Video: How did Obama know about Fast and Furious before Holder?
posted at 7:54 pm on October 14, 2011 by Allahpundit
Via Breitbart TV, CNN asks an intriguing question but it’s not quite a smoking gun. Read Tom Maguire’s analysis of the timeline to see why Obama and Holder might have heard about F&F at around the same time. Per the clip, O obviously knew about it on March 22; Holder famously said during his May 3 testimony before Congress that he’d heard about Fast & Furious for the first time “over the last few weeks.” By the “last few weeks,” could he have been thinking of, say, mid-March? Maybe. It’s not an implausible estimate, especially for a guy with a lot on his plate, which means he might have heard about F&F before O after all. (We’re assuming for the sake of argument here, of course, that Holder wasn’t out-and-out lying during his testimony.) Here’s a better question, though. Is Obama suggesting here that the first time he learned about Fast & Furious was … on the news? If so, and if Holder really did know about the operation before he did, why on earth wasn’t he briefed by Holder or some other DOJ apparatchik immediately?
You know what the DOJ leadership’s core defense will end up being here, simply to avoid the perception of a cover up? “We didn’t know what was happening because we don’t pay attention to our own briefings.” And … maybe they don’t. Maybe they really are this incompetent and ill-informed:
On March 4, 2010, a memo “from” Gang Unit chief Kevin Carwile “to” three of Breuer’s top aides noted that days earlier a gang-unit attorney “met with ATF HQ to be briefed on developments in Operation Fast and Furious and various firearms tracking investigations based in Phoenix, AZ.” A week after that memo was sent, on March 11, Carwile sent a similar memo to the same three aides, again mentioning “Fast and Furious” by name.
But according to newly disclosed emails, Carwile didn’t know the name “Fast and Furious” five days after sending the second memo. In an email to the gang-unit attorney mentioned in the memos, he asked the attorney for “the name of the Arizona case/investigation.”
One source with knowledge of Justice Department procedure said the “to” and “from” lines in some department memos would be more accurate if they said “to the office of” and “from the office of.”
Ten months after Carwile’s memos, another one of the three aides who received them didn’t seem to know basic details about the “Fast and Furious” investigation. As indictments in the case were about to be announced earlier this year, Breuer’s chief of staff asked in one email, “Is the ‘Fast and Furious’ case ours or the [U.S. Attorney’s Office’s]?”
All along, I’ve been thinking that Holder and his aides were quietly supervising an insane operation to run guns to psychotic Mexican narcoterrorists, but it may be that Holder et al. are simply so clueless about what their own underlings are doing that an insane operation to run guns to psychotic Mexican narcoterrorists might escape their attention entirely — even after it’s been raised in briefings. I feel better now.