Archive for the ‘Department of Justice’ Category

From Sharyl Attkisson at CBS News:

(CBS News) CBS News has learned of a shocking link between a deadly drug cartel shootout with Mexican police last week and a controversial case in the U.S. The link is one of the grenades used in the violent fight, which killed three policemen and four cartel members and was captured on video by residents in the area.

According to a Justice Department “Significant Incident Report” filed Tuesday and obtained by CBS News, evidence connects one of the grenades to Jean Baptiste Kingery, an alleged firearms trafficker U.S. officials allowed to operate for years without arresting despite significant evidence that he was moving massive amounts of grenade parts and ammunition to Mexico’s ruthless drug cartels.

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The Kingery case was overseen by the same Arizona U.S. Attorney and ATF office that let suspects traffic thousands of weapons to Mexican drug cartels in the operation dubbed Fast and Furious. The strategy was to try to get to the cartel kingpins, but it was halted after CBS News reported that Fast and Furious weapons were used by cartel thugs in the murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry on December 15, 2010. Weapons trafficked by other ATF suspects under surveillance were used two months later in the cartel murder of Immigration and Customs Agent Jaime Zapata in Mexico on February 15, 2011.

The ATF watched him ship grenades and components to Mexico, but did nothing but watch with glee at another chance to prop up the idea that they need more funding and power and you need your rights curtailed… because they’re breaking the law and facilitating weapons smuggling.

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And meanwhile, the ATF is squelching whistleblower John Dodson’s desire to write a book about Fast and Furious, based on the idea that it would be damaging to morale.  Their most recent decision is that they can’t actually not let him publish it, but they can censor the work.

A U.S. law enforcement official familiar with the matter says the Justice Department, ATF and the Federal Bureau of Investigation will review Dodson’s manuscript and, after making redactions to protect sensitive law enforcement information, will clear it for publication. However, federal employee guidelines prohibit Dodson and other active agents from making a profit from their work in law enforcement, the official said.

Pretty sure Darrell Issa already got an advance copy of what the DOJ-approved manuscript will look like:

That's not a print of Malevich's "Black Square".

Heard it on the radio this morning.  Then saw it across the web today.  At Jawa Report & Gateway Pundit, they note that Amber Alert was down, but Michelle Obama’s website for kids eating is up.

I’m posting now at 1139 CST, and the DOJ’s Amber Alert is back up, only after scrutiny and pressure… and “bad press and confusion“.

After being taken down, officially because of the government shutdown, the federal website dealing with alerts about abducted children – AmberAlert.gov – was restored Monday morning.

Even lying Democrats can’t get away with saying they’re the party of compassion when Harry Reid justifies specifically denying kids medical treatment and Eric Holder’s DOJ kills the Amber Alert system for missing children out of spite.

Not content with undermining and destroying the Second Amendment, the ATF is now targeting the first by trying to hush up whistleblower Jon Dodson’s book on Fast and Furious:

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is blocking the main whistleblower in the Fast and Furious case from publishing a book for pay, claiming his retelling of the Mexico “gun-walking” scandal will hurt morale inside the embattled law enforcement agency, according to documents obtained by The Washington Times.

ATF’s dispute with Special Agent John Dodson is setting up a First Amendment showdown that is poised to bring together liberal groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and conservatives in Congress who have championed Mr. Dodson’s protection as a whistleblower.

The way the ATF is trying to do this is by claiming it’s employment outside the agency, and simply rejecting it.

Documents show that one of Mr. Dodson’s supervisors in Arizona, Assistant Special Agent in Charge Carlos Canino, rejected his request July 19 and was backed in the decision by the agent in charge of the office, Thomas G. Atteberry, four days later.

Supervisors ultimately don’t make those decisions in the fedgov.  Requests for outside employment will go up at least to the level of an “agent in charge” of an office, station, or area of operations.

Their rejection made no claims that the book would release sensitive or classified information or compromise ongoing law enforcement proceedings.

Rather, the supervisors offered a different reason for their decision. “This would have a negative impact on morale in the Phoenix [Field Division] and would have a detrimental effect on our relationships with DEA and FBI.”

Given that Canino also testified in front of congress, I’m not sure what his personal opinion on the book would be, but he’s probably also being pressured from above.

The ATF general counsel’s office subsequently sanctioned the decision, all but killing the book project.

“An employee’s supervisory chain may disapprove any outside employment request for any reason, at any supervisory level,” ATF attorney Greg Serres wrote Mr. Dodson on Aug. 29, underlining the word “any” for emphasis. “The Office of Chief Counsel cannot approve outside employment requests in lieu of the supervisory chain’s disapproval.

“Therefore, your request to engage in outside employment is denied,” he said.

Again, to write a book, which will net a paycheck when published, is something that can be denied.  The idea behind this (for other agencies) is that it limits corruption and allows for a CYA by employees as they can show that other income isn’t from being crooked, and it allows managers to determine if an outside job will take too much time and interest away from the employee’s duties.

This, however, is just saying “don’t tell the truth because it’ll hurt our feelings” at best, but more “don’t tell the truth because the ATF is a destructive, corrupt, tyrannical agency”.

And here the story begins to get the basics of Fast and Furious wrong:

In all, ATF officials permitted more than 1,700 semi-automatic weapons to flow through the hands of straw buyers for the Mexican cartels, with many crossing the border.

Senior ATF officials hoped to trace the guns to crimes, then make a bigger case against the Mexican drug lords. The strategy, however, backfired when hundreds of the weapons began showing up at crime scenes on both sides of the border, including at the December 2010 murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

The strategy didn’t backfire.  In testimony to congress, the operation was described to send guns south so they would be found at crime scenes.  That was the whole plan.

The Mexican authorities didn’t know, and Darren Gil, ATF attache in Mexico, didn’t know.  No one in Mexico, whether US or Mexican authorities, knew about the plan to send guns south.  There was no way to interdict the guns, and there was no way to make a case against the cartels.  This is one of the things that left the investigators on Oversight and Reform shocked (even a Democrat or two, before their party line programming kicks in).

The story goes on with a couple more huge lies from the ATF.

The ATF, under new director B. Todd Jones, says it has imposed sweeping procedures to ensure gun-walking doesn’t occur in future cases.

That’s a joke.  Todd Jones was one of the architects of Fast and Furious.

The book dispute with Mr. Dodson, however, is not the first First Amendment controversy to erupt in the aftermath of the scandal.

Last year, Mr. Jones raised alarm in Congress and inside his own agency when he released a videotaped message that warned agencies that there would be “consequences” if agents blew the whistle on wrongdoing outside their chain of command.

The message led to claims that whistleblowing would be chilled, and ATF subsequently clarified Mr. Jones‘ remarks to emphasize that the agency would not interfere with legitimate whistleblowing activities.

Note the key word there “legitimate”.  They’ll decide what’s “legitimate” and what’s not.  And what’s “legitimate” and what’s not is defined as what helps the Obama administration versus hurts it.

The ATF will retaliate.  They already have against most of the whistleblowers, and they will continue to do so.

scorpion and frog

First part, via HotAir, from Politico:

A federal judge has rejected Attorney General Eric Holder’s attempt to keep the courts from wading into the “Fast and Furious” documents dispute that led to him being held in contempt by the House last year.

In a ruling Monday night, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson turned down the Justice Department’s request to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee after President Barack Obama asserted executive privilege to prevent some records about the administration’s response to the “Operation Fast and Furious” gunrunning scandal from being turned over to Congress.

… “Dismissing the case without hearing it would in effect place the court’s finger on the scale, designating the executive as the victor based solely on his untested assertion that the privilege applies,” she wrote.

That’s a slight improvement over just throwing it out and saying “phony scandal” and “nobody gives a shit“.

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But now, the judge (an Obama appointee) has turned around and blamed the House for delays… not Holder’s lies and stonewalling:

House Republicans suing Attorney General Eric Holder for documents in their probe of the botched Operation Fast and Furious will have to put up with a delay in their case.

After the U.S. Justice Department yesterday asked to suspend the litigation, saying it lacked adequate staff for civil cases because of the partial government shutdown, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee argued the request should be denied. Government lawyers were continuing to work when a court ordered them to do so, they said.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson today in Washington put the case on hold.

“While the vast majority of litigants who now must endure a delay in the progress of their matters do so due to circumstances beyond their control, that cannot be said of the House of Representatives, which has played a role in the shutdown that prompted the stay motion,” she said.

“There are no exigent circumstances in this case that would justify an order of the court forcing furloughed attorneys to return to their desks,” Jackson, an appointee of President Barack Obama, said in her order.

200 dead Mexicans and two dead US citizens apparently aren’t that important.  Of course, they haven’t been to the Obama administration since Obama and Holder’s DOJ decided to go kill some Mexicans as a pretext to crack down on US civil rights.

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It is kind of astonishing to realize that he sent guns to Mexico, murdered hundreds, and the media wholly and completely covered for him, he was reelected to a second term, he talks to Iran but refuses to negotiate with congress, and is now locking Vietnam vets away from the Wall and WW2 vets away from the memorial.

obama joker

And he gets a good laugh out of it, because the media will still blame Republicans and fools will believe it.

Via Sipsey Street Irregulars, from Sharyl Attkisson at CBS:

Three more weapons from Fast and Furious have turned up at crime scenes in Mexico, CBS News has learned, as the toll from the controversial federal operation grows.

According to Justice Department tracing documents obtained by CBS News, all three guns are WASR-10 762-caliber Romanian rifles. Two were purchased by Fast and Furious suspect Uriel Patino in May and July of 2010. Sean Steward, who was convicted on gun charges in July 2012, purchased a third. The rifles were traced yesterday to the Lone Wolf gun shop in Glendale, Ariz.

During Fast and Furious and similar operations, federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) encouraged the Lone Wolf and other gun stores to sell massive amounts of weapons to questionable purchasers who allegedly trafficked them Mexican drug cartels.

Patino is said to have purchased 700 guns while under ATF’s watch. Ever since, a steady stream of the guns have been recovered at crime scenes in Mexico and the U.S. But the Justice Department has refused repeated requests from Congress and CBS News to provide a full accounting. An estimated 1,400 guns are still on the street or unaccounted for.

This will be going on for years.  The body count from weapons sent to the cartels by Obama and Eric Holder’s DOJ and ATF will continue to go up.

Operation Facetious and Spurious

From HotAir:

Stop me if you’ve heard this before.  Allegations arise of abuses of power and wrongdoing in a subordinate agency of a Cabinet department, which then conducts an investigation that lays the blame on a few low-level staffers and then insists that any further debate on the issue is nothing more than a “phony scandal.” The State Department did that with Benghazi, Treasury (or at least the White House’s spin on the IG report) with the IRS, and the Department of Justice with Operation Fast and Furious. The DoJ will now take a second spin on the Wheel Of Scapegoats by launching its own investigation into the DEA’s alleged widespread spying:

The US Department of Justice has launched an investigation into revelations that the Drug Enforcement Agency uses surveillance tactics – including wiretapping and massive databases of telephone records – to arrest Americans, amid growing concerns from lawyers and civil rights groups over its lack of transparency.

In a related story, the Obama Department of Agriculture has now announced that foxes make good guards of henhouses.

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From Wired:

Security researchers tonight are poring over a piece of malicious software that takes advantage of a Firefox security vulnerability to identify some users of the privacy-protecting Tor anonymity network.

The malware showed up Sunday morning on multiple websites hosted by the anonymous hosting company Freedom Hosting. That would normally be considered a blatantly criminal “drive-by” hack attack, but nobody’s calling in the FBI this time. The FBI is the prime suspect.

“It just sends identifying information to some IP in Reston, Virginia,” says reverse-engineer Vlad Tsyrklevich. “It’s pretty clear that it’s FBI or it’s some other law enforcement agency that’s U.S.-based.

TOR has some big problems, because some people who don’t want their activities to come to light aren’t doing so out of concerns of privacy, but criminality.  This story, however, falls in a pattern of spying by the fedgov that keeps looking more and more ominous, like how the DEA is using NSA snooping for their own purposes – from Huffpo:

WASHINGTON, Aug 5 (Reuters) – A secretive U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration unit is funneling information from intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records to authorities across the nation to help them launch criminal investigations of Americans.

Although these cases rarely involve national security issues, documents reviewed by Reuters show that law enforcement agents have been directed to conceal how such investigations truly begin – not only from defense lawyers but also sometimes from prosecutors and judges.

And how the encrypted email service that Snowden used has been shut down:

Lavabit announced today that it would shut down its encrypted email service rather than “become complicit in crimes against the American people.” Lavabit did not say what it had been asked to do, only that it was legally prohibited from sharing the events leading to its decision.

Lavabit was an email provider, apparently used by Edward Snowden along with other privacy sensitive users, with an avowed mission to offer an “e-mail service that never sacrifices privacy for profits” and promised to “only release private information if legally compelled by the courts in accordance with the United States Constitution.”

And how the fedgov is demanding your passwords (from CNET):

The U.S. government has demanded that major Internet companies divulge users’ stored passwords, according to two industry sources familiar with these orders, which represent an escalation in surveillance techniques that has not previously been disclosed.

Of course, with the Associated Press being spied on, reporter James Rosen and reporter Sharyl Attkisson being targeted, this isn’t really a surprise.  The Obama administration uses every tool to target opponents, and the Constitution and its protections are meaningless to them.

Via HotAir:

While we’re watching government snooping expand from the NSA to the DEA, don’t forget the FBI.  CNet’s tech reporter Declan McCullough reported on Friday that the FBI has pressured Internet providers to install software that would allow the government to conduct real-time intercepts of Internet activity without notifying users, and claims that the PATRIOT Act requires their compliance:

The U.S. government is quietly pressuring telecommunications providers to install eavesdropping technology deep inside companies’ internal networks to facilitate surveillance efforts.

FBI officials have been sparring with carriers, a process that has on occasion included threats of contempt of court, in a bid to deploy government-provided software capable of intercepting and analyzing entire communications streams.

Comrade Major, I’d like four cups of tea, please.