Operation Fast and Furious has marred Eric Holder’s stint as Attorney General. Between the selling of upwards of 2,500 weapons to straw purchasers (who were knowingly to pass the guns to criminals), the failure to trace those guns, the gun-walking, the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry with at least two of those guns, and the myriad cover-ups associated with the whole operation, Holder’s name is mud (or worse) among law abiding citizens. And the frequently made defense that this operation was meant to draw members of the Mexican cartel out into the light for capture is as tired as it is false.
Note to Holder: No one believes you were after cartel members. Everyone believes you were trying to cause enough crime on the border to justify the passage of more gun control.
But an interesting thing happened on the way to Holder’s prosecution–the DOJ added “cash-walking” to gun-walking and now, someone has to explain how the D.E.A. laundered hundreds of millions of dollars for the Mexican cartel.
That’s right, hundreds of millions of dollars.
In a Dec. 5th letter to Holder, Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) juxtaposed this scenario with the one used to justify Fast and Furious:
Apparently, this same goal of dismantling Mexican drug cartels motivated the Drug Enforcement Administration in aiding and abetting [the] same cartels in laundering millions of dollars in cash. In fact, the New York Times reports that agents needed to seek Department approval to launder amounts great than $10 million in any single operation. Officials quoted in the story said this $10 million cap was more of a guideline than a rule, noting it has apparently been waived on many occasions to “attract the interest of high value targets.”
This was part of Issa’s announcement that he’s broadening his investigation into Fast and Furious so as to include an investigation into cash-walker.
These allegations, if true, raise further unsettling questions about a Department of Justice component engaging in a high-risk strategy with scant evidence of success. Specifically, they raise questions about “the [DEA’s] effectiveness in bringing down drug kingpins, underscore diplomatic concerns about Mexican sovereignty, and blur the line between surveillance and facilitating crime.”
Wow–if it’s really an infringement on sovereignty and a blurring of the lines between surveillance and facilitation, then it’s a lot like Fast and Furious for sure. And that’s because it’s quite reminiscent of the way the ATF sold weapons which they wouldn’t allow their agents to follow and which crossed the U.S./Mexico border while the Mexican government was kept in the dark.
The bottom line: Holder’s D.O.J. is D.I.R.T.Y.
First there was gun-walker, then there was Fast and Furious, and now there’s cash-walker. And through it all, the good guys and the bad guys are hard to differentiate.
Note to Congressman Issa: Holder MUST be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.