Tag Archives: attorney general

Off the Record

130531-first-amendment-cartoon-President Obama has proclaimed himself a fierce defender of the First Amendment . On cue, Eric Holderman called for a meeting of news honchos to clear the air about his secretive and nasty behavior toward them. True to form, the meeting was off the record.

Strange behavior for a couple of guys who only know what they read.

Update: Here’s a great Nat Hentoff piece on two Obamas. (He mentions the efforts of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press to lead the pushback for the first amendment. Nat’s a RCFP steering committee member and so am I.)

Holder Holds On

Late last Friday the Justice Department dumped 2,000 documents on Congress. The stated purpose was to retract previous statements regarding gun sales to Mexican drug cartels. Despite the furious demands of Daryl Issa and others that he resign, top cop Holder held on during his Thursday testimony before Congress.

Under the supervision of ATF agents, American gun shops have sold over 2,000 guns (oddly a 1 to 1 ratio to dumped documents)  to suspected Mexican gang members. The plan was to track the weapons to Mexican drug lords and arrest them. Except government superiors denied requests by agents to track the guns as they “walked” across the border. Why? No one knows, hence all the fury.

Some think it was an evil plot to create drug war violence involving American guns and use the bad publicity to clamp down on gun sales in the U.S. That seems cynical and far fetched. Except Sharyl Attkisson of CBS has come up with what may be a smoking gun:

ATF officials didn’t intend to publicly disclose their own role in letting Mexican cartels obtain the weapons, but emails show they discussed using the sales, including sales encouraged by ATF, to justify a new gun regulation called “Demand Letter 3”. That would require some U.S. gun shops to report the sale of multiple rifles or “long guns.” Demand Letter 3 was so named because it would be the third ATF program demanding gun dealers report tracing information.

On July 14, 2010 after ATF headquarters in Washington D.C. received an update on Fast and Furious, ATF Field Ops Assistant Director Mark Chait emailed Bill Newell, ATF’s Phoenix Special Agent in Charge of Fast and Furious:

“Bill – can you see if these guns were all purchased from the same (licensed gun dealer) and at one time. We are looking at anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long gun multiple sales. Thanks.”

The New Federalism

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