Fast & Furious media coverage

We interrupt your OWSpectacle for some news coverage. Hillary is 44 makes a great point that we should not let the OWS distract us from the real scandals. So here’s an update on one of our favorite action-packed thrillers:

Bob Schieffer interviewed Darrell Issa and (Sharyl Attkisson* also got to ask a question) yesterday on Face The Nation. Then he interviewed Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) to give the Dems a chance to blow smoke.
I can’t embed the video (I tried) but here is a link. Transcript here.

Issa recaps the issue of the missing gun number 1 (3rd gun), and shows some completely blacked out papers he got from the FBI to show how he’s being stonewalled and why he’s now has subpoenas for the original documents. The whole interview is worth watching, but also notice the last question:

BOB SCHIEFFER: All right. Are you saying then that the attorney general knew a whole lot more about this than he testified to when he came before the Congress?

REPRESENTATIVE DARRELL ISSA: He clearly knew more than he– than he said when he said he only first heard of this program a few weeks before. I take him at the word, but only if we can have the kind of dialogue that allows us to ask, if you will, the twenty questions. And it should be done at judiciary. It should be done by Chairman Smith because, in fact, it’s the counterpart to Senator Grassley in the Senate. And Senator Grassley has never been able to get a hearing which is inexplicable that Senator Leahy would not be just as interested as– as we are.

Schieffer cuts it off there, inexplicably avoiding any follow-up question about Senator Leahey inexplicable lack of interest in FF. He then devotes the next part to letting Congressman Cummings have his say. Cumming basically says that Issa is making accusations without having the information (I thought Issa’s complaint was that he wasn’t being given the information he was asking for in the first place?). Cummings also defends Holder and throws the Phoenix ATF office under the bus.

BOB SCHIEFFER: And we still don’t know who exactly was responsible for this program to move these guns into Mexico. Isn’t it about time we found that out?

REPRESENTATIVE ELIJAH CUMMINGS: Yeah, we– we– and I– and I think we’re moving more and more towards that. Keep in mind we do know that it was the Phoenix office. We– we know it was hatched there and that’s all the– all the testimony we have heard so far that’s what we’ve heard. And I don’t– and I know that we will get to the– the very bottom of it. But it is a– a bottom-up and not a top-down situation. We know that for a fact.

Uh huh. Just a few bad apples.

*Pulitzer-deserving reporter

Update: thanks to PMM & HelenK, a video of a presscon back in 2009 where Deputy Attorney General David Ogden says that “the President is directing us to fight these cartels” and “Atty General Holder & I” are taking “aggressive steps” and then includes “Project Gunrunner.”

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38 Responses to Fast & Furious media coverage

  1. votermom says:

  2. DandyTiger says:

    Fast and Furious is secret code for shooting pot.

  3. DandyTiger says:

    Won’t they ever learn. It’s always the cover up. Always.

    • Mimi says:

      When they were doing this stuff they had a Democratic House and Senate and never dreamed (or willfully ignored) the possibility of the House flipping. They never thought they would be caught.

  4. WMCB says:

    I posted this yesterday, but I think it bears repeating. The Friday document dump has pretty much blown the “Bush did it too” defense of Fast and Furious out of the water.

    Yes, there was a similar program under Bush. That one, unlike F&F, had the supposed cooperation of counterparts in Mexico (F&F didn’t inform the Mexicans of squat). That one lost track of a few guns. But by accident, when the Mexicans did not do their part – not by intent. The plan for that one (again unlike F&F) was very obviously to track the guns and make arrests. And as soon as a problem occurred and guns got loose? How did they respond? They said this is nuts, this is dangerous, and they SHUT IT DOWN.

    The Associated Press article goes on to paint the picture of a serially incompetent ATF office that began acting in a dangerous manner in 2007 and which continued until ATF whistleblowers came forward after Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was gunned down in December of 2010, in a variation of the “Bush did it” meme that has long been a reflexive defense mechanism of the Obama White House.

    But the ABC News article paints a very different picture, using newly obtained emails between ATF supervisors running Operation Wide Receiver:

    “ATF agents observed this vehicle [carrying guns] commit to the border and reach the Mexican side until it could no longer be seen,” Carroll wrote in a Sept. 28, 2007 email. “We, the ATF … did not get a response from the Mexican side until 20 minutes later, who then informed us that they did not see the vehicle cross. For the first time we are working hand in hand with the GOM [Government of Mexico] and providing them with what they want and this is what we get!”

    The following day, ATF Acting Director for Field Operation William Hoover was demanding information on the strategy.

    “Have we discussed the strategy with the U.S. Attorney’s Office re letting the guns walk? Do we have this approval in writing? Have we discussed and thought thru the consequences of same?” Hoover wrote to Newell and Carroll. “Are we tracking south of the border? Same re U.S. Attorney’s Office. Did we find out why they missed the hand-off of the vehicle? What are the expected outcomes?

    “I do not want any firearms to go south until further notice,” Hoover wrote on Oct 5. “I expect a full briefing paper on my desk Tuesday morning from SAC Newell with every question answered.”

    On Oct. 6, 2007, Newell wrote in an email, “I’m so frustrated with this whole mess I’m shutting the case down and any further attempts to do something similar. We’re done trying to pursue new and innovative initiatives – it’s not worth the hassle.”

    • DeniseVB says:

      Well, if deaths are occuring on Obama’s watch, he’s just as responsible. Besides, he ran as the anti-Bush, why did it continue ?

      • WMCB says:

        The point is that the program under Bush a) had more safeguards b) still failed in a small way (a few guns got away), and c) was shut down after that. At worst, Bush’s program screwed up, and they responded appropriately when it did. They STOPPED it.

        What Holder has done is revive and expand an already failed program while removing the few safeguards that were there. He took a bad idea and made it bigger and badder and even less accountable.

        If anything, they should have been MORE careful based on what happened when “Bush did it too”, not less.

    • votermom says:

      I am really curious about what the real motive for Fast & Furious was and who wanted it done.
      You don’t create a big, risky, high-stakes operation like this without a powerful backer (what in the corporate world would be known as a “project sponsor”.)

      • Mimi says:

        The issue seems to have been to create a bunch of incidents to create a need for more limitations on private ownership of certain types of weapons. Or something. It was to scare the crap out of people to the point where selling and owning this stuff could be made illegal.

        • votermom says:

          I have seen that theory but I kind of doubt it. The 2nd Amendment thing is too ideological for the Obama admin to be interested in. It’s a bit like Roe-v-Wade in that both Dems & GOP benefit by keeping the issue unresolved so that they can continually campaign on it.

          I see the Obama admin as purely profit-motivated. This is some kind of gun-supplying boondoggle that benefitted them somehow.
          The Mexican contra theory seems more likely.

        • WMCB says:

          I lean toward the Mexican Contra theory myself, but I don’t have a problem believing that blaming any problems on those evil irresponsible USA gunsellers was seen as a nice benefit.

          Hey, if you can run your guns for your political machinations, demonize the gun-totin’ rednecks to boot, and maybe get some more gun laws here as a result, why not do all three? Win win win!

      • Cynic says:

        I found this on Wikileaks:
        Origin: Embassy Santo Domingo

        The United States, P/DAS Kelly emphasized, remains committed to assisting the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean region in their counternarcotics and regional security efforts. He observed that Secretary Clinton took the important step during her trip to MEXICO of acknowledging the United States’ responsibilities as the source of demand for narcotics a a major source of supply of weaponry employed by narcotraffickers, stressing that the USG is taking steps to address both concerns.

        Now, my opinion: Early on, their (Obama/Clinton) story was that 90% of the weapons recovered came from the U.S, and our desire for the drugs.

        They wanted to ban certain weapons. How else to do it?

  5. yttik says:

    Thanks votermom. I really am interested in these scandals and things like fast and furious, but I swear politicians could start eating babies on camera and people would make excuses for it. In the olden days, like Watergate, doing something wrong was a big deal. Today, eh, except for sex scandals, government screw ups and corruption are so normal and ordinary, I don’t think we even listen anymore.

    • Karma says:

      Yup, unless it’s sex, very few are listening.

      My little tin foil theory is that one of the many reasons the Republicans went after Clinton so hard was to discredit the Office of the Independent Counsel with the American people.

      After it had nailed them so well on Iran-Contra, the Reps wanted to make the citizens groan when they heard another Clinton investigation was on.

  6. HELENK says:

    I will look for it, over the weekend there was an article about backtrack talking about holders fast and furious thing in 2009.

    i do not think we will get the truth about this whole thing until backtrack is out of office and it is too late to do something

  7. WMCB says:

    OT, new Rasmussen:

    Rasmussen — Cain 43%, Obama 41%

    And Cain doesn’t even have nationwide name recognition yet. A lot of people have no idea who he is.

  8. Lola-at-Large says:

    OT, but we need some help fighting the biggest distribution of child porn I have ever heard of coming out of Twitter right now. If you want to/can help, read this:

  9. HELENK says:

    here is an article that should be bookmarked and brought out during the 2012 election cycle.
    We tried to tell you in 2008 what a failure obama would be

  10. HELENK says:

    this is April 2009

  11. propertius says:

    There’s something I don’t understand about this: ATF is under Treasury not Justice, yet everyone is talking about Holder and not Geithner. Why is that? Does it really matter that Holder knew (or didn’t know) about Fast and Furious, when he’s not in charge of the agency carrying it out? Why isn’t Timmy being grilled about this, since he’s actually in the chain of command for ATF?

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