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    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    Documents say DOJ knew of Fast and Furious connection day after Terry murder

    Documents say DOJ knew of Fast and Furious connection day after Terry murder

    David Codrea
    January 28, 2012

    Email from aide appears to demonstrate Holder perjury

    “Emails Show How 'Fast and Furious' Ambush News Unfolded At Justice Dept.,” NPR reports tonight.

    For the first time, the Justice Department has made public a series of sensitive messages that passed to the highest levels of the agency within hours of an ambush that killed a U.S. border patrol agent…The email messages show the former top federal prosecutor in Arizona, Dennis Burke, notifying an aide to Holder via email on Dec. 15, 2010 that agent Brian Terry had been wounded and died. "Tragic," responds the aide, Monty Wilkinson. "I've alerted the AG, the acting Deputy Attorney General..."
    This correspondent was on the phone with Mike Vanderboegh of Sipsey Street Irregulars a few hours ago ths evening, shortly before the NPR release. From Vanderboegh’s assessment:


    White House dumps 500 plus pages of documents tonight…NPR was apparently the preferred outlet for the dump…Holder is screwed. Of course the only reason they're doing this is to further the modified limited hangout, which now apparently includes Eric Holder. Remember, these are the emails that the WH WANTED to release. What does that tell us? That they're protecting the White House and are willing to dispose of Holder to do it.

    Click here for the emails posted by NPR. Of interest:

    The emails are heavily redacted shielding not just information, but the identities of certain senders and recipients. Stipulating a possibly legitimate need to withhold facts pertaining to ongoing criminal investigations, the question of why the names of key individuals, including those in the US Attorney’s office are also withheld must be explored.

    Also, any discussion of “controlled deliveries” and coordination with Mexican officials does not occur in the disclosed communications threads until February 4, 2011—Gun Rights Examiner’s “Journalists’ Guide to Project Gunwalker” chronicles reporting and revelations made in this column and on Sipsey Street Irregulars prior to that action—reporters and interested individuals should consult that document to see for themselves how much of this story was already documented by that time, including revelations made on Jan. 6 in this column that the Mexican government had been intentionally left uninformed up until ATF and DOJ officials decided it was in their interests almost a month later to contact them.

    Of particular interest from the Dec. 15, 2010 email from Holder aide Monty Wilkinson to then-US Attorney Dennis Burke:
    I’ve alerted the AG…
    When did Holder say he first became aware of it?
    HOLDER: I’m not sure of the exact date but I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks
    .
    That was on May 3, 2011 (see sidebar video player).

    Does the email from Wilkinson indicate the Attorney General committed perjury in his testimony before the committee?

    The questions this raises include whether this latest document dump throws Holder under the bus to protect the White House, as Vanderboegh concludes.

    Will Chairman Darrell Issa of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform now demand documentation on all communications between the White House and the Department of Justice regarding the selection of documents to be released to his committee?

    And will he press the Attorney General on this key revelation made by Wilkinson and other information gleaned from this latest release?
    And, as an aside, is it any wonder that the White House said about questions raised in the Tuesday GRE column "This submission has been removed because people believe it is inappropriate"?
    Also see:
    • A Journalist’s Guide to ‘Project Gunwalker' (most current volume) for a complete list with links of independent investigative reporting and commentary done to date by Sipsey Street Irregulars and Gun Rights Examiner. Note to newcomers to this story: “Project Gunrunner” is the name ATF assigned to its Southwest Border Initiative to interdict gun smuggling to Mexico. “Project Gunwalker” is the name I assigned to the scandal after allegations by agents that monitored guns were allowed to fall into criminal hands on both sides of the border through a surveillance process termed “walking” surfaced.
    David Codrea, The Examiner

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    Emails Show How 'Fast and Furious' Ambush News Unfolded At Justice Dept.



    by Carrie Johnson
    January 27,2012

    For the first time, the Justice Department has made public a series of sensitive messages that passed to the highest levels of the agency within hours of an ambush that killed a U.S. border patrol agent along the Southwest border in December 2010, igniting a national scandal over a gun trafficking investigation gone wrong.


    Justice officials sent the documents to Congress late Friday evening, only a few days before Attorney General Eric Holder is set to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
    The email messages show the former top federal prosecutor in Arizona, Dennis Burke, notifying an aide to Holder via email on Dec. 15, 2010 that agent Brian Terry had been wounded and died. "Tragic," responds the aide, Monty Wilkinson. "I've alerted the AG, the acting Deputy Attorney General..."


    Only a few minutes later, Wilkinson emailed again, saying, "Please provide any additional details as they become available to you."
    Burke then delivered another piece of bad news: "The guns found in the desert near the murder [sic] ... officer connect back to the investigation we were going to talk about — they were AK-47s purchased at a Phoenix gun store."


    That investigation, dubbed Fast and Furious, was supposed to follow U.S. weapons into the hands of kingpins in the violent Sinaloa Mexico drug cartel, building a big case against the gangs. Instead, it cost Burke his job, got the director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms reassigned, and has prompted multiple federal probes by Congress and the department's own inspector general.


    The Justice Department also sent a letter to lawmakers Friday night outlining several changes they had made within their own ranks and at the ATF: from requiring additional oversight in cases that involve wiretaps and confidential informants to extra procedures at the ATF for putting weapons purchases under surveillance to a realignment at the U.S. Attorney's office in Phoenix and the ATF itself.


    The new documents are certain to stoke the fires among congressional Republicans, who have questioned what the attorney general knew about the botched investigation and asked why the chief of the Justice Department's criminal division, Lanny Breuer, didn't do more when he found out about other questionable tactics used by ATF in gun trafficking probes in the Bush administration.


    In a meeting with Mexican government officials in February 2011, for instance, Breuer "suggested allowing straw purchasers cross into Mexico so [police] can arrest and [prosecutors] can convict. Such coordinated activities between the US and Mexico may send a strong message to arms traffickers."


    A Justice official, speaking on background, said Breuer's proposal involved coordination between the governments and didn't contemplate agents losing track of guns, as happened in the Fast and Furious debacle.


    A few days after the meeting between Breuer and Mexican authorities, the department's attache to Mexico raised this issue, according to an email: "there is an inherent risk in allowing weapons to pass from the U.S. to Mexico. The possibility of the [government of Mexico] not seizing the weapons, and the weapons being used to commit a crime in Mexico."


    The attorney general, in testimony to the House and Senate last year, said he feared the Justice Department could be living with the consequences of more than 1,000 guns connected to Fast and Furious that remain unaccounted for years to come.


    NPR

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