Romney asked to uphold the case -Holder of Fast and Furious be dismissed or resigns

Governor Mitt Romney of MA

Governor Mitt Romney of MA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Romney asked to uphold the case that -Holder Fast and Furious be dismissed or resigns

Chris Cox reported that none of the ATF officials involved in the case of weapons have been fired

WASHINGTON, April 13. – The Republican candidate for President of the United States, Mitt Romney, today supported the demand of the National Rifle Association (NRA) to Attorney General Eric Holder is dismissed or resigns from the failed operation “Fast and Furious”of arms smuggling to Mexico.

As part of the annual conference of the NRA, Romney also praised the Republican congressman Darrell Issa and Sen. Chuck Grassley same political sign to keep public pressure on the Obama administration for the controversial operation.

“And I applaud the leadership of the NRA for being the first to ask the Attorney Holder is dismissed or resigns,” he said the Republican applause from those attending the forum held in St. Louis Missouri.

Before his speech, the executive director of the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) of the NRA, Chris Cox, asked its members to vote in elections for “fire” President Barack Obama and Attorney General Holder.

“President Obama should fire Eric Holder and we must dismiss the president in November,” he said Cox.

Before hundreds of its members, the overwhelming majority of men and women average age of the white race, Cox blamed the Obama administration for allowing the passage of illegal arms into the hands of Mexican cartels in drug trafficking.

“The Obama administration put gasoline in a fire death in our southwest border, but to cover up their steps blamed the NRA, its members and the Second Amendment,” he said, referring to the amendment protects gun ownership in America .

Cox reported that none of the officials of the Bureau of Alcohol, Snuff, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) involved in “Fast and Furious” has been dismissed and joked that, on the contrary, at least one was promoted.

Also criticized some of the major U.S. media, including CNN, ABC and CBS, have barely covered the controversial operation.

“That is a disgrace. But the NRA has covered the story and I promise: We will not stop, “he stated to the cheers of the audience.

The forum was attended by two leading critics of the Obama administration in connection with the operation “Fast and Furious”, the chairman of the Oversight Committee of the House of Representatives, Darrell Issa, and Republican Senator Chuck Grassley.

Besides Romney was invited former President of the House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich and former Republican senator from Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum, who suspended their search for the presidential nomination last week.

Among those attending the forum were also the leader of the Republican majority in the House of Representatives, Eric Cantor and the governors of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, and Louisiana, Bobby Jindal.

The NRA is the largest national organization of defense of freedom for the possession of weapons and claims to have over 4.3 million members.

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Eric Holder the probe was flawed, “it must never happen again”

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At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday, Eric Holder said that the probe was flawed in concept as well as in execution, never should have happened and “it must never happen again”.

The operation, conducted in 2009, employed a now-controversial investigative tactic known as gun-walking. Several federal agents said they were ordered to let suspected straw buyers walk away from Phoenix-area gun shops with AK-47s and other weapons believed headed for Mexican drug cartels.

“The goal of the United States was that these guns would lead them to Mexican drug cartel leaders and they could work with Mexican authorities to pursue arrests.”  Legislators were questioning the attorney-general about what he knew of the operation and when he had learned of its wrong turn.

“Allegations [have been] made by the Senate Republicans that, in fact, the attorney-general knew about the operation far earlier than he is revealing, according to emails that have been made public – and that he did little to stop it before it was too late.”

But Holder, the butt of criticism in the congressional investigation into the justice department’s handling of the operation, says he learned of problems in Fast and Furious earlier this year.

Lost guns

About 1,400 of the 2,000 guns went missing, two of which turned up at the scene of a shootout in Arizona that resulted in the death of Brian Terry, a Customs and Border Protection agent.

Holder expressed regret to Terry’s family.

Holder’s comments came as the panel’s top Republican Senator, Charles Grassley, said the operation represented an “utter failure” by federal law enforcement officials to enforce existing gun laws.

Grassley asked who the attorney-general “plans to hold accountable” for the arms trafficking probe.

Holder said he wanted to know why and how firearms that should have been under surveillance could end up in the hands of Mexican drug cartels.

Al Jazeera’s Adam Raney, reporting from Mexico City, said there was not much direct reaction to Holder’s comments, but, in the past, Mexican officials have repeatedly expressed concern about guns coming over from the US.

“Officials in the past have said that a lot of the drug violence here is as a result of guns from the US.”

He said even Holder acknowledged that from about 94,000 guns studied in Mexico, 64,000 had been traced back to the US.

Felipe Calderon, the Mexican president, has said that much of the violence in Mexico is easily attributable to guns from the US.

Holder said that “unfortunately, we will feel its effects for years to come as guns that were lost during this operation continue to show up at crime scenes both here and in Mexico”.

Breuer’s admission; I did not see the connection- arms trafficking

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In the latest development in the controversy over a government investigation of President Barack Obama on arms trafficking, the director of the anti-crime division of the Justice Department said Monday he regrets not having alerted the department head on the problems presented in a similar investigation during the presidency of George W. Bush.

The Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer said in April 2010, agents learned that research participants, 2006 (in the Bush era) allowed weapons to be transferred hundreds of suspected contraband, the same tactic by the Republicans criticize the government Obama after use in the operation Fast and Furious.

When allegations arose Fast and Furious earlier this year, the Justice Department told Congress that the agency made “every effort” to confiscate any weapons that have been purchased illegally, a statement undermined by the existence of an investigation previous Bush administration.

Breuer said he made a mistake by not mentioning the attorney general, Eric Holder, and Secretary James Cole the previous investigation called Operation receiver, in which he used the tactic known as “let the weapons walk.”

Breuer’s admission comes as the Department of Justice sent to the Capitol documents detailing their knowledge of previous research.

The Audit Committee and Government Reform House of Representatives, headed by Republican Congressman Darrell Issa, and the inspector general of the Justice Department are reviewing the tactics used in Fast and Furious.

“Knowing what I know now … I wish I had gone upstairs” and have told Holder and Cole, the two senior officials of the department, Breuer said in an interview with what I’ve seen AP.Con wide receiver, “It appears that the ATF (Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Explosives Snuff) allowed Mexico to smuggle weapons despite having the legal power and authority” to intercept, he said.

“Earlier this year have a board of the blunt and ATF says expressly that the weapons were not walking,” Breuer said in explaining why no senior commanders warned the department’s preliminary investigation.

“Simple and literally I did not see the connection” between the two operations, Breuer said, given the denial of transit and weapons because “I have no knowledge of Fast and Furious and frankly I’m dealing with all the things one does in everyday anti-crime division ”

expand “Fast and Furious” investigation to include accusations of gunrunning!

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Committee, asked Sen. Chuck Grassley and Rep. Darrell E. Issa on Monday to expand their formal “Fast and Furious” investigation to include accusations that similar gunrunning probes took place in Texas.
Mr. Cornyn said he asked U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in August to address the “scope and details of any past or present ATF gun-walking programs” in his home state, but never got a response.

“Though their failure to respond is not direct evidence of malfeasance, the department’s reluctance to address allegations of additional ‘gun-walking’ schemes in my state raises serious questions, and Texans deserve a full accounting of the department’s role in this matter,” he wrote.

Mr. Cornyn, a former Texas attorney general, said Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) “gun-walking” schemes have had significant “spillover effects” in Texas. In two separate incidents in January and April 2010, 60 rifles that were “walked” during the Fast and Furious operation were recovered from criminals in El Paso, Texas.

He said the attorney for a federal firearms licensee (FFL) in Houston has charged that his employees were ordered by ATF to conduct suspicious sales of firearms to purchasers who may have been working on behalf of Mexican drug cartels.

Last December, he said, the Justice Department convened a grand jury to investigate whether several salespersons at the Houston gun dealers were criminally liable for selling weapons to straw purchasers. The investigation, he said, was dropped only after the licensed firearms dealers revealed that the illicit sales were carried out at the behest of the ATF.

“I fear that ATF may have pressured other FFLs in Texas to conduct illegal activities, and that many of these weapons may have ended up in the hands of cartels and at the scene of multiple violent crimes in Mexico,” Mr. Cornyn said.

He also asked that the investigation include a look into whether a Texas-based “gun-walking” program was responsible for the slaying of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent Jaime Zapata on Feb. 15, 2011, in Mexico. One of the weapons used to kill Zapata was purchased by Texas resident Otilio Osorio in October 2010 and, according to Mr. Cornyn, later trafficked to Mexico through Laredo, Texas.

 Zapata was fatally shot, and his partner, Victor Avila, was wounded twice in the leg in the ambush on a major highway near the city of San Luis Potosi, about 250 miles north of Mexico City. The men, assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, were returning to their office after a meeting with other U.S. personnel in San Luis Potosi.

Neither man was armed, as Mexico does not allow U.S. law enforcement personnel to carry weapons in the country.

Mr. Osorio, 22, and his brother, Ranferi, 27, were arrested at their home on charges of possessing firearms with an obliterated serial number. Kelvin Leon Morrison, 25, also was arrested and charged in a separate complaint with making false statements in connection with the acquisition of firearms and dealing in firearms without a license. He lives next door to the Osorios.

According to court documents, a confidential ATF informant arranged a meeting in early November with people who had firearms to be transported from Dallas to Laredo. The meeting was arranged as part of an investigation of Los Zetas, a violent and ruthless Mexican drug-trafficking gang.

Mr. Cornyn said evidence uncovered by Mr. Grassley, Iowa Republican, suggests that the ATF was aware of Mr. Osorio’s weapons-trafficking activities “long before that date.”

“The delay in his arrest raises concerns that the ATF knowingly allowed Osorio to continue trafficking weapons through Texas as part of a broader ‘gun-walking’ program,” he said, adding in his letter that he supported efforts by the two lawmakers “to hold the Department of Justice accountable for their involvement in the Operation Fast and Furious tragedy.”

“American tax dollars should never again be spent to arm Mexican drug cartels,” he said.

In the Arizona-based Fast and Furious operation, 20 “straw buyers” purchased more than 2,000 weapons between September 2009 and December 2010, many of which were walked into Mexico and turned over the Mexican drug smugglers. The weapons included AK-47 assault weapons, Barrett .50-caliber sniper rifles, FN 5.7mm semi automatic pistols and other assorted rifles, shotguns and handguns – many of which remain unaccounted for.

The straw buyers paid as much as $900,000 for the weapons, with much of the illicit cash being furnished by the drug cartels.