Editor's Note: The Government's gun-tracking operation, now known as "Fast and Furious," is allegedly a ruse to put weapons in the hands of criminals in Mexico, have them commit crimes, apparently including the slaughter of hundreds of people at the hands of those cirminals, in order to justify passing anti-gun legislation in the U.S. This effort resulted in the death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent, and possibly one other, along with hundreds of Mexican citizens killed by drug cartel operatives with weapons provided by the U.S. Justice Department operation. Whistle blowers, along with bloggers, members of the media and Conservative and concerned citizens have demanded action by the Justice Department, culminating in an investigation by the House Oversight Committee. Since the discovery of this operation Justice Department officials have stonewalled Congress refusing to cooperate with congressional requests for information...
Today, in an Oversight Committee statement, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, who has confronted Attorney General Eric Holder with new documents showing that senior Justice Department Officials in Washington were given specific information about reckless tactics in Operation Fast and Furious, said the revelations are "shocking." In a letter to the Attorney General, Issa said:
"...The wiretap applications show that immense detail about questionable investigative tactics was available to the senior officials who reviewed and authorized them. The close involvement of these officials – much greater than previously known – is shocking...Throughout the course of the congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious, the [Justice] Department has consistently denied that any senior officials were provided information about the tactics used in Operation Fast and Furious. The wiretap applications obtained by the Committee show such statements made by senior Department officials regarding the wiretaps to be false and misleading. You have repeatedly either denied involvement by senior officials in Fast and Furious, or asserted that the wiretap applications do not contain rich detail about irresponsible investigative tactics.”The Oversight committee's office statement reveals that:
"...Wiretaps utilized in Operation Fast and Furious were intended to allow investigators in Arizona to listen to the phone calls of suspects as part of a strategy to reveal evidence of involvement by high level Mexican cartel associates. The six applications for wiretaps, which have been sealed by a federal judge, detail specific actions taken by agents in Operation Fast and Furious. This includes conscious decisions not to interdict weapons that agents knew were illegally purchased by smugglers taking weapons to Mexico...The wiretaps, as required by federal law, were submitted to Washington for approval by senior Justice Department officials in the Washington based Criminal Division of the Justice Department. They were approved under the authority of Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer of the Criminal Division. To justify the need for the invasive law enforcement tool, Justice Department officials use robust and detailed information to explain the evidence used to merit its use and why other tactics are not sufficient to achieve the goals of the operation..."Apparently you and I will not know the content of the wiretap conversations, because the documents have been sealed, but the Committee says they have access to them now and they are available for their review:
"...Information contained in the wiretaps had been subpoenaed by the Oversight Committee, but the Justice Department had refused to turn them over to investigators. Obtaining them answers some of the questions the Committee and House leadership have warned Attorney General Holder he must fully address to avoid contempt proceedings. To date, Holder has not responded to this letter. As the wiretaps have been sealed, the committee cannot publicly release them but copies have been sent to the committee minority and the wiretaps are available for review by Members of the Committee..."However, Issa is far from lenient when confronting Holder about the discrepancy between what the documents show and what Holder has said in the past:
"Throughout the course of the congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious, the Department has consistently denied any senior officials were provided information about the tactics used in Operation Fast and Furious. The wiretap applications obtained by the Committee show such statements made by senior Department officials regarding the wiretaps to be false and misleading...You have repeatedly either denied involvement by senior officials in Fast and Furious, or asserted that the wiretap applications do not contain rich detail about irresponsible investigative tactics."Issa quotes Holder's denials, saying "In a Press conference on September 7, 2011, you stated:"
"...The notion that somehow or other this thing reaches into the upper levels of the Justice Department is something that... I don't think is supported by the facts. It's kind of something I think certain members of Congress would like to see, the notion that somehow or other high-level people in the department were involved. As I said, I don't think that is going to be shown to be the case -- which doesn't mean that the mistakes were not serious..."Issa continues, quoting Holder's own correspondence with Congress. " One month later, in a letter to three Committee Chairmen, you wrote:"
"...I now understand some senior officials within the Departmet were aware at the time that there was an operation called Fast and Furious although they were not advised of the unacceptable operational tactics being used in it..."Issa reminds Holder that "In congressional testimony, you have repeatedly stated that you did not believe that the wiretap applications included any discussion of operational tactics. Specifically on November 8, 2011, you testified:"
"...I don't have any information that indicates that those wiretap applications had anything in them that talked about the tactics that have made this such a bone of contention and have legitimately raised the concern of members of Congress, as well as those of us in the Justice Department. I -- I'd be surprised if the tactics themselves about gun walking were actually contained in those -- in those applications. I have not seen them, but I would not be surprise[d] [if] that were the case..."The Issa quotes Holder's testimony before Congress when he denied that "...any information relating to tactics appeared in the wiretap applications..."
"...I think, first off, there is no indication that Mr. Breuer or my former deputy were aware of the tactics that were employed in this mattter until everybody I think became aware of them, which is like January February of last year. The information -- I am not at this point aware that any of those tactics were contained in any of the wiretap applications..."Issa comes just short of accusing Holder of lying to Congress: "We now know that all of these statements are not accurate," he writes:
"...The new information contained in the wiretap applications places us in a position to begin the process of assigning accountability among senior Department officials, some of whom were responsible for approving the wiretap applications. After having reviewed thesee applications, we now understand why the Department has been resisting our efforts to secure full cooperation and comliance with the subpoena. It is because, as former ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson testified, 'it appears thoroughly to us that the department is really trying to figure out a way to push the information away from their political appointees at the department..."Issa concludes that
"...With the wiretap applicatins in possession of the Committee, the Department can no longer push such information away from its political appointees. These appointees were responsible for approving the reckless tactics used during Fast and Furious. Because of the wiretap applications, we now know which senior Department officials made these serious mistakes. It is time for you to honor your commitment to Congress and the American people by holding these individuals accountable..."And will Congress hold Holder accountable for, either his gross incompetence in, either not knowing what went on in his department or blatantly covering up his and his department's shenanigans that have caused the deaths of U.S. agents and the deaths of hundreds of Mexicans? Allegedly Fast and Furious was and continues to be a ruse to put weapons in the hands of criminals in Mexico, have them commit crimes, apparently including the slaughter of hundreds of people at the hands of those cirminals, in order to justify passing anti-gun legislation in the U.S. And apparently even Mexican Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan has been recruited to bolster this ruse. Sarukhan is quoted by Jordy Yager in "The Hill:"
“Fast and Furious has poisoned the well-spring of public opinion in Mexico as it relates to the cooperation and engagement with the United States,” Sarukhan said...“It does put a lot of strain on the huge strides that we’ve achieved with two successive administrations in the United States,” he said...Sarukhan was on the Hill at the invitation of Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) to promote tighter gun laws in the United States, including the reinstatement of the federal assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004...Sarukhan argued that Mexico has seen an enormous surge in illegal assault weapons since the ban was allowed to expire and that more must be done in the United States to try and curb the number of guns flowing into Mexico..."It appears that now we must not only contend with the efforts by our own government to undermine Second Amendment rights, but the efforts of a foreign government that may have been enlisted to justify limiting U.S. citizens' 2nd amendment rights as well. Grassfire Nation sums it up:
"Now evidence suggests that the failed plot was in reality cooked up by the Obama administration as a way to undermine our Second Amendment rights! ...As citizens, we are compelled to defend liberty, and fight for justice. That said, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, an Obama minion is responsible for the DOJ’s actions, and must be held accountable...House investigations have been fruitless, and lawmakers have grown increasingly frustrated over Holder’s lack of honesty, accountability. Only increased public pressure on lawmakers and the DOJ can bring accountability and justice to light."Further revelations that will result in Congressional action can only occur if YOU continue to put pressure on your Congressional Representatives and Senators to take action, and you can accomplish that by signing the Grassfire Nation petition today. You can do that HERE... "
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