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During today’s Oversight hearing, the Former ATF Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix Field Division admitted to the Congressional Committee that the Internal Revenue Service, Drug Enforcement Agency, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agencies all knew about—and participated in—Operation Fast and Furious. Does William Newell’s testimony blow the Gunwalker scandal wide open and threaten to topple the Obama administration? It not, it bloody well should . . .

Newell’s admission further undermines any claim from the White House that Department of Justice jefe Eric Holder knew nothing about guns allowed to flow to the Mexican drug cartels.

In fact, today’s testimony revealed a direct connection between the ATF’s Fast and Furious gunwalking ops and the White House. CBS News reports that Newell and White House National Security Director for North America Kevin O’Reilly were BFFs. Sharing info on the ATF’s gunwalking.

Exactly what wasn’t revealed, but Newell said he gave O’Reilly the 411 on the anti-gun smuggling gun smuggling program, which armed drug thugs who shot U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

It’s the first time anyone has publicly stated that a White House official had any familiarity with ATF’s operation Fast and Furious, which allowed thousands of weapons to fall into the hands of suspected traffickers for Mexican drug cartels in an attempt to gain intelligence. It’s unknown as to whether O’Reilly shared information with anybody else at the White House.

Congressional investigators obtained an email from Newell to O’Reilly in September of last year in which Newell began with the words: “you didn’t get this from me.”

“What does that mean,” one member of Congress asked Newell, ” ‘you didn’t get this from me?’ ”

“Obviously he was a friend of mine,” Newell replied, “and I shouldn’t have been sending that to him.”

Newell told Congress that O’Reilly had asked him for information.

“Why do you think he asked for that information,” Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) asked Newell.

“He was asking about the impact of Project Gunrunner to brief people in preparation for a trip to Mexico… what we were doing to combat firearms trafficking and other issues.”

Click here for the email from Newell to O’Reilly. Are we to believe O’Reilly didn’t brief the President of the United States about Fast and Furious, involving as it did four (and counting) federal agencies? In fact, I’d bet dollars to donuts that President Obama knew about/approved the ATF’s ill-fated “sting ops” sometime around this press conference in May 2010.

Skip ahead to 27:00, where the Prez says “I” directed “my” Department of Homeland Security, ATF and “all our various other various agencies that have responsibilities in these areas” to “ramp-up” and “all our efforts at interdicting” the flow of cash and weapons southwards.

Obama promised to crack down on “illegal gun dealers selling guns into Mexico”? The same gun dealers who warned the ATF about potential firearms smugglers only to be told to let the guns go through? The gall of these people.

Anyway, today, White House immediately switched into full Nixon-mode: deny, deny, deny. Or, as CBS put it, “a White House spokesman said [Newell’s] email [to the White House National Security Director for North America] was not about Fast and Furious, but about other gun trafficking efforts.”

Such as? While we await an answer to that question (as if), Gunwalker has broken into the mainstream media. And they’re finally starting to get it right. Well, almost.

The role of officially-sanctioned U.S. military and law enforcement sales in arming the Mexican drug cartels has yet to see the light of day. But I’m growing increasingly optimistic it will.

Meanwhile, as our Daniel Zimmerman wrote in a recent email to TTAG HQ, “Issa’s hearings and the drip drip drip of new revelations have taken it to a different level. It’s beyond the admin’s control. If Obama has any sense at all, (big if) Holder needs to spend more time with the family. Soon.”

Agreed. If Barack Obama doesn’t cauterize this wound, it will be the end of his presidency.

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  1. It’s like a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
    Adult: Did you know that you weren’t allowed to have a cookie?
    Kid: I recall a conversation about cookies, but I can’t say for sure what was said.
    Adult: Were you going to eat that cookie?
    Kid: I never personally had possession of the alleged cookie.
    Adult: But your hand was in the cookie jar, correct?
    Kid: Many hands have been in the cookie jar, I’m not sure I understand your question.
    Adult: If your hand was in the cookie jar, and there are cookies in there, and your brother told me you two were going to take some cookies what else can I assume but that you were going to take a cookie.
    Kid: The cookie strategy has been discussed among many of the younger members of this household. We all were aware of the cookies, but as far as we know no one ever actually took a cookie, they simply played with the cookie jar.
    Adult: WTF then why is the cookie jar empty?

    If this does not end in a whippin for ATF, ICE, IRS, DEA, and FBI I am gonna be seriously annoyed that I never used the above strategy with regard to said cookies and cookie jars.

  2. There’s no doubt about it, he possesses all the qualities necessary to be the perfect Agent in Charge. He’s a stinking, slinking, scheming, squirming, smarmy douchebag.

    • “Stinking and slinking” are valuable attibutes in this particular case.

      SAC Newell indicates from his testimony that he is not responsible for guns being walked into Mexico. He adamantly refuses to accept responsibility for his failure to conduct proper oversight procedures.

      This makes it inevitable that he will shift blame elsewhere.

      The Oversight Committe latched onto this propensity when they ask who else is involved in the gunwalking scandal and Newell names ICE, IRS, DEA, etc. Then Issa slyly follows up with a seemingly unrelated question to the ATF Mexican attache–one of the whistle blowers who was angered by Newell’s conduct–about the prospects for clemency of a “lie and buy” suspect. Carlos Canino gives Issa assurance that a low-level operative (wink, wink, “Newell”) would be given a light sentence if he informed on those who orchestrated the conspiracy.

      Newell was given a bolt hole. He will undoubtedly avail himself of it and “slink away” when the heat gets turned up high enough. ;^)

  3. Newell’s body language and speaking manner says a lot about his character. Judging by that; Guilty as charged.

    Once a Special Prosecutor is appointed, I’m looking forward to a very interesting Fall and Winter.

  4. We’re been arming insurgents, aiding dictators & terrorists, and toppling governments in Central and South America for years. What’s the big deal?

    Besides, too many rich, connected and powerful Republicans AND Democrats have been implicated. Nothing will happen. Guaranteed.

  5. Lets not forget the FBI, which used the NICS check process to allow two convicted Arizona felons to buy around 400 guns that ATF and the Obama Admin KNEW were going to Mexico.

    Obama and Holder knew about this scheme, and approved it, both before and after the murders of two US law enforcement personnel. Obama and Holder are guilty of being accessories to murder, both before and after the fact. Gee, is that a “high crime and misdemeanor” that would justify impeachment? Not if you are a Democrap, apparently.

  6. The fact that Melson is not willing to be the “fall guy” for this fiasco as well as Newell (and others) singing is a great sign of much more to come. This badministration and the people in charge of this are not able to scare them (or pay them off) into submission.

    Once the dam breaks – and it will, look out. In this day and age of realtime Internet, email, texting, photos, videos, recordings, Google searches, etc, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to keep a secret. And the more organizations and people involved in something make the difficulty of keeping that something secret go up exponentially.

    I look forward to learning the truth about this mess.

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