The ATF operation, “Fast and Furious” is causing frayed nerves at both the DoJ and White House.
In a document dump last week, it became clear that the White House was aware of the operation at some level for quite some time. Additionally, it appears that Eric Holder at DoJ was also very aware of the operation prior to his Congressional testimony where he testified he’d only recently found out about it. The Hill:
Attorney General Eric Holder was issued multiple memos from senior Justice Department officials about a controversial gun-tracking operation months before he said he first became aware it, according to documents.
So either he doesn’t read his memos or he was just flat telling a fib when he told the Congressional committee that he wasn’t aware of the operation until recently.
Those revelations have caused the most transparent administration in history to begin yelling and screaming at reporters chasing the story. CBS investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson told the story on the Laura Ingraham show yesterday:
In between the yelling that I received from Justice Department yesterday, the spokeswoman–who would not put anything in writing, I was asking for her explanation so there would be clarity and no confusion later over what had been said, she wouldn’t put anything in writing–so we talked on the phone and she said things such as the question Holder answered was different than the one he asked. But he phrased it, he said very explicitly, ‘I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.’
That’s right folks, the defense coming out of DoJ is that Holder was answering a different question than the one asked? Or, in simpler terms, he flat out lied. Attkisson goes on:
Ingraham: So they were literally screaming at you?
Attkisson: Yes. Well the DOJ woman was just yelling at me. The guy from the White House on Friday night literally screamed at me and cussed at me. [Laura: Who was the person? Who was the person at Justice screaming?] Eric Schultz. Oh, the person screaming was [DOJ spokeswoman] Tracy Schmaler, she was yelling not screaming. And the person who screamed at me was Eric Schultz at the White House."
And Atkisson is lectured about what is “reasonable” concerning coverage of this scandal, and apparently she’s way over that arbitrary boundary:
[The White House and Justice Department] will tell you that I’m the only reporter–as they told me–that is not reasonable. They say the Washington Post is reasonable, the LA Times is reasonable, the New York Times is reasonable, I’m the only one who thinks this is a story, and they think I’m unfair and biased by pursuing it.
You can hear the entire interview at the link above, but this is one of those “where there’s smoke, there is fire” moments and given the reaction, Atkisson must know she’s on to something big. The use of “unfair and biased” show they’re willing to use the big gun accusations that are supposed to shame Atkisson into dropping the story.
But the tone tells you a lot. They are running a bit scared on this one. And if they can just shut down the major news outlets pursuing the story, they’re fine. They obviously believe their faithful lapdogs – Washington Post, LA Times, and NY Times – are pretty much off the story or covering it in such a way that it doesn’t reflect poorly on the administration while CBS and Atkisson are pursuing it much too deeply for their comfort. Thus the yelling, screaming and accusations.
This is a very serious scandal and the administration knows it. Their fire brigades are out there trying their best to dampen the flames. My guess is the head of CBS news will be getting some phone calls if he or she hasn’t already.
This is how the team that was going to “change politics in Washington” play ball.
Seems like business as usual to me. And you?