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The stuff you won't see in the liberal media (click "Replies" for top stories)
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Reply with quote  #151 
Holder today refuses to say Fast & Furious was a mistake!
  



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Reply with quote  #152 

Issa, stop the pussyfootin'

 

Issa noted. “Complying with the committee’s subpoena is not optional.  Indeed, the failure to produce documents pursuant to a congressional subpoena is a violation of federal law.”

 

OK!  Holder is in violation of federal law.

 

Indeed!  So do something, Issa -- besides producing press releases!


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Reply with quote  #153 
AG Holder Could Be Jailed for Ongoing Fast & Furious Cover-up
   
Tensions are rising quickly in the investigation of the deadly federal gun-running operation “Fast and Furious” as Attorney General Eric Holder’s Department of Justice continues to unlawfully withhold subpoenaed documents. The persistent stonewalling prompted Congress to renew its warning that contempt proceedings against top Obama administration officials are imminent if the cover-up does not end.

        The Justice Department missed another deadline earlier this month to hand over key information to congressional investigators, asking — yet again — for more time to consider the requests and produce the documents. The media barely noticed. But after a year of stonewalling and cover-ups, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has had just about enough.

        In a letter dated February 14, Rep. Issa warned Holder (above) that failure to comply with a congressional subpoena is a violation of federal law. About two thirds of the document categories sought by investigators have been unlawfully withheld without any proper justification, he said, noting that much of what has been handed over was so heavily redacted as to be rendered useless.

        As such, the letter ordered the nation’s top law enforcement officer to appoint a DOJ representative who will “serve as the conduit for dealing with the contempt proceedings, should the Department continue to ignore the Committee’s subpoena.” If convicted, Holder could face jail time and hefty fines.

        “The Justice Department's request for additional time has, unfortunately, not been followed by efforts to bridge the significant differences between its legal obligation to Congress and the reality of its stonewalling," Chairman Issa said in a statement blasting the DOJ. The Committee declined Holder’s request for more time.

        Rep. Issa emphasized that, in light of the ongoing DOJ cover-up, Congress had no choice but to take action. “If the Justice Department cannot commit to providing, at a minimum, a detailed description of documents it is withholding, and the legal basis for doing so, then the Committee has no other option than to move forward with the contempt process against Attorney General Holder," he said in the statement.

        Holder and other top officials have already been caught repeatedly lying to Congress under oath — itself a criminal offense. They were originally being investigated for trafficking thousands of high-powered firearms to Mexican drug cartels. Some of those weapons were later linked to murders of federal officers including Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, as well as the deaths of hundreds of Mexican citizens.

        Now, however, Congress has expanded its probe to include the DOJ’s efforts to interfere with the congressional investigation, too, Rep. Issa said in the letter. "Virtually all congressional requests regarding Fast and Furious have gone unanswered and even unacknowledged," Issa noted. “Complying with the committee’s subpoena is not optional. Indeed, the failure to produce documents pursuant to a congressional subpoena is a violation of federal law.”


More here... http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/crime/10997-ag-holder-could-be-jailed-for-ongoing-fast-a-furious-cover-up


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Reply with quote  #154 

Second gun used in ICE agent murder linked to ATF undercover operation

CBS News has obtained documents showing that Barba was under ATF surveillance for at least six months before a rifle he trafficked was used in Zapata's murder. Zapata's government vehicle was ambushed by suspected cartel thugs in Mexico Feb. 15, 2011.

Documents indicate ATF opened its case against Barba, entitled "Baytown Crew," in June of 2010. During the investigation, court records state Barba recruited straw purchasers and "facilitated the purchase and exportation of at least 44 firearms" including assault rifles. On August 20, 2010 Barba took delivery of the WASR-10 semi-automatic rifle later used in Zapata's murder, obliterated its serial number, and sent it to Mexico with nine others just like it. Nearly two months later, on Oct. 8, 2010, ATF agents recorded a phone call in which Barba "spoke about the final disposition of ... firearms to Mexico and also about the obliterating of the serial numbers before they were trafficked." Barba told straw purchasers the guns were destined for the Zeta drug cartel.

A warrant wasn't issued for Barba's arrest until four months later; coincidentally, the day before a rifle he trafficked was used against Zapata.

Barba is now the second weapons trafficker who had been under ATF surveillance to be linked to Zapata's murder. As CBS News previously reported, ATF had also been watching suspect Otilio Osorio during the time he trafficked a different weapon used in Zapata's assault. Records show ATF watched on Nov. 9, 2010 as Osorio, his brother Ranferi and Kelvin Leon Morrison transferred a cache of illegal weapons to a confidential informant but failed to arrest the men at the time.

The government has kept a close hold on nearly all information surrounding Zapata's murder, denying the family's Freedom of Information requests on the basis of an ongoing investigation. The Zapata's attorney says they will keep pursuing the information by "whatever means necessary."




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Reply with quote  #155 
Contempt Procedures

Following the refusal of a witness to produce documents or to testify, the Committee is entitled to report a resolution of contempt to its parent chamber. A Committee may also cite a person for contempt but not immediately report the resolution to the floor. In the case of subcommittees, they report the resolution of contempt to the full Committee, which then has the option of rejecting it, accepting it but not reporting it to the floor, or accepting it and reporting it to the floor of the chamber for action. On the floor of the House or the Senate, the reported resolution is considered privileged and, if the resolution of contempt is passed, the chamber has several options to enforce its mandate.

Inherent contempt

Under this process, the procedure for holding a person in contempt involves only the chamber concerned. Following a contempt citation, the person cited is arrested by the Sergeant-at-Arms for the House or Senate, brought to the floor of the chamber, held to answer charges by the presiding officer, and then subjected to punishment as the chamber may dictate (usually imprisonment for punishment reasons, imprisonment for coercive effect, or release from the contempt citation).

Concerned with the time-consuming nature of a contempt proceeding and the inability to extend punishment further than the session of the Congress concerned (under Supreme Court rulings), Congress created a statutory process in 1857. While Congress retains its "inherent contempt" authority and may exercise it at any time, this inherent contempt process was last used by the Senate in 1934, in a Senate investigation of airlines and the U.S. Postmaster. After a one-week trial on the Senate floor (presided over by the Vice-President of the United States, acting as Senate President), William P. MacCracken, a lawyer and former Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Aeronautics who had allowed clients to rip up subpoenaed documents, was found guilty and sentenced to 10 days imprisonment.[5]

MacCracken filed a petition of habeas corpus in federal courts to overturn his arrest, but after litigation, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Congress had acted constitutionally, and denied the petition in the case Jurney v. MacCracken.[6][7]

Presidential pardons appear not to apply to a civil contempt procedure such as the above, since it is not an "offense against the United States" or against "the dignity of public authority."

Statutory proceedings

Following a contempt citation, the presiding officer of the chamber is instructed to refer the matter to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia;[9] according to the law it is the "duty" of the U.S. Attorney to refer the matter to a grand jury for action.

The criminal offense of "contempt of Congress" sets the penalty at not less than one month nor more than twelve months in jail and a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000.[10]

While the law pronounces the duty of the U.S. Attorney is to impanel a grand jury for its action on the matter, some proponents of the unitary executive theory believe that the Congress cannot properly compel the U.S. Attorney to take this action against the Executive Branch, asserting that the U.S. Attorney is a member of the Executive Branch who ultimately reports only to the President and that compelling the Attorney amounts to compelling the President himself. They believe that to allow Congress to force the President to take action against a subordinate following his directives would be a violation of the separation of powers and infringe on the power of the Executive branch. The legal basis for this belief, they contend, can be found in Federalist 49, in which James Madison wrote "“The several departments being perfectly co-ordinate by the terms of their common commission, none of them, it is evident, can pretend to an exclusive or superior right of settling the boundaries between their respective powers.” This approach to government is commonly known as "departmentalism” or “coordinate construction”[citation needed]

Others believe that, under Article II, the principal duty of the President is to execute the law; that, under Article I, the law is what the lawmaker—e.g. Congress, in the case of statutory contempt—says it is and the Executive Branch cannot either define the meaning of the law (such powers of legislation being reserved to Congress) or interpret the law (such powers being reserved to the several Federal Courts); any attempt by the Executive to define or interpret the law would be a violation of the separation of powers; the Executive may only—and is obligated to—execute the law consistent with its definition and interpretation; and if the law specifies a duty on one of the President's subordinates, then the President must "take care" to see that the duty specified in the law is executed. To avoid or neglect the performance of this duty would not be faithful execution of the law, and would thus be a violation of the separation of powers, which the Congress and the Courts have several options to remedy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contempt_of_Congress

Now, this is from wiki so the nitty gritty details may be different.  But it gives an over view of how it works.  But remember this is not a guilty on the F&F, which would be criminal, this is contempt of Congress and punished as such.  History shows most of the time the person getting charged ends up giving over the information needed.  With Holder, who knows...


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"When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." Thomas Jefferson
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Reply with quote  #156 

Rep. Issa Blasts Holder’s Fast and Furious Cover-Up

John Hinderaker says Congressman Darrell Issa delivered one of the more devastating letters I have ever read to Attorney General Eric Holder.  Issa’s letter, which you can read here, documents the Department of Justice’s efforts to obstruct Congress’s investigation of the Fast and Furious scandal.  It is impossible to read Issa’s letter without concluding that Holder has deliberately obstructed the investigation through a combination of lies, foot-dragging, hiding witnesses, and so on.  Some sort of sanctions against Holder and others in his department are clearly in order.


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Reply with quote  #157 
This just hit the web!
 
Issa takes step toward holding Holder in contempt of Congress

On Tuesday Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House committee on Oversight and Government Reform, took a major step toward holding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for his failure to provide subpoenaed documents and other information about Operation Fast and Furious.

In a Jan. 31 letter, Issa had threatened Holder with such a move if he failed to provide all the subpoenaed documents relating to the Fast and Furious gunwalking scandal by Feb. 9. That deadline has come and gone, and Holder’s Department of Justice still hasn’t provided most of those documents. Issa’s subpoena dates back to Oct. 12, 2011.

On Tuesday in a seven-page letter, Issa revealed that Deputy Attorney General James Cole begged Congress to extend the Feb. 9 deadline. Issa wrote that the request was “ironic” and “ignores the reality that the Department has unreasonably delayed producing these documents to the Committee.”

“On its face, the requested extension demonstrates a lack of good faith,” Issa wrote to Holder. “With one exception, the Department has only produced documents responsive to the subpoena on the eve of congressional hearings in which senior Department officials testified. The Department appears to be more concerned with protecting its image through spin control than actually cooperating with Congress.”

“We cannot wait any longer for the Department’s cooperation,” Issa continued. “As such, please specify a date by which you expect the Department to produce all documents responsive to the subpoena. In addition, please specify a Department representative who will interface with the Committee for production purposes.”

Issa added that whoever Holder designates as the go-to DOJ official for delivering subpoenaed documents “should also serve as the conduit for dealing with the contempt proceedings, should the Department continue to ignore the Committee’s subpoena.” (RELATED: Full coverage of Eric Holder)

The California Republican slammed Holder, too, for claiming the congressional investigation into Fast and Furious was a political game for Republicans.

“It is ironic that while the Department’s delay tactics have extended this investigation into a presidential election year, you have had the audacity to characterize it as an attempt at ‘headline-grabbing Washington ‘gotcha’ games and cynical political point scoring,’” Issa wrote to Holder on Tuesday. (RELATED: Read the full letter here)

Issa also attacked Holder for Justice’s failure to comply with Congressional subpoenas. “Had the Department demonstrated willingness to cooperate with this investigation from the outset — instead of attempting to cover up its own internal mismanagement — this investigation likely would have concluded well before the end of 2011. In reality, it is the Department that is playing political gotcha games, instead of allowing a co-equal branch of government to perform its constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch.”

Issa’s letter concluded by warning that Congress will continue to investigate Opeaqtion Fast and Furious until responsible parties are held accountable. He pointed to bipartisan support behind efforts to assign responsibility for Border Patrol agent Brian Terry’s murder, for the murders of at least 300 Mexican civilians and, likely, for the murder of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata.

“This is not an ‘election year political ‘gotcha’ game,’ but rather a bipartisan sentiment,” Issa wrote. “As Ranking Member [Democratic Rep. Elijah] Cummings promised the family of slain Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, ‘we will not rest until every single person responsible for all of this, no matter where they are, are brought to justice.’ I applaud his resolve, and I want to make it clear that Congress will not give up until this accountability has been achieved.”




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"When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." Thomas Jefferson
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Reply with quote  #158 
Issa had his share of legal problems, I hope there aren't any skeletons in his closet that could make him vulnerable to 'persuasive efforts' to back off Holder. 
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Reply with quote  #159 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claudia

Issa WAS a Democrat (don't know if he changed his party or not) and IS a TRUE California SQUISH, so I don't trust him ONE BIT......



Issa has NEVER been a democrat.  He's always been a strong conservative Republican.  I don't know where you got that info, but it is completely false.  I'm backing him and encouraging him to stay strong until he proves otherwise and so far that hasn't happened.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darrell_Issa
scroll down to political views.

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"When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." Thomas Jefferson
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Reply with quote  #160 

Issa WAS a Democrat (don't know if he changed his party or not) and IS a TRUE California SQUISH, so I don't trust him ONE BIT......

 

a dog and pony show to keep our minds off of the myraid list of other things that Obama is doing, and diverting all the attention, so we don't know which way to look......

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Issa Zigs and Zags on Fast and Furious Investigation

Darrell Issa, Chair of the powerful House Oversight Committee, threatened Attorney General Holder with contempt charges if requested documents were not released to his committee by Thursday of this week.  Holder ignored the threat, and Congressman Issa appears to have backed down – giving Holder a now open timeline to comply.

At almost the same time – though largely unreported by the media, was the release of an internal memo from within that same House Oversight Committee that gives clear and powerful indication of the Obama administration’s incompetent complicity in the failed gunrunning operation that was deemed a “failure” – and involved several agencies within the Obama administration.

Mexican cartel suspects targeted in the troubled gun-trafficking probe known as Operation Fast and Furious were actually working as FBI informants at the time, according to a congressional memo that describes the case’s mission as a “failure.

These were the ‘big fish,’” says the memo, written on behalf of Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa. “DEA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had jointly opened a separate investigation targeting these two cartel associates….Yet, ATF spent the next year engaging in the reckless tactics of Fast and Furious in attempting to identify them.

…Representatives with the Justice Department and its subagencies declined to comment.

So on one hand Darrell Issa gives Eric Holder a seeming reprieve by extending the due date of those requested Fast and Furious investigation documents while on the other hand simultaneously releases an internal committee memo that once again indicates the Obama administration’s complicity in the failed and deadly operation.

Is Issa doing a song and dance – or a hook and jab?


See?! Everyone is thinking the same thing. I personally believe that Issa is "playing" with Holder & company.




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Reply with quote  #162 
Issa will not let this go away!  I trust Issa.  I think he's just giving Holder enough rope...

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Reply with quote  #163 
Wash, rinse, repeat. 
Now if Boneless doesn't cave (again and again and again) to end the F&F investigation it'll be because Darrell Issa has just made doing so unnecessary.
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Issa blinks -- no contempt charges for Holder

AWR Hawkins says for nearly a year now, House Oversight Committee Chair Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Attorney General Eric Holder have locked horns over Operation Fast and Furious.  Throughout this time we have seen heated exchanges between the two during Congressional hearings, watched the DOJ’s narrative change more than once, and wondered why Holder has thus far been allowed to dictate the speed at which the committee can investigate him.
 
As of late, when Holder dug in and simply refused to the turn over the documents the House Oversight Committee subpoenaed, the contest between he and Issa turned into nothing less than a battle of wills. And Issa upped the ante when he drew a line in the sand and gave Holder until 5 pm on February 9th to comply with the subpoenas or face charges of contempt of congress.
 
And so they squared off, and for any of you who wondered which man would blink first the answer has been revealed -- Issa blinked, and gave Holder & Co. a time extension for turning over the documents.
 
Keep in mind, that throughout the time the back and forth has been taking place, the DOJ has given the House Oversight Committee just 6,000 documents, but they’ve provided their internal IG with 80,000 plus.  The bottom line: time hasn’t been the issue, rather, the refusal to comply has.  Nevertheless, Issa has given in and provided Holder with more time anyway.  And to make matters worse, as of today the extension has no time limit on it.
 
So as it stands, Holder has from now till the cows come home to play it his way.

Just one more dog and pony show!


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Former DEA chief says 3 other federal agencies knew about Operation Fast and Furious

While criticism surrounding Operation Fast and Furious has so far focused on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, three other federal agencies knew about the operation and some of their agents tried to stop it, according to the former chief of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in Tucson.

Tony Coulson, the DEA’s agent in charge of Southern Arizona during Fast and Furious, says many federal field agents knew the ATF was walking guns to Mexico, but supervisors told them to back off when they objected.

“Clearly, we went too far,” Coulson said. “The question we had among rank and file law enforcement was, ‘When is someone going to call ATF on this, when is someone going to tell them to stop?’”

Coulson’s remarks jibe with what is already known about the operation. The DEA, the FBI and ICE, also known as Immigration Customs and Enforcement, all played roles in the investigation.

Coulson said those agencies share the blame since top officials knew, but did little to stop, the gunrunning effort. Coulson is among the first senior public officials, current or former, who admit knowing about the botched operation.

Coulson claims he raised objections to then-DEA chief Elizabeth Kempshall, but was told it was taken care of. After attending a meeting with ATF agent in charge Bill Newell, Coulson said that’s when he and other agents “knew (Fast and Furious) was not some sort of benign, pie-in-the-sky publicity stunt. Guns were actually getting in the hands of criminals.”

According to Congressional testimony and documents obtained by Fox News, the other agencies involved include:

• ICE

Immigration and Customs Enforcement assigned agent Layne France to work alongside ATF in the operation. Sources say France replaced ICE senior agent Ed Hamel, who objected to the ATF ‘gunwalking’ strategy.

As a member of the Fast and Furious task force, France received copies of all ATF investigative reports, and sources say France knew the operation in detail. Congressional investigators want to know who at ICE and the Department of Homeland Security saw France’s reports, and how much he reported up the chain of command about the operation.

“I don’t think ICE can get away from the fact they were there side by side with ATF. They were not willing participants. This was something they were told to do, but they were still there,” Coulson said.

Sources say ICE agents who interdicted and seized weapons on the Mexican border got in a battle with ATF over tactics. Coulson says ICE agents stationed at Arizona ports of entry were told by supervisors to let the issue go, because ‘people above their pay grade’ had already signed off on the operation.

That version of events is supported by a document obtained Thursday by Fox News. Twice in 2009, ICE was forced to halt gun investigations because their inquiries conflicted with Operation Fast and Furious. ATF and the Arizona U.S. Attorney’s Office told ICE “not to interfere” because Fast and Furious took priority.

Sources say ICE Director John Morton ordered an internal review of ICE involvement in Fast and Furious after the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

An ICE official said the agency could not comment on the latest claims due to an ongoing investigation. ICE officials admit they knew about Fast and Furious, but claim the agency did not know about the controversial “tactics” involved until they were reported in the media.

• DEA

The Drug Enforcement Administration actually helped initiate Fast and Furious when one of its own targets, suspected drug dealer Manuel Celis Acosta, began to acquire guns for the Sinaloa Cartel. The DEA invited ATF to take over the weapons phase of that investigation.

The two agencies shared the same floor and same ‘wire room’ in Phoenix, where agents listened to suspects' conversations on court-approved wiretaps. The DEA also had initiated an investigation into the “money men” behind Fast and Furious – two cartel associates in the El Paso-Juarez area -- but deliberately did not tell the ATF. However the names of the two high-level cartel contacts were written “frequently” on call logs inside the wire room, according to a congressional memo, but ATF agents failed to notice. This information was available in January 2010, one year before Fast and Furious was finally taken down.

• FBI

The FBI had also opened an investigation of the two high-level cartel associates targeted by the ATF. The FBI designated both men national security assets but didn’t alert the ATF. In exchange for one individual’s guilty plea to a minor count of “Alien in Possession of a Firearm” both men became FBI informants and are now considered ‘un-indictable,' according to a congressional review of the situation.

When the ATF learned the FBI knew, but shielded their informants, Agent Jim Needles called it “frustrating.” Attorney General Eric Holder said he would “look into” the lack of information sharing. However, sources who have attended classified briefings say the two are both are still inside the cartel and their identities cannot be compromised, suggesting the FBI will likely escape congressional scrutiny, despite their awareness of the tactics used in Fast and Furious.

Sorry it's long but I didn't want to leave out the details of all agencies.  There are going to be a lot of shake-ups and firings at high levels. 

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Reply with quote  #166 
First, Issa granted Holder extra time yesterday with no deadline noted.

Mexico arrests figure in Fast and Furious gun-smuggling scandal

Mexican authorities have arrested a reputed enforcer for the country's most powerful drug cartel -- a man also alleged to have amassed weapons from the U.S. government's failed Fast and Furious gun-smuggling operation (link, in Spanish, includes video).

Jose Antonio Torres Marrufo, 33, is also wanted by U.S. officials on drug-trafficking charges in El Paso. Mexican and U.S. authorities say he served as a top lieutenant to Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman and the Sinaloa Cartel and was in charge of operations in the border state of Chihuahua (link in Spanish).

It was there, in the violent city of Ciudad Juarez, that a raid by Mexican police in April 2011 turned up high-powered assault guns purchased illegally through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives "Fast and Furious" program. As the Washington Bureau's Richard A. Serrano reported last fall, the discovery confirmed that Fast and Furious weapons were reaching the ruthless Sinaloa organization and that the geographic spread of the "walked" guns was wider than originally thought.




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"When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." Thomas Jefferson
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Issa threatens contempt proceeding against Holder if Justice fails to comply with Fast and Furious subpoenas

The head of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is threatening to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress if he fails to comply with congressional subpoenas for documents. 

Holder has until Feb. 9 to comply.

In a four-page letter to Holder, Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., claims the Department of Justice has "misrepresented facts and misled Congress," which began its investigation of Operation Fast and Furious one year ago.

Issa wrote that Holder's "actions lead us to conclude that the department is actively engaged in a cover-up" because it refuses to comply with previous subpoenas. 

"If the department continues to obstruct the congressional inquiry by not providing documents and information, this committee will have no alternative but to move forward with proceedings to hold you in contempt of Congress," Issa warned in the letter.


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/01/31/issa-threatens-contempt-charge-against-holder-if-justice-fails-to-comply-with/#ixzz1l4wXs5Gr

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and this morning...

In new 'Fast and Furious' report, Democrats clear Justice appointees of wrongdoing

Democrats investigating the failed gun-running probe known as "Operation Fast and Furious" are laying the blame at the feet of officials in Arizona, saying in a new report that lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have "obtained no evidence" implicating high-level political appointees in Washington.

At the same time, the report reveals that two top Justice Department officials, in previously undisclosed interviews, insisted they would have taken action if they had the relevant details, and said it is "absurd" and unfair to suggest they knew early-on about the tactics of Fast and Furious.

Honestly, I couldn't make stuff like this up. Un-believable! There's more at the link (click title). Like blaming Bush, etc.

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Revealed!  The DOJ suggested gun running
 
AWR Hawkins is reporting that February 2nd is fast approaching for Attorney General Eric Holder, who is set to appear before the House Oversight Committee for questioning on Fast and Furious. This will put him in the hot seat in front of Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) and other congressional members like Paul Gosar (R-AZ), who have been steady on Holder’s trail since details of Fast and Furious became public.
 
Holder’s last appearance before a congressional committee was on December 8, when Issa made it clear how irritated he was over the changing timeline, Holder’s perceived arrogance, and the ongoing refusal to turn over subpoenaed DOJ documents. In one of the best exchanges on Dec 8, Issa looked at Holder and asked, “Have you no shame?” That was also the hearing in which Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), expressed his outrage over the fact that Holder’s DOJ had submitted inaccurate testimony then withdrawn it in an attempt to avoid being charged with providing false testimony.

But a lot has changed since that early December hearing. Most recently, the last minute release of subpoenaed documents which show that Holder learned about Border Agent Brian Terry’s death on the day it happened: a point Holder has heretofore denied. (Emails between Dennis Burke, former U.S. Attorney for Arizona, and Holder’s then-deputy chief of staff prove this.) Additionally, other emails in the recently released DOJ documents show that the head of DOJ’s “criminal division, Lanny Breuer, suggested letting some illicit ‘straw’ weapons buyers in the U.S. [to] transport their guns across the border into Mexico where they could be arrested.”

Then there’s Patrick J. Cunningham, Chief of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona, who was subpoenaed to appear for testimony on January 24, but pleaded the 5th in order to avoid being compelled to be a witness against himself.” As a result, a determined Congressman Issa has demanded that Cunningham’s underling, Michael Morrissey, Assistant United States Attorney, “speak with Committee investigators about his role in and knowledge of Operation Fast and Furious.”

All this to say, as I watch the hearings this Thursday I hope to see the committee place Holder under oath and then ask tough, pointed questions about these and other recently revealed matters. For example, in light of the emails, Holder needs to give a clear and binding answer regarding when he found out about Terry’s death. He needs to explain how the DOJ can claim ignorance regarding “gun running” while their own man, Lanny Breuer, was pushing it as a means making arrests. He needs to explain what, if any, interaction he or other DOJ officials/affiliates had with Patrick J. Cunningham between the time Cunningham was subpoenaed and the time his attorney announced he would plead the fifth. And he needs to describe what, if any, interaction he or other DOJ officials/affiliates have had with Michael Morrissey at this time regarding the testimony Morrissey is expected to give when he speaks with investigators.

One more thing: The question on Breuer’s push for gun running could easily be tied to Holder’s April 2, 2009 speech in Mexico wherein he bragged about the implementation of “Project Gunrunner.” Perhaps Issa can ask Holder if he and Breuer worked out the details of that speech together?


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Friday Night Doc Dump!!!!
  

Emails Show How 'Fast and Furious' Ambush News Unfolded At Justice Dept.

The email messages show the former top federal prosecutor in Arizona, Dennis Burke, notifying an aide to Holder via email on Dec. 15, 2010 that agent Brian Terry had been wounded and died. "Tragic," responds the aide, Monty Wilkinson. "I've alerted the AG, the acting Deputy Attorney General..."

Only a few minutes later, Wilkinson emailed again, saying, "Please provide any additional details as they become available to you."

Burke then delivered another piece of bad news: "The guns found in the desert near the murder [sic] ... officer connect back to the investigation we were going to talk about — they were AK-47s purchased at a Phoenix gun store."

That investigation, dubbed Fast and Furious, was supposed to follow U.S. weapons into the hands of kingpins in the violent Sinaloa Mexico drug cartel, building a big case against the gangs. Instead, it cost Burke his job, got the director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms reassigned, and has prompted multiple federal probes by Congress and the department's own inspector general.




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Arizona strikes back:

State investigates feds over gun-running

Arizona's state legislature will open its own investigation into the Obama administration's disgraced gun-running program,

known as "Fast and Furious," the speaker of the state House said Friday.

 


Speaker Andy Tobin created the committee, and charged it with looking at whether the program broke any state laws — raising the possibility of state penalties against those responsible for the operation.

It's a turnaround from the rest of the immigration issue, where the federal government has sued to block the state's own set of laws.

A law requiring businesses to check new workers' legal status was upheld by the Supreme Court last year, and the court has agreed to hear the case of Arizona's crackdown law that makes being an illegal immigrant a state crime and gives state and local police the power to enforce that law.

Fast and Furious was a straw-purchase program run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The goal was to try to trace guns sold in Arizona shops and then trafficked across the Mexican border, where they landed in the hands of drug cartels.

As part of the operation, however, agents let the guns "walk" — meaning they lost track of them. At least two of the guns ended up at the scene where Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in a shootout with Mexican bandits along a smuggling corridor in Arizona.

Mr. Tobin will announce the committee's jurisdiction at a press conference in Phoenix on Monday. The committee is charged with looking into the facts about the program, what impact it had on Arizona and whether any of the state's laws were broken.

A report is due back by March 30.

Arizona's investigation into Fast and Furious comes on top of an investigation by Republicans in Congress.
On Friday the chief of the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Arizona told a House committee he will decline to answer their questions next week, citing his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.

The official's lawyer, in a letter to the committee, said his client is innocent but is "ensnared by the unfortunate circumstances in which he now stands between two branches of government."

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.fastnfuriousinvestigation.com/


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Arizona strikes back: State investigates feds over gun-running

Arizona's state legislature will open its own investigation into the Obama administration's disgraced gun-running program, known as "Fast and Furious," the speaker of the state House said Friday.

Speaker Andy Tobin created the committee, and charged it with looking at whether the program broke any state laws — raising the possibility of state penalties against those responsible for the operation.

As part of the operation, however, agents let the guns "walk" — meaning they lost track of them. At least two of the guns ended up at the scene where Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in a shootout with Mexican bandits along a smuggling corridor in Arizona.

Mr. Tobin will announce the committee's jurisdiction at a press conference in Phoenix on Monday. The committee is charged with looking into the facts about the program, what impact it had on Arizona and whether any of the state's laws were broken.

It's about time!


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Holder’s united front on Fast and Furious crumbles

Attorney John Hinderaker says, that in an ominous development for the Obama administration,  Patrick Cunningham, chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona, has told the House Oversight Committee that he will assert his privilege against self-incrimination rather than testify before the committee next week.  DOJ officials in Washington evidently have blamed Cunningham for the fact that they provided false information to Congress in what appears to be an effort to cover up the Fast and Furious scandal.  Cunningham’s lawyer, in a letter published here, says that blame is misplaced:

The objective evidence collected by this Committee demonstrates that Mr. Cunningham did nothing wrong and that he acted in good faith.  First, Mr. Cunningham proposed draft language internally to his supervisor in the United States Attorney’s Office.  Second, Mr. Cunningham vetted the accuracy of the draft language with others in the United States Attorney’s Office.  Third, Mr. Cunningham’s supervisor reported that he provided the draft language to the Department of Justice.  Fourth, the Department of Justice did not include in its response to Congress the draft language Mr. Cunningham’s supervisor reportedly provided.

If that is really what the documents show, it is damning to say the least.  In any event, it would seem to be a bright line rule that any time a high-ranking official of the Department of Justice pleads the Fifth, a major scandal is under way.
  


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Federal official in Arizona to plead the fifth and not answer questions on 'furious'

Cunningham is represented by Tobin Romero of Williams and Connolly who is a specialist in white collar crime. In the letter, he suggests witnesses from the Department of Justice in Washington, who have spoken in support of Attorney General Eric Holder, are wrong or lying.

“Department of Justice officials have reported to the Committee that my client relayed inaccurate information to the Department upon which it relied in preparing its initial response to Congress. If, as you claim, Department officials have blamed my client, they have blamed him unfairly,” the letter to Issa says.

Romero claims Cunningham did nothing wrong and acted in good faith, but the Department of Justice in Washington is making him the fall guy, claiming he failed to accurately provide the Oversight Committee with information on the execution of Fast and Furious.

"To avoid needless preparation by the Committee and its staff for a deposition next week, I am writing to advise you that my client is going to assert his constitutional privilege not to be compelled to be a witness against himself." Romero told Issa.

This schism is the first big break in what has been a unified front in the government’s defense of itself in the gun-running scandal. Cunningham claims he is a victim of a conflict between two branches of government and will not be compelled to be a witnesses against himself, and make a statement that could be later used by a grand jury or special prosecutor to indict him on criminal charges.


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Issa Subpoenas Criminal Division Chief from Arizona U.S. Attorney’s Office
  

WASHINGTON, DC – House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) today announced the issuance of a subpoena to Patrick J. Cunningham, Chief of the Criminal Division in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Arizona. Mr. Cunningham's repeated refusals to testify voluntarily have forced the Committee to use compulsory process.

"During the course of our investigation, the Committee has learned of the outsized role played by the Arizona U.S. Attorney's Office – and you specifically – in approving the unacceptable tactics used in Fast and Furious," Chairman Issa wrote to Cunningham in a letter informing him of the subpoena. "Senior Justice Department officials have recently told the Committee that you relayed inaccurate and misleading information to the Department in preparation for its initial response to Congress.

"These officials told us that even after Congress began investigating Fast and Furious, you continued to insist that no unacceptable tactics were used. In fact, documents obtained confidentially just last week appear to confirm that you remained steadfast in your belief that no unacceptable tactics were used, even after the Department's initial response to the congressional inquiry. Given that the Attorney General has labeled these tactics as unacceptable and Fast and Furious as 'fundamentally flawed,' this position is startling."

The subpoena requires Cunningham to appear on Tuesday, January 24, 2012 for a deposition.

Read Issa's letter to Cunningham here.
  
http://oversight.house.gov/images/stories/Letters/2012-01-18_DEI_to_Cunningham_re_Committee_hearing.pdf

 

Thanks :

 

http://www.fastnfuriousinvestigation.com/2012/01/issa-subpoenas-criminal-division-chief.html?spref=tw


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Patriotism is not blind subservience to government, nor loyalty to a particular leader or party. Patriotism is vigilance in protecting and preserving the US Constitution from all who would pervert or overthrow it, or in any way diminish our many rights, liberties, or sovereignties; and, is a willingness to pay a price for our freedom.
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