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Old October 13, 2011, 07:30 AM   #1351
ltc444
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I happen to have a congressman, Paul Gosard (R) who serves on the Governmental oversite committee. I wrote him a letter expressing my concern over the direction of the Fast and Furious investigation.

Following is his response:




October 12, 2011









Dear LTC Gray,



Thank you for contacting me about Operation Fast and Furious, a failed operation within the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). I appreciate hearing from you on this grave issue, and I share your concerns.



To help combat firearms trafficking into Mexico, ATF initiated Project Gunrunner as a pilot project in Laredo, Texas, in 2005 and expanded it as a national initiative in 2006. Project Gunrunner is also part of the Department of Justice's broader Southwest Border Initiative, which seeks to reduce cross-border drug and firearms trafficking. However, officials in the ATF Phoenix Field Office and likely their supervisors employed the tactic now known as Operation Fast and Furious. The operation permitted the exchange and transportation of firearms into Mexico and into the hands of felons and drug cartels. It is because of the lack of proper government oversight that this operation allowed these criminals to possess firearms which were ultimately used to take the life of a Border Patrol agent, and the brother of a Mexican law enforcement official. It is tragic that a government bureau tasked with protecting Americans and supervising gun smuggling allowed this operation to continue without alerting the proper authorities and signaling the risks that would be involved. Even more chilling, Congressional investigation has found that thousands of guns ushered into the hands of these criminals are still out there. It is likely that that they will be found at crime scenes for years to come.



It is important to clarify that ATF never sold a gun in the course of this investigation, but instead supervised the operations of gun dealers that did sell guns. The real problem is that dealers repeatedly approached ATF agents about some obvious "straw purchases" occurring in their stores. "Straw purchases" refer to those made by one individual with the intent to transfer purchased items to another individual—in this case, someone who is banned from purchasing firearms because of a criminal record or immigration status. Here again, ATF showed malfeasance by falsely assuring these dealers that the process—surveillance, questioning, and subsequent arrests—was being followed. The evidence shows that in some cases, ATF would follow the purchased weapons for a short time, but then end surveillance well before the weapons reached the border, which left thousands of unaccounted weapons in the hands of criminals and drug cartels in both Mexico and the southern portion of our great State of Arizona.



As a member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense, and Foreign Operations, I have been in a unique position to question the Obama Administration's Department of Justice (DOJ) on what they knew, how much they knew, and when they knew it. There have been multiple hearings by the committee on this subject to date, and I have been actively pursuing the answer to the tough questions. At the hearings, we heard testimony from law enforcement that they were compelled to participate in an operation which they knew in their hearts was likely to result in the unnecessary loss of life. We also heard from a grieving family who lost one of their own in the prime of his life and in the defense of his country which he loved. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry chose to serve his country as a border agent along the American-Mexican border, knowing full well the risks and dangers associated with his job. It is therefore unfortunate that an operation the federal government monitored and oversaw ultimately cost Agent Terry his life on December 14, 2010.



Logic leads us to believe that ATF Director Melson could not have acted alone—not without the advice and consent of someone at the DOJ. I am therefore asking Attorney General (AG) Holder, Deputy Attorney General Weich, and all DOJ officials involved to stop burying their head in the sand, comply with the subpoena from Congress, and work with us to craft a better policy for the future. With the volatile situation on the southern border, we cannot afford the continued path of avoidance, denial, and non-compliance with the law. I feel that it is unconscionable that the federal government is, on one hand, completely neglecting its responsibility to protect our Southwest border, and on the other hand, making the problem worse with dangerously ill-advised law enforcement tactics.



Furthermore, there is a conflict of interest in the investigation at the DOJ: the Acting Inspector General (IG) at DOJ, Cynthia Schnedar, has been assigned to investigate AG Holder. This is an obvious conflict of interest in as much as Schnedar is an Obama political appointee. Political appointees should never be tasked to investigate other political appointees. This is evidenced by the fact that the IG issued two reports in late 2009 and early 2010 that suggested the change in ATF strategy that led to Fast and Furious, meaning that she is implicit in the beginning of this program. She also, in multiple instances, disregarded the concerns of the whistleblower in this case, John Dodson. Proper oversight and common sense can help prevent these grave mistakes in the future, and the Obama Administration must comply with Congress' subpoena. It starts with a truly impartial investigator, not someone intent to sweep things under the rug.



I plan to continue to pound away at these agencies until justice is served. Feel free to visit www.gosar.house.gov to see clips of the hearings and keep checking back for progress in the investigation. You can also sign up for my e-newsletter at the website. Again, I appreciate your thoughts and concerns. It is an honor to serve as your United States Congressman. Your suggestions are always welcome, and if ever I may be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.






Sincerely,



Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S.
Member of Congress



I am not sure this investigation is going to the level it needs to go.
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Old October 13, 2011, 08:32 AM   #1352
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I didn't know that Mr. Dupree is following this. That's great news. We quoted him as gospel in the Poli-Sci department at GSU.

And can I just say that being a pre-law, that this forum has better written briefs and what could only be called dispositions that I've seen most professors write.

Great work guys!
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Old October 13, 2011, 08:48 AM   #1353
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The plot thickens!

Based on what we've seen so far, I think KyJim has hit the nail on the head:
Quote:
Originally Posted by KyJim
I don't think there's a snowball's chance in Hades that DOJ is going to fully comply with the subpoena. They'll claim it will endanger ongoing criminal cases and investigations and endanger national security. DOJ will say they are complying but then won't. They'll try to turn it into an attack on Issa, et al.
And that attack on Issa, & Congress, will include something to the effect of, "if we had proper gun control, the ATF wouldn't have had to do this."
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Old October 13, 2011, 08:50 AM   #1354
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I can't begin to understand why Holder would write a response to Congress making denials before he had even seen the subpoena. Surely he of all people understands the value of not making statements you don't have to make. Interesting to see how that plays out for him.

Quote:
And that attack on Issa, & Congress, will include something to the effect of, "if we had proper gun control, the ATF wouldn't have had to do this."
"If there were more laws prohibiting the sale of guns to prohibited persons, ATF would not have had to circumvent numerous laws prohibiting the sale of guns in order to arm Mexican cartels!"

Its a succinct PR statement; but I don't know that it is a good one for DOJ. I feel comfortable I can offer a reasonable alternative to that argument
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Old October 13, 2011, 09:12 AM   #1355
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Bart, I feel entirely confident that you can offer a reasonable alternative to my proposed statement. However, it's pretty close to what Holder said in his recent letter to Issa and other members of Congress.
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Old October 13, 2011, 09:27 AM   #1356
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I think I've just been gob-smacked!

Yesterday, not only did the Huffington Post run a story on Fast and Furious, but the story was written by Prof. Adam Winkler!

The Prof. makes this bold statement:

Quote:
No effort was made to keep track of the guns or intercept them before they fell into the wrong hands.
Something we haven't seen in print, from a major source. Perhaps the single most damning declaration was this:

Quote:
Yet the memos appear to contradict Holder's explanation. A memo to Holder from Michael Walter, the Director of the National Drug Intelligence Center dated July 5, 2010, clearly states that "Operation Fast and the Furious" involved a "firearms trafficking ring... responsible for the purchase of 1,500 firearms that were then supplied to the Mexican drug trafficking cartels." The memo doesn't say the guns were sold to couriers, but "supplied" to the cartels.
Not sold. Supplied! This is a must read article, as Prof. Winkler implies that Melson told the committee, back in that "secret" July 4th interview, about a bonafide "smoking gun" memo that the DOJ was trying to hide.

As if this wasn't enough, the "S" word was used by the Washington Post, that ran a very brief AP article:

Washington Post: House committee issues subpoena to Justice Department in guns-to-Mexico scandal

With the WaPo article, above, it's now officially a scandal.
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Old October 13, 2011, 12:33 PM   #1357
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That was an entertaining read, Al. I enjoyed reading the HuffPo commenters calling Winkler "Issa Jr." as a derogative.

Spats, I guess I was just puzzling aloud at why Holder would want to go with that argument since it strikes me as weak. Then again the Issa hit-piece in the WaPo looked weak at first too, though once Holder came out with the same play it made more sense. I guess I just am not trained to think like a Washington power broker.
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Old October 13, 2011, 12:52 PM   #1358
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Bart, it's to be expected that the HuffPo folks have no clue as to who the Prof. is... That or they are still ticked that he turned against them in the RKBA issue.

I subscribe that it's door number one.
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Old October 13, 2011, 06:13 PM   #1359
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After hours of browsing the different so called news articles, it amazes me the number of people commenting on how innocent Holder is, and how the "chosen one" couldn't do anything even remotely illegal??
For some of the most absolutely ridiculous statements, take a few minutes to read the comments people are saying about this story on he different articles.
MANY PEOPLE are self blinded to the facts and refuse to believe it is anything but a political stunt.
Where do these people come from???
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Old October 13, 2011, 06:19 PM   #1360
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"Who will pay price for Fast and Furious?"
Quote:
"This scandal is about dead Mexicans"
Quote:
At this rate, who knows what the attorney general's next strategy will be?
http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/13/opinio...ous/index.html
Sounds like CNN is gassin' up the bus, since months of ignoring the situation didn't work.
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Old October 13, 2011, 07:28 PM   #1361
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Quote:
MANY PEOPLE are self blinded to the facts and refuse to believe it is anything but a political stunt.
Where do these people come from???
There are none so blind as those who will not see.

It's taken me a long, long time to see it actually is exactly that simple. I thought for years it was ideology and/or slow-wittedness and/or illogic and/or prejudice. I've come to believe none of those descriptors are wrong, but at the heart of the matter, Homo sapiens chooses what to see and not see, believe and not believe. We make choices.

Some choices are completely disconnected from reality.
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Old October 13, 2011, 07:33 PM   #1362
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Navarrette's CNN article just told Obama that he could lose the Latino vote over Fast and Furious.
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Old October 13, 2011, 08:07 PM   #1363
Bartholomew Roberts
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I notice a decidedly different tone in the mainstream press post-subpoena. Neither Navarette nor Winkler are big supporters of the Republicans; but both seem to be willing to set aside partisanship and want to see this investigated.
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Old October 13, 2011, 08:50 PM   #1364
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Quote:
post-subpoena
Post subpoena...or post-insulting of a fellow press member?
No matter, just something for me to ponder since they happened so close together they are almost the same event.
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Old October 13, 2011, 09:06 PM   #1365
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FWIW, this has been all over talk radio today. If nothing else, the subpoena has driven this whole matter much closer to the mainstream.
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Old October 14, 2011, 09:57 AM   #1366
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Grenades too???

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/...ml?tag=nl.e875

Sharyl Attkisson now says... well heck... read it and wonder who was driving the bus...

Curiouser and curiouser
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Old October 14, 2011, 10:08 AM   #1367
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Quote:
Sources say Hurley is the one who let Kingery go, saying grenade parts are "novelty items" and the case "lacked jury appeal."
WHAT! OK, maybe inert parts are novelty items, but if you have the means and intent to make them live I think it is a different story. If it is not then I think I should be able to use grenades and claymores for home defense.
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Old October 14, 2011, 10:34 AM   #1368
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Given the seemingly spurious investigations (I'm thinking of Gibson Guitars here) that the Justice Department has embarked on, going after a guy for "novelty" grenade parts doesn't seem terribly out of character.
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Old October 14, 2011, 10:39 AM   #1369
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Quote:
going after a guy for "novelty" grenade parts doesn't seem terribly out of character.
Exactly! They knew he was making them into live grenades and supplying the cartels and they did nothing but order him released. What planet are these people from?
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Seams like once we the people give what, at the time, seams like a reasonable inch and "they" take the unreasonable mile we can only get that mile back one inch at a time.

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Old October 14, 2011, 01:47 PM   #1370
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Quote:
Six months later, Kingery allegedly got caught leaving the U.S. for Mexico with 114 disassembled grenades in a tire.
Yep, that is how most people transport "novelty items."
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Old October 14, 2011, 03:32 PM   #1371
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I heard Limbaugh mention this John King(CNN) clip today.
Interesting take on a question alot of folks have asked, regarding who knew what and when.
Because Obama is admitting he knew about it before Holder has admitted to knowing. That's a big goober, is what that is.

http://nation.foxnews.com/fast-and-f...furious-holder
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Old October 14, 2011, 09:54 PM   #1372
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OK,

So, the President of the United States knew about a DOJ / BATFE operation called Fast and Furious, before the head of the DOJ knew about it, from listening to the news, but he knew that the AG didn't know about it. He found out that the AG didn't know about it - not by asking the Attorney General, but instead found out that the AG didn't know about Operation Fast and Furious in such a way that the AG still remained ignorant of Operation Fast and Furious, and then the president subsequently never thought to inform the AG about it?

I was born at night but I wasn't born just last night...
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Old October 15, 2011, 05:48 AM   #1373
Bartholomew Roberts
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Quote:
So, the President of the United States knew about a DOJ / BATFE operation called Fast and Furious, before the head of the DOJ knew about it, from listening to the news, but he knew that the AG didn't know about it. He found out that the AG didn't know about it - not by asking the Attorney General, but instead found out that the AG didn't know about Operation Fast and Furious in such a way that the AG still remained ignorant of Operation Fast and Furious, and then the president subsequently never thought to inform the AG about it?
But wait, it gets better... Not only did he know that Holder didn't know without Holder knowing about Fast & Furious, someone at DOJ managed to start an IG investigation of Fast & Furious without Holder, led by a long-time friend and subordinate of Holder's without Holder knowing as well.

Pretty clearly, Holder's statement to Congress was incorrect. The Presidential comment probably won't cause him much grief since "a few weeks ago" from May 3, and the President's comment in March is really not a major time difference. Sloppy; but not huge. However, the original DOJ stonewall of Congress back in January was that DOJ's IG was conducting its own investigation and that they couldn't jeapordize that investigation. That one is going to be tougher to explain.

Which makes it all the more puzzling to me that Holder gave a statement he didn't have to give. It seems he is having trouble with consistency already, why keep talking? Surely he has seen the ending to this film before?
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Old October 15, 2011, 06:29 AM   #1374
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Face The Nation with Bob Schieffer tomorrow will focus on F&F. Might be interesting since Sharyl Atkisson has alluded recently to having more info awaiting verification pre it's release.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/...20120732.shtml
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Old October 15, 2011, 07:40 AM   #1375
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Quote:
The Presidential comment probably won't cause him much grief since "a few weeks ago" from May 3, and the President's comment in March is really not a major time difference. Sloppy; but not huge. However, the original DOJ stonewall of Congress back in January was that DOJ's IG was conducting its own investigation and that they couldn't jeapordize that investigation. That one is going to be tougher to explain.
That is a first class observation that a lot of us have overlooked --- like not seeing the forest for the trees.

Say what you will about Janet Reno, at least she stood up and took responsibility for ordering the feds to storm the Branch Davidian compound at Waco.
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