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June has been a bad month for one-term President Obama and it is getting worse by the day. Today, a congressional committee voted overwhelmingly (23-17) to issue a contempt citation to United States Attorney General Eric Holder for his failure to cooperate with a congressional investigation into the Obama policy that led to scores of murders including one federal officer. Before the vote, oversight chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said Obama’s move to declare the release of congressionally demanded documents protected by executive privilege “falls short of any reason to delay today’s proceedings. If the Justice Department had delivered the documents they freely admitted they could have delivered, we wouldn’t be here today.”
Today, the President sunk to a new low by declaring “executive privilege” for thousands of pages of documents in the Fast & Furious scandal. What makes this claim of executive privilege more interesting or damning is that the President has steadfastly claimed that he has never seen any of these documents. Hmmm, executive privilege for documents not seen by the executive office – interesting.
In two programs code named “Project Gunrunner” and “Operation Fast and Furious” President Obama’s Justice Department, through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (the “ATF”), approved the sale to Mexican drug cartels of more than 1,800 AK-47s and 50 caliber sniper rifles. The ostensible plan was to follow the weapons across the Mexican border to allow the ATF to chart a path to the leadership of the cartels. One not so small problem, the ATF “lost track” of more than 1,000 of the assault and sniper rifles.
Unfortunately, these weapons started turning up at crime scenes and two were found at the murder of United States Border Agent Brian Terry who was killed in a gun battle with members of a Mexican drug cartel. When Agent Terry’s mother was informed about the connection between the ATF sold guns and her son’s death she responded that she was “flabbergasted.” “At first I didn’t believe it,” she said.
This program started two months into the Obama administration and was the responsibility of United States Attorney General Eric Holder. The ultimate responsibility for the programs lands at President Obama’s feet, but the President has denied any knowledge of the operations until details of the murder of Agent Terry started to emerge.