Last week, our administration launched a major new effort to break the backs of the cartels. My department is committing 100 new ATF personnel to the Southwest border in the next 100 days to supplement our ongoing Project Gunrunner, DEA is adding 16 new positions on the border, as well as mobile enforcement teams, and the FBI is creating a new intelligence group focusing on kidnapping and extortion. DHS is making similar commitments, as Secretary Napolitano will detail.The bold emphasis is mine.
But as today’s conference has emphasized, the problem of arms trafficking will not be stopped at the border alone. Rather, as our experts emphasized, this is a problem that must be met as part of a comprehensive attack against the cartels – an attack in depth, on both sides of the border, that focuses on the leadership and assets of the cartel.
Obviously, Holder knew about Project Gunrunner since he became AG. What isn't sure, and it doesn't show up here, is when exactly he knew about OF&F. At the time the speech was given, the operation hadn't been implemented yet, and it doesn't say how much involvement Holder had in conceiving it (it's doubtful he had any involvement here, even with the operation's authorization, as these would be functions done locally and at lower levels of the ATF and the Phoenix U.S. Attorney's office). Sharyl Attkisson reported nearly two months ago that Holder had been briefed several times in 2010 about OF&F, although the unredacted parts of the memos provided don't show the details of how the operation worked or that it was the ATF who allowed the guns to "walk" into the hands of the Mexican drug cartels.
But since Sharyl Atkkisson broke the story of Operation Fast & Furious, it would be inconceivable for Holder to not have known about it. After all, the DoJ fired at least one whistleblower, threatened at least one more (possibly two), and allowed Phoenix-based U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke to resign after he tried to smear one of the whistleblowers. Yet even by September of this year, the Mexican government still had not been given details of what OF&F was about (H/T: The Daily Caller), despite hundreds of Mexicans having been murdered by guns allowed to "walk", along with two federal law enforcement agents. None of the higher-ups in the ATF have been fired, nor have any other DoJ officials who were involved with OF&F. He has spent most of the time either giving conflicting testimony to Congress (usually by feigning ignorance) and trying to cover up everything related to OF&F.
As a topper, the Obama administration has just sealed the records of murdered Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.
There's no evidence showing Holder knew anything about the details of OF&F prior to Attkisson's initial report from February of this year. That may change going forward, but the evidence isn't there now. However, he's done everything to contribute to what can only be described as a classic cover up. Especially as he stood there with Mexican officials in 2009 touting all kinds of cross-border cooperation that was going to occur to stop the drug cartels, cooperation which never took place. Holder's actions have been unconscionable.
The intrepid Matthew Boyle of The Daily Caller (the guy who Holder got testy with) has followed up with administration officials on whether Obama's criticisms of former Bush administration AG Alberto Gonzales apply to Holder. Here are some of the criticisms highlighted by Boyle:
In addition to politically-motivated firings of U.S. Attorneys, Obama said Gonzales needed to resign because of a “lack of oversight” during one particular law enforcement program.Boyle asked these Obama administration officials questions about Obama and Holder related to the above statements; none answered.
“You’ve got a situation in terms of the FBI where the procedures used for issuing national security letters seemed to have been completely sloppy and based on erroneous fact — there doesn’t seem to be any oversight there,” Obama said...
Obama also criticized Gonzales’ loyalty to President George W. Bush. “What you get a sense of is an Attorney General who saw himself as an enabler of the administration as opposed to somebody who was actually trying to look out for the American people’s interests,” Obama said of Gonzales.
But by sealing the records of Agent Terry's death, the administration seems to be saying a lot. The cover up continues and Holder is still AG.
Cross-posted at RedState.