Posts Tagged ‘CBS’

Fast and Furious Update For October 10, 2011

Monday, October 10th, 2011

You know, when I started doing Fast and Furious updates, I didn’t realize I’d have to update this daily. But events are moving at a pretty brisk pace:

  • Rep. Daarrell Issa says to Holder that he owns Fast and Furious, no matter how much distance he may put between himself and the scandal.
  • Sipsy Street puts up a third post on Hillary Clinton’s possible involvement.
  • In the Washington Post, Marc A. Thiessen calls Eric Holder “Obama’s albatross,” and lists a litany of bad decisions coming out of his office.
  • You know what’s worse for Obama than if Eric Holder is lying? If he’s telling the truth.
  • The Truth About Guns explores why Fast and Furious seemed to be arming the Sinola cartel in particular.
  • M. Catharine Evans compares Holder to Anthony Weiner.
  • She also links to this April 2009 transcript of a joint White House press conference with Mexico President Felipe Calderon, in which arms being smuggled to Mexico is the central topic.
  • Investors Business Daily says that “Either Holder is the most aloof attorney general in American history or the most incompetent — or worse.”
  • Large swathes of the press may love Obama, but David Zurawik of The Baltimore Sun says that Fast and Furious shows that Obama doesn’t return the favor, at least when reporters actually do their jobs. “Team Obama is in full campaign mode, and because of their fundamental contempt for the press, that means they reward those who come on bended knee and they punish those who dare to question them. The bended knee boys include Brain Williams, the bowing anchorman. Have you noticed how many “exclusive” interviews Obama has given NBC recently? Oh yeah, NBC is kowtowing to Obama.” Zing!
  • The economics behind weapon smuggling. Don’t expect anything to change soon…
  • Indirectly related: Jeremy Schwartz at the Statesman has been doing some interesting reporting on the La Familia cartel, which has been using Austin as a base of operations.
  • Finally, not related at all (except also involving guns), but I wanted to point out that Adam Winkler, author of Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America, points out that yes, the roots of gun control in America are racist in nature.

    Holder Goes With The “I’m Incompetent and Let My Subordinates Handle All Memos” Defense

    Friday, October 7th, 2011

    CBS lets Sharyl Attkisson decloak long enough to print Eric Holder’s “I didn’t lie, I swear, I was just incompetent” defense for the Fast and Furious scandal:

    Holder says that his testimony to Congress, stating he first heard of Fast and Furious earlier this year, “was truthful and accurate… I have no recollection of knowing about Fast and Furious prior to the public controversy about it.”

    In other words: I’m so out-of-the-loop that I didn’t know my underlings were involved in a massive, illegal, and deadly plot to break the law resulting in over 200 deaths. Way to be on top of things, Mr. AG!

    Holder maintains he didn’t know about the controversial gunwalking tactics used in the case.

    The Sgt. Schultz defense.

    The Attorney General says that while he was sent received memos on Fast and Furious, they are “actually provided to and reviewed by members of my staff and the staff of the Office of the Deputy Attorney General.”

    The Richard Nixon “I was out of the loop” defense. Didn’t work so well for him either.

    As CBS News has reported, the Deputy Attorney General during Fast and Furious, Gary Grindler is now Holder’s Chief of Staff. Documents provided to Congress indicate Grindler received a detailed briefing on Fast and Furious in March of 2010 and made handwritten notes on briefing materials.

    However, in the letter, Holder says Grindler “was not told of the unacceptable tactics employed in the operation in his regular monthly meetings with ATF…”

    “I now understand some senior officials within the Department were aware at the time there was an operation called Fast and Furious although they were not advised of the unacceptable operational tactics being used in it,” says Holder’s letter.

    There’s a word for this sort of denial: it’s called bullshit. Bureaucracies are good at one thing: Following the rules. Even as stupid as some of the cowboys in ATF are, there’s no way some field-level supervisor got the bright idea: “Hey, let’s directly violate the federal laws we’re supposed to enforce! Plus I won’t tell anyone higher up! What’s the worst that could happen?” Doesn’t pass the smell test. You don’t isolate top officials from this sort of info, you make sure they’re in the loop to cover your own ass. Fast and Furious is so far off the reservation that the order for it had to come from way up high. Not necessarily Holder (though that’s a distinct possibility), but someone far enough up the food chain to make such an outrageous order stick. Like Obama.

    Plus this:

    In his letter, Holder also criticized the House Committee investigating Fast and Furious, saying he cannot sit idly by “as law enforcement and government employees who devote their lives to protecting our citizens be considered ‘accessories to murder’.”

    Well then, maybe you should have, oh, I don’t know, provided enough oversight to make sure they weren’t accessories to murder. Shouldn’t be that hard.

    There are two possibilities:

    A. If Holder knew about Fast and Furious, he’s an accessory to murder, and shouldn’t be Attorney General.
    B. If Holder didn’t know about Fast and Furious, then he’s manifestly incompetent, and shouldn’t be Attorney General.

    There is no option C.