The second of three reports on Fast and Furious gunwalking prepared for Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Chuck Grasssley, Ranking Member, Senate Committee on the Judiciary, has been released today by Congressional staffers in the nation’s capitol.
As with the Office of Inspector General report issued in mid-September, analysis of this 104-page joint staff report will require time, first to read in its entirety and then to make sense of it, so if past patterns of conduct are any indicator, expect a chorus of mainstream “Authorized Journalists” to conclude the administration is innocent of all wrongdoing and the Republicans are once more engaging in partisan witch hunt grandstanding.
Preliminary perusal of the document strongly suggests otherwise, beginning with the account of how former ATF Acting Director Ken Melson was prohibited from cooperating with Congress by Justice Department higher-ups.
While doing the requisite reading and digestion of material, another troubling revelation casts further doubt on Attorney General Eric Holder’s protestations that he did not learn of Fast and Furious until whichever is the latest time period he claims as the story he’s sticking to. As Gun Rights Examiner reported last January, Holder aide Monty Wilkinson told then-U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona Dennis Burke that he’d alerted Holder to the death of agent Brian Terry the same night it happened. Six days later, according to this report, Burke and Wilkinson were corresponding over the recommendation that Holder not announce Fast and Furious at a press conference.
To suggest the AG was still blissfully oblivious about the activities of his command at that time and under those circumstances, and remained that way until happening across mainstream news accounts some months later, strains all semblances of credibility, particularly when considered against the since-corroborated reports that had been compiled by free agents, with no official information resources at their disposal, compared to the unlimited network at his.
The report can be read at the House Oversight Committee website.
UPDATE: Dave Workman provides the first in-depth analysis. See “Second joint Fast & Furious report cites ‘management failures’.”
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