Fast & Furious firings coming: WSJ

posted at 11:21 am on December 5, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Very quietly, the efforts to find accountability on Operation Fast and Furious have begun to produce at least some low-level results.  The Wall Street Journal reported last night that an internal review has recommended firings and demotions for several figures in the Department of Justice involved in the program that sent thousands of weapons over the southern border and into the hands of drug cartels, resulting in hundreds of murders:

Four senior managers who oversaw the ill-fated federal gun-trafficking probe called “Fast and Furious” will be fired if recommendations from a disciplinary panel are accepted.

People familiar with the matter said the Professional Review Board of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives sent notices of its decision in recent days to bureau managers. In addition, two lower-level employees face disciplinary actions, short of firings. The move from the ATF’s review board is the first step in what could be a months-long process, including appeals.

The panel’s recommendations go to high-level ATF managers who will decide whether to accept them. That decision can be appealed to an outside board that oversees civil-service workers. …

The managers recommended for termination, according to people familiar with the matter, are Mark Chait, former assistant director for field operations; William McMahon, who oversaw field operations in the Western U.S.; William Newell, former chief of the ATF’s Phoenix office; and George Gillett, the No. 2 official in the ATF’s Phoenix office.

This comes after the departure of a much more high-level official on Monday.  Gary Grindler, who served as Attorney General Eric Holder’s chief of staff, got blamed by the Inspector General for not informing Holder that OF&F weapons had been linked to the murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, as OF&F expert Katie Pavlich pointed out yesterday:

“We determined that Grindler learned on December 17, 2010, of the link between weapons found at the Terry murder scene and Operation Fast and Furious but did not inform the Attorney General about this information. We believe that he should have informed the Attorney General as well as made an appropriate inquiry of ATF or the U.S. Attorney’s Office about the connection. Grindler told us that he was relying on the FBI to investigate the homicide and that would include investigation of the weapons in question. We found that Grindler’s reliance on the FBI was misplaced given that it did not have the responsibility to determine whether errors in ATF’s investigation led to the weapons ending up at the murder scene or why ATF failed to take law enforcement action against Avila for nearly one year and did so only after Agent Terry’s murder. We also believe that Grindler should have ensured that the Department of Homeland Security was informed about the linkage.” (p. 454)

Darrell Issa hailed Grindler’s departure, and promised more disciplinary actions will be forthcoming:

“Gary Grindler was appropriately faulted by his Department’s own Inspector General for keeping information about a connection between the murder of a Border Patrol Agent and a mishandled department operation away from the Attorney General and the Department of Homeland Security.  His departure from the Justice Department is warranted and long overdue,” Issa said. “Other figures in Operation Fast and Furious are currently being evaluated for their conduct in the reckless effort that needlessly placed lives in danger.  I expect more departures and discipline to come.”

Don’t expect all of these people to just go away quietly, either.

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Start with Holder, the 2nd thug in charge. The biggest is Obama.

Schadenfreude on December 5, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Picture contest

Who’s the bigger thug?

Schadenfreude on December 5, 2012 at 11:24 AM

If the names “Holder” or “Obama” aren’t at the end of the firing list, it’s not enough.

Washington Nearsider on December 5, 2012 at 11:25 AM

If it doesn’t include at minimum Holder and up to Obama at best…the actions are frankly pointless. The rest is typical Washington kabuki.

search4truth on December 5, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Operation Fast and Furious have begun to produce at least some low-level results.

And that is the only results that are EVER going to come out of the Fast and Furious investigation. No wonder so many people are saying Let it burn.

SWalker on December 5, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Start with Holder, the 2nd thug in charge. The biggest is Obama.

Schadenfreude on December 5, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Picture contest

Who’s the bigger thug?

Schadenfreude on December 5, 2012 at 11:24 AM

Stop saying what everyone is thinking! ;-)

Galt2009 on December 5, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Don’t expect all of these people to just go away quietly, either.

Hope some of these people have some good CYA evidence to break off in Holder’s a$$.

BigWyo on December 5, 2012 at 11:27 AM

If nothing was “wrong” if nothing was improper, if Fast and Furious was much to do about nothing…why are people being fired??

right2bright on December 5, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Well, we know that Eric’s job is secure. What a relief, eh?

But, some low-level GS-11 who just now heard about his/her involvement in F&F, even though they were still in law school at the time, is gonna get a stern letter and shown the door.

coldwarrior on December 5, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Yes, I am really looking forward to Eric Holder and obama being fired.

Pork-Chop on December 5, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Could I just ask one question:

Just what the Fluke was the point of Obama’s Gun for Gangsters program?

Chip on December 5, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Who gave the stand down orders Barky ?

FlaMurph on December 5, 2012 at 11:28 AM

The drawbridge goes up to protect Eric and Barry. Look at this as a practice run for Benghazi.

a capella on December 5, 2012 at 11:31 AM

the point of Obama’s Gun for Gangsters program?

Chip on December 5, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Garnering the Hispanic vote? These drug thugs can be quite efficient ward bosses, doncha know.

coldwarrior on December 5, 2012 at 11:31 AM

They’ll just scapegoat some red shirt that we’ve never heard of. The real criminals (Holder and 0bama) will skate.

Typical modus operandi for this White House.

UltimateBob on December 5, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Maybe now that they’re free from any loyalty they’ll start being more of an enlightening influence.

Speakup on December 5, 2012 at 11:32 AM

the point of Obama’s Gun for Gangsters program?

Chip on December 5, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Garnering the Hispanic vote? These drug thugs can be quite efficient ward bosses, doncha know.

coldwarrior on December 5, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Ah yes, as Lenin once said:

One man with a gun can control 100 without one.

Did you know that Mexico has it’s own version of the 2nd amendment?

Chip on December 5, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Everyone will get fired except for Holder–the one who should be fired. And then there’s his boss, the one who would be impeached if not for the goofball we’d be stuck with as Prezuhdunce if he got impeached.

stukinIL4now on December 5, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Don’t forget to fire Bob Costas!

KS Rex on December 5, 2012 at 11:38 AM

so this should assure issa another appearance on bill mahers lap.

pathetic these crony capitalists.

renalin on December 5, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Firings coming soon? I’m sure Holder’s neck will be the first on the chopping block…BWAHAHAHAHAHA…RIGHT!

Liberty or Death on December 5, 2012 at 11:42 AM

So what exactly was the supposed rationale for Obama invoking Executive priviledge, ala Nixon, to conceal information from the american public?

Cavalry on December 5, 2012 at 11:45 AM

If Nixon were a democrat all he needed to do was simply fire Halderman and Libby and watergate would have went away.

Bevan on December 5, 2012 at 11:45 AM

I’m only surprised that the shoeshine guys in the DOJ barber shop didn’t make the list.

TXUS on December 5, 2012 at 11:46 AM

So what exactly was the supposed rationale for Obama invoking Executive priviledge, ala Nixon, to conceal information from the american public?

Cavalry on December 5, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Picky. Picky. Picky. That’s so… pre-election of you to ask! Nothing to see here now, so move along.

bofh on December 5, 2012 at 11:48 AM

Don’t expect all of these people to just go away quietly, either.

They will fight it and win. There is no way this was some sort of rogue operation by underlings. If they had the go ahead they are in the clear.

Rocks on December 5, 2012 at 11:48 AM

“We determined that Grindler learned on December 17, 2010, of the link between weapons found at the Terry murder scene and Operation Fast and Furious but did not inform the Attorney General about this information.

Poppycock. This is a coverup writ large.

chemman on December 5, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Eric Holder should resign for being “willfully ignorant” of the department of the federal government that he oversees.

J_Crater on December 5, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Hope some of these people have some good CYA evidence to break off in Holder’s a$$.

BigWyo on December 5, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Depends on whether they have jobs being prepared for them in the private sector by Holder/Obama supporters.

chemman on December 5, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Just imagine how many would get fired if those 100k plus documents weren’t covered under executive privilege.

antipc on December 5, 2012 at 11:52 AM

It is a coverup just as Benghazi is a coverup.

All they are doing is picking off the low-lying fruit in order to brush it all under the rug!

Hoping there are some more whistleblowers in the ready now that the hammer is getting ready to drop.

CoffeeLover on December 5, 2012 at 11:54 AM

And that is the only results that are EVER going to come out of the Fast and Furious investigation. No wonder so many people are saying Let it burn.

SWalker on December 5, 2012 at 11:26 AM

yep, let it burn.

disa on December 5, 2012 at 11:58 AM

What conversations with the White House did the EP cover?

d1carter on December 5, 2012 at 11:59 AM

I’m gonna guess that there will be large 2-3 year severage packages of tax payer money going to these guys so they don’t speak up.

tflst5 on December 5, 2012 at 12:02 PM

Start with Holder, the 2nd thug in charge. The biggest is Obama.

Schadenfreude on December 5, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Agreed. But even if you don’t fire him, at least get rid of him somehow.

I mean, come on! Isn’t there a progressive “think tank” that can hire him for a fat paycheck so that “he can spend more time with his family?”

JimLennon on December 5, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Start with Holder, the 2nd thug in charge. The biggest is Obama.

Schadenfreude on December 5, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Amen!!!! In the real world, those two are complicit in this disaster!

tomshup on December 5, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Start with Holder, the 2nd thug in charge. The biggest is Obama.

Schadenfreude on December 5, 2012 at 11:23 AM

totally agree, they’re both accessory to murder. Same with Hillary for Benghazi…

RedInMD on December 5, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Gary Grindler, who served as Attorney General Eric Holder’s chief of staff, got blamed by the Inspector General for not informing Holder that OF&F weapons had been linked to the murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry

This is of course TOTALLY BELIEVABLE!!!!, just like the tale of the mortar-equipped movie review leading to the deaths of 4 Americans in Benghazi.

tom on December 5, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Ummm i didn’t see holders name on that list

cmsinaz on December 5, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Who gave the stand down orders Barky ?

FlaMurph on December 5, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Silly Bagger. Boehner and the GOPe are busy purging the activists from the party. No time for such small potatoes.

Mr. Arrogant on December 5, 2012 at 12:06 PM

…but did not inform the Attorney General about this information.

Amazing how consistently people don’t tell their bosses anything in this Regime. I blame the “intelligence community”.

forest on December 5, 2012 at 12:08 PM

So what exactly was the supposed rationale for Obama invoking Executive priviledge, ala Nixon, to conceal information from the american public?

Cavalry on December 5, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Old and busted.

New Hotness: Holder and Obama never knew anything about it.

So, I’m sure they’re dropping the whole executive privilege thing right now and releasing all documents to the Congressional committee.

After all, if Obama and Holder knew nothing about it, then there’s no reason to assert executive privilege.

Right?

Aaaaany day now…….

tom on December 5, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Funny how the first two words in this article say it all.

Very quietly….

tom on December 5, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Maybe now that they’re free from any loyalty they’ll start being more of an enlightening influence.

Speakup on December 5, 2012 at 11:32 AM

Wow, think about what you’re saying. The Regime would do anything, including cover up murder and their complicity in it, for a few votes? That Obama and Holder needed to reach the end of their political careers in order to display even the slimmest bit of leadership and accountability?

Sorry, no. Now that Obamalamadingdong is free from worrying about re-election, he will do everything possible to continue the cover-ups and blame games to protect some kind of a legacy for himself. These firings do nothing more than give the non-Fox media a shiny toy to play with for a couple days. The BLS job numbers are coming out shortly, those depressing stats will turn everyone away and then the fiscal cliff takes over. We are in for 4 years of Agassi-Sampras rallies back and forth so fast and furious our necks are going to be sore.

smfic on December 5, 2012 at 12:13 PM

Could I just ask one question:

Just what the Fluke was the point of Obama’s Gun for Gangsters program?

Chip on December 5, 2012 at 11:28 AM

To blame all the violence and killings in the Mexican drug/gang cartel fighting on all those evil guns flowing in from the U.S. — and then use that as an excuse for even greater gun control laws here …

“I just want you to know that we are working on it. We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar.” — Barack Obama to Sarah Brady and crew before F&F became known

ShainS on December 5, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Start cleaning from where the fish rots first.

TimBuk3 on December 5, 2012 at 12:24 PM

at least some low-level results.

There are three things in life that are certain; death, taxes, and when the left is finally caught, only “low level results.”

Don L on December 5, 2012 at 12:28 PM

I have no idea, but I do know that you guys come up with really cool names for your fake scandals.

crr6 on July 10, 2011 at 1:24 PM

Del Dolemonte on December 5, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Funny how Obama likes saying “The Buck Stops Here” but it never stops at him when the it’s time for someone to pay the consequences of bad actions. I guess the “Buck” he is referring to is a literal dollar bill.

SWalker on December 5, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Firings should start at the top and work their way down. Lower level peon workers should get minimal reprimands if they were following orders under threat for their jobs.

dentarthurdent on December 5, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Accountability at this level of corruption is as predictable as sunrise. Always private and never generals.

MaiDee on December 5, 2012 at 12:48 PM

And Holder was not informed? An international operation and Hillary was not informed? The President was not informed? Mexico informed? Something does not add up here so far.

jake49 on December 5, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Plus whos orders were these lower level people following???

jake49 on December 5, 2012 at 1:10 PM

What a crock!

And I wonder how much the ones getting “fired” are going to be paid to keep their mouths shut? Paid out of “d’ohbama’s stash” – financed by taxpayer funds.

Solaratov on December 5, 2012 at 1:23 PM

I’m gonna guess that there will be large 2-3 year severage packages of tax payer money going to these guys so they don’t speak up.

tflst5 on December 5, 2012 at 12:02 PM

…Oh probably better than that!…and… after a period of time (knowing the vigilant MSM)… a grade promotion and another government job with a different agency!

KOOLAID2 on December 5, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Two Party Evil Money Cult In Washington D.C., Operating In Full Fast and Furious Contempt Of U.S. All.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on December 5, 2012 at 1:40 PM

Legacy of Eric Holder

a capella on December 5, 2012 at 1:41 PM

Of Some Note:

Former Go Along Pres. Bush II, is down in Texas pumping up support for Am-nasty and full bore open borders.

He is going to hold hands with Obama on this soon, mark my words.

It will make U.S. sick to see it but here it comes America.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on December 5, 2012 at 1:42 PM

Stop saying what everyone is thinking! ;-)

Galt2009 on December 5, 2012 at 11:27 AM

When everyone starts saying what they are thinking.

It’s a stupid, but still relatively free, land.

Schadenfreude on December 5, 2012 at 1:44 PM

The managers recommended for termination, according to people familiar with the matter, are Mark Chait, former assistant director for field operations; William McMahon, who oversaw field operations in the Western U.S.; William Newell, former chief of the ATF’s Phoenix office; and George Gillett, the No. 2 official in the ATF’s Phoenix office.

Not. Good. Enough.

Something like this being run by a rogue Phoenix office is the administration’s narrative to deflect responsibility. But, does anybody really think that an operation which killed hundreds was done without the oversight of Eric Holder?

Happy Nomad on December 5, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Don’t expect all of these people to just go away quietly, either.

I would expect all of them to be led away kicking and screaming and in shackles in a sane world. But not here in the United Socialist Amerika. Pity. Gee, some people are getting fired. Some of those on the receiving end of their work got killed.

ghostwalker1 on December 5, 2012 at 2:48 PM

“Fast & Furious firings coming…”

Great — when will the TRUTH be coming?

When will Eric Holder be held accountable for 3 FELONY counts of PERJURY under oath before a Congressional hearing…?

easyt65 on December 5, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Any timeframe for recovering the thousands of automatic weapons & grenades this Administration sold to Mexican Drug Lords?

easyt65 on December 5, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Here in Tucson, the only thing they report is the sentencing of one of the traffickers in F&F; no mention of the fact that F&F was run by the ATF.

AZfederalist on December 5, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Firings at the ATF? Don’t you mean scapegoatings? I hope the outgoing agents start singing like canaries.

RebeccaH on December 5, 2012 at 3:55 PM

HOLDER=JAIL

TX-96 on December 5, 2012 at 4:13 PM

Memo to Eric Holder:

Do not fly anywhere within “gliding distance” of the Mexican Border.
Wouldn’t want you coming down in Mexico due to a mechanical problem on your aircraft.

Another Drew on December 5, 2012 at 4:28 PM

Firings?! Firings?!!
How about criminal charges?!

Sterling Holobyte on December 5, 2012 at 5:50 PM

As you notice, the internal investigation has exonerated the ones that authorize this illegal operation. So now it’s time to punish the fools that carried it out. Corruption in this administration is running rampant with no sign of halting it, and our elected officials are working hand in hand with these criminals. If something isn’t done soon, our great beacon of freedom will be lost and will become a third world dictatorship. It’s no damned wonder they want the guns out of the hands of American people.

savage24 on December 5, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Holder is doing a dynamite job. Just like Brown did at FEMA.

GarandFan on December 5, 2012 at 8:29 PM

Firings and demotions but no jail time? If Holder is that clueless about what’s happening on this large of a scale, what else is going on in his department? Prezzy must have promised a big check to the Mexicans for not pursuing conspiracy to commit murder charges against his regime.

Kissmygrits on December 6, 2012 at 9:04 AM