The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, at the direction of Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA), has launched a website dedicated entirely to the Operation Fast and Furious scandal, http://fastandfuriousinvestigation.com. It’s still partially under construction, but it has transcripts and video of important hearings, an archive of press releases, and flowcharts to help understand the scandal and its key players.
In a statement announcing the website, Issa said, “While the Department of Justice sought to deny that anything improper occurred in this reckless operation, Sen. Chuck Grassley and I have continued our efforts to expose the truth about what Attorney General Eric Holder now concedes was a fundamentally flawed law enforcement effort. FastandFuriousinvestigation.com will assist efforts to explain to the public the truth about what occurred, who knew, who was responsible, and efforts to ensure that this does not happen again.”
Issa also has a tough op-ed in USA Today, laying out his case against the conduct of Attorney General Eric Holder:
To this day, the attorney general has disclaimed responsibility for the program that his department authorized and supervised. Specifically, Holder claims that he did not know about Fast and Furious until a few weeks before his May 3, 2011, testimony before Congress. Yet, he was sent numerous memoranda listing Fast and Furious as a significant investigation. Now it is becoming clear that even though Holder’s senior managers were fully aware of this program, they failed to end it:
On March 12, 2010, then-acting Deputy Attorney General Gary Grindler received a detailed briefing on Fast and Furious. His handwritten notes show that the briefing included details on tactics and the fact that named individuals were buying hundreds of weapons for Mexican cartels. Since then, he has become Holder’s chief of staff.
On Oct. 31 of this year, Lanny Breuer, assistant attorney general in charge of the Criminal Division, apologized for failing to “draw a connection between the unacceptable tactics” used in Fast and Furious and another program that employed similar tactics. He has retained his job.
Last week, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich took the extraordinarily rare step of withdrawing a letter he sent to Congress because it contained false information. He has retained his job.
In the view of former acting ATF director Ken Melson, the department has been trying to manage its response in a way designed to protect its political appointees. That appears to be true.
Holder testified before Issa’s committee today, and as Fox News notes, he carted his trusty stone wall along with him:
Attorney General Eric Holder suggested Thursday that weapons lost during the course of the failed “Fast and Furious” gunrunning operation will continue to show up at crime scenes in the U.S. and Mexico “for years to come.”
Holder, in testimony on Capitol Hill that comes as the congressional investigation into the program expands, decried the “gun-walking” tactic used in the operation as “inexcusable” and “wholly unacceptable.” But a day after an influential senator called for the resignation of one of Holder’s top deputies over the scandal, Holder denied department leaders played any role in the crafting of “Fast and Furious.”
He continued to assert that top Justice officials were not told about the “inappropriate tactics” until they were made public.
The “influential senator” in question is Charles Grassley (R-IA), ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the scalp he wants belongs to the aforementioned Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer of the Criminal Division. Nobody involved with this catastrophe seems to be losing their jobs, not even after they mislead congressional investigators, withhold information, and respond to perjury challenges by claiming they never saw crucial memos. Apparently the Justice Department is contributing to deforestation by needlessly wasting paper on tons of memos that nobody reads.
One of Grassley’s complaints against Breuer is that he didn’t come clean about the primordial gun walking operation, Wide Receiver, which took place in the Bush years. It was a debacle, so Holder’s Justice Department naturally decided to try it again… with more guns, more inter-agency involvement, less coordination with Mexican authorities, and no radio tracking devices in the guns.
Stay tuned and check FastandFuriousInvestigation.com for the latest news about how no one at the Justice Department knows what anyone who works for them is doing.