U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder continues to stonewall Congressional investigators over Operation Fast and Furious. Congress wants to know the origin, scope, scale, nature and timing of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ illegal gun running program. A program that facilitated the illegal sale of over 2000 U.S. gun store guns to members of Mexican drug cartels; some of whom used the weapons to murder U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, Immigrations and Custom Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata and an unknown number of Mexican citizens. Ignoring an impending contempt of Congress citation, the U.S. Attorney General has refused to provide tens of thousands of key documents to Congress. Why? Let’s start with the official explanation . . .
The Department of Justice (DOJ) continues to claim they can’t release the subpoenaed documents because they might jeopardize “ongoing criminal investigations and prosecutions.” Yes well . . .
The Fast and Furious program ran for ten months in 2010. U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was murdered in Christmas of that year. Since then, most of the low-level scum who conducted the actual Fast and Furious firearms transactions (and attendent smuggling) have been tried, convicted and sent to jail, albeit with suspiciously light sentences.
As for the gun running “kingpins” whose activities supposedly inspired the ATF’s illegal “sting,” they never existed. The most senior U.S.-to-Mexico gun runner was an FBI informant. So it will be a very long wait indeed for any high profile criminal prosecutions related to Fast and Furious. Especially if we’re talking about the people who created the ATF’s extra-legal operation.
During that same one-and-a-half year gap between Agent Terry’s death and now, none of the government employees involved in Fast and Furious have been so much as officially reprimanded. At the beginning of the scandal, the DOJ refused to answer questions about their [lack of any] internal response to F&F by saying they were waiting for the final report from an Inspector General’s Office investigation. The DOJ hasn’t mentioned this “independent” IG investigation in well over a year.
Which brings us to the current impasse.
The mainstream media reckons Eric Holder’s stonewalling Congress because he’s covering-up pre-Terry knowledge of Fast and Furious at the administration’s highest levels. The subpoenaed documents would establish a connection between Obama’s Boyz (perhaps even the President himself), the ATF and Agent Terry and Zapata’s death (oh and the Mexicans).
The question is: so what?
That’s not enough “dirt” to justify Holder’s decision to hold out on Congress. Even if Holder and his boss knew about F&F, it’s not like they ordered the ATF to sell guns to Mexican drug thugs so they could murder U.S. government agents. The DOJ has claimed all along that Operation Fast and Furious was a “botched sting.” That “Our heart was in the right place. Shit happens” strategy is working just fine.
So perhaps the documents reveal F&F as gun-grabbing groundwork: part of a coordinated effort to create a sense of emergency to justify the introduction of new, draconian gun control laws for American citizens.
Again, so what?
The Obama administration could easily spin everything Fast and Furious related as an anti-crime effort that went south (literally and figuratively). The President could claim national security, point to [illusory] progress on The War on Drugs and call it a day. The media would move on (dot org).
There must be something bigger than “oops they killed someone with ATF-enabled guns” and “we were planning another assault weapons ban” under wraps. Something so damaging that Eric Holder would rather go to jail rather than comply with the law of the land. Something that could bring the Obama administration down.
The answer’s right there in front of us. Has been for some time. The Obama administration was (is?) in business with the heinous Mexican drug cartels. As in allowing tons of drugs and millions of illegal immigrants into the United States, and letting tens of billions of dollars and thousands of guns (don’t forget official military and police sales) out.
I’m not going to revisit all the posts that establish this government-wide pattern of corruption, from the “forgotten” gun running scandal (Tampa ATF’s Operation Castaway) to the IED builder allowed to walk back into Mexico (Mr. Kingley). But I want to draw your attention to one story that proves my point. As in Watergate, with Fast and Furious, you gotta follow the money.
Undercover American narcotics agents have laundered or smuggled millions of dollars in drug proceeds as part of Washington’s expanding role in Mexico’s fight against drug cartels, according to current and former federal law enforcement officials.
. . . the former officials said that federal law enforcement agencies had to seek Justice Department approval to launder amounts greater than $10 million in any single operation. But they said that the cap was treated more as a guideline than a rule, and that it had been waived on many occasions to attract the interest of high-value targets.
According to this December 2011 story in the New York Times (which we blogged at the time), the DEA laundered drug cartel cash as part of their own “botched sting.” What are the odds of two different federal agencies working on behalf of Mexican cartels that delivered the goods but somehow never managed to close the [supposed] trap?
I am convinced that U.S. collusion with Mexican drug cartels accounts for Eric Holder’s steadfast refusal to surrender a truckload subpoenaed documents to Congress, at the risk, of a jail sentence (no joke). But I’m still unclear as to why the Obama administration jumped into bed with the drug thugs. To protect the Calderon administration? Greed? Dunno.
The answer lies in those documents. Meanwhile, funding and arming the drug cartels while allowing the Mexican government to disarm their citizens has created unimaginable suffering on both sides of the border. In the memory of Agent Terry, who believed in the U.S. constitution and the rule of law, someone should be held accountable. Eric Holder’s as good a place to start as any.