Posts Tagged ‘Security Breach’
The unmitigated gall of this man is mind-blowing. His administration’s gun-running scheme armed Mexican drug cartels and resulted in the deaths of at least 2 border agents and 300 Mexican citizens. And he has the nerve to blame US??
President Barack Obama, speaking in Mexico City on Friday, said the United States is responsible for much of the crime and violence in Mexico because of the demand for drugs and the illegal smuggling of guns across the southern border.
He told the crowd, “We understand that the root cause of violence that’s been happening here in Mexico for which so many Mexicans have suffered is the demand for illegal drugs in the United States.” He later added, “We also recognize that most of the guns used to commit violence here in Mexico come from the United States.”
Obama acknowledged the illegal smuggling of guns into Mexico by American criminals, but did not mention the Justice Department’s Operation Fast and Furious that allowed the flow of about 2,000 U.S. guns to Mexican drug trafficking organizations. Fast and Furious began in the fall of 2009 and was halted in December 2010 after two of the weapons from the DOJ gun walking program were found at the murder scene of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.
Obama didn’t just offer a few throwaway lines at the issue, taking playful jabs at his Republican opponents. He actually seemed to be blaming Americans for the corrupt and violent Mexican drug culture.
He said, “Much of the root cause of violence that’s been happening here in Mexico, for which so many Mexicans have suffered, is the demand for illegal drugs in the United States.”
Can you believe that? Who thinks that way, much less a United States president? Whose team is he on? Whom is he fighting for? Wouldn’t you think that if the captain of our team were going to complain about problems between our two countries, he would direct his criticisms at those committing the crimes in their own country and those who also come to our country in droves illegally, even if the numbers have decreased recently because of Obama’s economy?
But no, it’s our fault. It’s always our fault, even when he’s the president. What an impotent guy he must be not to be able to have a more positive effect on us evil Americans.
But he didn’t stop there. Why should he have? He had a perfect platform to kill a couple of eagles with the same stone. He next took aim at America’s evil gun manufacturers.
He said: “Most of the guns used to commit violence here in Mexico come from the United States. I think many of you know that in America, our Constitution guarantees our individual right to bear arms. And as president, I swore an oath to uphold that right, and I always will. But at the same time, as I’ve said in the United States, I will continue to do everything in my power to pass common-sense reforms that keep guns out of the hands of criminals and dangerous people. That can save lives here in Mexico and back home in the United States. It’s the right thing to do.”
It is disgraceful enough that this American president would gratuitously paint America in a negative light before foreign people and their leaders (absent some egregious, deliberate action by the United States). But it is especially reprehensible that he attacked Americans and American gun manufacturers for the purpose of advancing his political and policy agenda in the United States.
If he wanted to apologize to Mexico, perhaps he should have started with Fast and Furious and the illegal guns his administration walked into Mexico without its permission or knowledge, which resulted in the death of some 200 Mexicans. But his apology ought to be on behalf of his administration, including himself and his attorney general, not America generally.
The Obama administration has been busy arming Mexican drug cartels and Islamic radicals that don’t hesitate to kill innocent American civilians. If that’s not the very definition of treason, I don’t know what is.
The next time some liberal asks, “Why on earth would anybody need an AR-15?” tell them “because our own president has given those weapons – and more – to our enemies.”
On Wednesday during a televised announcement, President Barack Obama dramatically unveiled his plan for new gun control policies that include assault weapons bans, more thorough background checks of gun buyers, limited ammunition magazines, and government access to mental health records of potential gun buyers. However, more than one law enforcement officer told Law Enforcement Examiner that the gist of Obama’s plan was begun long ago: Arm Mexican drug cartels (Operation Fast and Furious) while disarming law-abiding American citizens.
“In just one afternoon, the man who is suspected of green lighting the smuggling of guns into the hands of the Mexican drug cartels — known as Operation Fast and Furious — has ‘outed’ himself as the king of the gun grabbers. He’s also implementing the strategy of his former chief of staff, Rahm Emanual, by not allowing ‘a good crisis to go to waste,’” said police detective Jose Santos.
While the White House was busy drafting proposals to ban assault rifles, the last of the regulations imposed on Saudi travel to the United States after September 11 were being taken apart. While some government officials were busy planning how to disarm Americans, other officials were negotiating the transfer of F-16s and Abrams tanks to Muslim Brotherhood-run Egypt.
Obama is unwilling to trust Americans with an AR-15, but is willing to trust a genocidal terrorist group with Abrams tanks and F-16 jets. The F-16’s M61 Vulcan cannon can fire 6,000 rounds a minute and the 146 lb warhead of its HARM missiles can do a lot more than put a few dents in a brick wall. The Abrams’ 120 mm cannon can penetrate 26 inches of steel armor making it a good deal more formidable than even the wildest fantasies of San Francisco liberals about the capabilities of a so-called “assault rifle.”
[…] Based on his track record, Obama believes that it is safe to send weapons to Mexican drug lords, Hezbollah and Al Qaeda terrorists, not to mention the Muslim Brotherhood, but that it’s far too dangerous for an American to own a clip that can hold more than 10 rounds.
And that means that Obama doesn’t think much of the moral character of Americans, but thinks a great deal of Muslim terrorists.
Univision Investigative Journalists Do The Job American Media Won’t, Blow The Lid On ‘Fast & Furious’
When Obama agreed to a sit-down interview with Spanish-language channel Univision, he was greeted with the kind of hard-hitting questions that his adoring fans in the American media never bother to ask him.
A few days later, Univision released an explosive report exposing more tragic murders that had resulted from the Obama administration forcing American gun dealers to sell to drug cartel members, and then allowing the guns to “walk” across the border:
For the first time, Mexican victims of crimes tied to the botched Operation Fast and Furious are being identified, including teenagers killed in a 2010 massacre.
A new report finds dozens of weapons recovered in Mexico have been connected with the ill-fated and ill-conceived anti-gunrunning program. While some Mexican authorities estimate 300 of their citizens have been injured or killed by Fast and Furious guns, little has been known about those weapons south of the U.S. border until now.
Through the Mexican Freedom of Information Act, Spanish-language network Univision and Fox News obtained a list of 100,000 weapons recovered in Mexico in 2009 and 2010. The guns were then compared with the serial numbers of the 2,000 guns sold in Fast and Furious.
Univision identified a total of 57 more previously unreported firearms that were bought by straw purchasers monitored by ATF during Operation Fast and Furious, and then recovered in Mexico in sites related to murders, kidnappings and other actions by Mexican hit men and drug cartels.
In an investigative special that aired Sunday, Univision revealed one such massacre that was later found to be linked with Fast and Furious.
The Obama administration never met with Mexican government or law enforcement officials to notify them of the program or enlist their help in tracking the weapons, although, they took the time to meet 30 times with the Mexican government to promote food-stamp use among Mexican immigrants.
Can you imagine if Bush had been responsible for a deadly gun running program that resulted in over 300 murdered Mexicans and two dead border agents? It would have been the top story of every news broadcast and newspaper for weeks, with protests in the streets and calls for impeachment. Instead, because it’s Obama, and the media is in his camp, we have a huge media black-out. Most Americans can’t even tell you what “Fast & Furious” is. American “Journalists” should be ashamed. Bravo to Univision for investigating and exposing what the American media chose to ignore.
It’s about time!
A civil lawsuit filed Monday by House Republicans asks a federal court to enforce a congressional subpoena of Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in his refusal to turn over documents sought in an investigation by a House committee into the failed Fast and Furious gunrunning operation.
House Speaker John A. Boehner said in a statement the lawsuit seeks to overturn the Obama administration’s “frivolous executives privilege claims,” forcing the Justice Department to make public documents the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee claims could show who at the department was aware of the botched investigation and what they did about it.
Mr. Boehner said President Obama and his team were ignoring an Oct. 11 congressional subpoena — something the courts have long recognized as valid — and that lawmakers were left with no choice but to ask the U.S. District Court in Washington to referee.
“By stonewalling Congress and ignoring a contempt order, the Justice Department has left the House no choice but to take legal action so we can get to the bottom of the Fast and Furious operation that cost border Agent Brian Terry his life,” Mr. Boehner said.
“After providing — then retracting — inaccurate information to Congress, Attorney General Holder has gone to extraordinary lengths to block access to subpoenaed documents and deny the efforts of the Terry family to get the truth,” he said.
“The White House has been complicit in this effort to hide the truth by making executive privilege claims that have no merit, which is why today’s action is necessary,” the Ohio Republican said, adding that a bipartisan vote by the House to hold Mr. Holder in contempt “made clear that the Obama administration owes the Terry family and the American people the truth.”
This is the story that the mainstream media calls a “distraction” and “witch hunt”: a sitting Attorney General has been found in criminal contempt of congress, and may be disbarred as a result.
Attorney General Eric Holder could lose his license to practice law in the District of Columbia, or face some other penalty from the D.C. Bar, now that he has been found in criminal and civil contempt of Congress.
Last week, the bloggers who first exposed Operation Fast and Furious, Mike Vanderboegh and David Codrea, filed a formal complaint with the Washington, D.C. Office of Bar Counsel alleging that Holder committed “professional misconduct” during the congressional investigation into the scandal.
Because Holder was found in contempt of Congress for his “refusal to comply with a subpoena duly issued by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform,” Vanderboegh and Codrea contend, “[i]t would appear that several, if not all of these rules [the D.C. Bar’s rules of professional conduct], have been violated.”
Unfortunately, Eric Holder wasn’t one of them.
The Justice Department unsealed an indictment Monday charging five people in connection with Border Patrol agent Brian Terry’s death — a move that drew praise as well as skepticism from lawmakers laser-focused on the case.
The department, in unsealing the document, also announced a reward of up to $1 million for information leading to the arrest of four suspects who are still at large.
The developments come amid an intensifying debate over the department’s failed Fast and Furious anti-gunrunning operation. Weapons from that program were found at Terry’s murder scene — Republicans seeking documents pertaining to Fast and Furious last month escalated their probe by voting to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, praised the department Monday for its announcement but questioned the timing.
“I applaud what they’re doing, but I condemn the timing. It’s very clear that the timing has everything to do with the House of Representatives holding Eric Holder in contempt,” Issa told Fox News.
Issa, who led the contempt push, said Justice could have been doing more to find the suspects all along — he called the timing of the FBI reward money “another example of using politics over good policy.”
In a statement, the Brian Terry Foundation also applauded federal prosecutors for taking additional steps to bring suspects to justice, but continued to call on Holder to turn over Fast and Furious documents.
“Today’s developments certainly mean that the criminal prosecution of Brian Terry’s killers is moving forward,” Terry family attorney Patrick McGroder said.
The 11-count indictment, originally handed up by a grand jury in November 2011, implicates five defendants in the killing. A sixth suspect has also been charged in a related incident.
The two men in custody are Manuel Osario Arellanes — who was wounded in the foot the night of the firefight — and his brother Rito. Rito, who was arrested two nights before the Terry shooting, allegedly helped provide weapons to the criminal gang used in the shooting. All six men named in the indictment are either related or friends.
The other four are believed to be hiding out in Mexico, and the U.S. is now offering a reward of up to $1 million for information leading to their arrest. They are: Jesus Rosario Favela-Astorga; Ivan Soto-Barraza; Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes; and Lionel Portillo-Meza.
What a coincidence.
Protestors gathered in front of the White House to protest the deadly Justice Department Operation Fast and Furious and United States Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday morning.
The group of about 40 young people showed up in the 90 degree Washington heat with signs that criticized and mocked Holder, the Justice Department and the Obama administration. A few demonstrators were carrying American flags and one had a Gadsden, “Don’t Tread on Me” flag, but most carried home-made signs.
The protestors called for Holder, who was held in contempt by Congress last week for failing to release tens of thousands of documents related to Operation Fast and Furious, to resign from office.
One sign said, “Holder lied, Terry died” and another said “Watergate didn’t have a body count.” These signs were referring to Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, who was killed by drug cartel members carrying guns that were allowed to cross the border into Mexico during Operation Fast and Furious — as well as the untold number of Mexicans who have died because of the guns that were allowed to walk.
Christine Rouselle, who is a student at Providence College in Rhode Island and the news editor of her school’s paper, came to protest because she thought that the families of the victims deserved justice.
“I’m absolutely furious about how Operation Fast and Furious was handled by the government and I want justice for Brian Terry,” Christine said.
Christine was typical of most of the protestors that showed up, in that she was college aged and learned about the event through social media. Christine said that she heard about the protest through a Facebook event, made a sign the night before and then just showed up at the scheduled time.
The group also tried to bring attention to the protest by Tweeting with the hashtag “#fireholder”.
Unfortunately, their scheduled and permitted protest was abruptly shut down when the Secret Service showed up:
Secret Service agents shut down a protest outside the White House on Monday where about 30 young protesters demanded President Barack Obama fire Attorney General Eric Holder.
Agents on scene claimed a backpack abandoned on a sidewalk was a “suspicious package,” closing the Pennsylvania Avenue pedestrian mall in front of the White House, and the adjoining Lafayette Park, from protesters and tourists. All pedestrian traffic, including media, was forced to retreat to side streets.
Officers roped the streets off with bright yellow crime scene tape and brought in bomb-sniffing K-9 dogs.
After waiting on the sidewalk behind the police line for about half an hour, a middle-aged woman came forward to claim the backpack, telling agents that she had put her small bag on the ground so she could take a photograph with her family. She declined to be interviewed.
The protesters had a National Park Service protest permit from 10 a.m. to noon. Agents began clearing the crowd at 10:43 a.m., giving little information to protesters and tourists as they forced them out of the area.
Organizer Oliver Darcy told The Daily Caller that he didn’t believe the protest’s premature end was an accident. Darcy noted that he and others were demanding the president fire his attorney general over a scandal the White House doesn’t want to talk about.
“To me, it seems like a bit of an overreaction to evacuate the entire — like — I don’t know. Was the White House evacuated?” Darcy said.
“On Pennsylvania Avenue, they shut the entire block down, you know? From my judgment, it seemed like an overreaction, but I don’t work for the Secret Service and I know they take this stuff very seriously.”
“It did seem very odd that during a protest of Attorney General Eric Holder and Barack Obama in front of the White House that all of a sudden there was a mysterious bag left — accidentally, right?” Darcy continued.
“I really don’t know, but she [the backpack’s owner] looked like she was pretty sincere that she left it accidentally, but I’m not a secret service agent so I don’t know what the protocol is. … I’ve taken part in multiple protests in front of the Supreme Court, in front of the Capitol Building, in front of the White House. Never have I seen anything like this before.”
If they were as concerned about dead border agents and civilians as they are about a “suspicious package,” Holder would already be in prison.
The other difference: Nixon was forced to resign and only escaped criminal charges through a presidential pardon!
One day after the historic vote that held Attorney General Eric Holder to be in criminal contempt of Congress, Darrell Issa (R-CA) revealed details of secret wiretap applications from the Justice Department that implicates them even more in the “Fast and Furious” gunwalking scandal that resulted in the murder of a U.S. border patrol agent.
Issa submitted these details to the Congressional Record by submitting a letter to Elijah Cummings (D-MD). Cummings have denied any wiretap applications contained details that would have tipped off those in the know, according to Roll Call, but Issa’s letter suggests Holder and Cummings were not truthful about what was in the wiretap application, which was signed by some of the most senior officials in the Department of Justice.
[…] The coverup is always worse than the crime, and the question at the heart of the Fast and Furious scandal has been what the Department Justice knew and when they knew it.
After Issa’s letter implicating the Department of Justice in the Fast and Furious scandal, those questions are about to get a lot more intense, pressure on Holder will increase, and the public’s demand for answers will intensify.
Now if only the mainstream media would do its job and put pressure on the DOJ, not the Congressmen investigating them.
Fat chance of that happening! This is one of the many reasons why citizen journalism is so needed in this country.
Even with this new evidence of a cover-up, the Justice Department is shielding the Attorney General from being prosecuted after being found in contempt of congress:
The Justice Department declared Friday that Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision to withhold information about a bungled gun-tracking operation from Congress does not constitute a crime and he won’t be prosecuted for contempt of Congress.
The House voted Thursday afternoon to find Holder in criminal and civil contempt for refusing to turn over the documents. President Barack Obama invoked his executive privilege authority and ordered Holder not to turn over materials about executive branch deliberations and internal recommendations.
In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, the department said that it will not bring the congressional contempt citation against Holder to a federal grand jury and that it will take no other action to prosecute the attorney general. Dated Thursday, the letter was released Friday.
Deputy Attorney General James Cole said the decision is in line with long-standing Justice Department practice across administrations of both political parties.
“We will not prosecute an executive branch official under the contempt of Congress statute for withholding subpoenaed documents pursuant to a presidential assertion of executive privilege,” Cole wrote.
In its letter, the department relied in large part on a Justice Department legal opinion crafted during Republican Ronald Reagan’s presidency.
Frederick Hill, the spokesman for Rep. Darrell Issa, said it is regrettable that “the political leadership of the Justice Department” is taking that position. Issa, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman, is leading the effort to get the material related to Operation Fast and Furious.
Although the House voted Thursday to find Holder in criminal and civil contempt, Republicans probably are still a long way from obtaining documents they want for their inquiry into Operation Fast and Furious, a flawed gun-tracking investigation focused on Phoenix-area gun shops by Justice’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The criminal path is now closed and the civil route through the courts would not be resolved anytime soon.
Let’s hope this is the first stop towards federal prison.
The House on Thursday cited Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. for contempt of Congress in a historic vote weighted with political significance — though it does little to break the stalemate over his decision to withhold documents regarding the Justice Department’s actions in a botched gunwalking operation.
The House voted 255-67 to hold Mr. Holder in criminal contempt in a vote that amounted to a political spanking for the attorney general and President Obama, underscored by the 17 Democrats who joined Republicans.
Most Democrats walked out of the vote in a protest led by the Congressional Black Caucus.
The vote marks the first time an attorney general has been held in contempt by a chamber of Congress.
“We’ve shown more than enough good faith, but the White House has chosen to invoke executive privilege. That leaves us no other options,” said House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican. “The only recourse left for the House is to continue seeking the truth and to hold attorney general in contempt of Congress.”
Liberals lie blaming Bush for Fast and Furious
View on YouTube
Yes, they really do think we’re that stupid.
If any of this stuff had Bush’s fingerprints on it, then why would Obama exert Executive Privilege? To protect Bush?
Dubbed “Operation Wide Receiver,” the Bush-era operation was run out of Tucson between 2006 and 2007, ending before Bush left office and before Fast and Furious began under Obama in 2009. The differences between it and Fast and Furious are vast, starting with the fact that Wide Receiver produced no dead bodies.Operation Wide Receiver used the common law enforcement tactic of “controlled delivery” in which the illegal sales of weapons were allowed to take place, the movements of the weapons were closely monitored and the end purchasers were then apprehended. It involved gun-tracing, not gun-walking.
Under the “controlled delivery” of Wide Receiver, agents didn’t just write down the serial numbers and let the guns disappear as in Fast and Furious. They closely and physically followed the guns from American dealers to straw purchasers to Mexican buyers.
Most importantly, Wide Receiver was run in close cooperation with Mexican authorities, who were kept in the dark on Fast and Furious.
In contrast ATF agents involved in Fast and Furious have testified that they were ordered not to track the weapons and in cases where interdiction was possible they were ordered to stand down and actually watch the weapons walk.
ATF Special Agent John Dodson has testified how in one instance guns were sold to known illegal buyers who took them to a stash house. Against orders from his superiors, Dodson kept the stash house under surveillance and when a vehicle showed up to transfer the weapons to their ultimate destination, he called for an interdiction team to move in, seize the weapons and arrest the traffickers. His superiors refused, and the guns disappeared without surveillance.
Good question, and we all know the answer. In an oligarchy (how the Obama administration is currently ruling), one set of rules applies to the “little people,” and another for the ruling class.
That is why our founders established a constitutional republic governed by the rule of law, which no man – or government – was above.
Almost immediately after the House Oversight Committee voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in Contempt of Congress, Democrats and mainstream media personalities flooded the airwaves with accusations of racism, election-year politics, and GOP attempts to get rid of Holder to protect state-level voter ID laws. Appearing on MSNBC, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) even said: “They are holding Attorney General Holder in contempt for doing his job.”
These things got me to thinking—what would these same politicians and media personalities have said if a privately-owned business had done the things our DOJ, ATF, and other government agencies did via Fast and Furious?
What if Walmart, the “largest seller of firearms and ammunition in America,” had knowingly sold 2,500 firearms to straw purchasers with the intent of having those purchasers carry those guns across an international border and sell them to drug cartel members in Mexico?
And,what if at least two (but possibly three or more) of the guns were used in the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent while an untold number of the weapons were used to kill hundreds—literally hundreds—of Mexican citizens?
Moreover, what if one of the straw purchasers, who bought over 700 guns, was on food stamps and Walmart knew it, yet they sold him guns in exchange for bags of cash anyway?
What if some of the 2,500 hundred guns were recovered, but more than 1,000 were not, and what if an untold number of those unrecovered guns were believed to be in the hands of criminals in American cities on our Southwest border?
And lastly, what if explanations given by Walmart board members regarding the authorization of this straw-purchasing, gun-walking program were in conflict with the testimony given by their executive? And what if both they and their executive snubbed their noses at Congressional requests for documentation that would explain who knew what and when?
FINALLY! I’m proud of my former congressman, Darrell Issa, for continuing to pursue this in spite of all the shenanigans and intimidation tactics being used to impede his investigation.
Attorney General Eric Holder has been held in contempt of Congress by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
The vote, 23 to 17 along party lines, was expected after an eleventh hour meetingbetween Holder and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) Tuesday evening failed to produce documents relating to the controversial gun-walking operation, known as Fast and Furious — Issa noted that “We waited all night for the documents to arrive.” Speaking before the vote to the Fox News Channel, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said, “We subpoenaed documents; we didn’t subpoena an offer, a meeting like we had.”
Chairman Issa used his opening statement at the hearing to highlight the tragedy of Holder’s “stonewalling,” particularly in relation to the murder of BAFTE Agent Brian Terry, saying that “The Terry family is still looking for answers.”
Rep. Carloyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), however, took offense at what she perceived as hyper-partisan politics, stating to Issa, “I am horrified that you are going forward with this contempt charge.” Conversely, Maloney urged the committee to instead pursue stricter gun control legislation.
The contempt citation will now most likely continue on to the House of Representatives for an official vote by the full chamber. President Obama, however, has exerted executive privilege over the documents relating to Operation Fast and Furious, which keeps them out of Congress’s hands — Sen. Grassley in a statement noted that executive privilege ought to be only exercised by the president if he is involved in some way, “How can the President exert executive privilege over documents he’s supposedly never seen? Is something very big being hidden to go to this extreme?” The president’s executive privilege assertion has raised eyebrows from committee members, particularly Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.), who questioned Obama’s motives, asking, “How much did the president know about this?”
If the vote passes the House, the charges will then be referred to U.S. District Attorney of the District of Columbia, Ronald Machen Jr. who has, according to the 1857 law regarding contempt of Congress, a statutory duty to form a grand jury to investigate.
It’s taken far too long for justice to catch up with this man, and it STILL needs to be done, but we’re finally getting somewhere!
Holder has been trying to cover his tracks on this for over a year:
Judge Napolitano: Executive Privilege Only Applies If Obama Involved
View at Real Clear Politics
A desperate Obama is trying to hide his involvement in this scandal.
President Barack Obama granted an 11th-hour request from Attorney General Eric Holder to exert executive privilege and withhold documents related to the Fast and Furious gun probe, but the maneuver appeared unlikely to head off a contempt vote against Holder by House Republicans.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and its chairman Rep. Darrell Issa forged ahead Wednesday morning with a meeting on the contempt resolution in spite of Obama’s move.
After Holder made the request to Obama in a letter on Tuesday, Deputy Attorney General James Cole wrote to Issa on Wednesday informing him that the president has granted the request.
What in the sam hill is in these documents? […]
Executive privilege is not a common tactic — the president’s authority can still be overturned (don’t you just love checks and balances?), but this could mean a showdown between our several branches of government. Doesn’t exactly do much to bolster the White House’s story that ‘this isn’t a cover-up’ and ‘the higher-ups were uninvolved in this operation,’ does it?
All of this raises the obvious question, what does Obama know about the evidence in these documents that we don’t?
After claiming Obama said he had no knowledge of the scandal before hearing about it in the news, members of Congress are questioning that given his claim of executive privilege to withhold certain documents from Congress.
Oversight committee member Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) said executive privilege is intended for communications at the highest levels of the White House. Thus, he said this either means Obama knew about this before saying so, or that he is making an unprecedented claim to executive privilege.
“If you look at how executive privilege has been historically interpreted it’s designed to protect the inner workings of the White House, the president talking to his advisors,” Farenthold told CNSNews.com. “It’s usually involved at the highest levels. And so it’s troubling if they’re trying to invoke it into every agency or every discussion within an agency. That certainly isn’t indicative of the most transparent administration in history, and it creates real problems for this committee.
“The other issue is, if it did go all the way up to the White House, there’s a problem there because you have Holder having testified under oath that he hadn’t talked to the president. You’ve had the president on Univision saying he didn’t know about it,” Farenthold continued. “So, to invoke executive privilege in the White House, that brings those statements into question.”
Todd Gaziano at the Heritage Foundation asserts that “Executive Privilege Is Illegitimate to Shield Wrongdoing“:
In a desperate attempt to prevent the contempt vote in the last few hours, Holder asked President Obama to invoke executive privilege to shield these 1,300 pages of documents from Congress, and the President apparently agreed to do so. Yet that is not the end of the story. Even if properly involved, the Supreme Court has made clear that executive privilege is not absolute. DOJ must provide an explanation why all those documents fit one of the recognized categories of executive privilege. It is questionable whether they all are legitimately subject to executive privilege, for several reasons.
First, the Supreme Court in United States v. Nixon (1974) held that executive privilege cannot be invoked at all if the purpose is to shield wrongdoing. The courts held that Nixon’s purported invocation of executive privilege was illegitimate, in part, for that reason. There is reason to suspect that this might be the case in the Fast and Furious cover-up and stonewalling effort. Congress needs to get to the bottom of that question to prevent an illegal invocation of executive privilege and further abuses of power. That will require an index of the withheld documents and an explanation of why each of them is covered by executive privilege—and more.
Second, even the “deliberative process” species of executive privilege, which is reasonably broad, does not shield the ultimate decisions from congressional inquiry. Congress is entitled to at least some documents and other information that indicate who the ultimate decision maker was for this disastrous program and why these decisions were made. That information is among the most important documents that are being withheld.
Third, the Supreme Court in the Nixon case also held that even a proper invocation must yield to other branches’ need for information in some cases. So even a proper invocation of executive privilege regarding particular documents is not final.
And lastly, the President is required when invoking executive privilege to try to accommodate the other branches’ legitimate information needs in some other way. For example, it does not harm executive power for the President to selectively waive executive privilege in most instances, even if it hurts him politically by exposing a terrible policy failure or wrongdoing among his staff. The history of executive–congressional relations is filled with accommodations and waivers of privilege. In contrast to voluntary waivers of privilege, Watergate demonstrates that wrongful invocations of privilege can seriously damage the office of the presidency when Congress and the courts impose new constraints on the President’s discretion or power (some rightful and some not).
In fact, back in 2007, then-Senator Barack Obama roundly condemned the use of Executive Privilege:
View on YouTube
I guess Obama has “evolved” on this issue now that he’s about to be exposed for criminal international gun-running, huh?
This is why I love citizen journalism; the people so called “real journalists” like to demean as “just bloggers.” If it weren’t for the blogosphere, little details like this – which the mainstream media chooses to ignore – would never see the light of day, and the citizenry wouldn’t be as well-informed.
This is something I put together from a March 2009 press conference where gun walking/tracing was announced not only as an issue very important to the president, but directed by the president in conjunction with Attorney General Eric Holder:
View on YouTube
Now we know why Obama issued executive privilege this morning to keep Holder from having to release documents about Fast and Furious.
The evidence that Obama was directly involved is overwhelming, even without the documents he is currently withholding from congress.
What’s disgusting is how the mainstream media has had such a black-out on this story that many Americans are still largely unfamiliar with it.
Look how far it’s come:
Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s mother and father released a statement today on President Obama’s executive privilege.
“Attorney General Eric Holder’s refusal to fully disclose the documents associated with Operation Fast and Furious and President Obama’s assertion of executive privilege serves to compound this tragedy. It denies the Terry family and the American people the truth.”
Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry “was killed by members of a Mexican drug cartel armed with weapons from this failed Justice Department gun trafficking investigation. For more than 18 months we have been asking our federal government for justice and accountability. The documents sought by the House Oversight Committee and associated with Operation Fast and Furious should be produced and turned over to the committee. Our son lost his life protecting this nation, and it is very disappointing that we are now faced with an administration that seems more concerned with protecting themselves rather than revealing the truth behind Operation Fast and Furious.”
And it turns out, Terry wasn’t the only Border Patrol casualty resulting from this operation:
CBS News has learned that the family of ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata has filed a claim for wrongful death against the Justice Dept. and other federal agencies. Zapata was gunned down by suspected drug cartel members in Mexico in Feb. 2011 with weapons later linked to an ATF case in the Texas area. Joining the claim is Zapata’s surviving partner in the attack: Victor Avila.
In an interview last November, Zapata’s family told CBS News they feel that U.S. law enforcement could have stopped the sale of a gun used to kill their son. CBS News obtained law enforcement records that show the gun that killed Zapata came from the U.S., and the suspects who allegedly trafficked it had been under law enforcement’s watch for months in Dallas but weren’t arrested.
In February, CBS News learned a second weapon used in the Zapata attack was also linked to an ongoing case under the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.