Worst Attorney General ever resigns

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**Posted by Phineas

"I am not a crook!!"

Go away.

Okay, maybe he’s in a tie with Nixon’s John Mitchell and Wilson’s A. Mitchell Palmer, but Eric Holder is resigning.

Attorney General Eric Holder — the first African-American to be the nation’s top cop — will announce later today that he is resigning, a Justice Department official told ABC News.

The announcement comes after nearly six years at the helm of the department that were marked by both highs and lows for a man who came in to revamp what many considered a demoralized and scandal-plagued institution.

Under Holder’s leadership, the Justice Department saw “historic gains in the areas of criminal justice reform and civil rights enforcement,” particularly on the issues of gay rights, sentencing reform and voting rights, and in the coming Holder is expected to impose new curbs on racial profiling in law enforcement, a department official told ABC News.

In a recent interview with ABC News’ Pierre Thomas, Holder described his time leading the Justice Department as “demanding” but “the honor of my professional life,” serving the American people.

“I hope I’ve done a good job,” he said. “I’ve certainly tried to do as good a job as I can. There are sacrifices that I’ve had to make, that my family has had to make.”

You want to know what a good job he’s done? Look at this:

What about these children, Mr. President?

Good job, Eric.

That’s the blood of Mexican teens killed at a party by cartel gunmen wielding weapons that Eric Holder Department of Justice knowingly allowed to be bought illegally in the US and be taken to Mexico as part of Operation Fast and Furious. (See also) That’s what Eric Holder “sacrificed” for.

Hell of a legacy, man.

It’s a shame I don’t have time to write about this today; Holder just makes me sick, and I would love to vent. For now, though, If you want to know more of what I think about this corrupt, racialist radical, check out my posts tagged “Eric Holder.” Also, there’s an excellent recent book about Holder’s role as Obama’s enforcer.

By all rights he should walk out of his office and into a jail cell.

UPDATE: More on Holder from J. Christian Adams, a former DoJ elections attorney — Goodbye and Good Riddance:

What can be said about Eric Holder’s six years as attorney general that PJ Media hasn’t already said? The news that Holder is going to resign should be bittersweet to anyone who cares about racial equality and the rule of law. The damage he has already done to the country leaves a turbulent wake that is ill-matched to the financial reward awaiting him at a shameless and large Washington, D.C., law firm.

Our country is more polarized and more racially divided because of Eric Holder. He turned the power of the Justice Department into a racially motivated turnout machine for the Democratic Party. That was his job in this administration, and he did it well.

Be sure to read it all. Mr. Adams is also the author of the invaluable “Injustice.”

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Does the White House know anything about *anything*?

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Obama confused

‘Ummm …’

Great piece from Fox News detailing at least ‘9 times the Obama administration was blindsided’ – or allegedly blindsided, anyway. Here’s a sneak peek:

1. Islamist militants gaining in Iraq

The New Yorker (1/27/2014): “In the 2012 campaign, Obama spoke not only of killing Osama bin Laden; he also said that Al Qaeda had been ‘decimated.’ I pointed out that the flag of Al Qaeda is now flying in Fallujah, in Iraq, and among various rebel factions in Syria; Al Qaeda has asserted a presence in parts of Africa, too.

‘The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant,’ Obama said, resorting to an uncharacteristically flip analogy. ‘I think there is a distinction between the capacity and reach of a bin Laden and a network that is actively planning major terrorist plots against the homeland versus jihadists who are engaged in various local power struggles and disputes, often sectarian.'”

The Wall Street Journal (6/11/2014): Iraq Drama Catches US Off Guard

[…]

8. Fast and Furious scandal

Jay Carney during a White House press briefing (6/27/2012): “The president did not know about this tactic until he heard about it through the media; the attorney general did not know about it.”

Read the whole thing and – not to be a downer this weekend – think about it when you’re out and about today that we’ve got a year and a half more to go of this executive office seeming cluelessness on major hot button issues – most of which have significant impact beyond how it plays out here in the United States. The White House’s dangerous feigned ignorance on these issues and more (including Benghazi and the emerging border crisis involving children) has not just caused PR headaches for them but – in some cases – has cost innocent lives, the deaths of which many were preventable.  If that level of willful HISS (Head In Sand Syndrome) doesn’t chill you to the bone, I don’t know what will.

Fast and Furious: DoJ Inspector General looking into missing third gun

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**Posted by Phineas

Brian Terry

Brian Terry

When Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered by Mexican drug smugglers near Arizona’s border with Mexico in late 2010, two firearms were recovered that, while traceable to weapons bought through the felony-stupid Operation Fast and Furious, were unable to be identified as the murder weapon. (Neither were they wholly ruled out.) Months after that, strong suspicions arose regarding a possible third weapon, which vanished mysteriously. Audio recordings and emails from that time attest to its existence. Since then, though, the question of “the third gun” has lain fallow.

Until now, that is. CBS’ Sharyl Attkisson breaks the news of a preliminary investigation by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General:

In a new development in the Fast and Furious gunwalking case, the Justice Department’s Inspector General (IG) is making inquiries into the possible existence of a missing third weapon in the 2010 murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, CBS News has learned. According to sources close to the investigation, the IG is questioning the Border Patrol’s evidence collection team this week in Tucson, Ariz.

(…)

But references to a missing third weapon, a Soviet-made SKS rifle of the same caliber as the WASR’s, have persisted since the crime. CBS News previously obtained and reported on secretly recorded conversations referencing such a gun. The tapes were recorded approximately mid-March 2011 by the primary gun dealer cooperating with ATF in Fast and Furious: Andre Howard, owner of Lone Wolf Trading Company in Glendale, Ariz.

In the audiotapes, ATF’s lead agent on Fast and Furious, Hope MacAllister, tells Howard that a third weapon recovered at the Terry murder scene is an SKS rifle. It’s unclear why a weapon would be absent from the evidence disclosed at the crime scene under FBI jurisdiction. If it’s proven to exist, sources familiar with the investigation say it would imply possible evidence-tampering for unknown reasons.

Based on investigations since then, for example the report of the House Oversight Committee and Katie Pavlich’s book, Fast and Furious, and assuming the firearm exists (1), one can speculate on several possible reasons why someone would make this weapon disappear, most of them centering around the Arizona ATF and US Attorney’s offices covering up a massive screw up that now had the potential for serious criminal liabilities. (2)

It will be interesting, to say the least, to see what the Inspector General’s investigation turns up, and I’m sure the House Oversight and Judiciary committees will be watching closely, too.

Footnote:
(1) I think the winning bet is that it does.
(2) From what I’ve read so far, I don’t think it likely that the DoJ in D.C. was involved in hiding the weapon, if it exists. That smells more like a local CYA effort. Main Justice’s interest in Fast and Furious looks more like piggybacking on an already-running ATF operation, seeing in it the opportunity to gain public support for further restrictions on long guns. Hence the strong support they gave it. Whatever the whole truth is, though, I don’t think we’re going to know it for a long time.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Fast and Furious: “walked” grenade used in firefight that killed three Mexican cops

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**Posted by Phineas

More murderous fruit of a “felony stupid” operation:

CBS News has learned of a shocking link between a deadly drug cartel shootout with Mexican police last week and a controversial case in the U.S. The link is one of the grenades used in the violent fight, which killed three policemen and four cartel members and was captured on video by residents in the area.

According to a Justice Department “Significant Incident Report” filed Tuesday and obtained by CBS News, evidence connects one of the grenades to Jean Baptiste Kingery, an alleged firearms trafficker U.S. officials allowed to operate for years without arresting despite significant evidence that he was moving massive amounts of grenade parts and ammunition to Mexico’s ruthless drug cartels.

(…)

In 2009, ATF also learned Kingery was dealing in grenades; weapons of choice for Mexico’s killer cartels. Documents show they developed a secret plan to let him smuggle parts to Mexico in early 2010 and follow him to his factory. Some ATF agents vehemently objected, worried that Kingery would disappear once he crossed the border into Mexico. That’s exactly what happened.

Kingery resurfaced several months later in 2010, trying to smuggle a stash of grenade bodies and ammunition into Mexico, but was again let go when prosecutors allegedly said they couldn’t build a good case. In 2011, Mexican authorities finally raided Kingery’s factory and arrested him — they say he confessed to teaching cartel members how to build grenades and convert semi-automatic weapons to automatic.

This is a variant on the “Gunwalker” plot we’ve all come to know and love: instead of allowing a straw buyer to illegally purchase firearms in the US to smuggle to psycho drug cartels in Mexico, the ATF let Kingery buy parts here and assemble them in his workshop in Mexico. And, just like the thousands of arms they let walk across the border, the boobs at ATF and Justice lost Kingery, too.

And now three more Mexican police are dead, and the Obama-Holder Department of Justice has more blood on its hands.

RELATED: Earlier posts on Operation Fast and Furious. And here’s why Eric Holder could not have known what was going on — OCDETF.

UPDATE: Fixed the headline to more accurately reflect the CBS story.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

More #FastAndFurious guns found

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**Posted by Phineas

We’re going to be living with —and people will keep dying from— the consequences of this “felony stupid” fiasco for years to come. Via CBS’ Sharyl Attkisson (1), we learn that more “walked” guns have been found at crime scenes in Mexico:

Three more weapons from Fast and Furious have turned up at crime scenes in Mexico, CBS News has learned, as the toll from the controversial federal operation grows.

According to Justice Department tracing documents obtained by CBS News, all three guns are WASR-10 762-caliber Romanian rifles. Two were purchased by Fast and Furious suspect Uriel Patino in May and July of 2010. Sean Steward, who was convicted on gun charges in July 2012, purchased a third. The rifles were traced yesterday to the Lone Wolf gun shop in Glendale, Ariz.

During Fast and Furious and similar operations, federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) encouraged the Lone Wolf and other gun stores to sell massive amounts of weapons to questionable purchasers who allegedly trafficked them Mexican drug cartels.

Patino is said to have purchased 700 guns while under ATF’s watch. Ever since, a steady stream of the guns have been recovered at crime scenes in Mexico and the U.S. But the Justice Department has refused repeated requests from Congress and CBS News to provide a full accounting. An estimated 1,400 guns are still on the street or unaccounted for.

And I think that number is low.

Victor Davis Hanson thinks Benghazi is the mother of all Obama scandals, and he makes a strong case. But I’d argue that Operation Fast and Furious is also a worthy candidate. Consider: a law enforcement arm of the federal government, one specifically charged with controlling the illegal trade in arms, decides it would be a good idea to facilitate the illegal purchase of said arms by agents of vicious Mexican drug cartels, based on some vague plan to trace these weapons and arrest the drug lords.

A plan born from the start to fail: there were no tracking devices on the weapons, no way to connect them to the drug lords, no way to do anything at all about them until they showed up at crime scenes, often with people newly killed by those same weapons. Then they could all stand around like morons and say “Yep. Serial umber shows that’s an OF&F gun alrighty!”

Back in D.C., the Department of Justice thinks this is a swell plan and gives it top priority — OCDETF status. Apparently they thought an increase in violent crime in Mexico traceable to American guns would increase pressure for gun control, specifically tighter restrictions on long guns, here at home.

Meanwhile, over 300 Mexicans and at least two US federal officers were killed with Fast and Furious weapons, one of them here in the United States. And when the scheme starts coming to light after the killing of Border Agent Brian Terry in Arizona, the administration lies through its teeth about who knew what and when, the President hides the Attorney General behind “executive privilege” (itself an abuse of that privilege), he thumbs his nose at a contempt of Congress citation, and the families of the dead Americans are left to wonder why their government sold criminals the weapons that killed their loved ones.

And those weapons keep showing up, and people keep dying.

Yeah. I’d call this Obama’s biggest scandal.

Footnote:
(1) Who seems to have drawn some ominous attention.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Operation Fast and Furious: “walked” weapon used to kill Mexican police chief

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**Posted by Phineas

Remember “Operation Fast and Furious,” aka “Gunwalker?” That was the “felony stupid” inter-agency investigation lead by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and “overseen” Department of Justice under Attorney General Eric Holder. The bright idea was to allow straw-buyers working as cutouts for the Mexican drug cartels to buy illegally heavy-duty firearms at gun shops in southwestern states and walk them across the border into the waiting arms of the crazed psychos of the Sinaloa and other cartels. The goal was to then trace the weapons to the cartel heads, who could then be arrested and their organizations broken up.

Left unexplained, of course, was how these weapons would be connected to the cartel bosses, since there was no way to trace them once they left the shop. Almost the only way any of these guns would ever show up again was at a crime scene, often with dead bodies present:

Those are just the ones we know about. And now it’s happened again:

A high-powered rifle lost in the ATF’s Fast and Furious controversy was used to kill a Mexican police chief in the state of Jalisco earlier this year, according to internal Department of Justice records, suggesting that weapons from the failed gun-tracking operation have now made it into the hands of violent drug cartels deep inside Mexico.

Luis Lucio Rosales Astorga, the police chief in the city of Hostotipaquillo, was shot to death Jan. 29 when gunmen intercepted his patrol car and opened fire. Also killed was one of his bodyguards. His wife and a second bodyguard were wounded.

Local authorities said eight suspects in their 20s and 30s were arrested after police seized them nearby with a cache of weapons — rifles, grenades, handguns, helmets, bulletproof vests, uniforms and special communications equipment. The area is a hot zone for rival drug gangs, with members of three cartels fighting over turf in the region.

A semi-automatic WASR rifle, the firearm that killed the chief, was traced back to the Lone Wolf Trading Company, a gun store in Glendale, Ariz. The notation on the Department of Justice trace records said the WASR was used in a “HOMICIDE – WILLFUL – KILL –PUB OFF –GUN” –ATF code for “Homicide, Willful Killing of a Public Official, Gun.”

Naturally, the ATF refused comment. I guess they haven’t heard that the preferred excuse of the Obama administration is “We’re not evil, just stupid.”

A lot of innocent people are going to be paying a price in blood for the ATF’s bright idea, for years to come. I know this has slipped out of the limelight for now, given all the other scandals swirling around the Chicago thugocracy, but, other than Benghazi, this is the only scandal in which people have died. And it is absolutely inconceivable that the Attorney General had no idea was what going on, not when Fast and Furious has been designated an OCDETF case.

So far, Eric Holder and Barack Obama have successfully stonewalled Congress and the American people about the truth regarding Fast and Furious, but we have to keep after them to get to that truth.

The dead, now including Chief Rosales-Astorga, deserve no less.

via Yid With Lid

RELATED: Earlier posts on Operation Fast and Furious. Investigative journalist Katie Pavlich wrote a must-read book on the scandal.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

VIDEO: A side by side comparison of President Obama and President Nixon

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Revealing Politics has posted an eye-opening video showing a side by side comparison of President Obama’s remarks on the various scandals that have overtaken his administration in his second term, versus President Nixon’s initial responses to the Watergate scandal – and the similarities are striking. Watch for yourself:

Even noted left wing zealot and Salon writer David Sirota sees a disturbing Nixonian angle with this administration – not so much over Benghazi and the IRS, but over Team Obama’s longtime war on the freedom of the press:

Other than reflecting a partisan assailant’s lack of creativity, Nixon metaphors and -gate suffixes are so overused in politics that they now most often mean almost nothing. Yes, to call someone “Nixonian” or to invoke Watergate in naming a scandal is typically less a serious substantive critique of an opponent than a reflection of the critic’s laziness and stupidity.

“Most often” and “typically,” though, are the operative words these days. While I’m obviously hesitant to invoke the 37th president terms for the aforementioned reasons — and while I agree with my Salon colleague Alex Pareene and my pal Steve Almond that the IRS and Benghazi brouhahas most certainly do not warrant Nixon references — I do believe Nixon’s legacy is nonetheless applicable to the revelations about the Obama administration’s posture toward press freedom.

Those particular revelations, of course, aren’t happening in a vacuum. Instead, they relate to an administration whose known obsessions suggest this is part of a larger, dare I say Nixonian, pathology — one defined by a hostility toward the most basic democratic ideals.

[….]

Context, as alluded to, is key to understanding the collective meaning of the Obama administration’s hostility toward press freedom, and the relevant context suggests these actions are neither unrelated nor merely a product of unplanned negligence.

Recall that for years, Obama and his aides have let it be known that above all else, they value loyalty and message discipline.

McClatchy newspapers said that works in practice as “a penchant for secrecy finely honed during a disciplined campaign.” The UK Telegraph said Team Obama’s campaign was “tightly controlled, with very few uncoordinated leaks.” The AP called it “ironclad discipline” that involves “carefully choreographed interactions with the press”; that is “marked by a ‘No-Drama Obama’ credo”; and that is run by staffers who are rewarded by a “strong loyalty to their man’s message.”

Put these two realities together — juxtapose the Obama administration’s abhorrent record on press freedom with its macho attitude about message discipline — and you see that this is all part of one larger story about this administration’s core priorities. Indeed, as the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza summarized it, “Obama and his top campaign aides prided themselves during the 2008 and 2012 races for their tight-knittedness and their lack of leaks.” That means that “while Obama’s senior team insists these decisions (to target the press) were made independently of him, there’s clearly a tone being set from the top down — and it’s a tone that Obama has long held, dating back to his days as a candidate.”

Well, um – yeah. Lots of people were writing about it during Obama’s first run for the Oval Office. Unfortunately, not many of those writing about it were in the mainstream press but instead wrote at conservative news and opinion outlets, and as such were dismissed as “racists” and “far right partisans” and other similar adjectives used to describe those who saw the writing on the wall then and who have been saying “Toldjah So!” on a multitude of issues ever since. Most of the MSM at the time, as you’ll recall, were busy openly fawning over his royal highness’ hip style, flair, his cool cat nature, his grandiose promises to “heal our nation” and “calm the oceans” – basically everything that was superficial was front and center, while the investigative reporting was reserved for Hillary Clinton,  and the GOP potentials for for President like McCain and others.

President Nixon and President Obama

Apt comparison? Oh yes.
(Photo courtesy of BusinessInsider.com)

But Sirota clearly hasn’t convinced everyone that the Nixon comparison is a fair one.  Just ask MSNBC analyst and admitted Bush-hater Jonathan Alter, who claims such comparisons are “ridiculous.”   I suspect Alter isn’t the only deluded liberal in denial.  He’s on ship full of fools that still sails on, with Captain Holder at the helm (the President is just an innocent stowaway, of course ….).

In Mexico speech, Obama blames US for Mexican gun violence

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You really can’t make this garbage up:

“Most of the guns used to commit violence here in Mexico come from the United States,” President Obama said during a speech at Mexico’s Anthropology Museum [Friday]. “I think many of you know that in America, our Constitution guarantees our individual right to bear arms. And as president, I swore an oath to uphold that right, and I always will.”

“But at the same time, as I’ve said in the United States, I will continue to do everything in my power to pass common-sense reforms that keep guns out of the hands of criminals and dangerous people. That can save lives here in Mexico and back home in the United States. It’s the right thing to do,” Obama added.

You mean like Fast and Furious, Mr. President? Obama really has a ton of nerve to talk about how he’s in favor of “sensible gun reforms” that he insinuates would cut down on gun violence both here and Mexico when it’s under his administration that Fast and Furious started, which has seen an estimated 300+ Mexican deaths tied directly to US weapons “legally” walked across the border to Mexico .

Scott Johnson at Power Line notes how the speech was full of praise for Mexico and finger wagging at his own country in his typically apologetic way. Don’t be too shocked – the guy has been apologizing for America (and on foreign soil at that) since he took office in 2009, and self-loathing liberals all over the world have both embraced it and applauded it. Why would he stop now? After all, a strong belief in American exceptionalism has not exactly been his – nor their – strong suits. Doesn’t make what he said any less infuriating, but it does make it more understandable.

Moving right along …

Biden: Obama Might Use Executive Order to Deal With Guns

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**Posted by Phineas

Gosh, what are those words I’m trying to think of? They’re right on the tip of my tongue…. Oh, yeah! Now I remember!

“Tyranny” and “usurpation.”

“The president is going to act,” said Biden, giving some comments to the press before a meeting with victims of gun violence. “There are executives orders, there’s executive action that can be taken. We haven’t decided what that is yet. But we’re compiling it all with the help of the attorney general and the rest of the cabinet members as well as legislative action that we believe is required.”

Biden said that this is a moral issue and that “it’s critically important that we act.”

Biden talked also about taking responsible action. “As the president said, if you’re actions result in only saving one life, they’re worth taking. But I’m convinced we can affect the well-being of millions of americans and take thousands of people out of harm’s way if we act responsibly.”

There’s a problem, it must be solved, and we’re going to do something, danggit, even if it solves nothing and takes the Bill of Rights outside to be shot. (1) When a “pragmatic reformer” sees a need (even if it’s only a figment of his imagination, or a flat lie), he’s not going to let hoary old intellectualisms like natural rights and hard to understand pieces of paper get in his way. So what if they were crucial to the founding of this nation and its reason for existence? That was a long time ago, and times change!

And only a racist, mouth-breathing gun-fetishist would disagree.

Seriously, if Obama and Knucklehead Smiff Biden wanted to set off the alarms in the homes of every gun-owner and genuine liberal in America, they couldn’t have done a better job. No chance of getting tighter federal gun laws through Congress? No problem! Our Munificent Sun King (2) The president will just issue an executive order. So let it be written, so let it be done!

Two observations I’ll make about this. First, this is the result of the Congress ceding too much regulatory power to the presidency and bureaucratic agencies. From creating reasonable regulations needed to implement laws, it evolves into anti-democratic, anti-constitutional rule-by-decree. And inevitably there will come a president who does not respect the traditional boundaries and separation of powers that make an largely informal system based on mutual understandings, such as ours, work.

And when that happens, you get “I won” and decrees from the throne.

The second is –and I bet this leapt to to the mind of everyone reading this– the deep, bitter irony of an administration demanding gun control NOW!!!, when that same (mis)administration supplied thousands of weapons to drug cartels in Mexico, weapons that have killed hundreds — including school-age children. The administration is right, the United States does have a gun problem: it’s called Operation Fast and Furious.

Finally, while this may be another of Biden’s idiocies, or some trial balloon soon to be withdrawn, don’t rule out the possibility that this is a deliberate ploy by Obama to keep the pot stirred with yet another crisis, something else he can use to bash Republicans and polarize people in advance of the 2014 elections. That’s how an Alinskyite community organizer works: get everyone angry, bind your side tightly to you in that anger, and then use them to intimidate and browbeat the other side into submission. It worked in Chicago and it’s working in D.C.

And Obama is showing he’s learned his lessons well.

Footnote:
(1) With government-approved, government-owned firearms, of course.
(2) Thanks to Jim Geraghty for the apt description.

LINKS: More at Hot Air and from Aaron Worthing.

via The Tatler

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)