Fast and Furious Update:
This is a short history of events leading up to President Obama citing Executive Privilege over data acquisition requests by Rep. Darrel Issa (R-California), chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
House Speaker John Boehner asked, "So what is the Obama administration hiding in Fast and Furious?" (Washington Times, June 22,2012) Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa is the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee. He wants to know how Fast and Furious operated and the identities of those responsible.
The House Oversight Committee asked for documentation on these and other issues:
· A letter containing false information concerning Fast and Furious was released to Congress under the aegis of the Attorney General's office. This letter dated Feb. 4, 2011 was addressed to Sen. Chuck Grassley. It was signed by Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich. Later Attorney General Eric Holder defended Mr. Weich by saying he had received false information about the gunrunning program, and then retracted the Feb. letter in Dec. 2012. Mr. Weich resigned in mid June, 2012. In March 2012, Mr. Weich disregarded a supoena from the Committee for further information on Fast and Furious.
· Whistleblower persecution within the ATF concerning Fast and Furious is ongoing. I heard one of those whistleblowers speak at a rally in Oro Valley. Public safety was the main concern of the whistleblower I heard. I know the Fast and Furious debacle endangered the lives of all law enforcement in the southwestern states. One border Sheriff said he was never informed of the program. We need to know the chain of command that led to a repeat of the previous ATF gunrunning. The Committee wants these documents.
· If wiretaps were used during Fast and Furious, the Committee wants information concerning what senior official reviewed the program and who issued the wiretap order.
The Oversight Committee, chaired by Rep. Issa, voted to cite Attorney General Holder for Contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over the information needed by the Committee to obtain actual oversight of the entire Fast and Furious program. A full vote of the house is expected the week of June 27, 2012.
President Obama's press secretary dismissed the importance of Fast and Furious, calling the information requests a political stunt. President Obama asserted Executive Privilege in order to prevent delivery of the relevant documents, which action is protecting somebody within the Justice Department from scrutiny by the House Oversight Committee.
Attorney General Eric Holder has now been voted in Contempt of Congress for his refusal to deliver the requested data, including the chain of command leading up the Fast and Furious tragedy. I thank Sen. Grassley and Rep. Issa for their continued interest in this program that allowed the Feds to set up an illegal operation in Arizona without the knowledge of local law enforcement.
Eclipse of Sun 2012 Tucson