Sen. Chuck Grassley, the highest-ranking Republican on the SJC has spoken out about the “awfully long time” that the Justice Department investigation of the “fast and furious” operation has taken. The Iowa senator first began questioning the tactics of the BATF over one year ago. Today he was outspoken in his angst for the blatant disregard for the process of things. He called for an explanation today on the reasoning for the delays and setbacks in the inquiry.
Fast and furious was an overzealous attempt by the BATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) to use it legally purchased guns in an attempt to track down the upper tier cartel leaders they were moving to. Arizona-based “straw purchasers” would essentially walk the firearms into Mexico, whereby the BATF would somehow magically be able to account for them and then provide other enforcement agencies with the locations of these weapons. In a script more predictable than the last box office action flop of course over 1400 of these you legally purchased weapons are still in the hands of drug cartels and affiliated organizations and individuals in the southern United States and Mexico.
The circus that has ensued and his sense Sen. Grassley and California Republican House oversight Chairman Darrell Issa first realized that the operation had ever been allowed, has put Atty. Gen. Eric Holder in hot water, and given excellent reason for private citizens and lobbyist groups to question the ethics of the BATF.
One of the major catalysts for the initial investigation and Eric Holder’s initial requests of the BATF was the discovery of two AK-47s used in the gunfight near Nogales in late 2010 which claimed the life of customs and border patrol agent Brian Terry. The two Romanian weapons were eventually TrackBack to Glendale-based gun store used in the badly botched fast and furious operation.
Because of largely administrative reasons the two Obama appointed representatives handling the inquiry have yet to be confirmed by the Senate, causing Grassley and others some concern for their viability as tough challengers able to ask the proper questions of the experienced individuals they seek to inquire of. These include Cynthia a Schnedar and Michael Horwitz, the acting, and the yet confirmed Inspector General appointed by the president.
Staunch conservative Republicans involved in the inquiry are beginning to wonder out loud if perhaps the results of the inquiry are being pushed off until after the 2012 election. Certainly it wouldn’t bode well for incumbent president to have allowed something like this to happen on his watch, regardless of whether or not he was directly related. Additionally, the Acting Inspector General is linked to the Attorney General, and the inquiry is seen as impossible to allow impartiality.
In the aftermath of several gun related violent crimes in the media this and last month, Republicans are eager to point out the importance of avoiding a farce surrounding the death of Brian Terry and Jaime Zapata, American agents affected by the ridiculous choices made in the fast and furious buildup.
Depending on the outcome, it’s certain that heads will eventually roll, but for now Pres. Obama has patently deny authorization of the program and Eric holder has followed suit by pleading complete ignorance to the buildup of this “ATF operation”. Given those denials, it has become a hot topic of debate to try and determine who at the Justice Department and within the BATF would authorize such a sloppy operation and not more closely monitor the weapons.
Conservatives across the board are lobbying via social media and whatever mainstream media channels they can get their hands on for real explanation prior to the election. The whole situation seems to have an air of stonewalling to it, with Eric holder simply pleading ignorant.
Chuck Grassley, known for his hard-edged approach and relatively conservative ideals has been posturing for some time to push for a major action on all fronts involving fast and furious, but it seems no matter how hard Darrell ISA and Sen. Grassley push, the mainstream media just isn’t interested enough.
What message does this blatant disregard for the lives of multiple federal agents by government liberals and those involved center the families of the slain, and the citizens at large as the war in Baja and the cartels will rage on?