Quotes of the Day

posted at 9:16 pm on June 22, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Sen. Charles Grassley on Friday stepped up his dispute with the White House over Operation Fast and Furious, as three of his Judiciary Committee investigators were provided to bolster Grassley’s claim that President Barack Obama’s spokesman was wrong Thursday about the fight over documents. …

Grassley, a critic of the Justice Department and FBI under both the Bush and Obama administrations, rejects the Obama White House assertion that Grassley is motivated by partisan politics.

“The accusation that I’m motivated by a desire for a ‘political scalp’ is baseless,” Grassley said in his written statement.

***

“(N)one of these limited communications between Mr. O’Reilly and Mr. Newell revealed the existence of any of the inappropriate investigative tactics at issue in your inquiry, let alone any decision to allow guns to ‘walk,’” wrote Ruemmler in a letter to the offices of Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa). Citing Executive Branch confidentiality interests, Ruemmler said, “There is an insufficient basis to support the request to interview Mr. O’Reilly.”

***

If Justice Department documents that Issa’s committee seeks from Attorney General Eric Holder had been the subject of a top-secret meeting in the White House Situation Room, their contents already would have been splashed across the media. Issa could read the A1 New York Times story and be done with it.

***


***

Now, if documents aren’t handed over—which, sources say, include Holder’s emails—the full House will likely vote on holding Attorney General Holder in contempt.

Meanwhile, though these missing emails may or may not be as damning as the missing minutes were on the Nixon tapes, we should remember that it took almost eight months for the Watergate scandal to bust wide open into a national news story.

***

Then Congress should look into the overall flow of firearms from the United States into Mexico. The Fast and Furious weapons were just a small part of a much larger problem. Mexican officials have complained for years that lax U.S. gun laws have the effect of worsening drug-related violence along the border. The damage done by cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine smuggled north across the border is mirrored by the damage done by guns smuggled south.

If Issa really wants to save U.S. and Mexican lives, he should convene hearings on banning the sale of high-powered weapons. I think Holder would be happy to testify.

***

Perhaps it’s true, as the White House has argued, that Mr. Issa’s investigation has degenerated into a partisan fishing expedition. And perhaps yielding to that would discourage candor in the councils of this and future administrations, as the Obama administration, echoing a standard plea of its predecessors, asserts.

But Congress’s authority to gather information is broad — as broad as its sweeping powers to legislate, spend public money and hold executive officials accountable through impeachment. No doubt a lot of congressional investigations are partisan fishing expeditions. For better or worse, that comes with the democratic territory. Absent very strong countervailing considerations — stronger than some of those the administration has asserted in this case — Congress is generally entitled to disclosure.

***

[T]he House could use its power of the purse. It could threaten to cut funding to the bureau running the Fast and Furious program or to the Justice Department as a whole. It could even refuse to pay Holder’s salary until he purges his contempt. Lower down the scale of confrontation, the House could pass a resolution censuring him or continue to hold hearings designed to embarrass him.

The House risks looking petty in doing any of this, just as the Obama administration risks looking petty by withholding information from Congress. As with all high-level conflicts over the separation of powers, whoever can win public opinion will ultimately win the day. And that is as it should be; after all, these people are competing to be our public servants. It is a fundamentally political contest and should be settled by political means.


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Am I the only one who hadn’t heard about this? CBS’ Sharyl Atkinson reported in May that not only were they letting guns walk, they were letting grenades walk, and letting the perp walk numerous times after being stopped and questioned.

Evidence photos just turned over to Congress under subpoena show a frightening stash of grenade parts, fuse assemblies and more than 2,000 rounds of ammunition. It was all hidden in a spare tire of an SUV crossing from the US to Mexico in 2010. The accused smuggler, an alleged drug cartel arms dealer named Jean Baptise Kingery, was questioned by agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) but released.

and-

Documents show ATF secretly intercepted the grenade bodies Kingery had ordered, marked them, and delivered them to him on Jan. 26, 2010. Their plan was to follow Kingery to his weapons factory in Mexico, with help from Mexican authorities Immigration and Customs (ICE)

and-

The plan to allow Kingery to traffic grenade parts into a foreign country and track him to his factory drew strong internal objections.

“That’s not possible,” wrote a lead ATF official in Mexico. “We are forbidden from doing that type of activity. If ICE is telling you they can do that, they are full of [expletive]…”

ATF officials in Mexico worried that once Kingery and the grenades crossed the border, they would disappear. And that’s exactly what happened. Though ATF agents say they’d given all the specifics to Mexican military and police, the Mexicans failed to stop Kingery once he crossed into Mexico.

Buy Danish on June 23, 2012 at 8:39 AM

I’m going to repost this for those who may have come into the thread late.

Fast and Furious is one of the biggest government scandals in recent history.

President Obama would rather protect corrupt officials like Attorney General Holder, than ensure justice for those harmed by Operation Fast and Furious.

The blood of border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, and many others, are on the hands of President Obama and AG Holder.

Protest President Obama and AG Holder in front of the White House’s North Lawn, and show our government that the American people won’t stand for secrecy and corruption! Click for details

Flora Duh on June 23, 2012 at 8:40 AM

More:

Four months later, Kingery surfaced again in the U.S. This time, the Border Patrol caught him trying to smuggle the new stash of grenade hulls shown in the photos. ATF questioned him but, once again, he was let go. Nobody has stepped forward to explain why Kingery was released after this incident. He allegedly continued to supply the Mexican drug cartels for another year and a half.

Kingery might still be on the street if Mexican authorities hadn’t arrested him last August after raiding his stash house and factory. Police say they found enough parts to build 1,000 grenades. They also say Kingery confessed to teaching cartels how to make grenades, as well as helping them convert semi-automatic weapons to fully-automatic.

Buy Danish on June 23, 2012 at 8:41 AM

Flora Duh on June 23, 2012 at 8:40 AM

Hopefully this will get a much,much bigger crowd than these clowns who held a protest on June 20th.

Organized by Campaign for America’s Future, Rebuild the Dream, People for the American Way, Public Campaign,
The Other 98%, Health Care for America Now, Common Cause, Alliance for Justice, Public Citizen, SEIU and others.

Buy Danish on June 23, 2012 at 8:48 AM

Better link here. March Against Karl Rove from Campaign for America’s Future. And gosh, how ironic is it to learn:

The Campaign for America’s Future does not disclose its donors. In the past, it has denied requests for a list of top donors and a spokesman said the group “discloses exactly what is required.”[8]

Robert Bauer to file complaint with the FEC any day now./

Buy Danish on June 23, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Flora, great work on those links! I sure hope you post them EVERYwhere today! You always find the most interesting information!

BD, yes, I had forgotten about the grenades–thank you for reminding me.

It will be fascinating to watch this unfold in the media–if either of those situations will be covered. I would love to see Hannity cover them, at the very least.

herm2416 on June 23, 2012 at 9:07 AM

Congressional legislation has been introduced to name the bureau’s D.C. headquarters the “Eliot Ness ATF Building’’ after the agent whose battles with bootleggers and mobsters in Prohibition-era Chicago inspired the book, movie and TV series “The Untouchables.’’

The naming really had nothing to do with the Fast and Furious operation, which has become the subject of a congressional investigation. It’s included in a broader bill, introduced by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who chairs the Senate committee that oversees federal buildings.

Why in the world would Eliot Ness, an FBI agent, want his name on an ATF building ?

Note the LATimes off-handed line …”The naming really had nothing to do with the Fast and Furious operation”

J_Crater on June 23, 2012 at 9:39 AM

“No wonder Obama is willing to resort to the extremely desperate measure of inappropriately exerting executive privilege to keep F&F documents from becoming public. If they confirm that he explicitly approved providing weapons to foreign drug cartels so that he could use the inevitably ensuing bloodshed to undermine the Constitution he is sworn to uphold, he should be tried for treason.” — Moonbattery

petefrt on June 23, 2012 at 11:24 AM

Pic of the Day: The Couple That Reds Together, Stays Together

M2RB: Paul McCartney live from Red Square

Resist We Much on June 23, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Am I the only one who hadn’t heard about this? CBS’ Sharyl Atkinson reported in May that not only were they letting guns walk, they were letting grenades walk, and letting the perp walk numerous times after being stopped and questioned…

Buy Danish on June 23, 2012 at 8:39 AM

You had to be following pretty close to catch the story about the grenade guy. Once again, the bloggers were on it first, then Atkisson reported it like she had discovered it all by herself.

petefrt on June 23, 2012 at 11:24 AM

Some of us have been saying all along that the complete stonewalling of Congress involved huge risks for Holder and Obama that could only be justified if they had no choice, because disclosure would bring down the regime.

It is going to happen. The documents will come out and the Obama administration will go down.

novaculus on June 23, 2012 at 12:11 PM

The House risks looking petty in doing any of this, just as the Obama administration risks looking petty by withholding information from Congress. As with all high-level conflicts over the separation of powers, whoever can win public opinion will ultimately win the day. And that is as it should be; after all, these people are competing to be our public servants. It is a fundamentally political contest and should be settled by political means.

http://tinyurl.com/84gnduw

Ummmmm Sure … Okay … Whatever you say.
A “political contest”? Nope. It’s begging for a Constitutional confrontation.
Bring, it Barry, bring it! Oh, and bring Eric the BehØlder too.
Come BIG or stay home, Leftists.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on June 23, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Flora Duh on June 23, 2012 at 8:15 AM

Flora, he is a spoil sport, hence the sound of crickets from most of us late nighters. He claims to have so much knowledge of things his comments prove out that he doesn’t. He doesn’t get it, I don’t care, less of him for me is a fine way to proceed. I just didn’t want you to think I missed it. I didn’t. ; )

Bmore on June 23, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Oh and Flora. Feel free to stop by sometime and say hi.

Bmore on June 23, 2012 at 1:43 PM

Bmore on June 23, 2012 at 1:43 PM

Mr. B, tried to post earlier, do you have any hints tips? :)

arnold ziffel on June 23, 2012 at 1:46 PM

Bmore on June 23, 2012 at 1:43 PM

On cowgirl pic. Addy durocaz at.

arnold ziffel on June 23, 2012 at 1:51 PM

arnold ziffel, Are you having trouble? It should be open to all. Try commenting on the new catagory, Photoshop of the Day. I am standing right here at the machine. I’ll double check to make sure it is open to all.

Bmore on June 23, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Bmore,

Open to all???

Gohawgs on June 23, 2012 at 2:21 PM

anorld, I just tested it using the popdown menu to post as anonymous, it worked fine. If you want to post as arnold you have to set up a google id account. You can fib on all the info for that account if you have concerns about privacy.

Bmore on June 23, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Gohawgs on June 23, 2012 at 2:21 PM

Why sure, I just haven’t made it public on this site because of my hunting trolls thingy. If you want to find it let me know. Not much to it really just a place to communicate neutrally off thread. ; )

Bmore on June 23, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Bmore on June 23, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Posted on pic of hugo jr. Hit google acct and then “post” and nothing happens.

arnold ziffel on June 23, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Posted on pic of hugo jr. Hit google acct and then “post” and nothing happens.

arnold ziffel on June 23, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Hmmm strange, and you have a google account I take it. Try anonymous.

Bmore on June 23, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Bmore on June 23, 2012 at 2:22 PM

I have no trouble using google acct that I set up earlier but does that whole thing show up on the post?

arnold ziffel on June 23, 2012 at 2:26 PM

Bmore tried anon—test arnold, nothing.

arnold ziffel on June 23, 2012 at 2:27 PM

I have no trouble using google acct that I set up earlier but does that whole thing show up on the post?

arnold ziffel on June 23, 2012 at 2:26 PM

You mean like a crumb trail? Only if your nic name is linked.

Bmore on June 23, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Bmore tried anon—test arnold, nothing.

arnold ziffel on June 23, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Hmmm, I will have to research why that might be. Might take me a few.

Bmore on June 23, 2012 at 2:29 PM

Bmore, do you like durocaz pigs?

arnold ziffel on June 23, 2012 at 2:31 PM

arnold ziffel, I just signed completely out and did two tests as anonymous can you see my two comments?

Bmore on June 23, 2012 at 2:35 PM

arnold?

Bmore on June 23, 2012 at 2:42 PM

arnold?

Bmore on June 23, 2012 at 2:42 PM

sorry wife kicked me off. yes I see the two testd.

arnold ziffel on June 23, 2012 at 2:45 PM

sorry wife kicked me off. yes I see the two testd.

arnold ziffel on June 23, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Very strange, I am going to post a comment, it will have something for you. Grab it before I delete it. I’ll delete it fairly quickly after you get it. Just let me know you got it here on this thread.

Bmore on June 23, 2012 at 2:47 PM

Bmore on June 23, 2012 at 2:47 PM

OK sir thx

arnold ziffel on June 23, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Good.

Bmore on June 23, 2012 at 2:51 PM

arnold lets take take our discussion up via the address I gave you okay?

Bmore on June 23, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Bmore on June 23, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Will be off now for awhile. oink oink :)

arnold ziffel on June 23, 2012 at 2:52 PM

arnold ziffel, alright, I’ll talk to you later when you get freed up. ; )

Bmore on June 23, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Bmore on June 23, 2012 at 2:52 PM

will do. A bit later ok?

arnold ziffel on June 23, 2012 at 2:54 PM

will do. A bit later ok?

arnold ziffel on June 23, 2012 at 2:54 PM

; )

Bmore on June 23, 2012 at 2:55 PM

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