Attorney General Eric Holder appeared before the US Senate yesterday to testify – again – about the “Fast and Furious” program. He admitted that he was wrong about when he knew of the program (surprise! Yeah, right.), which to me says he perjured himself, though I am not an attorney. But he continued to try and pass the buck on the program, going on about how many people work for the DOJ, blah, blah, blah. Uh huh, but as Senator Cornyn pointed out, the buck stops with Holder.
So much of this program is disturbing, but what was disturbing about Holder’s testimony yesterday was his sheer and utter refusal to apologize to the family of Border Patrol Agent Brian A. Terry. He would not apologize to Agent Terry’s family. That speaks volumes about what kind of person Holder is, and it is not good, IMHO.
Did you catch that? He refused to acknowledge any blame on the part of the “Fast and Furious” program for Agent Terry’s death. Wow. That is simply mind boggling.
Lest his life be forgotten, just a bit about who Agent Terry was from a statement his family made in June, 2011, at a Congressional hearing:
During BORTAC training, Brian was given a class room writing assignment. The assignment was to write something about himself that would give the instructors some insight as to who he was. He composed a poem that he entitled “If Today Is to Be the Day…So Be It” and I would like to read it to you so that you can have a better understanding of who he was:
“If you seek to do battle with me this day, you will receive the best that I am capable of giving.
“It may not be enough, but it will be everything that I have to give and it will be impressive for I have constantly prepared myself for this day.
“I have trained, drilled and rehearsed my actions so that I might have the best chance of defeating you.
“I have kept myself in peak physical condition, schooled myself in the martial skills and have become proficient in the applications of combat tactics.
“You may defeat me, but I’m willing to die if necessary. I do not fear death for I have been close enough to it on enough occasions that it no longer concerns me.
“But, I do fear the loss of my honor and would rather die fighting than to have it said that I was without courage.
“So I will fight you, no matter how insurmountable it may seem, to the death if need be, in order that it may never be said of me that I was not a warrior.” (Click here to read the rest, and there is so much more to his story, including serving as a Marine, and a police officer.)
And yet, Holder cannot find it in his heart to apologize to this man’s family for the loss of his life due to this insane program. Wow.
Another aspect of this whole fiasco was the outing of the ATF whistle blower. The person who outed that agent was none other than (former) Arizona US Attorney, Dennis Burke:
Former Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke, who resigned in August, admitted late Tuesday that he leaked a document aimed at smearing Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent John Dodson, an Operation Fast and Furious whistle-blower.
“Dennis regrets his role in disclosing the memo but he’s a stand-up guy and is willing to take responsibility for what he did,” Chuck Rosenberg, Burke’s lawyer, said according to NPR. “It was absolutely not Dennis’s intent to retaliate against Special Agent Dodson or anyone else for the information they provided Congress.”
The memo that leaked this summer ended up being an attempt by Justice Department officials to cast aspersions on Dodson — one of the leading ATF Fast and Furious whistle-blowers. Burke admitted he leaked the memo in a Tuesday afternoon letter to Justice Department Inspector General Cynthia Schnedar.
The memo was leaked to press and had the names of criminal suspects deleted — but kept Dodson’s name on it. Attorney General Eric Holder came under fire during Tuesday morning’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing when he wouldn’t answer any questions from Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley about the leaked memo, who was held accountable for it and how they were held accountable. (Click here to read the rest.)
First of all, I have to take umbrage with the characterization of US Attorney Burke being a “stand up guy.” A “stand up guy” does not reveal the name of the whistleblower while protecting the names of the criminals.
Second of all, a “stand up guy” does not attempt to cast aspersions on an agent who has served his country and who speaks out about a program that has cost the lives of numerous people, including at least one US agent.
No, a “stand up guy” supports the whistleblower, goes on record to support hat person, and acknowledges ones own complicity in the program, not throw someone to the wolves. Just sayin’.
This is still far from over. Eric Holder may have testified before Senate, but he left many questions still unanswered. Of course, I am not one bit surprised by that result, or lack thereof. Holder is hardly an honest broker, not when it comes to this program, or others that have occurred under his watch (previously reported here, e.g., this one relating to the New Black Panther Party).
Last I checked, 34 US House of Representatives have called for Holder to step down. I agree with them, he should. At the very least, he needs to apologize to Agent Terry’s family.
That’s what I think. What do you think?
(There is an upcoming benefit on November 12th to help Brian Terry’s mother travel to hearings regarding his death: rememberbrianterry.com.)
UPDATED: Senator Grassley is very upset with Eric Holder regarding his refusal to allow witnesses to testify:
Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley said Thursday that Attorney General Eric Holder is continuing to stonewall congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious. This time, Holder is refusing to provide 11 of the 12 witnesses Grassley and House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa have requested be made available for interviews.
“We have requested 12 Justice Department witnesses be made available for transcribed interviews,” Grassley said in a Thursday Senate Judiciary Committee executive business meeting. “Despite the department’s promises of good faith cooperation, only one witness has been provided so far — former U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke. The department has refused to schedule interviews with any of the other 11 witnesses. That’s not the good faith cooperation I was promised, and it is unacceptable.”
Grassley and Issa are demanding to know who was involved in crafting a February 4 letter to the Department of Justice sent to Congress, which contained claims — now understood to be false — that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives did not allow guns to walk into Mexico. (Click here to read the rest.)
Uh, yeah. So why is it they haven’t brought charges of perjury and obstruction against Holder yet? Any attorneys out there with the answer to that question?
And the number of US Representatives calling for Holder to resign has risen to 38 now. Seriously = why aren’t ALL Of them, Democrats, too, calling for it? His behavior as Head of the DOJ is doing real damage to this country, and they should care more about THAT than about party, and Obama’s freakin’ election.