Harold Watson “Trey” Gowdy III is the republican U.S. Representative for South Carolina’s 4th congressional district. Janet Napolitano is the head of the Department of Homeland Security. Both players in the drama above knew the score: the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives acted illegally when they allowed illegally purchased firearms to leave their “dominion” and cross the border into Mexico. Napolitano’s testimony in front of the House Judiciary Committee clearly indicates that the Obama administration is doubling down on their WKNM (Who Knew Not Me) defense. Napolitano, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and President Barack Obama have all declared that they didn’t know about Gunwalking until drug thugs wielding ATF-enabled firearms murdered U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. Which raises two crucial questions . . .
First, are they lying? Subsidiary to that, are they all lying? It’s possible that the President of the United States was insulated from the ATF’s operational procedures. The DHS and AG? Not so much. In fact, we know Eric Holder received memos that outlined the Fast and Furious’ extra-legal modus operandi. According to Mr. Holder, he never read them.
As for Ms. Napolitano, it seems odd that the DHS jefe jetted down to Agent Terry’s murder scene the day afterwards to “help” the FBI investigation—if she didn’t know about “problems” with the case. Speculation at the time suggested she’d arrived to put a lid on the investigation. The three-month “silence” between the killing and the Office of Inspector General’s still unreleased report on the incident speaks volumes on that possibility.
If the DHS chief, AG and CIC aren’t lying about their foreknowledge of Fast and Furious’ extra-legal gunwalking, they’re all guilty of incompetence and/or gross negligence. Ipso facto. Which would be OK, I suppose. But then you’ve got to wonder why the “red-faced” administration didn’t take immediate action to remove the “rogue” elements within the ATF, DOJ, DHS, FBI, DEA, CIA, ICE, CPB, IRS (yes them too), U.S. Attorney’s Office and State Department who enabled the enablers.
See the problem? There’s only so much incompetence to go round before plausible deniability hits the shredder. And so the White House’s boyz are stonewalling— I mean waiting for the results of the internal investigation. No, not the one that Republican lawmakers are giving them in Committee. The entirely discredited effort by the Office of the Inspector General, which provided a heads-up to the U.S. Attorney’s office, which works underneath the DOJ, which also features prominently on the list above.
Second, if all of these players ARE lying, how desperate is the Obama administration to hide the truth about Operation Fast and Furious and the rest of the worms in the gunwalking can? Desperate. To wit this little remarked-upon story from foxnews.com:
A longtime internal policy that allowed Justice Department officials to deny the existence of sensitive information could become the law of the land — in effect a license to lie — if a newly proposed rule becomes federal regulation in the coming weeks.
The proposed rule directs federal law enforcement agencies, after personnel have determined that documents are too delicate to be released, to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests “as if the excluded records did not exist.”
The fact that the candidate who campaigned on transparency would even consider such a profoundly anti-democratic “rule” indicates that something is rotten in the State of Denmark. The rules’ connection to the Fast and Furious case (and beyond) is both specific and general. On the meta level, the new rule would stymie the House Oversight Committee’s efforts to discover what documents they need to secure to press their investigation.
Drilling down, the new rule could kill the case of Jesus Vicente Zambada Niebla. The captured Sinaloan leader claims that the DEA aided and abetted his cartel’s drug smuggling efforts. His lawyers would like to document the relationship between the DEA and ATF and the Sinaloan cartel. Including Operation Fast and Furious.
The Administration continues to stonewall. The Gunwalker scandal isn’t going away. It’s like that epic ping-pong match between “the hammer” and “the wall.” As we learned in the Watergate Scandal, there’s usually a lot more behind the wall than anyone could imagine. And the Constitution of the United States favors the hammer. It’s not a sure thing, but it is a good thing.
Unlike the ATF, which bears ultimate responsibility for crimes committed with every one of the over 2000 guns that somehow “escaped” their custody. Judging from Napolitano’s non-testimony, the Administration looks set to throw the ATF under the Congressional bus (final metaphor, I promise). If the Bureau is de-commissioned as a result, that would be a result. But I expect both more and less out of this scandal. We shall see.