Like a witness on the stand caught in a lie under oath, the Department of Justice has quietly admitted to “incorrect statements” about reckless “gun walking” tactics in “Operation Fast and Furious” with a 1,400 page document dump on Friday.
Now the DOJ appears to be trying a series of slow-rolls, delaying tactics, and misleading statements to staunch the political bleeding.
But one editorial writer is having none of it. Michael A. Walsh summarized his feelings on DOJ’s handling of the Congressional probe in stark terms in a New York Post column:
“It was all a lie. The angry denials, the high dudgeon, the how-dare-you accuse-us bleating emanating from Eric Holder’s Justice Department these last nine months. [...] Friday night’s nearly 1,400-page document dump [...] gives us a glimpse into the inner workings of the Justice Department as it struggled earlier this year to come up with an explanation for the deadly mess — and “misled” Congress.”
He piles on:
“Facts have come to light during the course of this investigation that indicate the Feb. 4 letter contains inaccuracies,” wrote deputy attorney general James Cole on Friday.
Nice to finally see the government admitting what we’ve known all along — that according to ATF whistleblowers, Fast and Furious was an ill-advised, poorly supervised mess that was doomed from the start.
It’s time for the months of lies to end — but don’t hold your breath. The administration recently sealed the court records relating to agent Terry’s murder and — a year later — the one man arrested hasn’t been tried.
Walsh’s scathing critique comes on the heels of the DOJ’s admission that there was substantial infighting over how senior officials should respond to Congressional investigators’ requests for documents. For a bureaucracy that is the highest enforcer of the law in the U.S., there was much gnashing of teeth over what was a straightforward request for documents.
In addition, after the stealthy Friday release of 1,400 pages of DOJ documents, we officially know that Operation Fast and Furious was not accurately described as a “botched” gun-tracking program run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. On the contrary, it seems to have worked exactly as planned.
The documents show that about 2,000 weapons were knowingly sold to Mexican drug cartel agents, and those weapons were apparently involved in the murder of 200 Mexican citizens, and very likely the murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
Federal agents and officials knew that the weapons would not be under any surveillance, and would likely find their way into the hands of Mexican cartel members, including the brutal hitmen known as sicarios.
What is perhaps even more amazing is that this is not new information– it is merely confirmation of what has been said for months by Sen. Chuck Grassley and Rep. Darrell Issa, the Congressmen leading the investigation into Fast and Furious.
These Congressmen have told the American people that Fast and Furious was a deliberate travesty showing horrific judgment, and now it appears clear they were right.
This forces the question: why would U.S. federal officials let guns walk, ever?
To believe that Fast and Furious was a good-faith effort at law enforcement, there would have to be a reason that senior officers up the chain of command overruled subordinates in the field, who were shocked at the implementation of “gun walking.” It is not a normal tactic to let “guns walk” — it is completely against standard law enforcement procedure.
To this day, the primary justification behind the program has been that it would lead to knowledge about the Mexican cartels. That has not happened so far, and how it could ever have happened appears more dubious every day.
Given all of these uncomfortable truths for the administration, some policy analysts are suggesting– more loudly than ever– that the purpose of Operation Fast and Furious was to create a so-called “River of Steel” of American guns into Mexico, then turn around and use it to crack down on guns with the full might of the federal government across the United States.
Meanwhile, the calls for AG Holder’s resignation continue to grow, and now include “Fifty-two House members, two Senators, four presidential candidates and two sitting governors,” according to the Daily Caller.
Attorney General Holder is scheduled to testify before Congress on the latest Operation Fast and Furious revelations this Thursday, in what could be a highly contentious exchange.