Obama and Holder Lied – Brian Terry Died
As liberal McCarthyism continues searching for Russian monsters under Trump administration beds, it might serve us well to remember the Obama administration scandals, for which there were no special prosecutors appointed, no grand juries convened, not even a leaked memo to the New York Times via a friendly professor at Columbia University.
A few years ago, President Obama called the scandals swirling around his administration “phony scandals”. As The Hill reported in 2013:
“With an endless parade of distractions, political posturing and phony scandals, Washington has taken its eye off the ball,” Obama said in an economic address at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill...
Obama on Wednesday did not specify which controversies were “phony,” but the administration has been attacked over National Security Agency surveillance programs leaked to the public, the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups, the Department of Justice’s seizing of media phone records, and last year’s attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.
Phony scandals are those that do not have a smidgeon of evidence of a crime, like alleged Trump collusion with the Russians or obstruction of an investigation that was never stopped or even slowed down. Phony scandals do not produce body bags as the Obama administration produced in Benghazi and during Operation Fast and Furious -- the Obama administration’s gun-running operation in which it armed Mexican drug lords and cartels with heavy weapons for which the U.S. Border Patrol had no match or protection. That gun-running operation led to the murder of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.
On Wednesday, in the shadow of the Russia investigations and the testimony of former FBI Director James Comey, the House Oversight Committee produced a fact-laden report documenting the collusion between the administration of President Barack Hussein Obama and Mexican drug cartels and the obstruction of justice by Attorney General Eric Holder in this, er, “matter”. As Fox News reported:
Members of a congressional committee at a public hearing Wednesday blasted former President Barack Obama and his attorney general for allegedly covering up an investigation into the death of a Border Patrol agent killed as a result of a botched government gun-running project known as Operation Fast and Furious.
The House Oversight Committee also Wednesday released a scathing, nearly 300-page report that found Holder’s Justice Department tried to hide the facts from the loved ones of slain Border Patrol Brian Terry – seeing his family as more of a “nuisance” than one deserving straight answers – and slamming Obama's assertion of executive privilege to deny Congress access to records pertaining to Fast and Furious….
Terry’s death exposed Operation Fast and Furious, a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) operation in which the federal government allowed criminals to buy guns in Phoenix-area shops with the intention of tracking them as they were transported into Mexico. But the agency lost track of more than 1,400 of the 2,000 guns they allowed smugglers to buy. Two of those guns were found at the scene of Terry's killing.
“More than five years after Brian’s murder, the Terry family still wonders about key details of Operation Fast and Furious,” the committee’s report states. “The Justice Department’s obstruction of Congress’s investigation contributed to the Terry family’s inability to find answers.”
That executive privilege was even -- we are not making this up -- extended to cover Eric Holder’s wife. The extent of the coverup and the obstruction of justice in Fast and Furious is mindboggling. The statute of limitations has not run out and perhaps it is time to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate those, President Obama and Eric Holder, who are arguably guilty of criminal negligence in the death of agent Brian Terry and hundreds of Mexican nationals. As former ATF agent John Dodson wrote in 2015 in the Washington Times:
A political firestorm erupted when it was revealed that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), as part of a program dubbed “Operation Fast and Furious,” had provided Brian Terry’s murderers with the weapons used to take his life.
The details of Operation Fast and Furious in the nearly five years since the Terry murder have been documented through congressional investigations, committee hearings and Office of the Inspector General reports revealing government retaliation against whistleblowers, lies, stonewalling, cover-ups, email and document scandals, President Obama’s assertion of executive privilege, and the first-ever citation for contempt of Congress levied against a sitting U.S. attorney general.
Brian Terry’s mother, Josephine testified to the extent pf the coverup, lies and obstruction by the Obama administration and Eric Holder before the House Oversight Committee on June 6, 2017. Her statement reads, in part:
16. From the moment a bullet was fired from one of those Fast and Furious guns, from the
moment that bullet entered Brian’s body, and ended his life -- Brian’s government, my
government, your government -- began to hide the truth.
17. One of ATF’s Fast and Furious leaders dismissed Brian’s death by saying, “You have to
scramble a few eggs to make an omelet.”
18. That man has since been promoted by ATF and given awards by the Justice Department.
Did you know that?
19. ATF and DOJ made sure that all those involved were given new jobs or allowed to retire
with their government pensions and benefits.
20. No one was punished or prosecuted.
21. When I pay my taxes and when you pay yours, we are funding the comfort of those who
helped murder my son.
22. We know that Brian encountered bad people the night he was killed.
23. We know there was a gun battle.
24. We know Brian was shot and killed.
25. We know the gun used to kill him was fired by a drug trafficker.
26. We know the gun was put in the murderer’s hands by our government.
27. But, there is so much more that we don’t know.
28. I need you to have overturned President Obama’s executive privilege order that hides
many of the of facts from Operation Fast and Furious.
29. I need you to ask President Trump to keep the promise he made to my family on his
campaign trail and let you see those documents.
30. Only one possible motivation remains for all of those involved who have covered-up
Operation Fast and Furious.
31. That is to conceal their own shame and disgrace; quite possibly their crimes.
The operative word here is “crimes.” Real crimes, not fantasy crimes as in the” Russia, Russia, Russia” Democrat witch hunt. More interesting than the Comey memo would be the release of all the documents withheld under the Obama administration’s claim of executive privilege. President Trump should revoke the claim of executive privilege in Fast and Furious and grant the Terry family both closure and the truth as they have requested:
In testimony Wednesday before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Robert Heyer, a cousin who oversees the foundation named for agent Brian Terry, said it is "time for the dirty little secrets of Fast and Furious to be exposed."
"We urge the Trump administration and the Department of Justice to revisit the claim of executive privilege," Heyer added in his written statement. "The American public deserves to see the documents previously sealed by executive order, and for those documents to be turned over to congressional investigators."…
Although many key documents are still missing, the report says, new records show Justice Department administrators sought to cover up the Fast and Furious scandal while viewing Terry's family members as a "public relations nuisance" rather than victims.
ATF agent Dodson has long tried to reveal the truth about Fast and Furious and the running of deadly weapons to Mexican drug lords. Investors Business Daily editorialized on Dodson’s attempt to spread the truth on the Obama administration’s effort to supply Mexican drug lords with semiautomatic weapons:
ATF Special Agent John Dodson is a national hero who in 2011 blew the whistle on Operation Fast and Furious, the Obama administration's gun-running operation to Mexico.
Testifying before Congress, he disclosed that his supervisors had authorized the flow of semiautomatic weapons into Mexico instead of interdicting them, weapons that found their way into the hands of Mexican drug cartels with deadly results.
Dodson has put his intimate Fast and Furious knowledge into a book titled "The Unarmed Truth." It provides the first inside account of how the Obama administration permitted and helped sell some 2,000 guns to Mexican drug cartels, guns used in the murder of two federal agents and hundreds of Mexican citizens.. …
The operation was exposed when Brian was killed in December 2010 by an illegal immigrant working for the Sinaloa Cartel near Nogales, Ariz., just 10 miles from Mexico. Two Fast and Furious weapons were found at the murder scene.
Two such weapons also were used to murder Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata in Mexico on Feb. 15, 2011, came from suspects who were under ATF watch but not arrested at the time…
"Allowing loads of weapons that we knew to be destined for criminals, this was the plan. It was so mandated," Dodson, then attached to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' (ATF) Phoenix office, testified before Rep. Darrell Issa's House Government Reform and Oversight Committee on June 15, 2011.
"Rather than conduct enforcement actions, we took notes, we recorded observations, we tracked movements of these individuals for a short time after their purchases, but nothing more," Dodson testified.
"Knowing all the while, just days after these purchases, the guns that we saw these individuals buy would begin turning up at crime scenes in the United States and Mexico, we still did nothing."
The Obama administration has done its best to hide the truth about Fast and Furious, with AG Holder arguably lying to Congress about his knowledge and involvement and repeatedly saying he “didn’t get the memo.” American citizens and Mexican nationals to this day are in jeopardy from criminals using weapons the Obama administration funneled to them. As Fox News reported about Mexican drug kingpin “El Chapo”:
A .50-caliber rifle found at Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman’s hideout in Mexico was funneled through the gun-smuggling investigation known as Fast and Furious, sources confirmed Tuesday to Fox News.
A .50-caliber is a massive rifle that can stop a car or, as it was intended, take down a helicopter…
Federal law enforcement sources told Fox News that ‘El Chapo’ would put his guardsmen on hilltops to be on guard for Mexican police helicopters that would fly through valleys conducting raids. The sole purpose of the guardsmen would be to shoot down those helicopters, sources said.
As for Holder’s claim that he wasn’t in the loop, Investor’s Business Daily noted the paper trail indicated otherwise:
Somewhere, Scooter Libby must be scratching his head. He was indicted and convicted simply because his recall of when a meeting occurred differed from others. He didn't lie about a gun-running operation that led to the deaths of two American agents and at least 200 Mexicans.
But Attorney General Eric Holder did, according to memos obtained by CBS News and Fox News.
They show Holder lied to Congress on May 2, 2011, when he was asked about when he knew about the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' Fast and Furious gun-running operation. He told House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa he was "not sure of the exact date, but I probably learned about Fast and Furious over the last few weeks."
Holder learned of the operation as early as July 2010 in a memo from the director of the National Drug Intelligence Center informing him of an operation run by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force out of the Phoenix ATF office, under which "straw purchasers are responsible for the purchase of 1,500 firearms that were then supplied to Mexican drug cartels."
So Eric Holder knew about Fast and Furious months before Brian Terry’s murder. He not only knew about it, he even bragged about it to Mexican officials during a trip to Mexico:
A 2-year-old video shows a high Justice official saying "the president has directed us," including the attorney general, to speed up Project Gunrunner and the offshoot that got a border agent killed…
The video shows Deputy Attorney General David Ogden, who would resign nine months later after less than a year's service, telling reporters at a Department of Justice briefing of major policy initiatives to fight the Mexican drug cartels.
"The president has directed us to take action to fight these cartels," Ogden begins, "and Attorney General Holder and I are taking several new and aggressive steps as part of the administration's comprehensive plan."
At the president's direction, Ogden said, the administration's plan included DOJ's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives "increasing its efforts by adding 37 new employees in three new offices, using $10 million in Recovery Act funds and redeploying 100 personnel to the Southwest border in the next 45 days to fortify its Project Gunrunner," of which Operation Fast and Furious would be a part.
As we have noted, Attorney General Eric Holder himself gave a speech to Mexican authorities in Cuernavaca, Mexico, on April 2, 2009, taking credit for Gunrunner as well as Fast and Furious for himself and the Obama administration.
Holder told the audience: "Last week, our administration launched a major new effort to break the backs of the cartels. My department is committing 100 new ATF personnel to the Southwest border in the next 100 days to supplement our ongoing Project Gunrunner."
Project Gunrunner was the precursor for Fast and Furious. The cartel member who actually pulled the trigger of the gun that killed Brian Terry has been captured and will get his final justice. Eric Holder, whose department knowingly and willfully put the murder weapon in his hands while running guns to Mexican drug cartels, has not. But that may change under the new sheriff in town. As the respected gun news website AmmoLand reports:
The brother of a slain Border Patrol agent says Donald Trump has promised answers about the Operation Fast and Furious “gunwalking” program leading to Brian Terry’s death.
Kent Terry met with Trump, and says the presumptive Republican nominee will use his authority to act if he’s elected president, Terry said in a Twitter post Tuesday.
“Mr. Trump said ‘It's a shame Fast and Furious started and shame on them for what they are doing about it,” Terry explained to this column, referring to an event at a community college in Michigan (see photo). “When I become president I will open the books on Fast and Furious and Brian. God bless your family Kent.’
“Then at end of campaign speech when he got off stage he remembered me again,” Terry elaborated. “First time in Brian's death I honestly believe Mr. Trump will get answers.”
Final justice will happen when Eric Holder and Barack are held accountable for their lies on Fast and Furious, the withholding of documents under the guise of “executive privilege’, something even extended to Holder’s wife, and the entire coverup on why Brian Terry had to die. Eric Holder has never been prosecuted for his contempt of Congress citation in this matter. Attorney General Sessions, call your office. President Trump, keep your promise.
Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.