The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee conducted another hearing this week on Fast and Furious -- the operation spearheaded by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) which knowingly put thousands of guns into criminals’ hands.
Tuesday’s hearing exposed the anti-gun animus of several people within the Obama Administration, and their answers continued to beg the question: Was Operation Fast and Furious all about drumming up more support for gun control?
Gun Owners of America met with three persons from the House committee prior to the hearing. The meeting was “off the record,” so we can’t report on the details. Only to say, GOA brought up a hard-and-fast link between the White House and “Fast and Furious” -- and encouraged committee members to pursue a line of questioning that would publicly expose this connection.
We were pleased to see that Representatives did just that. Here’s what Tuesday’s hearing revealed for the record:
1. The White House WAS BEING BRIEFED by Fast and Furious manager Bill Newell. In fact, a “smoking gun” email establishing the clandestine link between ATF Agent Newell and the White House begins with Newell saying: “You didn’t get this from me ….”
2. ATF agents DID KNOW that “Fast and Furious” guns were going to Mexico. During much of the hearing, ATF Agent Newell denied this, but intense questioning by Pennsylvania Republican Patrick Meehan revealed Newell’s lie. The fact is, Newell and others DID KNOW that Mexican cartel bosses were expecting to get illegal firearms funneled into Mexico.
3. ATF agents have been deceptive when they claimed that Operation Fast and Furious was going to provide information for Mexican authorities to prosecute drug kingpins south of the border. Cross-examination revealed that Mexican authorities already knew who the drug kingpins are and that ATF did not share any information with Mexico that would help them bring down these cartels.
4. Under oath, ATF agents admitted that Fast and Furious was a TOTAL break with their normal standards and procedures. Normal police work would mean arresting straw buyers and “flipping them” -- in other words, turning them against their superiors and bringing down the higher-ups in the smuggling ring.
But Fast and Furious involved a complete break with this strategy, in that gun smugglers were allowed to “go free” -- even to the point where the guns were smuggled south of the border and permanently “out of sight” of ATF agents (or Mexican authorities, for that matter). Indeed, one straw buyer bought some 720 guns for his bagman.
So the question is: Why would an anti-gun administration knowingly let guns get into the “wrong hands”? They claim the purpose was to help take down drug cartels in Mexico.
But given the fact that ATF was not sharing information with Mexico … and that they were TOTALLY breaking with standard law-enforcement procedures … and that they knew that “Fast and Furious” guns were winding up at crime scenes in Mexico … another more likely explanation is raising its ugly head.
The better explanation is that anti-gun officials in the Administration were trying to bring disrepute upon our Second Amendment freedoms and that this would lead to calls for more gun control.
Remember Rahm Emanuel’s famous line: “Don’t let a crisis go to waste?”
Well, it seems that the Obama Administration was doing whatever it could to create a crisis that would supposedly show that most of the Mexican crime guns were originating in U.S. gun stores.
The Washington Times picked up on this obvious motive earlier this month:
The White House often claimed that 90 percent of the weapons used in Mexican crimes had been traced to the United States, but the number has never been substantiated. By all appearances, Fast and Furious delivered statistics to back up the figure. (“Too fast, Too Furious,” July 13, 2011.)
Apparently, the ATF was not the only organization involved in Fast and Furious. Tuesday’s hearing confirmed that the Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service and Immigration and Customs Enforcement were all involved.
In other words, Fast and Furious was a giant operation being run out of the Justice Department. And that means that all roads are starting to point to Attorney General Eric Holder.
As stated by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa:
How is it that the Number Two, Three, Four at Justice all knew about this Program but the Number One [Attorney General Eric Holder] didn’t? Is it because he said “don’t tell me”? Is it because they knew what they were doing was wrong and they were protecting their boss? Or is it just that Eric Holder was so disconnected ….
Either Holder is lying about the fact he didn’t know early on about Fast and Furious or he is inept. Either way, Eric Holder needs to step down.