Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Privilege is All Mine, Mrs. Terry

The grieving woman with AZ Governor Jan Brewer is Mrs. Josephine Terry.  Her son, border-patrol agent Brian Terry of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), a division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), was killed by Mexican drug thugs in December 2010 with weapons they'd obtained through a merdicious ATF program entitled Fast and Furious.

The idea of the program, we're told, was to allow straw purchasers in border states, e.g. Arizona, to walk guns across the Mexican border where they would be traced back to drug lords' nests.  To that end, resistant gun sellers were induced by ATF agents to make illegal sales of assault weapons, e.g., AK 47's.

The story is detailed in a book by Katie Pavlich entitled "Fast and Furious: Barack Obama's Bloodiest Scandal And Its Shameless Cover -Up."  The appendices contain a documented Timeline of events, and photocopies of 19 relevant documents.  Altogether, it's an eye-popper.

The gun stores were equipped by the ATF with video and recording equipment.  Reluctant stores were forced to comply against their own wishes.  That is, sellers knew that buyers were straw men for drug cartels, and didn't want to sell guns to them.  The ATF instructed them to do so or risk displeasure in high places.

Congress has been trying to discover what Attorney General Eric Holder knew about the failed program and when he knew it.  The evidence suggests that he and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano (who has lost at least two agents to guns walked into Mexico via F&F) knew quite a bit.  They're admitting nothing, however.

The AG's office has stalled Congress for over a year by refusing to cooperate, raising spurious claims of deliberative privilege, submitting heavily redacted documents, and the like.

President Obama recently asserted executive privilege (at Holder's request) over documents sought, and Congress responded by holding Holder in contempt.  The media is playing it like an unprovoked Republican stop-and-frisk of a law-abiding black man.

It hasn't yet reminded us of how patient, kind and understanding Democrats were with Republican AG's John Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzales.

The recent assertion of executive privilege--in President Obama's case it might more aptly be called imperial prerogative--is curious for two reasons.  First, the subpoena didn't request documents relating to communications with the President, the usual subject matter of the privilege.  Secondly, the President is invoking privilege to protect documents he claims to know nothing about.

In sum, he is claiming privilege over discussions occurring within the executive branch, not just with the executive.  That's apparently more of the limitless power he seems to think he has.

By what authority does he possess it beyond sheer cojones and a complicit media?  Apparently, that's enough when the Democrats are in charge.

Back to Mrs. Terry who you've likely never seen, compare your lack of exposure to her  to the ubiquity of the woman pictured below, Cindy Sheehan.  She was the media's favorite gadfly throughout President Bush's tenure, indeed until she tried to hold a Democratic administration's feet to the fire.

She apparently thought that the protests were actually about peace!  Marx-and-Lenin bless useful idiots like her, and Chief Justice John Roberts.

At least the weapons that killed Cindy Sheehan's son were not supplied by his own superiors.  The same unfortunately cannot be said of Josephine Terry.

DOJ's explanation is that the program was a good idea gone bad (like all Liberal ideas) and that they've (grudgingly) said they're sorry that mistakes were made.  That should suffice to make everyone, especially Congress, drop it.

The funny thing is that 2,500 assault weapons were allowed to walk across the border where violence and murder rates skyrocketed.  The guns were not equipped with tracing devices, and no attempt to track them beyond recording where they showed up at violent crime scenes in Mexico was made.

How's that for collateral damage?

The Mexican government was not informed of the ATF program, and was incensed about it when it found out.  It undoubtedly resents having Mexican citizens used as guinea pigs in whatever experiment the DOJ was conducting.

Mexican Attorney General, Marisela Morales, has called for the extradition of US officials involved in the operation.  Don't hold your breath, Marisela, these people are Democrats; they don't break ranks or give up their own, especially in an election year, even when covered in blood.

After meeting and holding a joint press conference with President Obama in April 2009, Mexican President Felipe Calderon traveled to New York City in order to engage a lawyer to sue American gun shops.  How strange.

Whistle-blowing agents have been fleeing ATF's thumb from the very beginning.  In contradistinction to Valerie Plame's Joan-of-Arc media coverage, these men have been marginalized and subjected to retaliation without a glimmer of interest from the press.

With the honorable exception of Sharyl Attkisson at CBS News, the media doesn't want to hear about it, and it doesn't want you to hear about it either, which is the real point.  If it did, Fast and Furious would be at least as shocking to you as "atrocities" committed at Abu Ghraib.

Attorney General Holder told Congress that he didn't find out about F&F until February 2011 though memos about it were directly addressed to him in the summer of 2010.  Holder's Deputy AG, Lanny Breuer (one of President Clinton's infamous mouthpieces, and a former partner of Holder's in private practice) approved detailed wiretap applications for F&F in early 2010, yet denied knowing until nearly a year later that guns had walked the border.

Initially he sent a letter to Senator Charles Grassley in February 2011 claiming that everything revealed about Fast and Furious by a whistle-blowing ATF agent was false.  Breuer withdrew that letter in November of 2011 without consequence.

Despite recanting his own testimony, Breuer claimed to have forgotten to inform his boss, Attorney General Holder, of the program.  Uh-huh.

The month of Breuer's disingenuous communique, unarmed Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agent Jaime Zapata was ambushed and killed on a Mexican highway with a Fast and Furious AK 47.  More collateral damage.

House Oversight Committee ranking member, Congressman Elijah Cummins (D-MD) has been Holder's most vehement defender.  He has also repeatedly used Fast and Furious as an excuse for more gun control.

In fact, that has been the Democratic party's invariant response to the scandal, more gun control.  Many of the people who have come forth in Pavlich's expose believe that was the point of the program: to supply evidence that would buttress Democrats' assertions (about American guns in Mexico) and efforts to pass more restrictive gun-control legislation.

Emails confirming those accusations, showing that Fast and Furious was designed to promote gun control surfaced in July 2011.

Read the book, weigh the evidence and judge for yourself.

E-mails additionally show that US Attornies were aware that the guns used to kill Officer Terry tied back to Fast and Furious.  They decided to deny knowledge of the program, which they did until sufficient evidence to the contrary surfaced forcing them to recant bald-faced lies.

No heads have rolled; officers involved with the program have been promoted while some officials have been reassigned.  Democrats have circled the wagons around Attorney General Holder, Secretary Napolitano and President Obama.

The three met in the White House the day before AG Holder's Capitol Hill testimony.  The purpose of the meeting was not recorded.

Yet Secretary Napolitano claims that she never spoke to AG Holder about Fast and Furious, despite losing two agents to guns walked into Mexico through a program originating in his Department.  Curious, indeed incredible, as in not believable.

Not believable, that is, to anyone outside of the mainstream media and the most fevered Democratic precincts.  As troubling as the reality of Fast and Furious and its cover-up are, the nagging certitude that if the President and his people confessed to implementing the program after prognosticating the loss of Mexican and American lives in order to pass gun control legislation, and to have covered it up in order to avoid scandal--indeed, even if they confessed to personally pulling the trigger on a dozen victims--his sycophants in newsrooms, studios and on the streets would still ignore the story except to attack the investigators.

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