Monday, October 29, 2012

AZMEX F&F EXTRA 29-10-12


Note: have to go to webpage to get the links. Don't forget the
direct connection to the deaths of hundreds of Mexican citizens.
Many of us out in the West believe that ATF, given their record over
the years, should become a regulatory agency only, and be removed
from law enforcement.

Second joint Fast & Furious report cites 'management failures'
OCTOBER 29, 2012

Congressman Darrell Issa and Sen. Charles Grassley issued part two of
their joint report on Operation Fast and Furious Monday, with
assertions of widespread management failures.
Credits: House Oversight Committee

Operation Fast and FuriousCampaign 2012Charles GrassleyDarrell Issa

A second installment of the joint report on Operation Fast and
Furious asserting "widespread management failures" by senior Justice
Department officials was released today despite a virtual government
shutdown due to Hurricane Sandy.

That the report was released just over a week before the presidential
election may have little bearing on the election outcome. The more
recent scandal over Benghazi is being downplayed by everyone besides
Fox News, adding even more credence to assertions that press bias in
favor of the Obama administration is giving cover to the president.

The report, released by Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Sen. Charles
Grassley, ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, also
singles out William Newell, former special agent in charge of the
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' field office in

Newell, the report says, "had a history of using reckless tactics
during his investigations." But the report adds that Newell "believed
he had the full support of senior Justice Department officials in
creating and executing Fast and Furious."

( Links )
The 104-page document may be read here. Exhibits may be read here.

The report also tends to affirm what former Acting ATF Director
Kenneth Melson told congressional investigators on July 4, 2011. The
entre prologue is devoted to Melson's perspective.

"My view is that the whole matter of the Department's response in
this case was a disaster," Melson told investigators. "That as a
result, it came to fruition that the committee staff had to be more
aggressive and assertive in attempting to get information from the
Department, and as a result, there was more adverse publicity towards
ATF than was warranted if we had cooperated from the very beginning.
And a lot of what they did was damage control after a while. Their
position on things changed weekly and it was hard for us to catch up
on it, but it was very clear that they were running the show."

And he also said this: "I think there could have been accommodations
made between the Hill and ATF and DOJ as to how information was
shared. It was very frustrating to all of us, and it appears
thoroughly to us that the Department is really trying to figure out a
way to push the information away from their political appointees at
the Department."

The prologue ends with this observation from the authors: "In the
intervening fourteen months since Ken Melson made that statement, the
Justice Department has cried foul about the politicization of the
congressional inquiry into Fast and Furious. Yet, Melson's words ring
even truer today than they did on Independence Day 2011. The
Department's actions in steering the sinking ship away from political
appointees continue to give credence to Melson's testimony, as the
Department has, at all costs, deflected blame away from these
political appointees.

"Instead of owning up to its own shortcomings, the Department sought
to put the blame on Ken Melson," the prologue concludes.

Deep in the report, beginning on Page 91, is a dispute over whether
Attorney General Eric Holder might have been invited to a press
conference announcing the takedown of suspects involved in the Fast
and Furious operation.

"The connection between the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry
and Fast and Furious had drastic effects inside the Department of
Justice," the report reveals. "For the first time since the
investigation began over a year earlier, a Fast and Furious straw
purchaser was finally arrested. ATF rushed a memorandum to Acting
Deputy Attorney General Grindler notifying him of the connection.
Perhaps most significantly, Justice Department headquarters abandoned
plans to have various Department officials appear at the Fast and
Furious take-down press conference in Phoenix, including Attorney
General Holder."

Indictments did not come until after Terry's slaying.

The report lists several recommendations

When the Justice Department promulgates a broad new strategy and
implements it throughout its components, the Department must create
procedures to ensure that implementation of the strategy is
monitored, overseen, and supervised adequately.
Congress vested in senior Department officials the authority to
authorize applications for intrusive wire intercepts. These senior
officials must review each application thoroughly to ensure such an
intrusion is necessary and appropriate. Delegating this authority to
subordinates introduces the risk that a careful review will not take
The Justice Department needs to institute clear, written guidelines
to outline the appropriate use of cooperating gun dealers during law
enforcement investigations. The Department must scrutinize
investigations that involve cooperating gun dealers much more closely.
The official within the Office of the Deputy Attorney General
responsible for the ATF portfolio should have ATF-specific experience
and training, and must be more than just a liaison. That official
should ensure that the Deputy Attorney General is able to provide
meaningful supervision of ATF operations.
The Deputy Attorney General must closely supervise ATF, an agency
with a long and troubled history.
Leadership within the Justice Department must start at the top.
Senior managers should foster a culture of accountability within the
Department by taking responsibility and accepting consequences for
their own lack of initiative and failures.
Justice Department components look to senior Department officials for
leadership and guidance. It is critically important that these senior
leaders provide such leadership and guidance. Justice Department
officials also must take responsibility for supervising and managing
the Department's component agencies.
The Justice Department must provide the Terry family with a complete
accounting of how it learned about the connection of their son's
death to Operation Fast and Furious. The Department should also
apologize for not personally informing the Terry family or publicly
admitting the connection sooner.
Issa and Grassley released a joint statement to the press today.

"The report discloses widespread management failures within the
hierarchy of the Justice Department," said Issa. "The Justice
Department has yet to evaluate these management issues and implement
structural changes to prevent another disaster like Operation Fast
and Furious from occurring. Furthermore, the Justice Department has
taken limited action against these negligent managers."

"Officials in the Justice Department saw any number of warnings and
some even had the gunwalking information right in front of them, yet
nothing was done to stop it. Countless people may be murdered with
these weapons, yet the Attorney General appears to be letting his
employees slide by with little to no accountability. The Attorney
General needs to make changes to ensure that department leadership
provides oversight of the agencies they are tasked with supervising,
instead of pointing fingers at somebody else," Grassley observed.

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