Big technical issues yesterday culminated by night long power outage after a storm front came through. Am way behind on a promised project and still haven't given you folks part three of my anniversary series. Hope to be caught up on all fronts today.
Nothing on Drudge today, of course, but the Internet seems to be waking up a bit.
The Daily Caller: Obama snubs Issa on subpoena for ATF documents
Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit: REP. DARRELL ISSA THREATENS CONTEMPT CHARGES in ATF Mexican gunrunning probe.
HotAir.com: Issa threatens contempt charges in gunwalker probe:
Assistant Attorney General Ronald Welch sent a letter to Issa attempting to parry the subpoena by claiming that Issa’s probe would interfere with a concurrent investigation of ATF by Justice. Issa replied that Welch failed to understand the nature of his committee’s investigation. Issa isn’t interested in a concurrent probe — he is investigating the DoJ’s role in the gunwalker program as well as that of the ATF.
Furthermore, both agencies are accountable to Congress and must respond to valid subpoenas. If not, those officials obstructing Congressional investigations can face criminal sanctions. Democrats certainly made that threat often enough in their investigation of the termination of US Attorneys in the Bush administration, and that “scandal” involved the executive branch’s decision to replace its own appointees, not gun-running by the government that resulted in murders of American security personnel.
When Barack Obama ran for office, he promised “the most transparent administration” in American history. How exactly does refusing to comply with Congressional oversight square with that promise?
Michelle Malkin: Project Gunrunner document drop: Issa blasts DOJ stonewalling, threatens contempt proceedings.
David Hardy: Rep. Issa threatens acting ATF head with contempt.
Foreign Policy in Focus: Obama's Mexicogate?
A secret operation to run guns across the border to Mexican drug cartels — overseen by U.S. government agents — threatens to become a major scandal for the Obama administration. . .
Mexican President Felipe Calderon and his cabinet have been remarkably sanguine about the possibility that guns were trafficked to the archenemy with the encouragement of a foreign government. National Security spokesperson Alejandro Poire refused to accept that the operation existed and reserved comment until after the results of the pending U.S. investigation are released.
Calderon appears unwilling to risk jeopardizing the U.S. government’s political and financial support for his war on drugs by complaining too loudly. His counternarcotics strategy has come under heavy criticism in his country in the last few months due to sharply increasing violence and corruption.
Opposition members of the Mexican Congress, media, and public have ordered an investigation and called the operation a violation of international law and even an act of war. The outrage increased when William Brownfield, the State Department’s head of International Narcotics, praised the program to the Mexican press and confirmed it was “ongoing.” The former ambassador to Colombia and long-time promoter of the drug war scoffed at criticisms, stating that the number of arms that have passed to “uncontrolled destinations” was “limited.”
But for many U.S. and Mexican legislators and citizens even a single weapon allowed to fall into the hands of brutal cartels is one too many. The gunwalking program has increased public skepticism toward the “shared responsibility” that Obama and Calderon have tried to sell in numerous public statements, and fueled the growing popular protests within Mexico that reject the violent drug war model for dealing with illicit narcotics trafficking and consumption.
With evasive responses from government agencies, major international implications, and persistent questions of “who knew what, and when,” the Fast and Furious operation could develop into a major scandal for the Obama administration. That will depend on the administration’s response. .
The Obama administration faces a tough choice: either orchestrate a cover-up, as the ATF appears to be doing, or open up the case and accept the consequences.
The gunwalking case tests the integrity of the Obama government. It also further weakens support for a failing drug war strategy. The administration is currently seeking millions more dollars in security aid to Mexico under the Merida Initiative.
The best path forward is to fully investigate the operation and punish those responsible — no matter how high up the blame goes. It is also time to end support for a war on drugs that becomes more entrenched and more violent every day.
Another one from the Daily Caller: April 21, 2011
What we know about Project Gunrunner