Posted on The Daily Caller-By Jonathan Strong-Updated on June 16, 2011:
“Faced with bracing evidence and the testimony of four ATF agents contradicting the Justice Department’s initial blanket denials that assault weapons were knowingly allowed to escape into the clutches of Mexican drug cartels, Democrats tried a new approach at a hearing Wednesday.
Rather than focus on questioning the GOP’s investigative tactics, Democrats on the House Oversight Committee sought to subtly channel the burgeoning scandal into a push for new gun control laws.
For instance, Rep. Gerry Connolly, Virginia Democrat, connected the apparently reckless investigative strategy to the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) lobbying pushes.
“The NRA has opposed regulations which would require tracking of multiple gun sales,” Connolly noted in a statement passed out to reporters. “The gun lobby and its advocates in Congress are even trying to pass legislation to eviscerate the ATF’s authority to stop criminals.”
Rep. Carolyn Maloney, New York Democrat, also drew a link between the Operation Fast and Furious scandal and whether ATF agents are plagued by “toothless” laws.
“US Attorneys have complained” that prosecutions for illegally purchasing weapons to resell to criminal networks are viewed by judges as “mere paper violations. Have you heard this criticism before?” Maloney asked the four ATF agents testifying.
“I have and I agree with it,” said Peter Forceilli, who thought a minimum sentence of one year in jail would ensure cooperation from “straw buyers” caught by federal authorities.
Darrell Issa, chairman of the Oversight Committee, sought to intervene.
“I want to caution the witnesses,” Issa said. “The scope of your testimony here is limited, and is not about proposed legislation and the like.”
Elijah Cummings, Maryland Democrat and Issa’s combative foil on the oversight panel, protested vociferously. “It’s only fair” for the ATF agents to speak their mind about whether gun laws should be strengthened, he said.
The shift in tactics by the Democrats came as they also appeared to concede the weight of the evidence Issa was presenting clearly undercut blanket denials initially issued by the Justice Department.
Cummings, for instance, called the four ATF agents “great Americans” for “standing up for what you believe in,” and warned the ATF not to retaliate against the agents.
However, when a top deputy to Attorney General Eric Holder was testifying, Cummings ostentatiously apologized for Issa’s conduct in demanding answers from assistant attorney general Ronald Weich. “Let me apologize,” he said. Issa objected that “you may apologize on behalf of something you say.”
Cummings, in defending Weich, shows Democrats are still invested in defending the Obama administration even as documents and testimony are increasingly undermining the administration’s claims.
But the gun control comments Wednesday indicate they may be preparing to chart a new course: embracing the controversy and using it for their own political purposes.
That would, at the very least, leave less time to save Holder from Issa’s zealous investigation.”
Note: The following articles and/or blog posts and videos relate to this disturbing issue-You Decide:
I. Plan to Let Drug Cartels Buy Guns in U.S. Approved at ‘Highest Levels' of DOJ!
Posted on CNSNews.com-By Fred Lucas-On June 17, 2011:
“(CNSNews.com) - Instead of trying to stop the flow of weapons from the U.S. to Mexican drug cartels, the Obama administration’s “Operation Fast and Furious” deliberately allowed it to happen. Moreover, “This shift in strategy was known and authorized at the highest levels of the Justice Department,” says a report by congressional staffers.
“Through both the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona and ‘Main Justice’ headquarters in Washington, D.C., the Department closely monitored and supervised the activities of the ATF,” the report says.
On Wednesday, Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, convened a hearing to determine who ultimately authorized the Operation Fast and Furious, who knew about it – “and why it took the murder of a 40-year old border patrol agent and a congressional inquiry before administration officials cancelled it.”
Operation Fast and Furious, conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, was launched in 2009 in an effort to track the flow of guns from U.S. straw purchasers to Mexican cartels.
ATF agents who complained about the recklessness of allowing cartel associates to buy guns in Arizona were reprimanded, the congressional report said.
David Voth, a supervisor at the ATF field division in Phoenix, told complaining agents to back off: “Whether you care or not people of rank and authority at HQ are paying close attention to this case and they also believe we (Phoenix field division) are doing what they envisioned the Southwest Border Groups doing,” Voth wrote in an e-mail dated March 12, 2010. “It may sound cheesy, but we are ‘The Tip of the ATF spear’ when it comes to Southwest Border Firearms Trafficking.
“If you don’t think this is fun you’re in the wrong line of work – period,” the Voth e-mail continued: “This is the pinnacle of U.S. law enforcement techniques. After this, the tool box is empty. Maybe the Maricopa County Jail is hiring detention officers and you can get paid $30,000 (instead of $100,000) to serve lunch to inmates all day.”
Voth’s e-mail was included in a 51-page report by Republican staffers on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Two of the guns purchased by cartel associates were found at the scene of a U.S. Border Patrol agent’s murder in December.
Attorney General Eric Holder said in March he ordered the Justice Department inspector general to investigate the ATF’s gun-tracking operation – “to see exactly what happened, and whether or not what happened was appropriate.”
II. Assistant AG: ‘I Do Not Know’ Who Authorized Plan to Let Drug Cartels Get Guns!-Posted on CNSNews.com-By Edwin Mora-On June 17, 2011:
III. ATF Director Could Watch Live Video of Cartel Gun Buys--While Permitting Them to Proceed!-Posted on CNSNews.com-By Edwin Mora-On June 17, 2011:
IV. Gov't's Gun Scheme: ‘Loads of Weapons … for Criminals Was The Plan’!-Posted on CNSNews.com-By Susan Jones and Terence P. Jeffrey-On June 16, 2011:
V. ATF Agent to Bosses on Gun-Running Scheme: ‘Prepared to Attend Funeral of a Slain Agent’?-Posted on CNSNews.com-By Edwin Mora-On June 16, 2011:
VI. Issa: ATF Mexican Gun Scandal a Lot Like Iran-Contra!-Posted on CNSNews.com-By David A. Patten-On June 15, 2011:
VII. Four ATF Agents Contradict Justice Department Account on “Fast and Furious”?-Posted on ExposeObama.com-By Jonathan Strong, The Daily Caller-On June 15, 2011:
VIII. Video: Issa, Project Gunrunner was a Deadly Mistake!-Posted on ExposeObama.com-On June 15, 2011:
IX. Video: ATF Agent to Bosses on Gun-Running Scheme: ‘Prepared to Attend Funeral of a Slain Agent’?-Posted on CNSNews.com:
X. DOJ Potentially Charged with Obstruction of Justice!-Posted on Patriot Update-By Ann-Marie Murrell-On June 8, 2011:
XI. Back Door Gun Control and Fighting Back!-Posted on Human Events-By Mike Piccione-On June 14, 2011:
Note: My following blog posts contain numerous articles and/or blog posts and videos that relate to this disturbing issue-You Decide:
Did ATF provide weapons to Mexican drug cartels that were subsequently used to kill one of our own?
What is the true intent of the UN Small Arms Treaty?
Is it important to understand the Marxist assault on the foundations of our system?
Note: If you have a problem viewing any of the listed blog posts please copy web site and paste it on your browser. Be aware that some of the articles and/or blog posts or videos listed within the contents of the above blog post(s) may have been removed since 2009 by this administration because they may have considered them to be too controversial. Sure seems like any subject matter that may shed some negative light on this administration is being censored-What happened to free speech?-You Decide.
“Food For Thought”
God Bless the U.S.A.!