May 21, 2012 | Filed Under Alan Caruba, Anti-Americanism, Barack Obama, Congress, Constitution, Crime, Democrats/Leftists, Eric Holder, Ethics, FBI, House of Representatives, Journalism, Liberals, Media Bias, Mexico, President | Comments Off on
Is Fast and Furious the Next Watergate?
-By Alan Caruba
When suspects in a crime are interrogated, they often develop memory loss. When the crime is running guns to drug cartels on both sides of the border, the crime involves the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol officer, Brian Terry, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent, Jaime Zapata, and countless Mexican citizens.
Katie Pavlich has written an extraordinary expose, “Fast and Furious: Barack Obama’s Bloodiest Scandal and its Shameless Cover-Up” (Regnery Publishing). Pavlich, a reporter with extensive contacts within the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) she has meticulously documented a story that should result in contempt of Congress action against Attorney General Eric Holder and possibly Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano as well.
It is an appalling story of arrogance, stupidity, and the intimidation of ATF agents who dared to question and expose the operation. It is a story of deception at the highest levels of our government. Both Holder and Napolitano exhibited memory lapses before a congressional committee. Both knew about a federal government authorized gun-running operation to Mexico called “Fast and Furious.”
Pavlich reports that “Fast and Furious was closely followed by Department of Justice officials. On multiple occasions, U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke met with Phoenix ATF Director Bill Newell to discuss the progress of the Fast and Furious operation. ‘There were DOJ attorneys and prosecutors who were involved in this since the beginning, giving advice,” testified ATF Special Agent Peter Forcelli.
As Pavlich details it, “Operation Fast and Furious wasn’t a ‘botched’ program. It was a calculated and lethal decision to purposely place thousands of guns in the hands of ruthless criminals.”
The operation was designed to attack the Second Amendment right of Americans to purchase and bear arms, a right considered so essential to the nation that it followed directly after the First Amendment rights of free speech, freedom of the press, the prohibition of the establishment of a nationally sanctioned religion, and the right of Americans to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
We are in the grip of an administration that would restrain and erase those rights, and which engaged in a reckless and ruthless operation to achieve that goal. It is an administration that is moving toward the confirmation of a United Nations treaty that would override and eliminate the right to own and bear arms.
The facts regarding Holder’s and Napolitano’s testimony are clear:
“Eric Holder was sent five memos, personally addressed to him, in the summer of 2010 that detailed Operation Fast and Furious.” Holder claimed he first knew about the program in February 2011.
“Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has feigned ignorance when questioned about Fast and Furious. She claims she only found out about the program after Brian Terry was murdered.”
“She visited the White House with Eric Holder to visit President Obama just a day before Holder testified on Capitol Hill about Fast and Furious, leaving the reason for her visit blank.”
Pavlich writes, “These are the facts: There are still 1,400 Fast and Furious guns missing and ATF agents are not actively trying to track them down. Ten thousand round of ammunition were sold to cartel-linked straw buyers under the watch of the ATF. Eight hundred of the original 2,500 weapons sold through Fast and Furious have already been linked to criminal activity.”
The program, observers believer, was the deliberate effort to blame the violence in Mexico and in some cases in America on the gun shops, but those shops were intimidated into participating in Fast and Furious out of fear that ATF would take away their licenses.
After questioning ATF and Justice Department witnesses, Sen. Charles Grassley (Iowa, R), the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote a January 31 letter to ATF officials saying, “As you may be aware, obstructing a Congressional investigation is a crime. Additionally, denying or interfering with employee’s rights to furnish information to Congress is also against the law.”
© Alan Caruba, 2011
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