Defense & National Security

Napolitano perjured herself to Congress in Fast & Furious testimony

In her explosive new book Fast and Furious, Katie Pavlich makes the case that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano not only failed to stop an operation that led to the death of one of her own, Border Agent Brian A. Terry, but she may have also lied to Congress in sworn testimony at a hearing held to find out what really happened.

Inside sources told Pavlich that Napolitano’s testimony was in direct contradiction to emails she exchanged, and reports and briefings she received, according to an exclusive preview of the book by Human Events.

Pavlich’s book Fast and Furious is due to be released Monday, April 16. It is published by Regnery Publishing, owned by Eagle Publishing, which also owns Human Events.

Most of the focus in the Fast and Furious scandal has been on attorney Gen. Eric Holder, because his Department of Justice ran the program through its Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, still referenced to as ATF, its old initials from before it was tasked with explosives.

But while Holder’s people waved the questionable gun purchasers through the checkout line, Napolitano was in charge of the Mexican border those guns crossed.

Pavlich’s book is particularly revealing, especially considering the lengths the Obama administration has gone to keep anyone from knowing anything about Fast & Furious and other gun-running operations. These operations involved multiple federal agencies facilitating illegal gun purchases, by co-opting the normal checks at gun stores in the Southwest, and then ignoring the guns as they were taken into Mexico. In Mexico, the guns were picked up at hundreds of gun sites.

Letting the guns slip away is a called “gun walking,” because the guns were allowed to walk.

In her September testimony to a Senate committee, Napolitano told senators she knew nothing about Fast & Furious until after Terry was killed in a gunfight on the night of Dec. 14, 2010 with an AK-47 purchased at one of the gun stores that was one of the key retailers where federal agents actively let guns walk.

In October, she told Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) at a hearing at the Senate Judiciary Committee that she never spoke to the Dennis Burke about Fast & Furious. Burke, who was the U.S. Attorney for the   Arizona Department, was her chief of staff when she was the governor of Arizona and a close friend.

In the same month, Napolitano told Rep. Jason E. Chaffetz (R-Utah) at a hearing held by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that she never spoke to Holder about Fast & Furious.

Homeland Security insiders paint a different picture, Pavlich reports.

Members of Congress questioning the secretary seem to know it, too.

One source said to the author, “When she says that [she] and Attorney General Eric Holder have not discussed it, that is a lie. That’s why they keep asking her those questions in the Judicial, Oversight, Homeland Security Committee hearings. They’ve asked her that same questions twice and she’s lied twice.”

How did she know? The source said, “There are five emails linking her to Holder. They go back two days after it happened-the first email was two days after Brian was killed.”

In the emails, Holder and Napolitano discuss Terry’s murder, the source said to Pavlich.

The source concedes that Holder may have “kept her in the dark” about all of the details of the gun walking, but her office approved letting the guns walk into Mexico and one of the agencies under her command, Customs and Border Protection, allowed guns through.

Another source from the ATF confirmed to Pavlich that Napolitano was briefed regularly by an agent from another of her agencies, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as ICE.

“There was an ICE agent assigned specifically to be the co-case agent of Fast & Furious. He had to [file] an ICE report that either mirrored or referenced every ATF report that was done,” the ATF source said.

Beyond reports, there were inter-agency jealousies that had to be settled in Washington, he said.

The source said to Pavlich there were constant battles between ICE and ATF agents over who would get credit for different seizures or other issues. “I know phone calls were made to both headquarters to try and settle those disputes.”

It was Terry’s death that brought Operation Fast and Furious to an abrupt end. But now, more than 16 months later, no one has been charged with crimes associated with either the gun walking programs or the cover-up.

Pavlich makes a strong case that when people are finally charged with crimes, Napolitano will have to answer for her perjury to Congress.

“Let me tell you something about Janet,” another source said to the author. “Janet will be lucky not to go to prison.”

To watch part one of Human Events’ interview with Katie Pavlich, click here.

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