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Holder Ducks Responsibility for “Fast and Furious”
On December 14, 2010, U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in Nogales, Arizona. Found at the crime scene were two assault rifles linked to an ATF operation in which gun dealers along the Southwest Border were encouraged by ATF agents to sell quantities of firearms “to suspected traffickers for Mexican Drug Cartels.” The operation – called “Fast and Furious” – had begun in September, 2009, continued over the concern of agents and at least one gun dealer,[i] and had resulted in the delivery of at least 2,000 firearms to Mexican drug cartels.[ii] A Congressional investigation into “Fast and Furious” was launched by Senator Grassley (R-IA) in Jan., 2011 and on March 3, 2011, ATF agent John Dodson exposed the operation to CBS News, saying “Now you have a name on it. You have a face to put with it. Here I am. Someone now tell me it didn’t happen.”[iii]
In a March 27, 2011 response on Univision, President Obama denied that he, or Attorney General Eric Holder had any knowledge of the operation. He went on to say that:
“There may be a situation here in which a serious mistake was made and if that’s the case then we’ll find out and we’ll hold somebody accountable.” [iv]
On May 3, 2011, Attorney General Holder told Congress that he had only heard about the gun walking operation “over the last few weeks.” But, on Oct. 3, 2011, CBS news reported on Justice Department memos to Holder mentioning the operation as early as July, 2010 – 5 months prior to the killing of Agent Terry. While Holder did not admit this, he amended his earlier testimony during a Nov. 8, 2011 appearance on the Hill. [v]
Holder indicated during the Nov. 8 hearing that a letter from the Justice Dept. sent to Congress in February, 2011 and denying that “Fast and Furious” was a gun walking operation was inaccurate. He also admitted that his initial testimony in May, that he had only known about the operation “over the last few weeks,” was erroneous and that he “probably could have said ‘a couple of months.’” He was quick to add however, that trying to pinpoint the timeframe was a “distraction.” “Distraction” is a term that has been used several times by Obama to ward off uncomfortable questions.
Holder went on to deny seeing two memos regarding “Fast and Furious” addressed to him in July and November, 2010 – prior to Agent Terry’s murder. He pointed out that his Dept. has more than 150,000 employees and that – at least by his standard: [vi]
“I cannot be expected to know the details of operations in the Justice Department on a day-to-day basis.” [vii]
Apparently, not even cases that involve cross border operations, international laws and treaties, intergovernmental relationships and the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol Agent.
As a result of this apparent stone walling, Eric Holder became the first U.S. Attorney General in history to be censored by Congress and now a special investigation is underway. Meantime, Brian Terry – one of the good guys – is still dead, and our Country’s highest law enforcement officer is still thumbing his nose at Congress and by doing so – at the American people.
[i] Sharyl Attkisson, (Dec. 7, 2011), CBS News web-site, CBS Investigates, Documents: ATF used “Fast and Furious” to make the case for gun regulations, retrieved February 26, 2012 from http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31727_162-57338546-10391695/documents-atf-used-fast-and-furious-to-make-the-case-for-gun-regulations/ and hyperlinked to article CBS News Staff, CBS web-site, “Gun walking” Scandal Timeline, retrieved February 26, 2012 from http://www.cbsnews.com/2300-31727_162-10009697.html?tag=contentMain;contentBody
[iii] Sharyl Attkisson, (Dec. 7, 2011), CBS News web-site, CBS Investigates, Documents: ATF used “Fast and Furious” to make the case for gun regulations, retrieved February 26, 2012 from http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31727_162-57338546-10391695/documents-atf-used-fast-and-furious-to-make-the-case-for-gun-regulations/ and hyperlinked to article CBS News Staff, CBS web-site, “Gun walking” Scandal Timeline, retrieved February 26, 2012 from http://www.cbsnews.com/2300-31727_162-10009697.html?tag=contentMain;contentBody