ATF Death Watch 147: Why Eric Holder Would Rather Go To Jail Than Surrender Fast and Furious Documents to Congressional Investigators

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.

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

30 Responses to ATF Death Watch 147: Why Eric Holder Would Rather Go To Jail Than Surrender Fast and Furious Documents to Congressional Investigators

  1. avatarLT says:

    Simpler answer: Obama can bail him out of jail at any time, and him actually seeing any significant punishment would make him a martyr for the left/gun grabbers.

  2. avatarMr. Pierogie says:

    Quote: I’m still unclear as to why the Obama administration jumped into bed with the drug thugs. To protect the Calderon administration? Greed? Dunno.

    Here’s something to ponder: Katie Pavlich has a book about this whole debacle, and here’s a blurb from the Washington Examiner:

    “As Katie Pavlich shows in her remarkable and eye-opening new book, “Fast and Furious: Barack Obama’s Bloodiest Scandal and Its Shameless Cover-Up,” the whole scheme was either absolutely harebrained or, as some have more ominously theorized, intentionally designed to manufacture “evidence” for tightening gun control legislation.

    Pavlich exposes how extreme gun control measures have been a top political goal for President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder and other important leaders within the administration — and she draws the lines that link this goal directly to the implementation of Fast and Furious. Just as importantly, she shows how the administration has shamelessly tried to obscure those links.”

    In essence, they wanted to supply guns to Mexican gangs to track and capture them later so they’ll be able to say “See, look at all these illegal guns we seized, we need more gun control in this country!”

    So who’s going to jail for this? My guess is that none of the top brass, that’s for sure. As usual.

  3. avatarjoecr says:

    I think you meant don’t instead of down in the following quote “(which he’s sworn to uphold but down get me started)”.

  4. avatarBLAMMO says:

    Sufficient incompetence is indistinguishable from malice. And malice is indistinguishable from malice.

  5. avatarCurtis says:

    “So who’s going to jail for this? My guess is that none of the top brass, that’s for sure. As usual.”

    There’s something wrong here. Really, really wrong. How do we regain accountability in this country? If there’s one common thread between the Tea Party, Occupy, and everybody in between, it’s the sentiment that leaders in financial and political sectors make mistakes with serious consequences for everyone but them. What can we as individuals do to get this back?

  6. avatarLevi B says:

    The ONLY reason someone so high up is taking the fall is because they’re covering for someone even higher. Only a few people higher than the Attorney General in the Executive Branch. Who could it be…

  7. avatarBlake says:

    Robert,

    I think it all goes back to Chicago. Unions and the mob have run Chicago for decades. It’s very possible the current administration is a wholly owned subsidiary of Chicago thugs and the mob is using government to move drugs and money.

  8. avatarAharon says:

    OT though related:

    “Two illegal immigrants pleaded guilty in Texas on Monday to possessing 27,000 rounds of assault rifle ammunition along the U.S.-Mexico border, where cross-border weapons smuggling has increased in recent years, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.”

    http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/05/15/11713311-mexican-couple-admit-to-27000-round-ammo-cache-in-texas?lite

  9. avatargreat unknown says:

    Jail for contempt of Congress cannot be pardoned by the President. However, it would be politically expedient to wait for the next election to begin taking action. I suspect a lot of documents are going to disappear [accidentally], and a lot of people also.

    • avatarLevi B says:

      Making sure the paperwork is scrubbed of any mention of Obama and other key players is almost definitely the reason they’ve delayed things so long.

  10. avatarrosignol says:

    I’m still unclear as to why the Obama administration jumped into bed with the drug thugs.

    I seriously think the idea was to have the narcotraficantes fight among each other until only one was left, and then the Mexican gov’t could take on that one group instead of going after them all.

    It might not sound like a bad plan in the abstract, but in the real world it’s a goddamn horrible plan, because the one outfit that was still standing would control so much cash and hardened killers that it could afford to buy off or kill the entire government of Mexico, and would still have more money (and manpower) left over than they knew what to do with.

    • avatarRopingdown says:

      What you surmise might be the consequence of the government supporting one cartel is exactly the way it used to be during the latter years of the PRI. In those days, though, the relatively peaceful dealings as mere middle-men and the steady payoffs of government, offered and accepted, produced inadequate sociopathic hit-men. Many people hold today that the Mexican and US government have indeed been following a strategy to favor the Sinaloa Cartel until the Zetas and Gulf are eliminated. That isn’t working out so well. The Genie is out of the bottle. As the Zetas might say, “Why offer officials gold or lead when merely offering lead suffices.”

      • avatarRopingdown says:

        Supporting the “favored cartel” concept: “Since late April the Los Zetas criminal gang has been under immense pressure from an alliance between the Gulf cartel, the Los Zetas’ mortal rival and the Sinaloa drug cartel. That alliance was formalized sometime last year, and its existence was revealed following the capture of Victor Manuel Felix Felix in Tabasco state.” http://www.borderlandbeat.com/ -you will not see a more gruesome web page today.

  11. avatargreat unknown says:

    BTW, if Holder is indeed willing to go to jail at this time, what is the Administration willing to stoop to to prevent losing the election in November. Is it beyond them to use [legal and physical] violence, illegal registration, or worse?

  12. During that same two-and-a-half year gap between Agent Terry’s death and now..

    Agent Terry died on 15 Dec. 2010, it’s only been one-and-a-half years. Other than that, great post.

  13. avatarcmd says:

    Is all of this why the folks in Hollywood contribute so much money to Obama’s campaign? He is keeping the cocaine flowing to them? Just wondering.

  14. avatarRandolphus Maximus says:

    Robert -

    It would fit the pattern of the government being in collusion with the drug cartels. It’s not like certain government agencies *cough* CIA *cough* don’t have a history in the drug trade. There’s just too much money involved…look up Barry Seal the CIA, Mena Arkansas and Bill Clinton. You can look up the links between Barry Seal and the Bush family as well. It’s all there.

    As for motive, why would the Obama administration get into bed with the Mexican cartels? Maybe it’s the other way around and the Mexican cartels picked the winning horse this time around…

  15. avatarST says:

    Why would Obama collaborate with the Cartels?

    Money and lead.

    Money,because the interest income generated from the Federally laundered cartel funds can be distributed *anywhere* with impunity.If the Mob launders funds,they’re one mistake away from the FBI coming down on them like a ton of bricks.This problem of discovery and prosecution by the Feds goes away if the laundering is part of an “ongoing criminal investigation”.Obama and company can freely take and spend the proceeds immune from the threat of arrest.

    The “lead” comes in with regard to American violence.Let’s not mince words,if the Cartels wanted to push their conflict northwards all it would take is a word from the cartel Jefes.Los Angeles and other liberal zones in America would turn into Sarajevo overnight.’Ordinary’ street gangs control lots of urban centers as it is.A possible quid pro quo would be the Drug Cartels agreeing to keep the public bloodshed and overt criminal activity down stateside,in exchange for paying a “tribute”-a cut of their income via money laundering -to Obama and Co.F&F was in all likelihood a result of Zero deciding he may as well use the agreement to sell a policy goal of his.

  16. avatarRalph says:

    Holder in jail is a fantasy. However, I don’t think he’d hate it there, since he’d be reunited with most of the previous Illinois Governors and half of the State Legislature.

    • avatarrosignol says:

      If I’m going to fantasize, I’m gonna fantasize about Holder being extradited to Mexico. It’ll never happen, but that’s what fantasies are for, right?

  17. avatarJim March says:

    Wait, they did NOT collaborate with “The Cartels”. Oh no. From everything we can tell, we’re talking singular: the Sinaloa Cartel.

    As best we can put the picture together, the [boldface]US Government[/boldface] got in bed with the Sinaloas to use them as a counter against Los Zetas. They stopped thinking of the major cartels as “crime gangs” and started looking at them as “de-facto small countries” at which point an entirely different set of policy choices cropped up.

    Talking about this difference in approach is also a way of saying that the Mexican Federal Government isn’t fully in control of the whole country. Duh. But that’s not a place they want to go.

    They also don’t want to emphasize the absurdity of the War On (Some) Drugs[tm] given these new realities.

    Here’s how bad things have gotten. I’m in Tucson. My contacts among the Mexican-American (and sometimes just “Mexican”) community say that it’s no longer possible to go solo south to north. You either pay a Cartel coyote for a ride in a vehicle or you “pay your way” by lugging 50+ lbs of pot across the border in a Cartel convoy. Try it alone and you’ll get shot, because the Cartels own the entire southern edge of the border outright.

    So yeah. The border CAN be controlled, if there’s enough money in it.

  18. avatarGS650G says:

    Elections have consequences. While there isn’t much difference between the parties on some issues, who is appointed to key posts is certainly an issue. I doubt McCain would have Eric Holder, or anyone with the same beliefs, running DoJ.

  19. avatarMike OFWG says:

    Maybe he needs to remember what happened to Scooter Libby.

  20. avatarRich says:

    My President is Cool. He fly’s somewhere every day he is not playing golf.
    He needs the time off because he is so busy he does not sleep. He stays
    up all night thinking of new ways to help “we the people.” He has done so
    much with so little he had to print 3X as many dollars as when he took
    office .He had to spend and borrow more than he takes in so he could
    accomplish so much with only 5 trillion dollars in 3.5 years. We don’ need
    to worry about that because our grandchildren can easily pay it off. This
    is really a gift to them because these dollars have stimulated or created
    job growth now and in the future. He comes from a poor backgrounds and when
    he was little he loved to eat the family dog and on bad days he ate
    grasshopper. Some people say he was not born in this country but he has
    posted his birth certificate online. He says its not his fault his copy machine
    keeps screwing up and the last form had to be put together from 3 copies
    I don’t understand that. His energy policy is really amazing.
    We don’t need as much carbon based fuels so he blocked the
    Keystone Pipeline to get safe clean energy from our friends in Canada.
    That would have given us only 20,000 jobs but on TV he says we don’t
    need it because the economy is getting better. Its ok since we have
    windmills and algae to fill our outdated vehicles. Since we don’t need as
    much oil, Canada has decided to sell it to China where their EPA is much
    more strict than ours. That is called going green. Don’t forget to inflate
    your tires since that will help with the gasoline, which is too low in
    price. It has been proven we are polluting the air so much we are getting
    hotter. The gas is poison CO2, That is why we breath it out. Stupid plants
    breath it in. I don’t know why they want poison gas. Its becoming such a
    large amount that it makes up .03% of the atmosphere. He is thinking about
    charging people for the average number of times they breath out per year. I say it would be better to charge cars, trucks, and power plants since they put out out the
    most. He will probably think of that too. He heard the Mexican drug cartel was running short of guns and ammo so he had the ATF send them some guns free of charge. Mexico has a stupid gun ban and the crime including murder is much lower down there. They have had only 50,000 murders in the past few years near the border. They keep leaving the guns at the scene of killings so we can have them back. Drug prices in the US should drop soon since its much easier to transport
    drugs with guns. I could go on but I know he has our best interest at heart and
    always speaks the truth, without any notes. He never blames others for his work.
    Thus he is reputed to be the smartest man to ever
    inhabit the White House and I believe it. I sure am happy he is protected by
    the men of the Secret Service which have the highest standards of conduct
    and morals. He took in so much money April 15 he gave a reward to the GSA
    agency that watch’s all Gov’t spending to keep it as low as possible. They
    consider the money belongs to”we the people” and they must be frugal. The
    GSA saved us so much money he gave them extra money for a party in Vegas
    which cost only $800,000. I saw on TV where they had a good time and were
    not wasting our money. He also gave the defense guy free trips to fly home
    since he has saved or created many of our lives. He took a survey and found there
    were too many Islands around Alaska than allowed. So he gave our friends the
    Russians 7 islands. They were happy since there its lots of oil in the sea
    bed around there. I wrote him a letter and ask him to give away Florida,
    Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California to Mexico since they have mostly
    Mexicans anyway. I was worried he would not get re-elected but I was
    relieved when I found out all our votes in November will go to a company in
    Spain to be tallied, which is owned by a socialist. That is called
    outsourcing. Our companies here must not be able to handle numbers that
    big..

    All true-Google it
    Do we live in a brain dead inverse world or what.?

  21. avatarTim Myer says:

    The first time I logged on to this site, I got the ” Forbidden” page. Got the site the second time I logged on, though. Be persistent.

  22. avatarWOP2 says:

    You guys keep missing the principle point! Project Gunrunner is a clear violation of a law that has been in existence since 1976. Millions of dollars in fines, and untold years in prison have been the punishment for violating the Arms Export Control Act of 1976, and its resultant regulations, the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, commonly referred to as the ITAR. All of this is codified at 22CFR120-130. The specific violation is the exportation of small arms up to and including .50 caliber without an export license issued by the responsible Secretary. ALL ITAR matters come under the purvue of the Secretary of State. Connect the dots, and you’re going to see quickly that Hillary Clinton, by failing to prosecute upper level felons, is guilty by a sin of ommission. She works for the President. I think you can go right past money laundering, drugs, conspiracy theories, and concentrate on an existing law to place Clinton, Holder, and Obama in jail. Do a little research. You have these guys all busted on a law that has stood the test of time.

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