Skip to comments.Deputy Attorney General James Cole Involved in 'Fast & Furious' Whistleblower Cover-up?
Posted on 07/20/2011 4:23:43 AM PDT by marktwain
Operation Fast and Furious (F&F) a program run by the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) that allowed thousands of lethal weapons to cross the Mexican border was apparently no secret among high-level political authorities at the Department of Justice (DOJ). Among those in the know? Newly-confirmed Deputy Attorney General James Cole.
Information is now seeping out about the political whiplash that secured a confirmation vote for Cole in exchange for the DOJs release of documents to Congress. In a supremely ironic twist, the documents ransomed by Coles confirmation strongly suggest that Cole himself was involved in the cover-up of F&F.
To recap, James Cole is no stranger to serious misconduct occurring during his alleged watch. Cole was the Independent Consultant stationed at AIG by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) before, during and after the financial meltdown of 2008. Despite his oversight responsibilities, Cole looked the other way as the AIG Financial Products Division in London ran the corporation off the rails, ultimately driving the international economy off a cliff. The cost to US taxpayers of the AIG bailout was more than $150 billion.
Fast forward to January 2011. After President Obama installed Cole at DOJ as the Acting Deputy Attorney General through a recess appointment, Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and House Oversight & Government Reform Committee Chair Darrell Issa (R-California) began asking Coles office for information about F&F. On January 27, Grassley wrote to ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson, requesting information. Four days later, Grassley again wrote to Melson about reports that whistleblowers on F&F were being silenced, stating Rather than focusing on retaliating against whistleblowers, the ATFs sole focus should be on finding and disclosing the truth as soon as possible."
There followed a chronology of false and misleading information from DOJ to Congress about F&F, and in March, Melson claims he told Cole that DOJ [ ]needed to reexamine how it was responding to the request for information from Congress. Not long after this, Politico reported that Melson was about to resign from ATF.
Grassley, of course, has crossed swords with Cole before. Through 2010 and into 2011, Grassley blocked Coles confirmation in part because Cole had failed in his oversight at AIG. In June, however, Grassley withdrew his objection to Cole in exchange for information from the DOJ about F&F (Just for now, lets ignore the dubious practice of forcing Congress to exchange votes for information from executive agencies about wrongdoing). Cole was then confirmed on June 27, and shortly after the vote, DOJ turned over documents about F&F to the Senate.
In the documents, Grassley discovered that Cole had been informed about F&F in March by Melson and had participated in concealing the details of the operation from Congressional investigators. A July 5th Grassley/Issa letter to Attorney General Eric Holder reads:
Mr. Melson provided documents months ago supporting his concerns [about Operation Fast and Furious] to the official in the ODAG [Office of the Deputy Attorney General] responsible for document production to the Committees, but those documents have not been provided to us.
Grassley and Issa also wrote that, according to Melson:
[ ] Justice Department officials directed them not to respond and took full control of replying to briefing and document requests from Congress. The result is that Congress only got the parts of the story that the Department wanted us to hear. If his [Melsons] account is accurate, then ATF leadership appears to have been effectively muzzled while the DOJ sent over false denials and buried its head in the sand.
1. Cole ignored or failed to recognize financial risk at AIG for years (while collecting a hefty fee). 2. Grassley blocked his confirmation as Deputy Attorney General. 3. Using a recess appointment, President Obama appointed Cole to Deputy Attorney General in December of last year, and Cole took up his position at DOJ. 4. Coles office at DOJ withheld information from Congress about F&F at ATF, a program that allowed thousands of firearms bought in the US to fall into the hands of criminals in Mexico. 5. In a deal with Democrats, Grassley agreed to allow a confirmation vote on Cole in exchange for access to information from DOJ about F&F. 6. Upon receiving that information, Grassley learned that a DOJ official partially responsible for withholding F&F details from Congress was Cole himself.
Last week, on July 11, Grassley and Issa wrote again to Holder:
As our investigation into Operation Fast and Furious has progressed, we have learned that senior officials at the Department of Justice (DOJ), including Senate-confirmed political appointees, were unquestionably aware of the implementation of this reckless program [ ].
Grassley and Issa are now requesting e-mails to and from Cole, among others, as part of their investigation.
Lets hope that they dont have to make another deal with the devil or with our Justice Department in order to get them.
Bea Edwards is the International Reform Director at the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.
Holder and this Administration are too busy trying to take down Murdoch.
Looks like Cole is the new whipping boy
CRIME, Inc. Same sh*t, different day.
Drippety, drip, drip, drip....
“Looks like Cole is the new whipping boy”
Next in line to be czar of something after he takes the fall for hussein and holder.
Screw this admn.
I don’t think it’s going to be that easy. Too many of these ops are being uncovered and the reasons for them are getting to be more and more nefarious. This is criminal in a big way.
Anyway, among their clients they count James Hanson of NASA and Rick Piltz of the lefty Climate Science Watch, which is apparently a creature of the Government Accountability Project.
On the other hand, this article is hardly sympathetic to the Obama Justice Department.
Indeed. If Congress makes this a dog-and-pony show, and all these perps get off with wrist slaps, there will be consequences. These lying communist thugs have to be swept from office, and DC fumigated, so that our country can be restored.
WOW! Great links to other great links to great patriots. Thanks.
You’re welcome. It clarifies things some.
The reporters timeline is excellent. I post these links when I can as I am shocked at how many do not have a clue how serious this is.These links don’t even touch how widespread it is now.
Brian Terrys Family Prepares For Funeral, Rips Obama Admin.
Issa Grills Attorney General Holder on Operation Fast and Furious
Obstruction Of Justice: Does The Justice Dept Have To Respond To A Congressional Subpoena?
Who in Justice Department is Responsible for Operation Fast and Furious?
Operation Fast and Furious: Reckless Decisions, Tragic
***One of the whistleblowers- ATF Agent Vince Cefalu, (testifying in the video below has been fired since the hearng.***
Operation Fast and Furious: Reckless Decisions, Tragic Outcomes. Panel 2
What a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive.
Southampton bump. Semper Fi.
Holder’s sacrificial lamb?
Thanks for your work. It is greatly appreciated. FR’s finest ARE America’s finest.