Dems blame Bush for 'Fast and Furious'
Yep - a Democratic report that brazenly suggests that the Bush administration, after losing hundreds of guns in Mexico,"rather than halting operations after flaws became evident, (ATF agents in Arizona) launched several similarly reckless operations over the course of several years, also with tragic results."
When in doubt, blame Bush.
And by the way - you can move along now, nothing to see as far as Department of Justice wrongdoing.
Specifically, the report discloses that Holder's current chief of staff, Gary Grindler, met with investigators two weeks before Christmas and told them that, contrary to some allegations, he did not learn substantive details of "Fast and Furious" during a March 2010 briefing with ATF officials.
Grindler, who as acting deputy attorney general, was the department's No. 2 at the time of his briefing in March 2010, said he is "extraordinarily confident" the ATF officials who briefed him did not tell him firearms were being allowed to go to Mexico.
"That is just an absurd concept," Grindler told congressional investigators on Dec. 12, 2011, according to the new report. "If that had been told to me, I would not only have written something, but done something about it. ... I would have stopped it."
For much of the past year, the committee, led by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., has been investigating how "Fast and Furious" came to be and how two weapons tied to the program ended up at the murder scene of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in December 2010. The majority has produced several reports from its investigation.
At issue are tactics used by investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to target major gun-runners in Arizona. Launched in late 2009, "Fast and Furious" planned to follow gun purchasers in hopes that suspects would lead them to the heads of Mexican cartels. But ATF lost track of hundreds of high-powered weapons, and many of those guns surfaced at crime scenes in Mexico and the United States.
Previously released notes from the briefing show Grindler jotted down the name "Operation Fast and Furious." In addition, he was told that at least two suspects used cash to buy nearly 450 weapons costing tens of thousands of dollars, and he noted many guns bought in the United States were surfacing in Mexico.
So he didn't know "substantative details" but was told about two suspects buying 450 weapons and that guns were surfacing in Mexico?
At the hearing, Grassley took issue with suggestions that Grindler was never told of "unacceptable tactics."
"If by unacceptable tactics you mean watching straw buyers illegally buy guns without seizing them before they get to Mexico, isn't that exactly what he was told?" Grassley asked Holder, who said he didn't know what Grindler was told.
On Tuesday, Grassley called the latest report laughable.
"The idea that senior political appointees have clean hands in these gun-walking scandals doesn't pass the laugh test, especially considering we've seen less than 10 percent of the pages that the Justice Department has provided the inspector general," Grassley said, referring to the internatl probe at Justice Department launched by Holder last year. "They ignored the warning signs and failed to put a stop to it or hold anyone accountable."
During his upcoming testimony, Holder will almost certainly be faced with the apparent contradiction in his story that suggests he knew about Fast and Furious months before he says he did.
I'd like to see him try to wiggle off the hook on this. It should be entertaining.