ATF Death Watch 104: Timelines and Truthiness

The first thing you do when you’ve dug yourself into a hole: stop digging. My father wasn’t the first to say these words, but he used to say them a lot. And it’s good advice. It seems that every time Eric Holder opens his mouth he’s so busy sticking his foot in it that he can’t win for losin.’ Case in point, that whole Gunwalker timeline thing . . .

In March 2011, President Obama told CNN Español:

I heard on the news about this story that – Fast and Furious, where allegedly guns were being run into Mexico, and ATF knew about it, but didn’t apprehend those who had sent it. Eric Holder has – the attorney general has been very clear that he knew nothing about this. We had assigned an I.G., inspector general, to investigate it.

On May 3, 2011, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder claimed (in Congressional testimony) that he’d only heard of Fast and Furious “over the last few weeks.”

So how is it that Holder could tell Obama about Fast and Furious in March and assign an Inspector General to investigate in May if he only even heard of Fast n’ Furious within the last few weeks?

To paraphrase Ricky Ricardo, ¡Eric, I think you got some ‘splainin’ to do! At this point, Holder’s got but three options:

  1. Stonewall, and hope he can call Congress’ bluff.
  2. Testify and plead the Fifth.
  3. Spill his guts in exchange for a plea bargain.

There is no fourth option.


  1. avatar matt says:

    Couldnt Holder potentially receive a pardon from Obama? Especially if Obama doesnt think he’ll get reelected?

  2. avatar LC Judas says:

    The odds are greater that Obama would throw Holder under the bus. He can’t stonewall, the president has his position clearly set and CANNOT back Holder without back peddling. Not a good idea now. Holder can try and incriminate the president out of malice but his credibility is shot. Pleading the fifth won’t buy him any time. It’s Judgement Day for those responsible for the deaths of those agents. Pleading out with a teary finale and resignation is his best course of action. His career is in tatters, repenting will at least pretense salvaging his image for the history books.

  3. avatar RKflorida says:

    Looks like a picture of Obama continuing to work on our economy.

  4. avatar Richard says:

    Here good question who gone replace Eric Holder when matter over done with??? If Obama replace Eric Holder he gone pick out some one just bad replace him with . I am all for seeing Eric Holder go but not gone jump down about untill I know who Obama plans replace him with.

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      Quite true, however a message needs to be sent and an example made. It won’t bring back the dead from this bad idea but might give pause the next time someone thinks up a scheme around firearms, criminals and the law.

      A new AG would take a few weeks to get confirmed, a few more weeks to get up to speed, and then before you know it election day. So there won;t be much time for funny business.

      I think he should go just for the failure to prosecute the Black Panthers. Since we can’t get him out for that. this will do.

  5. avatar Ralph says:

    He does have other options. Like perpetuating the lie (my favorite). Or committing political seppuku by resigning (not likely). Or admitting that he “misspoke” (they all say that). Or after checking his records, he realized that he made a boo-boo (the leader in the clubhouse). Or whatever other gobbledygook he wants to spew. The guy’s a snake, but as long as POTUS and the Senate back him, there’s not much that can be done. Certainly, the Justice Department isn’t going to indict the sunofabitch.

    Roger Clemens was caught sticking needles in his ass, lied about it, and he’s still walking around. Welcome to America.

  6. avatar Don says:

    Depends on how many weeks “a few weeks” is.

    1. avatar Bill N says:

      And *that* depends on what “is” is. – Clinton

  7. avatar Aharon says:

    Holder: “I’m sorry that I misspoke. I was so tired from all the work I do for America. I meant a few yearly quarters as in Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 which is how executives like me manage activities. A few quarters therefore means about nine months. Thanks for understanding”.

  8. avatar memomachine says:


    What I’m curious about is the “Inspector General” bit. So far as I know there hasn’t been any reporting by any Inspector General about F&F. So. Did Holder blow smoke up Obama’s butt? Did Obama lie to the Spanish interviewer?

    What a web of deceit.

  9. avatar peter says:

    Option 4
    The Vince Foster maneuver?

    1. avatar hitnrun says:

      Yeah, but for whom?

  10. avatar Jeannette says:

    It occurred to me in December of 2000 that as close as the election was, Al Gore probably would have won re-election if the Senate Democrats had had the balls to convict Clinton. Do you think they might have learned something?

  11. avatar Dumpsterjuice says:

    It was not even a crime to do steroids back when Clemens was doing them, nor was it against baseball rules. Congress would get the baseball players to come testify then catch them in a lie. It was despicable. Baseball was ruined for a lot of fans just because congress was acting like a 5 year old. Trying to deflect attention away from their sorry asses by making someone else out to be worse. Convict him and then send him to Mexico to stand trial.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Dumpsterjuice, you’re incorrect about the status of steroids at the time that Clemens was alleged to have used them (although I’m not taking issue with the thrust of your post). Anabolic steroids became “Controlled Substances” by virtue of the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 1990, which was ten years before Clemens started using. A first-offense of simple possession gets the user up to a year in the federal slammer.

  12. avatar Archaeopteryx says:

    It would be quite nice if the federal prison inside Maxwell Airforce Base still has John Mitchell’s old cell.
    I’m certain that it would fir Holder perfectly.

  13. avatar Archaeopteryx says:

    “fit” not “fir”

  14. avatar Cybrludite says:

    Obama: You know, in certain older civilized cultures, when men failed as entirely as you have, they would throw themselves on their swords.
    AG Holder: Well, unfortunately, I forgot to bring a sword.

  15. avatar Mark says:

    4. Start a war.

    1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

      or uncover a secret plot to assinate the Saudi Ambassador to the US and accuse another nation of being behind it. I find it ironic that the whole Mexican Drug Cartel angle is at play here. Maybe there were double-secret agents invovled and F&F was really Holder’s plan to stop Iran?

  16. avatar Brett Bellmore says:

    Ok, stupid question: Who’s going to prosecute him? Isn’t that an executive branch function, meaning it ain’t gonna happen if Obama doesn’t want it to?

    There aren’t going to be any special prosecutors, (Why would an administration that needs one appoint one?) and there aren’t going to be any prosecutions. Unless they’re at the state level, and we know from Horiuchi’s case what happens then.

  17. avatar BlogDog says:

    Holder got the information by neutrino mail: sent to him in May but received by him in March.

  18. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    4. Holder can resign and Obama can pardon him. Every administration has a scandal like this. Bush had the Valerie Plame and Weapons of Mass Destruction phuck-ups. Clinton had Whitewater coverup (post his election) and Vince’s subsequent decision to punch out early. It is part of the political cycle. Shit happens and the legal way poses too many restrictions so people high up do dumb stuff thinking they can get away with it, but people below them without as much cash or future job options spill the beans.

    1. avatar Brad Kozak says:

      Dirk – Wrong is still wrong. Two wrongs (or three or more) don’t make a “right.”

      If you’ll recall, nobody got pardoned in the Valerie Plame affair. Bush could have easily let Scooter Libby off. He didn’t.

      You’re gonna have to do better than that.

  19. avatar Bob says:

    Sure he has a fourth option. Count on the press to just never tell anyone that this happened.

  20. avatar J R Conway says:

    My Father often remonstrated against my naivete and hubris with the phrase, “You are so far ahead of the parade, you’re not even in it.” Today, methinks he would be a bit more vociferous.

  21. avatar jms says:

    I think that he will continue to stonewall. If the Republicans want him gone they have to impeach him. The house has the votes to do that. If they impeach him, the senate has to remove him. The Republicans don’t have the votes in the Senate to do that. They won’t risk losing an impeachment move and handing Obama a huge political victory going into the election.

    What’s clear to me is that Issa has the goods on Holder. He appears to know everything, and he’s letting emails and documents dribble out in little bits. The Republicans are much better off letting this scandal smolder and build in the months leading up to the election. Remember, it’s Holder who’s calling Issa’s bluff, not the other way around. If Issa is holding a royal flush, then it is in his interests to grow the pot as big as possible. Remember Melman’s 4th of July testimony? Where he appeared secretly with his personal attorney? Why did he have his personal attorney?
    > The move comes in connection with a separate letter sent by the
    > lawmakers to Holder on Monday asking for records of a shared drive, which
    > they say was provided to the computers of ATF officials and could jeopardize
    > their investigation.
    > The drive contained documents relating to the Fast and Furious operation that
    > the DOJ has given to the committee and possibly documents that it has not yet
    > handed over, their letter states.

    I’ll bet Issa has a copy of that shared drive, from Melman, and that’s where all the leaks are coming from.

    So give Issa time. These things have to play out slowly. Psychological warfare doesn’t happen all at once. There is a lot at stake.

  22. avatar wdk535 says:

    He will stonewall. He will stonewall till the bitter end. He will take the fall to cover Obama’s ass if he has to. Obama will start sacrificing his people one by one, just like Nixon.

  23. avatar Ando says:

    As much as Holder and F&F disgusts me, the difference between March and May 3 is only 4-5 weeks, 8 weeks at the most. This could easily devolve to a squabble over the words “few” and “several”. I don’t think this is the smoking gun we’ve been waiting for. If the death of Brian Terry wasn’t enough to get serious movement on F&F, this certainly won’t do it.

  24. avatar EqualJustice says:

    So how convenient the OWS protests started JUST as all the scandals came to a head! Fast and Furious becomes a NON story now as the W.H. tries frantically to spin this into another “BUSH DID IT?” (option 4) What will happen to this administration for Fast and Furious and the Solyndra and other solar scandals? PROBABLY NOTHING. Very frustrating, indeed.

  25. avatar Vince Warde says:

    Great work! I have set up and continue to maintain a timeline of this scandal with many links to media coverage. It can be found at:

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