Fu Manchu: "We will make the drops on his head, one by one, maddening, each exquisite in agony and anticipation, until he tells us what we want to know."Interested Bystander: "But don't you already know everything he knows?"Fun Manchu: "Ah, so. Yes, but we must pretend that we don't so you will hang around and vote for Fu Manchu and his underlings in the next election."Uninterested Bystander: "I'm leaving."
Late last night Sipsey Street received a copy of an Issa Committee Memorandum titled "Main Justice: Extensive Involvement in Operation Fast and Furious." The 22 page briefing paper was provided to other media outlets as well but was embargoed until this hour. In keeping with the Chinese water torture pace of this investigation so far, there is no obvious smoking gun here for Eric Holder and the rest of the Gunwalker Conspirators. Indeed, when I forwarded it to another analyst, he replied:
Just pathetic...If this is all they have, it's a farce to even call Holder...That's my take... Pls tell what I've missed and where the IED's are buried in this 22 pages of "oh, there's gross incompetence running amok"Well... it is the f--king ATF... what do you expect???
However, if there is no obvious smoking gun, the accent is on "obvious." There is one hidden "IED" as my friend puts it, but the Committee is apparently too shy to make much of it.
Shockingly, though, other federal law enforcement components of the Department of Justice were already aware of the two cartel associates that ATF had finally identified. Their names appeared frequently in DEA call logs provided to ATF – in December 2009.11 Inexplicably, ATF failed to review all the materials DEA had provided, missing these prime investigative targets.Additionally, DEA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had jointly opened a separate investigation specifically targeting these two cartel associates.12 As early as mid-January 2010, both agencies had collected a wealth of information on these associates.13 Yet, ATF spent the next year engaging in the reckless tactics of Fast and Furious in attempting to identify them.During the course of this separate investigation, the FBI designated these two cartel associates as national security assets.14 In exchange for one individual’s guilty plea to a minor count of “Alien in Possession of a Firearm,” both became FBI informants and are now considered to be unindictable.15 This means that the entire goal of Fast and Furious – to target these two individuals and bring them to justice – was a failure. ATF’s discovery that the primary targets of their investigation were not indictable was “a major disappointment.”
Say what?!? Compare the text above with the footnotes:
12 Meeting with Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and Congressional Staff at Robert F. Kennedy Building, Justice Command Center, Oct. 5, 2011 10:00 AM [hereinafter FBI Meeting]. See also Head Shot, Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces [hereinafter Head Shot]. This reaction and lack of follow-through typify the serious management failures that occurred throughout all levels of the Department during Fast and Furious.13 FBI Meeting, supra note 7. See also FD-302 supra note 8.14 FBI Meeting, supra note 7.15 Head Shot, supra note 12.16 Transcribed Interview of James Needles, at 30 (Nov. 4, 2011) (going on to describe it as “very” frustrating)
So, since October the committee staff have been aware of the FBI sanitized version of the "one-armed man" and his brother who were their confidential informants, who provided the money to the straw buyers and whom the FBI have been protecting ever since Brian Terry was murdered. But does the Committee draw the obvious conclusion? Have they aggressively probed the FBI on Operation Head Shot? If this pathetic entry is any indication, no, they haven't. The FBI, it seems, is off limits.
Yet, they mention it as if we are supposed to guess. Too cute by half. They remind me of the old one about the society matron who is having a garden party and a naked man sporting a huge erection walks in. She motions the butler over and whispers in his ear, "Does he have an invitation?" When assured that the naked man and his tumescence did in fact have the proper credentials, the matron says, "Oh, it must be alright then," and goes back to talking about orchids.
I hope this report is not indicative how timid this hearing is going to be.