CopyrightÂ Â© 2011 Vanguard of Freedom
UPDATE! UPDATE! UPDATE!
Los Angeles Times Washington Bureau’s, Richard A. Serrano is reporting that “Newly obtained emails show that the White House was better informed about a failed gun-tracking operation on the border with Mexico than was previously known.”
Serrano says that “Three White House national security officials were given some details about the operation, dubbed Fast and Furious. The operation allowed firearms to be illegally purchased, with the goal of tracking them to Mexican drug cartels. But the effort went out of control after agents lost track of many of the weapons.” Â See the Full Report HERE
The Justice Department, as does the Obama Administration, insists they are the epitome of transparency, as this statement demonstrates:
“… The Department of Justice is committed to achieving the Presidentâ€™s goal of making this the most transparent Administration in history. In the Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government, issued on January 21, 2009, the President instructed the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to issue an Open Government Directive. Â The Open Government Directive directs executive departments and agencies to take specific actions to implement the principles of transparency, participation, and collaboration set forth in the Presidentâ€™s Memorandum…”
YET WE HEAR TODAY…. from Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee that with respect to the “Fast and Furious” fiasco, the covert, gun-running program that went awry, and has cost the lives of law enforcement officers, the Department of Justice has been stonewalling, refusing to cooperate with inquiries from Congress about who the responsible parties are, and how high up the chain of command knowledge of the project went. Â Grassley says the Justice Department has not been forthcoming with interrogatories until very recently. (Grassley Fox News Interview)
And in fact, the Justice Department announced “musical chairs” and resignations as a result of the failed fast and furious program. Yesterday Acting Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Kenneth Nelson was “reassigned” as senior adviser, at a lower post at the DOJ, the Office of Legal Policy, and was replaced as head of ATF with U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota, Todd Jones.
Additionally the Justice Department announced that U.S. Attorney for Arizona, Dennis Burke resigned his position. Â The DOJ gave no inidication that the changes in personnel had anything to do with failures of the gun-running project. Â (Announcements: Â HERE and HERE)
As a note, Representative Darrell Issa of California and chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee had called for Melson’s resignation, but when Melson agreed to be interviewed by Issa (with his personal lawyer present), Issa relented.
In response to the “reassignment” and resignation at the DOJ, Issa issued the following statement:
“While the reckless disregard for safety that took place in Operation Fast and Furious certainly merits changes within the Department of Justice, the Oversight and Government Reform Committee will continue its investigation to ensure that blame isnâ€™t offloaded on just a few individuals for a matter that involved much higher levels of the Justice Department.
“There are still many questions to be answered about what happened in Operation Fast and Furious and who else bears responsibility, but these changes are warranted and offer an opportunity for the Justice Department to explain the role other officials and offices played in the infamous efforts to allow weapons to flow to Mexican drug cartels.
“I also remain very concerned by Acting Director Melsonâ€™s statement that the Department of Justice is managing its response in a manner intended to protect its political appointees. Senator Grassley and I will continue to press the Department of Justice for answers in order to ensure that a reckless effort like Fast and Furious does not take place again.”
In concert with Issa’s statement Senator Chuck Grassley issued the following:
â€œTodayâ€™s announcement is an admission by the Obama administration that serious mistakes were made in Operation Fast and Furious, and is a step in the right direction that they are continuing to limit any further damage that people involved in this disastrous strategy can do.
â€œThereâ€™s a lot of blame to go around. As our investigation moves forward, and we get to the bottom of this policy, I wouldnâ€™t be surprised to see more fall out beyond the resignations and new assignments announced today.
â€œThe Justice Department and the ATF have yet to answer a majority of the questions and still must produce many of the documents Congressman Issa and I have asked for. Â Weâ€™re looking for a full accounting from the Justice Department as to who knew what and when, so we can be sure that this ill-advised strategy never happens again.â€
Interestingly Congressman Issa was the object of a New York Times hit-piece by Eric Lichtblau, published August 14, 2011 titled “A Businessman in Congress Helps His District and Himself” in which Lichtblau alleges Issa improprieties and conflictfs of interest between his business dealings and his congressional dealings. (Article)
The article prompted Issa to respond with a letter of correction to address the allegations he says are errors by Lichtblau and the New York Times. (Issa Letter) Â While the New York Times acknowledged errors in the article, they have not addressed other issues Congressman Issa continues to assert are incorrect:
“The office of Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Vista), Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, today sent a letter to The New York Times Assistant Managing Editor and D.C. Bureau Chief Dean Baquet. The letter is in response to one sent to Rep. Issa last night acknowledging two additional significant factual errors in The New York Times’ August 15 front page article while refusing to correct other errors or issue a retraction. The Times has now run corrections on three items in the story.”