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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    Brian Terry's Brother Rips Holder on Fast and Furious: 'Where Is the Accountability?'

    by Matthew Boyle 5 Feb 2014, 7:22 PM PDT

    In a blistering letter to Attorney General Eric Holder delivered Wednesday, Kent Terry – the brother of murdered Border Patrol agent Brian Terry – questioned why, years later, the Terry family still does not have the truth about Operation Fast and Furious.

    “Mr. Holder I am going to get right to the point of this letter,” he wrote. “I am not pleased with your behavior as America's Attorney General. Simply denying that you had no knowledge about Operation Fast and Furious is troubling in itself, but for you to not comply with Congress is even more troubling. It is shocking to know that the Attorney General of the United States had no knowledge or was not made aware of Fast and Furious until after the death of my brother, Brian Terry.”

    Terry continued his letter by writing that he questions why – if Holder really did not know about Fast and Furious – he has not held anybody in the Department of Justice or the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives accountable for the scandal.

    “For you Mr. Holder to be so ill served by your own advisers on your watch is unbelievable,” he wrote. “If that is the case, then you would think there would be accountability to your so called advisers who did not inform you," Terry wrote, adding, "Where is the accountability Mr. Holder?”

    In 2009, at the beginning of the Obama administration, ATF agents employed a strategy in which they allowed about 2,000 AK-47s and other high-powered rifles to be smuggled to Mexican drug cartels. The controversial law enforcement tactic used in Fast and Furious – known as "gunwalking" – involved allowing guns suspected to be purchased for smuggling to escape law enforcement surveillance.

    At Terry’s murder scene in Peck Canyon in Arizona, about 17 miles inside the U.S. border with Mexico, law enforcement officials recovered two rifles connected to the operation. Fast and Furious was also connected to the murder of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officer Jaime Zapata in Mexico, and numerous other murders of innocent civilians throughout that country.

    After Terry was murdered in late 2010, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) special agent John Dodson stepped forward as a whistleblower. Dodson testified before Congress and has since published a book on his experiences.

    His testimony sparked a congressional investigation that has lasted since early 2011. Initially, the DOJ denied the allegations from Dodson and other whistleblowers in a Feb. 4, 2011, letter to Senator Chuck Grassley, but was ultimately forced to withdraw it. Holder himself failed to comply with a series of subpoenas from Issa’s committee, which resulted in a claim of executive privilege from President Barack Obama himself, and criminal and civil contempt of Congress votes censuring Holder. The civil contempt vote launched a still-ongoing House lawsuit against the administration’s failure to comply with the subpoena and Obama’s executive privilege claim. More than a hundred members of Congress called for Holder's resignation over the matter leading up to the 2012 elections.

    In the next parts of his letter, Terry cites the investigations from the House Committee on Oversight and Government and the DOJ’s own Inspector General to note that “more than a dozen officials” at ATF and DOJ were responsible for Fast and Furious, many of whom have seen no level of accountability whatsoever for their actions.

    “Mr. Holder, answer me this, why are ATF agents and other agencies that were involved in Operation Fast and Furious still actively holding jobs and actively working?” Terry wrote. “Why are they allowed to carry a gun and a badge? Why are these Agents that were originally involved still making decisions on behalf of the American people which can put Americans in harm’s way?”

    Terry then cited the oath of office that government officials, including Holder, take before they take office – that they “do solemnly swear” they will “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic” and so on. Terry argued that Holder’s refusal to comply with the congressional investigation is a violation of that oath.

    “Mr. Holder, why not [abide] by this?” Terry asked about the oath. “Why hide behind executive privilege? It's your job to uphold the law and hold those accountable for such an illegal crime as Operation Fast and Furious. You need to release the documents to show who is responsible for such an act that led to the deaths of two federal agents who gave their all to their country. They were both brave and protected their country with honor and integrity. What has their country given them in return? Is this really your all Mr. Holder?”

    Terry continued by calling Holder a “coward of an attorney general” and questioning his integrity.

    “Somewhere deep inside you must have some conscience; do the honorable thing and have some integrity as an attorney general,” Terry wrote. “You have children, wouldn't you want... justice for your children? Of course you would. These guns will continue to show up at murder scenes in the future, and I am sure you don't want more blood on your hands. So I ask you: stop misleading my family and the American people. Stop obstruction of justice. My family has been through enough grief with the loss of my brother, and to have no answers for why [his blood was spilled] on this soil is upsetting to me and my family; our lives are shattered for the rest of our lives and will never be the same.”
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  2. #2
    Senior Member AirborneSapper7's Avatar
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    May 2007
    South West Florida (Behind friendly lines but still in Occupied Territory)
    New court documents reveal final moments of border agent Brian Terry’s life

    By William La Jeunesse, Laura Prabucki
    Published February 05,

    Video at the Page Link:

    Three years after the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry -- a tragedy which exposed and ultimately ended Operation Fast and Furious -- the public is finally getting a glimpse into Terry's final moments.

    Federal court records released Tuesday provide the first official account of the firefight along the Arizona-Mexico border that killed Terry in December 2010. Among other details, they reveal two of four federal agents at the scene that day actually fired bean bags -- not bullets -- at a violent drug gang carrying assault rifles. Weapons from the botched anti-gun trafficking program were found at Terry's murder scene.

    Such an account was not available until now, with both the FBI and Department of Homeland Security never releasing an incident report and Terry's fellow agents under a gag order.

    But as part of the court fight over the sentencing of admitted killer Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, prosecutors released first-hand accounts from three fellow agents involved in the shooting. Those agents, members of BORTAC, an elite unit within the Border Patrol, had deployed in the desert to locate a drug gang, known as a rip crew, that had terrorized the Nogales, Ariz., area for months.

    The rip crew's job was to stop and steal the drug loads of competing smugglers. They also terrorized and assaulted human smugglers and otherwise innocent illegal immigrants trying to enter the U.S. Terry's specially trained team was specifically deployed in the desert to stop them.

    Documents show that on Dec. 14, 2010, Terry's team was on a hill above a ravine. A ground sensor went off alerting them to the approaching smugglers. When agents yelled "police" in Spanish, the smugglers turned and fired. According to the documents, this happened at 11:08 p.m. Just 52 minutes later, Terry would have been relieved by a second BORTAC team and gone home for Christmas.

    "I saw some members of the group point their weapons at us," Agent Gabriel Fragoza declared to the court. "Agent Castano and I deployed less lethal bean bag rounds as the individuals began to shoot at us. I saw muzzle flashes coming from the individuals, then heard Agent Terry say 'I'm hit! I'm hit! I can't feel my legs'."

    Agent William Castano gave a similar account, saying, "I heard shooting which was coming from the wash. I heard Agent Terry say 'I'm hit.' I went to Agent Terry to administer first aid. At this time, he said, 'I can't feel my legs. I'm paralyzed.' Agent Terry soon lost consciousness and died at the scene."

    Robert Heyer, Terry's cousin, told Fox News that few details have been released from that day.
    "The court documents released in the last two days have given us some indication of what took place but I think the family really wants to really see and walk the ground in the area in question of where Brian died. We're hoping that will give them better understanding and closure in Brian's death," Heyer said.

    Of the five-member rip crew, three are in custody and two remain at large. Manuel Osorio-Arellanes pleaded guilty to felony murder -- though he did not actually fire the bullet that killed Terry.

    Arrellanes had 51 rounds and an assault rifle when caught. That weapon and one additional AK-47 were found at the scene.

    Under federal sentencing guidelines, Arellanes is set to get life in prison, though in a plea bargain the U.S. attorney is asking for 30 years.

    The court records leave two unanswered questions. First, it is unclear who stashed Fast and Furious weapons in the desert. Second, it is unclear how the agents were so outgunned.

    There's a principle in police work known as "plus one" -- which effectively holds that law enforcement should be better armed than the suspects they're pursuing. Confronting assault weapon-armed gang members in the desert with bean bags would seem to violate that principle.

    The Border Patrol has said in the past that Terry's unit had the "freedom" to put down their bean bags and use other weapons, but chose not to. However, other Border Patrol agents say policy guidelines and the rules of engagement for BORTAC that night encouraged the agents to use non-lethal force first.

    William La Jeunesse joined FOX News Channel (FNC) in March 1998 and currently serves as a Los Angeles-based correspondent.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member AirborneSapper7's Avatar
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    May 2007
    South West Florida (Behind friendly lines but still in Occupied Territory)
    Holder Begs Court to Stop Document Release on Fast and Furious

    by Matthew Boyle 17 Jan 2013 904 post a comment
    More: Fast & Furious Department of Justice Scandal

    Attorney General Eric Holder and his Department of Justice have asked a federal court to indefinitely delay a lawsuit brought by watchdog group Judicial Watch. The lawsuit seeks the enforcement of open records requests relating to Operation Fast and Furious, as required by law.

    Judicial Watch had filed, on June 22, 2012, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking all documents relating to Operation Fast and Furious and “specifically [a]ll records subject to the claim of executive privilege invoked by President Barack Obama on or about June 20, 2012.”
    The administration has refused to comply with Judicial Watch’s FOIA request, and in mid-September the group filed a lawsuit challenging Holder’s denial. That lawsuit remains ongoing but within the past week President Barack Obama’s administration filed what’s called a “motion to stay” the suit. Such a motion is something that if granted would delay the lawsuit indefinitely.
    Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said that Holder’s and Obama’s desire to continually hide these Fast and Furious documents is “ironic” now that they’re so gung-ho on gun control. “It is beyond ironic that the Obama administration has initiated an anti-gun violence push as it seeking to keep secret key documents about its very own Fast and Furious gun walking scandal,” Fitton said in a statement. “Getting beyond the Obama administration’s smokescreen, this lawsuit is about a very simple principle: the public’s right to know the full truth about an egregious political scandal that led to the death of at least one American and countless others in Mexico. The American people are sick and tired of the Obama administration trying to rewrite FOIA law to protect this president and his appointees. Americans want answers about Fast and Furious killings and lies.”
    The only justification Holder uses to ask the court to indefinitely delay Judicial Watch’s suit is that there’s another lawsuit ongoing for the same documents – one filed by the U.S. House of Representatives. Judicial Watch has filed a brief opposing the DOJ’s motion to stay.
    As the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform was voting Holder into contempt of Congress for his refusal to cooperate with congressional investigators by failing to turn over tens of thousands of pages of Fast and Furious documents, Obama asserted the executive privilege over them. The full House of Representatives soon after voted on a bipartisan basis to hold Holder in contempt.
    There were two parts of the contempt resolution. Holder was, and still is, in both civil and criminal contempt of Congress. The criminal resolution was forwarded to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Ronald Machen–who works for Holder–for prosecution. Despite being technically required by law to bring forth criminal charges against Holder, under orders from Holder’s Department of Justice Machen chose to ignore the resolution.
    The second part of the contempt resolution–civil contempt of Congress–allowed House Republicans to hire legal staff to challenge President Obama’s assertion of the executive privilege. That lawsuit remains ongoing despite Holder’s and the DOJ’s attempt to dismiss it and settle it.
    It’s unclear what’s in the documents Obama asserted privilege over, but the president’s use of the extraordinary power appears weak. There are two types of presidential executive privilege: the presidential communications privilege and the deliberative process privilege. Use of the presidential communications privilege would require that the president himself or his senior-most advisers were involved in the discussions.
    Since the president and his cabinet-level officials continually claim they had no knowledge of Operation Fast and Furious until early 2011 when the information became public–and Holder claims he didn’t read the briefing documents he was sent that outlined the scandal and how guns were walking while the operation was ongoing–Obama says he’s using the less powerful deliberative process privilege.
    The reason why Obama’s assertion of that deliberative process privilege over these documents is weak at best is because the Supreme Court has held that such a privilege assertion is invalidated by even the suspicion of government wrongdoing. Obama, Holder, the Department of Justice, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and virtually everyone else involved in this scandal have admitted that government wrongdoing actually took place in Operation Fast and Furious.
    In Fast and Furious, the ATF “walked” about 2,000 firearms into the hands of the Mexican drug cartels. That means through straw purchasers they allowed sales to happen and didn’t stop the guns from being trafficked even though they had the legal authority to do so and were fully capable of doing so.
    Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and hundreds of Mexican citizens–estimates put it around at least 300–were killed with these firearms.
    The Fast and Furious scandal and more is covered in detail in the New York Times best-selling book Corruption Chronicles.
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