The Obama administration’s signature pattern of evasion – shifting blame elsewhere for everything from the economy to walking guns across the Mexican border – continued yesterday with attorney general Eric Holder’s appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Northwest gun rights activists have been following this story closely at WaGuns, Northwest Firearms and Gun Rights Media.
Holder, while he got an opportunity from Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), could not even offer an apology to the parents of slain Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, whose death ignited the Fast and Furious investigation, and some say, the Justice Department’s cover-up. Watch his body language in this CBS video and see him reel back, a sign that to him, offering an apology would be toxic. To apologize would be to accept responsibility, and that simply does not appear to be anywhere in the Obama administration gene pool. As this CBS News video reveals, Holder even quibbled with Cornyn about acknowledging that information his department earlier supplied was “false,” with the Attorney General instead preferring to state the information was “inaccurate.”
“I certainly regret what happened to Agent Brian Terry. … It is not fair, however, to assume that the mistakes that happened in Fast and Furious directly led to the death of Agent Terry,” Mr. Holder responded.—Washington Times
This administration has blamed the Bush administration from Day One for the economy, even though it has been the president’s own party – Democrats controlled Congress for the final two years of the Bush presidency and the first two years under Obama – that owns this economy. It is the Obama administration, and especially Holder’s Justice Department, that owns Fast and Furious.
Administration apologists, as this column noted, continued their attempt to deflect public attention and dilute the gravity of Fast and Furious by arguing that “Bush did it, too” with the earlier Operation Wide Receiver. The New York Times’ coverage of Tuesday’s hearing raised that issue.
Complicating the political storyline, it has since emerged that Fast and Furious had a precursor, called Operation Wide Receiver, during the Bush administration. It was run by the Tucson office of the A.T.F. from 2006 to 2007 and employed similar investigative tactics…
About 2,000 guns linked to straw buyers in Fast and Furious and about 350 in Wide Receiver went missing, although some had been purchased before the straw buyer came to investigators’ attention.—New York Times
That was, as this column noted, an equally poor idea, on a smaller scale, but conducted under the same commander, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ former Phoenix Special Agent in Charge William Newell. Wide Receiver, as the Times noted, allowed a much smaller number of firearms to “walk” into the wrong hands.
As CBS News’ Sharyl Attkisson is reporting, Terry’s parents watched Holder’s performance Tuesday and remain convinced he is dodging and weaving.
Senator Charles Grassley told Fox News Wednesday morning that Holder’s answers “were not very credible.”
“Either he knew, and he’s telling us he didn’t know, or he’s incompetent because he didn’t know what was going on in his department.”—Sen. Charles Grassley to Fox News
Late yesterday, Grassley did get one of his questions about a leaked document answered, but it did not come from Holder. Instead, it came from former U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke, who abruptly resigned from his job in Phoenix in August. Burke, through his attorneys, has acknowledged that he leaked an important, and sensitive, document to a reporter that caused problems for one of the first, and most important, Fast and Furious whistleblowers. Grassley released this statement:
“Leaking sensitive documents to the press and retaliating against whistleblowers is not good faith cooperation with Congress. The Justice Department confirmed that the Inspector General continues to investigate the leak which means there are others who may be involved in drafting and distributing the talking points and document to the press.
“The Justice Department should not be allowed to continue scapegoating the one person who has resigned. We’re in contact with Mr. Burke’s attorneys and will continue to seek additional information about the document leak and retaliatory talking points.”—Senator Charles Grassley
While Holder reportedly got a “grilling” during Tuesday’s hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, he had far more friends in the room than he will face when he appears next month before the House Judiciary Committee.
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