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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