Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Press rushes to ‘exonerate’ DHS as OIG report raises more questions than answers

It is not hard to cover things up with a willing media. Dean Weingarten

As with its rush to declare Eric Holder “cleared” upon release of the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General’s report, major media outlets are unquestioningly accepting Department of Homeland Security OIG conclusions from its long-awaited “Fast and Furious” report, strategically pre-released last Thursday to the Los Angeles Times.

“[T]he report determined that top Department of Homeland Security officials in Washington did not learn about Fast and Furious until [Border Patrol Agent Brian] Terry was shot to death in December 2010 and two of the 1,430 lost firearms were found at the scene of his murder,” The Times dutifully accepted, setting the tone for “legitimate media” to follow.

“Senior Department of Homeland Security officials did not learn about the flawed gunwalking tactics involved in the ATF’s Fast and Furious case until years after the investigation began,” ABC15.com chimed in. “The report, issued this month, shows senior DHS officials ‘had no awareness’ of the investigative strategies that allowed criminals to access and smuggle guns to Mexico, until media reports were published in March 2011.”


Interested officials weren't aware of that? Really?

“He put service before self, which is a mark of heroism,” DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano proclaimed at slain Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s funeral the preceding December. “We resolve, I resolve, to pursue swift justice for those responsible for his death.”

Less than a week before, per the OIG report, she’d “visited OBP Arizona offices … to support the OBP staff and to assert to the USAO and to the FBI that DHS wanted an aggressive investigation and prosecution. Tellingly, the report documents “U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke traveled with her from Phoenix to the offices she visited and attended the meetings with OBP personnel. However, Burke and others did not inform her about the connection between the weapons recovered at the scene of the murder and the OCDETF operation. They did not mention Operation Fast and Furious.”

Didn’t they? Burke used to be her DHS Senior Advisor, and before that was her Chief of Staff when she was Arizona governor. He’s the guy who ended up resigning over his involvement in Fast and Furious, involvement that included leaking secret records about whistleblower John Dodson. He wouldn't be spilling his guts to make sure they were both covered?

And we’re supposed to not only accept without question that scenario, but conclude that Napolitano, with an obvious and important vital interest in a high-stakes game reaching to the White House, and an intelligence-gathering apparatus that makes Orwell’s Big Brother appear like inept neighborhood snoop Gladys Kravitz on “Bewitched” by comparison, was flat-out uninformed and waiting for The Washington Post to notice? Based on what the auditors admit they did not find evidence on, as opposed to finding evidence to corroborate such claims ... ?

And, as with the DOJ OIG report, there were plenty of avenues closed off to the DHS auditors.

“We were not able to interview the ICE Chief of Staff, who left DHS employment during the course of our review,” the report admits.

That's a reason?

And it’s not like conflicting recollections didn’t surface.

“[T]hree senior leaders, including the HSI SAC, said that they did not remember the conversations about problems with ATF’s methodology or with assigning an HSI special agent to Operation Fast and Furious,” the report states.

As for tracking down other details, the audit also reveals gaps in what they could investigate, such as “We do not have access to those ATF ROIs [Reports of Investigation] and can only review the special agent’s 33 ROIs to understand his activities on the operation,” and “We were unable to interview the ASAC, who has since retired and declined a voluntary interview with us.”

Compare that to similar refusals noted in the DOJ OIG report, relevantly including the footnote stating “The ICE agent who was assigned to ATF’s Group VII declined our request for a voluntary interview.”

There’s plenty of finger-pointing, plenty of well-deserved blaming of ATF and plenty of plausible deniability policy barriers set up to insulate higher-ups, or at least making tracing what they knew and when they knew it problematic, leaving operational ground troops out on limbs that can be sawn off to save those occupying the top branches. What this report does clearly add additional corroboration for is the conclusion that the intent of breaking off surveillance and allowing guns to “walk” to Mexico was to have those guns recovered at crime scenes, meaning at places where people died in firefights.

Nothing else makes sense.

Anyone denying that is being disingenuous at best. Anyone ridiculing that as “conspiracy theory” is being intentionally deceptive to protect an agenda. And anyone accepting reports like this (and the prior one) and maintaining they exonerate anyone, is being, generously, a willing dupe.

More Here at Gun Rights Examiner

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It would be nice to know what this is really all about. Like so many other incidents the truth will come out many years from now. ffivng