WHERE IS THE TRANSPARENCY?
by Sharon Rondeau
(Apr. 28, 2012) — Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has begun writing a “citation” for Contempt of Congress against putative Attorney General Eric Holder, according to anonymous sources.
Republican House leaders claim that Holder and his Department of Justice have “stonewalled” over their requests for information regarding the “Fast & Furious” gunrunning operation which has killed at least two Americans and an estimated several hundred Mexicans. After a meeting in Speaker of the House John Boehner’s office on Friday, Issa reportedly is seeking to move forward on a resolution which could be approved by the entire U.S. House of Representatives.
Issa and others are seeking thousands of pages of documentation, the release of which they claim Holder and his associates have obstructed. CBS News has submitted “numerous” FOIA requests for the documentation and “all of the requests that have been answered have been denied in part or in full.” The Justice Department has instead released pages containing only a header, the remainder of which are blank. CBS’s Sharyl Attkisson reports:
Few requests filed by this reporter are answered within a year. When and if documents are ever produced, they are often heavily redacted and the timeliness of the information relative to the public interest has long since subsided.
Separately the FBI has denied CBS News all information requested regarding the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. Two Fast and Furious weapons were found at his murder scene in December 2010. The FBI stated that the information was withheld because the murder investigation is ongoing. That investigation has now entered its second year.
FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, III has denied that his agency promoted a cover-up of the details surrounding Agent Terry’s death.
Last fall, House Republicans stated that Holder and his Justice Department made “false denials” and caused further “anguish” to the family of Border Agent Brian Terry, who was killed as a result of guns from the U.S. which ended up in the hands of Mexican criminals. Information turned over by Holder has reportedly been “highly redacted.”
It was reported on April 21 that the U.S. Department of Justice is now referring people requesting information on the Fast & Furious operation to the George Soros-funded “Media Matters” in a move which appears politically-motivated. Author Katie Pavlich claims that a third gun might have been involved in Terry’s death and has called Fast & Furious “Barack Obama’s Bloodiest Scandal.”
Members of the House could enforce the resolution through the federal courts or the U.S. Attorney for the District of Washington, DC.
My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.
One of the congressmen involved in the Fast & Furious probe, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, stated that of 80,000 documents sought by the Oversight Committee, only 7,000 have been delivered. A subpoena has already been issued to the Justice Department for the information.
Several people involved in the gunrunning operation have resigned or been reassigned.
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.