From the diaries by Erick . . .
Eric Holder testifies before Congress today on his department’s outrageous Operation Fast and Furious scandal. Eager to provide political cover for Obama’s embattled Attorney General, House Democrats yesterday released a report attempting to exonerate Holder and his political appointees for failing to do their jobs.
Of course, their report says Holder’s innocent. The facts say he’s guilty. I say he must resign.
This cynical ploy is just the latest effort by Democrats to cover up the truth. Slowly but surely, their web of misstatements, falsehoods, and shifting blame is coming unraveled, revealing a reckless and incompetent administration.
First, a recap: The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) lost track of more than 2,000 weapons in a 2010 trafficking sting operation gone bad. Most ended up in the hands of Mexican drug cartels. Many ended up at crime scenes. Some were used in murders, kidnappings, and other violent crimes. Two were found at the murder scene of a U.S. border agent.
It’s a disaster and tragedy that could have been prevented, and the Justice Department refuses to take responsibility.
First came the denials. ATF chief Kenneth Melson claimed he didn’t know about Fast and Furious until January 2011. But DOJ officials said otherwise in a letter sent to Congress. Melson was briefed in December 2009, before the operation began, and received periodic updates afterward.
Attorney General Eric Holder also feigned ignorance when questioned. First he said he hadn’t heard of Fast and Furious until Spring 2011. Then documents showed he received briefings in 2010. When called out, Holder admitted his testimony was “inaccurate” and “imprecise.”
Holder frantically backpedalled again when it was discovered that DOJ officials sent a letter with false information to Sen. Chuck Grassley. When asked if they were lying, Holder dodged: “It all has to do with your state of mind.”
Democrats will do anything to avoid blame. The DOJ withheld information. The White House accused congressmen of “playing politics.” Officials “screamed” and “cussed at” CBS investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson. The administration sealed the court documents connected to the murder of the border patrol agent.
If Holder and Obama’s appointees are innocent, why won’t they hand over relevant documents? Why won’t they answer forthrightly in congressional inquiries? Why won’t they talk politely to investigative reporters instead of screaming and cursing? Why do they seal court documents from public view?
It begs a bigger question: What more are they hiding?
Amid all this, Obama still insisted in October that he has “complete confidence in Attorney General Holder and how he handles his office.” That’s the biggest problem. Obama has “complete confidence” in a scandal-ridden department. Perhaps it “all has to do with your state of mind.”
Americans, meanwhile, have lost their confidence in this administration, and I, along with many other Republicans, have repeatedly called for Holder’s resignation. It’s time he heed those calls.
In his State of the Union address, President Obama said, “I am asking my Attorney General to create a special unit of federal prosecutors and leading state attorneys general to expand our investigations into the abusive lending and packaging of risky mortgages that led to the housing crisis.”
A new agency run by Eric Holder? I wouldn’t get my hopes up on that one.