In their reports on Fast and Furious, congressional investigators concluded that the Department of Justice "had much greater knowledge of, and involvement in, Fast and Furious than it has previously acknowledged." Indeed, Attorney General Holder claimed that he had been unaware of Fast and Furious until a few weeks before May 3, 2011, but it was shown that he had received numerous memos about it much earlier, which he later insisted he had not read.
Rep. Darrell Issa has said that the DOJ has spent more time and resources trying to protect the careers of its officials who knew about the operation than in holding accountable those who were involved. In fact, the evidence shows that the only ones who have been punished are those who blew the whistle on the operation, while those who were engaged in wrongdoing have been rewarded -- reassigned or promoted with their pensions still intact.
Meanwhile, the DOJ, according to the committee report, "has blamed everyone except for its political appointees for Fast and Furious." Ken Melson, then the ATF's acting director, said that the DOJ is "circling the wagons to protect its political appointees."
Though Holder told the House Judiciary Committee his office was working "tirelessly to identify, locate and provide relevant information" to Congress, Republican representatives and senators say he and his department have been stonewalling their investigation. Sen. Charles Grassley said that Justice was withholding some 74,000 pages of relevant documents from the investigators.
The ongoing investigation also reveals a disturbing lack of coordination and cooperation among the ATF, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the FBI, all of which are under the domain of Holder's DOJ. One deputy attorney general, upon being confronted with this issue, just casually replied, "We will look into it."
The committee's report said that everyone involved was blaming others: The ATF pointed the finger at the Justice Department for encouraging the operation, and Justice blamed the U.S. attorney's office in Arizona for implementing it. DOJ officials who could have stopped the operation blamed their staffs for not bringing critical facts to their attention. Making matters worse, U.S. attorney's office personnel have taken the Fifth Amendment in refusing to testify before Congress, or the DOJ has prohibited them from appearing before Congress at all.
Katie's book is a real reporter's book, loaded with interviews with inside sources, including conscience-stricken government agents who are appalled by the politicization of the ATF. She quotes ATF agent John Dodson, who says, "I have never heard an explanation from anyone involved in Operation Fast and Furious that I believe would justify what we did."
This book, which is the best reporting yet on the Obama administration's bloodiest scandal -- and its most unconscionable one -- will make your blood boil. You should purchase and read it.
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