Despite administration and media hoopla to the contrary, subpoenaed documents turned over to Congress fall far short of what’s been demanded, and what’s been demanded fall short of what’s required to get to the bottom of an evil government operation that has resulted – and will continue to result — in untold deaths. What has been included in the long-stonewalled release highlights not only gaping holes in the administration’s response, but refutes official positions and further illustrates official arrogance.
On Thursday, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform issued a “flash memorandum” presenting an overview chronology of the effort to obtain documents that had been withheld under a presidential “executive privilege” claim. As seen in prior reports, the White House had also denied Oversight access to a potential key witness, making it more than fair to wonder why that might be. Add to that unresolved (unasked by anyone in an official capacity, actually) questions about apparent Arms Export Control Act violations and unbelievable testimony from Eric Holder on what he knew and when he knew it.
“[T]he documents reveal how senior Justice Department officials—including Attorney General Eric Holder—intensely followed and managed an effort to carefully limit and obstruct the information produced to Congress,” the memo notes, adding further cause for curiosity. “Justice Department officials in Washington impeded the congressional investigation in several ways…”
Don’t we know it … and a series of related emails shows DoJ lawyers in full jockeying for the right weasel words mode, leaving no doubt that concern to protect the American people from the lethal repercussions of an ATF operation that blew up in everyone’s faces was the last thing on their minds.
The first thing noticeable to those of us involved in digging out much of the early information on the lethal “gunwalking” program is the emergence of some familiar names. From my report of Oct. 3, 2011:
And in the thick of things, based on a heavily redacted Nov.2010 weekly report, is Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer. Additionally, an October 2010 email from Breuer deputy Jason Weinstein shows that, disingenuous parsing aside, decision-makers and their legal advisers knew exactly what the term “walking guns” meant. (Long-time readers will recall Breuer’s name surfaced as a speculative “Project Gunwalker” figure in early February of this year.)
Plenty of people are analyzing and commenting on the Oversight memo and email release, each side using the contents for their own ends. There are two observations that strike me others don’t seem to be discussing, so those are what I’d like to present here, with the further recognition that the emails were composed by those with the legal acumen to know what they were saying could someday be seen by others.
“The weapon used to kill agent Terry was purchased from the FFL before the Fast and Furious investigation ever began,” Weinstein claimed. “So ATF can and should strongly refute that.”
The weapon used, while there are great reasons to suspect it, has not been positively identified. Fragmentation complicated a positive ballistics test identification, meaning Weinstein’s and DoJ’s definitive denials were not substantiated. And contrary to the assertion that weapons found at the Terry murder scene were pre-Fast and Furious purchases, the Office of Inspector General report noted:
In November, ATF also identified a subject named Jaime Avila, whose purchases in January 2010 were recovered on December 14, 2010, at the scene of the fatal shooting of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
That was from the OIG report chapter IV.C, titled “ATF Group VII Identifies a Firearms Trafficking Organization and Initiates Operation Fast and Furious in November 2009.”
The second thing that struck me was the sheer ignorant arrogance revealed in a comment by a bureaucrat whose sole contribution appears to be that of snotty propagandist.
“The ‘civil rights of firearms owners’!!!!” DoJ flack Matthew A. Miller snarked, bringing the Alinsky Rule 5 ridicule to the notion that anyone would refer to the Second Amendment in terms of rights government has a duty to protect instead of infringe on.
Yes, former Holder “spokesman.” And if you want to add another exclamation point, try “Natural Rights.” That really ought to give your buddies at the House Democratic Caucus and Chuck Schumer’s campaign staff a good laugh.
It’s pretty representative of how “progressives” in power view an armed citizenry. And it’s a good indication that their priorities don’t include justice for Brian Terry and other s killed by “official” criminal acts, let alone living up to a prime directive for having this government in the first place, “to secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”
After all, noting the earliest whistleblower-suggested motive for Fast and Furious in the first place, “to pad their statistics,” walking U.S. guns and counting on them being found next to bodies in Mexico would have the opposite effect, and work to the advantage of those intent on “justifying” more citizen disarmament.