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« The Lawless Imperial Obama Administration Strikes Again | Main | Nancy Pelosi: Then and Now »
Friday
Jul202012

Show Your Papers Open

So...we have one chamber of  Congress seeking papers from  the Justice Department,  hoping to shed light on  the Fast and Furious gun-running program, while another chamber is focusing on Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, to shed light on his finances.  Seriously, which one of these fact-finding missions is important to the well-being of this country?

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Reader Comments (43)

I see America's mayor took time away from throwing cups larger than 16 oz into a pile and burning them... to speak out about gun control at the most politically opportune time imaginable.

"Are the bodies still warm? Excellent... turn on the mic and fire up camera 1."

On a side note... If one chooses to politic for gun control, shouldn't that same someobyd focus on the DoJ's debacle? Seems they had a harder time keeping tabs on weapons than anybody. Seems odd the anti-gun people choose to ignore the DoJ entirely while the politicians aligned with so-called "gun nuts" seek proper justice.

July 20, 2012 at 17:00 | Registered Commenterskinnydipinacid

As the lefties are so fond of saying, "Never let a good crisis go to waste."

July 20, 2012 at 19:41 | Unregistered CommenterRedBeard

Let's see we have one dead U.S. agent. Over 200 dead Mexican nationals. Machine guns now in the hands of drug cartels. A back door attempt to repeal the 2nd amendment and telling sovergn country to piss off. Or we have Romney's tax returns. Seriously, which one do you think the left is pissed off about?

July 20, 2012 at 19:49 | Unregistered CommenterThomas Miller

It's interesting. What is at the core of Fast and Furious is that US Attorney's didn't feel that our gun laws were strong enough to prosecute people that the ATF pretty much knew were trafficing in arms for drug cartels in Mexico.

Yet, the right wing has turned this into a conspiracy on behalf of the Obama administration to enact new gun laws.

Given how craven the right wing is in this country and the propensity for the right wing to attack from a position of weakness, could Fast and Furious be a clever ploy to attack in advance, when nobody knew what Fast and Furious was, in order for people not to make that connection between the weak gun laws and deaths in Mexico and of US Federal agents?

July 20, 2012 at 20:10 | Registered Commenterkwawk

huh?

July 20, 2012 at 22:57 | Unregistered CommenterThomas Miller

Sorry. Translation for the Foxnews viewers in the crowd.

Fast and Furious wasn't a gun running operation set up by the ATF, it was a program to try to intercept suspicious gun purchase transactions in Arizona gun shops, with people generally suspected of buying guns and then reselling them to be trafficed out of the country. When the ATF would report these suspected crimes to the US Attorney's office for prosecution, the US Attorney would decline to prosecute the cases given the very weak gun laws in Arizona which make the acts difficult to prove to be illegal.

Thus since they couldn't prosecute people for purchasing the guns and reselling them, they instead were relegated to tracking where the gun ended up.

July 21, 2012 at 00:46 | Registered Commenterkwawk

Huh?

July 21, 2012 at 06:15 | Unregistered CommenterRedBeard

Oh brother, Wikipedia has failed you kwawk. There's a pretty big difference between what you're defining it as (loosely, might I add) and the actual outcome due its implementation. Considering executive privilege has prevented us from truly knowing what a clusterfuck F&F was, we really can't stand here now and talk about what it "actually" was because you (like everybody else) haven't been privy to that information.

Per the source you damn near plagiarized:

The stated goal of allowing these purchases was to continue to track the firearms as they were transferred to higher-level traffickers and key figures in Mexican cartels, with the expectation that this would lead to their arrests and the dismantling of the cartels

Can't exactly track guns into Mexico without _________ (you can do it!)

It was designed to bust drug cartels, and for that to happen they had to track the sale of the guns into Mexico, hence the gunwalking. Again, under Obama the Mexican government was left in the dark during all this. Probably not the best tactic to employ while tracking weapons into another country... you know, not telling the country you'll be putting at risk and stuff.

By your statement it's as if you think it wasn't gunrunning simply because they didn't MEAN for the guns to fall into the hands of evil drug lords, as if they're intentions were in the right place so we should pretend it's not what it truly is.... however they did, so you're "definition" of Fast and Furious is pretty much mute. Good intentions mean shit as well. Results matter, and the result of Fast and Furious was an excessive number of innocent victims.

Did Obama/Hoder's Fast and Furious operation produce anything besides the disappearance of over 65% of the weapons they were keeping a "tight control" over? Or was it truly just another miserable failure on the part this administration you guys would rather avoid altogether.

July 21, 2012 at 08:26 | Registered Commenterskinnydipinacid

Actually, we have no idea what the true purpose of Operation Fast & Furious was since no one has yet confessed as to who authorized it.

July 21, 2012 at 08:55 | Registered CommenterMachiavelli

Skinny - First of all I don't know what source your talking about that you think I plagiarized.


Secondly, everything related to Fast and Furious up until the time it was shut down has been released to Congress. The only things that have been withheld are justice department internal deliberations relating to how to comply with the subpeonas.

July 24, 2012 at 02:23 | Registered Commenterkwawk

KwAwk, Skinny didn't accuse you of actual plagiarism, only of speaking in talking point style, sounding like the usual Defend Obama Pablum.

And pray tell, how do you know what is in the tons of documents being hidden by Obama and Holder? Do you sit in on the meetings?

July 24, 2012 at 04:59 | Unregistered CommenterRedBeard

Per the source you damn near plagiarized

mkay.

And pray tell, how do you know what is in the tons of documents being hidden by Obama and Holder? Do you sit in on the meetings?

Because that was the whole point of Issa's little temper tantrum and holding Holder in contempt. The Justice Department had complied with the suboena up until the point where it started to conflict with internal deliberations at Justice, at which point Obama declared that they fell under the scope of Executive Privilidge.

There is no dispute that the Justice Department has turned over thousands of documents to the Congress. More than enough to allow for Issa and his committee to figure out what happened in F&F, but that isn't what Issa wants. Issa wants to try to catch the executive branch in a political 'gotcha'.

July 24, 2012 at 09:37 | Registered Commenterkwawk

More than enough to allow for Issa and his committee to figure out what happened in F&F, but that isn't what Issa wants. Issa wants to try to catch the executive branch in a political 'gotcha'.

Holy crap. You can't really believe that. You just can't. Not unless you think it's a "political gotcha" to find out who did what, to whom, and when, and when the president knew about it. If we are to accept the premise of your whitewash job, then all of the Watergate inquiries and fallout should be rescinded, and Dick Nixon's ghost fully exonerated.

But then, the two scandals aren't the same. Watergate didn't get people killed.

July 24, 2012 at 10:14 | Unregistered CommenterRedBeard

The Justice Department had complied with the suboena up until the point where it started to conflict with internal deliberations at Justice, at which point Obama declared that they fell under the scope of Executive Privilidge.

Issa narrowed the subpoena to only the documents pertaining to the DOJ letter to Congress that contained false statements. Executive Privilege cannot be invoked to shield wrongdoing.

July 24, 2012 at 10:22 | Registered CommenterMachiavelli

Red - You and Mach need to get on the same page. Though I agree with Mach's assertion that the Subpeona in question only relates to documents relating to discussions about how information was communicated to Congress, and not about the facts at issue with the operations of Fast and Furious.

It isn't a crime though to inadvertantly communicate incorrect or false information to Congress. The issue regarding the incorrect information in the DOJ letter has been resolved. How it was resolved internally at Justice isn't really Issa's business.

If fact, I believe Holder was willing to put forward information to Issa's committees to clarify the matter if Issa would be willing to delcare that the subpeonas in question to be satisfied, and Issa refused.

July 24, 2012 at 10:40 | Registered Commenterkwawk

It isn't a crime though to inadvertantly communicate incorrect or false information to Congress.

If the false statements were made inadvertently, then that should be easy to prove by releasing the subpoenaed documents.

The issue regarding the incorrect information in the DOJ letter has been resolved. How it was resolved internally at Justice isn't really Issa's business.

Obviously, the issue hasn't been resolved to Congress's satisfaction, and invoking Executive Privilege reveals that the President was involved which contradicts earlier statements to the contrary

July 24, 2012 at 11:39 | Registered CommenterMachiavelli

The invocation of Executive Privildge doesn't mean Obama was involved, Executive Privilidge in this case is referring to the Executive Branch, and the protection of Executive Branch deliberations.

As I noted before Holder was willing to provide documentation indicating that the false statement was inadvertant. Issa wasn't having it, simply because Issa is on a fishing expedition.

July 24, 2012 at 14:28 | Registered Commenterkwawk

The president is responsible for everything that happens in the executive branch.

Harry Truman understood this clearly. Obama, not so you'd notice.

July 24, 2012 at 15:20 | Unregistered CommenterRedBeard

The invocation of Executive Privildge doesn't mean Obama was involved

All executive power in vested in the President.

Executive Privilidge in this case is referring to the Executive Branch, and the protection of Executive Branch deliberations.

The power of Executive Privilege is derived from the principle of Separation of Powers, due to the nature of our Federal Government having three co-equal branches. However, each branch is invested with powers that act as a check on the others. One of the checks is the Legislative's oversight authority over the departments and agencies of the Executive Branch, and in the case of possible wrongdoing that oversight authority reaches all the way to the White House.

Nixon thought Executive Privilege would shield his confidential conversations and correspondence from being subpoenaed in a criminal trial. In a unanimous decision (US v. Nixon (1974)), SCOTUS ruled the "legitimate needs of the judicial process may outweigh Presidential privilege". Furthermore, "[N]either the doctrine of separation of powers nor the generalized need for confidentiality of high-level communications, without more, can sustain an absolute, unqualified Presidential privilege of immunity from judicial process under all circumstances."

I think the circumstances surrounding the Fast & Furious scandal easily outweigh the serious of Watergate. You have a federal operation responsible for arming dangerous Mexican criminals that has resulted in the murders of at least one federal agent and hundreds of Mexican citizens, and no one can explain: 1) Who authorized the operation, 2) What the operation's purpose was, and 3) Why the Obama Administration spent nearly 10 months falsely denying any knowledge of the operation. Investigating those circumstances and the federal agencies responsible is clearly within the jurisdiction of Congress's oversight authority, and, like Nixon, invoking Executive Privilege to squash a congressional subpoena won't outweigh the judicial process of Congress's legitimate oversight interests.

July 24, 2012 at 19:22 | Registered CommenterMachiavelli

Your assertion that F&F easily outweights Watergate only goes to show that you need to spend a lot less time listening to right wing propaganda. There is no evidence of any crimes by anybody of note in the Obama administration.

Executive privilege is the right that protects the executive branch from suffering unnecessary obtrusiveness of the other branches of government. It rests with the President as they head of the executive but isn't limited to issues where the President is directly involved.

In the US vs Nixon, the court decided that executive privilege does not trump the interests of the people in criminal proceedings, it did say that the burden of proof is on the prosecutor show that executive privilege does not apply. I might remind you that Issa is neither a prosecutor nor a judge. He is not conducting a criminal proceeding, he is conducting a fact finding committee. He's gotten the facts surrounding the case and now he trying to make political hay out of t hem.

July 24, 2012 at 21:03 | Registered Commenterkwawk

Your assertion that F&F easily outweights Watergate only goes to show that you need to spend a lot less time listening to right wing propaganda.

As far as I remember, no only actually lost their lives over Watergate.

July 24, 2012 at 21:39 | Registered CommenterGrayRider

There is no evidence of any crimes by anybody of note in the Obama administration.

Really? Wasn't the first sitting cabinet member just held in criminal contempt of Congress?

. I might remind you that Issa is neither a prosecutor nor a judge. He is not conducting a criminal proceeding, he is conducting a fact finding committee.

2 USC ยง 192 - Refusal of witness to testify or produce papers
Every person who having been summoned as a witness by the authority of either House of Congress to give testimony or to produce papers upon any matter under inquiry before either House, or any joint committee established by a joint or concurrent resolution of the two Houses of Congress, or any committee of either House of Congress, willfully makes default, or who, having appeared, refuses to answer any question pertinent to the question under inquiry, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 nor less than $100 and imprisonment in a common jail for not less than one month nor more than twelve months.

Right now Holder's looking at up to a year in jail. Just need a US Attorney for the District of Columbia who'll remember that he serves the people, not Dear Leader.

He's gotten the facts surrounding the case and now he trying to make political hay out of t hem.

17 Democrats voted in favor of the criminal finding.

July 24, 2012 at 23:17 | Registered CommenterMachiavelli

Mach - The contempt of congress vote against Holder has absolutely no basis in the law. Once Obama invoked Executive Privilege, yes Obama not Holder, Holder was prohibited from passing over the documents in question even if he had wanted to. Yet, the Republicans in Congress decided to hold Holder in contempt anyways. That should tell you how political this is, though I doubt it will sink in with you.

Issa's beef should be with Obama and not Holder but he decided to take the chicken shit way out and not take his fight to Obama. The contempt vote against holder will go down in history as an abuse of power.

17 democrats voted for the measure in large part because the NRA in a fit of paranoia and in need of a political issue for the coming election cycle decided that the contempt vote would be scored as an NRA issue. That should also tell you how political this whole thing was.

Fortune magazine destroyed Issa with their expose on the Fast and Furious issue, yet you don't seem to want to give it up. Very strange.

July 24, 2012 at 23:55 | Registered Commenterkwawk

Oh, and the contempt of Congress vote against Holder was another example of the Limbaugh method of never admitting you're wrong or that you've lost.

By holding Holder in contempt rather than trying to directly attack Obama's declaration of Executive Privilege in court Republicans turned the issue into one of conspiracy for their base. Instead of risking going to court against Obama and losing they voted for unfounded contempt which they knew would never be pursued in court, thus they could blame Holder and the DC US Attorney and claim a conspiracy and failure to follow the law, when in fact they were the ones not following the law.

July 25, 2012 at 00:42 | Registered Commenterkwawk

Getting a bit far out on that limb, aren't you KwAwk? But then, it's understandable. Must be depressing as hell for you, seeing the shine wearing off The One and his lackeys.

What other talking points has Valerie e-mailed to you lately?

I suppose I should lighten up a bit. After all, you're only defending your guy, and even John Gotti had a right to a proper defense.

July 25, 2012 at 06:33 | Unregistered CommenterRedBeard

The contempt of congress vote against Holder has absolutely no basis in the law.

I linked to and quoted the relevant statute.

July 25, 2012 at 06:59 | Registered CommenterMachiavelli

Your assertion that F&F easily outweights Watergate only goes to show that you need to spend a lot less time listening to right wing propaganda.

Since you're so much more knowledgable, perhaps you could answer:

1) Who authorized Fast & Furious?
2) What was Fast & Furious's purpose?
3) Why did the Obama Administration spend nearly 10 months falsely denying any knowledge of Fast & Furious?

July 25, 2012 at 07:57 | Registered CommenterMachiavelli

Executive privilege, when invoked to cover wrongdoing, is not legitimate. It's also not an absolute shield, even in cases where it is applied constitutionally. Obama has very likely stepped in a large meadow muffin here, but it will take some resolute souls in Congress to pursue the matter with proper regard to the law, given the considerable spinning and excuse-making by the dinosaur media complex and the loud yet disingenuous Obamatons of the left.

July 25, 2012 at 08:02 | Unregistered CommenterRedBeard

By holding Holder in contempt rather than trying to directly attack Obama's declaration of Executive Privilege in court Republicans turned the issue into one of conspiracy for their base. Instead of risking going to court against Obama and losing they voted for unfounded contempt which they knew would never be pursued in court, thus they could blame Holder and the DC US Attorney and claim a conspiracy and failure to follow the law, when in fact they were the ones not following the law

Actually, I think they're just waiting till after the election to decide the next course of action against Holder. No point in charging him with more serious crimes that Obama can just pardon him for, and if Holder won't resign and Obama is re-elected then there's always impeachment and removal.

July 25, 2012 at 08:09 | Registered CommenterMachiavelli

I linked to and quoted the relevant statute.

The statute is not an island unto itself. As we've been discussing the statute is not applicable if a reasonable claim of Executive Privilige is made. The executive branch is not required to provide priviliged information regarding deliberations to the Legislative branch no matter how many subpeonas have been submitted.

Every news source has pointed to the fact that there is no evidence of criminal wrong doing related to Fast and Furious yet the right wing propaganda machine has you convinced that everybody is lieing to you except them. Pretty neat trick.

July 25, 2012 at 11:28 | Registered Commenterkwawk

Speaking Sunday on ABC's This Week, Issa hit out at the White House over the move.

"There cannot be executive privilege over criminal cover-up or cover-up of a crime. Lying to Congress is a crime, we have every right to see the documents, to say: 'Did you know, when did you know, what did you know?'," he said.

But asked on Fox News Sunday whether lawmakers had evidence now to support claims of a White House cover-up, Issa said: "No we don't."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jun/24/darrell-issa-fast-furious-holder

Straight from the horse's mouth. No evidence of a cover up.

July 25, 2012 at 11:33 | Registered Commenterkwawk

Circular logic.

The evidence is, or is not, in the documents this non-transparent administration is hiding from a lawful congressional inquiry. As long as Obama stonewalls, of course we don't know.

Meanwhile, the family of Brian Terry, and all of the American and Mexican people, have a legitimate claim to the need to know. This administration needs to come clean and let the chips fall where they may. There is no reason not to do so, except to shield the individuals responsible.

July 25, 2012 at 12:08 | Registered CommenterRedBeard

Straight from the horse's mouth. No evidence of a cover up.

You mean no evidence of a "White House" cover up, which is factually true since until Obama claimed Executive Privilege there was no indication of White House involvement.

July 25, 2012 at 12:17 | Registered CommenterMachiavelli

No the problem here is that you're asking the Obama administration to prove a negative. You're alledging a cover up without any evidence and then expecting the Obama to prove something did not happen. You can't prove a negative.

July 25, 2012 at 12:24 | Registered Commenterkwawk

Baloney. No one is asking Obama to prove anything at all, but only to release the papers to the congressional inquiry.

July 25, 2012 at 12:26 | Registered CommenterRedBeard

It's like having a discussion with a brick wall. The application of executive privilidge in no way indicates that the White House was involved in any manner.

July 25, 2012 at 12:30 | Registered Commenterkwawk

Bullpucky. The Obama administration has released all relevant documents related to Fast and Furious to the Congress. The only ones that haven't been released are ones which relate to deliberations and discussions after the fact.

July 25, 2012 at 12:37 | Registered Commenterkwawk

The Obama administration has released all relevant documents related to Fast and Furious to the Congress.

And yet we still don't know:

1) Who authorized Fast & Furious?
2) What was Fast & Furious's purpose?
3) Why did the Obama Administration spend nearly 10 months falsely denying any knowledge of Fast & Furious?

July 25, 2012 at 12:37 | Registered CommenterMachiavelli

Apparently, Mach, people like KwAwk are deathly afraid of the potential answers to those questions, hence the effort to keep the relevant documents hermetically sealed in a #2 mayonnaise jar on Obama's back porch.

July 25, 2012 at 13:19 | Unregistered CommenterRedBeard

1) Who authorized Fast & Furious?

Nobody. Because there was no such program as Fast & Furious. It was a series of related events that happened but were not planned from top down.

2) What was Fast & Furious's purpose?

There was no purpose. It was a result of a disfunctional beauracracy and weak gun laws. Gun purchases which were flagged as suspicious were not investigated due to the feelings that prosecutions would be unlikely if not impossible.

3) Why did the Obama Administration spend nearly 10 months falsely denying any knowledge of Fast & Furious?

Because more than likely the people at the top of the totem pole were probably briefed at one point or another about an on going operation and had forgotten about the briefing.

July 25, 2012 at 14:04 | Registered Commenterkwawk

Unresponsive, your honor. Permission to treat the witness as hostile?

July 25, 2012 at 14:15 | Unregistered CommenterRedBeard

Sorry Redbeard, we can't all be captivated by moronic right wing paranoid conpiracies.

July 25, 2012 at 14:17 | Registered Commenterkwawk

Your honor, my mistake... make that very hostile.

July 26, 2012 at 07:01 | Registered CommenterRedBeard

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