Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Fast And Furious IG Report, The Hearings, And A Whitewash

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee had originally scheduled hearings for today to hear from the Justice Department's Inspector General Michael Horowitz. He was to testify on his report regarding Operation Fast and Furious. These hearings have been rescheduled for next Wednesday, September 19th.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa today announced that the hearing previously scheduled for tomorrow to examine the Department of Justice Inspector General’s report on Operation Fast and Furious has been rescheduled for Wednesday, September 19. Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz has confirmed his attendance for the September 19th hearing where he will discuss his report of the investigation into reckless conduct in Operation Fast and Furious.
Some reports attribute this delay to the Inspector General's report not being completely finished.
Horowitz in his letter also advised Issa that he may not be able to testify as scheduled Sept. 11 at a committee hearing about the inspector general's Fast and Furious findings, if the report is not finished and publicly released by then. “As of this date,” he cautioned, “I do not yet know the precise timing for the release of our report.”

Horowitz noted that Justice officials on Wednesday “provided us with its initial sensitivity review for law enforcement sensitive information” including wiretaps, grand jury material and sealed court records.

“We are in the process of discussing these proposed sensitivity redactions with the Department,” Horowitz wrote in the letter, which arrived Wednesday. “We also are awaiting comments from the department regarding whether any material discussed in the report is covered by the president’s assertion of executive privilege.”
The Inspector General is also allowing Justice Department officials to read the report and provide comments/objections before it is released. It is this last part which concerns former Justice Department attorney J. Christian Adams. He believes a "fix" is in and notes that the Inspector General never allowed any Bush-era DOJ appointees this opportunity. He suggests that the Oversight Committee ask to see the draft report as it existed before Eric Holder and his minions got a hold of it. I think this is a worthwhile suggestion that will probably be ignored.

Adams believes that this report will be just another whitewash of Obama's political appointees at DOJ.
It has been amusing watching all the anticipation about the release of the Department of Justice Inspector General’s report on Fast and Furious. Some folks in Washington actually think that it will be the key that unlocks the door to the scandal. Balderdash. I’ve watched defective report after defective report come from the Justice Department internal affairs units. In the end, they always protect the institution, unless of course conservatives are in the cross hairs.
Unfortunately, I believe Adams to be correct in his assessment. I don't think anyone who has followed Project Gunwalker from the early days ever expected the Inspector General's report to be anything other than a whitewash.

One new development that was reported yesterday is the discovery of some of the gunwalked firearms in Colombia. The Colombian newspaper El Tiempo reports that 2 rifles and 14 FN Five-Seven pistols seized during a raid of a Colombian crime syndicate have been traced to Project Gunwalker.
U.S. weapons that were exported to Mexico as part of the controversial "Fast and Furious" program ended up in the hands of Colombia crime syndicate Oficina de Envigado, reported newspaper El Tiempo Monday.

According to the newspaper, investigations by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) have established that some of the weapons found during the arrest of Oficina boss "Sebastian" were part of the thousands of arms lost in the Fast and Furious program.

"Two rifles that were seized in February with 'Frank', the brother of Sebastian also are part of the tracking operations of the ATF, the same with 14 Five-seven guns we have found in several raids," an anonymous high-ranking source within Colombia's National Police was quoted as saying by El Tiempo.

The source added that ATF agents are in Medellin where the Oficina operates and inspect every seized firearm found in raids in Colombia's second largest city.
I think we will see these guns turn up at crime scenes throughout the Western Hemisphere for years to come.

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