Eric Holder Suspected of Perjury; GOP Demands Special Counsel
by JIM KOURI, CPP
October 5, 2011
Republican lawmakers are demanding a special counsel to investigate the Obama Administration's "Operation Fast and Furious" snafu. Newly released documents appear to strongly suggest Attorney General Eric Holder committed perjury when he testified under oath that this was initiated almost a year before he told Congress that he became aware of the rogue operation over the Summer.
In an official letter to Holder on Monday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), requested a special counsel be appointed to investigate all aspects of the ATF operation including the names of those who gave the orders to allow weapons to be smuggled into Mexico.
Last Thursday, Smith had sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder questioning the recent resignations and reassignments at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) following public outrage regarding the Phoenix-based program known as "Operation Fast and Furious,” which intentionally allowed "straw" buyers for criminal organizations the opportunity to purchase thousands of guns and smuggle them across the U.S.-Mexico border.
Chairman Smith had previously sent two letters to the Justice Department seeking information regarding the botched Fast and Furious operation. His first letter, dated March 9, posed six questions to the Justice Department. Five of those questions remain unanswered. The Justice Department appears to have totally ignored the Chairman’s second letter dated May 3, 2011.
Ultimately, some or all of the operation's weapons ended up in the hands of Mexican cartel members who allegedly used them to kill Mexicans and two American law enforcement officers: a U.S. Border Patrol agent in Arizona, and an agent with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau who was gunned down on a Mexican road between Mexico City and Monterrey, Mexico. Both men worked at agencies that are part of the Homeland Security Department.
Several law enforcement officials have told the Law Enforcement Examiner that they are surprised and appalled that Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and her agency heads have not condemned the Justice Department's operation that took the lives of two hero cops from her department.
Fast and Furious was a result of systemic problems at the ATF. Congressional interest will continue until we fully understand who authorized the failed program and how a federal agency could allow such decision-making to occur, noted Rep. Smith.
“Following his election in 2008, President Obama promised to usher in a new era of openness and transparency. Despite this promise, the Justice Department has been less than cooperative with this Committee’s requests. Moving forward, the Committee expects cooperation in uncovering the facts related to this operation,” the Texas congressman said.
According to the Center for Public Integrity, a non-partisan group, ATF agents were ordered to allow nearly 2,000 guns -- valued at well over one million dollars -- to cross the border to known criminal organizations.
Two of the guns from the program were found at the murder scene of Customs and Border Protection Agent Brian Terry in December.
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and is a columnist for The Examiner (examiner.com) and New Media Alliance (thenma.org). In addition, he's a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News KGAB (www.kgab.com). Jim Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe actor Michael Moriarty.