Issa to Holder: 'You own Fast and Furious'
Americans are watching the Fast and Furious scandal unfold in real time. First AG Eric Holder sent a letter on October 7 to members of Congressman Issa's Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Holder denied any involvement, knowledge of or complicity in trafficking guns to criminal cartels in Mexico.
On Saturday October 8 the LA Times reported 40 F and F weapons were found at the home of Jose Antonio Torres Marrufo in Ciudad Juarez. Marrufo, also known as "the Jaguar" is an enforcer for Sinaloa cartel chieftain Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman. Intelligence officials regard the Sinaloa cartel as "the most powerful drug trafficking organization in the world."
Weekly reports from U.S. intelligence authorities to the Justice Department in the summer of 2010, at the height of Fast and Furious, warned about the proliferation of guns reaching the Sinaloa cartel.
According to an online source enforcers are "naturally violent individuals" who head up teams of hit men; together they coordinate "revenge killings, political assassinations, property destruction, kidnappings and other violent acts."
There's no accurate tally of just how many people were killed by the cache of guns seized at Marrufo's residence but "a U.S. government official speaking anonymously stated, 'These Fast and Furious guns were going to Sinaloans, and they are killing everyone down there."'
Then on Monday, October 10 Congressman Issa responded to Holder's 5-page letter. The California Republican took aim at the AG's obfuscations, scapegoating and outright denials which directly contradict mountains of evidence the Committee has gathered to date.
To that end, just last month, you claimed that Fast and Furious did not reach the upper levels of the Justice Department. Documents discovered through the course of the investigation, however, have proved each and every one of these claims advanced by the Department to be untrue. It appears your latest defense has reached a new low.
Your letter dated October 7 is deeply disappointing. Instead of pledging all necessary resources to assist the congressional investigation in discovering the truth behind the fundamentally flawed Operation Fast and Furious, your letter instead did little but obfuscate, shift blame, berate, and attempt to change the topic away from the Department's responsibility in the creation, implementation, and authorization of this reckless program.
The facts simply do not support any claim that Fast and Furious did not reach the highest levels of the Justice Department. Actually, Fast and Furious did reach the ultimate authority in the Department - you.
Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this intransigence is that the Department of Justice has been lying to Congress ever since the inquiry into Fast and Furious began
Operation Fast and Furious was the Department's most significant gun trafficking case. It related to two of your major initiatives - destroying the Mexican cartels and reducing gun violence on both sides of the border. On your watch, it went spectacularly wrong. Whether you realize yet or not, you own Fast and Furious. It is your responsibility
The Obama administration allocated $10 million in stimulus money to fund a "major new effort to break the backs of the cartels." It's almost inconceivable top government officials did not propose, authorize or have any knowledge of such a dangerous operation that resulted in the deaths of Agents Terry, Zapata and countless Mexican citizens. Congressman Issa's tour de force letter has made it clear--the horrific murders happened under Holder's watch. He "owns" Fast and Furious.
Read more M. Catharine Evans at Potter Williams Report