The House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee will begin hearings next week into Operation Fast and Furious.
As set forth in greater detail by Frank Miniter on the homepage, whistleblower agents of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms claim that ATF knowingly allowed suspected criminals to purchase over 2,000 weapons in the U.S. and smuggle them across the border to the Mexican drug cartels — the same cartels responsible for the slaughter of an estimated 30,000 people in Mexico over the last five years. The weapons allegedly included Barrett .50 caliber sniper rifles and AK-47s. It appears that one of the weapons was used to kill at least one U.S. Border Patrol agent in the past year.
Sen. Chuck Grassley and Rep. Darrell Issa have complained that their respective investigations into Operation Fast and Furious have been stonewalled by the Department of Justice. Senator Grassley has gone further, accusing DOJ of providing false statements in response to his inquiries.
Hugh Hewitt has noted the media blackout of the story, stunning even after factoring in their usual and customary biases. Apparently, save for a mention on CBS, the story has been ignored by mainstream media.
The stonewalling, evasiveness, and lack of DOJ cooperation that Senator Grassley describes are strikingly similar to what the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights experienced in its investigation concerning allegations that DOJ discriminates on the basis of race in the enforcement of the nation’s civil-rights laws. Perhaps there’s a legitimate basis for DOJ’s refusal to cooperate (although in the commission’s investigation, DOJ asserted no cognizable privileges). It’s one thing for DOJ to stonewall an administrative body like the commission in a civil investigation, even when DOJ has a statutory obligation to cooperate with the agency. It’s quite another to stiff members of Congress investigating an operation that sent weapons to narco-terrorists who used them to kill an American Border Patrol agent.