Friday, November 11, 2011

Fast & Furiously inching closer to ousting Holder


I discussed what was the latest in the Fast & Furious scandal on Wednesday with the testimony of Eric Holder, and the firestorm continued to intensify throughout much of Thursday's coverage with more obstruction from the Attorney General, as The Daily Caller reports:

Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley said Thursday that Attorney General Eric Holder is continuing to stonewall congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious. This time, Holder is refusing to provide 11 of the 12 witnesses Grassley and House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa have requested be made available for interviews.

Grassley and Issa are demanding to know who was involved in crafting a February 4 letter to the Department of Justice sent to Congress, which contained claims — now understood to be false — that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives did not allow guns to walk into Mexico.

Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, Holder’s deputy and the head of the DOJ Criminal Division, admitted last week that the DOJ’s claims that the ATF did not allow guns to walk were false.

Grassley also said that he’s glad Holder “finally admitted that the whistleblowers were right all along about gunwalking in Fast and Furious.” But, Grassley said that isn’t enough — Holder must take responsibility for the deadly program.

He certainly must take responsibility, but he (as well as others in the Justice Department) must also be held ACCOUNTABLE, if not by prosecution (which I think many Americans, and Mexicans, would prefer), then at the very least, by the loss of his cabinet position as the chief lawyer for the United States.  And I'm by far not the only one who thinks that:

Republican congressmen Bill Flores of Texas and Frank LoBiondo of New Jersey have added their names to a list of members of Congress calling for Attorney General Eric Holder’s immediate resignation, increasing that list’s number to 38.

A spokesperson for Flores said he is calling for Holder’s resignation “in light of Tuesday’s testimony” before the Senate Judiciary Committee. During that hearing, Holder deflected questions about who he is holding accountable for the scandal-prone Operation Fast and Furious, changed the timeline of his recollections, refused to provide details about a letter to Congress containing at least one false statement, and said he had not spoken to the family of murdered Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

Conservative activist and former governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, also poignantly echoed the sentiment of many:

When the nation’s highest law enforcement official lies to the American people, he must go.

And if he claims that he didn’t lie, then how else do we explain this situation? He’s either lying or he’s so grossly incompetent and lazy that he didn’t read important life and death briefings from his deputy attorney general and didn’t know about this deadly operation run by people under him. So, which is it? Incompetent, lazy, or lying? No matter which explanation fits, he needs to go.

And it's very worthwhile to point out that on Wednesday afternoon, Brian Terry’s family broke their almost year-long silence since his murder, issuing a though-provoking and appropriately emotional statement concerning the congressional investigation into the scandal (here's excerpts):

At Tuesday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Attorney General Eric Holder said that he “regrets” the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

Yet, when Senator John Cornyn asked him if he had spoken to or apologized to the Terry Family, Mr. Holder replied that he has not spoken to the family nor has he apologized for the actions of ATF and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Phoenix.

Instead, he said that "it’s unfair to assume that mistakes from Fast and Furious directly led to the death of Agent Terry."

The Attorney General has said that he did not know about the flawed tactics being used by ATF in Operation Fast and Furious; if this is true and he did not know, then he should have known. After all, he is the Attorney General of the United States and the head of the Department of Justice under which ATF belongs.

Mr. Holder needs to own Operation Fast and Furious. In the end, Mr. Holder may chose not to apologize to the Terry family for the role that ATF and DOJ played in the death of Brian Terry, but the Attorney General should accept responsibility immediately. It is without question, the right thing to do.

So what does Holder do to finally reach out to the family? Hold your breath for this one. Holder purportedly sent a private letter to the Terry family, but took an opportunity to share it with (drumroll, please) Politico before the family has even received it. It wasn't enough that Sen. Cornyn had to tell the guy he needed to express some remorse to the family, Holder made certain that everyone sees his sympathetic outreach to the family, even before they actually see it! Oh, that liberal compassion...

Enough of this jackass! President Obama, it's past time you FIRED your left-hand man.

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