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Surprise: DOJ’s Inspector General Clears Boss

From an unquestioning ABC News:

‘Fast and Furious’ Probe Clears Holder, Faults ATF and Justice

By PIERRE THOMAS, JACK CLOHERTY and JASON RYAN | September 19, 2012

Operation "Fast and Furious," the controversial undercover operation that allowed U.S. guns to be walked into Mexico, was a "risky strategy" that did not "adequately take into account the significant danger to public safety that it created."

That was the conclusion today from the Office of the Inspector General, Department of Justice, after an investigation that spanned more than a year and a half.

The OIG investigation found that Attorney General Eric Holder was not aware of the strategy and tactics used in "Fast and Furious," and turned up no evidence that Holder or other top DOJ officials tried to cover up the operation, or mislead Congress about it…

Which is exactly why we needed a special counsel, and not someone who is working for Eric Holder. (And why we didn’t get one.)

In fact, the purpose of ‘Fast and Furious’ was to "significant danger to public safety," in order to ram through the renewal of the ban on semi-automatic rifles and other more stringent gun controls.

And the reason the DOJ’s OIG "turned up no evidence" is because Eric Holder is stonewalling on the evidence.

In a statement today, Holder said, "It is unfortunate that some were so quick to make baseless accusations before they possessed the facts about these operations — accusations that turned out to be without foundation and that have caused a great deal of unnecessary harm and confusion." …

Then why not release the documents to Congress who are charged with your oversight, if you are innocent and your department’s has no culpability? And why not allow a special counsel?

Some of the 2,000 guns that made their way into Mexico as a result of "Operation Fast and Furious" were later recovered at crime scenes, including two found at the scene of the killing of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December 2010.

The guns "made their way"? Who knew guns could do that?

The "Fast and Furious" strategy called for agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to conduct surveillance and review phone and financial records to track guns they believed to be going to Mexican drug lords, who could then be arrested. But ATF lost track of most of the guns, few arrests were made, and yet "the purchasing activity by Operation Fast and Furious subjects continued unabated, individuals who had engaged in serious and dangerous criminal conduct remained at large, and the public was put in harm’s way."

This is pure disinformation. There was never any attempt at surveillance or tracking. And no arrests were made. That is the whole problem.

The OIG investigation "revealed a series of misguided strategies, tactics, errors in judgment and management failures that permeated ATF Headquarters and the Phoenix Field Division, as well as the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona and at the Headquarters of the Department of Justice." …

The strategy was certainly not misguided. But it was not a failure. The guns got into Mexico. Which was the entire purpose.

The report also details serious mistakes in DOJ’s response to congressional inquiries about "Fast and Furious."

The Inspector General’s review has recommended 14 Justice Department and ATF officials for disciplinary and administrative review, including the head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer.

What does this even mean? The most important response to Congress, or rather lack of response, has been Holder’s un-Constitutional stonewalling. Why didn’t the report mention that?

As a result of the OIG findings, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein resigned his post today. The OIG report charged that Weinstein, a senior aide to Breuer, did not adequately share critical information about "Fast and Furious," and its predecessor operation, "Wide Receiver," with top DOJ officials.

Mr. Weinstein and the other top officials who have fallen on their swords must either be under a lot of legal pressure, or have been promised very nice rewards in the future.

Because that information did not reach the attorney general, more aggressive oversight of the operation did not occur, and misinformation was passed on to Congress, according to the OIG report

What a laugh.

The former acting director of ATF during the operation, Kenneth Melson, today retired from the Department of Justice, effective immediately.

With full pension and benefits, no doubt.

The report was highly critical of William Newell, the former special agent in charge of the Phoenix field office. "Newell also bore ultimate responsibility for the failures in Operation Fast and Furious," the review found, citing his leadership position and involvement in the case.

Newell is working at ATF Headquarters in Washington…

That will show him!

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, one of the leading congressional critics of DOJ’s handing of "Fast and Furious," issued a statement today, saying, "Operation Fast and Furious was the height of irresponsibility on the part of a number of people from the ATF Phoenix field office all the way up to the Justice Department headquarters. And, we still don’t know the full extent of any White House involvement because they refused to be transparent and provide documents requested by the Inspector General. It’s clear that both the ATF and the Justice Department failed to provide meaningful oversight of Operation Fast and Furious."

Well, what is Congress going to do about it? Maybe under a new President, something will be done.

The OIG report also detailed the mistakes that lead to the killing of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry: "On January 16, 2010, one of the straw purchasers purchased three AK-47 style rifles from a Phoenix-area gun store. ATF agents learned about that purchase 3 days later and, consistent with the investigative strategy in the case, made no effort to locate (the purchaser) or seize the rifles although ATF had identified the suspect in November 2009. Two of the three rifles purchased by (the suspect) on January 16 were recovered 11 months later at the scene of the murder of Agent Terry, who was shot and killed on December 14, 2010, as he tried to arrest persons believed to be illegally entering the United States … "

The report admits that the strategy was to do no surveillance and make not seizures and to do no arrests.

The OIG report also noted, "what began as an important and promising investigation of serious firearms trafficking along the Southwest Border that was developed through the efforts of a short-staffed ATF enforcement group quickly grew into an investigation that lacked realistic objectives, did not have appropriate supervision within ATF or the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and failed to adequately assess the public safety consequences of not stopping or controlling the alarming purchasing activity."

More hogwash.

The report indicates that the OIG reviewed more than 100,000 documents and interviewed more than 130 witnesses, many on multiple occasions.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz said, "We operated with complete and total independence in our search for the truth, and the decision about what to cover in this report and the conclusions that we reached were made solely by me and my office."

Let’s hope he gets a little extra in his pay envelope this week.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, September 20th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Surprise: DOJ’s Inspector General Clears Boss”

  1. AcornsRNutz says:

    Add this to TWA 800, Waco, Ruby Ridge, Vince Foster, Whitewater, Birth certificate forgery, Connecticut SSN, new black panther party voter intimidation, AF1 buzzing New York…….’

    Why is it that conspiricay nuts always jump on Republicans, and way after the fact, when the real “conspiracies” are in plain sight? They always start out as people asking questions and then slowly being dusted over and hush money paid, spin doctors employed, phony reports written and submitted, which seems to be exactly 180 degrees out from the truthers, halliburton hurricane machine, bush blew up the dams etc etc etc. Why is this? Liberalism really is a disease. Instead of distrusting government as an entity for what it does (generally under dems) in plain sight, they make up reasons to distrust it for what they imagine it did (generally under republicans) in order to get more government power and influence over our daily lives. What makes these idiots tick I wonder.

    It can all be summed up by the fact that the volkswagen beetle, the nazi/fascist state people’s car (German Trabant basically) became the vehicle of choice for the people who were standing up to “the man” in America. Think of everything a lib does in this context and you can at least grasp the problem with their minds even if you can’t yourself understand the logic.

  2. Enthalpy says:

    A special prosecutor, appointed by Congress, has been needed from the beginning of this investigation. The statement that, “The OIG investigation found that Attorney General Eric Holder was not aware of the strategy and tactics used in “Fast and Furious,” and turned up no evidence that Holder or other top DOJ officials tried to cover up the operation, or mislead Congress about it…” is preposterous.


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