Well, it seems that the movable feast of malfeasance that is the AFT and their Fast n’ Furious Follies moves down the street from the Congressional chambers to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Yep. Messrs. Issa and Grassley are takin’ their show on the road, and are going to stage a command performance at the nation’s most famous work-out-of-your-home-office, the White House. In a letter dated Friday, Rep. Issa and Sen. Grassley have made a formal request for all records and communications regarding Fast ‘n Furious that involve three senior White House officials. Oh my…what’s that sound? Ah, yes. It’s all those chickens Rev. Wright spoke of coming home to roost.

Why now? Well, it turns out that after the lead ATF agent-in-charge, William Newell fessed-up about his chin wags with the big boys, Our Congressional Watchdogs want to know who knew what and when. (For you history buffs, does this ring any bells? Um…say ’round 1973 or 74, perhaps? But I digress.)

The emails in question (gotta love those electronic paper trails, no?) were sent between July of 2010 and February of 2011, which puts them some time before the lid blew off of this whole “Gunwalker” thingy.

Surprise. The White House denies that the emails contain details about the so-called “investigative tactics” (A.K.A. “letting the guns head into Mexico where they’d be impossible to track). Feeling the heat would be Kevin M. O’Reilly, the director of N. American Affairs for the WH national security staff, Dan Restrepo, Obama’s ranking security advisor on all things Latin America-related, and Greg Gatjanis, a national security official for the White House.

Issa and Grassley have asked the White House to provide said communications by High Noon on Friday, September 23rd, which should give them two weeks to hide, obfuscate, redact, destroy, or forge whatever they need to, before handing over the goods to the good guys.

Anybody that thinks this is a “minor irritant” and that the White House can simply lawyer-up, claim “executive privilege, and go on spending taxpayer money to get the O-man re-elected might want to guess again. Congressional “requests” are a great deal more like “insistions” and not far removed from “commandments.”

Hell hath no fury like a Congress scorned, and these guys have the power to throw some of these underlings in the hoosegow until they decide to play nice. And I seriously doubt Issa or Grassley will take too kindly to the kind of ridiculous redacted records that the ATF tried to pass off a couple of months ago as “cooperation.”

So let’s haul out the old crystal ball and see if we can see where this is going.

Let’s for the sake of argument presume that the Obama White House isn’t stupid enough to try and deny Issa and Grassley their pound of electronic flesh. Okay. And lets assume that Newell’s on the level, and the emails reveal exactly what he claimed – that the White House was fully aware of what was going on long before everybody (else) knew Fast and Furious to be a loose cannon on the deck of a ship of state being tossed about by high winds. So Issa and Grassley then issue “invitations” for a little one-on-one over at the Capitol building. Now things get interesting.

We have two choices here, should the Three Mousekateers be proven to have gotten an earful of all the ATF shenanigans. ONE: these guys are all complicit in a stonewalling/coverup/crime and should be fired, tried and convicted. TWO: these guys are completely incompetent, not doing their jobs, and should be fired. But the $64,000 Question is did they tell Holder and/or Obama, and what did they tell them? 

I can’t imagine that news of this kind of operation would NOT have raised some eyebrows in the White House, and caused these three to, at the very least, kick things upstairs. In other words, if Holder didn’t know, he’s inept and incompetent. If he did know, he’s gonna have to join the “criminally liable” club awaiting their fate.

All of this is unfolding apace. And it’s only a matter of time, before guys at this level have to start thinking about bargaining for their future/freedom, and if/when they’re gonna dish on what THEY told Holder and/or Obama. And again, if you’re a fan of history, you’ve got to wonder how this thing can do anything BUT lead right to the Oval Orifice. I mean, find a similar situation in the history of our country that DIDN’T turn out to have the President’s fingers all over it.

Which is not to say that Obama’s going down. Yet. We’re a long way from starting the Obama’s Presidency Death Watch. In fact, I’d be really uncomfortable with that kind of series, because A) I’m not a betting man, and B) I don’t EVER want ANYbody (least of all the FBI or Secret Service) to misinterpret ANYTHING we say here on TTAG.

So, for the record, Obama is our President. We respect the office, even when we disagree with the politics and policies of the person who holds that office. And I’d like to add that I have nothing personally against Obama, Biden, Reid, Pelosi, or any of the others in Washington with whom I disagree. I don’t want anything I say here to be misconstrued, nor anyone walk away from this discussion with the idea that I’m hoping for the demise of the Obama Presidency. I’m not.

In a perfect world, I’d much prefer to see everybody on both sides play by the rules. And if they choose not to, I’d like to see the bad guys removed from office and punished. I feel that way about both Democrat and Republican hanky-panky, so (believe it or not) I take no pleasure in seeing this mess fall on the White House doorstep. I believe we have enough problems in our country right now, to have to add worrying about Fast n’ Furious transmogrifying into Fast n’ Furiousgate.

But if the White House is involved in a coverup, or plotted in any way to put guns in the hands of drug thugs and that policy resulted in the deaths of U.S. and Mexican citizens, then I want to see everybody concerned brought to justice and held accountable, no matter where that investigation leads. We owe Agent Terry and his family that much. So let’s see where this thing leads. The Frenchy-French have a saying: “To make an omlette, you must first break some eggs.” Here’s hoping that Issa and Grassley can crack this case wide open. Like an eggshell.

3 Responses to ATF Death Watch 79: Chickens, Meet Roost. Roost, Meet Chickens.

  1. “…which should give them two weeks to hide, obfuscate, redact, destroy, or forge whatever they need to, before handing over the goods…”

    Two weeks? They’ve had months and months and months to destroy evidence.

    What the heck is taking Issa, Grassley, and Co. so long to find out who ordered this (and the extent of “this” for that matter), who knew what, and when they knew it – especially after their private chat with Melson. The fact that a Special Prosecutor hasn’t been assigned leads me to question Issa and Grassley’s real intent – could there be a bigger coverup in the works? Is everyone just stalling and going through the motions until a) all the collateral damage has (finally) been reported, b) time passes/the public gets bored, and c) the powers that be can devise a story that makes everyone happy – kind of like the one where it was just a “botched” sting operation, only something believable…

    I find it comically absurd that Holder had the gall to suggest that this is a partisan witch hunt. Partisanship is the only thing restraining this hunt. If Republicans were in office (or we had a media that actually did its job), this would be one no-holds barred, bloody hunt indeed.

    The public and MSM should be outraged and demanding answers now. I think the public is almost there, not sure about the MSM.

    • “Two weeks? They’ve had months and months and months to destroy evidence.”

      They did not get much of a result for all their effort, now did they?

      You can’t “destroy evidence” because the death of Brian Terry is a matter of public record. We know the FBI was complicit because they run the NICS program. We have testimony that ATF was a party. The gunrunning was an OCDFT operation, which is also a matter of public record.

      This is a target-rich environment.

      The actors who played small roles will flip their superiors in exchange for a immunity from prosecution. It only remains to be seen how much pressure Holder and BHO can take before one turns on the other.

    • Is everyone just stalling and going through the motions until a) all the collateral damage has (finally) been reported, b) time passes/the public gets bored, and c) the powers that be can devise a story that makes everyone happy

      Hmm. Let’s see. Yes, yes and yes again.

      This was a national security operation (not our national security; Mexico’s) and nobody is going down for it.

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