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2. The second category of documents that the Obama administration has totally refused to provide to Congress is communications between the doj and the White House about President Obama’s March 22, 2011, interview on the Spanish-language channel Univision. During that interview, Obama insisted Holder had never approved “Fast and Furious.” How was he so sure? What did the White House know at that point?
3. The third category is “Documents and communications referring or relating to the murder of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata.” Agent Zapata was murdered in Mexico by a drug trafficking organization. The killers’ guns came from Texas, delivered by a known gun smuggler whom BATFE had failed to arrest.
4. “Reports of Investigation (ROIS) related to ‘Operation Fast and Furious.’” These relate to items in category 5, below.
5. Communications about the items in category 4 between and among Matt Axelrod (associate deputy attorney general, who works with DOJ criminal division head Breuer), Kenneth Melson (acting director of BATFE during “Fast and Furious”) and William Hoover (regional BATFE director for the area including Arizona).
Former BATFE Acting Director Melson testified to Congress, “It appears thoroughly to us that the department is really trying to figure out a way to push the information away from their political appointees at the department.” Documents in categories 4 and 5 could shed light on DOJ efforts to push all the “Fast and Furious” blame away from Obama’s political appointees.
6. “All communications sent or received between Aug. 7, 2009, and March 19, 2011, between and among former Ambassador to Mexico Carlos Pascual; Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer; and Deputy Assistant Attorney General Bruce Swartz.” This relates to the DOJ concealing the existence of “Fast and Furious” from American officials in Mexico at a time when the Americans in Mexico noticed a “surge” in crime-gun smuggling in Mexico—a surge that was caused by “Fast and Furious.”
As Mexico’s ambassador noted in a June 1 speech in Washington, “Fast and Furious” has “poisoned” Mexican public opinion against the U.S. This is one reason why people who do not care at all about guns should care about the Obama administration’s “Fast and Furious” program profoundly damaging American interests abroad.
7. FD-302 reports related to “Fast and Furious” targets and suspects. These are investigative summaries written by the FBI. After the “Fast and Furious” program was shut down, Hope MacAllister, who was BATFE’s lead case agent for “Fast and Furious,” reportedly provided some of these FBI reports to BATFE’s top management.
The issues in items 7-10 all involve alleged failures to share information between three organizations that are part of the federal Department of Justice: BATFE, FBI and the Drug Enforcement Agency.
Under “Fast and Furious,” BATFE told Arizona gun stores to sell rifles to obvious “straw purchasers.” These buyers were not purchasing firearms for themselves, but instead were buying on behalf of someone who could not legally buy a gun in the United States. Straw purchases are a federal felony.
The straw purchasers whom “Fast and Furious” was enabling were apparently working for a Mexican named Manuel Fabian Celis-Acosta who, in turn, was procuring the guns for a higher-up in a drug-trafficking organization.
In May 2010, Celis-Acosta was caught bringing arms, magazines and ammunition into Mexico. If “Fast and Furious” had been a genuine investigation, the capture of Celis-Acosta would have been the perfect time to arrest him, shut down his gun smuggling operation and offer him a reduced sentence in exchange for providing information about his superiors.
Instead, MacAllister let Celis-Acosta go based on his promise that he would keep in touch and cooperate with batfe. Unsurprisingly, he never called back and vanished into Mexico. He was eventually captured in February 2011, after the December 2010 murder of Agent Terry had resulted in “Fast and Furious” being terminated a month later.
According to the Arizona Daily Star, when BATFE finally arrested Celis-Acosta in February 2011, BATFE discovered that he was working for Eduardo and Jesus A. Miramontes-Varela, who were procuring guns for the Sinaloa cartel. According to media reports, the brothers were also protected informants for the FBI.
Why did the FBI and DEA let “Fast and Furious” go on so long when they knew that BATFE’s supplying Celis-Acosta with murder weapons for cartel killers would never lead to the prosecution of an important cartel leader? Congress wants to know, and Attorney General Holder seems to want Congress not to know.
Even if the Miramontes-Varela brothers had not been protected FBI assets, “Fast and Furious” would have been an outrage. Putting more than 2,000 murder weapons into the hands of deadly drug cartels is not exactly an acceptable way to catch a pair of gun-smuggler bosses.
8. FBI or DEA documents involving the “targets, suspects or defendants in the ‘Fast and Furious’ case.” This is similar information to item 7: The FBI and DEA’s knowledge of, and relationships with, the Miramontes-Varela brothers and Celis-Acosta.
9. “Any investigative reports by the FBI or DEA relating to the individuals described to committee staff at the Oct. 5, 2011, briefing at Justice Department headquarters as Target Number 1 and Target Number 2.” This one apparently relates to information from a closed-door briefing, and perhaps relates to items 7-8.
10. DEA documents about Celis-Acosta: this item is similar to item 8.
11. FBI laboratory documents involving the investigation of Border Patrol Agent Terry’s death. These relate in part to the DOJ’s claim that Terry was not murdered with a “Fast and Furious” gun, since the particular gun that killed him cannot (supposedly) be ascertained.
12. “All agendas, meeting notes, meeting minutes and follow up reports for the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee of U.S. Attorneys between March 1, 2009, and July 31, 2011, referring or relating to ‘Operation Fast and Furious.’” These would help reveal who at the DOJ leadership knew about “Fast and Furious“ and when they knew it.
13. Surveillance tapes from Lone Wolf Trading Co. between Oct. 3 and Oct. 7, 2010. Lone Wolf was one of the gun stores that BATFE tricked into selling “Fast and Furious” guns by falsely telling the owner that all the guns were carefully tracked once they left the store, and the guns would never be allowed into the hands of someone who would do harm. The dates relate to a break-in at Lone Wolf.
It is a crime to attempt to obstruct a congressional investigation, but that is precisely what Holder’s BATFE appears to be doing. For example, a few days after whistleblowing BATFE Agent Larry Alt notified his superiors that he was going to testify before Congress, BATFE claimed that Alt had illegally downloaded $8 worth of applications on his government-issued cell phone.
When Alt’s phone was searched, there were no such applications—not surprising, since those applications are not compatible with his particular phone. Alt denies downloading the applications, yet while BATFE’s retaliatory “investigation” continues, he is denied all pay raises, transfers or promotions.
Attorney General Holder likewise stonewalled a November 2012 question from Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley asking the name of the DOJ official who leaked documents in an attempt to smear and retaliate against a BATFE whistleblower. Holder refused to divulge the person’s name.
According to the contempt resolution, “For over a year, the department has issued false denials, given answers intended to misdirect investigators, sought to intimidate witnesses, unlawfully withheld subpoenaed documents and waited to be confronted with indisputable evidence before acknowledging uncomfortable facts.”
Led by Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., the House of Representatives showed its displeasure by cutting $1 million from the Justice Department’s General Administration fund—the fund that pays for Holder and his inner circle.
However, President Obama says that if the bill is not changed, he will veto it. He objects to provisions in the law that end the system of rifle registration that his administration created (with no congressional authorization) in the four Southwest border states.
Although Holder and his media enablers claim that trying to make Holder end the cover-up is just Republican partisanship, Indiana Democrat Joe Donnelly, a U.S. representative who is his party’s nominee for U.S. Senate, disagrees. Donnelly told “The Daily Caller,” “There has been a serious allegation of federal law enforcement misconduct and we need to get to the bottom of this issue without playing partisan politics.”
Holder and his allies insist the investigation is just election-year politics. The fact is, if Holder had cooperated with the congressional investigation that began in early 2011, the investigation could have been finished last year.
Instead, the Holder DOJ sent the committee a letter in February 2011 containing the flagrant falsehood that the DOJ had never allowed guns to “walk.” That letter was not retracted until 10 months later—half a year after BATFE employees had described under oath to Congress the gun walking in horrific detail.
As this article goes to press, 129 U.S. representatives have said that Holder should resign or be fired over “Fast and Furious,” or co-sponsored a House resolution of “no confidence” in him. So have three U.S. senators and two governors. Most importantly, the presumed Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, has said that Holder should be removed.
Last year, since the true scope of “Fast and Furious” became apparent, NRA began calling for Holder’s dismissal. Speaking at the NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits in St. Louis this past April, Romney said, “I applaud NRA leadership for being among the first and most vocal in calling upon Attorney General Holder to resign or get fired.”
If Romney is elected president, Holder will no longer be attorney general. But if Obama is re-elected, the deadly culture of impunity at the Department of Justice, exemplified by the “Fast and Furious” cover-up, will continue. The result for constitutional rights could be catastrophic.
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