This past weekend there was a very quiet — in fact a secret — meeting between the chief of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATF), Kenneth Melson, and Congressional investigators looking into the gun walker case (also called Operation Fast and Furious) and the results seem to show that the culpability for arming Mexican narco terrorists by Obama’s administration is more widespread than just by the BATF.
BATF head Melson appeared in secret testimony that made matters worse for the Obama administration, showing that the gun smuggling scandal was a shared program among several federal agencies and not just one from the BATF.
If you are unfamiliar with this scandal, agents of the U.S. freely gave thousands of firearms to Mexican drug dealers and narco terrorists in an effort to observe how guns were disseminated in Mexico. The program was meant to help American authorities track the movements of Mexican drug gangs, but the problem is that these guns have been used in multiple murders (one of them being one of our own border agents). These guns have also begun to flow back into the US to be used in crimes on our own soil.
Director Melson made clear that he fears for his own legal status by appearing before the investigators of the House Oversight Committee with a personal lawyer instead of with the counsel from the Department of Justice. If Melson felt his legal position was bulletproof (if you will) he would not have opted to have personal counsel and would have certainly appeared with DOJ representation.
There is another thing that this use of private counsel admits. It admits that Melson feels the DOJ will likely abandon him. It also tends to announce that Melson thinks the DOJ will try a coverup of this program instead of coming clean about it. And on that last bit, the assumption seems 100% correct.
After Melson’s testimony, House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R, Calif) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R, Iowa), sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder complaining about the stonewalling and obfuscation that the DOJ is engaging in to cover this mess up.
We are disappointed that no one had previously informed him of that provision of the agreement. Instead, Justice Department officials sought to limit and control [Kenneth Melson's] communications with Congress. This is yet another example of why direct communications with Congress are so important and are protected by law.
Clearly the DOJ tried to muzzle Melson and Issa and Grassley easily saw that.
So what were some of the key points revealed in Melson’s testimony?
- The gun smuggling program was not solely under the auspices of the BATF
The U.S. Attorney in Arizona, Dennis Burke, an Obama appointee, was one of those put in charge of parts of the Fast and Furious program
- Federal funds were used to pay for the program
- The DOJ has tried to hide this program from congress
- The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation were also party to the operation
Finally, it appears that rumors from last week that Melson was being pressured to resign do not seem to be true. The DOJ was trying to muzzle Melson, but there is no evidence that he was being asked to resign.
As each week rolls on in this investigation we are finding the scandal getting worse, getting larger, and reaching to more of Obama’s administration.
It’s time for Attorney General Eric Holder to come clean. How involved was his office in this outrageous program to arm narco terrorists? What did he know and when did he know it? Finally, how much about this program did Obama himself know about? And if Obama knew about it, how did he justify allowing a program to arm murderers, drug dealers, and criminals with American arms funded by American taxpayers?