watch announced today that it received from the Obama Department of Justice (DoJ) a "Vaughn index" detailing records about the Operation Fast and Furious scandal.  The index was forced out of the Obama administration thanks to JW's June 2012 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and subsequent September 2012 FOIA lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. Department of Justice (No. 1:12-cv-01510)).  A federal court had ordered the production over the objections of the Obama Justice Department.

The document details the Attorney General Holder's personal involvement in managing the Justice Department's strategy on media and Congressional investigations into the Fast and Furious scandal.  Notably, the document discloses that emails between Attorney General Holder and his wife Sharon Malone -- as well as his mother -- are being withheld under an extraordinary claim of executive privilege as well as a dubious claim of deliberative process privilege under the Freedom of Information Act.  The "First Lady of the Justice Department" is a physician and not a government employee.

This is the first time that the Obama administration has provided a detailed listing of all records being withheld from Congress and the American people about the deadly Fast and Furious gun running scandal. The 1307-page "draft" Vaughn index was emailed to Judicial Watch at 8:34 p.m. last night, a few hours before a federal court-ordered deadline.  In its cover letter, the Department of Justice asserts that all of the responsive records described in the index are "subject to the assertion of executive privilege."

The Vaughn index explains 15,662 documents. Typically, a Vaughn index must: (1) identify each record withheld; (2) state the statutory exemption claimed; and (3) explain how disclosure would damage the interests protected by the claimed exemption.  The Vaughn index arguably fails to provide all of this required information but does provide plenty of interesting information for a public kept in the dark for years about the Fast and Furious scandal.

Based on a preliminary review of the massive document, Judicial Watch can disclose that the Vaughn index reveals:

  • Numerous emails that detail Attorney General Holder's direct involvement in crafting talking points, the timing of public disclosures, and handling Congressional inquiries in the Fast and Furious matter.
  • Barack Obama has asserted executive privilege over nearly 20 email communications between Holder and his spouse Sharon Malone. The administration also claims that the records are also subject to withholding under the "deliberative process" exemption. This exemption ordinarily exempts from public disclosure records that could chill internal government deliberations.
  • Numerous entries detail DoJ's communications (including those of Eric Holder) concerning the White House about Fast and Furious.
  • The scandal required the attention of virtually every top official of the DoJ and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). Communications to and from the United States Ambassador to Mexico about the Fast and Furious matter are also described.
  • Many of the records are already publicly available such as letters from Congress, press clips, and typical agency communications. Ordinarily, these records would, in whole or part, be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.  Few of the records seem to even implicate presidential decision-making and advice that might be subject to President Obama's broad and unprecedented executive privilege claim.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton criticized Barack Obama and his disgraced Attorney General in a statement today:

This document provides key information about the cover-up of Fast and Furious by Attorney General Eric Holder and other high-level officials of the Obama administration. Obama's executive privilege claims over these records are a fraud and an abuse of his office.  There is no precedent for President Obama's Nixonian assertion of executive privilege over these ordinary government agency records.  Americans will be astonished that Obama asserted executive privilege over Eric Holder's emails to his wife about Fast and Furious.

Once again, Judicial Watch has proven itself more effective than Congress and the establishment media in providing basic oversight of this out-of-control Administration.  This Fast and Furious document provides dozens of leads for further congressional, media, and even criminal investigations.

On June 28, 2012, Attorney General Eric Holder was held in contempt by the House of Representatives over his refusal to turn over records explaining why the Obama administration may have lied to Congress and refused for months to disclose the truth about the gun running operation.  It marked the first time in U.S. history that a sitting Attorney General was held in contempt of Congress.

A week before the contempt finding, to protect Holder from criminal prosecution and stave off the contempt vote, Obama asserted executive privilege over the Fast and Furious records the House Oversight Committee had subpoenaed eight months earlier. Judicial Watch filed its FOIA request two days later.  Holder's Justice Department wouldn't budge (or follow the law), so JW filed a FOIA lawsuit on September 12, 2012.

But then the Justice Department convinced U.S. District Court Judge John D. Bates to stay our lawsuit, in part to allow ongoing settlement discussions between the Holder's government lawyers and the House Committee to continue.  Unsurprisingly, the "negotiations" between politicians running the House and the Justice Department went nowhere.

Fed up with the interminable delay caused Holder's gamesmanship and stonewalling, JW renewed its request to the Court to allow our transparency lawsuit to continue.  Thankfully, this past July, Judge John D. Bates ended the 16-month delay and ordered the Obama administration to produce a Vaughn index of the alleged "executive privilege" records by October 1. Judge Bates noted that no court has ever "expressly recognized" President Obama's unprecedented executive privilege claims in the Fast and Furious matter.

Unhappy with having to produce the records prior to the elections, Justice lawyers asked the judge to give them one extra month, until November 3 (the day before Election Day!) to produce the info.  Judge Bates rejected this gambit, suggested that the Holder's agency did not take court order seriously.  Rather than a month, Judge Bates gave Justice until yesterday to cough up the Vaughn index. Judge Bates issued his smack down on September 23.

Attorney General Eric Holder announced his resignation two days later.

Many share our opinion it was "no coincidence" that Holder's resignation came "on the heels of another court ruling that the Justice Department must finally cough up information about how Holder's Justice Department lied to Congress and the American people about the Operation Fast and Furious scandal, for which Eric Holder was held in contempt by the House of Representatives."

The House had been separately litigating to obtain the records but had gotten nowhere until after Judge Bates ruled that the DoJ finally had to disclose information to Judicial Watch.

On September 9, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson, citing Judicial Watch's success, ordered the Justice Department to produce information to Congress by November 3.

Fast and Furious was a DoJ/Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) "gun running" operation in which the Obama administration reportedly allowed guns to go to Mexican drug cartels hoping they would end up at crime scenes, advancing gun-control policies. Fast and Furious weapons have been implicated in the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and hundreds of other innocents in Mexico.  Guns from the Fast and Furious scandal are expected to be used in criminal activity on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border for years to come.

Guns from the Fast and Furious scandal continue to be used in crimes.  Just last week, Judicial Watch disclosed that a Fast and Furious gun was used in gang-style assault on a Phoenix apartment building that left two people wounded.  We figured this out from information we uncovered through another public records lawsuit against the City of Phoenix.

Congress officially confirmed the AK-47 was used in the assault that terrorized residents in Phoenix.  In an October 16 letter sent from Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Rep. Darryl Issa (R-CA) to Deputy Attorney General James Cole discloses that "we have learned of another crime gun connected to Fast and Furious.  The [Justice] Department did not provide any notice to the Congress or the public about this gun….This lack of transparency about the consequences of Fast and Furious undermines public confidence in law enforcement and gives the impression that the Department is seeking to suppress information and limit its exposure to public scrutiny."

We have many other active lawsuits over the Fast and Furious scandal:

On October 11, 2011, Judicial Watch sued the DoJ and the ATF to obtain all Fast and Furious records submitted to the House Committee on Oversight.

On June 6, 2012, Judicial Watch sued the ATF seeking access to records detailing communications between ATF officials and Kevin O'Reilly, former Obama White House Director of North American Affairs at the U.S. National Security Council.

On September 5, 2013, Judicial Watch sued the DoJ seeking access to all records of communications between DoJ and the Oversight Committee relating to settlement discussions in the Committee's 2012 contempt of Congress lawsuit against Holder. The contempt citation stemmed from Holder's refusal to turn over documents to Congress related to the Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal.

On May 28, 2014, Judicial Watch sued the DoJ on behalf of ATF Special Agent John Dodson, who blew the whistle on Operation Fast and Furious and was then subjected to an alleged smear campaign designed to destroy his reputation.

To this day I'll never understand why this CSPAN video clip, showing that Fast & Furious was ordered by Barack Obama, never has shown up in any of the media. It's been on YouTube for years.


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Documents confirm Fast & Furious AK-47 used in Phoenix gang assault

AK-47alpha.jpg

Katie Pavlich is reporting that documents obtained through a lawsuit recently issued against the City of Phoenix by government watchdog Judicial Watch reveal a weapon from the Department of Justice's Operation Fast and Furious was used to injure two people in a 2013 gang-style assault on an apartment complex. When the incident occurred and during investigation afterward, police worked with federal law enforcement agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Department of Homeland Security, FBI and Drug Enforcement Agency in the case, raising suspicions the assault wasn't simply a typical, local gang shootout and prompted questions about the details of where the weapons that were used came from.

“Thanks to our lawsuit, Congress has been able to confirm what Judicial Watch already reported – that a Fast and Furious weapon was used in yet another violent crime that terrorized and injured residents of Phoenix,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “Our lawsuit against Phoenix exposed how the Obama cover-up of Fast and Furious is ongoing. Eric Holder’s Department of Justice is a mess. It has endangered the public and is engaged in an ongoing cover-up of its insanely reckless Fast and Furious gun-running operation. Judicial Watch appreciates the refreshing diligence of Senator Grassley and Congressman Issa in pursuing the truth about Fast and Furious.”

[10]

Lone Wolf Trading Company is based in Glendale, Arizona and was tapped by ATF to help with Operation Fast and Furious back in late 2009. ATF agents lied to Lone Wolf and said guns sold under surveillance at the store would never be trafficked across the southern border to Mexican cartels or used in crimes in the United States.

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley and Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Darrell Issa sent a letter to Assistant Attorney General James Cole late Thursday afternoon demanding more information about why DOJ failed to inform Congress of the connection between the AK-47 used in the assault and Fast and Furious as their investigation of the lethal program continues. 

"Once again, we have learned of another crime gun connected to Fast and Furious. The Department did not provide any notice to the Congress or the public about this gun," the letter states. "Documents obtained by Judicial Watch under Arizona’s public records law show that law enforcement officials recovered a Fast and Furious gun last summer in connection with a shooting that left two individuals wounded."

"Based on the serial number [1977DX1654] from the police report obtained by Judicial Watch and documents obtained during our Fast and Furious investigation, we can confirm that the assault rifle recovered in the vehicle on July 30, 2013, was purchased by Sean Christopher Stewart. Stewart pled guilty to firearms trafficking charges resulting from his involvement with Operation Fast and Furious. Stewart purchased this particular firearm on December 8, 2009, one of 40 that he purchased that day while under ATF surveillance,” the letter continues. "According to the Phoenix Police Department report, ATF traced the firearm on July 31, 2013, the day after Phoenix police officers recovered it. Yet, over a full year has passed, and the Department has failed to notify the Committees."

The letter also details that during his time as a gun trafficker for Mexican cartels, Stewart was able to purchase over $176,000 worth of weapons, which included 260 Ak-47s, 20 9mm pistols and a .50 caliber rifle. Stewart is serving nine years in prison after being sentenced in November 2012 on a number of federal charges. 

Grassley and Issa have asked DOJ to respond to the following questions by October 30, 2014: 

1) Was the firearm recovered on July 30, 2013 connected with any other crimes in Mexico or the U.S.?

2) As of the date of this letter, what is the total number of weapons associated with Fast and Furious that have been recovered in the U.S. and successfully traced?

3) As of the date of this letter, what is the total number of weapons associated with Fast and Furious that have been recovered in Mexico and successfully traced?

4) Of the U.S recoveries, how many were recovered in relation to an incident of a violent nature? Please describe in detail the date and circumstances of each recovery that has not previously been described in the Department’s responses to our letters.

5) Of the Mexican recoveries, how many were recovered in relation to an incident of a violent nature? Please describe in detail the date and circumstances of each recovery that has not previously been described in the Department’s responses to our letters.

Assistant Attorney General James Cole, who played a large role in the cover-up of Operation Fast and Furious, announced his resignation from DOJ today.

A Justice Department official says Deputy Attorney General James Cole told staff Thursday of his plans to resign after nearly four years. The official says that Cole will remain in the position to help the transition of a new deputy attorney general.


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Judge orders DoJ to turn over documents on Fast & Furious

Team Obama blames rouge agents but we know who was really behind Fast & Furious.

His majesty, Barack of Kenya!


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Hand grenades becoming key weapon in Mexican cartels' arsenals, say authorities

Joshua Rhett Miller is reporting that Mexican drug cartels, whose trafficking efforts into the U.S. have grown bolder amid the border crisis, are increasingly utilizing a frightening weapon in their arsenal: the hand grenade.

Whether packed with explosives, hollowed out and filled with steel to give them authentic heft or even used to deliver handwritten death threats, grenades are turning up in greater frequency in encounters with suspected cartel members, according to law enforcement authorities and border experts. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials confirmed to FoxNews.com that they've seen a "trend increase" involving the devices along the entire southwest border, although details were not disclosed due to ongoing investigations.

"The reason you're seeing so many more [grenades] this year is because much more heavily-armed drug shipments are coming into the United States," said James Phelps, an assistant professor in the Department of Security Studies and Criminal Justice at Angelo State University in Texas. "With Border Patrol so heavily distracted doing paperwork and watching the mass flood of people coming into the country, they don't have as much time to do what they used to do -- drug interdiction."

As a result, in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, just across the Rio Grande from Laredo, Texas, bystanders can hear a grenade or two "go off every night," Phelps told FoxNews.com. The devices, which sell for up to $500 on the Mexican black market, are primarily surplus military grenades obtained by cartels in Central America, where weapons from the civil wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua remain readily available.

"The cartels buy them up in mass when they're found, just like they do with the rest of their guns and artillery," Phelps continued. "We've seen it all across Mexico and we've seen it in Central America. It's not going to be long until we see it pop up in our country."

Gillian Christensen, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, confirmed to FoxNews.com that federal officials have seen a "trend increase" involving grenades along the southwest border. Additional details, however, cannot be disclosed due to ongoing investigations, she said.

In rural Starr County, Texas, five grenades were found on Aug. 3 at a home near Rio Grande City where two Honduran nationals were murdered. A third man was also badly wounded and later died at a local hospital. Starr County Sheriff's Office Capt. Carlos Delgado told FoxNews.com the grenades were initially thought to be live but were later determined to be inert. He declined to speculate as to where the devices came from or to confirm that the incident is believed to be cartel-related.

"It's going a lot further than a triple homicide, but we do not have a suspect in custody," Delgado said of the ongoing investigation.

Delgado said heavily-armed cartels primarily utilize grenades as intimidation in local communities.

Continue reading here . . .

In an article posted in this thread and dated 10/17/2013, CBS News reported that, according to a Justice Department "Significant Incident Report," obtained by CBS News, Jean Baptiste Kingery, an alleged firearms trafficker, was allowed by U.S. officials to operate for years without arrest, despite significant evidence that he was moving massive amounts of grenade parts and ammunition to Mexico's ruthless drug cartels.

In the Age of Obama, there is no southern border -- invaders north and ordnance south -- and the gringo dollars go both ways.


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Fast & Furious murderer extradited

Tucson News Now is reporting that one of the men charged with the murder of border patrol agent Brian Terry has been extradited to the U.S. from Mexico.

Ivan Soto-Barraza will be arraigned today, in federal court in Tucson, according to the Department of Justice.

Terry died in a shootout in 2010 after confronting some border bandits south of Tucson.

Soto-Barraza was caught in Mexico in September 2013. He is charged with first degree murder, second degree murder, conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, attempted interference with commerce by robbery, use and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence and assault on a federal officer.

Two other suspects are missing and two others are behind bars. One was sentenced in February to 30 years in federal prison.

The indictment alleges Soto-Barraza, in addition to the other defendants, assaulted three border patrol agents in addition to Terry.

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Twitchy adds:  In related Fast and Furious news, investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson reports Thursday night that the Justice Department must turn over to conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch an index of all of the material the DoJ has been withholding since September 2012, now that a federal judge has lifted a 16-month delay in the Freedom of Information lawsuit.

The ruling requires the Department of Justice to turn over the listing of documents by Oct. 1.

Attkisson notes that she herself has "longstanding Freedom of Information requests pending with the federal government in the Fast and Furious case."

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The documents referenced above are the documents that Obama withheld using executive privilege.

Katie Pavlich is reporting that thanks to a Freedom of Information Act Lawsuit pursued against the Department of Justice by government watchdog Judicial Watch, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has ruled documents being withheld from Congress under Barack Obama's claim of executive privilege must be turned over. Obama made the claim on the same day Attorney General Eric Holder was voted in criminal and civil contempt of Congress in June 2012.

"This order forces the Obama DoJ, for the first time, to provide a detailed listing of all documents that it has withheld from Congress and the American people for years about the deadly Fast and Furious gun running scandal," Judicial Watch released in a statement.

The FOIA lawsuit has been ongoing for 16-months and is now proceeding after a lengthy delay. The Justice Department originally asked the court for an indefinite hold on a FOIA request from Judicial Watch, citing executive privilege and an ongoing investigation. That indefinite hold request was shot down more than a year ago.

The documentation DOJ is required to now turn over is a "Vaughn index" of "all requested Fast and Furious materials from a June 2012 Judicial Watch FOIA request."

A Vaughn index must:  (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." In ordering the DoJ to provide Judicial Watch the Vaughn index, the Court ruled, “In this circuit, when an agency is withholding documents under exemption claims, courts require that the agency provide a Vaughn index so that the FOIA requester -- at a distinct informational disadvantage -- may test the agency’s claims.”

"Once again, Judicial Watch has beat Congress to the punch in getting key information about another Obama scandal -- this time, the Fast and Furious outrage," Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. "A federal court has ordered the Obama administration to produce information that could, for the first time, provide specific details who in the administration is responsible for Fast and Furious lies to Congress and the American people. 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 face of all this lawlessness. Finally, we may get some accountability for Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and the countless others murdered as a result of the insanely reckless Obama administration program."

This is a huge step forward.



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Confirmed: The DEA struck a deal with Mexico's most notorious drug cartel
 
Michael Kelley is reporting that an investigation by El Universal found that between the years 2000 and 2012, the U.S. government had an arrangement with Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel that allowed the organization to smuggle billions of dollars of drugs while Sinaloa provided information on rival cartels.

Sinaloa, led by Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, supplies 80% of the drugs entering the Chicago area and has a presence in cities across the U.S.

There have long been allegations that Guzman, considered to be "the world’s most powerful drug trafficker," coordinates with American authorities.

But the El Universal investigation is the first to publish court documents that include corroborating testimony from a DEA agent and a Justice Department official.

The written statements were made to the U.S. District Court in Chicago in relation to the arrest of Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla, the son of Sinaloa leader Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada and allegedly the Sinaloa cartel’s "logistics coordinator."

Here's what DEA agent Manuel Castanon told the Chicago court:

"On March 17, 2009, I met for approximately 30 minutes in a hotel room in Mexico City with Vincente Zambada-Niebla and two other individuals -- DEA agent David Herrod and a cooperating source [Sinaloa lawyer Loya Castro] with whom I had worked since 2005. ... I did all of the talking on behalf of [the] DEA."

A few hours later, Mexican Marines arrested Zambada-Niebla (a.k.a. "El Vicentillo") on charges of trafficking more than a billion dollars in cocaine and heroin. Castanon and three other agents then visited Zambada-Niebla in prison, where the Sinaloa officer "reiterated his desire to cooperate," according to Castanon.

El Universal, citing court documents, reports that DEA agents met with high-level Sinaloa officials more than 50 times since 2000.

Then-Justice Department prosecutor Patrick Hearn told the Chicago court that, according to DEA special agent Steve Fraga, Castro "provided information leading to a 23-ton cocaine seizure, other seizures related to" various drug trafficking organizations, and that "El Mayo" Zambada wanted his son to cooperate with the U.S.

[DEADeal]

A screenshot from the documents published by El Universal.

"The DEA agents met with members of the cartel in Mexico to obtain information about their rivals and simultaneously built a network of informants who sign drug cooperation agreements, subject to results, to enable them to obtain future benefits, including cancellation of charges in the U.S.," reports El Universal, which also interviewed more than one hundred active and retired police officers as well as prisoners and experts.

Zambada-Niebla's lawyer claimed to the court that in the late 1990s, Castro struck a deal with U.S. agents in which Sinaloa would provide information about rival drug trafficking organizations while the U.S. would dismiss its case against the Sinaloa lawyer and refrain from interfering with Sinaloa drug trafficking activities or actively prosecuting Sinaloa leadership.

"The agents stated that this arrangement had been approved by high-ranking officials and federal prosecutors," Zambada-Niebla lawyer wrote.

After being extradited to Chicago in February 2010, Zambada-Niebla argued that he was also "immune from arrest or prosecution" because he actively provided information to U.S. federal agents.

Zambada-Niebla also alleged that Operation Fast and Furious was part of an agreement to finance and arm the cartel in exchange for information used to take down its rivals. (If true, that re-raises the issue regarding what Attorney General Eric Holder knew about the gun-running arrangements.)

A Mexican foreign service officer told Stratfor in April 2010 that the U.S. seemed to have sided with the Sinaloa cartel in an attempt to limit the violence in Mexico.

El Universal reported that the coordination between the U.S. and Sinaloa, as well as other cartels, peaked between 2006 and 2012, which is when drug traffickers consolidated their grip on Mexico. The paper concluded by saying that it is unclear whether the arrangements continue.

The DEA and other U.S. agencies declined to comment to El Universal.


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Longknife 21

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Reply with quote  #25 
It has always bothered me about the weapons being left at the scene. No experienced criminal would leave the rifle at the scene, they would move away and carefully hide it if they thought they would be captured. These were experienced criminals. It looks like they killed Terry and left the rifles to "set the scene" as they had been instructed.

It now looks like an intentional murder for hire, with the "assault rifles" left to create the political and Media firestorm to facilitate another round of anti-gun laws.

Another point, full auto AKs and ARs are widely available in the cartels and to others in that area of Mexico, why were they only armed with semi-auto 'BATF approved' models sold in the US?  Full auto would be a huge advantage of "shock & awe" for a small "rip-off crew" against a large group of 'mules & guards'.  This is basic 'fire superiority', anyone should know that.  I think the rifles left were used to kill Terry, shoot the other agent, and were "throw downs". the criminals escaped into Mexico with their own full-auto weapons.

Everything about this stinks. Mostly of 'Ferret'!
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