Fast & Furious Docs Released

from Sharyl Attkisson:

The Department of Justice improperly withheld public documents related to Fast and Furious after the first Freedom of Information (FOI) requests for them several years ago. The agency was recently forced to produce some of the materials to the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, which filed a FOI lawsuit to obtain the information. (To date, the Justice Department still has not complied with FOI law in providing the same public documents to me as a FOI requestor.)

Fortunately, Judicial Watch has posted the documents for public review.

The Justice Department is still withholding thousands of documents. The thousands of documents provided are often heavily redacted. A review of hundreds of pages so far has revealed no obvious, legitimate basis under which President Obama should have invoked executive privilege, as he did, to withhold them public from congressional subpoena and other public reviews.

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JUDICIAL WATCH: WE FORCED DOJ’S HAND ON FAST AND FURIOUS

from Breitbart:

Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said in a statement on Thursday that Attorney General Eric Holder is resigning as his group is close to nailing the Department of Justice on Operation Fast and Furious.

Judicial Watch just won a key battle in federal court against the administration on the Fast and Furious documents President Barack Obama asserted executive privilege over to hide them from the American people and Congress. Fitton said:

It is no coincidence that Holder’s resignation comes on the heels of another court ruling that the Justice Department must finally cough up documents about how Holder’s Justice Department lied to Congress and the American people about the Operation Fast and Furious scandal, for which Eric Holder was held in contempt by the House of Representatives. Over the past several months, Judicial Watch also exposed how Holder’s Justice Department was implicated in the IRS scandal and how Justice Department lawyers helped defend the illegal stonewall that kept secret key material related to Benghazi.

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Run Dennis…Run Fast… & Furious

Man behind Assault Weapons Ban, Ran Fast & Furious

by: Mary Chastain

Those who have been covering Operation Fast and Furious for 18 months know all about former US Attorney Dennis Burke. The general public doesn’t know much about him, because like many of the high officials involved in Fast & Furious, he was allowed to resign quietly and face no consequences for his actions.

Operation Fast & Furious placed hundreds of guns into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. Guns from it were found at the death scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry on December 14, 2010. They’re also connected to hundreds of deaths in Mexico, including a brother of a state attorney general. Guns have been found at twelve crime scenes in America.

Burke, from the Arizona US Attorney’s office, ran Operation Fast and Furious.

This is the man who was a Majority Counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1994 when the Assault Weapon Ban passed. Actually, Senator Dennis DeConcini (D-AZ) gave him and Rahm Emmanuel credit for the passing of the ban. He became Chief of Staff to Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano and worked with her from 2003-2008. He gave $2,000 to then-Senator Obama’s presidential campaign. He’s also given $16,350 to other Democratic candidates. When Janet Napolitano became the Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Mr. Burke became her Senior Advisor. In July 2009, President Barack Obama nominated him to be the US Attorney of Arizona.

He was confirmed six weeks later. Fast & Furious began in November 2009.

In order to receive more funding and to use high tech equipment Fast & Furious had to become part of the Department’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), which would put it under control of the Arizona US Attorney’s office.

“Although ATF was the lead law enforcement agency for Fast and Furious, its agents took direction from prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa wrote in a May 3 memo. “The lead federal prosecutor for Fast and Furious was Assistant U.S. Attorney Emory Hurley, who played an integral role in the day-to-day, tactical management of the case.”

Unfortunately, Mr. Burke’s office made it more difficult to interdict weapons. They needed approval from the attorney’s office to do anything, and many times the office wouldn’t give their approval. But that wasn’t the only problem.

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office advised ATF that agents needed to meet unnecessarily strict evidentiary standards in order to speak with suspects, temporarily detain them, or interdict weapons,” Chairman Issa said.“ATF’s reliance on this advice from the U.S. Attorney’s Office during Fast and Furious resulted in many lost opportunities to interdict weapons.”

So even if the ATF wanted to do anything, they couldn’t because of Mr. Burke’s office. He held the cards for the entire operation.

Fast & Furious ended after the death of Agent Terry. Emails released January 2012 show direct contact between Mr. Burke and Attorney General Eric Holder’s Deputy Chief of Staff Monty Wilkinson. In one, Mr. Burke told Mr. Wilkinson the guns were linked to the investigation they were going to talk about. Mr. Wilkinson said he would call, but Mr. Burke claims he doesn’t remember a phone call.

A month later, Senator Charles Grassley started asking questions and demanded some answers. Sharyl Attkisson at CBS News revealed emails between officials in Washington and Mr. Burke’s office on how to handle the gunwalking allegations. Despite knowing he would be lying to Congress, Mr. Burke insisted they never intentionally allowed guns to walk. That became the message of the infamous February 4, 2011 letter.

As 2011 went on, more and more about Fast & Furious unraveled, but Mr. Burke couldn’t stop trying to wash his hands of any responsibility. In July, a reporter asked the Oversight Committee about leaked documents about whistleblower John Dodson. Chairman Issa asked Mr. Burke about this, and he claims a reporter did contact him whom he thought had not seen the documents. But then Mr. Burke emailed a friend of his in Washington, who then printed out the documents and handed them to the reporter personally. No one believed this testimony and knew Mr. Burke was the one who leaked them in July.

Though his fingerprints were all over Fast & Furious, Mr. Burke was allowed to quietly resign in August 2011. He wasn’t fired or charged with anything. In fact, there is no mention of Fast & Furious or Agent Terry in his resignation letter.

In November, Mr. Burke finally came clean and admitted he leaked the documents to smear Agent Dodson. The memo was intended to cast a bad light on Agent Dodson and discredit him as a reliable witness.

A month later, the February 4 letter was officially withdrawn once the DOJ couldn’t deny the fact that the ATF did intentionally allow guns to walk. No one knows for sure why they did it. Several emails show discussions about gun control regulations.

Given Mr. Burke’s history, would it come to a surprise to anyone if gun control was the main purpose of Fast & Furious?

That’s What I Call Ironic

Feds Jail New Mexico Family, Seize Everything They Own for Being Honest Legal Firearms Dealers

by:

This has got to be one of the grossest miscarriages of law enforcement that I’ve read about lately.

Rick and Terri Reese, along with their two sons Ryin and Remington ran a federally licensed gun shop in Deming, New Mexico. They kept meticulous records of all the firearms and ammunition they purchased and which were purchased by customers. They
performed the required FBI background checks when necessary. Basically, they ran their gun shop by the letter of the law for 17 years.

Even much of their hired help was legal as the Reeses often hired law enforcement officers who were either retired or off duty, to work in the gun shop. This brought in a substantial amount of business with the law enforcement community and agencies.

In 2011, Terri noticed a customer that had made an unusually large number of purchases. The customer, Penny Torres, told Terri that they were having a family reunion at a ranch in the area and that they all liked to shoot. Terri was suspicious of Torres story and being the law abiding gun dealer she is, she reported her suspicions to one of her friends that worked with the Luna County Sheriff’s Department. Terri told him that she suspected Torres might be a ‘straw buyer’ (someone who purchased guns for illegal purposes such as going over the Mexican border to the drug cartels, kind of like what the US government did with Operation Fast and Furious).
The Luna County Sheriff’s Department officer Terri reported to was someone she trusted and who she always turned to if they had any need for law enforcement. He told her that he would promptly report it to ATF and would let her know what happened with the case.

Torres was subsequently arrested, but ended up making a deal with the feds for leniency by implicating the Reese family as knowingly selling guns that were to illegally cross the border into Mexico. This launched an investigation by a recently formed federal agency known as Homeland Security Investigators (HSI), who set up a sting operation to entrap the Reeses.

HSI hired a confidential informant called Roman, who was seeking a reduced sentence for human trafficking and drugs smuggling. Roman agreed to go to the Reese’ gun shop, purchase weapons and drop hints that they would be heading across the border into Mexico but to do so in such a way as not to alarm them and cause them to refuse the sale. Roman was fitted with a wire to record everything that was said. HSI figured that if the Reeses sold the guns to Roman, that they could then arrest them on gun walking charges.

Shortly after Roman made his gun purchases, the feds swooped in to arrest all four members of the family. HSI and local law enforcement raided the gun store and the Reese home. They came in helicopters, armored vehicles and too many heavily protected and armed law enforcement officers to count. Not only were the four members of the Reese family arrested, but the feds confiscated every gun, all ammunition from both their store and their home, then they confiscated the home, cars, bank accounts, coin collections and virtually everything the family owned.

Each member of the family was eventually taken to a different jail or prison facility to be held without bail until their trials. The prosecution argued that they were flight risks or might even stage a Ruby Ridge type stand off because their home had a well and solar panels and they had found guns on the premises. Can you imagine that? They actually found guns and ammunition in the house and place of business of federally licensed gun dealers. It was also noted by the prosecution that Rick and Terry Reese were part of the local Tea Party, which must have made them look violent in the eyes of the prosecutor.

Six months after being arrested, Terri Reese was allowed to post bail, but the courts continued to withhold bail for the father and two sons.

Recently, the first preliminary hearing was held for the four members of the Reese family. According to a WND report, the prosecution revealed a number of revelations during the preliminary hearing. For one thing, Roman spoke little broken English and that most of the hinting of guns going to Mexico was said in Spanish, which none of the Reese family knew or understood. However, the transcripts that the court had to read had all been translated into English, so that it appeared that the conversation had taken place in English.

Additionally, the prosecution admitted that all of the Reese’ gun sales had been properly logged and all transactions appeared to have been legal. They also admitted that the Reeses has paid all of their taxes and that there was no evidence of any under the table transactions and that all banking and financial evidence indicated that all members of the family never received any money other than their normal paychecks.

When the defense pointed out to the prosecution that they used so many law enforcement personnel in their store, the prosecution replied that it didn’t matter because ‘a lot of them [cops and former cops] are dirty.’

Now the Reese family is awaiting the main trial which is scheduled for some time in July. Since all of their worldly possessions, even personal items accumulated over 25 years of marriage, have been confiscated, they have no money with which to use to pay for their defense. And if by some miracle they are acquitted of all charges, they have no home and no business to return to.

What galls me to spit in anger is that this family, even by the prosecution’s own statements in the preliminary trial, have never done anything wrong. Their lives have been raped by the federal government based on promises made to two convicts in lieu of lighter sentences. Roman’s statements should not be admissible since he spoke Spanish and the Reeses don’t. This is a horrible case of entrapment and what’s worse is that they are accusing the family of doing what the feds did in Operation Fast and Furious and NO ONE IS BEING PROSECUTED in that case!

We need to pray that the Reese family is exonerated and that the feds are forced to replace all of their possessions, guns, ammunition, house, cars, bank accounts, coin collection and pay for wrongful imprisonment. If anyone belongs in jail for gun walking, it’s Eric Holder, not the Reese family.