New documents have emerged with details on Operation Fast and Furious that show officials sent Attorney General Eric Holder several briefings on the federal gunrunning debacle, and almost a full year before he first testified to Congress on his supposed ignorance of the program last May.
The memos obtained by CBS News show that officials sent a series of high-level, internal DOJ memos to Holder about Fast and Furious starting in July 2010. Holder previously testified under oath before Congress in May 2011 that he had only learned about Operation Fast and Furious "over the last few weeks:"
CBS has one memo dated July 5, 2010. Here's an excerpt:
Another, dated November 1, 2010, again shows information was sent to Holder as part of a weekly update.
Now, the Attorney General has retreated to a defense of his testimony based upon his "misunderstanding" the very direct question asked by Congress, and that he did know about the program in general but didn't know its details.
It appears the head of the Department of Justice, then, wants the American people to believe he either didn't read a series of high-level memos sent to him by his Assistant Attorney General and National Drug Intelligence chief, or he forgot the information almost immediately.
In addition, internal Justice Department emails have emerged from October 2010 indicating some senior DOJ personnel were uneasy with Operation Fast and Furious from the start. One official at Justice referred to it as a "tricky case," while another responded to him "I'm not sure how much grief we get for 'guns walking.' It may be more like, 'Finally they're going after people who sent guns down there.'"
You can watch a clip summarizing the recent developments and the content of the memos here, courtesy of CBS News:
Back in July, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Rep. Darrell Issa let it be known that he did not believe Holder was telling the truth on the botched gun sting.
Today, Congressman Issa outlined on Fox News what he believes are the possible scenarios for Holder's knowledge-- or lack thereof-- with regard to Fast and Furious, and included his observation that "what you heard is the usual problem when someone perjures themself, it's I didn't understand, rather than I lied."
At this point in the case, after the murder of US Border Agent, hundreds of violent crimes in Mexico, and thousands of weapons have been handed to the Mexican drug underworld, Americans have tired of the political smokescreens and are looking for answers.