Here, you are urged and encouraged to run your mouths about something important.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Project Gunrunner: Most Compelling Hearing in Recent History Relegated to C-SPAN 3

If you're like me and wanted to watch round two of the House Oversight Committee's hearings into Project Gunrunner, you were left doing so exclusively on your computer by streaming C-SPAN 3. Day 2 featured ATF whistleblower agents who gave jaw-dropping testimony about what they were ordered to do and responses they received when they objected. One of those agents was John Dodson, the agent who first blew the whistle. Also testifying at the hearing were family members of murdered Border Agent Brian Terry, whose death can be traced back to guns ATF leaders allowed to 'walk' into Mexico.

By far, the most compelling exchange came between Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich, with the latter being so thoroughly grilled that ranking member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) actually felt it necessary to apologize to Weich for how he was treated, which led to another interesting, though shorter, exchange between Cummings and Issa. Cummings attempted to apologize to Weich on 'behalf of the committee' for Issa's grilling. Issa then stopped Cummings and told him he could apologize for himself but not for the committee. Cummings conceded the point and then proceeded to cozy up with Weich.

By ingratiating himself to Weich, Cummings, who is a registered member of the Democrat Socialist Caucus came off as more than just a little hypocritical. Earlier in the hearing, he expressed nothing but sheer compassion for the Terry family while saying he would not rest until the parties involved were held accountable. If he were honest (a concept foreign to socialists), he would have realized that evidence is pointing to Weich as having knowledge of what happened. Yet, not only did Cummings side with Weich at the hearing but he's also siding with the DOJ, which says it wants to conduct an internal investigation and is pointing to other investigations as a reason not to comply with subpoenas.

Compounding this was the testimony of Agent Dodson, who said he sees a conflict of interest in the official position taken by DOJ, that it conduct its own investigation.

I've still been unable to locate video of the best parts of the hearing as of yet but here is Issa's opening statement:

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