Holder hits bottom - keeps digging

AG Eric Holder sounds all powerful in his latest attempt to wriggle out of his role in the Fast and Furious operation, but hubris catches up to everybody. A smart lawyer would never put into writing what he can't defend, but Holder did exactly that. After a week of aggressive reporting by CBS' Sheryl Attkisson, the Attorney General tried defending himself in a letter to Congress.

A similar scenario played out last summer when CNN reporter Dana Bash asked questions of the arrogant Anthony Weiner to uncover the truth behind the sexting scandal. Weiner called for the cameras, but then struggled to talk his way out of his problems. We all know how that turned out.   

Yesterday, in a 5-page letter addressed to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the nation's top law official played the victim blaming Republicans, the press and lax gun control laws for the "flawed response to a serious problem." With no mention of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata or 200 dead Mexican citizens, Holder continued on the same track as Congressman Weiner. More concerned about avoiding trouble than taking responsibility for his questionable actions, Holder went on the offensive attacking the messengers.

I cannot sit idly by as a Majority Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform suggests, as happened this week that law enforcement and government employees who devote their lives to protecting our citizens be considered "accessories to murder."

As I have said, the fact that even a single gun was not interdicted in this operation and found a way to Mexico is unacceptable. Equally unacceptable however, is the fact that too many in Congress are opposed to any discussion of fixing loopholes in the laws that facilitate the staggering flow of guns each year across our border to the South.

While failing to interdict weapons is an unacceptable tactic to stop the flow of illegal weapons, it seems clear that some in Congress are more interested in using this regrettable incident to score political points than in addressing the underlying problem.

Until we move beyond the current political divide where real solutions take a back seat to both political posturing and making headlines on cable news programs...nothing is going to change.

After Fast and Furious "headlines" were picked up by the Obama media last week Holder found himself up against the ropes. His letter was chock full of self-contradictions, revealing justifications for more stringent gun control laws and ubiquitous denials. Congressman Paul Gosar's (R-AZ) use of the word "accessory" in reference to those who participated in the deadly operation apparently rattled Holder enough for him to attempt to disprove the accusation with the letter. Gosar's comment:

"We're talking about consequences of criminal activity, where we actually allowed guns to walk into the hands of criminals, where our livelihoods are at risk," Gosar said in a phone interview. "When you facilitate that and a murder or a felony occurs, you're called an accessory. That means that there's criminal activity."

In the letter, Holder repeatedly protested any suggestion he knew about the operation.

I have no recollection of knowing about Fast and Furious or of hearing its name prior to the public controversy about it.

Prior to early 2011, I certainly never knew about the tactics employed in the operation.

As Attorney General I am not and cannot be familiar with the operational details of any particular investigation conducted in an ATF field office unless those details are brought to my attention

The administration has been caught red-handed. Holder has only made it worse. Didn't his own lawyer tell him not to put anything in writing? This "regrettable  incident"--the murders of  Terry, Zapata, Mexican officials and Mexican citizens--has become personal, very personal to Congressman Issa, his Committee and the American people. We all need to know who proposed the March 2009 phase of the gunwalking campaign and who authorized it.

Read more M. Catharine Evans at Potter Williams Report