By Mark Wachtler
June 23, 2012. Washington. (ONN) Whiteout Press has been one of the few publications following and reporting regularly on the Fast and Furious operation since it was first uncovered in the summer of 2011. Be aware, most mainstream news outlets are reporting inaccurate or false information right now, along with stumping politicians on both sides. Here’s our honest, impartial take on the main parts of the Fast and Furious scandal that led to Eric Holder’s contempt charge. It’s right out of a spy movie and it’s nowhere near over.
Pres. Obama calls on all Dems to get behind AG Holder on Contempt charge. It could be politically fatal.
In an almost unprecedented move Wednesday, the House Oversight and Reform Committee voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in Contempt of Congress. Democrats unanimously voted against the contempt charge even though the Attorney General’s guilt is basically documented and admitted. Accusing the GOP of playing politics, House Democrats and President Obama have doubled-down on AG Holder. Here’s why that will be a disastrously losing hand come November.
Fast and Furious
Fast and Furious was the program concocted by the BATF and the US Attorney’s office in Phoenix in 2009. The official purpose of the secret operation was to capture Mexican Drug Cartel boss Manuel Celis-Acosta. The tactic they would use under Fast and Furious was to sell thousands of military assault rifles to the drug cartels and follow the guns to Celis-Acosta. It actually worked and Manuel Celis-Acosta was captured not just once, but twice. Mysteriously however, he was quickly and quietly let go both times.
Read the Whiteout Press article, ‘DOJ Protected Fast and Furious Target Twice’ for details.
Incompetence or corruption?
In the latest in a pattern of scenarios where government agents were either completely incompetent or they were corrupt, as many as 2,500 military firearms were sold by the BATF to the Mexican drug cartels from 2009 to 2011. Instead of monitoring and following them, US agents simply, “let the guns walk”. That was when a fellow US law enforcement officer was murdered by Mexican cartel soldiers. Two of the guns used in the murder and recovered at the scene were AK-47 assault rifles sold by the BATF to the cartels.
That one incident on Dec. 15, 2010 – the murder of US Border Patrolman Brian Terry – was the beginning of the end of the Fast and Furious program.
Read the Whiteout Press article, ‘Murdered Border Patrolman’s Family wants Justice’ for more information.
As far back as Aug. 30, 2011, it was obvious to any independent journalist that something big was going on within the Executive Branch. The most powerful and influential individuals who could have been involved in Fast and Furious were all rapidly moved and reassigned. The most notable being the BATF acting Director Kenneth Melson who was transferred to a senior position inside Eric Holder’s Justice Dept.
The other federal agency responsible for Fast and Furious along with the BATF just happened to be Eric Holder’s Justice Dept. His US Attorneys out of their Phoenix office worked side by side with the BATF overseeing the gun trafficking operation. For that, US Attorney in Arizona Dennis Burke also stepped down. At the same time as Melson was moved from the Treasury Dept’s BATF into DOJ, five other BATF special agents involved in the scandal were also reassigned. This author and Whiteout Press proved to be 9 months ahead of the story when we reported the appearance of a government cover-up in Fast and Furious as far back as August 2011. And none of it was being reported in the media.
Read the Whiteout Press August 2011 article, ‘DoJ and Treasury Covering for Someone Big’ for information.
“Let the guns walk”
Believe it or not, Eric Holder’s contempt of Congress charge has nothing to do with his actions during Fast and Furious. Instead, the entire contempt charge and the President’s Executive Privilege defense is the result of that one phrase – “let the guns walk”.
When Congress was finally made aware of Patrolman Terry’s murder and its connection to Fast and Furious, the House Oversight Committee launched an investigation. That was 2011 and the moment both AG Holder and President Obama claim they were first made aware of Fast and Furious. They also insist it was at that time that President Obama issued a direct order to stop the gun-trafficking operation.
In the Justice Dept.’s February 2012 written response to Congress’ investigation into Fast and Furious, Eric Holder’s office issued a sworn statement in reply to the accusation that US agents, “let the guns walk”. The nameless DoJ official statement to Congress insisted that US agents never “sanctioned or otherwise knowingly allowed the sale of assault weapons.”
That DoJ denial from Eric Holder’s office was a lie.
In December 2011, knowing he was guilty of lieing to Congress, Eric Holder publicly and embarrassingly withdrew the statement confirming finally that government officials did in fact knowingly supply thousands of military weapons to Mexican drug cartels. That’s when AG Eric Holder suddenly stopped cooperating with the Congressional investigation into Fast and Furious.
Read the Whiteout Press article ‘DoJ admits to False Congressional Admissions’ for specific details.
Congressional investigation splits
At that moment, the Congressional investigation split in two. One group of Congressional staffers concentrated on getting to the bottom of Fast and Furious while the other announced they wanted the names of the individuals who wrote and signed-off on the lies from DoJ to Congress. AG Holder refused to cooperate at first. Then, his office dumped 14,000 pages of documentation onto Congressional investigators. Somewhere in there, Holder’s staff insisted, is the smoking gun showing who approved the lie to Congress.
Unable to find the email exchange or details from Holder’s staff regarding who approved the fraudulent testimony, the House Oversight Committee gave the Attorney General one final chance in May 2012 to turn over the documents exposing who in his office was responsible for lieing to Congress. The Committee drafted a 42-page Contempt of Congress charge and gave Mr. Holder one more month to cooperate.
Read the Whiteout Press article, ‘House begins Contempt of Congress process for AG Eric Holder’ for details.
White House steps in
President Obama surprised observers this week when he issued a proclamation that the documents Congress is seeking are sealed from the people due to ‘Executive Privilege’. That position by President Obama would suggest either one of two things – the President is playing politics and trying to protect his AG for personal reasons, or the President is involved in the cover-up.
Executive Privilege is a suspect imperial power that Presidents can use to keep certain things secret anywhere in the Executive Branch of government. But such actions are typically only used for unique reasons such as protecting the identity of secret agents in the field or protecting the anonymity of Presidential advisers in the court of public opinion. Shielding an Attorney General, or possibly even a President, from criminal prosecution is not what Executive Privilege is for.
Remember, the Contempt of Congress charge the House will vote on next week has nothing to do with the Fast and Furious gun-selling scandal. Eric Holder’s office lied to Congress in writing and then admitted they lied. The Contempt of Congress charge is because Eric Holder won’t tell Congress what individuals, possibly himself, approved the lie. As we’ve seen, Democrats are fighting the Contempt charge every step of the way – and they’re going to lose badly over it.
Someone in the federal government sold thousands of guns to Mexican drug cartels and protected their murderous soldiers. Then someone lied to Congress and the American people to cover it up. President Obama and his Democrats have energetically taken the side of international gun-traffickers, Mexican drug cartels and admitted liars over the side of Patrolman Terry, justice and the American people. Good luck to President Obama and Congressional Democrats explaining that one to voters come November.
Subscribe to Whiteout Press. It’s FREE and you can unsubscribe at any time. Simply submit your email address at the top of the page.