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The first thing observers of the Congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious “gunwalking” noticed about the Justice Department’s Tuesday document dump was the calculated way it was done concurrently with the elections, when it would be certain not to dominate the news. That’s hardly surprising for those who expect nothing less than a continuation of a pattern of evasion, stonewalling, deception and obstruction that’s defined the way Attorney General Eric Holder has continually thumbed his nose at the entire process since it began.
That in itself was interesting enough, but missed by most observers was an admission in the cover letter that the State Department had a hand in redacting information from the 64,000+ pages submitted to Congress. The question of Hillary Clinton’s involvement, particularly as it relates to either actions sanctioned by State, or violations of arms export control laws by other federal agencies, is a significant dimension of the story that’s been largely unexplored.
Holder knows a lot has been unexplored, including his own involvement, even though he’s been caught flat-out committing perjury. Knowing he’s been getting away with it – and most likely will make a clean getaway – it’s not surprising that he treats both the process and the people behind it with contempt, as an email included in the dump reveals.
"Issa and his idiot cronies never gave a damn about this when all that was happening was that thousands of Mexicans were being killed with guns from our country,” Holder wrote in an email dissing Oversight Committee subpoenas. “All they want to do – in reality – is cripple ATF and suck up to the gun lobby. Politics at its worst – maybe the media will get it."
No, all they wanted to do was find out who the idiots were who thought it would be cool to violate U.S. and Mexican laws by allowing illegal arms shipments to be handed off to murderous cartels so that guns could be recovered at violent crime scenes – meaning found lying on the ground after people had been killed – and then used as fodder to demand more citizen disarmament in this country. All they wanted to do is determine who was responsible for authorizing an illegal operation that has, to date, resulted in untold numbers of dead, with more hits yet to come. As for “idiot cronies,” by default those must include justice-seeking family survivors of murdered Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.
But the media did “get it,” in many cases, directly from Holder’s public affairs chief, Tracy Schmaler. In others, they “got it” from ATF personnel, up to their necks in “gunwalking,” who tried to smear key whistleblower John Dodson by releasing confidential personnel files.
That email was the subject of an NPR feature that, true to its “progressive” sympathies, did what it could to muddle the facts and absolve Holder.
“The program has been blamed for providing a weapon that was used to kill U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry,” it said about Fast and Furious.
No, it, or more precisely, the evil minds behind the program, were to blame. There’s no dispute about that.
“The Justice Department says the documents show that Holder hadn't known about the doomed program before early in 2011,” NPR dutifully parrots. Absent from such an “exhaustive” analysis, is the fact that Holder was informed of Terry’s death the night it happened. Also absent from NPR’s concluding statement is any acknowledgement of memos from National Drug Intelligence Center Director Michael Walther, showing the attorney general was apprised of Fast and Furious as early as July, 2010, and a letter sent by Senator Chuck Grassley to then-ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson, dated January 31, 2011 that copied Holder.
Well heck – he’s the attorney general. Ignore documented facts and let’s just take his word for it.
A recurring line I use in my writing, because it always seems to recur when covering enemies of the right to keep and bear arms, is that for “progressives,” every day is Opposite Day. Noting how they constantly project and accuse other for that which they themselves are guilty, Holder leveling a charge about “idiot cronies,” and caring about deaths in Mexico committed with guns obtained in the U.S., is pretty darn rich.
David Codrea is a field editor at GUNS Magazine, penning their monthly "Rights Watch" column. He provides regular reporting and commentary at Gun Rights Examiner and blogs at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance. David Codrea's Archive page.