Fast and Furious – Eric Holder Caught Lying?
The article by DJ Redman on AG Eric Holder’s latest attempt to get Congressional investigators to leave him alone prompted me to further investigate Holder’s role in “Operation Fast and Furious,” a.k.a. “Gunwalker.”
For a brief history of Fast and Furious, follow the links here, here, and here. Smalgov has also posted an article about Fast and Furious. This article, by Brady Boyd, outlines how the WH and MSM try to play down Fast and Furious as a non-story. DOJ officials have always tried to say that Fast and Furious was corrupted by incompetent supervisors, but that excuse was made inoperative by Sharyl Attkisson, who says “the new documents leave no doubt that high-level Justice officials knew guns were being ‘walked’.” This link, BTW, has the letter written by Holder to which DJ Redman referred.
The Investigation Continues
AG Eric Holder wrote a letter to the chairmen and ranking members of three Congressional committees investigating Fast and Furious. He maintained that he has been “truthful and accurate” about the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) operation, and that the rhetoric coming from Republican legislators has been “irresponsible and inflammatory.” His letter follows a series of internal Justice Department memos released this week and show that Holder was informed about the existence of Operation Fast and Furious in early July, 2010.
BTW, this article has a timeline of events outlining Holder’s and Congress’ investigation of Operation Fast and Furious.
Holder testified in May, 2011, before the House Judiciary Committee that he did not learn about the operation until earlier this year. Officials with the Department of Justice (DOJ) say Holder was referring to when he learned about the controversial tactics used. DOJ officials say Holder understood the question from Rep. Darrell Issa, (R-CA) to have been about when the attorney general learned about the controversial tactics, not about the existence of the program. To that statement, Becca Watkins, press secretary for the House Oversight Committee chaired by Issa, said, “He’s either incompetent or he’s misleading Congress.” And, I may add, this is one of Holder’s defenses.
What Did Holder Know and When?
Michael Walther, the director of the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC), wrote three memos to Holder in which he mentions Operation Fast and Furious. In one memo, Walther advises Holder that NDIC and a Phoenix drug enforcement task force would assist the ATF with an investigation of a suspected gun trafficker, Manuel Celis-Acosta, being run under Operation Fast and Furious. A copy of a weekly report was sent to Holder on July 5, 2010, from Walther. A paragraph in the report mentions an investigation called “Operation Fast and the Furious.” [emphasis mine]
On October 18, 2010, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer wrote a memo to Holder, noting that among the “Significant Upcoming Events” would be an October 27, 2010, indictment of eight individuals involved with trafficking hundreds of firearms to Mexico. “The sealing will likely last until another investigation, Phoenix-based ‘Operation Fast and Furious,’ is ready for takedown.” [emphasis mine]
Holder Testifies To Congress, But Was It Truthful?
In May, 2011, Holder testified before the House Judiciary Committee that he hadn’t learned about Fast and Furious until a few weeks earlier. Congressional investigators released memos sent to Holder in July, 2010, describing Fast and Furious by name. Holder defended himself against allegations he lied under oath to Congress about when he first heard of Operation Fast and Furious, saying his testimony was “truthful and accurate.” Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), and Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, have pointed to the memos in suggesting they contradict Holder’s testimony.
Holder rejected claims by GOP congressional leaders who said internal Justice department e-mails addressed to the attorney general indicate that Holder knew about the program well before the time he told the committee in May. DOJ spokesmen claim the officials in internal DOJ emails were “talking about a different case started before Eric Holder became Attorney General,” which is difficult to believe with the comment about “the number of guns that have walked.” There were gun walking operations prior to the Obama Administration, but they were much smaller. Holder’s DOJ increased the number of guns being walked by ten to fifteen times. Previous operations also featured the kind of careful surveillance absent in the Holder operation.
Holder’s Latest Defense
“My testimony was truthful and accurate and I have been consistent on this point throughout,” Holder wrote Friday night, October 7, 2011. “I have no recollection of knowing about Fast and Furious or of hearing its name prior to the public controversy about it.” Holder contends that DOJ memos were part of many reports that are routinely directed to lower-level officials. He also said that none of the memos offered details about the Fast and Furious inquiry. Holder claims that while he received memos about Fast and Furious, they are “actually provided to and reviewed by members of my staff and the staff of the Office of the Deputy Attorney General.”
Conclusion: Holder Is Lying!
But that’s just my opinion.