ST. LOUIS- Entering the Edward Jones arena to an applauding audience at the NRA Annual Convention in downtown St. Louis Friday, Congressman Darrell Issa made it clear his congressional investigation into the Operation Fast and Furious scandal isn’t going away until the Obama Justice Department comes clean.
“The investigation of Operation Fast and Furious will not end until the full truth is exposed to every American,” Issa said, adding senior officials at the Department of Justice will be held accountable for the lethal program, including Attorney General Eric Holder.
"Eric Holder’s contempt for Congress and his failure to comply will not go unanswered, and you can count on me,” Issa said as a woman yelled, “Thank you!”
It is not news that the Obama Justice Department has, and continues to, stonewall Issa’s House Oversight Committee in their constitutional quest for DOJ documents and information.
“They have been disingenuous in their answers, they have in fact ignored exactly what this president promised not to ignore,” Issa said. “He promised we would have the most open and transparent government everywhere.”
Many on the Left have tried to brush the scandal off as unimportant, not significant and a waste of time to discuss. Members in Congress have called Issa’s motives “politicized,” but the facts tell a different story. During a conference call with bloggers last September, Issa said he planned to wrap up his investigation by the end of 2011, but because of continued stonewalling and hostile behavior from the Obama Administration, we still don’t have answers and the investigation is ongoing. Issa attempted to end the investigation months ago, before the political season started.
“Many will say this is a witch hunt, I will tell you, Brian Terry’s family has told me just the opposite,” Issa said. “They cannot believe a family dedicated to law enforcement cannot get answers from its own country.”
Issa also touched on the motivations behind Operation Fast and Furious and how liberal Democrats in Congress have reacted to revelations in the scandal.
“Fast and Furious can be seen as nothing else but a needless attack on our right to keep and bear arms,“ Issa said. “When the facts began to come out about Fast and Furious, no surprise, Democrats in Washington, immediately seized on the opportunity to talk about the need for additional gun control laws.”
For months, I have been stressing the importance of understanding Operation Fast and Furious was not a “botched” program or an accident. Instead, DOJ officials made calculated decisions to allow some of the most ruthless criminals in the world to help themselves to American guns, while throwing law abiding gun dealers under the bus.
“Understand that federally licensed gun dealers warned ATF about wrong doers, expressed their concerns and were forced to sell anyway," Issa said. “Emails made it clear that Fast and Furious was an organized program from the start to walk guns into the hands of drug cartels in Mexico."
Issa promised to get to the bottom of Fast and Furious in the coming few weeks, but made it clear setting a timeline wasn’t going to stop him from getting the truth.
“I will not quit until both families [Brian Terry and Jaime Zapata] get the answers they deserve.”