Archive | DOJ RSS for this section

Plausible deniability will save AG Holder’s job over Fast & Furious scandal

The controversial “gunwalking” program Fast and Furious that lead to the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in the Arizona desert in December of 2010 was once again subject of a House Oversight Hearing.

After Congressional testimony, whistle-blower statements and investigative reporting by dedicated journalists, an avalanche of facts have been placed front-and-center. The ill-fated Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Project Gunrunner investigation “Fast and Furious” gun trafficking program made the front page of most newspapers and claimed the life of Agent Terry. However, today’s four-hour hearing revealed little new information other than the administration’s reluctance to provide 93,000 requested documents.

Accountability, culpability, and cover-up are words used repeatedly at today’s hearing to describe this disastrous program that will forever be remembered as a black mark in American history.

It’s been nearly 14 months since the former decorated Iraq war veteran Marine-turned -Border Patrol agent lost his life at the hands of drug smuggler/rip crews. Terry was killed by a firearm that was purchased by a “straw buyer” with the approval of ATF supervisors.

Those are the facts.

Agent Terry’s family, who will never hear Brian’s side of the story have sought the truth from ATF/DOJ for the last 14 months, would like to know- who knew what and when. With the government’s code of silence, Terry’s family has no other recourse than to obtain the truth through a $25 million lawsuit recently filed against the government.

During the Fast and Furious hearings, documents have been requested from the Department of Justice, as well as Attorney General Eric Holder, some have been released, but others fail to see the light of day. For those accustomed to DC politics, it is business as usual.

Despite Congressional requests made by House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) to the Department of Justice and Eric Holder, for all agency documents relating to Fast and Furious hearings, few documents have seen the light of day. For those accustomed to DC politics, it is business as usual.

During the Fast and Furious investigation, members of Congress have unleashed a circus-like hearing that makes for compelling political theater, but the American people have seen this movie before and it always ends the same- plausible deniability.

It’s been the contention of law enforcement agencies across the country that the results of Fast and Furious were predictable; it was destined to claim the life of an officer. That’s what happens when law enforcement lets a gun “walk”- into the hands of ruthless cartels- they have the propensity to kill people.

Regrettably, Operation Fast and Furious successfully did exactly what it was designed to do- make headlines. ATF agents have admitted time and time again that supervisors in the Phoenix office wanted to bring down the “bad guys” and make “headlines.” They did.

According to an email exchanged released by the House Committee, the Department of Justice in DC and Arizona officials involved in Fast and Furious expressed concern about the media. How are we going “to mitigate the negative press coverage?” And “how are we going to fix the problem” and “guns were being walked to Mexico” were among the main concerns of the officials in charge.

After interviewing, reading and reviewing all the information in the public arena, as well as some documents not released, the conclusion is quite straightforward- it was a terrible ATF operation, according to rank-and-file ATF agents.

It’s also true that this investigation started under the Bush Administration with “The Southwest Border Initiative” and from that sprung “Operation Wide Receiver” which allowed some guns to walk south of the border only to be suspended. But it’s also true that President Obama entered into office in January 2009 and his Administration began the process of suspending many Bush-era programs. Unfortunately, Fast and Furious would not be one of those programs.

In fact, under the Obama/Holder Administration, Operation Fast and Furious progressed and grew in scope. At least seven wiretap applications were requested from the Washington DC Justice Department. These applications exceeded 50-pages each and involved the international border with Mexico. Sources inside Justice say ultimately a committee would need to approve the applications. The aforementioned Washington DC committee meets to ensure ongoing investigations from other departments like the FBI, CIA, DEA and ATF do not interfere with each other or hinder ongoing operations.

Again, Congressman Patrick Meehan (R-PA) reaffirmed this point at today’s hearing and asked AG Holder if Fast and Furious would need approval from Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDEF); the answer was “yes.”

The logical conclusion to this revelation means AG Holder should have known about Fast and Furious. The fact this operation detailed ATF overseeing the sales of weapons to straw buyers, then transported them to the Mexican border with the intention of arresting drug cartel members once the transaction lifecycle was completed should have bubbled to the desk of the nation’s top law enforcement officer. This assumption did not slip by several Republican lawmakers that sit on the Oversight Committee.

But again, Holder says “no” and he has plausible deniability on his side. The evidence produced thus far cannot place Holder in a room, physically receiving and reading a memo or discussing Operation Fast and Furious on the record. All the communication regarding this case went through a bureaucratic layer meant to protect those at the top. The oversight of Fast and Furious is no different from other, plausible denial programs.

In the end, all the political gamesmanship about who knew what and when will result in a stalemate. Holder will keep his job, even if he is weakened as a leader of Justice.

While logic may be a key factor in the daily life of mortals, plausible deniability rules the day at the Department of Justice. In fact, Holder reminded the committee today that he appointed a Special Prosecutor and Inspector General and once that happened he was out of the so-called loop. Holder says he effectively removed himself from performing a “top-to-bottom investigation.”

Nevertheless, the American people have “lost faith in the system,” said Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) at the conclusion of the hearing. He also referred to words the Attorney General said once he became the nation’s top law enforcer; “It’s about trust…transparency and the rule of law for our administration.”

Yet the self-described most transparent administration in U.S. history finds itself hiding behind plausible deniability time and time again.

For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/homeland-security-in-national/kimberly-dvorak

© Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Fast and Furious claimed its first victim, Agent Terry, one year ago

It was just a year ago that ill-fated “Fast and Furious” gunwalking scheme claimed its first American victim- Border Patrol Agent Brian A. Terry.

Terry left southern Arizona station evening muster never knowing it would be his last. As he and his fellow Border Patrol agents prepared to hike into Peck Canyon, the only thing on their minds was to apprehend a “rip crew” responsible for robbing and terrorizing illegal immigrants passing through the desert seeking a better life in America.

However, new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) memos had recently been given to all Border Patrol agents asking them to use less-than-deadly force, Terry complied and packed his gun that dispensed bean bag rounds.

As it turns out, Terry paid attention to the memos, and it cost him his life. During the December 2010 shootout in Peck Canyon, “rip crew” thugs fired AK-47 weapons indiscriminately in the dark desert night and killed the former Marine. He never had a chance.

Once the dust settled and help arrived, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was dead. He would not be home for Christmas.

Border Patrol agents eventually discovered a misguided Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearm (ATF) “Fast and Furious” investigation gun killed their colleague.

For nearly a year “Fast and Furious” has garnered headlines, but to this day nobody has been held accountable for letting thousands of guns “walk” into the willing hands of vicious Mexican cartel members. The Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation has yielded little punishment for ATF and DOJ management personnel who authorized a program aimed at uncovering cartel gun trafficking patterns and gain splashy headlines.

However, it would take weeks, and several ATF whistleblowers to uncover the truth behind Agent Terry’s murder. It was a poorly executed ATF investigation, Fast and Furious, that put the U.S. government in the gun trafficking business and as it turns out Agent Terry would only be the first in a long list of people killed by guns once under the control of lawful gun dealers and watchful ATF officials.

A year later, countless inquiries by Congress have resulted in ATF and DOJ stonewalling. Documents and emails requested by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) have been heavily redacted and exacted little transparency from the Obama Administration.

The Terry family still doesn’t know who was responsible for the murder of their son. Officials in charge of ATF and DOJ have sealed records and hide behind the “ongoing” investigation excuse as reasons for their secrecy.

It looks as though the government is doing what they do best- covering up a deadly program.

Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry died a year ago today. He died defending a nation he believed in, and he died from a Fast and Furious gun.

For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/kimberly-dvorak

© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

ATF F&F hearing yields little new information- Holder on track for a "mulligan"

Earlier today the Department of Justice (DOJ) Attorney General Eric Holder walked into the line of fire when he appeared in front of the House Judiciary Committee hearing concerning the controversial Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) disastrous “Fast and Furious” investigation.

The Attorney General took rapid fire questions from GOP representatives seeking answers for the failed “gunwalking” program that resulted in the murder of at least one Border Patrol Agent, Brian Terry, and more than 200 Mexican citizen deaths. From the get go Mr. Holder made it clear that the approximately 2,000 high-powered guns that ATF let “walk” into Mexico will turn up at crime scenes in both countries for years to come.

However, the day-long hearing revealed little new information and yielded no acceptance of responsibility from Holder. He simply doubled-down on DOJ’s innocence regarding the (mis) handling of the botched gun-running investigation.
Advertisement

It’s been almost a year since Border Patrol Agent Terry was callously gunned-down in the Arizona desert by “rip crew” bandits using guns the U.S. government let “walk” into the hands of brutal Mexican drug cartels. During the past year, Agent Terry’s family has witnessed a cover-up by ATF and DOJ and seen no compassion or concern from Mr. Holder regarding the murder of their son.

Instead, the agent’s murder has resulted in a firestorm of inquiry for ATF and DOJ led by Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA), Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee. Despite Issa’s vigorous inquisition, the DOJ still has not told Congress who knew what, and when.

It was just a week ago when the AG’s office asked for a “mulligan” on a letter their office issued to Congress that misstated “Fast and Furious” facts. The DOJ letter stated that ATF’s fatally-flawed “gunwalking” investigation did not allow guns to walk across the border and into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. The DOJ letter lied and ATF did allow guns to leave their jurisdiction and cross the Mexican border.

This led Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) to ask AG Holder a direct question regarding the art of lying; “Tell me what’s the difference between lying and misleading Congress, in this context?”

Holder’s reply seemed like a non-answer. “Well, if you want to have this legal conversation, it all has to do with your state of mind and whether or not you had the requisite intent to come up with something that would be considered perjury or a lie,” Holder admitted. “The information that was provided by the February 4th letter was gleaned by the people who drafted the letter after they interacted with people who they thought were in the best position to have the information.”

Holder’s answer harkened back to President Bill Clinton’s definition of “what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.”

Nevertheless Republican committee members echoed the same mantra all day- that heads needed to roll for the failed Fast and Furious investigation. And, it appears the Obama Administration is positioning Holder’s long-time friend, confidant and DOJ Assistant AG of the Criminal Division underling Lanny Breuer to be the fall guy.

It was recently discovered emails discussing the ATF “gunwalking” operation that provoked Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley to call for Breuer’s firing earlier this week.

“The real shock was how Mr. Breuer had responded within his own Department when earlier ‘gunwalking’ was first brought to his attention in April 2010. He didn’t tell the Attorney General. He didn’t tell the Attorney General’s Chief of Staff. He didn’t tell the Deputy Attorney General. He didn’t tell the Inspector General. Instead, he simply told his deputy to meet with ATF leadership and inform them of the ‘gunwalking’ so they knew the bad stuff that could come out,” Grassley said.

The final squabble of the day squared Rep. Issa’s sharp- tongue questions surrounding Holder’s continued stonewalling tactics of Fast and Furious. Issa reminded the Attorney General that he could be held in contempt of Congress if he continued to block Congressional members request for documents, to which Holder replied; “Have you no shame?”

But Issa countered Holder’s political gamesmanship with; “No, have you no shame?”

Up next – House committee members will now flood Eric Holder’s office with a litany of follow-up questions, but the answers will not be disclosed until after the holiday season. Stay tuned for more ATF Fast and Furious updates.

For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/kimberly-dvorak

© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Obama’s DOJ to sue UC San Diego for asking non-citizens to prove right to work

After an independent investigation, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said they are filing of a lawsuit against a University of California, San Diego Medical Center. The DOJ alleges that the medical center violated the employment eligibility verification process by asking non-citizens to produce paperwork to prove they are allowed to work in the U.S. against people who are authorized to work in the United States.

The DOJ found that the UC medical center engaged in a pattern of requiring non-U.S. citizen hires to produce documents issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in order to verify or re-verify their employment eligibility. The independent investigative team also claims the medical center did not ask U.S. citizens to show their documentation.

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act’s (INA) anti-discrimination provision, employers are prohibited from placing undue burdens on work-authorized employees during the hiring and employment eligibility verification process.

“All workers who are authorized to work in the United States have the right to work without encountering discrimination because of their immigration status or national origin,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “We are committed to vigorously protecting authorized workers from discrimination in the hiring process and ensuring that employers uphold their obligations under the law.”

The DOJ complaint requests that the court prohibits future discrimination by UC San Diego, monetary damages for individuals affected by the medical centers hiring actions, as well as civil penalties.

The United States is represented in this matter by Luz V. Lopez-Ortiz and Ronald Lee, OSC Trial Attorneys.

For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/kimberly-dvorak

© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

ICE warns cyber shoppers to beware of criminal enterprises

As “Black Friday” madness grabbed headlines for skirmishes and tramplings over the weekend, Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) warned “Cyber Monday” shoppers to beware of criminal enterprises lurking on the Internet.

“For most, the holidays represent a season of good will and giving, but for these criminals, it’s the season to lure in unsuspecting holiday shoppers,” said ICE Director John Morton. “More and more Americans are doing their holiday shopping online, and they may not realize that purchasing counterfeit goods results in American jobs lost, stolen American business profits and American consumers receiving substandard products. The ramifications can be even greater because the illicit profits made from these types of illegal ventures often fuel other kinds of organized crime.”

For many customers, shopping online provides an alternative to busy malls and crowded parking lots, but federal law enforcement officials say online purchases provide criminals with the perfect opportunity for intellectual and identity theft.
Advertisement

“The theft of intellectual property, to include the trafficking of counterfeit goods, creates significant financial losses,” said FBI Section Chief Zack Miller of the Cyber Division. “The FBI aggressively pursues intellectual property enforcement through traditional investigative methods, intelligence initiatives and coordinated efforts with private industry and domestic and foreign law enforcement partners.”

Gearing up for the busy holiday season the Department of Justice (DOJ), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the ICE-led National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center), and the FBI Washington Field Office announced “Operation in Our Sites.” The joint operation executed 150 commercial websites seizures that were engaged in the illegal sale and distribution of counterfeit goods and copyrighted products.

Federal law enforcement agents made a broad series of undercover purchases including professional sports jerseys, Hollywood DVD sets, brand name footwear, designer handbags and sunglasses, all representing a variety of trademarks.

The 150 seized domains are now in federal custody. Website visitors will now discover a seizure banner that announces the domain name has been seized by federal authorities for willful copyright infringement.

To report IP theft or to learn more about the IPR Center, visit http://www.IPRCenter.gov or http://www.justice.gov/dag/iptaskforce/.

For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/kimberly-dvorak

© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

California DOJ to gut drug, gang & organized crime task forces

The latest victim of the California budget crisis will leave Californians besieged with criminals and fewer law enforcement agents.

California’s Democrat Governor Jerry Brown approved a budget earlier this year that calls for reduced DOJ funding. The cuts leave many drug-related investigations in the lurch and force local law enforcement agencies to reorganize manpower and funds.

Senior level federal agents say overreaching budget cuts in the state’s Department of Justice (DOJ) clips 34 of the 52 successful anti-crime task forces.

The Department of Justice’s Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement and the Bureau of Investigation and Intelligence (BII) are expected to absorb the lion share of the $71 million in proposed cuts. Also, approximately 170 task-force agents will either receive pink slips or demotions.

“Unless we receive some definite answer or information prior to December 31st of this year, we’re going to have to walk out on approximately 200 people who assist law enforcement on a daily basis,” explained Larry Wallace the DOJ’s director of Law Enforcement. He also warned Californians that these cuts have the potential to increase crime throughout the state.
Advertisement

These draconian-like cuts would all but eliminate the nation’s premier marijuana task force responsible for seizing 72 percent of the nation’s pot plants. The Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP) is responsible for confiscating more than $70 billion worth of weed in the last seven years.

More political football

California is a bastion for politics, and like Washington D.C., leaders continue to play politics with the state’s future.

“Like most other recipients in the California budget in the past 20 years, DOJ has become a political football. It has become administratively top heavy with appointments to posts by Sacramento as political favors,” according to Police- A Law Enforcement magazine report. “This proposed $71 million in reductions would cut out the working staff but leave many of the political appointments in place. Depending on the political shifting winds in Sacramento, the BNE has been pulled out of its role fighting drug traffickers and organized crime to serving the ‘for show’ politically correct issues such as Department of Recycling (DOR). DOJ agents who are expert in investigating criminal gangs and organized crime have been reassigned to fight recycling fraud and environmental issues.”

This worries Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) personnel who complain they don’t have the necessary resources to combat trans-national cartel organizations.

One program responsible for curtailing cartel activities is the San Diego task force dealing with the Arellano-Felix drug and human trafficking organization. DOJ agents have already been removed from this task force; a decision will cost the DOJ millions in seized proceeds.

In the past, California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris has taken credit for Justice-led operations that targeted the Sinaloa cartel. A recent seizure netted 18.5 kilos of cocaine worth an estimated $1.85 million.

“This operation is an example of the complex and multi-jurisdictional work that Department of Justice agents do every day to keep California safe,” AG Harris said. “I commend these agents for their bravery and professional excellence.”

However, law enforcement officers contend that the proposed cuts from the DOJ task forces would dramatically reduce the multi-agency efforts required to target the transnational gangs that fuel Mexico’s war on drugs.

Officials conclude by saying, the only folks happy with the cuts are criminal gangs and cartel members.

Fast and Furious truth seeker Issa slams DOJ’s Holder competence

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.
Advertisement

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.

For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/homeland-security-in-national/

© 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

ATF Director Melson reassigned to DOJ amid “Fast & Furious” scandal

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.

Advertisement

Click here to find out more!

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

DOJ working fast and furious to cover its gun walking program

A July 4 meeting between the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) front man Kenneth Melson and Congressional investigators revealed the Department of Justice 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 in the hands of criminals.

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 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 silenced ATF leaders.

“If his account is accurate, then ATF leadership appears to have been effectively muzzled while the DOJ sent over false denials and buried its head in the sand,” Rep. Darrell Issa, (R-CA) chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, wrote in a letter Tuesday to AG Eric Holder. “That approach distorted the truth and obstructed our investigation.”

“According to Acting Director Melson, he became aware of this startling possibility only after the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and the indictments of the straw purchasers.” (Straw purchasers are criminals who buy weapons for other known criminals who cannot legally buy firearms)

The secret meeting also produced admissions that ATF “made many mistakes” with the controversial 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.

Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) who also sits on the Government Oversight Committee said this scandal has quickly lent itself to a “he said, she said” scenario.

Chaffetz also cited his concern about AG Holder’s knowledge of the reckless ATF program. “We received page after page of redacted ATF documents. And in May Holder said he only learned about the gun walking program, even though we have questionable ATF memos that date back to January of this year.”
Advertisement

Another concern with ATF’s “Fast and Furious” program is wire-tapping. “Wire tapes require senior administration approval and we still don’t know who authorized them for this program,” Chaffetz finished.

Lawmakers also learned over the holiday weekend that the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) were involved in buying guns with taxpayer money using an informant in order to target Mexican drug cartels.

The informant in question happened to be a high-ranking drug dealer the DEA used as an informant before deporting him for undisclosed reasons. His name resurfaced after the FBI reportedly hired the drug dealer as a counter-terrorism informant who claimed he could offer intelligence that al Qaeda suspects were traveling back and forth along the southern border.

Once the FBI activated the former-DEA informant a new DEA wiretap overheard a questionable conversation and alerted the ATF.

Adding insult to injury are claims from a high-ranking Los Zetas leader that the U.S. sanctioned firearm sales. The Los Zetas leader was arrested over the weekend in connection with the murder of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agent Jamie Zapata earlier this year.

Mexican federal police say, Jesus Rejon Aguiler boasted that all the weapons his cartel uses are bought in the U.S. The cartel leader even accused the American government of participating in the sale of weapons, something U.S. officials adamantly deny.

While the exact number of weapons that have walked to Mexico is not known, the disastrous result is violent cartel members are now in procession of these guns and they will turn up at crime scenes on both sides of the border for years to come.

The question Americans’ must demand from lawmakers is “why?” Why were guns allowed to be purchased by known criminals? Why was Mexico kept in the dark about the failing program? Why did DOJ allow this program flourish and carry on?

The level of incompetence surrounding this program is very telling. It appears that the U.S. government’s intelligence agencies have failed to learn the tragic 9/11 lesson; it is imperative that three-letter acronym agencies must share information.

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/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/kimberly-dvorak

© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Continue reading on Examiner.com DOJ working fast and furious to cover its gun walking program – National Homeland Security | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/homeland-security-in-national/doj-working-fast-and-furious-to-cover-its-gun-walking-program#ixzz1RSWIDFCJ

Immigrants win civil rights settlement money in Iowa

An Iowa employment agency, LF Staffing Services, settle its case with the Department of Justice (DOJ) for improperly pre-screening job applicants during the hiring process.

The complaint states that in some cases LF Staffing rejected valid work authorization documents presented by certain immigrants residing in the country.

“The department found that LF Staffing Services did not permit job applicants to begin the application process unless they were able to present documents sufficient to establish their employment eligibility and further failed to permit at least one individual who presented valid Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) to apply for employment,” a Department of Justice press release said.

Currently, immigrants with recognizable legal papers to work have rights according to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). It specifically prohibits employers from refusing valid employment documents on the basis of citizenship status or national origin.

“The INA’s anti-discrimination provision protects all authorized workers from unfair documentary requests during the Form I-9 process,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department is committed to stopping workplace discrimination against citizens and work-authorized non-citizens alike.”
Advertisement

As a result, LF Staffing Services Inc. will pay $1,100 in civil penalties as well as full back pay to any injured parties. Under the agreement LF Staffing Services will also train its human resources department regarding the employers’ nondiscrimination responsibilities in the I-9 process, and provide periodic reports to the DOJ.

The Civil Rights Division’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) protects immigrants against discrimination in hiring, firing, retaliation and recruitment or referral for a fee on the basis of citizenship status and national origin.

For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego

© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

%d bloggers like this: