A Fast and Furious Document Dump

Under the cover of a Friday night document dump, as has been the wont of this Administration when they have been caught with their hand in the cookie jar, President Barack Hussein Obama and his minions

…provided Congress with documents detailing how department officials gave inaccurate information to a U.S. senator in the controversy surrounding Operation Fast and Furious, the flawed law enforcement initiative aimed at dismantling major arms trafficking networks on the Southwest border.

In a letter last February to Charles Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Justice Department said that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms had not sanctioned the sale of assault weapons to a straw purchaser and that the agency makes every effort to intercept weapons that have been purchased illegally. In Operation Fast and Furious, both statements turned out to be incorrect.

The Justice Department letter was responding to Grassley’s statements that the Senate Judiciary Committee had received allegations the ATF had sanctioned the sale of hundreds of assault weapons to suspected straw purchasers. Grassley also said there were allegations that two of the assault weapons had been used in a shootout that killed customs agent Brian Terry.

In an email four days later to Justice Department colleagues, then-U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke in Phoenix said that “Grassley’s assertions regarding the Arizona investigation and the weapons recovered” at the “murder scene are based on categorical falsehoods. I worry that ATF will take 8 months to answer this when they should be refuting its underlying accusations right now.” That email marked the start of an internal debate in the Justice Department over what and how much to say in response to Grassley’s allegations. The fact that there was an ongoing criminal investigation into Terry’s murder prompted some at the Justice Department to argue for less disclosure.

Some of what turned out to be incorrect information was emailed to Lanny Breuer, the assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s criminal division. Breuer sent an email saying “let’s help as much as we can” in responding to Grassley.

The emails sent to Capitol Hill on Friday showed that Burke supplied additional incorrect information to the Justice Department’s criminal division that ended up being forwarded to Breuer. For example, Burke said that the guns found at the Terry murder scene were purchased at a Phoenix gun shop before Operation Fast and Furious began. In fact, the operation was under way at the time and the guns found at the Terry murder scene were part of the probe. Breuer was one of the recipients of that information. In written comments this week to Grassley, Breuer said that he was on a three-day official trip to Mexico at the time of the Justice Department response and that he was aware of, but not involved in, drafting the Justice Department statements to Grassley. Breuer says he cannot say for sure whether he saw a draft of the letter before it was sent to Grassley.

Where Burke got the inaccurate information is now part of an inquiry conducted by the inspector general’s office at the Justice Department.

So, someone who reports to Attorney General Eric Holder is investigating Eric Holder?  Heck, I feel better already, don’t you?

Rep. Darrell Issa has been investigating this tragic fiasco for over a year now and made the following comments to a Washington Times reporter:

“It is not about one person,” said Mr. Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, during a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.

“It is about a failure that seems to be pervasive within Justice that investigations play fast and loose with the expectations of what is right or wrong when it comes to what I am going to call collateral damage,” he said.

Mr. Issa said Fast and Furious was not the first federal investigation in which “bad people are allowed to continue to do bad things in the name of going after bad people.” He said he was not joining dozens of Republican congressmen in calling for Mr. Holder’s resignation in part because his committee had not “reached all the conclusions that are appropriate in this investigation.”

“(Mr. Holder) did not order this operation,” Mr. Issa said. “He didn’t demand they do something this stupid.” He said Mr. Holder should fix the problem and it was up to the White House to decide whether the attorney general should go.

Mr. Issa said congressional investigators had established that Fast and Furious was a “dumb program” and were now looking into a suspected “coverup” and also trying make sure a similar operation never happens again.

But, Rep. Issa…isn’t Eric Holder in charge of the Justice Department? Therefore, he is responsible for everything that happens under his leadership.

Furthermore, isn’t President Barack Hussein Obama, the boss of Eric Holder?

Therefore, isn’t he responsible for Eric Holder’s actions?

Where does the buck stop, Rep. Issa?

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