Congressman Darrell Issa on Friday told NRA News that he is planning at least two more hearings on Operation Fast & Furious this year before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and that he will follow the investigation “up.”
We have allocated slots for two more hearings between now and the end of the year.—Congressman Darrell Issa
Issa, in the telephone interview with NRA News’ Ginny Simone, audibly marvels at the testimony from former Phoenix Special Agent in Charge William Newell, which this column discussed. During the hearing, Issa called Newell the “paid non-answerer” on the panel of agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. While other agents, most notably former attaché to Mexico Darren Gil and the current acting attaché Carlos Canino repeatedly denounced the Fast and Furious operation, Newell repeatedly insisted it was a good idea that essentially just didn’t work out.
That obviously frustrated Issa, who told Simone:
You can play semantics all you want. Very clearly, four agents all knew what was being done was gun walking while the agents involved tried to defend that this wasn’t technically gun walking, but the guns walked and people died.
Issa also said that the White House has not cooperated “in any way, shape or form” with the investigation. Documents requested from the Justice Department have frequently been completely redacted, or so heavily redacted as to render them useless.
These hearings cannot be good for the Obama administration, and testimony that appears to be less-than-candid is giving rise to a variety of conspiracy theories, the most plausible being that this gun trafficking operation allowed guns to deliberately walk in an effort to “pad the numbers” of recovered firearms at Mexican crime scenes that could be traced back to United States origin. As the theory goes, this would enable the Obama administration and anti-gunners on Capitol Hill to push for more gun control and a renewal of the ban on so-called “assault weapons.”
As it turns out, that’s precisely what Congressional gun prohibitionists are doing, as this column noted.
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