Thursday, July 7, 2011

Holder To Cartels: "Kill Faster"

Pictured, left to right, are the father, son and holy ghost of the unholy trinity of the Obama administration. The father (Obama) sees no reason to defend our borders by adding sufficient manpower to cover them, and the holy ghost (Clinton) ignores gross negligence and criminality south of the border while undermining legitimate constitutional governments in the same arena.

The son (Attorney General Eric Holder) is in charge of blocking any negative information about the trinity by any means necessary. Currently, the trio are facing serious charges and angry questions about Operation Fast and Furious. The operation was intended to be an ATF "sting" that facilitated the purchase of 2,000 high-powered semi-automatic weapons in the United States and allowed them to flow freely to criminal cartels in Mexico. The Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Bureau, ATF[E?] for short, appear to have been actively involved in the transactions, usually through surrogates or in such a way as to make it easier for an unfriendly to get the weapons, transport them across the border, and get them into the hands of the vicious gangs.

The operation was so amateurish, and yet so deadly, that the ATF Director was "allowed" to resign. And now it also appears that the FBI and DEA also knew about the operation from the beginning. Among the charges are that some or all of those agencies were working directly with the purchasers/smugglers and were fully aware that the weapons would end up in the hands of the Mexican drug cartels.

Most of the new information comes directly from the mouth of the Acting Director of ATF, Kenneth Melson. This week, Melson voluntarily produced the information to Congressional investigators, wisely taking his own personal attorney with him rather than rely on Justice Department lawyers to protect him. For an in-depth discussion of the operation as it existed just prior to Melson's promotion and revelations, Andrew did a thorough report in June: The Next Obama Scandal. As Andrew speculated, the DOJ may very well try to make Melson the goat in this mess, but I don't think that even the slippery and devious Eric Holder can spin this one to his advantage.

Melson also told the investigators that he would have provided this information much earlier and much more fully had not the Justice Department limited and interfered with earlier requests to him from Congressional watchdogs. If true, and there is little reason to disbelieve him, then the Holder Justice Department is even more lawless than we suspected after the dismissal of the Black Panther voter intimidation cases. On July 5, based directly on Melson's provided information so far, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-California) and Senate Judiciary Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sent a letter to Holder informing him that they now consider Melson to be a key witness in the upcoming formal investigations and hearings.

Melson told the investigators that prior to his temporary appointment as Director, each response given by him, his counterparts, and his subordinates to Congressional inquiries first had to be submitted to the Justice Department lawyers for "editing." He made it clear that the DOJ would then submit the answers which bore little or no resemblance to the information originally provided by the agents. He described the DOJ's answers as "false denials of fact" and added that the DOJ "buried its head in the sand" over questions about how the operation went so terribly wrong.

The idea behind the operation looks good on its face. Allow and/or facilitate dangerous weapons sales so that the weapons could be traced across the border into Mexico and help identify the names and determine the locations of cartel bigwigs destined to receive the final delivery of those weapons. But it looks a lot better on paper than in reality and it sounds better in theory than it turned out in practice. It grossly overestimated the ability of the ATF to continue tracking the weapons after leaving the hands of the American sellers. It existed in a fantasy world of honest Mexican cooperation after the weapons crossed the border. It assumed that the buyers were simply low-level smugglers without considering that they might also be "players" in the cartels' murderous games.

In some cases, the smugglers were also questionable informants for various agencies, frequently funded in their purchases by taxpayer money diverted from other agencies. Many deaths and many hundreds of "missing" weapons have resulted from the ATF's overconfidence. However, with DOJ's active assistance, the previous Director had hidden most of this information from his subordinates, including Melson. If he is to be believed, Melson knew very, very little about any of these activities until one of those weapons made its way back across the border into Arizona, where Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was cut down with it. Indictments of those involved in the Terry murder and those involved in the "loss" of the weapons have been delayed by the United States Attorney's Office and political attorneys in the Justice Department.

If the operation was in fact an ill-conceived and poorly-implemented "sting" that resulted in lost weapons, armed cartel members, and deaths on both sides of the border, that is bad enough and heads should roll. But when those deaths go unanswered legally, and when cartel members are now better-armed than ever, it would be a disgrace of immense proportions if the Congressional investigation proves that Holder and his department interfered in the investigation to avoid political embarrassment. Equally repulsive would be the idea that the Obama administration might try to turn the whole murderous mess into an argument for draconian regulations on gun sales.

Still, Melson's deep suspicions and logical assumptions prior to his ascension to the role of Director are not new and are well-documented. Issa and Grassley stated in the letter to Holder that "Melson provided documents months ago (most recently in April) supporting his concerns." Melson also claimed that he sent both the documents and the accompanying inquiries from Congress to the Office of then-Deputy Attorney General, James Cole. Issa and Grassley stated that the answers to their inquiries have not to this date been provided to them by anyone in the Justice Department.

The Congressional hearings are scheduled for July 13, and attorneys from both the DOJ and ATF have been invited to attend. So far, that invitation has not been accepted. But in the interim, DOJ officials have continued to attempt to limit or edit Melson's ongoing communications with Congress. The operation was a miserable failure, but the coverup is equally bad. There has been a hint from some ATF agents and Issa and Grassley that if the DOJ had provided the information requested, when requested, fully and honestly, much of the mayhem might have been avoided. That can't be proven at this point, but it's a logical assumption. The information obtained so far seems to indicate that the "higher-ups" that the sting was supposed to flush out were already known to both the ATF and the FBI.

Given an opportunity to respond to ongoing requests from Congress for a public statement, Holder continues to remain silent. But there's always the mouthpiece's mouthpiece, Press Secretary Jay Carney. When asked about the operation, Holder's silence, and Congress's questions, Carney went off on the usual DOJ-approved tangent: "Well, I think there's an investigation going on precisely to get to the bottom of this. And I can't comment further on it, because there is an investigation going on." How facile, and how convenient.

Pressed further by ABC's Jake Tapper about whether "you guys are worried about and incensed about the details which have been revealed so far," Carney interrupted to say: "Well, Jake, I think it's being investigated for a reason. And obviously it's a matter of concern and that's why there's an investigation. But it would be a mistake for me to comment further on, or to characterize further what happened or how to rate our unhappiness about it from here. So I think that I have to refer you the the Justice Department for that [emphasis added]." Good luck with that. Congress already tried, and ran into a stone wall.

30 comments:

Tennessee Jed said...

A fine article. That Holder needs to go is obvious. It will not be easy because the good folks of the extended journolist family will circle the wagons as much as possible. It would be great if Obama, like Nixon, stood in there and openly backed and protected him right up until he is forced to resign in disgrace. Who know, maybe the stink could reverse flow to the "great man" himself. Think about it: "I am not a crook" speeches preceding the big wave and resignation flight back to Chicago just in time to witness the victory speech of President Rubio over last minute stand-in Joe Bite Me. All right, all right, time to wake up, Jed, but it was a nice dream.

T-Rav said...

LawHawk, excellent article. I hear Melson may also have implicated officials in the DEA, which wouldn't surprise me at all. And I had to laugh yesterday: Obama had some stupid Twitter town hall event, where he answered questions submitted to his personal feed or whatever it is. And the blogger Iowahawk was tweaking him with a bunch of questions (needless to say, all were left unanswered). Among them was this gem: "I let my Mexican drug lord license expire. Am I still eligible for the free machine gun program?"

patti said...

wait. is there an investigation?!

idiots.

listen law, your articles are so well done, so informative, that i feel like i'm getting an education when i read them. it's one of the main reasons i hang out with you guys. well, that and you laugh at my sophomoric humor.

well done, brother.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tennessee: Gee, you've just proven that there is such a thing as "group dreams." LOL

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: It does sound like about half the federal alphabet agencies are up to their necks in this mess.

The Twit will tweet on twitter. Has a certain ring to it, doesn't it?

Iowahawk has one of the cleverest minds in the blogosphere. His stuff ranges from funny to roll on the floor hilarious. If Obama wants to use the twit's communication tool, Iowahawk is just the one to barrage him with terse messages.

LawHawkRFD said...

Patti: Thanks. I do think there are going to be a whole lot of investigations before this administration is banished to the hinterlands. We've talked before about not wanting to re-take the government then start having show trials like a banana republic. But consider Scooter Libby being put on trial then going to prison for making a mistake in testimony about something that wasn't even a crime in the first place.

Then compare it to arming drug cartels, then covering it up and lying about it. That's not a political show trial, that's justice.

Even Watergate was, in the final analysis, just a botched burglary followed by a coverup. Nobody was killed. Criminal gangs weren't armed by the government. National security wasn't threatened. And nobody actually liked Nixon anyway. One political dirty trick and some big lies, and down came an administration. So where are the Woodwards and Bernsteins who will bring down this administration? No need to answer that, I already know.

T-Rav said...

LawHawk, isn't that the truth. Here are some of the funniest ones he came up with to #AskObama:

An $8 billion high speed train leaves Chicago for Iowa City at 8:15am at 40mph. Why?

Subtract Malia's age from the number of states. Multiply the result by the number of jobs saved or created.

Is this question racist?

Why do you need permission to be clear, and not need permission to bomb Libya?

Let's say instead of winning the future, we end up in a tie. Do we then go to sudden death overtime?

How much CO2 is created by a burning straw man?

How much do I owe you for all the material?

Awesome.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: One of the funniest things he ever did was his "Ballad of the Asshat," about Englishmen and other liberals, done in Chaucerian English. If I can find it, I'll link you to it.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: I found it, and it's actually The Tale of the Asse-Hatte.

T-Rav said...

LawHawk, that deserves an LOL. And much closer to reality than the esteemed Archbishop of Canterbury would ever care to admit.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: It all reminds me of a real London Times headline from the 50s. Elizabeth II had just made her first appointment of a new Archbishop of Canterbury. The headline: "Queen appoints Christian to head Church of England." With all due respect to my Anglican friends, that was probably the last time. LOL

AndrewPrice said...

As I said before, there is no way this scandal doesn't blow up on the White House. Hillary had to be involved because State had to clear what little they did clear with Mexico. Holder had to be involved because there's no way the AFT did this on their own without DOJ approval. And what Hillary and Holder do, Obama knows. I think it's only a matter of time before e-mails start appearing.

StanH said...

As we all know the MSM will circle the wagons around The Boy King. Issa will have to be tenacious, and loud to get past Barry’s keepers in the press. In my opinion this is one of many scandals that in retrospect will make the Barry administration the most unethical in our history.

Iowahawk is a badass with the written word.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: Are you suggesting that the Obamist teflon-coating may be showing signs of wear? LOL

LawHawkRFD said...

Stan: I suspect that the administration will shuck and jive long enough to push this issue into the general election cycle. That is not to their advantage. A Republican candidate willing to go on the attack would use this against them early and often during the campaign.

Like Andrew, I can't see how this can possibly kept entirely under wraps, no matter how much MSM assistance may be rendered to Obama, Holder and Clinton.

T-Rav said...

LawHawk, not if this keeps up, it won't stay under wraps. According to freerepublic.com, a routine traffic stop of 4 illegal aliens in Phoenix the other day turned up several guns whose serial numbers could be traced back to the ATF's "Fast and Furious" operation. And when I say "several," I mean FORTY-THREE.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: I missed that juicy tidbit of news. Still, why does it not surprise me? One might be a stupid mistake. Two or three might be a bad plan gone worse. Forth-three is criminal negligence.

rlaWTX said...

I think you picked the wrong Trinity - I think you meant the Three Stooges...

LawHawkRFD said...

rlaWTX: Or maybe the three liddo fiddies in the iddy biddy poo-- poop, poop, diddam, daddam, waddam, choo! And no cracks, either. That song was even before my time, but my mom would sing it to me just to irritate me. LOL

BTW: In your opinion, which one is Moe?

Koshcat said...

Thanks so much Lawhawk. As typical with these, it is the coverup that could bring a bunch of people down. Yes, the original idea was well thought out and planned, but if it was done with the intent of doing something good, most people would forgive it. Watch how fast Obama starts throwing people under the bus. Any bets on how long it will take before any questions regarding this to Obama or Holder are called racist?

Koshcat said...

Typo alert!!

The orginal plan was NOT well thought out or planned.

LawHawkRFD said...

Koshcat: And we all know the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Given the craziness, haphazard planning, and lack of thought given to the potential loss of human life, I find it ever harder to find good intentions behind anything this administration does. But even if there were some in this case, where's the good intention in the coverup?

John Kennedy faced the American people and admitted he had made a terrible decision about the Bay of Pigs, took full responsibility for it, and learned from it. That spirit of honesty and contrition is entirely missing from today's Democratic administration. I seriously think they just don't care, as long as they get re-elected. They're too busy counting illegal immigrant votes to bother counting dead Americans (and innocent Mexican victims, for that matter).

LawHawkRFD said...

Koshcat: If I had a dime for every typo I've made on this site, I'd be able to make up for the losses that Obama's Keynesian economics have cost my 401K's. LOL

LawHawkRFD said...

Koshcat: I should probably add that the shoulders and medians of the highways are about to be littered with the bodies of Obama officials being tossed out the windows of the Socialist Express Bus. Let's hope Holder is numero uno. And who's driving that bus, anyway?

Writer X said...

I wonder when the MSM will start portraying Melson as some kind of unhinged psycho with an axe to grind. Or perhaps that's already started?

LawHawkRFD said...

WriterX: It's already starting. The AAG's letter (above) to Issa and Grassley is already hinting at the concept that Melson is lying and aggrandizing himself at the expense of an efficient ATF, DEA and FBI, while harming the sterling reputation of the super-duper, squeaky-clean Holder DOJ. It won't be long before we start hearing liberals and pop psychologists declaring Melson to be a man with narcissistic personality disorder and paranoid delusions. Melson is VERY dangerous for them, so rather than answer the charges, they must destroy him publicly and completely. Frankly, I don't think they can pull it off.

T-Rav said...

So...apparently this mess was funded by the Obama stimulus bill. Not really surprising on the surface, but in fact, "Project Gunrunner" was identified by name in the bill (page 16 if you have a PDF copy of the bill), which directed that it would get $10 million out of a larger $40 million law enforcement fund. This just gets better and better.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: Reminds me of the old song by the group War called "Why Can't We Be Friends?" Line: "I'd kinda like to be the President, so I can can show you how your money's spent." Of course this President won't tell us, he probably doesn't even know how much money is being spent, and when caught up in a mess like this, he just has his people lie.

A mere $10 million? Chump change in the war on America.

rlaWTX said...

Law,
I think they are all Curly.
Or maybe Harpo Marx.

LawHawkRFD said...

rlaWTX: I know they're all churlish. I like your suggestion of them all being Harpo Marx, except that unlike Harpo, these three can't keep their mouths shut for two minutes. I can remember all five of the performing Marx Brothers (Gummo was with the vaudeville act, but never appeared in the movies), but I can never remember all eight of the "Three" Stooges.

Post a Comment