Lying or incompetent? The Janet Napolitano edition

Posted by: Phineas on October 28, 2011 at 1:01 pm

**Posted by Phineas

So, which is it, Madame Secretary? Or is it both?

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet “The System Worked” Napolitano testified before the House Judiciary Committee and did her best Sergeant Schultz impression, claiming she knew nothing about Operation Fast and Furious (aka Gunwalker) until Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed late last year:

House Republicans on Wednesday turned their sharp questioning over “Operation Fast and Furious” toward Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who acknowledged her agents were twice told to “stand down” in deference to what she called a “very troublesome” operation.

Napolitano, at one point likening the questioning to a cross-examination, said repeatedly she only learned of “Fast and Furious” after Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in December. She emphasized the operation, conceived and run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, “was an ATF operation,” under the auspices of the Justice Department, not her department.

Well played, Janet! Denying knowledge of Gunwalker while pointing a big finger at Justice! Guess your boss isn’t the only one who can throw people under the bus.

Call me “cynical,” but Secretary Napolitano’s testimony lacks a certain something… Let’s call it “credibility.”

Look at the facts: Janet Napolitano was Governor of Arizona from 2003 to 2009, when Barack Obama appointed her DHS Secretary. Arizona has a huge problem with cartel-related smuggling and violence. She would have been intimately familiar with the problems on her southern border. It is inconceivable that, both as the immediate past governor of a key state, a cabinet official, and head of the agency charged with security of the US border, she would not have been briefed on a major cross-border gun-smuggling operation, particularly when we were running it.

Consider also that Dennis Burke, her former chief of staff when she was Arizona’s governor and a senior adviser to her at DHS, was the US Attorney for Arizona during Operation Fast and Furious and participated in the inter-agency task force overseeing the operation fiasco.

This is Napolitano’s former chief of staff, someone she worked closely with for years, whom she probably helped get the US Attorney’s job, and who was her protege in Arizona politics. Does she seriously expect us to believe he never briefed her, never even mentioned it to his friend and mentor? Remember, Gunwalker started in mid-2009; Agent Terry was killed in November, 2010. For over a year, Burke told his friend the Director of Homeland Security nothing? Nor was she briefed by anyone at the DoJ?

Seriously, Janet?

Lying, incompetent, or both, folks. You make the call.

RELATED: Earlier posts about Gunwalker.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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5 Responses to “Lying or incompetent? The Janet Napolitano edition”

Comments

  1. LETA says:

    I’m positive she’s incompetent, having lived under her governorship in AZ. But, it is also totally conceivable that she was lying, since her lips were moving.

  2. Yorkshire says:

    Incompetent. She was Gov. of Arizona and missed it while she was right there running the state. And now she’s 2500 miles away, so you can see how she missed it again.

  3. Carlos says:

    Was she also not aware of the Bush admin’s similar program (that, as I understand it, was actually designed to follow the guns)?

    Lying or AND incompetent?

    The answer is obviously “yes.”

  4. mike in Baltimoe says:

    Stupid choice. Is anyone in the Obama administration NOT lying? OH, she is definitely incompetent also. To paraphrase Dean Wormer: “Fat, Dumb and Lying is no way to go thru life”