The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) were just granted the power to confiscate cash by Attorney General Eric Holder:
Attorney General Eric Holder has granted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) authority, for a one-year trial period, to seize and administratively forfeit property allegedly involved in controlled substance offenses pursuant to United States Code Title 21 › Chapter 13 › Subchapter I › Part E › § 881.
Yes, the same agency that has been smuggling guns to Mexican drug cartels to both advance gun control and arm cartels that are favored by the United States will now have the power to seize property allegedly involved in drug crimes. How does it make sense to reward a government agency that has been caught performing operations that have gotten people killed? It doesn’t, which is why I’m not surprised the state is doing it.
Operation Fast and Furious has been one of the most entertaining episodes of Politics: The Reality Television Show for Suckers but many viewers have been expressing concern that the writers are running out of fresh ideas. The end of season cliffhanger has been Eric Holder’s refusal to comply with Congress’s investigation and people have been trying to figure out what the Attorney General is so afraid of having revealed. My friend Kurtis has brought some information to my attention that could tell us what’s in store for next season. A high ranking member of the Sinaloa Cartel has come forward with claims that the United States government has been arming the cartel and allowed them to sell drugs unhindered:
A high-ranking Mexican drug cartel operative currently in U.S. custody is making startling allegations that the failed federal gun-walking operation known as “Fast and Furious” isn’t what you think it is.
It wasn’t about tracking guns, it was about supplying them — all part of an elaborate agreement between the U.S. government and Mexico’s powerful Sinaloa Cartel to take down rival cartels.
The explosive allegations are being made by Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla, known as the Sinaloa Cartel’s “logistics coordinator.” He was extradited to the Chicago last year to face federal drug charges.
Zambada-Niebla claims that under a “divide and conquer” strategy, the U.S. helped finance and arm the Sinaloa Cartel through Operation Fast and Furious in exchange for information that allowed the DEA, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other federal agencies to take down rival drug cartels. The Sinaloa Cartel was allegedly permitted to traffic massive amounts of drugs across the U.S. border from 2004 to 2009 — during both Fast and Furious and Bush-era gunrunning operations — as long as the intel kept coming.
The pleadings in The United States of America vs. Vicente Jesus Zambada-Neibla [PDF] are an interesting read. Needless to say this entire political fiasco would begin to make sense if Zambada-Neibla’s accusations hold up. The United States government has a long history of working with enemies of enemies. They went so far as to provide military training and money to the Khumer Rouge regime, which was noted for having killed between 1.4 million and 2.2 million civilians. Furthermore the United States government loves granting and then protecting monopolies. Considering those two facts it wouldn’t surprise me to find out that Fast and Furious was done to armed the Sinaloa Cartel in order to help them secure their monopoly against other drug cartels. The fact that Fast and Furious could also be used to advance the cause of gun control may have been seen as a happy benefit.
After reading this I believe people will be tuning in for the next season of Fast and Furious.
Operation Fast and Furious hasn’t gone the way the current administration was hoping. Eric Holder was found in contempt of Congress when he refused to release documents related to the inquiry. Since that point the administration has been in damage control mode. Obama granted Holder executive privilege to keep the documents hidden and the Department of Justice (DoJ) said they weren’t going to prosecute Holder since he’s a member of the DoJ. Now it appears that the DoJ is looking for victims for it’s wrath:
The Justice Department’s inspector general is probing whether two federal agents could face retaliation for blowing the whistle on operation “Fast and Furious.”
In a letter to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), made public on Monday, IG Michael Horowitz said he was investigating their concerns that two federal officials could be at risk of retaliatory action for speaking out against the botched gun-tracking operation.
John Dodson and Pete Forcelli, special agents in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), testified before Congress last year about the shortcomings of Operation Fast and Furious as details of the failed program were becoming public.
Considering what’s happened in the case so far I’m betting the DoJ will find that the Fast and Furious whistleblowers can be prosecuted and will shortly afterward prosecute them. If there is one guarantee in this world it’s that a government agency, like a wild animal, with lash out at anybody and everybody when wounded. This is because, being an entity that survives entirely on violence, they must show that they are capable of causing great amounts of harm to anybody who dissents. I will actually be surprised if the DoJ says the Fast and Furious whistleblowers can’t be prosecuted.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) are finally offering a reward for information pertaining to Brian Terry’s murderer:
The FBI has offered a $1m (£644,000) reward for information on four suspects wanted over the killing of a US border patrol agent in December 2010.
What the FBI isn’t offering is a reward for the capture of those who allowed Fast and Furious to happen in the first place and have been busily trying to cover it up every since Terry’s murder. If I were the head of the FBI I’d offer a $1 million reward for anybody who could obtain a copy of the documents Eric Holder was granted executive privilege to withhold.
What happened when a group of individuals decided to exercise their supposed Constitutionally protected right to protest their government over Fast and Furious? They were shutdown by the Secret Service:
Maurice Lewis, a student at the University of California, Merced, who marched in the event told Campus Reform that the Secret Service had seemed on edge well before the “suspicious package” was discovered.
“Several agents seemed hostile to our march and seemed anxious for us to leave the area,” said Lewis. “The discover the ‘unidentified package’ came just as the protest began gain traction.”
The Secret Service reopened the the portion of Pennsylvania Ave. that borders the White House shortly after protesters, who had been waiting nearby on 15th street for nearly half an hour, had dispersed. Agents did not communicate with organizers during that time.
Neither the White House nor the nearby Treasury building were shutdown. Employees of both building and members of the White House media were allowed to traverse the evacuated zone while protesters were kept out.
Apparently the “unidentified package” was severe enough to stop the protest until the protesters left but not severe enough to evacuate nearby buildings. Nothing about that claim doesn’t scream suppressing the right to seek redress from the government. It’s also not surprising, the king doesn’t like it when the peasants start protesting at the castle. What is surprising is that the Secret Service didn’t arrest any of the protesters under suspicion of leaving the “unidentified package” (then again if they arrested somebody they would have to explain their reason under more scrutiny so it also makes sense that no arrests were made).
Sometimes I hate being right:
Unfortunately for the American people this vote will likely result in nothing of consequence. Even while condemning each other statists have a habit of ensuring no real punishment befalls their fellow comrades.
The Department of Justice has announced that they’ll shield Eric Holder from prosecution:
The Justice Department moved Friday to shield Attorney General Eric Holder from prosecution after the House voted to hold him in contempt of Congress.
The contempt vote technically opened the door for the House to call on the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia to bring the case before a grand jury. But because U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen works for Holder and because President Obama has already asserted executive privilege over the documents in question, some expected Holder’s Justice Department to balk.
Here is the problem with trying to bring charges against the head of the Department of Justice, the Department of Justice is the organization that has to act on those charges. This conflict of interest allows members of the executive branch to shield themselves. Now those trying to prosecute Holder have to move through the court system but the court system itself has not enforcement arm, they rely on the executive branch for that so even if they find Holder guilty they still have to convince Holder’s underlings to actually move against him.
I’m guessing this attempt to shield Holder will go until the end of the election. If Obama wins the election he may decide to throw Holder under the bus at that time.
At least there was some good news yesterday:
US Attorney General Eric Holder has been held in contempt of Congress for refusing to hand over a set of documents on a failed sting operation.
In a 255-66 vote, some Democrats joined with the House of Representatives’ Republican majority.
Mr Holder is the first sitting attorney general to be held in contempt.
Congratulations go to Mr. Holder for being the first sitting attorney general to be found in contempt, that’s quite the accomplishment. Unfortunately for the American people this vote will likely result in nothing of consequence. Even while condemning each other statists have a habit of ensuring no real punishment befalls their fellow comrades. Holder probably won’t even receive a slap on the wrist and whether or not the public will ever see the documents being concealed by him is unknown.
It appears Eric Holder’s last great attempt at avoiding a contempt vote has vanished as Speaker John Boehner has announced Congress is going forward with the vote:
The House is moving forward with a vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress over a bungled gunalking operation, Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters Wednesday.
“We’ve given them ample time to comply,” Boehner said of White House officials.
The House Oversight Committee voted last Wednesday to hold the attorney general in contempt for refusing to release documents relating to Fast and Furious, a failed government operation that landed guns in the hands of Mexican cartels. House Republican lawmakers have questioned the administration’s role the case after President Obama granted Holder executive privilege.
If Congress is able to get ahold of the documents currently being concealed by Holder I’m guessing a veritable gold mine of corruption will be revealed. Holder has tried everything from claiming the documents would hamper ongoing investigations to getting his big man Obama to exercise executive privilege to keep the public from seeing them. I can’t imagine that much effort would be put into hiding documents that didn’t contain incriminating evidence.