Thursday, June 21, 2012
Al Sharpton Spreads Lies About Fast and Furious
It looks like the Democrat talking point about Fast and Furious is that it all started under George W. Bush and his attorneys general Alberto Gonzalez and Michael Mukasey. That's how Al Sharpton presented it on his silly show (Politics Nation) today. That is a red herring.
Sharpton also echoed Nancy Pelosi's ridiculous charge that the reason the Republicans are going after Holder is to stop him from fighting voter ID laws in several states, which she and Al refer to as "voter suppression".
As to Wide Receiver, Sharpton charged that the Republicans have not bothered to interview Mukasey as to Wide Receiver let alone call him to testify. I may be in error, but I thought I heard Darrell Issa point out in yesterday's hearing that staff investigators had interviewed Mukasey.
If not, I say bring Mukasey in to testify on Wide Receiver, by all means. I expect what Mukasey will tell them is that Wide Receiver involved ATF agents in Arizona working in collaboration with gun shops to identify straw buyers-just as in Fast and Furious. The difference is that in Wide Receiver (2006-2007), tracking devices were put on purchased weapons and attempts were made to make seizures and arrests when the ultimate deliveries were made. In addition, the Mexican authorities were also involved on the other side of the border. When it was discovered that some 300 weapons had eluded surveillance and disappeared across the border, the operation was terminated-all during Bush's term. None of this was done in Fast and Furious, which began in 2009 as an element of the overall Project Gunrunner under Obama and Holder. In addition there was never any attempt to cover up Wide Receiver. In fact, I am unaware of reports of any whistle blowers in Wide Receiver-as there were in Fast and Furious. In National Review Online, former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy explains the difference between the two operations.
It is important to clear up a couple of terms here. A controlled delivery is when agents either have the contraband in custody or are surveilling it and allowing it to proceed to its intended recipient prior to making arrests and seizures. To allow guns to "walk" means that the guns were allowed to disappear into the traffic with no real effort to seize them for some investigative benefit. Similar tactics can occasionally be used with money or drugs. These are exceptional cases and require approval at the Hqs level. Wide Receiver involved attempted controlled deliveries, which are an accepted law enforcement technique. Deliberate "walking" of guns is what occurred in Fast and Furious. There is a world of difference.
But by all means, bring Mukasey in and have him testify as to Wide Receiver. If anything improper was done, let the chips fall where they may. However, none of this excuses what Holder and the Justice Department have done in Fast and Furious, which began in 2009 and the subsequent cover-up.