Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Republicans prepare contempt citation for AG Eric Holder over Fast and Furious

From CBS News.

Excerpt:

House Republicans investigating the Fast and Furious scandal plan to pursue a contempt citation against Attorney General Eric Holder, senior congressional aides told CBS News.

The resolution will accuse Holder and his Justice Department of obstructing the congressional probe into the allegations that the government let thousands of weapons fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels.

The citation would attempt to force Holder to turn over tens of thousands of pages of documents related to the probe, which has entered its second year.

For months, congressional Republicans probing ATF’s Fast and Furious “Gunwalker” scandal – led by California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, have been investigating a contempt citation. They’ve worked quietly behind the scenes to build support among fellow Republicans, since it could ultimately face a full House vote.

CBS News has confirmed that House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, was provided a 48-page long draft by Issa, who heads the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

“While there are very legitimate arguments to be made in favor of such an action, no decision has been made to move forward with one by the Speaker or by House Republican leaders,” a Republican leadership aide told CBS News.

[...]In the case of Holder and Fast and Furious, the Oversight Committee’s contempt resolution could eventually have a full House vote and, if passed, Congress could seek enforcement through federal courts. Passage of the resolution itself could, however, encourage the Justice Department to comply even without a court order.

[...]A contempt citing by Congress against the executive branch, a strong sanction, is considered by some to be politically risky; especially if it doesn’t succeed. Sources say that’s why Republican staffers have taken a great deal of time trying to build support among colleagues in advance of the citation’s formal release, which could come in the next few weeks if not sooner.

If you are not familiar with the Obama administration’s plan to facilitate the sale of firearms to Mexican drug cartels, in order to provide justification for stiffer gun control laws, then please check out the links below.

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Eric Holder wants to brainwash people against legal gun ownership

Story here from the Daily Caller.

Excerpt:

Attorney General Eric Holder supported using Hollywood, the media and government officials in order to “really brainwash people” into opposing firearm ownership, according to a 1995 C-SPAN video that emerged Sunday online.

Holder, who was then the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, was addressing the Women’s National Democratic Club on Jan. 30, 1995. In his speech, he held up anti-smoking campaigns as a model for an anti-gun campaign.

“What we need to do is change the way in which people think about guns, especially young people, and make it something that’s not cool, that it’s not acceptable, it’s not hip to carry a gun anymore, in the way in which we’ve changed our attitudes about cigarettes,” Holder said.

[...]Holder explained that he wanted to use influential figures like then-Washington, D.C. Marion Barry and the Rev. Jesse Jackson, as well as widely watched TV shows like “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” and “Martin,” to forward his anti-gun campaign. He sought to push that same agenda through public schools as well, “every day, every school, at every level.”

Holder said these resources would be the driving force behind a campaign to “really brainwash people into thinking about guns in a vastly different way.”

Consider that the Obama administration has been implicated in a plan to smuggle assault weapons to Mexican drug cartels, so that they could then turn around and push for more controls against law-abiding gun owners who want to defend themselves from criminals.

The revelation that Holder wanted to “brainwash” people into being “anti-gun” appears to be supported by what Congress and the American people have learned about Operation Fast and Furious.

In Fast and Furious, the Obama administration’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – in a program overseen by Holder’s Department of Justice – sent about 2,000 guns south to Mexican drug cartels. The Obama administration did this via “straw purchasers” who bought guns in the United States with the intention of illegally trafficking them somewhere else.

[...]In a July 2010 email that surfaced in a congressional investigation, ATF Assistant Director Mark Chait asked Bill Newell, his agency’s lead agent in Phoenix to “see if these guns were all purchased from the same [dealer] and at one time.  We are looking at anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long gun multiple sales.”

Statistics collected from the program eventually formed the backbone of that new long-gun reporting rule, which the administration implemented after Fast and Furious became a national scandal.

Got that? The Obama administration smuggled guns to Mexican drug cartels, and then turned around and used the gun smuggling they oversaw as an excuse to impose restrictions on legal gun owners who want to protect themselves from criminals – like the drug cartetls.

Also supporting allegations that Fast and Furious was a gun-control stalking horse are comments made by California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein during a November 2011 hearing.

“My concern, Mr. Chairman, is there’s been a lot said about Fast and Furious, and perhaps mistakes were made, but I think this hunt for blame doesn’t really speak about the problem,” Feinstein said.

“And the problem is, anybody can walk in and buy anything, .50-caliber weapons, sniper weapons, buy them in large amounts, and send them down to Mexico. So, the question really becomes, what do we do about this?”

In his own written testimony in November, Holder complained that Congress “voted to keep law enforcement in the dark when individuals purchase multiple semi-automatic rifles and shotguns in Southwest border gun shops.”

And on Sunday another sign of Holder’s anti-gun advocacy surfaced when the blog The Right Scoop published excerpts from a Washington Post op-ed Holder wrote shortly after 9/11, in which he used the terrorist attacks as a rationale to push for more gun control laws.

Note that the Obama administration’s gun smuggling to Mexican drug cartels got two American law enforcement personnel killed and at least 300 Mexican civilians.

Excerpt:

During Fast and Furious, which was organized by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and overseen by the Department of Justice, the Obama administration sent thousands of weapons to Mexican drug cartels via “straw purchasers” who bought guns in the United States with the intention of illegally trafficking them somewhere else. This tactic is known as “gunwalking.”

Fast and Furious weapons were used to kill Border Patrol agent Brian Terry and at least 300 Mexican civilians.

[Jaime] Zapata was killed with guns that were purchased in Texas by two different traffickers. According to CBS News reports, both of those traffickers were under ATF surveillance without being arrested for a period of time while they were trafficking guns. Both were arrested at a later date.

The only question about this story is how high does it go up? Did Eric Holder order Operation Fast and Furious? Or did it come straight from Barack Obama? How far would Democrats go to make crime safe for criminals by enacting restrictions on legal gun ownership by law-abiding Americans?

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Fast and Furious’ goal was to undermine legal firearm ownership

From Investors Business Daily.

Excerpt:

Newly obtained documents show that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives discussed using its covert operation Fast and Furious to argue for new rules about gun sales. We told you so.

[...]As CBS’ Sharyl Attkisson reports, emails show ATF officials discussed using the deliberate transfer of weapons to Mexican drug cartels to justify a new gun regulation known as “Demand Letter 3.”

We say deliberate because congressional testimony by ATF agents demonstrates how the tracking of Fast and Furious weapons stopped at the border and that requests to interdict the weapons transfers and arrest the gun traffickers were denied by higher-ups.

Demand Letter 3 was so named because it was the third ATF attempt to have Southwest gun shops report all long-gun (rifle or shotgun) sales to the ATF — even those to law-abiding American citizens with all the proper registration and other forms.

On July 14, 2010, five months before Terry’s murder, ATF Field Ops Assistant Director Mark Chait emailed Bill Newell, the ATF’s Phoenix special agent in charge of Fast and Furious: “Bill, can you see if these guns were all purchased from the same (licensed gun dealer) and at one time? We are looking at anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long-gun sales. Thanks.”

On Jan. 24, as the ATF was preparing to announce arrests in Fast and Furious, another email showed Newell saw it as an opportunity “to address multiple sales on long guns issue.”

After the press conference, Chait emailed Newell that in “light of our request for Demand Letter 3, this case could be a strong supporting factor if we can determine how many multiple sales of long guns occurred during the course of the case.”

You can read the news article from CBS News right here. The headline is “Documents: ATF used “Fast and Furious” to make the case for gun regulations”.

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Obama administration tries to cover up Border Patrol agent’s murder

From Judicial Watch.

Excerpt:

The Obama Administration has abruptly sealed court records containing alarming details of how Mexican drug smugglers murdered a U.S. Border patrol agent with a gun connected to a failed federal experiment that allowed firearms to be smuggled into Mexico.

This means information will now be kept from the public as well as the media. Could this be a cover-up on the part of the “most transparent” administration in history? After all, the rifle used to kill the federal agent (Brian Terry) last December in Arizona’s Peck Canyon was part of the now infamous Operation Fast and Furious. Conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the disastrous scheme allowed guns to be smuggled into Mexico so they could eventually be traced to drug cartels.

Instead, federal law enforcement officers lost track of more than 1,000 guns which have been used in numerous crimes. In Terry’s case, five illegal immigrants armed with at least two semi-automatic assault rifles were hunting for U.S. Border Patrol agents near a desert watering hole just north of the Arizona-Mexico border when a firefight erupted and Terry got hit.

We know this only because Washington D.C.’s conservative newspaper , the Washington Times, got ahold of the court documents before the government suddenly made them off limits. The now-sealed federal grand jury indictment tells the frightening story of how Terry was gunned down by Mexican drug smugglers patrolling the rugged desert with the intent to “intentionally and forcibly assault” Border Patrol agents.

You can see why the administration wants to keep this information from the public and the media, considering the smugglers were essentially armed by the U.S. government. Truth is, no one will know the reason for the confiscation of public court records in this case because the judge’s decision to seal it was also sealed, according to the news story. That means the public or media won’t have access to any new or old evidence, filings, rulings or arguments.

My Dad sent me this article about how the people responsible for the Fast and Furious gun smuggling to Mexican drug cartels are being promoted – while the whistleblowers are being punished.

Excerpt:

Here’s what has happened to the managers of the [gun smuggling] operation:

– Acting ATF Chief Ken Melson, who oversaw the operation, is now an adviser in the Office of Legal Affairs. He remains in ATF’s Washington, D.C., headquarters.

– Acting Deputy Director Billy Hoover, who knew his agency was walking guns and demanded an “exit strategy” just five months into the program, is now the special agent in charge of the D.C. office. He, too, did not have to relocate.

– Deputy Director for Field Operations William McMahon received detailed briefings about the illegal operation and later admitted he shares “responsibility for mistakes that were made.” Yet, he also stays in D.C., ironically as the No. 2 man at the ATF’s Office of Internal Affairs.

– Special Agent in Charge of Phoenix Bill Newell, the man most responsible for directly overseeing Fast and Furious, was promoted to the Office of Management in Washington.

– Phoenix Deputy Chief George Gillette was also promoted to Washington as ATF’s liaison to the U.S. Marshal’s Service.

– Group Supervisor David Voth managed Fast and Furious on a day-to-day basis and repeatedly stopped field agents from interdicting weapons headed to the border, according to congressional testimony. ATF boosted Voth to chief of the ATF Tobacco Division, where he now supervises more employees in Washington than he ever did in Phoenix.

But what about the whistleblowers?

Case in point, he said, is field agent John Dodson. Dodson uprooted his family from Virginia in 2010 to join a new elite anti-gun trafficking group in Phoenix, known as Group 7. Dodson quickly witnessed what was wrong and loudly voiced his objections to Voth and Newell.

Management reassigned Dodson to weekend duty and the wire room, a relatively boring job monitoring telephone traffic and subordinate to junior agents. Soon thereafter, Dodson was temporarily assigned to another group for an additional menial assignment, until ultimately sent to an FBI Task Force, completely away from the ATF, even turning off his ATF building access pass.

Dodson continued to challenge Voth, saying the operation was killing people in Mexico and suggested it was only a matter of time before a “border agent or sheriff’s deputy” would be killed by one of the guns they let go.

“If you’re going to make an omelet, you’ve got to scramble some eggs,” Voth replied, according to a congressional report.

Voth moved Dodson out of Group 7 shortly before Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was shot by weapons traced to Fast and Furious. Newell, Gillette and Voth began to cover up their tracks. According to an e-mail 24 hours after Terry was shot, Voth wrote:

“We are charging Avila (Jaime Avila bought the alleged murder weapons) with a stand-alone June 2010 firearms purchase. This way we do not divulge our current case (Fast and Furious) or the Border Patrol shooting case.”

“Great job,” Newell replied.

Dodson first complained internally to the ATF Office of Chief Counsel and Ethics Section, OIG, Office of Special Counsel, and Office of Professional Responsibility. They were unresponsive. Dodson was then contacted by congressional investigators, who began their own investigation.

Because of Dodson, the Terry family hopes to hear the truth about what happened to their son and the American public learned that senior Obama administration officials did nothing to stop guns from reaching an insurgency south of the border.

And what did Dodson get for telling the truth? In Phoenix he was isolated, marginalized and referred to as a “nut job,” “wing-nut” and “disgruntled,” according to sources.

In Washington, ATF command ordered that “Contact with Dodson was detrimental to any ATF career.”

Could this be the issue that sinks Obama in the 2012 election? Or will it be his subsidies for alternative energy companies connected to his Democrat fundraisers? Or will it be his job-destroying stimulus and regulation bills?

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Eric Holder testifies on Fast and Furious gun smuggling to Mexican drug cartels

From Human Events.

Excerpt:

In a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Republicans questioned Attorney General Eric Holder about the smuggling of weapons to Mexican gun cartels through Operation Fast and Furious, when he knew about its existence and what he did about it when he learned of it.

Republicans pushed Holder on why it took him nine months to respond to memos sent to the Department of Justice.

“I am eager to hear whether the Attorney General thinks that is acceptable and what he intends to do about it,” said Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R.-Iowa).

While the Fast and Furious gun smuggling scandal was at the top of everyone’s mind, and what conservatives specifically wanted to hear about, only a few Republican senators grilled him on it. Democrats on the committee tried to talk about nearly everything else, including treatment of Muslims by the Department of Justice, bath salt regulations, and anti-bullying measures.

The Republicans that did come out swinging on Fast and Furious got Holder to give stammering and often inconsistent testimony.

[...]Cornyn also had the most intense exchanges with Holder during the entire hearing, asking about the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and whether or not Holder would like to apologize to the family.

“It pains me whenever there is the death of a law enforcement official, especially under the circumstances. It is not fair, however, to assume that the mistakes that happened in Fast and Furious directly led to the death of Agent Terry,” Holder said.

Cornyn also asked whether or not anyone in the Department of Justice has been made accountable for the errors that have been made.

“Can you name me one person who’s been held accountable for this Fast and Furious Operation? Just one in the Department of Justice?” Cornyn said.

Holder responded: “Well we have made a number of changes with regard to personnel both in the Phoenix U.S. Attorney’s Office, also at the ATF Headquarters here. I will certainly await the report that comes out of the Inspector General. And I will assure you and the American people that people will be held accountable for any mistakes that were made in connection with Fast and Furious.”

Wow… I think the Republicans might be a bit angry about how that Border Patrol agent got murdered because of this gun-smuggling operation, which was administered by the Department of Justice. I think Eric Holder knows more than he is admitting to, based on his evasive, politicized answers.

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