Fast and furious incrimination

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Operation Fast and Furious is still under investigation, debt ceiling or no. This week, a key witness implicated the White House itself.

Who is William Newell?

William Newell writes to a White House official about Operation Fast and Furious

A damaging e-mail from William D. Newell, SAC of ATF-Phoenix, to Kevin O'Reilly of the NSC, promising two attachments about Operation Fast and Furious. Note the salutation: "You did not get these from me." PHoto: Mike Vanderboegh/Sipsey Street Irregulars.

William Newell, of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), was the Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix, AZ field office during Operation Fast and Furious. Late last week, Mike Vanderboegh (Sipsey Street Irregulars) learned that the House and Senate committees investigating Fast and Furious had copies of e-mails between Newell and one Kevin O’Reilly, Director of North American Affairs of the National Security Council. He wrote to the two respective counsels on Saturday, and actually got an appointment to see several employees of Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Issa’s men did not allow Vanderboegh to give out any details. Vanderboegh said later that the men satisfied him that they had everything that he had on Newell and O’Reilly.

The next day (Tuesday), Issa’s committee grilled Newell—and asked him specifically about his e-mails with O’Reilly, and why he would use “You didn’t get these from me” instead of “Dear Ken” as a salutation.

And what were “these”? They were two sets of rehearsed statements, one to the press and the other to then-Deputy Director Ken Melson. The timestamp on the message is September 3, 2010, at 11:20:06 a.m. The obvious question: if a White House official had this information nearly ten months ago today, why would the man now holding office as President not know about any of this?

The Fast and Furious smoking gun

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), point man investigating Operation Fast and Furious

Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA), Chairman, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Photo: United States House of Representatives

David Codrea, the National Gun Rights Examiner, has this partial transcript of the Oversight Committee hearing and the grilling of Newell. (See also the video below.) John Hayward at Human Events analyzed the exchange. The information available on the Oversight Committee’s own YouTube channel says it all:

During today’s Oversight hearing on Operation Fast and Furious, Mr. William Newell, Former ATF Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix Field Division, openly admitted that the Internal Revenue Service, Drug Enforcement Agency, [and] Immigration and Customs Enforcement had known and participated in Operation Fast and Furious.

Says Hayward:

We already know the FBI was involved, because some of their paid confidential informants starred in ATF’s favorite closed-circuit TV shows. Who’s left to implicate?

Then came the Kevin O’Reilly questions. Even Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News couldn’t ignore this.

The Issa committee also took evidence from Special Agent Carlos Canino, the ATF attaché in Mexico. He called Fast and Furious “a perfect storm of idiocy” and clearly was very glad to testify.

What’s next?

Chairman Issa now wants O’Reilly to give his own evidence, as Vanderboegh reported this morning. But now the House Appropriations Committee is demanding answers. Codrea reports that they want someone to investigate Fast and Furious independently of the government. They wrote this language, from an official committee report, into the appropriations bill for Justice and other departments.

Separately, Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), who was once the Attorney General of Texas, suspects that the US Attorney General knows more than he’s telling—and demands that he tell.

Pushback

The left-wing media have started to push back against coverage of Fast and Furious. National Conservative Examiner Anthony G. Martin has the details. First, a Justice Department attorney managed to get Vanderboegh banned from the Issa hearing on a trumped-up pretext. (That didn’t stop the Committee from releasing the two blockbuster videos below.) On that same day, a “correspondent” from Media Matters of America accused Vanderboegh of lying about the Tampa ATF field office running or “walking” guns into Honduras. Yesterday, MM flatly accused Fox News’ William LaJeunesse of running with Vanderboegh’s “allegations” without proper “fact-checking.”

It goes without saying that Media Matters, the pompous pimps of progressive propaganda, has but one goal in making such assertions—to create doubt on the part of readers concerning the veracity of the facts disclosed thus far concerning Project Gunwalker, or “Operation Fast and Furious,” the ATF-DOJ-Obama Administration scheme to deliberately place U.S. guns into the hands of dangerous criminals in Mexico and Honduras [to bolster] statistics that would then erroneously show that the vast majority of weapons used by drug cartels came from the U.S. Such phony statistics would then be used to push for massive new gun control measures throughout the U.S.

If this report today by Codrea shows anything, ATF has already started putting such measures into force. On July 12, ATF Special Agent Charles Houser sent a memo to Federal Firearms Licensees in four border States, demanding that they report any sale of two or more semiautomatic guns to “any unlicensed person.”

The National Rifle Association has already threatened to sue the government the first time any FFL got such a letter.

Featured image: the Constitution of the United States. Photo: National Archives

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