Attorney General Holder Blasted for "Creating Public Safety Hazard"
by JIM KOURI, CPP
May 6, 2011
"Holder's decisions made in Operation Fast and Furious have created a serious public safety hazard."
At a House Judiciary Committee hearing yesterday, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa confronted Attorney General Eric Holder on the DOJ’s Operation Fast and Furious, a highly controversial operation where federal authorities facilitated the purchase of assault weapons for drug cartels and chose not to interdict them before being transported to Mexico.
While Attorney General Holder was unwilling to provide answer about who at the Department of Justice authorized, knew about, and even whether he still defended Operation Fast and Furious, three new documents provide information that Attorney General Holder did not address in response to questions posed by Rep. Issa.
Following a second day of Capitol Hill hearings in which he professed little or no knowledge about the controversial Project Gunrunner or Operation Fast and Furious, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms called for the resignation of Attorney General Eric Holder.
"For the second day in a row, Attorney General Holder has stated on the record that he didn't know about one of the most egregious government scandals in memory," said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb.
"This country cannot afford the luxury of having its top law enforcement officer confess ignorance of an operation that may have allowed thousands of guns to be illegally exported to Mexico. This operation happened on his watch, and apparently right under his nose, and apparently cost the life of at least one law enforcement officer," he said.
“Two federal agents are dead,” said Chairman Issa. “While Attorney General Holder and other top officials at the Justice Department have refused to address the reckless decisions made in Operation Fast and Furious that have created a serious public safety hazard, investigations led by Sen. Charles Grassley and I continue to receive information from deeply concerned insiders who believe those responsible for what has occurred cannot be trusted to investigate themselves.”
A January 8, 2010 memo from the ATF Phoenix Field Division Office on Operation Fast and Furious noting the involvement of US Attorney for the District of Arizona Dennis Burke who was in “full agreement with the current investigative strategy.” The memo states that “currently our strategy is to allow the transfer of firearms to continue to take place … in order to further the investigation and allow for the identification of additional co-conspirators who would continue to operate and illegally traffic firearms to Mexican [Drug Trafficking Organizations].”
A March 10, 2011 email from Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer authorizing a wiretap application revealed his participation in and knowledge of Operation Fast and Furious.
Gottlieb called it an "outrage" that Holder has been unable to answer critical questions about the bungled operation, conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. ATF whistleblowers have told Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) that Project Gunrunner, and its off-shoot, Operation Fast and Furious, apparently funneled nearly 2,000 guns into the illicit gun trafficking pipeline to Mexican drug cartels.
"It is simply unbelievable that the attorney general can act as though he never heard of an operation that has been exposed on national television by CBS News," Gottlieb stated. "How could he not know, almost six months after the slaying of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, that guns recovered at the scene are linked directly to the Gunrunner sting?
"Holder is either monumentally stupid," he added, "or he is telling a monumental lie. Either way, it is obvious that Holder is either hiding something or he is hiding from something. For the attorney general to not know about Gunrunner and its direct link to the Terry slaying is a sign of gross incompetence.
"It's time for Eric Holder to go home and write his memoirs," Gottlieb said.
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he's 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.