Gun “walking” occurs when a federal official allows a gun to be transferred illegally into a suspected criminals’ possession and they make no attempt to retake possession of the firearm. The tactic is at the heart of why administration and congressional officials have criticized Fast and Furious so vehemently.
From Roll Call:
Darrell Issa Puts Details of Secret Wiretap Applications in Congressional Record
By Jonathan Strong
June 29, 2012
In the midst of a fiery floor debate over contempt proceedings for Attorney General Eric Holder, House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) quietly dropped a bombshell letter into the Congressional Record.
It is such a bombshell that our one party news media have ignored it completely.
The May 24 letter to Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), ranking member on the panel, quotes from and describes in detail a secret wiretap application that has become a point of debate in the GOP’s “Fast and Furious” gun-walking probe.
The wiretap applications are under court seal, and releasing such information to the public would ordinarily be illegal. But Issa appears to be protected by the Speech or Debate Clause in the Constitution, which offers immunity for Congressional speech, especially on a chamber’s floor.
Which seems to be ticking off our one party news media to no end. Maybe that’s why the media news is knocking on the doors of 10,000,000 total viewers for all of them in total.
Of course, Issa might have taken the alternative route of just giving these wiretap applications to the New York Times to publish. Except, they would have refused, since they are so concerned about protecting our nation’s secrets.
So he did it for himself, and protected by the U.S. Congress’ speech and debate clause. Since it was entered in the Congressional Record.
According to the letter, the wiretap applications contained a startling amount of detail about the operation, which would have tipped off anyone who read them closely about what tactics were being used.
Notice the outrage here is about disclosing this information which is almost certainly known to any drug cartel. But there is no outrage that these wiretaps show that Eric Holder is blatantly lying about the Fast & Furious documents that he is refusing to hand over.
it’s not the disclosure it’s the content.
Holder and Cummings have both maintained that the wiretap applications did not contain such details and that the applications were reviewed narrowly for probable cause, not for whether any investigatory tactics contained followed Justice Department policy.
In other words, Holder and Cummings lied.
The wiretap applications were signed by senior DOJ officials in the department’s criminal division, including Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco and another official who is now deceased…
While Issa has since said he has obtained a number of wiretap applications, the letter only refers to one, from March 15, 2010. The full application is not included in what Issa entered into the Congressional Record, and names are obscured in Issa’s letter.
In the application, ATF agents included transcripts from a wiretap intercept from a previous Drug Enforcement Administration investigation that demonstrated the suspects were part of a gun-smuggling ring.
“The wiretap affidavit details that agents were well aware that large sums of money were being used to purchase a large number of firearms, many of which were flowing across the border,” the letter says.
The application included details such as how many guns specific suspects had purchased via straw purchasers and how many of those guns had been recovered in Mexico.
It also described how ATF officials watched guns bought by suspected straw purchasers but then ended their surveillance without interdicting the guns.
In at least one instance, the guns were recovered at a police stop at the U.S.-Mexico border the next day.
Remember, Holder and Cummings contends that these documents have nothing to do with Fast & Furious.
The application included financial details for four suspected straw purchasers showing they had purchased $373,000 worth of guns in cash but reported almost no income for the previous year, the letter says.
“Although ATF was aware of these facts, no one was arrested, and ATF failed to even approach the straw purchasers. Upon learning these details through its review of this wiretap affidavit, senior Justice Department officials had a duty to stop this operation. Further, failure to do so was a violation of Justice Department policy,” the letter says.
Holder declined to discuss the contents of the applications at a House Judiciary Committee hearing June 7 but said the applications were narrowly reviewed for whether there was probable cause to obtain a wiretap application…
Remember — He said they had nothing to do with Fast & Furious.
Cummings has sided with the DOJ in the debate over the secret applications, but the full substance of his argument is unknown.
ROFLMAO. Mr. Cummings says what he is told to say.
A June 5 letter from Cummings responding to Issa’s May 24 letter said Issa “omits the critical fact that [redacted].” The entire first section of the letter’s body is likewise blacked out.
“Sadly, it looks like Mr. Issa is continuing his string of desperate and unsubstantiated claims, while hiding key information from the very same documents,” a Democratic committee staffer said. “His actions demonstrate a lack of concern for the facts, as well as a reckless disregard for our nation’s courts and federal prosecutors who are trying to bring criminals to justice. We’re not going to stoop to his level. Obviously, we are going to honor the court’s seal and the prosecutors’ requests. But if Mr. Issa won’t tell you what he is hiding from the wiretaps, you should ask him why.”
What a perfect example of the psychiatrists call ‘projection.’
Meanwhile, this story is being studiously ignored by the mainstream media. And when it is mentioned at all, it is to express outrage at the whistleblower.
From The Hill:
Issa reveals wiretap docs from DOJ mole
By Jordy Yager – 06/29/12
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has revealed portions of sealed wiretap applications related to the botched gun-tracking operation “Fast and Furious.”
It was not a “botched gun-tracking operation,” since there was no effort made to track these guns.
Issa entered the sensitive, and previously undisclosed, information into the Congressional Record on Thursday during the floor debate leading up to the passage of his resolution placing Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.
The powerful Republican might be protected from what otherwise would be a criminal offense under Congress’s speech and debate clause because the remarks were written into the public record during chamber proceedings.
During his probe of Fast and Furious as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Issa has focused on a series of six wiretap applications that federal officials implemented in an attempt to dismantle gun-trafficking rings in the Southwest.
There is no evidence that federal officials were trying to do any such thing.
The applications, which are under a federal court’s seal, were given to Issa by a mole with access to the documents. Issa has claimed they reveal that top-level Justice Department officials signed off on the documents and knew about the controversial “gun-walking” tactics used in Fast and Furious. Issa has called his source a “whistleblower” and refused to disclose his or her identity.
“The enclosed wiretap affidavit contains clear information that agents were willfully allowing known straw buyers to acquire firearms for drug cartels and failing to interdict them — in some cases even allowing them to walk to Mexico,” stated a letter Issa sent to his panel’s ranking member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), which was put into the record on Thursday.
And you can bet Mr. Cummings did not even read the letter.