Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Holder huffs and puffs during House hearing when asked about Fast and Furious

Attorney General Eric Holder slammed the table when responding to a question about Operation Fast and Furious during a Tuesday budget hearing before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies.

“That was a fundamentally flawed program, fundamentally flawed,” Holder said of Fast and Furious. “And, I think that I can agree with some of my harshest critics that there are legitimate issues that need to be explored with regard in which the way Fast and Furious was carried out.”

“But, I think one thing that also has to be understood is that once this was brought to my attention” — Holder said before slamming his hand on the committee room table he was sitting at — “I stopped it. I stopped it.”

During an interview with Fox News host Megyn Kelly shortly after Holder’s comments, House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa — the lead congressional investigator into the Fast and Furious scandal with Sen. Chuck Grassley — said he and others in Congress don’t think Holder is telling the full truth.

“Well, certainly one of the reasons we doubt the legitimacy of that claim is, on Feb. 4 [2011], we received what was in fact an untruthful, a lie, a false letter that has now been retracted,” Issa said. “Lanny Breuer, one of his chief aides and number three at Justice, was in Mexico lobbying for more gun-walking. Additional evidence shows that [U.S. agent] Jaime Zapata was killed with a similar program weapon. In other words, this was a policy change that happened and continued up until fairly recently. We need to get to the bottom of it.”

In addition, Issa said that if Holder wants to show he’s cooperating with the congressional investigation and is interested in really ending gun-walking, he’d fork over the rest of the lawfully-subpoenaed documents he’s still hiding from Congress. (RELATED: Full coverage of Eric Holder)

“The inspector general at Justice has 80,000 pages and we have 6,000 pages, but even in those 6,000 pages we find damning evidence that high-ranking people in Justice knew all along and not only didn’t stop this program, but believed in it,” Issa said.


Janet Napolitano Claims Ignorance in Second Gun Link to ICE Agent's Murder

Two days ago CBS's Sharyl Attkisson reported that a second gun related to the Obama administration's gunwalking operation had been positively linked to the murder of ICE agent Jaime Zapata on February 15, 2011. Zapata's and fellow agent, Victor Avila's SUV was ambushed as the two men were driving back to Mexico City from a meeting in San Luis Potosi.

According to documents obtained by CBS one of the guns retrieved at the scene was linked directly to a Texas gun trafficker under ATF surveillance for six months prior to Zapata's death. Records show on August 20, 2010 "Barba took delivery of the WASR-10 semi-automatic rifle later used in Zapata's murder, obliterated its serial number, and sent it to Mexico with nine others just like it." The gun eventually made its way to the Zeta drug cartel.

Interestingly, a week before the release of the latest information, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano denied any knowledge of a link between Fast and Furious weapons and the murder of Jaime Zapata.

At a February 15 U.S. House Committee hearing on a proposed DHS budget for 2013, Representative Michael McCaul (R-Austin) honored Zapata's memory by reminding committee members it was the first anniversary of Zapata's murder.

McCaul followed up by asking Napolitano what she knew about the guns connected to one of her murdered agents.

McCaul: Madam secretary, there's been some speculation that the weapons used to kill Agent Zapata may have been possibly linked to the Operation were linked to Fast and Furious. Do you have any information to indicate there is a connection there?"

Napolitano: I have no information to that effect, no. I don't know one way or the other.

The Secretary then indicated it might be conceivable Fast and Furious weapons were tied to Zapata's murder.

"'It's possible', is what you're saying?" McCaul asked.

"I just don't know one way or another," Napolitano answered.

"So you can't conclusively say one way or the other whether there's a link to these weapons and Fast & Furious?" asked McCaul.

"That's true," Napolitano responded.

Getting a little exasperated with questions about the Phoenix-based ATF operation Napolitano sniped, "I didn't know this was a Fast and Furious hearing."

Where's the outrage on Capitol Hill when a top Cabinet official feigns ignorance about a gun smuggling operation going on under her watch? Congress should defund DHS and get rid of Napolitano based on her testimony alone.

Napolitano joins Obama, Holder, and Clinton in playing dumb on Fast and Furious; and they all show contempt for the Zapata and Terry families, Congress, and the American people.


Indiana legislators tighten right to resist police

Indiana lawmakers heeded the wishes of police and prosecutors Tuesday and narrowed a proposal spelling out when people would be legally justified to use force against law officers.

The action by the Indiana House came as lawmakers trying to respond to a public uproar over a state Supreme Court ruling last year that residents could not resist police officers even during an illegal entry.

The change approved Tuesday specifically states that a person who is committing a crime is not justified in using any force against a police officer. Law enforcement groups had told lawmakers they worried the proposal as previously written would spark more violence toward police.

Under the bill, residents would be covered by the state's self-defense law if they reasonably believe force is necessary to protect themselves from unlawful actions by an officer.

Republican Rep. Jud McMillin of Brookville, the bill's sponsor, said he wants to protect common citizens while not increasing the risk to police officers.

"Everybody should have the right to resist someone who is acting unlawfully," he said.

More here

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