Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Operation Fast and Furious LVII


'Fast and Furious' scandal has Obama administration in full cover-up mode
by Chris Cox

The more we learn about the “Fast and Furious” scandal — in which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) illegally facilitated the transfer of thousands of guns to violent drug cartels in Mexico — the more apparent it is that we are witnessing a large-scale cover-up of epic proportions.
In fact, it’s getting difficult to keep up with all of the shuffling of key agency personnel who were involved in the deadly scandal. Here is a brief run-down of what transpired over the past two weeks:
* BATFE director Kenneth Melson was reassigned by Attorney General Eric Holder’s Justice Department to a new senior advisor role at the agency’s headquarters in Washington.
* Dennis Burke, the U.S. attorney for the District of Arizona, resigned from his post.
* Thanks to the tenacious investigations being led by House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-IA), it is now apparent that the lead prosecutor in the U.S. attorney’s office in Arizona, Emory Hurley, initially sought to cover up the fact that at least two illegal “Fast and Furious” guns were found at the murder scene of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. The Justice Department recently transferred Hurley out of its criminal division to its civil division.
* We now know that White House officials knew more about the deadly “Fast and Furious” operation than they previously disclosed. Three White House officials — Kevin O’Reilly, Dan Restrepo and Greg Gatjanis — all received back-channel communications about “Fast and Furious” from BATFE’s then-special agent in charge of Phoenix, Bill Newell. Newell, as you might recall, was recently reassigned to a new job at Justice Department headquarters.
The Obama administration’s continued stonewalling and seemingly orchestrated cover-up of the “Fast and Furious” scandal is only adding to the overall tragedy of this situation.
It’s tragic that this harebrained scheme cost people their lives, including a brave American Border Patrol agent. It’s also tragic that at the same time the Obama administration was purposefully arming Mexican drug lords, Obama, Holder and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were blaming American gun owners and our Second Amendment rights for violent crime in Mexico.
But as White House officials continue to hide details related to this scandal, they are now doing serious damage to the rule of law upon which our republic was built.
The longer this drags on, the more lasting the damage will be — not only to our overall institution of government but also to the ability of future leaders to hold federal agencies accountable and protect the sanctity of our freedoms.
For this reason, it’s time for an independent prosecutor to be assigned to this case. Only then will we have any chance of learning the truth so we can fix the problem.


Let's be clear--the only thing 'botched' in 'Project Gunwalker' was the cover-up

by Kurt Hoffmann

National Gun Rights Examiner David Codrea pointed out early this month that every time the "Project Gunwalker" atrocity is described as a "botched gun sting," a lie is being disseminated.  The lie is the notion that there was ever the intention of mounting any kind of "sting" to "botch."  There was not.  There could not have been.  No effort was made to track the guns past the border (or, very often, even to the border).  When field agents tried to track them any farther than a few blocks from the gun shops, they were ordered to stand down their surveillance.  Nor is it the case that the plan was for Mexican authorities to be tipped about what was going on, so they could perform the surveillance.
As long-time BATFE whistleblower (and victim of BATFE retaliationVincent Cefalu puts it, "The only way to [track] the guns would be with crime scenes and dead bodies."  And that's how exactly how they "tracked" them, and according to a "Gunwalker" report by Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), doing so made them "giddy":

An increase of crimes and deaths in Mexico caused an increase in the recovery of weapons at crime scenes. When these weapons traced back through the Suspect Gun Database to weapons that were walked under Fast and Furious, supervisors in Phoenix were giddy at the success of their operation.
And lest Issa's and Grassley's use of the term "giddy" be painted as a partisan attack on the Obama administration, keep in mind that we first saw that word in connection with "Project Gunwalker" when BATFE agent (and courageous whistleblower) John Dodson used it:
There were several instances. Whenever he would get a tracereport back . . . he was jovial, if not, not giddy, but just delighted about that, hey, 20 of our guns were recovered with 350 poundsof dope in Mexico last night. And it was exciting. To them it proved the nexus to the drug cartels. It validated that . . . we werereally working the cartel case here.
What would make the Gunwalker perpetrators "giddy"?  Presumably, the failure of a "botched" operation on their part, as they discover the fatal weakness of the Underpants Gnome business model, would do just the opposite.  No--their "giddiness" stemmed from Project Gunwalker's success at supporting the agenda.  Every Mexican killed with a "gunwalked" gun--every "broken egg"--was a "success," in the sense that it could be cited as justification for more "gun control," as this administration has demonstrably done, more than once.
To allow the characterization of "Project Gunwalker" as a "botched sting operation" to go unchallenged is to give the perpetrators near (or at?) the very top of the Obama government a free pass on the utter evil of this monstrosity, and allow "gun control" apologists to blame it on desperation stemming from "weak U.S. gun laws," because of the "gun lobby."

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