Guilty as Sin, Free as a Bird?
A 471-page report finds Attorney General Eric Holder knew nothing about Fast and Furious before February 2011. Really?
The Justice Department's Inspector General has just released his long awaited report on the gun walking operation known as Fast and Furious. Inspector Michael Horowitz faulted ATF Phoenix senior officials, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Phoenix and senior officials in the DOJ's criminal division in Washington. He cited incompetence and subpar information gathering standards as one of the reasons for the initial erroneous information provided during congressional hearings.
A dozen or so individuals were named for possible disciplinary actions including DOJ lawyer Jason Weinstein who resigned shortly after the report was released. Weinstein's lawyer called the criticism of his client "'deeply flawed" and "profoundly wrong."
As the top law enforcement officer in the nation and head of the Justice Department Eric Holder was cleared of any wrongdoing.
The report did not criticize Attorney General Eric Holder, but said lower-level officials should have briefed him about the investigation much earlier.
The report found no evidence that Holder was informed about the Fast and Furious operation before Jan. 31, 2011, or that the attorney general was told about the much-disputed gun-walking tactic employed by the department's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The vigilant online journalists who have parsed the evidence from the get-go will no doubt offer a blow-by-blow analysis to Horowitz's report. Suffice it to say, Holder is a coward of the first order.
That the AG didn't know about this far reaching program before February 2011 is only believable if one concedes Holder is a bumbling novice unfamiliar with the rule of law. Holder is no rookie. He's been breaking the rules for a long time as chronicled by many writers here at American Thinker. See here.
In addition, congressional testimony by various ATF and DOJ officials over the last year and a half, including Holder himself, contradict the IG's report. See here.
The AG also refused to turn over tens of thousands of related documents causing Congress to charge him with contempt on June 20. On the same day Obama claimed executive privilege for his "proxy."
The fall guy for Holder in the report? The former ATF acting director who was in charge during Operation Fast and Furious, Kenneth Melson.
Melson made too many assumptions about the case," the report said. "Melson should have asked basic questions about the investigation, including how public safety was being protected."
Another scapegoat listed in the document? You guessed it -- George W. Bush's Operation Wide Receiver. If you're interested in the difference between F and F and OWR see here.
For now, Holder's investigator has determined lower level agents, U.S. attorneys and Justice officials are guilty but not the Attorney General. He's free as a bird. Incidentally, looks like White House personnel, Homeland Security higher ups and State Department chiefs also got a pass.
Read more M. Catharine Evans at Potter Williams Report