Archive for the ‘Eric Holder’ Category

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

For those who’ve missed it, CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson had her computers hacked – and CBS verified this.  She’s been virtually the only journalist in the mainstream media who does her job – and she does it admirably – reporting on stories like Fast and Furious (for which she won an award – even though CBS kept her from receiving it) and Benghazi.

Now, she’s noted more irregularities with the hacking:

“This suspicious activity has been going on for quite some time – both on my CBS computer and my personal computer,” Attkisson said. “CBS then hired its own independent cyber security firm, which has been conducting a thorough forensic exam … they were able to rule out malware, phishing programs, that sort of thing.”

Attkisson described some of the bizarre things that were happening with her computer.

“There were just signs of unusual happenings for many months, odd behavior like the computers just turning themselves on at night and then turning themselves back off again. I was basically able to verify and obtain information from my sources on the suspicious activity and I reported it to CBS News in January because of course it included CBS equipment and systems.”

HotAir notes that she was on Bill “Breathes Heavy At Deborah Norville” O’Reilly the other night and stated she’s pretty sure she knows who did it.

The likely suspect, which when she confirms will be 100%, as the rest of her reporting always is, is probably going to be the US govt.  What branch of the US govt or how is probably the big question – whether it’s Eric Holder’s DOJ or Hillary’s State Department or maybe even the Department of Energy or another agency she offended by reporting the facts.

Regardless, they chose a very poor target for snooping on.

And if those targeting her escalate things, it’s worth noting that her reporting has earned her the respect of some communities of rough men (and women) that provide physical security, and would be willing to do so.

Her reporting on Benghazi got her friends from Little Creek to Coronado, and her reporting on Fast and Furious got her friends from Brownsville to San Diego and Washington state to Maine… state.

Last night on Texas Overnight, Charlie Jones had a caller on who asked about filing a FOIA request against the NSA for info on Benghazi.  It’s an interesting idea.

Consider that whistleblower Snowden said he could’ve tapped anyone’s electronic communications – even the President’s:

The most confounding thing in writing about the NSA/PRISM/Snowden clusterfark is that, if you don’t work in national security, there’s no yardstick to measure which claims are plausible and which are insane. That in itself is a brutal indictment of the surveillance state, of course: The government’s powers are so vast and so secret that even a citizen who follows the news really can’t debate them intelligently. Is it insane to think that a 29-year-old NSA/Booz IT guy could be reading Barack Obama’s private e-mails if he wanted to?

So, yeah. Snowden suggests he could have accessed the president’s personal e-mails. Is that crazy? I hope so. I don’t know.

He says he was granted broad “wiretapping” authorities. In a video interview with The Guardian, Snowden claims to have had incredibly broad authority to wiretap Americans, saying “I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal e-mail.”

These records exist.  The NSA has been saving emails and has been saving metadata and actual data for quite a while now.

So how about a FOIA request on ATF Gunwalker/Fast and Furious conspirators like Bill Newell, Lanny Breuer, Kevin O’Reilly, and even AG Eric “Held In Contempt” Holder?  Or how about congress requesting the documents from the NSA?

The NSA can’t claim there’s an “ongoing investigation”, since they aren’t the DOJ.

Just a thought.

I’m going to use the same title that Real Clear Politics did.

This is the same Obama who had Eric Holder’s DOJ and ATF sending guns to Mexican narcoterrorist cartels.  This is the same Obama who hushed Fast and Furious up by exerting executive privilegeHe sent guns to Mexico.

This is not a question of American citizens’ rights, this is a question of the US government purposely arming narcoterrorists in order to have this talking point, claiming the 90% lie over and over.

I can’t think of many things more insulting or downright foul to hear from our President other than his own crimes being blamed on our rights – as was intended.   He is now going international with the demand that our rights go away because he committed crimes… to deny us those rights.

This is like a rapist saying “not only did she deserve it when I did it to her, but that proves my point, we have to keep the world safe from women like her who cause rape”.

First update on the civil suit against the Justice Department, from UT San Diego:

WASHINGTON — A federal judge seemed skeptical Wednesday of the Justice Department’s bid to dismiss a congressional lawsuit seeking records related to Operation Fast and Furious, a bungled federal gun-tracking operation in Arizona.

It was not a gun-tracking operation.  It was not bungled.  It did exactly what it was set out to do, it sent guns to Mexican narcoterrorist cartels, and it forced US gun stores to sell to people who should never have gotten guns.  There was no tracking involved, as whistleblower John Dodson stated – they were not allowed to track guns sent south, and they were intended to be recovered at crime scenes.  People buying guns included felons who could not have passed NICS background checks, except that the government gave them permission to buy guns by letting them pass background checks.

When asked about the breakdown, Stephen Fischer, a spokesman for the NICS System, said the FBI had no comment. However, an ATF agent who worked on the Fast and Furious investigation, told Fox News that NICS officials called the ATF in Phoenix whenever their suspects tried to buy a gun. That conversation typically led to a green light for the buyers, when it should have stopped them.

From the UD SD story again, the judge is at least doing her job:

Judge Amy Berman Jackson sharply challenged the department’s claim that federal courts have no jurisdiction in the dispute. Department lawyer Ian Gershengorn said the battle over the documents should be resolved by the checks and balances between the legislative and executive branches.

“I’m a check and balance,” countered Jackson, an appointee of President Barack Obama. “The third branch exists.”

Well, she seems better than other Obama appointments.  And she seems to understand that there has been no “check and balance” when the Department of Justice and the president have simply claimed executive privilege and hushed everything up – which is the reason for the lawsuit.  She is seeing things up close, so she probably has to acknowledge what’s going on.  She’s being presented with information directly, and can’t just ignore things like the media does.

To some degree, this is also a story of how the media not only gets it wrong, but how the media is carrying water for Obama.

The department has turned over thousands of pages of material on the operation itself. The continuing dispute is over documents describing how the department responded once Congress started investigating.

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

That’s what the Justice Department sent as “documents”.  Page after page after page.

Gershengorn said that if the suit were dismissed, Congress had other powers at its disposal, such as the power of the purse. He said that negotiations and accommodation between the House and the executive branch are messy and contentious, but that the system allows for accountability with voters.

That is absurd, insulting, and the kind of thing that would get Sam Adams heating up the tar and sending somebody to get feathers.  The DOJ is hushing up a the murder of two federal agents and hundreds of mexican citizens, hushing up their program that is the kind of violent criminal conspiracy that would make headlines for years if it were done by organized crime, but instead, is hushed up because the media simply refuses to report it, and refuses to report the truth because they love their great leader.

Saying that Congress can simply use “the power of the purse” to reduce budgets for departments is absurd.  No one is held accountable for this:

fast and furious 2010 massacre teens

People need to go to prison, not have their department funding meddled with.  The DOJ lawyer Gershengorn should be with them as an accomplice after the fact to murders.

House lawyer Kerry Kircher called the notion that there haven’t been meaningful negotiations and accommodations “preposterous.”

“We’ve been negotiating for four months,” Kircher said.

He also said the House was at a disadvantage.

“This is an asymmetrical relationship here,” Kircher said. “They have the documents. We don’t have the documents.”

As to Congress’ powers, such as reducing spending for the executive branch, he said, “All that means is they get less money” – not that the committee gets the documents.

Presented with this kind of thing, I’d like to say the judge won’t just rule in favor of who appointed her, but there’s little telling.

David Codrea at Examiner.com has some info on “Guns Across the Border“, a book that tells the story of Operation Wide Receiver.

Operation Wide Receiver,” a precursor to “Operation Fast and Furious” wherein U.S. guns were bought by straw purchasers and “walked” under the noses of ATF investigators into Mexico, has been the subject of numerous Gun Rights Examiner reports. The central figure in those reports was Mike Detty, a gun writer, a firearms dealer, and the confidential informant who literally risked his life over the course of years to do what he believed was right, only to find the obvious criminals weren’t the only ones he couldn’t trust.

Operation Wide receiver really was a botched sting.  The ATF in Mexico knew that guns were coming, the Mexican authorities knew guns were coming.  The smugglers turned out to be good at smuggling and got a lot of guns past both US and Mexican authorities through a variety of tactics.  Smugglers are good at smuggling?  Who’da thunk it?

Fast and Furious, by contrast, was not a botched sting.  The ATF in Mexico (ATF attache Darren Gil) and the Mexican authorities had no idea guns were coming, and the purpose was to find guns at murder scenes in Mexico, about which ATF supervisors were “almost giddy”.

Wide Receiver and Fast and Furious were two different thingsBob Owens at PJ Media did a solid bit on this explaining it further:

Wide Receiver sought to track and interdict guns being smuggled south using a combination of RFID-tracking devices embedded in the shipments and overheard surveillance aircraft. Wide Receiver failed because of the limitations of the technology used, compounded by the ineptness of its installation and the unexpected resourcefulness of the cartel’s gun smugglers.

As a result of the mistakes made in Wide Receiver, guns were lost: approximately 450 made it into Mexico. As a result, the botched operation launched in 2006 — and in this instance, actually botched — was shut down in 2007.

Compare the mistakes of Wide Receiver to the operations launched under Eric Holder’s Department of Justice, which had the advantages of learning from the postmortem failures of Wide Receiver two years before.

Fast and Furious used neither tracking devices nor aircraft, ran interference for smugglers with local law enforcement on multiple occasions, and federal agents were not allowed to interdict weapons.

Wide Receiver shut down within a year after 450 weapons went missing in a botched law enforcement operation. Fast and Furious purposefully ran at least 2,020 weapons to the Sinaloa cartel without any intention of arresting the straw purchasers and smugglers. Other operations in other states — CBS News’ Attkisson cites allegations of “at least 10 cities in five states” — allow the possibility that (if the other operations were as prolific as Fast and Furious) Holder’s Department of Justice may have intentionally sent more than 12,000 guns into criminal hands in the U.S and Mexico, enough to arm three U.S. Army brigades.

Law enforcement operations sometimes go horribly wrong, and every indication is that Operation Wide Receiver executed by the ATF during the Bush administration while Alberto Gonzales was the attorney general was a “keystone cops” operation of the first magnitude. It was a horrible failure.

But Fast and Furious was no accident.