Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Obama covers-up DOJ operation that allowed gun smuggling to Mexican drug cartels

First, a re-cap of the details of the Fast and Furious gun smuggling operation:

Issa argues the documents will shine light on a number of revelations about just how much knowledge Holder and the the U.S. Department of Justice as well as the Obama administration had about the Fast and Furious, including:

  • The Justice Department switching its view from denying whistleblower allegations to admitting they were true.
  • Hiding the identity of officials who led the charge to call whistleblowers liars and retaliate against them.
  • The reactions of top officials when confronted with evidence about gunwalking in Fast and Furious, including whether they were surprised or were already aware.
  • The Justice Department’s assessment of responsibility for officials who knew about reckless conduct or were negligent.
  • Whether senior officials and political appointees at fault in Operation Fast and Furious were held to the same standards as lower level career employees whom the Department has primarily blamed.

Operation Fast and Furious resulted in hundreds of weapons purchased at gun shops in Arizona ending up in Mexico, many of them at crime scenes. Initially, the department denied that gun-walking had taken place.

Relying on the tactic, federal agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives abandoned their usual practice of intercepting all weapons they believed to be illicitly purchased. Instead, the goal of gun-walking was to track such weapons to high-level arms traffickers, who had long eluded prosecution, and to dismantle their networks.

From The Hill:

A House panel voted Wednesday to place Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for his failure to comply with a subpoena, defying an assertion of executive privilege from President Obama.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, led by Republican Chairman Darrell Issa (Calif.), approved a resolution along party lines to place Holder in contempt after battling him for months over access to internal agency documents about the gun-tracking operation known as “Fast and Furious.”

The vote came after Obama escalated the conflict by sending a letter to the committee claiming executive privilege over the documents the panel had sought.

All 23 Republicans on the committee voted for the contempt resolution, while all 17 Democrats voted against it. Every member of the panel was present for the vote.

Minutes after the panel’s decision, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) announced that the full House will vote on the contempt measure next week.

“While we had hoped it would not come to this, unless the attorney general reevaluates his choice and supplies the promised documents, the House will vote to hold him in contempt next week,” the Republican leaders said in a statement. “If, however, Attorney General Holder produces these documents prior to the scheduled vote, we will give the Oversight Committee an opportunity to review in hopes of resolving this issue.”

How legitimate is it to use executive privilege to block a investigation of a gun-smuggling operation that makes Watergate look like patty-cake?

Here’s what Obama said about it – before he did it:

President Obama criticized former President George W. Bush for trying to “hide” behind executive privilege in 2007 after the Bush administration refused to turn over subpoenaed documents related to the controversial firings of nine U.S. attorneys.

In an interview on CNN’s “Larry King Live,” Obama said there’s been “a tendency on the part of this administration to try to hide behind exec privilege every time there’s something a little shaky that’s taking place.”

“I think the administration would be best served by coming clean on this,” Obama said, after Bush claimed executive privilege on the issue.

“There doesn’t seem to be any national security issues involved with the U.S. attorney question. There doesn’t seem to be any justification for not offering up some clear plausible rationale for why these U.S. attorneys were targeted when by all assessments they were doing an outstanding job. I think the American people deserve to know what was going on there,” he said.

Who knows how many people those guns have murdered? Hundreds? Thousands? Tens of thousands? You can read a statement from the family of the slain Border Patrol agent Brian Terry here. He was one of the victims of the Obama administration’s plan to allow guns to be smuggled across the border into the hands of ultra-violent Mexican drug cartels.

In a way, none of this surprises me – we knew that Obama was heavily involved in illegal drug use during his high school years, as he admits in his own books.

Did Barack Obama order the sale of American firearms to Mexican drug cartels in order to justify stricter gun control measures? Was this gun smuggling plan done in collusion with the Mexican drug cartels who benefited from it? What did Obama know, and when did he know it? Now that Obama has blocked the release of Fas and Furious documents, will we ever get the truth about who ordered Fast and Furious?

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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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Al Qaeda defense attorney promoted to No. 3 at Department of Justice

From Judicial Watch. (H/T Creeping Sharia)

Excerpt: (links removed)

In a scary development, a major Obama fundraiser who defended a convicted al Qaeda terrorist will become the third highest ranking official at the Department of Justice (DOJ), which, ironically, is charged with defending the interests of the United States.

Northern California lawyer Tony West has been named Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division, making him the No. 3 guy at the agency. In 2009 West, who helped Obama raise tens of millions of dollars as finance co-chairman of his first presidential campaign, was appointed to help run the DOJ’s civil division which represents the government, Congress and presidential cabinet officers and handles cases dealing with significant policy issues.

In a statement announcing the promotion this week, Attorney General Eric Holder says West has served the department with “professionalism, integrity and dedication.” Holder also mentions West’s work before coming to the DOJ a few years ago, including a stint as a Special Assistant Attorney General in California and a lengthier career at a large San Francisco law firm.

Conveniently omitted in the press release is that West represented convicted al Qaeda terrorist John Walker Lindh, who is serving a 20-year prison sentence. Lindh was captured in Afghanistan in 2001 while fighting against the U.S.-backed Northern Alliance as a member of the Taliban army. He actually pleaded guilty to aiding the Taliban and carrying explosives while fighting U.S. troops in the region.

Holder also knows a thing or two about defending terrorists. After all, he was a senior partner in a prestigious Washington D.C. law firm (Covington & Burling) that represented more than a dozen Yemeni terrorists held at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay Cuba. While Holder was a senior partner the firm employed a number of radical attorneys to provide the Islamic extremists with thousands of hours of free legal representation, according to a news report.

Another highlight in Holder’s resume is that he orchestrated Bill Clinton’s shameful last-minute pardons, including that of a fugitive financier and a pair of jailed domestic terrorists. In fact, shortly after the pardon scandal, Holder predicted that his public career was over. Under his leadership the DOJ has been embroiled in a number of high-profile scandals, including a gun-running operation (Fast and Furious) in which weapons were sold to Mexican drug cartels. One was later used to murder a federal agent. Judicial Watch has sued the DOJ to obtain records involving the operation.

I feel compelled to contrast that story with this one from Fox News (April 2009).

Excerpt:

The government considers you a terrorist threat if you oppose abortion, own a gun or are a returning war veteran.

That’s what House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said Wednesday in response to a Department of Homeland Security report warning of the rise of right-wing extremist groups.

Smith, who said the report on “right-wing extremism” amounts to “political profiling,” said that DHS is “using people’s political views to assess an individual’s susceptibility to terror recruitment.” He joins a growing chorus of protest from irate conservative groups that are protesting the report’s findings.

The report, titled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment,” released last week by DHS’ Office of Intelligence and Analysis, said while there is no specific information that domestic right-wing terrorists are planning acts of violence, it suggests acts of violence could come from unnamed “rightwing extremists” concerned about illegal immigration, abortion, increasing federal power and restrictions on firearms — and it singles out returning war veterans as susceptible to recruitment.

[...]DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano defended the report Wednesday, saying it is part of an ongoing series of assessments to provide information to state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies on “violent radicalization” in the United States.

This story goes to show you steeped in moral relativism the Obama administration is – the good people are evil, the evil people are good.

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Haitian man who could not be deported kills three people in Florida

From the Miami Herald.

Excerpt:

When burglar Kesler Dufrene became a twice-convicted felon in 2006, a Bradenton judge shipped him to prison for five years. And because of his convictions, an immigration judge ordered Dufrene deported to his native Haiti.

That never happened.

Instead, when Dufrene’s state prison term was up, Miami immigration authorities in October 2010 released him from custody. Two months later, North Miami police say, he slaughtered three people, including a 15-year-old girl in a murder case that remains as baffling today as it did the afternoon the bodies were discovered.

DNA on a rifle found inside the house and cellphone tracking technology later linked Dufrene to the Jan. 2, 2011, slayings.

But North Miami detectives never got to interrogate him. Just 18 days after the murders, Dufrene shot and killed himself when he was cornered by Manatee County sheriff’s deputies in Bradenton after an unrelated break-in and shooting there.

The episode is a black eye for U.S. authorities, who by law could not detain Dufrene indefinitely after the Obama administration ordered a temporary halt of deportations to the island nation. 

[...]The failure to deport Dufrene infuriates the victims’ family members. “This guy shouldn’t have been in America,” said Audrey Hansack, 37, who moved back to her native Nicaragua after the murder of her daughter Ashley Chow. “I’m so upset with the whole situation. Because of immigration, my daughter is not alive.”

Just to be clear, the policy of the Obama administration is a backdoor amnesty.

Excerpt:

The Obama administration is taking steps to grant what amounts to amnesty to as many as 300,000 illegal aliens.

In a recent announcement on a sleepy August Friday in Washington, D.C., the Department of Homeland Security directed immigration enforcement officials to start dropping cases against as many deportable alien lawbreakers as possible.

The administration is clearing out removal cases wholesale.  Despite insisting that it will give them case-by-case treatment, an interagency committee is charged with finding all the cases it can to grant relief.

This backdoor amnesty broadens and encourages use of “prosecutorial discretion” on behalf of foreigners who face removal orders.  Not only will potentially thousands of illegals be allowed to remain in the United States, but the administration has also confirmed that those aliens can obtain work permits.

Democrats are soft on crime, and they favor amnesty for illegal immigrants. And this is the result of their views. Three dead people in Florida.

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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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