Posts tagged Brian Terry
By Kurt Nimmo
House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa has confirmed that wiretap applications reveal in-depth detail on the Fast and Furious operation, including evidence showing that “agents were well aware that large sums of money were being used to purchase a large number of firearms, many of which were flowing across the border.”
Roll Call reports today that Issa released details concerning the wiretaps in the House. His disclosure is protected by the Speech or Debate Clause in the Constitution, which offers immunity for Congressional speech on the floor.
According to Darrell Issa’s letter sent to Maryland Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings on May 24, not only did ATF officials know about the purchases, they oversaw activity by straw purchasers and ended their surveillance without interdicting the guns.
“Although ATF was aware of these facts, no one was arrested, and ATF failed to even approach the straw purchasers,” Issa’s letter states. “Upon learning these details through its review of this wiretap affidavit, senior Justice Department officials had a duty to stop this operation. Further, failure to do so was a violation of Justice Department policy.”
As we noted on June 22, Obama lied to the American people on March 23, 2011, when he said that neither he nor Attorney General Holder authorized the effort to arm the drug cartels in Mexico. Several weeks later, on May 3, Holder lied to Congress. He said he did not know who approved Fast and Furious. He also lied when he said he “probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.”
Issa talks about contempt and criminal case against Holder.
On Thursday, House Republicans held Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. The House made the historic move after Holder refused to divulge additional documents on the gun-running operation and Obama invoked executive privilege in an attempt to block the request for more information.
Well, is the heat being turned up on Attorney General Eric Holder regarding operation Fast & Furious today, and what will the resulting outcome be? The House Committee holds Holder in Contempt. The party-line vote was 23-17. The controversy goes next to the full House, which is to vote next week unless there is some resolution in the meantime.
The vote followed a decision by President Barack Obama earlier in the day to assert executive privilege for the first time in his administration in order to protect the confidentiality of the documents.
There is committee chairman, Darrell Issa of California,heading the investigation in Arizona of gun-running into Mexico, called Operation Fast and Furious. This operation resulted in the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. Agent Terry was shot on December 14, 2010 and he died the following day. Fast & Furious has also claimed the lives of over 300 Mexicans.
Issa said that “more than eight months after a subpoena and clearly after the question of executive privilege could have and should have been asserted, this untimely assertion … falls short of any reason to delay today’s proceedings.”
According to the DOJ, In Fast and Furious, agents of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Arizona abandoned the agency’s usual practice of intercepting all weapons they believed to be illicitly purchased. Instead, the goal of gun-walking was to track such weapons to high-level arms traffickers, who had long eluded prosecution, and to dismantle their networks.
If you believe that at face value I have property on the most pristine oceanfront beach locations in Arizona I would love to sell you, along with a few bridges, lol.
Add to this the President calling for executive privilege to what appears a power play to keep the Legislative branch along with the American people from every finding out the truth. So what is Obama’s role and involvement with this more than shady operation. The president is doing his best to avoid accountability, so why?
The last Cabinet member to be cited by a congressional committee for contempt was Attorney General Janet Reno in President Bill Clinton’s administration.
By TIM MAK
In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Republican lawmakers are demanding to know why one of the main gun trafficking suspects in the Fast and Furious operation was released after being interrogated by an ATF agent in 2010.
Manuel Fabian Celis-Acosta was not arrested until February 2011, another eight months after he was first questioned, over which time five straw purchasers the ATF knew to be working with Celis-Acosta illegally acquired more than 284 weapons, say Rep. Darell Issa (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, in a joint letter.
Grassley and Issa demand in their Monday letter to Holder that the Justice Department brief their two committees on why Celis-Acosta was not arrested on the scene in 2010. The two Republicans request that the briefing take place no later than March 26.
Issa and Grassley also asked Holder why a document describing his interrogation and the fact that Celis-Acosta lied to the ATF agent about having ammunition in his vehicle when he was stopped wasn’t previously provided under a subpoena issued last year that requested documents related to Fast and Furious.
“This May 2010 stop was yet another opportunity to apprehend Acosta, put him in jail and most importantly, take him out of commission as a trafficker. The ATF case agent with responsibility for Fast and Furious was on the scene and allowed the trafficking network’s ringleader to leave him a free man,” Becca Watkins, a spokesperson for Issa, told POLITICO. “This new information, obtained by the committee late last week, is further evidence that Fast and Furious, from its inception, was a reckless program that permitted guns and criminals to endanger the public.”
From the start of the Fast and Furious operation, Celis-Acosta was the main target for the ATF, according to the L.A. Times, which first broke the story that he was let go. It remains unclear why he was not arrested at the scene of his May 2010 interview with an ATF agent.
According to a ATF “Report of Investigation” obtained by POLITICO, Celis-Acosta was stopped heading into Mexico from Arizona on May 29, 2010.
Despite his claim that he had no ammunition in his BMW, a Customs and Border Patrol Officer found an AK-type high-capacity drum magazine holding 74 rounds of 7.62 ammunition underneath the spare tire in Celis-Acosta’s trunk.
Later, after the Customs and Border Patrol officers learned that Celis-Acosta was under investigation for firearms trafficking, ATF Special Agent Hope MacAllister arrived at the scene to question him.
After an interview, the special agent wrote her contact information on a 10 dollar bill, and Celis-Acosta promised to cooperate with federal agents and call her upon his return from Mexico. He was then allowed to go free.
The Fast and Furious operation attempted to investigate drug cartels and weapons traffickers but instead ended up supplying them with weapons. Investigators lost thousands of firearms, many of which crossed the border into Mexico. The program drew public attention when firearms linked to the program were found to be involved in the December 2010 shooting death of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
One of many related posts:
While federal officials publicly denounced a lone whistleblower and told Congress the Obama administration had done everything it could to stop guns from going to Mexico, administration officials had signs that Fast and Furious investigators were losing track of weapons, a new memo obtained exclusively by Fox News suggests.
The memo, written in early February by Agent Gary Styers with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, appears to corroborate allegations made a few weeks earlier by whistleblower ATF Agent John Dodson about the gunrunning probe. It also conflicts with a letter from Assistant Attorney General Ron Weich to Congress, in which he insisted, “The allegation … that ATF ‘sanctioned’ or otherwise knowingly allowed the sale of assault weapons … is false.”
Styers’ memo to top ATF officials was dated Feb. 3, a day before Weich told Congress on Feb. 4 that Dodson’s claims were false. Styers explained that Fast and Furious “divided and isolated agents,” and the agent in charge called off surveillance. He detailed one instance in which agents monitoring a firearms transaction at a gas station were told they were too close to the scene — while they repositioned, the buyer left the area without agents following.
“It is unheard of to have an active wiretap investigation without full time dedicated surveillance units on the ground,” he wrote.
Styers wrote that his advice, and the advice of other agents, was “widely disregarded.”
The memo was meant to describe conversations Styers had with staff for Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, after the senator’s staff contacted him with questions about Fast and Furious. And it presents a starkly different portrait of the probe than that portrayed by the Feb. 4 letter from Weich — that letter is at the center of the controversy on Capitol Hill.
And while Attorney General Eric Holder now admits Weich’s letter was inaccurate, many in Congress feel deliberately misled. Holder is accused of knowing from multiple sources that Operation Fast and Furious deliberately allowed guns to go to Mexico, and that some of those guns had been linked to the killing of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry the previous December.
Posted by Jim Hoft
On December 14, 2010 in Peck Canyon, northwest of Nogales, Arizona, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was shot dead by a group of illegal border entrants who refused commands to drop their weapons after they were confronted by US agents. The illegals murdered Terry with a gun connected to a failed federal experiment that allowed firearms to be smuggled into Mexico. The family of slain border agent Brian Terry blamed Eric Holder for their son’s death in a recent interview.
Now the Obama Administration has sealed the court records on Agent Terry’s murder.
Judicial Watch reported:
The Obama Administration has abruptly sealed court records containing alarming details of how Mexican drug smugglers murdered a U.S. Border patrol agent with a gun connected to a failed federal experiment that allowed firearms to be smuggled into Mexico.
This means information will now be kept from the public as well as the media. Could this be a cover-up on the part of the “most transparent” administration in history? After all, the rifle used to kill the federal agent (Brian Terry) last December in Arizona’s Peck Canyon was part of the now infamous Operation Fast and Furious. Conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the disastrous scheme allowed guns to be smuggled into Mexico so they could eventually be traced to drug cartels.
Instead, federal law enforcement officers lost track of more than 1,000 guns which have been used in numerous crimes. In Terry’s case, five illegal immigrants armed with at least two semi-automatic assault rifles were hunting for U.S. Border Patrol agents near a desert watering hole just north of the Arizona-Mexico border when a firefight erupted and Terry got hit.
We know this only because Washington D.C.’s conservative newspaper got ahold of the court documents before the government suddenly made them off limits. The now-sealed federal grand jury indictment tells the frightening story of how Terry was gunned down by Mexican drug smugglers patrolling the rugged desert with the intent to “intentionally and forcibly assault” Border Patrol agents.
You can see why the administration wants to keep this information from the public and the media, considering the smugglers were essentially armed by the U.S. government. Truth is, no one will know the reason for the confiscation of public court records in this case because the judge’s decision to seal it was also sealed, according to the news story. That means the public or media won’t have access to any new or old evidence, filings, rulings or arguments.
Obama’s failed Fast and Furious program is also linked to 200 murders in Mexico.
In a conference call this morning with Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Darrell Issa, reporters were told the Attorney General in Mexico has confirmed at least 200 murders south of the border happened as a result of Operation Fast and Furious.
“I would be remiss if I didn’t mention, as the Attorney General in Mexico is so concerned, she’s made the point that at least 200 Mexicans have been killed with these weapons and probably countless more,” Issa said.
Eleven crimes in the United States have been linked to Operation Fast and Furious up to this point. Issa said he expects as the investigation in the operation continues, more crimes connected to Fast and Furious will come to light and be exposed. This is not surprising, considering out of 2500 weapons the Obama Justice Department allowed to “walk,” and that only 600 have been recovered, the rest are lost until they show up at violent crime scenes. The damage from Operation Fast and Furious has only started to be seen. Remember, the Mexican Government and ATF agents working in Mexico were left completely in the dark about the operation.
July 26, 2011
A new report released by Issa’s office shows ATF agents working in Mexico were left in the dark about the details of Operation Fast and Furious. The report shows that in late 2009, ATF officials in Mexico began to see increasing amounts of guns traced to the Phoenix ATF Field Division office showing up at violent crime scenes. Former ATF Attaché to Mexico Darren Gil and ATF Acting Attaché to Mexico Carlos Canino expressed their concerns to officials in the Phoenix Field Office and in Washington D.C. but were ignored. The report shows ATF and DOJ “failed to share crucial details of the of Operation Fast and Furious with either their own employees stationed in Mexico or representatives of the Government of Mexico.” Specifically, personnel in Arizona denied ATF agents working in Mexico information directly related to their jobs and everyday operations.
Issa submitted a request to the White House for information surrounding the operation nearly two weeks ago and that request has not yet been filled. White House Officials have until the end of this week to submit documents requested before Issa takes the next step.
Documentation about what the White House knew about the operation was requested after Special ATF Agent in Charge William Newell admitted in Congressional testimony that he was in contact with White House national security advisers about the operation and after emails surfaced showing at least three White House officials were in contact with the Justice Department about the operation.
Since this scandal came to light in March 2011, the Obama Justice Department has continually stonewalled the investigation from the House Oversight Committee, and not much has changed. Issa said there is an ongoing cover-up of a pattern of ongoing mistakes and that the Justice Department continues to use petty prosecutions to limit information given to the Oversight Committee.
“People are picking their words very carefully,” Issa said.
When asked what the consequences would be for DOJ or ATF officials involved in the operation, Issa said prosecutions may come at the end of this scandal to those who knowingly trafficked weapons across the border and could be held accountable for the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
“This was dumb, it was useless and it was lethal,” Issa said.