Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Rep. Issa gets his first scalp ('Fast and Furious' victory against Holder's transparent DOJ)
The Hill ^ | 8/30/11 | Jordy Yager

Posted on 08/31/2011 12:42:55 PM PDT by Libloather

Rep. Issa gets his first scalp
By Jordy Yager - 08/30/11 06:34 PM ET

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) won his first major investigative victory on Tuesday as two of the top federal officials involved with a flawed gun-tracking operation stepped down from office.

Along with Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Issa has doggedly pursued the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives for the past five months, issuing scores of subpoenas, interviewing dozens of government officials and publicly lambasting President Obama for not being more forthcoming about the “Fast and Furious” operation.

On Tuesday, the DOJ handed Issa a victory, announcing that acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson, who has led the agency since 2009, was being replaced and transferred to the Office of Legal Policy. The news came in conjunction with a separate announcement that the U.S. attorney for Arizona, Dennis Burke, was resigning. Burke oversaw the legal aspects of “Fast and Furious,” providing advice to agents involved.

Brian Darling, a senior fellow in government studies at the Heritage Foundation, said the moves are a clear victory for Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, who has pledged to continue his investigation until a full picture of the operation and its authorizers is painted.

“There’s a long way to go to get to the bottom of the ‘Fast and Furious’ scandal, but at least the Issa committee can say that they’ve uncovered enough information that has started the process of understanding everything that’s happened and having people removed who may have done wrong,” said Darling, who has served as counsel to former Sens. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) and Bob Smith (R-N.H.).

When Republicans took control of the House this year, they were excited about the thought that Issa would have subpoena powers to go after the Obama administration. Answering their call, the six-term lawmaker announced a laundry list of issues he planned to have his powerful committee look into.

But after six months of probes, ranging from the Department of Homeland Security’s Freedom of Information Act process to “Fast and Furious,” Issa had yet to find an issue that stuck beyond soundbites and flash headlines, on which his press team has worked tirelessly.

In the midst of his flailing investigations, Issa had the spotlight turned uncomfortably on himself when he was forced to fire his spokesman, Kurt Bardella, who had been described as Issa’s “Mini-Me,” after Bardella shared reporters’ emails with a writer for The New York Times.

Even Issa recognized that his chairmanship was not going as he had envisioned it.

“I’m a brand-new chairman; this is a brand-new majority,” Issa said two months ago at a markup of the committee’s six-month advisory report. “We didn’t do as well as we could have. We want to do better.”

Critics used the lack of an end result in his “Fast and Furious” investigation to question Issa’s effectiveness as chairman, saying he should wait for the Department of Justice’s inspector general to complete its own investigation, which was launched in March and is still ongoing.

But Tuesday’s announcement signaled a major victory for Issa, who expressed his concern that Melson and Burke not be made to take the fall for others in DOJ who may be responsible for the operation. While no hearings have been formally announced for when Congress returns in two weeks, they are expected.

“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,” Issa in a news release.

Both Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have said they did not approve the operation, but have declined to comment further, citing a pending investigation by DOJ’s inspector general.

Lending credence to Issa’s suspicions that there are more officials responsible for the operation is testimony that Melson delivered to Issa and Grassley’s staff in secret during the July 4th holiday.

Melson said he was never briefed about the details of the operation and that “the general assumption among the people that were briefed on this case was that this was like any other case that ATF has done,” according to testimony provided by the committee’s Democrats.

Melson said he wished the agents who identified problems with the operation had made contact with him directly, because the supervisors they told never did. As a last resort, the agents reached out to Grassley, who launched his own probe into the matter, only to be stonewalled by the DOJ because he is in the minority and the administration only has to turn over information to the majority party.

Shortly after Melson’s interview, Issa backed away from his earlier calls for Melson’s resignation.

“Operation Fast and Furious” was launched in 2009 to sell firearms to known and suspected straw purchasers for Mexican drug cartels with the goal of tracking the guns and dismantling the gun-trafficking routes.

But agents were often told to abandon surveillance of the weapons, allowing them — and the straw buyers — to disappear, according to testimony from numerous agents before the House. The only remaining hope for agents to track the guns was if other agencies found them at a murder scene or during a drug raid and identified them by the serial numbers on the guns.

Officials linked two weapons found at the Arizona murder scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry last December to the operation. According to testimony, they are terrified that some of the thousands of guns still at large will be used to kill more innocent people.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: atf; banglist; castaway; cia; dea; dhs; doj; fast; fastandfurious; furious; gunrunner; gunwalker; holder; ice; issa; obama
Retraction Demands 'Troubling' - But Hit Piece Has Been Corrected 3 Times (NYT v. ISSA)

“The article was carefully reported, written, and edited, and we stand by the story both in its broad thrust and, except as noted, in its particular details.”

1 posted on 08/31/2011 12:43:02 PM PDT by Libloather
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Libloather

The REAL victory comes when you trace it back to the White Hut.


2 posted on 08/31/2011 12:47:58 PM PDT by jessduntno (Obama shanks. America tanks.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Libloather

It is NOT a victory in any way, shape or form.

In Chicago, when you can no longer defend the boss, you fall on your sword so he can not be touched by an investigation. These 2 bureaucrats are taking a hit for team Obamugabe.

So...move along folks, nothing to see here.


3 posted on 08/31/2011 12:49:37 PM PDT by Cletus.D.Yokel (Islam is a violent and tyrannical political ideology and has nothing to do with "religion".)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Libloather
Critics used the lack of an end result in his “Fast and Furious” investigation to question Issa’s effectiveness as chairman, saying he should wait for the Department of Justice’s inspector general to complete its own investigation, which was launched in March and is still ongoing.

Those same critics wouldnt be the same MSM critics who refuse to cover this story, would it? And - who in their right mind doesnt think the DOJIG results will be anything less than a whitewash of the true matter?

4 posted on 08/31/2011 12:49:50 PM PDT by capydick (''Life's tough.......it's even tougher if you're stupid.'')
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Libloather
A mere "step down" is not a scalp nor a victory.

If our troops can be prosecuted for merely doing their job on the battlefield, these DOJ/BATFE bureaucrats should also be fully prosecuted for what appears to be knowlingly and willingly engaging in international criminal activity.

5 posted on 08/31/2011 12:51:04 PM PDT by DTogo (High time to bring back the Sons of Liberty !!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Libloather

I hope Issa and Grassley keep up the fight until Obama and Holder are indited!


6 posted on 08/31/2011 12:51:36 PM PDT by longhorn too
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Libloather

Justice comes when prison time is served. Until then, its new job asignments, payoffs and pensions.

An act of war against Mexico should be treated more seriously.


7 posted on 08/31/2011 12:52:47 PM PDT by American in Israel (A wise man's heart directs him to the right, but the foolish mans heart directs him toward the left.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: vette6387; MetaThought; 60Gunner; XHogPilot; FreedomPoster; Josephat; Prince of Space; ...

8 posted on 08/31/2011 12:53:02 PM PDT by MestaMachine (Id imperfectum manet dum confectum erit.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cletus.D.Yokel

“It is NOT a victory in any way, shape or form.”

It’s from The Hill.


9 posted on 08/31/2011 12:53:58 PM PDT by jessduntno (Obama shanks. America tanks.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Cletus.D.Yokel

When you’ve committed a crime you can’t just “step down”!
You don’t get to “quit and go home”.
You face charges, trial by jury, and sentencing if convicted.


10 posted on 08/31/2011 12:55:05 PM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: DTogo; dcwusmc

Don’t be ridiculous. BATFags and other federal thugs are so enlightened that we should simply trust their every move. Surely you aren’t suggesting that members of our military are more responsible than the overpaid, useless BATFaggots, are you? That just seems impossible to me. I mean, many of these BATFags have bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice. We should just trust everything that they do. :)


11 posted on 08/31/2011 12:56:08 PM PDT by 10thAmendmentGuy ("[Drug] crusaders cannot accept the fact that they are not God." -Thomas Sowell)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Libloather
Why is Holder still on the payroll? How many times must the same scenario be played out (e.g. Panthers, Fast/Furious. etc)? Where's the leadership (Boehner)when you need them? We're always on defense cause we're unwilling to play offense...even when it falls in our lap. Holder/Obama, what did you know and when did you know it? The idea that the DOJ would provide an independent assessment of their own bosses is laughable.
12 posted on 08/31/2011 12:56:14 PM PDT by blues-train (blues train)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cletus.D.Yokel

I am not sure about that in thiscae. I think Melson has a target on his nack. Same with the other whistleblowers who were reassigned to Florida.


13 posted on 08/31/2011 12:56:21 PM PDT by MestaMachine (Id imperfectum manet dum confectum erit.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Cletus.D.Yokel

I am not sure about that in this case. I think Melson has a target on his back. Same with the other whistleblowers who were reassigned to Florida.


14 posted on 08/31/2011 12:56:55 PM PDT by MestaMachine (Id imperfectum manet dum confectum erit.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: DTogo

By the way, son, I’m gonna need you to hand over that sawed off shotty. That’s 15 years in prison. Wow, I feel SOO much safer now.


15 posted on 08/31/2011 12:57:54 PM PDT by 10thAmendmentGuy ("[Drug] crusaders cannot accept the fact that they are not God." -Thomas Sowell)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: DTogo

Agreed! Out here in “fly-over country” this situation doesn’t end with “step down” (i.e. lateral move with no decrease in benefits),..... it ends in termination, prosecution, loss of reputation, reduction of pensions, etc. Even in the military, you’d face dishonorable discharge if not court martial. This isn’t even a slap on the wrist! And where is the outrage from the conservative press? We never expected it from the MSM, but if our own cheerleaders remain quiet, we deserve what we get!


16 posted on 08/31/2011 1:03:26 PM PDT by blues-train (blues train)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: DTogo

Agreed! Out here in “fly-over country” this situation doesn’t end with step down (i.e. lateral move with no decrease in benefits),..... it ends in termination, prosecution, loss of reputation, reduction of pensions, etc. Even in the military, you’d face dishonorable discharge if not court martial. This isn’t even a slap on the wrist! And where is the outrage from the conservative press? We never expected it from the MSM, but if our own cheerleaders remain quiet, we deserve what we get!


17 posted on 08/31/2011 1:04:49 PM PDT by blues-train (blues train)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: jessduntno

An unspecified number of guns sold to unknown buyers for unknown quantities of money by unnamed sellers in an operation organized and ran by who knows who - so little room for anything to go wrong with this. Why is it is Issa getting his first scalp? The people involved in this belong in jail. It is not a lone investigator getting jollies, it is the law being enforced (sort of). It smells of RICO but because Great Leader is in the picture, we’ll call it Issa getting a scalp.


18 posted on 08/31/2011 1:05:08 PM PDT by AD from SpringBay (We deserve the government we allow.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Libloather

You go Darrell Issa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


19 posted on 08/31/2011 1:06:09 PM PDT by brooklyn dave (obama = jimmy carter 100X)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Libloather

“The Hill” is busy applying white-wash to the stinking outhouse of Obama’s administration. As though an operation of this magnitude would be undertaken without Holder’s and Obama’s knowledge. That is not credible.


20 posted on 08/31/2011 1:06:09 PM PDT by kittymyrib
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: harpseal; TexasCowboy; nunya bidness; AAABEST; Travis McGee; Squantos; wku man; SLB; ...
This article is spinning the fate of these two sacrificial lambs so fast it's ready to fly into orbit.

"Victory"? It will be "victory" when Obama and Holder are both eating jail food.

I'm not holding my breath.

Click the Gadsden flag for pro-gun resources!

21 posted on 08/31/2011 1:06:21 PM PDT by Joe Brower (Sheep have three speeds: "graze", "stampede" and "cower".)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Libloather; MestaMachine; MrB; jessduntno

Melson and Burke have extracted themselves from discovery by leaving their posts. Subpoenas to testify are no longer valid by executive privilege.


22 posted on 08/31/2011 1:06:21 PM PDT by Cletus.D.Yokel (Islam is a violent and tyrannical political ideology and has nothing to do with "religion".)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cletus.D.Yokel

But Melson already testified with his own att’y in secret. The DOJ does not know what he said. And the whistleblowers I was speaking of were ATF agents with boots on the ground, the three who came out first. Being reassigned to Florida, home of Castaway, would have me not sleeping well at all.


23 posted on 08/31/2011 1:16:33 PM PDT by MestaMachine (Id imperfectum manet dum confectum erit.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Joe Brower

You are absolutely right.

This will not even start to gain traction until it is at least reported properly and I have not seen that even on conservative sources.

The huge number of guns involved show clearly the purpose was not to catch gun runners. The fact that they did not trace any and only made the slightest attempt to trace a few is also telling.

The real purpose was as clear as rat droppings in a sugar bowl. Obama and Holder were trying to get as many American manufactured guns as possible into Mexico and other Central American Countries to bolster their claim that American gun manufacturers were responsible for the crime in Mexico.

All you need to do is read what they were saying well before this was discovered.

We stand no chance as long as no one in the media tells the truth about this incredible scandal.

Even the few outlets who report it, continue to give them cover.


24 posted on 08/31/2011 1:17:15 PM PDT by yarddog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Cletus.D.Yokel
In Chicago, when you can no longer defend the boss, you fall on your sword so he can not be touched by an investigation. These 2 bureaucrats are taking a hit for team Obamugabe.

Not yet they havent.

But any day now, they may yield to the stress.

As others before them have. Or, if not on their own, with help.

25 posted on 08/31/2011 1:18:09 PM PDT by archy (I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Cletus.D.Yokel; Libloather; MestaMachine; MrB

“Melson and Burke have extracted themselves from discovery by leaving their posts. Subpoenas to testify are no longer valid by executive privilege.”

They can be re-subpeonaed. Grand Jury rules are substantially forgiving that way. Ask Scooter Libby.


26 posted on 08/31/2011 1:25:08 PM PDT by jessduntno (Obama shanks. America tanks.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Libloather
"Burke has over 20 years of public service at both the federal and state levels. Burke served as a Senior Advisor to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. He served as Chief of Staff to Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano from 2003 to 2008. Prior to that position, he worked in the Arizona Attorney General's Office as the Chief Deputy Attorney General. He is a former Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Arizona prosecuting drug trafficking cases, was the Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs at the United States Department of Justice, served as a Senior Policy Analyst for the White House Domestic Policy Council during the Clinton Administration and as a Majority Counsel for the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, where he worked on three Supreme Court nominations, intellectual property as well as crime and law enforcement legislation. "

Poor company to keep.

27 posted on 08/31/2011 1:30:00 PM PDT by Paladin2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jessduntno; Condor51

:: Grand Jury rules are substantially forgiving that way. Ask Scooter Libby ::

Remind again what ^that^ outcome was? These folks can be provided executive privilege by Obamugabe (Holder) from congressional subpoenas.

Sounds like a typical “plea deal”. BTW, I’m in Chicago and understand the system.


28 posted on 08/31/2011 1:36:55 PM PDT by Cletus.D.Yokel (Islam is a violent and tyrannical political ideology and has nothing to do with "religion".)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Libloather

It’s not victory until a guilty “someone” very high up goes to jail.


29 posted on 08/31/2011 1:47:44 PM PDT by Pecos (Constitutionalist. Liberty and Honor will not die on my watch.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pecos
It’s not victory until a EVERY guilty “someone” very no matter how high up goes to jail.

Incomplete victory is no victory; it's only putting off 'til tomorrow — and thereby worsening — the bloodbath you should've unleashed today.

30 posted on 08/31/2011 2:00:17 PM PDT by HKMk23 (YHVH NEVER PLAYS DEFENSE)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: Libloather

So all they lose is their JOBS? If any one of us had been caught illegally buying guns and smuggling guns and explosives into Mexico that have resulted in possibly hundreds of murders we would be 1) jailed in the US for 20 years or more and then when we get out 2) extradited to Mexico where we would spend the rest of our lives in jail.


31 posted on 08/31/2011 2:19:40 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Islam is the religion of Satan and Mohammed was his minion.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: brooklyn dave

Melson was the one person who voluntarily testified without DOJ lawyers. This is Zero’s way to get him out of the action, and replace him with a “team player”


32 posted on 08/31/2011 2:26:59 PM PDT by TStro
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Cletus.D.Yokel

“Remind again what ^that^ outcome was?”

We were not discussing “outcome.” In fact, we were discussing the non-beginning. Congratulations on being from Chicago.


33 posted on 08/31/2011 2:29:17 PM PDT by jessduntno (Obama shanks. America tanks.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: jessduntno
This is a nothingburger. A couple of government thugs took the hit for the Attorney General, and the wimpy Republicans are trying to make themselves look like heros.
We need a Special Prosecutor appointed.
TWB
34 posted on 08/31/2011 2:45:52 PM PDT by TWhiteBear (Jobs, Peace, Food, Security .... Down with Obama(Peacefully))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: AD from SpringBay
RICO sounds about right on this pile of c*ap by the feds...its a big conspiracy....
35 posted on 08/31/2011 2:52:29 PM PDT by goat granny
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Libloather
Critics used the lack of an end result in his “Fast and Furious” investigation to question Issa’s effectiveness as chairman, saying he should wait for the Department of Justice’s inspector general to complete its own investigation, which was launched in March and is still ongoing.

Results aren't expected before at least another 15+ months, i.e. after Election Day, unless it's a whitewash.

36 posted on 08/31/2011 3:02:03 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TWhiteBear

“This is a nothingburger.”

Hahahaha. Plus, it’s from The Hill. BFD.

We don’t get somebody with bawls in there, we’ll look pretty stupid if we DO win the election. Stupider, I mean.


37 posted on 08/31/2011 3:03:33 PM PDT by jessduntno (Obama shanks. America tanks.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: Libloather
I don't care about these shit-f*ers "stepping down" and "being reassigned." I want to see their dirtbag chickenshit asses in federal prison. Maximum security. For many years.
38 posted on 08/31/2011 6:58:41 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson