Skip to comments.US attorney-general censured over botched gun sting
Posted on 06/21/2012 4:32:41 AM PDT by marktwain
A congressional committee has voted to hold United States attorney-general Eric Holder in contempt of congress for not releasing critical documents which reviewed a failed gun trafficking investigation.
Over a two-year period US federal agents allowed more than 2,000 guns to cross the border into Mexico, in an operation known as "Fast and Furious".
The agents hoped to track the guns to a drug cartel but lost track of most of them.
A committee investigating the botched operation asked Mr Holder to release all relevant documents.
He released thousands of documents but said certain other documents were classified and it would be against the law to release them.
In a party-line decision, the committee voted 23 to 17 to have him held in contempt of congress. Audio: Holder to face contempt charge in congress (AM)
Darrell Issa, a Republican congressman from California, said the operation contributed to the deaths of countless Mexican citizens.
"It has soured our relationship with our neighbour to the south," he said.
"It has created an ongoing safety problem here in the United States in which even the attorney-general has admitted more lives could be lost.
"The Department of Justice has fought this committee's investigation every step of the way."
The committee will now send its report to the floor of congress for a full vote on its adoption next week.
An official charged with contempt could be punished with a fine or jail, but the more likely result is weeks or months of controversy feeding into the presidential election campaign.
The vote came after an intervention from president Barack Obama, who invoked executive privilege to allow Mr Holder to withhold the documents.
It was Mr Obama's first use of executive privilege in response to a congressional investigation.
Republicans have used the situation to portray Mr Obama as a participant in a cover-up.
"Until now, everyone believed that the decisions regarding Fast and Furious were confined to the Department of Justice," said Michael Steel, a spokesman for House speaker John Boehner.
"The White House decision to invoke executive privilege implies that White House officials were either involved in the Fast and Furious operation or the cover-up that followed."
Trey Gowdy, a South Carolina Republican and former federal prosecutor, said it had been a sad but necessary day.
"The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong," he said.
"Respect for the rule of law must mean something irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
Even before the vote, the White House criticised the panel.
"Instead of creating jobs or strengthening the middle-class, congressional Republicans are spending their time on a politically-motivated, taxpayer-funded election-year fishing expedition," White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer said.
Gunwalker / Murdergate ping.
Must have been a scheme to show us the wisdom of 'bama's "hope and change" thing.
Or maybe 'bama ordered them to do this just to show us he could think better than anyone else ~ jus' hope enough and it'll all come true.
Or, it's even stupider than that.
It is really simple. The administration wanted to trace guns from American gun shops to the drug cartels. The way to do this was to send guns from American gun shops to the drug cartels, then wait for them to be used in murders in Mexico, so that the Mexican authorities would attempt to have them traced by the ATF.
Once the guns were "traced" back to American gun shops, the ATF had proof that "assault weapons", quite new, and in numbers, were being used by Mexican drug lords in terrible crimes in the Mexican drug wars.
Then they would have "ammunition" to push for new legislation, U.N. treaties, whatever they wanted.
Simple. Easy. Direct. Except, they got caught because some ATF agents had ethics and were queasy about being accessories to the murder of so many people for political purposes.
Son of a botch! I am just sick of that word!
There was no “sting” component to Fast & Furious!
“The agents hoped to track the guns to a drug cartel but lost track of most of them.”
This is a lie!
They never “hopped to track” ANYTHING!
There were NEVER any plans to track them, as they never notified Mexico, and only place tracking devices on 2 of 2000 weapons.
Thus, they never “lost track” of anything!
~~Pres. Obama to Sarah Brady
They did not. That is a flat out lie. They deliberately let the guns disappear over the border and ATF agents have testified to that fact under oath.
The ATF requested that gun shops sell to straw-buyers that didn't pass NICS background checks. As all gun dealers know a "request" from ATF is refused at their legal peril.
ATF field agents were ordered to let the straw-buyers cross the border and leave their surveillance, against their own strenuous objections, or "find another job."
Here is testimony, under oath, to all of the above by four ATF field agents.
Guns are not out of control. The Federal government is out of control.
Perfect explanation of what happened. From the beginning it was all about disarming US citizens.
It’s hard to take over a country when the citizens are armed as well as we are in the US. It’s going to be even harder now that we have a massive number of seasoned young war veterans. The only way is to disarm the citizens and rot traditional institutions from the inside. These SOB’s need to be culled form the halls of government every election and run out of town from every seat of power.
I’m hoping for the T-Shirts and bumper stickers saying, “Obama hates Mexican people.”
(Remember the, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people,” Kanye West/Katrina thing?)
I heard a news reporterette say that George W Bush allowed F&F guns to flow—equivalence. Sounds like Obama DID allow it. What exactly did Bush authorize?
I heard a news reporterette say that George W Bush allowed F&F guns to flowequivalence. Sounds like Obama DID allow it. What exactly did Bush authorize?
And that is just as scary as being held in contempt of the hairs on the back of my a**.
IT MEANS NOTHING, people. Congress LET THIS HAPPEN. They are COMPLICIT!
A pandemic on them all.
Seems to me they should have been tracking chain saws based on the number of massacres committed with them down there.