Friday, October 7, 2011
OBAMA'S LYING "POSTER-CHILD" ORDERED TO RETURN TO CONGRESS!
Cornyn wants Holder to return to Congress to clear up “Fast and Furious” confusion.
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, wants Attorney General Eric Holder to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee to clarify, under oath, when he found out about the botched gun-tracking operation known as “Fast and Furious.”
Holder had told the House Judiciary Committee in May that he didn’t learn about Fast and Furious until a few weeks before. Memos sent to the committee last week show Holder was briefed on the operation as early as July 2010.
“It’s looking more and more like the typical Washington scenario where people get caught doing bad things, but actually the cover-up ends up being worse than the original offense,” Cornyn, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on a conference call with reporters.
Also today the new acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which ran the operation out of Phoenix, said he was reassigning 11 of his officials in an attempt to remake the agency.
ATF Acting Director B. Todd Jones told reporters the reshuffling will help the agency focus on its “core missions of violent crime and public safety” and bring about “a certain level of accountability” in the wake of the controversy.
“We’re going to hit the reset button,” said Jones, the successor to Kenneth Melson, who resigned in late August as acting director.
The multiagency operation was meant to take down Mexican drug cartels by letting straw purchases buy guns illegally and tracing the weapons across the border to cartel higher-ups. But about 1,400 guns were lost, and two were later found at the scene of the murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
Jones also acknowledged the existence of another ATF operation that allowed illegally bought guns to make their way into Mexico – a practice called “gunwalking.” The operation, known as “Wide Receiver,” was run during the George W. Bush administration, starting in 2006 and ending sometime in 2007, according to Jones.
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, indicated he wasn’t satisfied with the reassignments.
“Instead of continually reassigning ATF management, Attorney General Holder should come clean on all alleged gun-walking operations,” Cornyn said in an emailed statement.
Jones said he would be “surprised” if any other gunwalking operations existed. The agency now has a “heightened awareness” over whether operations involving gunwalking are “appropriate,” he said.
The DOJ’s inspector general is investigating “Fast and Furious.” More staff changes at ATF could occur depending on what the IG investigation finds, Jones said.
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, have been investigating Fast and Furious for months to determine how far knowledge of the program went up in the Justice Department, as well as who authorized it.
Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, yesterday asked President Obama to appoint a special lawyer to investigate whether Holder misled Congress on what he knew about “Fast and Furious.”
White House spokesman Jay Carney rebuffed Smith’s request today, defending Holder’s testimony to Congress as “consistent and truthful.”
“I think it’s a biannual call for a special counsel by this particular congressman,” Carney said at a news briefing. “Once every six months we hear something similar.”
Smith took issue with the accuracy of Carney’s comments; the Texan said in a statement that he has issued three such requests in four years: “There seems to be an epidemic of administration officials getting the facts wrong.”
Jones also said that his agency’s relationship with Mexican officials had become strained because of the controversy. “That’s something we’re going to have to rebuild,” he told reporters.
Stewart Powell of the Washington bureau contributed to this article.
Posted by Eileen at 11:47 AM