USA –-(Ammoland.com)- Attorney General Eric Holder’s appearance yesterday before the House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary produced contentious exchanges on the Fast and Furious “gunwalking” criminal operation, but no new revelations from the embattled chief administration lawyer. Unsurprisingly, he continued to show a remarkable lack of specific knowledge about questions he’s been asked many times before about what he knew and when he learned it. Equally predictable was the wagon circling by Committee Democrats, who once again used much of their time to paint the investigation as a partisan witch hunt and to issue calls for further “gun control,” including reinstatement of the federal “assault weapons” ban.
While others are reporting on the tone and content of the hearing, longtime readers of this column will recognize two key areas where the Attorney General’s testimony depart from what has been documented for some time by Gun Rights Examiner.
The first curiosity is that Holder continues to claim he was unaware of the details of Fast and Furious until sometime in February 2011, around two months after the death of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. In order to buy into that, one must also believe that the head of the United States Department of Justice, with the virtually unlimited resources of the federal apparatus at his disposal, knew less than two relatively obscure, home-based bloggers in Alabama and Ohio, who had uncovered and amassed quite a bit of documentation, and obtained significantly wider recognition of those efforts by the time Holder claims, under oath, he got his first inkling.
His position also belies a Dec. 15, 2010 email from Holder aide Monty Wilkinson to then-US Attorney Dennis Burke about the Terry murder, stating “I’ve alerted the AG…”
Another meme Holder continued to promote was his attempt to establish equivalency between the Bush-era Operation Wide Receiver program and Fast and Furious. Again, regular readers of this column will recall two key differences that any interested investigator could follow up on: The confidential informant at the heart of Wide Receiver maintained that the program “had nothing to do with Bush or even DOJ,” because “the first two [Assistant U.S. Attorneys] assigned to this case declined to prosecute it because ATF…lied to [them] and told [them] that the guns were being followed on the other side of the border.”
That understanding was bolstered by a Tucson-based surveillance operation “launched” by Fast and Furious players from ATF’s Phoenix office, where Mexican law enforcement officials participated in observing a border crossing by gun smugglers, but mysteriously ended up claiming they never caught sight of the suspects.
This information will no doubt continue to be overlooked by the “Authorized Journalist” mainstream press, but should not be by those truly serious about conducting a thorough investigation, and determining what Eric Holder really knew, when he knew it, and at what point perjury charges will be appropriate. The ball is now in their court, as it’s more than evident the Attorney General will not deviate from the path he has so clearly defined, and that administration backers in the Congress and the media will not deviate from theirs.
The only immediate response for investigators now is to follow through on their draft contempt citation—as a necessary first step, but certainly not the only option available. If they do not, interested citizens asking for accountability and justice will have their answer.
About David Codrea
David Codrea is a long-time gun rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He is a field editor for GUNS Magazine, and a blogger at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance. Read more at www.DavidCodrea.com.