Along with the emails showing that the Department of Justice was well aware of Fast and Furious, other emails shows a White House National Security official, and “two colleagues” were briefed on the program. White House Officials said the emails do not prove those in the White House who knew, knew it was a “covert” program.
Fast and Furious is the ATF’s illegal gunwalker program in Arizona that allowed thousands of high-powered weapons to leave gun stores illegally and travel across the border into Mexico. Today we know those weapons have killed at least two Americas and thousands of the weapons are lost to ATF records, and are on the streets somewhere.
The White House, in defense, said Congress was also briefed. The ATF’s Project GunRunner was a forerunner to Fast and Furious. The proper authorities who should have known about GunRunner, knew about it, and the program is largely deemed to be legal. Fast and Furious is a separate and distinct animal.
When I want to catch-up on Fast and Furious I go to Ran’s Si Vis Pacem continuous round-up page. In update No. 93, Tina Korbe at Hot Air reports the DOJ merry-go-round of reassigning ATF agents who have had some bothersome testimony in front of Congress, will not deter Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) or Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) from their investigations, as this letter to the Arizona US Attorney’s office clearly demonstrates:
Operation Fast and Furious was a prosecutor-led Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Strike Force case. The congressional investigation has revealed that your office, and specifically Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) Emory Hurley, played an integral role in the day-to-day, tactical management of the case. In fact, Mr. Hurley served as a prosecutor on this case until very recently.
Witnesses have reported that AUSA Hurley may have stifled ATF agents’ attempts to interdict weapons on numerous occasions. Many ATF agents working on Operation Fast and Furious were under the impression that even some of the most basic law enforcement techniques typically used to interdict weapons required the explicit approval of your office, specifically from AUSA Hurley. It is our understanding that this approval was withheld on numerous occasions. It is unclear why all available tools, such as civil forfeitures and seizure warrants, were not used in this case to prevent illegally purchased guns from being trafficked to Mexican drug cartels and other criminals. We have further been informed that AUSA Hurley improperly instructed ATF agents that they needed to meet unnecessarily strict evidentiary standards merely in order to temporarily detain or speak with suspects.
It is essential for Congress to fully understand your office’s role in Operation Fast and Furious. … In addition, it is imperative that the Committee have an opportunity to discuss the facts above with individuals in your office who are familiar with the details of this operation. It is not our intention to second guess day-to-day decisions of your staff, but rather to make sense of them. The Attorney General has said that “letting guns walk is not something that is acceptable. … We cannot have a situation where guns are allowed to walk, and I’ve made that clear to the United States Attorneys as well as the agents in charge of various ATF offices.” Operation Fast and Furious is unique in that guns were allowed to walk with the apparent knowledge of, and authorization by, officials in your office.
At Si Vis Pacem, note particularly updates Nos. 89 and 90. Michelle Malkin has the White House email story, and ‘screw up, move up, cover up here.’ The thing to know about the deadly Fast and Furious is that your White House and Department is Justice is lying.