The murders of at least two American law enforcement officials and roughly 200 Mexican nationals have since been tied to these weapons.
And in an utterly predictable turn of events for a Democrat fighting to keep his job, Attorney General Eric Holder today used Politico to market a defense against charges he lied to Congress about the operation. Among his claims:
• "Fast and Furious Was a Flawed Response" -- so hundreds were killed thanks to Fast and Furious... and the strongest adjective Holder can find is "flawed".
• "...in 2011, after the controversy about this matter arose, I took decisive action to ensure that such operations are never again undertaken. First, I referred the matter to the Department’s Inspector General for review so the facts underlying it could come out." -- This is an outright lie. According to the acting ATF head himself, Holder stonewalled the House at every turn as investigators sought to get to the bottom of Gunwalker.
• "...In addition, new leadership is now in place both at ATF and in the United States Attorney’s Office in Arizona." -- Who was punished? No one. Instead, officials were promoted or shuffled. Which implies a cover-up. In my estimation, they were probably offered immunity in exchange for silence. But certainly no one was punished, which speaks volumes about Holder's actions.
• "Much has been made in the past few days about my congressional testimony earlier this year regarding Fast and Furious. My testimony was truthful and accurate and I have been consistent on this point throughout. I have no recollection of knowing about Fast and Furious or of hearing its name prior to the public controversy about it." -- That is a lie: Holder received at least five progress reports describing the status of the operation. Furthermore, it's inconceivable that thousands of hard-core, military-grade weapons would flow through Holder's shop without his knowledge, especially since he had bragged about the overarching Project Gunrunner on multiple occasions to Mexican law enforcement officials.
• "I cannot help but note that at the same time that some members of Congress understandably criticize the Fast and Furious operation, they vehemently refuse to consider whether ATF has the resources and legal tools it needs to do its job — tools that would be entirely consistent with the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens.” - In other words, Holder -- in the midst of his fight -- wants to continue his mission of hammering nails into the coffin of the Second Amendment.
• "Until we move beyond the current political climate — where real solutions take a back seat to both political posturing and making headlines on cable news programs and is deemed more important than actually solving our country’s difficult challenges — nothing is going to change."
Oh, that's rich. No, not Marc Rich -- the recipient of a Clinton pardon that Eric Holder approved back in the day and then claimed ignorance of during his confirmation testimony. No, what's really rich is Eric Holder complaining about partisanship.
Because Eric Holder is a malevolent, partisan hack.
He filled his Civil Rights division entirely with left-wing goons and kooks, an unprecedented and despicable practice for career civil servants.
In addition, Holder has sued Arizona and other states over their enforcement of immigration laws; allowed blatant civil rights violations by New Black Panthers; and worked tirelessly to have Gitmo detainees released into the U.S. proper.
Let me be the first to state that Eric Holder is lying through his teeth. Oh, it looks like I'm second.
A spokesman for Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif, who as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is leading a congressional investigation into "Fast and Furious," said he found Holder's letter unconvincing... "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," the spokesman said. "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."
...After the release of the memos Thursday, Issa said Holder "has failed to give Congress and the American people an honest account of what he and others knew about gun-walking and Operation Fast and Furious," calling "the lack of candor ... deeply disturbing."
In addition, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, is calling for a special counsel to look into the matter. And earlier Friday, sheriffs from 10 Arizona counties echoed the call, accusing Holder and the Justice Department of "betraying every law enforcement officer in America, especially Arizona."
In his letter, Holder said it's his most ardent critics who have "heaped" disrespect upon the nation's law enforcement officers.
No, schmuck: we're heaping disrespect on you, because you're a freaking disgrace. And you need to be investigated now.
And one postscript: Holder is Obama's firewall. If Holder goes, I'm betting all kinds of skulduggery will come to light; stuff that makes Solyndra look like a purse-snatching.
Update: Congressman to Holder: We’re not interested in ‘Kumbayah,’ drop your ‘rhetoric’ and resign immediately