In a scathing letter to the nation’s top Department of Justice (DOJ) lawman, Eric Holder, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) called the Obama appointed lawyer either a liar, incompetent or worse when it came to overseeing thousands of weapons being trafficked to Mexican drug cartels.
The first paragraph of the letter includes phrases like “DOJ has offered a roving set of ever-changing explanations, undermining the investigation and insisted there was no wrongdoing or gunwalking.”
However after Congressional testimony, whistle-blower statements and investigative reporting by dedicated journalists an avalanche of facts were placed front-and-center. The ill-fated Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Project Gunrunner investigation “Fast and Furious” gun trafficking made the front page of most newspapers.
After months of DOJ denials that the Phoenix-based operation didn’t reached anyone in Washington D.C., the jig was up and honest federal agents released emails proving wiretaps and concerns were indeed approved in the Nation’s Capital.
Issa’s letter continues; “It appears your latest defense has reached a new low. Incredibly, in your letter from Friday you now claim that you were unaware of Fast and Furious because your staff failed to inform you of information contained in memos that were specifically addressed to you. At best, this indicates negligence and incompetence in your duties as Attorney General. At worst, it places your credibility into serious doubt.”
Harsh, but reality-based words for Holder to consider as the 2012 election cycle ramps up. Political insiders are speculating the Attorney General will only lose his job if President Obama’s reelection is at grave risk.
Issa also lambasted Holder of playing politics instead of representing the American people. “Instead of pledging all necessary resources to assist the congressional investigation in discovering the truth behind the fundamentally-flawed Operation Fast and Furious, your letter instead did little but obfuscate, shift blame, berate, and attempt to change the topic away from the Department’s responsibility in the creation, implementation, and authorization of this reckless program.”
Congressman Issa also pointed to a speech Holder gave a month after he became DOJ’s leader. “The cartels, you said, ‘are lucrative, they are violent, and they operated with stunning planning and precision.’ You promised that under your leadership ‘these cartels will be destroyed.’ You vowed that the Department of Justice would ‘continue to work with (its) counterparts in Mexico, through information sharing, training and mutual cooperation to jointly fight these cartels, both in Mexico and the United States.’”
Many senior ATF Agents have repeated a new mantra; “Mexican relations have now been set back by 10 years- trust is gone.”
In fact, Issa contends DOJ and some agents at ATF have engaged in a major cover-up of the Fast & Furious unlawful details. “Officials are actively engaged in hiding information about Fast and Furious from not only Mexican officials, but also U.S. law enforcement officials operating in Mexico.”
One of the main beneficiaries of the weapon allotment appears to be the Sinaloa Cartel whose front man, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has moved to the top of the FBI’s most wanted list after the CIA/SEALs team killed Osama bin Laden. (Also, last week the LA Times reported Guzman’s wife crossed the California border to give birth to twins in a Los Angeles County hospital all under the watchful eyes of federal law enforcement. Before the young wife returned to Mexico with El Chapo’s twins, U.S. law gave the FBI’s most wanted criminal’s daughters with American citizenship.)
The Congressional Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform ends his six-page letter to Holder with; “Operation Fast and Furious was the Department’s most significant gun trafficking case. It related to two of your major initiatives – destroying the Mexican cartels and reducing gun violence on both sides of the border. On your watch, it went spectacularly wrong.”
To read Issa’s letter to Eric Holder click here. October 11th letter.
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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.
Continue reading on Examiner.com Fast and Furious truth seeker Issa slams DOJ’s Holder competence – National Homeland Security | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/homeland-security-in-national/fast-and-furious-truth-seeker-issa-slams-doj-s-holder-competence#ixzz1aRQAQccb
It is now being reported that the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, Kenneth Melson, will leave his BATFE post and join the Department of Justice (DOJ) staff. The continuation of “business as usual” in Washington DC reaffirms accountability in federal agencies is hard to come by.
Both DOJ and BAFTE played major roles in the “gun walking” program that left at least one federal agent murdered and a number of other deaths south of the border in Mexico. The Brouhaha eventually led to the suspension of “Fast and Furious,” but after months of investigations, no one has been fired from either agency.
A July 4 meeting between ATF front-man Melson and Congressional investigators revealed the DOJ has actively engaged in a “cover-up” and “remain silent” campaign concerning the controversial firearm program that allowed U.S. weapons to cross into Mexico and in to the hands of criminals.
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The hush, hush meeting revealed a couple of things, first, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder knew a lot more about this operation than he has previously admitted and Melson will not be the Obama Administration fall guy.
This investigation began when senior Republican Congressional lawmakers embarked on a quest to find out why Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered in December of last year with a gun that traced back to an ATF program. However, Agent Terry’s family and lawmakers were met with roadblocks from ATF leaders.
That all changed with the Fourth of July meeting between lawmakers and investigators when Melson exposed that it was the Department of Justice (DOJ) who effectively silenced ATF leaders.
The secret meeting also produced admissions that ATF “made many mistakes” with the notorious gun walking program “Fast and Furious.” In fact, Melson’s private attorney, Richard Cullen, a former federal prosecutor was present at the July 4 meeting with investigators to protect the acting director.
As Congressional investigators collect data and build a case, ATF decided to insulate key “Fast and Furious” players in their Washington DC headquarters. Melson’s move to DOJ completes the trifecta.
Earlier this month ATF announced three key players in the Arizona ill-fated “gun-walking” program would accept promotions and move to ATF’s DC headquarters.
It’s especially ironic that William McMahon, who testified at a recent hearing that plenty of mistakes were made and failed to report those mistakes to his supervisors, will now be in charge of ATF’s ethics department. His official title, Deputy Assistant Director of ATF’s Office of Professional Responsibility and Security Operations will solidify his unaccountability.
William Newell will also make the trip to DC for his promotion to Special Assistant to the Assistant Director for ATF’s Office of Management. And finally, Arizona’s “Fast and Furious” ground supervisor, David Voth heads to Washington DC and will oversee ATF’s Tobacco Division as Branch Chief.
As the country approaches the 10-year anniversary of 9/11, America and her enemies now recognize that agencies like the DOJ, FBI, DEA and ATF are not sharing intelligence and continue to put intra-agency politics ahead of national security.
For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/homeland-security-in-national/
© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.
Continue reading on Examiner.com ATF Director Melson reassigned to DOJ amid “Fast & Furious” scandal – National Homeland Security | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/homeland-security-in-national/atf-director-melson-reassigned-to-doj-amid-fast-furious-scandal-1#ixzz1WX0Q5mx5
While the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (BATFE/ATF) “gun walking” scandal has captured the mainstream media’s attention; the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) response for added gun regulation is going over like a straw purchase.
As witnessed last week, the Department of Justice issued some harsh medicine for firearm dealers in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. These dealers will soon be required to report multiple sales of long guns.
Washington’s political posturing with ATF centers on the government-gone-wild approach, as in the “Fast and Furious” program that allowed guns to cross the border and into the hands of Mexico’s ruthless drug cartels. The reckless “Fast and Furious” program has left lawful firearm dealers scratching their collective heads and many rank-and-file ATF agents seething.
Congressional leaders investigating “Fast and Furious” have swiftly criticized DOJ’s handling of the program. Republican leaders say U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is trying to divert the “Fast and Furious” investigation by punishing Federal Firearms Licensees who operate in southwestern states. The plan President Obama and DOJ have cooked up targets some southwestern dealers and forced them to report multiple long-gun sales.
“The Judiciary Committee has primary jurisdiction over policy related to the Justice Department,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley, (R-Iowa) Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “We’ve learned from our investigation of ‘Fast and Furious’ that reporting multiple long gun sales would do nothing to stop the flow of firearms to known-straw purchasers because many Federal Firearms Dealers are already voluntarily reporting suspicious transactions,” Grassley explained.
In fact, documents obtained by Senator Grassley about BATFE’s “Fast and Furious” showed at least 150 long guns were reported in real time by law-abiding firearm dealers. Keeping that in mind, ATF leaders in D.C. watched (on closed circuit TV) the firearms transferred from known-straw purchasers (people who buy guns for those who cannot legally buy firearms) to third parties. The result of ATF’s rogue program put guns into the hands of Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs), which have lead to countless slayings in Mexico as well as complicity in the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December of 2010.
“This (data) makes it pretty clear that the problem isn’t lack of burdensome reporting requirements. The administration’s overreach with regulations continues, and is an (attempted) distraction from its reckless policy to allow guns to walk into Mexico,” Grassley said.
Department of Justice new overreaching firearm laws
Last week, the Justice Department announced it will move forward with a new reporting system despite its lack of authority to create legislation without Congress.
According to the National Rifle Association, a reporting procedure was proposed implemented last fall was an “emergency” measure by ATF. The new procedure specifically called for all the firearm retailers in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas to report multiple long-gun sales.
The flawed program would force dealers to report law-abiding citizens who buy two long guns within five days. “For example, a dealer would have to tell the government every time a deer hunter in Sacramento or Amarillo finds a good deal on a pair of semi-automatic .30-06s like the popular Remington 7400,” the NRA explains.
Nevertheless, a DOJ statement from, Deputy Attorney General James Cole said; this new reporting measure “will improve the ability of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to detect and disrupt the illegal weapons trafficking networks responsible for diverting firearms from lawful commerce to criminals and criminal organizations.”
However, dealers contend the flood of new paperwork (ATF estimates 18,000 reports a year) would cost the agency and firearm dealers more money and labor as well as squander already limited resources that could focus on legitimate investigations.
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The NRA also points out that the ill-conceived and ill-fated “Fast and Furious” program encouraged Arizona gun dealers to sell thousands of guns to suspicious buyers, despite documented objections from dealers and ATF agents alike.
“The (Obama) administration knowingly and intentionally allowed guns to be trafficked into Mexico,” said Lamar Smith (R-TX). The Texas lawmaker explained that “Limiting the Second Amendment rights’ of law-abiding citizens is not going to solve the problem…this is the height of hypocrisy.”
Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.) introduced S 570 a bill that would also “prohibit the Department of Justice from tracking and cataloguing the purchases of multiple rifles and shotguns.”
The Obama Administration’s approach is to skirt Congress by issuing regulations by “executive order” will only result in multiple legal actions from the NRA, Second Amendment advocates as well as the California Association of Firearms Retailers (CAFR).
A spokesman for the CAFR posed the following question; “What part of federal law is so difficult for this administration to understand? Federal law applies to all states not just a select few. It may very well be the ATF ‘fast and furious’ program that has placed more firearms in the hands of (Mexican) criminals than any one legitimate firearm retailer in any state targeted by the DOJ proposal.”
Dealers and citizens contend Mexico needs to be held accountable for its own actions regarding firearm purchases and importation.
“The $40 billion transnational criminal enterprises don’t fill out paperwork and are not deterred by paperwork violations,” said Chris W. Cox, NRA-ILA Executive Director. “This is a blatant effort by the Obama administration and ATF to divert the focus of Congress and the general public from their gross incompetence in the ‘Fast and Furious’ scandal. This scheme will unjustly burden law abiding retailers in Border States. It will not affect drug cartels and it won’t prevent violence along our borders.”
The NRA and other Second Amendment organizations are preparing for the lawsuit and will file the moment “demand letters” are received from ATF or DOJ.
Next a report of Senator Feinstein’s efforts to limit guns…
Taking a serious look at the unique problems America faces with our southern neighbor is critical if the U.S. wants to gain the upper hand with narco-traffickers. Last month, to no one’s surprise, Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) issued a report that AG Eric Holder and President Obama have taken seriously. (Feinstein report here)
Included in the Senator’s firearm assessment are;
– Enactment of legislation to close gun show loopholes regarding background checks.
– Better enforcement of existing bans of military-style imports.
– Reinstatement of Assault Weapons Ban.
– Federal Firearms Licenses required for multiple long-gun sales.
– Senate ratification of the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and other related materials (CIFTA).
The Obama Administration has already begun implementing Senator Feinstein’s wish list much to the dismay of firearm retailers.
Stay tuned for more updates on the ATF scandal…
© Copyright 2011Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.
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