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Standing Guard

By Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice President

Will Holder’s Watergate Become Obama’s Waterloo?

Any doubt surrounding the mindset driving the gun-ban crowd, especially those infesting the Obama administration, in using human suffering and murder as propaganda tools has been erased by hard evidence coming straight out of congressional investigations of the government’s “Operation Fast and Furious.”

That proof is in an email boasting of gun traces held secret from Mexican authorities—part of the U.S. Justice Department’s criminal conspiracy to run guns from U.S. retailers to Mexico.

“Some of these weapons bought by these clowns in Arizona have been directly traced to murders of elected officials in Mexico by the cartels, so Katie-bar-the-door when we unveil this baby.”

Those are the words of Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke in an April 2010 email to a colleague boasting about the propaganda value of his “Operation Fast and Furious” and predicting its huge public impact.

The “clowns,” in fact, were sanctioned criminals reportedly funded with federal money to break federal firearm and smuggling laws ostensibly under Burke’s supervision. In that “gun-walking” operation, Obama administration operatives encouraged, bankrolled and oversaw repeated felonies at gun stores and at border crossings with criminals smuggling at least 1,700 firearms into Mexican drug-fueled criminal commerce.

Knowledge of the scheme was withheld not only from Mexican authorities, but from U.S. law enforcement officials assigned to Mexico. So the claim that the operation was designed to “interdict” illegal guns is breathtakingly false—all to create new U.S. gun control.

That scheme—designed to give truth to the administration’s meme that U.S. gun stores were the source for cartel firepower—has resulted in the murders of hundreds of Mexican citizens and at least one U.S. law enforcement officer, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. He was killed in a December 2010 ambush near Nogales, Arizona, by Mexican cartel criminals. Found at the scene were firearms illegally obtained and smuggled under “Fast and Furious.” The record shows that Mexican lives lost in this scheme were a predictable consequence. Terry’s death was collateral damage.

Read Burke’s characterization again: “Katie-bar-the-door when we unveil this baby.” The grief of Mexican families, the loss of Mexican public officials brave enough to stand up to the cartels, all summed up in the words, “this baby.” Despicable.

First reported in the Arizona Republic, Burke’s memo in this “gun-walking” scandal came from a middling 486-page document dump—a small part of the paper-trail evidence demanded by U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa. Those documents only begin to reveal the elaborate screen of lies to cover up the Obama administration’s culpability in the murders.

The quote was buried in a puff-piece about Burke that noted “firearms politics … has been a pet theme through most of his 23 years in government.” It also revealed his passion for banning guns: first as a key Judiciary Committee staffer credited with Senate passage of the 1994 Clinton gun ban, then as a key White House “policy analyst” working under President Clinton’s gun-ban guru, Rahm Emanuel, who in turn became President Obama’s White House chief of staff. Burke was a close associate of Janet Napolitano, now secretary of Homeland Security.

In 2009, President Obama tapped Burke as U.S. Attorney for Arizona. Under the cloud of “Fast and Furious,” Burke has resigned his post.

Released just days prior to Attorney General Eric Holder’s Feb. 2 appearance before Rep. Issa’s Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which is investigating “Fast and Furious,” the documents contained emails and memos clearly indicating that Holder flat-out lied when he told Congress he casually had heard about “Fast and Furious” from the media many months after Agent Brian Terry’s death broke the scandal wide open.

With the news of the Terry murder, memos show Burke frantically informing Attorney General Holder’s deputy chief of staff within hours that guns found at the scene were part of “Fast and Furious.”

Days after Terry’s killing, Sen. Grassley was approached by ATF whistle-blowers revealing the complicity of Justice officials in the murderous gun-running scheme. Email exchanges show Burke privately attacked Sen. Grassley’s efforts as “categorically false,” a claim repeated by Justice.

Burke also opposed what should have been a pro forma application by the Terry family to obtain crime victim status under federal laws to give them the right to appear before the court. Burke argued that the family was not “directly or proximately harmed” but that the real victim in Terry’s murder was “society in general.” Terry’s family has now filed a $25 million wrongful death claim against the Justice Department and ATF.

Based on earlier evidence, NRA has sought Holder’s resignation or firing, but the tip-of-the-iceberg material now in Issa’s and Grassley’s hands suggests independent criminal investigations are a must.

Already at least one Justice Department official has claimed his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination and refused to testify, which Rep. Issa said, “… heightens concerns that the Justice department’s motivation for refusing to hand over subpoenaed materials is a desire to shield responsible officials from criminal charges and other embarrassment.”

Further, hostile Justice Department witnesses appearing before earlier sessions of the Issa committee clearly lied or misled Congress.

Issa’s committee investigators have sought some 80,000 documents and have received only a fraction. Among the 6,000 produced by Justice, censors have redacted virtually all text in key emails and memos. This administration-wide ”Fast and Furious” stonewalling and cover up has prompted Issa to consider extraordinary action against Holder and others. Issa’s justifiable anger is reflected in a letter putting the attorney general on notice:  “If the Department continues to obstruct the congressional inquiry by not providing documents and information, this Committee will have no alternative but to move forward with proceedings to hold you in contempt of Congress.”

Holder’s attempt to delay and obfuscate to hide the facts is creating a true constitutional crisis. Since the expiration of the “Special Prosecutor law,” appointment of independent criminal prosecutors is now at the whim of the U.S. Attorney General. Will Holder investigate Holder? Hardly.

However, Congress can pass a specific law establishing and funding a “Fast and Furious” special prosecutor, with explicit powers to pursue any criminal wrongdoing. This is the only way the American public will ever know how high the conspiracy goes.

If Watergate brought down President Richard M. Nixon—largely because of a massive cover up—“Fast and Furious” should land on the desk of President Barack Obama. After all, nobody died in Watergate.

As individual fighters for freedom, NRA members must demand accountability from the news media, from Congress, and through the presidential candidates left standing after the current debates and primaries. For too long, Obama and his followers have blamed us and our Second Amendment rights for murder and mayhem in Mexico. It’s time to put the blame where it belongs.

This is Barack Obama’s scandal, and it must become a national issue in the coming election. He has to answer for the loss of life in Mexico. And he has to answer—personally—to Brian Terry’s family.