Did you know that way back in mid 2011, it was alleged by multiple sources and backed up by briefing documents that Darrell Issa was briefed on the Fast and Furious on the very same issues he is now trying to hold Attorney General Eric Holder accountable for?
The Washington Post reported in June of 2011, “All of the things [Issa] has been screaming about, he was briefed on,” said one source familiar with the session.
Issa claimed that for Holder not to recall the details proved that he was “incompetent” and “negligent”. Yet, Issa claimed he doesn’t remember being briefed on the very same issue. Documents from the meetings say otherwise. To which Issa responded, it is not as much his job as it is Holder’s to watch out for these activities. Huh.
Of course, all of this who knew what when presumes that Issa’s witch hunt is legitimate, and by most accounts, it’s not. Issa’s source is a conspiracy theory of a gun nut, also known as Rachel Maddow dubbed him last night as “the break your windows militia guy” during healthcare reform. Pallin’ around with terrorists, eh Issa?
The crazy guy thinks Fast and Furious is a conspiracy to take away your guns by giving you more guns, because of course if you have more guns you’ll go nuts. He sold this theory (aka; “Obama’s Gun Walker Scheme”) to the NRA who sold it to Fox News who sold it to the House Republicans who are selling it to you.
But since Issa is making such a big deal about this, and using taxpayer money to play partisan games based on conspiracy theories about Obama taking guns away and he’s managed to get the headlines he wanted, we are forced to respond as if he is not a crazy clown (from birthers to O’Keefe pimps to Issa’s gun cleaning friend – the 4th estate loves GOP clowns).
Thus, we note that Darrell Issa might have some questions to answer regarding when he knew about the Fast and Furious great conspiracy, because it turns out that he was briefed on it way back in 2010. Why didn’t he speak up? He claims ATF agents who ran an April 2010 briefing he attended “never mentioned” the Fast and the Furious by name, although documents from the briefing belie this claim, as do additional sources.
On October 14, 2011, Ryan J. Reilly of Talking Points Memo reported:
That contradicts contemporaneous documents prepared for that meeting as well as the claims of officials familiar with the briefing, who say Fast and Furious was, in fact, discussed in detail. Still, Issa’s office says staffers at the meeting don’t recall Fast and Furious coming up and say they weren’t given the briefing materials.
An official with knowledge of the meeting told TPM that Fast and Furious was one of “several cases that were briefed in great detail” at Issa’s April 2010 briefing. The official specifically said that the names of the operations were mentioned in the briefing, which was run by former ATF Director Ken Melson.
Issa claims he didn’t hear what others heard and never got the documents.
Republicans seem to consistently have a tough time doing their jobs. Bush never read the intel regarding the imminent threat to the U.S. via a plane, Republicans can’t read bills, and now they are the only people who don’t get documents at meetings they attend while at the same time managing to not hear what multiple sources heard. And he’s calling Holder incompetent?
Still, this could happen. But did it?
Jerry Markon and Sari Horwitz of The Washington Post had more sources who contradicted Issa’s alleged memory of that briefing:
A chief Republican critic of a controversial U.S. anti-gun-trafficking operation was briefed on ATF’s “Fast and Furious” program last year and did not express any opposition, sources familiar with the classified briefing said Tuesday.
Rep. Darrell Issa (Calif.), who has repeatedly called for top Justice Department officials to be held accountable for the now-defunct operation, was given highly specific information about it at an April 2010 briefing, the sources said. Members of his staff also attended the session, which Issa and two other Republican congressmen had requested.
Issa was there and expressed no opposition to Fast and Furious? Who is going to drag Issa before a committee to answer what he knew and when? No one, that’s who. Democrats won’t do it even if they get back into power. See Karl Rove who refused to even honor the subpoena served to him by the House Judiciary Committee after he refused to appear voluntarily. The Bush DOJ wrote a letter claiming that Karl Rove was “constitutionally immune from compelled congressional testimony.”
That’s an interesting contrast with Democrats, who let Rove go free so as to focus on governing.
“A refusal to appear in violation of the subpoena could subject Mr. Rove to contempt proceedings, including statutory contempt under federal law and proceedings under the inherent contempt authority of the House of Representatives,” Conyers and Sanchez wrote.
Can you imagine if Holder had just flipped Issa the bird and then written a letter excusing everyone, even “aides”, from compulsory testimony? Meanwhile, the vote of contempt against Holder was driven by the gun nuts of this country, with the NRA holding Republican’s ratings hostage unless they voted “yes” on the contempt charge.
Darrell Issa is acting on the allegations of a person who should at the very least have been questioned for inciting violence on numerous occasions. Though, really, who better to do so than Darrell Issa, who has been questioned in his alleged involvement in arson, car theft, pointing a gun at an employee he was firing, and more.
Issa then claimed that the linchpin was Holder claiming to not know about this conspiracy theory. But when it turns out that Issa was briefed on the very issues he claims prove his conspiracy theory, he claims he doesn’t remember being briefed on it and if he was, well, it’s not his job. True, it would fall under Holder’s responsibilities more than Issa’s, but certainly if Issa knew in 2010 about something he thinks is worthy of a contempt citation, he would have spoken up at the time. Why didn’t he?
It’s a shame, but apparently Republicans aren’t going to start governing until all of the mommies and daddies start rebuking their behavior with serious consequences. Thus, Democrats must find time in between cleaning up the Bush economy, dealing with the obstructionists in Congress, and the refusal of Republicans to confirm Obama’s federal justices to deal with the naughty children in the Republican Party.
Otherwise, it’s like giving a match to an angry, impotent arsonist and being surprised when they burn your office down.