The media has bought Attorney General Eric Holder’s official line on ATF Operation Fast and Furious. “Oops! We won’t do THAT again. How ’bout that gun control?” CNN and its ilk are running Eric’s offensive (in more ways than one) opening statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee without comment or counterpoint. Yes, well, Senator Grassley took the AG and his minions to task for lying, stonewalling and obfuscating about the who, what, when, where and how of the ATF’s [supposedly] anti-gun running gun running op. Suffice it to say, mid-way through his recitation of the timeline of the Department of Justice’s F&F cover-up Grassley paused to say “But it gets worse.” Indeed it does . . .
Grassley attempted to head-off Holder off at the pass (the AG’s statement was released to the press prior to his appearance before the Committee). Grassley flagged the unreliability of the Mexican gun confiscation stats Holder was about to rely on and warned the AG not to call for more gun control—as the participants in Fast and Furious were breaking existing laws (with the ATF’s active participation). Here’s a cut from 24:40:
Let me be clear, the bottom line is that it doesn’t matter how many laws we pass if those responsible for enforcing them refuse to do their duty, as was the case with Fast and Furious.
And then Holder ignored Grassley’s warning and did exactly what the Senator warned him not to do, including calling for tougher gun control laws to stop the kind of gun smuggling practiced by his own department. After tooting his own horn re: combatting terrorism, preventing states from cracking down on illegal aliens and [just about] occupying Wall Street.
Holder’s testimony on Fast and Furious was a lesson in the art of, for lack of a better word, bullshit. For example, the AG described the ATF-enabled firearms that ended-up in the hands of drug thugs as “lost.” [See: oops! above.] Apparently, “this should never have happened.” And “it must not be allowed to happen again.” The AG then called for Congress to disband the ATF. Kidding.
“I took action,” Holder said, defiantly (arrogantly?). Internal investigation, new controls, new leadership at ATF, stricter oversight procedures, yada yada yada. That said, Holder’s was not without revelations. The AG called F&F a “local, Arizona-based operation.” In other words, Holder’s ready to throw the people further down the food chain under the proverbial bus.”
As for Holder’s perjury about the exact time he became aware of ATF Operation Fast and Furious (in a sworn statement to the House Oversight Committee), Holder’s explanation was simple enough: when he said “over the last few weeks” he meant “the last couple of months.” Holder’s main defense against Grassley’s relentless confrontation re: the DOJ’s relentless stonewalling: who knew? Us? No, we only knew that we were lying in hindsight.
Holder’s minor defense: there IS an iron river of U.S. gun store guns to Mexican drug cartels and we NEED a long gun registry! Which there isn’t (most Mexican drug cartel firearms come from “seepage” from official sales to the Mexican military and law enforcement and other “bulk” purposes) and we don’t (smuggling weapons to Mexico is already illegal).
Texas Senator Coryn ripped Holder a new you-know-what about Holder’s time line, complete with a timeline graphic. (Whose sudden appearance left Holder visibly rattled.) The Senator also forced Holder to backtrack on his opening statement that F&F was a local gig. But the most important moment in the entire farce arrived when Senator Coryn asked Holder if the metaphorical buck stops with him (i.e. are you responsible for this f’up).
There are 115,000 employees at the United States Department of Justice . . . I can not be expected to know the details of every operation ongoing in the Justice Department on a day-to-day basis.
And there you have it: Fast and Furious was the result of unidentified rogue ATF bureaucrats and administrative incompetence. Which is both untrue and cold comfort to the families of the families of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata and dozens of unnamed Mexican nationals.
Click here to view the entirety of today’s committee meeting.
Click here for Senator Coryn’s graphic of Holder’s perjury