Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Justice Department’s list of withheld Fast and Furious documents: 1,323 pages long

From intrepid journalist Sharyl Attkisson, the latest on the Obama administration’s operation to run guns to Mexican drug cartels in order to motivate stricter gun regulations here in the USA.

Excerpt:

For the first time, the Department of Justice has provided a detailed description of 15,662 Fast and Furious-related documents it is withholding from Congress, the public and the press under executive privilege exerted by President Obama.

The description comes in the form of a so-called Vaughn index ordered by a federal court in a lawsuit filed against the Justice Department by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch. The Justice Department waited to provide the index, due yesterday, until 8:34 p.m.

The number of withheld documents is so extensive, that the list describing them is 1,323 pages long.

[...]Among the withheld communications is a March 8, 2011 email from a Mexico-based Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) official less than one week after federal agent John Dodson blew the whistle on Fast and Furious in an interview with me for CBS News. The email is described as “discussing response to [Mexico].”

Another withheld email sent in the same time period is from then-White House official Kevin O’Reilly. Dated March 10, 2011, it was sent to more than a dozen federal officials and is described as, “discussing draft press statement.”

More withheld emails “forwarding and discussing news items” have Attorney General Holder’s name on them. One series of such exchanges is dated July 26, 2011, the same day I reported the revelation that ATF had shared information about Fast and Furious with the White House.

[...]Other withheld documents are concerning Freedom of Information (FOI) requests I made in May of 2011. It’s unclear as to why the president would exert executive privilege to keep from turning over documents discussing “which office will respond” to my FOI requests. The Justice Department never properly responded to my requests.

Please see below for more on what Fast and Furious was all about. The mid-term elections are coming up. Don’t let Democrats shake this off!

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Judge orders DOJ to release Fast and Furious documents blocked by Obama

Katie Pavlich reports on it for Townhall.com.

Excerpt:

Thanks to a Freedom of Information Act Lawsuit pursued against the Department of Justice by government watchdog Judicial Watch, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has ruled documents being withheld from Congress under President Obama’s claim of executive privilege must be turned over. Obama made the claim on the same day Attorney General Eric Holder was voted in criminal and civil contempt of Congress in June 2012.

“This order forces the Obama DOJ, for the first time, to provide a detailed listing of all documents that it has withheld from Congress and the American people for years about the deadly Fast and Furious gun running scandal,” Judicial Watch released in a statement.

The FOIA lawsuit has been ongoing for 16-months and is now proceeding after a lengthy delay. The Justice Department originally asked the court for an indefinite hold on a FOIA request from Judicial Watch, citing executive privilege and an ongoing investigation. That indefinite hold request was shot down more than a year ago.

The documentation DOJ is required to now turn over is a “Vaughn index” of “all requested Fast and Furious materials from a June 2012 Judicial Watch FOIA request.”

A Vaughn index must: (1) identify each document withheld; (2) state the statutory exemption claimed; and (3) explain how disclosure would damage the interests protected by the claimed exemption.” In ordering the DOJ to provide Judicial Watch the Vaughn index, the Court ruled, “In this circuit, when an agency is withholding documents under exemption claims, courts require that the agency provide a Vaughn index so that the FOIA requester – at a distinct informational disadvantage – may test the agency’s claims.”

“Once again, Judicial Watch has beat Congress to the punch in getting key information about another Obama scandal – this time, the Fast and Furious outrage,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “A federal court has ordered the Obama administration to produce information that could, for the first time, provide specific details who in the administration is responsible for Fast and Furious lies to Congress and the American people. This is a battle that put Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, saw Nixonian assertions of executive privilege by Barack Obama, and a hapless Congress in face of all this lawlessness. Finally, we may get some accountability for Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and the countless others murdered as a result of the insanely reckless Obama administration program.”

Unfortunately, this is coming too late for Obama’s 2012 re-election contest, and the mainstream media is unlikely to report it, just like they failed to report the IRS scandal. But if we all share this story, it will help people to realize how lawless and corrupt this administration really is. It’s gangster government, as Michele Bachmann said. The crooks are in charge.

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Democrats try to block whistleblower’s Fast and Furious expose

Fox News reports on the latest Democrat cover-up scandal. (H/T Dad)

Excerpt:

The ATF agent who blew the whistle on Operation Fast and Furious has been denied permission to write a book on the botched anti-gun trafficking sting “because it would have a negative impact on morale,” according to the very agency responsible for the scandal.

After first trying to stop the operation internally, ATF Agent John Dodson went to Congress and eventually the media following the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December 2010. Two guns found at the murder scene were sold through the ATF operation.

Dodson’s book, titled “The Unarmed Truth,” provides the first inside account of how the federal government permitted and helped sell some 2,000 guns to Mexican drug cartels, despite evidence the guns killed innocent people.

Dodson, who is working with publisher Simon & Schuster, submitted his manuscript to the department for review, per federal rules. However, it was denied.

Greg Serres, an ATF ethics official, told Dodson that any of his supervisors at any level could disapprove outside employment “for any reason.”

[...]Dodson says “The Unarmed Truth” will come out in January, with or without the ATF’s permission.

I hope this book sells a lot of copies.

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Details of another Fast and Furious massacre to be revealed by Univision

From the Daily Caller, more news about the Obama administration’s plan to facilitate the sale of assault weapons to Mexican drug cartels.

Excerpt:

Spanish-language television network Univision plans to air a television special that it said reveals more violence than previously known, as well as the stories of how many more Operation Fast and Furious victims were killed, the network announced in a Friday release.

“The consequences of the controversial ‘Fast and Furious’ undercover operation put in place by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in 2009 have been deadlier than what has been made public to date,” the network said. “The exclusive, in-depth investigation by Univision News’ award-winning Investigative Unit — Univision Investiga — has found that the guns that crossed the border as part of Operation Fast and Furious caused dozens of deaths inside Mexico.”

Among other groups of Fast and Furious victim stories Univision says it will tell in the special to air Sunday evening at 7 p.m., is one about how “16 young people attending a party in a residential area of Ciudad Juárez in January of 2010″ were gunned down with weapons the Obama administration gave to drug cartel criminals through Fast and Furious.

“Univision News’ Investigative Unit was also able to identify additional guns that escaped the control of ATF agents and were used in different types of crimes throughout Mexico,” the network added. “Furthermore, some of these guns — none of which were reported by congressional investigators — were put in the hands of drug traffickers in Honduras, Puerto Rico, and Colombia. A person familiar with the recent congressional hearings called Univision’s findings ‘the holy grail’ that Congress had been searching for.”

A video preview published on Friday shows a number of the bodies of people killed with Fast and Furious weapons, as well as victims’ family members pleading with outgoing Mexican President Felipe Calderon for justice.

Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan has now become the 131st Congressman to call for the resignation of Attorney General Eric Holder.

Excerpt:

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan agrees with presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s call for Attorney General Eric Holder to resign, or for President Barack Obama to fire him, over Operation Fast and Furious, a Ryan spokesman told The Daily Caller.

“The congressman agrees with the governor,” Ryan spokesman Brendan Buck told TheDC on Sunday, referring to Mitt Romney’s call for Holder’s resignation or termination over the gunwalking scandal last December.

“Either Mr. Holder himself should resign, or the president should ask for his resignation or remove him,” Romney said in December 2011. “It’s unacceptable for him to continue in that position now given the fact that he has misled Congress and entirely botched the investigation of the Fast and Furious program.”

Ryan’s call for Holder’s ouster over Fast and Furious comes a day after he told a sportsmen’s group that gun owners should be worried about Obama trying to infringe on their Second Amendment rights if he is re-elected. Speaking about Fast and Furious specifically, Ryan said at the Saturday event that such an operation “would never occur under a Romney-Ryan administration,” according to CBS News.

[...]Fast and Furious was a program of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, overseen by Holder’s Department of Justice. It sent thousands of weapons to Mexican drug cartels via straw purchasers — people who purchased guns in the United States with the known intention of illegally trafficking them somewhere else.

Fast and Furious guns were used to kill U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry on Dec. 14, 2010, in Peck Canyon, Ariz.

Wouldn’t it be neat if this were to come up in an election debate?

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Obama campaign contributor and gun control advocate ran Fast and Furious

From Investors Business Daily:

A campaign contributor who was an architect of the 1994 assault weapons ban was the mastermind behind the Fast and Furious operation that let guns walk into Mexico, including those that killed two U.S. agents.

Shortly after the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry on Dec. 15, 2010, Attorney General Eric Holder’s deputy chief of staff, Monty Wilkinson, received an email from U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke telling him just that:

“The guns found in the desert near the murder(ed) BP officer connect back to the investigation we were going to talk about — they were AK-47s purchased at a Phoenix gun store.”

It is an email that helps demonstrate that Holder, despite his congressional testimony — as vague, contradictory and misleading as it was — could not have been ignorant about Fast and Furious and its deadly consequences.

It also brings to light the name of Dennis Burke, a seldom-mentioned Obama campaign donor who oversaw Fast and Furious and helped convert it from a gun-interdiction to a gun-walking program.

Burke, who resigned shortly after the scandal became public, has long been a gun-ban architect for the Democratic Party.

As a lawyer for the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, he was behind the ineffectual 1994 “assault weapon” ban that sunset in 2004. Burke was also the chief of staff for Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano for a number of years before she became the secretary of homeland security.

Former Sen. Dennis DeConcini, D-Ariz., had high praise for Burke’s 1994 effort: “Dennis had all these pictures of these guns — the street sweepers and the AK-47s. And it passed by one vote. A lot of it was not my eloquence on the bill; it was stuff that Dennis had done.”

Burke also is an Obama donor, a prime consideration in the staffing of the Obama administration. Federal Election Commission records show that on Jan. 9, 2008, while working for Napolitano, Burke contributed $2,000 to Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential primary campaign. Since 1997, according to FEC records, Burke has given $16,350 to Democratic candidates.

Burke would leave that Gov. Napolitano post to join the Obama transition team. He was soon rewarded for his many contributions, monetary and otherwise, when on July 10, 2009, the president nominated him to be the U.S. attorney in Arizona. The Senate confirmed him that Sept. 15.

In July 2010, Burke told the Arizona Capitol Times there had “clearly been direction provided already by President Obama and Attorney General Holder as to what they want to be doing.”

Please see below for more Fast and Furious news.

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