Faster and More Furiously
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|Jim Kouri||August 14th 2012|
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Monday filed a civil lawsuit in federal court in the District of Columbia against Attorney General Eric Holder in an effort to compel him to surrender documents regarding to a failed law enforcement operation dubbed Operation Fast and Furious by the leaders at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive (ATF).
Committee Chairman Darrell Issa said the legal action was taken in response to President Barack Obama's executive privilege assertion that stonewalls the Republican congressmen from obtaining Justice Department documents related to the operation.
"Waiting nearly eight months after the subpoena had been issued to assert a meritless claim of privilege, the President's decision was a calculated political maneuver designed to stop the release of documents until after November's elections," Issa said in a statement Monday.
Those in the law enforcement community, who hold the operation's leaders responsible for a number of deaths including that of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, are saddened by the lack of response to this "outrageous display of government lawlessness."
"I don't know whether to yell or cry. The news media are more interested in protecting Obama and his minions than getting at the truth. The American people don't seem to care if their government violated any laws, either. This is a federal government out of control and the people who are trying to get to the bottom of this political cesspool are portrayed as the bad guys attacking a 'sainted' president's administration," said former New Jersey police detective, now a corporate security director, Peter Rosen.
Operation Fast and Furious involved agents from the ATF allowing the purchase of firearms, believed to be destined for Mexican drug cartels, to slip into Mexico so that they could track sellers and purchasers. However, after weapons found at Mexican and U.S. murders were traced back to the program, it was denounced as an enormous failure.
Issa has subpoenaed documents that he says would show how much Attorney General Holder and his Justice Department minions know about Fast and Furious. Holder has insisted he did not know of the operation, but little by little he's had to back away from his assertion of ignorance of the operation.
"President Barack Obama also denies knowledge of Fast and Furious and no one appears to display even the slightest interest in finding out the truth, except for a few people on Fox News Channel, talk radio and conservative journalists mostly on the Internet," said Mike Baker, an attorney and political consultant.
In June, Holder was held in contempt of Congress in a House vote for his refusal to turn over some documents, but the Justice Department immediately announced it would not prosecute Holder. "Did anyone really believe the Justice Department -- an agency more politicized than at any time in the past -- would actually investigate their own boss?" asked Rosen.
Following the official filing of the federal lawsuit, Democrats blasted Issa, with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi calling the lawsuit a political stunt aimed at diverting the Justice Department's resources away from attacking voter ID laws in states where Justice contends they make it harder for minorities to vote. "Leave it to the Democrats to inject race into the investigation of a government operation that resulted in true heroes dying for their nation and fellow citizens." said Baker.
Jim Kouri, the fifth Vice President and Public Information Officer of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, writes for the Examiner, from where this article is adapted. He has served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the U.S.