Congressman Darrell Issa, (R) California-House Oversight Committee Chairman has publicly stated his opposition to President Obama. He once told Rush Limbaugh that Obama “has been one of the most corrupt presidents in modern times.” (He later retreated on the semantics, saying he didn’t mean Obama was personally corrupt.)
Issa’s congressional role places him in the unique position of being able to throw stones from ‘a glass house’. The right-wing’s lead investigator, Congressman Darrell Issa, though ethically challenged himself (before amassing his fortune selling car alarms, he was arrested for auto theft, on top of multiple arrests on weapons charges and an investigation of arson).
As I have followed Issa’s investigations of the Administration, he has failed on at least tow attempts that have reflected back on his GOP. The Fast and Furious investigation is proving to be a case of DeJa Vu, for Issa.
Fast and Furious “Walking Guns”
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has a long history of “walking” guns – mostly to entrap normally law-abiding citizens on technical violations.
A matter of blunders and death
Just last week (last June 2011), Vince Cefalu, a special agent in the ATF for 24 years, was dismissed from his job after helping expose an operation code named “Operation Fast and Furious,” which was designed to purposefully put assault weapons into the hands of Mexican drug cartels so they could then be tracked to collect intelligence. (Walking Guns)
The operation itself is an exhausting series of unbelievable mistakes and lapses of judgment, but the Administration’s response is even more disturbing, as is the subdued media reaction. (NOTE: This article is about Fast and Furious and the Administration—-The Pardu)
According to the written testimony of Supervisory Special Agent Peter Forcelli: “ATF agents assigned to the Phoenix Field Division, with the concurrence of their local chain of command, ‘walked’ guns. ATF agents allowed weapons to be provided to individuals whom they knew would traffic them to members of Mexican drug trafficking organizations.”
The goal was to uncover larger criminal conspiracies across the border. Without informing Mexican authorities, the ATF facilitated over 2,500 assault weapons entering Mexico illegally. The only modern “tracking” method was a rigged-up GPS from Radio Shack that Forcelli took it upon himself to install, since the only other tracking method would be serial numbers on the guns. That device failed.
ATF agent John Dodson, who feared that this operation would cost lives, was told to stand down and “fall in line” by supervisors. Dodson testified to Congress: “Although my instincts made me want to intervene and interdict these weapons, my supervisors directed me and my colleagues not to make any stop or arrest.”
ATF agent Olindo James Casa agreed. Casa testified:
On several occasions I personally requested to interdict or seize firearms, but I was always ordered to stand down and not to seize the firearms.
Later, guns sold in this operation were discovered at the scene of a shootout in Arizona in December 2010 in which Customs and Border Protection agent Brian Terry was killed. As Forcelli testified: “To allow a gun to walk is idiotic.… This was a catastrophic disaster.”
As the story unfolded reports came forth that Administration officials claimed ‘no knowledge’ of Fast and Furious. In fact, Both President Obama and Atty. General Eric Holder have said, they ‘knew nothing of the ATF ‘walking guns’.
Talking Points memo followed the story.
The following links are provided as a chronological listing of the Daily Beast coverage of Fast and Furious since this past June. There is no need to click each link to see how this story has moved to a possible culminating point on October 14, 2011. Issa’s ’witch hunt’ may now have a crooked finger pointing at Bush vs Obama.
June 30, 2011
July 6, 2011
July 18, 2011
July 26, 2011
August 30, 2011
October 4, 2011
October 5, 2011
October 6, 2011,
Here’s some news for all the NRA members convinced that ATF’s rifle reporting requirement in four border states is a diabolical plot by the Obama administration to crack down on the Second Amendment. ATF didn’t consult the White House before they published an emergency request for a proposed rule requiring gun dealers in four border states to report bulk sales of semi-automatic weapons in the Federal Register. Read more »
October 7, 2011
October 10, 2011
October 10, 2011
October 14, 2011
October 14, 2011
(NOTE: While a bit much to read, the documents that are linked bel0w [documents] are totally intriguing and indicative of Holder’s telling the truth. The documents also point fingers at the Bush Years. Yes, blame it on Bush. Issa? Well,let’s see after you peep at a few of the email docs.)
As House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) continues to try to pin the flawed “gun walking” tactic employed in Operation Fast and Furious on the Obama administration, it’s becoming increasingly clear that problems with ATF’s Phoenix division date back at least into the Bush era.
TPM has obtained the documents relating to another Bush-era ATF operation (on top of Operation Wide Receiver) which deployed the “gun walking” tactic. The development was first reported by Pete Yost of the Associated Press.
There are a critical set of questions surrounding the Walking-guns controversy.
It is obvious that the Atty. Gerneal should have some level of knowledge about a program like Fast and Furious. I learned many years ago that, ”I did not know” is not a defensible position for a manager. The common, and fair, retort from investigators, lawyers and judges is, “You should have known”. Slippage by Holder but not a terminal event.
As stated above, Issa has been vocal about investigating the Obama Administration. He, like Mitch McConnell, have been outspoken about making the president’s political life one of frustration,. non-accomplishment, and hopefully, one term. McConnell, Cantor, and Boehner have taken the legislative obstructionist ’front’. Issa is taking the more ‘gritty find something’ that will totally embarrass the Obama Administration or find something that could lead to a high-level resignation of a cabinet member.
Take a quick look at investigations that Issa felt were worthy of his time and signficant effort from his committee. (the following are extracts from a 2010 article)
Investigations Issa deemed worthy
§ Looking out for Wall Street, Issa wants an investigation into if the White House had prior knowledge about the lawsuit filed by the SEC against Goldman Sachs. He believes the White House filed this lawsuit to gain it leverage in its financial reform attempt. There is no evidence of co-ordination.
§ He wants an investigation into if the administration conditioned its bailout of the auto industry upon their support for tougher fuel economy standards? There is no proof that it did.
§ He lead an investigation into whether the White House improperly fired AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin, for aggressively going after an Obama ally, Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson, on charges of misusing AmeriCorps money? Despite efforts to find misconduct by the White House, a report put out last fall by he and Sen. Charles Grassley found no real evidence of misconduct.
Based on the links above and documented evidence that Fast and Furious pre-dates the Obama Administration, I think that I should add “Fast and Furious” to the list above.
Investigations Issa deemed unworthy
§ Issa voted against impeaching Bush for lying about Iraq.
§ Although Issa co-sponsored a measure to stop the RNC when it was found to have sent out fundraising letters that look like Census mailers (a practice that they continued even after they were warned), he did not order an investigation.
§ Issa judged the hearing into the Blackwater hearings, in which four mothers, wives, and daughters of four security guards killed in Iraq, to be “politically motivated.” He also asked of the emotional testimony of the women who testified, “One question I have is the opening statement, who wrote it?” Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill apologized to the women for Issa’s question. (According to one senator who had been present at thousands of hearing, it was the first time a witness’ testimony had been questioned this way.)
§ Issa implied that victims of 9/11 victims received too much money, voted against efforts to take care of ground zero workers and called 9/11 “simply a plane crash.” He said of the government’s response that they just threw “buckets of cash,” at New York.
Issa’s ferreting around for administration killing dirt is failing. McConnell, Cantor and Boehner are having much more success obstructing in the U.S. Congress.
Issa’s distractions, GOP obstruction and a general lack of cooperation towards doing what is good for The United States, is ultimately hurting you and me. The people who are jockeying for ‘power’ or manipulation (based on agendas) are for the most part, very wealthy people. They are insulated from droppings that are left from their malfeasance.
Sources: All sources for the pasted parts of the article are a linked to respective web pages.