A few months ago, Operation Fast and Furious was a small blip on the mainstream media’s radar. But thanks to the ongoing efforts of investigative journalists, most notably Sharyl Attkisson, and public outcry from the gun community (I like to believe we’ve played a small part in bringing this disaster to light) this botched gun walking operation is now the center of attention.
Moreover, Eric Holder’s prevarication on the matter has only served to exacerbate things for the Department of Justice and the Obama Administration.
This week Obama was asked about Holder’s involvement in the operation and whether or not he believes Holder had knowledge of the non-interdiction tactics used in Fast and Furious. Here’s a video of the exchange, courtesy of the Salem News.com:
“I have complete confidence in Attorney General Holder,” Obama said at a news conference. “He has been very aggressive in going after gun running and cash transactions that are going to these transnational drug cartels in Mexico.”
In publicly placing his trust and confidence in Holder, many believe Obama is exposing himself to what seems inevitable: Holder’s resignation and/or complete embarrassment for all parties and agencies involved. Up until this point, Obama had remained relatively silent with respect to Fast and Furious. He could have chose to further distance himself from Holder and the DOJ’s involvement in this fiasco, but he chose (perhaps foolishly) to stand by his man.
Already there are people in Congress who are calling for the resignation of Holder. This week Congressman Raul Labrador (R- Idaho) released a press statement that explicitly imputes Holder for lying to Congressional investigators. It reads:
“The Attorney General of the United States has an obligation to provide truthful and accurate testimony to Congress. When Attorney General Eric Holder testified before Congress on May 3, his statements were either untrue or deliberately misleading.”
The chairman of the House of Representatives Oversight Committee, Darrell Issa, and the senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley, who together are conducting a congressional investigation into Fast and Furious have also voiced disdain for Holder’s conduct.
Yesterday, Issa said in a statement, that “Attorney General Holder has failed to give Congress and the American people an honest account of what he and other senior Justice Department officials knew about gunwalking and Operation Fast and Furious. The lack of candor and honesty from our nation’s chief law enforcement officials in this matter is deeply disturbing.”
Grassely added, “With the fairly detailed information that the Attorney General read, it seems the logical question for the Attorney General after reading in the memo would be “why haven’t we stopped them? And if he didn’t ask the questions, why didn’t he or somebody in his office?”
However, the Justice Department believes that Grassely, Issa, and the other critics are on a witch-hunt. In a statement released this week they stated:
“Here they go again. Chairman Issa and Senator Grassley can re-package and re-release the same documents every other day and it won’t change the facts: the attorney general’s testimony to both the House and Senate committees has been consistent and truthful.”
The DOJ statement went on to say:
“Instead of peddling selectively-edited transcripts and distorting questions and answers in some distracting political game of gotcha, these congressional leaders should be focusing their attention on the underlying public safety problem we confront as a nation — that too many guns are being illegally trafficked to Mexico.”
Well, as Guns.comhas already pointed out, Holder did indeed lie about the date in which he found out about Fast and Furious. Whether or not he knew the details of the operation could be debated.
Another issue to emerge this week with respect to Fast & Furious is the fact that it is not the only operation of its kind. In 2007, the ATF was allegedly running an operation called, Operation: Wide Receiver that used the same laissez-faire approach toward straw purchasers who were selling weapons directly to Mexican drug cartels. To hear the full details of this new development, watch Attkisson’s report: