It was never a comforting thought to think the Attorney General just can’t be bothered to read his weekly briefings, but it was at least plausible to think Eric Holder overlooked one or two memos about the pernicious and fatal Fast and Furious program. But make that five memos and the AG’s incompetence and negligence appear especially gross:
Senator Chuck Grassley and Congressman Darrell Issa today said that Attorney General Eric Holder received at least five weekly memos beginning in July 2010, including four weeks in a row, describing the ill-advised strategy known as Operation Fast and Furious. The memos were to Holder from Michael Walther, the director of the National Drug Intelligence Center.
The Attorney General told Issa during a House Judiciary Committee in May 2011 that he had just learned of Fast and Furious a few weeks before. Yet, on January 31, in a previously scheduled meeting, Grassley personally handed him two letters about Fast and Furious. Grassley and Issa said they find it very troubling that Holder actually knew of Operation Fast and Furious much earlier, and in greater detail than he ever let on.
The memos specifically said that the straw buyers were “responsible for the purchase of 1500 firearms that were then supplied to Mexican drug trafficking cartels.”
As Sen. Chuck Grassley said, given the amount of information Holder had at his disposal, he should have thought to at least ask the question, “Why haven’t we stopped them?”
The president said it well today in his press conference: “I think both Holder and I would have been very unhappy if someone had suggested that guns were allowed to pass through that could have been prevented by the United States of America.”
OK, so someone did suggest to Holder that guns were allowed to walk and Holder either overlooked the tip (as he claims, but for which he has no excuse) or didn’t care. Either way, he proves the president’s supposition wrong. Whether he was ignorant of or indifferent to the memos, the AG’s lack of concern is disturbing.