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Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Operation Fast and Furious Scandal Grows Bigger And DOJ Obstructs Investigation

By Susan Duclos

Video above: Arizona, Sheriff Paul Babeu ties Eric Holder and the Obama Justice Department as accomplices in the crimes and murder involving weapons used in the “Fast and Furious” scandal.

The House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa (R.-Calif.), and Sen. Charles Grassley (R.-Iowa), the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, are currently investigating the Fast and Furious Gun operation.

CNS News provides and overview of the controversial Operation Fast and Furious which was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), a division of the U.S. Justice Department.

In this operation, which began in the fall of 2009 and continued into early 2011, the federal government purposefully allowed known or suspected gun smugglers to purchase guns at federally licensed firearms dealers in Arizona. The government did not seek to abort these gun purchases, intercept the smugglers after the purchases, or recover the guns they had purchased.

In some cases, as the government expected they would, the smugglers delivered the guns to Mexican drug trafficking organizations.

The reported purpose of the operation was to track and uncover the entirety of the smuggling operations so they could be completely shutdown....

What could go wrong?

...However, two rifles sold to a smuggler in the course of Operation Fast and Furious in January 2010 ended up at the scene of the murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December 2010.

The information garnered from the congressional investigation, compiled into a sequence of events via timeline, can be found over at CNS.

Caught up? Good.

Now we see that Attorney General Eric Holder was asked, In May 2011, as part of the investigation, when he first became aware of Operation Fast and Furious, his answer was "I’m not sure of the exact date, but I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks."

The Hill reports, Holder was actually informed of Fast and Furious operation in 2010.

Of course after Holder was busted on his lies to Congress, DOJ officials told CBS that Holder misunderstood Issa’s question.

The White House is in complete damage control mode over this and according to CBS News investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson, White House officials and Department of Justice officials both yelled and screamed at her for reporting on Fast and Furious.

In between the yelling that I received from Justice Department yesterday, the spokeswoman--who would not put anything in writing, I was asking for her explanation so there would be clarity and no confusion later over what had been said, she wouldn't put anything in writing--so we talked on the phone and she said things such as the question Holder answered was different than the one he asked. But he phrased it, he said very explicitly, 'I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.'


Ingraham: So they were literally screaming at you?
Attkisson: Yes. Well the DOJ woman was just yelling at me. The guy from the White House on Friday night literally screamed at me and cussed at me. [Laura: Who was the person? Who was the person at Justice screaming?] Eric Schultz. Oh, the person screaming was [DOJ spokeswoman] Tracy Schmaler, she was yelling not screaming. And the person who screamed at me was Eric Schultz at the White House."
Head over to Weekly Standard to listen to the audio of the Ingraham interview with Attkisson.

Some think Sharyl Atkkisson deserves a Pulitzer Prize for unearthing documents that proved Holder was dishonest to congressional investigators.

It gets worse. Not only are the White House and DOJ becoming actively hostile to media that is reporting on this investigation, but according to the ATF Director, the Justice Department is attempting to deliberately obstruct the congressional investigation.

The Justice Department is obstructing the congressional investigation of a U.S. law enforcement operation intended to crack down on major weapons traffickers on the Southwest border, according to the embattled leader of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Ken Melson, the acting director of the ATF, lobbed the accusation when he sneaked in for an interview with congressional investigators on July 4, two days ahead of his scheduled interview with the inspector general about the operation known as "Fast and Furious," Fox News has learned.

"If his account is accurate, then ATF leadership appears to have been effectively muzzled while the DOJ sent over false denials and buried its head in the sand," Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said in a letter Tuesday to Attorney General Eric Holder. "That approach distorted the truth and obstructed our investigation."

The Justice Department is reportedly looking to oust Melson, who has been acting ATF director since April 2009, as the agency deals with its biggest scandal in nearly two decades. Andrew Traver, who was tapped in November by President Obama to become the permanent ATF director, could be named as acting director until the Senate acts on his nomination, sources have said.

In a separate development, congressional sources have learned that not only was U.S. taxpayer money being used to buy guns that were later sent to Mexico, but the main target of the investigation was actually a FBI informant and former drug dealer who had been deported years ago.

The White House and the DOJ cannot cover this up, there is too much evidence showing their involvement, active obstruction into a congressional investigation and outright lies to the investigating committee.

Who on earth thought that handing guns to Drug Cartel killers would not result in the death of innocents?

Special Counsel time since Holder cannot be trusted to investigate.... Holder.