I just received an email with a letter from Attorney General Eric Holder attached to it.
The hard copy of the letter was sent to the House Oversight Committee in what appears to be a rather strained attempt to quell the storm surrounding Fast and Furious.
Addressed to Congressmen Darrell Issa (R-CA), Lamar Smith (R-TX), and Elijah Cummings (D-MD), as well as Senators Patrick Leahy (D- VT), Charles Grassley (R-IA), and John Conyers Jr. (D-MI), the letter is basically an overview of everything that’s wrong with Fast and Furious as well a collection of criticisms regarding the way the investigation is being run. Not surprisingly, it’s missing the one component we’d all like most to see – Holder’s admission of guilt.
Although the letter is benign at points, those benign sections are eclipsed via the obvious goal of using the letter to turn public sentiment against the Congressional investigators and thereby undercut the investigation.
Consider one excerpt from the letter:
I simply cannot sit idly by as a Majority Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform suggests, as happened this week, that law enforcement and government employees who devote their lives to protecting our citizens be considered “accessories to murder.” Such irresponsible and inflammatory rhetoric must be repudiated in the strongest possible terms. Those who serve in the ranks of law enforcement are our Nation’s heroes and deserve our Nation’s thanks, not the disrespect that is being heaped on them by those who seek political advantage.
This paragraph merits a few comments.
First of all, the original voice behind the idea of charging those involved in the planning and oversight of Fast and Furious as accessories or “accomplices” to the murders committed with Fast and Furious weapons wasn’t a Congressman, but Sheriff Paul Babeu (Pinal County, AZ).
It was Babeu who said:
It is insanity that they [ATF/DOJ] could try and rationalize this and still withhold and try to cover up information that implicates them. What I learned just as a regular police officer is that anybody who is involved in assisting other people in crimes, that drive the getaway car or give guns to people who know they’re going to commit crimes, and even if they didn’t know they would end up killing somebody, guess what we call those people? Accomplices, and they’re charged as well with the same crimes as the people who pulled the trigger.
(I can understand why Holder didn’t credit Sheriff Babeu with saying these things. After all, it’s hard to pit Congressional investigators against law enforcement agents when the law enforcement agents are the one’s making the tough allegations.)
Speaking of law enforcement agents, notice how Holder is now praising them as “our Nation’s heroes,” deserving of “our Nation’s thanks.”
Hmmm…. I wonder if Mr. Holder would like to make good on these praises by picking up the phone, calling the family of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, and granting them the “victim of crime” status they so clearly deserve? (God bless the family of Brian Terry.)
Anyway, the whole letter is shame. Angry words written by an angry man whose falsehoods are daily being uncovered.
It’s little wonder that Frederick Hill, spokesman for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, had this to say about the letter:
If Attorney General Holder had said these things five months ago when Congress asked him about Operation Fast and Furious, it might have been more believable. At this point, however, it’s hard to take at face value a defense that is factually questionable, entirely self-serving, and a still incomplete account of what senior Justice Department officials knew about gun walking.