The Washington Times, one of the few media outlets covering this story, tells us:
The Obama administration sought to intimidate witnesses into not testifying to Congress on Tuesday about whether ATF knowingly allowed weapons, including assault rifles, to be “walked” into Mexico, the chairman of a House committee investigating the program said in an interview Monday.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell E. Issa, California Republican, said at least two scheduled witnesses expected to be asked about a controversial weapons investigation known as “Fast and Furious”received warning letters from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to limit their testimony.
Good grief … I can only imagine the reaction of the NY Times and Washington Post if this had been a mere 4 years ago. But I state the obvious. Intimidating witnesses? Is this the “hope and change” we were all promised?
Revelations like that have caused this story to stink so badly, that even a reluctant media is finally beginning to turn their attention to the hearings.
Here’s CBS with a piece about the controversy and what one of the scheduled witnesses today will be telling the committee:
In advance of a hearing later today, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform released a report containing new testimony and allegations in the ATF gunwalker case. According to the report, Carlos Canino, Acting ATF Attache in Mexico, calls the strategy his agency employed: "The perfect storm of idiocy."
"We armed the [Sinaloa] cartel," Canino told investigators. "It is disgusting." Canino will be a key witness at the hearing.
But it’s not just the Sinaloa cartel. Documents obtained by Congressional investigators show weapons – sold under ATF’s watch in Operation Fast and Furious out of the Phoenix office – have been used by at least three Mexican drug cartels: Sinaloa, El Teo and La Familia.
In other words, Congressional investigators say the very agency charged with preventing weapons from falling into the hands of violent cartels south of the border … instead facilitated it.
Doh! You can read the report at the link in the cite. Issa also had some strong words for AG Eric Holder:
“How is it that the No. 2, 3, 4 at Justice all knew about this program, but the No. 1 didn’t?,” Mr. Issa said. “Is it because he said ‘don’t tell me’? Is it because they knew what they were doing is wrong, and they were protecting their boss? Or is it that Eric Holder is just so disconnected … ?
“Whichever it is — he knew and he’s lied to Congress, or he didn’t know, and he’s so detached that he wasn’t doing his job — that really probably is for the administration to make a decision on, sooner not later,” Mr. Issa said.
Just another case of how ill-served we are with this clown as our chief law enforcement officer. He’s either a liar or clueless. Great choices, no? Hopefully this story will gain enough visibility that we’ll see Obama come out and tell the White House press corps that he has “full faith” in Eric and is “behind him 100%”. That of course means that within a week or two Holder would announce he was resigning from the AG’s office to “spend more time with my family”.
Frankly, we’d be better off with the office vacant than with this bunch in there.
Charles Hurt at the Washington Times seems to think so:
It has taken three decades, but Americans are finally living through Jimmy Carter’s second term.
Now we’ve got Jimmy Jr. barking at us from the White House about eating our peas and ripping off our Band-Aid. He might not even let us have our Social Security checks.
These are just the latest in a long line of nagging lectures. Already, we have been taught how we should sneeze into the crook of our arm. We need to drive less. And we need to caulk up those drafty houses of ours.
What ever happened to the soaring rhetoric and big bold ideas President Obama promised us in that historic election of his?
Billy Hollis hit this very well the other day. This is how intrusive government has become. And as we all know, this has been an incremental thing taking years and years. Yes, it’s more prevalent under Democrats but Republicans have done their share as well.
I lived through the Carter presidency and I can see many parallels to that time and that man. I remember him as the incredible shrinking president. It seemed he almost visibly shrunk in size as his term continued. I’ve never been more happy to see a president shown the door – until now.
Carter was pathetic and ineffective. Obama is dangerous. The good news, if there is any, is he’s also fairly incompetent and the Democrats couldn’t organize a circus if they had a monopoly on popcorn, hot dogs and cotton candy. But that aside, there are some Carteresque things going on that certainly remind me of Jimmy:
One of the most unpleasant things about Mr. Carter was the condescending disdain he could barely disguise for struggling Americans and their irritating malaise.
Increasingly, Jimmy Jr. is having difficulty concealing that very same disdain for us as the political winds around him turn hostile and all of his bright ideas lie fallow as nothing more than socialist hocus-pocus.
But even Mr. Carter never laid bare so baldly and plainly as Mr. Obama did earlier this week his deep-seated contempt for this whole annoying process we call “democracy.”
I have to agree that Obama’s condescension is at least as bad as Carter’s. I’m not sure what happens to some people when they achieve the Oval Office, but they seem to want to be the Daddy-in-Chief instead of the Commander-in-Chief. There’s something within that makes them feel they have to meddle in the lives of others to the extent, as Hurt and Billy noted, of lecturing on eating their peas.
And Hurt is right about Obama’s apparent disdain for democracy. Other than a tool to get him elected, Obama has displayed little desire to accomplish his “change” legislatively. Instead we have executive fiat the chosen path with the EPA getting ready to enact rules that appear to be regulator overreach and properly the business of Congress. We have the administration single-handedly shutting down oil and gas production. The NLRB is on a vendetta against businesses and busily trying to enact a pro-union agenda. Democracy? Who needs it.
And then there’s the sanctimonious hypocrisy:
The problem with reaching a deal to raise the debt ceiling, he explained in a long sermon, is that there is this huge wave of Republicans who won control of the House in the last election by promising not to raise any more taxes and to cut the absurd overspending that has driven this town for decades.
He bemoaned – in public – that these Republicans are more concerned about the “next election” rather than doing “what’s right for the country.” In other words, he is saying the honorable thing would be for these Republicans to ignore the expressed wishes of voters, break their campaign promises and raise taxes. Wow.
Exactly. This while he tries to frame the whole thing politically as well. I mean what was the walk out but political theater – something of which Obama is a master?
Jimmy Jr., as Hurt calls him, has to go. We’ve suffered through most of one term of the “Daddy-in-Chief” (one political sin among many). Among many things I’m most tired on the Chief Nanny. I’d prefer we make him eat his political peas come November 2012 and go back to community organizing. And among near future generations, I’d prefer Barack Obama be the example of a totally failed presidency and retire Jimmy to the political peanut farm.