There is finally a break in the Justice Department’s infamous Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal to Mexican drug cartels of hundreds of assault weapons.
Under a July 18 court order emanating from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the Department of Justice is now required to produce an index of hundreds of documents sought by Judicial Watch under the Freedom of Information Act. It is required to produce the index, unfortunately not the actual documents, by Oct. 1.
You may recall the refusal of Eric Holder to surrender to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, U.S. House of Representatives, thousands of documents in his possession that would bring to light everything known about the supposed scandal which ended in the chief law enforcement officer in the land getting a contempt of Congress citation. The House was left powerless when Holder obtained from President Barack Obama executive privilege freezing the documents from congressional or public view — thus the charge of a cover up.
Executive privilege, or anything like unto it, especially withholding potentially criminal activity, is not in the Constitution. When Richard Nixon argued similarly in Watergate the media rightfully was all over him but the media is amazingly quiet on this story as potentially it could bring down a President long supported by the establishment press. Ironically Holder used a Nixon argument in his request that Obama assert executive privilege (Attorney General Eric Holder letter to Obama, June 20, 2012).
Until the release of the suppressed documents this is what is known or believed to be true. This administration’s contempt for the Second Amendment to the Constitution is well documented. Previous attempts to get Americans to give up their right to possess firearms have not been successful nor are likely to be. Since Americans will not willingly do so, imagine someone in power plotting to create the rational that would turn most reasonable people against these rights and gun sales at gun shows.
Seemingly the intent was for the government, through the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Administration (ATF), to secretly sell illegal guns to the Mexican drug cartels, and then blame those sales on U.S. gun shows to discredit them. The administration had argued that 90 percent of the guns used by Mexican drug cartels had come from gun shows in the United States.
The ATF gun sales, if undetected, would provide the government rational and support to close down the gun shows making it more difficult for citizens to obtain a firearm. The story is full of government intrigue, lies, conspiracy, and the murder of hundreds of Mexican citizens and an American Border Patrol Agent, Brian Terry.
The transfer of the illegal weapons was done without consulting U.S. law officers outside ATF or the Mexican authorities. The government would have succeeded with the scheme were not some of the illegal firearms found at the scene of murdered Agent Terry, one of which actually the instrument of his death.
What is known about this nearly five-year-old scheme is an e-mail wherein Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke, charged with executing the “Operation Fast and Furious,” boasted to a colleague of the operation’s propaganda value, presumably to vilify gun shows. It read: “Some of these weapons bought by these clowns in Arizona have been directly traced to murders of elected officials in Mexico by the cartels, so Katie-bar-the-door when we unveil this baby” (“Will Holder’s Watergate Become Obama’s Waterloo?” Americas 1st Freedom, April 2012). They knew precisely what they could do with the propaganda value of their sales — destroy the gun shows.
Wayne La Pierre, Executive Vice President of the NRA, best expressed the seriousness of this illegal operation, apart from defrauding Americans of their constitutional gun rights, when he wrote, “In that ‘gun-walking’ operation, Obama administration operatives encouraged, bankrolled, and oversaw repeated felonies at gun stores and at border crossings with criminals smuggling at least 1,700 firearms into Mexican drug-fueled criminal commerce.”
Regular citizens, doing the same thing would be serving time.
What has been disclosed reportedly proves that U.S. gun shows were not the source of cartel firepower, as this administration has repeatedly contended, they through their ATF were, and that Holder intentionally lied when he told Congress he had heard about “Fast and Furious” from the media, as did other Americans. “One Justice Department official has claimed his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination and refused to testify,” elevating anticipation that, so far, we may see only the tip of the iceberg.
The Court order requiring Holder’s Justice Department to provide a detailed listing of all documents withheld (Congress believes that number to be 74,000) together with information as to why the material is not being released, is a big step toward bringing to light potentially one of the biggest scandals in American history. This scandal could include evidence planting — the placement of 1,700 guns in cartel hands. Sadly the transparency promised by President Obama had to be delivered in a court order.
Dr. Harold Pease is an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 25 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, please visit www.LibertyUnderFire.org.