Posts Tagged ‘Darrell Issa’

Remember Fearless Distributing, the ATF’s plan to create crime in Milwaukee?  Or the score of other crime-creating ATF programs in the last year or so?  Apparently just like the ATF’s Gunwalker Operations like Fast and Furious and Castaway, they’re just going to go ahead and never answer any congressional inquiries and simply expect to never be held accountable.

From FOX:

Rep. Darrell Issa has subpoenaed the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for information about what he calls a “dangerously mismanaged” program, which originally was launched to get crime guns off the street.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which Issa chairs, has been looking into complaints about the program for months. Under the operation, ATF agents set up storefronts in multiple cities to try and entice criminals to sell their crime guns, unwittingly, to the government so they could be traced. But their tactics and missteps, including using mentally disabled people, drew criticism.

Issa, R-Calif., claimed this week that the ATF has stonewalled him by withholding documents and shown a “complete lack of cooperation.”

“I have no choice today but to issue the enclosed subpoena,” he wrote to ATF Director B. Todd Jones. “… The time for hollow promises is over.”

Yup, now is the time for coverup and the media to carry the Obama administration’s water.  For those who say FOX is a conservative news outlet, it’s worth reading how this story is written when it comes to the ATF’s actions.

Under the operation, ATF agents set up storefronts in multiple cities to try and entice criminals to sell their crime guns, unwittingly, to the government so they could be traced. But their tactics and missteps, including using mentally disabled people, drew criticism.

If you’re not familiar with it, read the Journal-Sentinel article.  There aren’t “missteps” that drew criticism.  The entire operation is based around the premise of creating crime in order to say they fought crime.

Details on problems with the program first emerged last January, when The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported on missteps in Milwaukee under the program known as Operation Fearless. In that operation, thousands of dollars in merchandise, as well as several guns, were reportedly stolen from ATF agents.

Again, “missteps”, like this was Chevrolet launching a car with wipers that didn’t work.

Details of other similar operations in other cities later emerged, including claims that one operation was located across the street from a middle school. House committees are now investigating, on the heels of the controversy over the botched anti-gun trafficking Operation Fast and Furious.

And here we get to a big one, and a whopper that somehow exists across the media.  Operation Fast and Furious was not botched.  It did just what it set out to do.  It armed the cartels, got guns to the cartels, blamed American gun stores, and got people killed… and when F&F guns were found at murder scenes, ATF supervisers were practically “giddy” (in the words of whistleblower John Dodson).

There was no “botched” about it.  Fast and Furious worked as intended – just the intentions are so insane that people refuse to accept it for what it was.

When congress began questioning whodunnit, the local ATF guys like Bill Newell gave non-answers, the higher-ups gave no answers, and the paper trail consisted of the DOJ issuing redacted blacked-out non-documents to congress while shredding the real thing:

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

The FOX story continues, but with watered-down treatment again:

ATF agents, though, have defended the storefront program, saying lawmakers overstate the problem.

“Putting this into context, there were deficiencies with the storefront operations, but there have been many successes and it still remains a viable technique when managed well,” ATF Deputy Director Tom Brandon told lawmakers recently.

The operation in Milwaukee, despite its flaws, resulted in dozens of arrests.

“There were deficiencies?”  The ATF defends it, despite it being a crime-creating program, because people will report it without asking why, and without simply restating what it did and how it did it.

Dozens of arrests are meaningless as a statistic against crime, and dozens of arrests when a fedgov agency is off creating crime being used as a defense is horrible.

It’d be like if the Army said of the My Lai Massacre, “Putting this into context, there were missteps, but we got a body count of 347 probable enemy, so it still remains a viable technique”.

Again, keep in mind this is FOX that’s writing the bland media line about what the ATF did.  Other outlets simply don’t report it at all.

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The only reason this stuff has continued is because the press refuses to do their job.  And the few hard-nosed real reporters left are left hung out to dry for doing their jobs.

Video from House Oversight and Reform Committee, (via Jawa Report):

And the big exchange with Rep. Trey Gowdy and IRS Official Lois Lerner and her refusal to testify… after she testified with her own statement:

HotAir has a whole lot of conjecture and speculation on where Lerner’s decisions will lead.

I’ll believe it when I see it at this point.

Via HotAir, from WSJ:

The managers recommended for termination, according to people familiar with the matter, are Mark Chait, former assistant director for field operations; William McMahon, who oversaw field operations in the Western U.S.; William Newell, former chief of the ATF’s Phoenix office; and George Gillett, the No. 2 official in the ATF’s Phoenix office.

Bill “Gunwalker Bill” Newell was the guy the press and the White House went to every time they needed the 90% myth repeated.  That McMahon, Chait, and Gillett are maybe sometime in the future going to maybe lose their jobs and get their retirement is a good thing… if it ever happens.  They belong in prison.

That David “Border Patrol Agents and Sheriff’s Deputies are Eggs We Need to Scramble” Voth is still going to have a job is absurd, that director Melson will still have a job, and that Eric Holder and Barack “I’m Exercising Executive Priviledge Over Something I Claim To Know Nothing About Even Though I Knew About F&F Before Holder” Obama aren’t going to prison is pretty pathetic.

Issa, Gowdy, and Chaffetz are still on the job, but it would be nice to see some indictments and perp walks.

David Codrea at Examiner.com reports that for some reason Issa is accepting Deputy AG Grindler’s story about not telling AG Holder… which makes little sense:

“ … Grindler was appropriately faulted by his Department’s own Inspector General for keeping information about a connection between the murder of a Border Patrol Agent and a mishandled department operation away from the Attorney General and the Department of Homeland Security,” Issa asserted.

“We determined that Grindler learned on December 17, 2010, of the link between weapons found at the Terry murder scene and Operation Fast and Furious but did not inform the Attorney General about this information,” Issa quoted from the report. (Bear in mind another aide had informed Holder of the Terry murder the night it happened.)

That doesn’t make sense, since documents that would clear Grindler haven’t been released, and it’s far more likely, as Codrea notes, that Grindler did tell Holder, and that Holder and Obama were both aware (especially when Obama knew before Holder, as above).  Holder’s just been in spin mode from day one.

FOX News is reporting that the WSJ story’s supposed firings are just recommendations for hypothetical, maybe someday removals:

The move from the ATF’s review board is the first step in what could be a months-long process, including appeals.

For reference with regards to the amount of time that has passed, Brian Terry was murdered on Dec 14, 2010, by guns the ATF started smuggling in 2009.

Big news.  Oversight report can be read here, and Oversight reports’ exhibits here.

From Daily Caller:

The latest congressional report on Operation Fast and Furious found that the gunwalking-program-turned-scandal was the result of a “deliberate strategy created at the highest levels of the Justice Department aimed at identifying the leaders of a major gun trafficking ring.”

The report is the second installment in a three-part series from Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Sen. Chuck Grassley and House oversight committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa.

That “deliberate strategy,” congressional investigators argue, sprang from “a series of speeches about combating violence along the Southwest border” that Attorney General Eric Holder delivered shortly after taking office.

And from Katie Pavlich at Townhall here (also big kudos to Katie – your added attention to citations in recent weeks have been noticed!):

The most recent report contains damning information and documentation showing Attorney General Eric Holder’s Deputy Chief of Staff Monty Wilkinson and DOJ Official Patrick Cunningham discussing plans for Holder to participate a press conference announcing the “take-down” or the end of Operation Fast and Furious before Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed on December 15, 2010. Guns from the Fast and Furious program were left at Terry’s murder scene. Holder claims he didn’t know about Operation Fast and Furious until May of 2011. The email below was sent on December 14, 2010 at 12:28 pm, just 12 hours before Terry’s murder. (email pic here)

And from Breitbart (first part is quoting the report):

“He spoke about the development of a prosecution and enforcement strategy with respect to firearms trafficking, noting that the ‘administration launched a major new effort to break the backs of the cartels,’ … In particular, the attorney general said that the Justice Department was committed to adding ‘100 new ATF personnel to the Southwest Border’ and that Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) would add ‘16 new positions on the border.’ Most importantly, the attorney general noted that there must be ‘an attack in depth, on both sides of the border, that focuses on the leadership and assets of the cartel.’”

After these speeches, congressional investigators found  “a Firearms Trafficking Working Group was formed,” which was tasked with “exploring and recommending proposals to enhance law enforcement efforts to curb firearms trafficking, focusing specifically on investigation, interdiction, training, prosecution, and intelligence-sharing.”

House Oversight & Reform Committee hearing today.  Viewable live here.

Plenty of questions about what was going on, when, and how.

From ABC News:

On Tuesday, Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) pressed the Department of Justice to provide information about 57 Fast and Furious weapons found at Mexican crime scenes, which were first exposed by a Univision News special investigation on September 30.

In a letter obtained by Univision News and sent to Attorney General Eric Holder, Issa and Grassley inquired about the previously unreported Fast and Furious guns that were linked to violent crimes and featured in the Univision News report. The letter pays special attention to three firearms connected to an ATF gun-tracing operation that were used in a massacre of 15 teenagers in Villas de Salvarcar.

The letter from Issa and Grassley to Holder is here:

2012-10-02 DEI CEG to DOJ (Fast and Furious Recoveries)

Therefore, please answer the following questions:
1) With regard to the “57 more previously unreported firearms,” referenced in the Univision story, please provide any information the Department has gathered about these recoveries and their connection to Fast and Furious.
2) With regards to the three weapons used on January 30, 2010:
a. Were these three weapons connected to Fast and Furious?
b. Who purchased these weapons, and when?
c. When were these weapons recovered?
d. When did the Department first learn of the connection between these weapons and Fast and Furious?
e. Why did the Department fail to report these weapons to Congress along with the 28 other weapons recovered in Mexico in connection with violent crimes?

There are a few more questions, but it’s worth it to read the whole letter.

Last week, the DOJ’s Office of Inspector General released their internal report on Fast and Furious.  Obviously, having the investigating agency’s own watchdog investigate them is going to produce limited results, but as Darrell Issa noted, you have to go through the procedures and give them a chance to work.  If DOJ OIG is objective and does a good job, great.  If they don’t, it becomes one more thing in need of reform.

The testimony in front of the House Oversight and Reform Committee is here:

And Oversight & Reform’s report on the key findings of the OIG is here:

http://oversight.house.gov/release/10961/

Note that the first thing that comes out of Democrat Cummings’ mouth is “BUSH DID IT”, which has been proven over and over again to be a load of crap.