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

Saturday, September 3, 2011

E-Mails Confirm White House correspondence on Fast and Furious

This is certainly an interesting development when viewed in the context of what has already transpired over the last several months. On May 4th of this year, Attorney General Holder told the House Judiciary committee that he had only learned about Fast and Furious a 'few weeks' earlier. In late March of this year, Obama said that neither he nor Holder authorized the operation. Then, at the July 26th hearing, ATF Supervisor William Newell had to answer questions about his e-mails to Kevin O'Reilly, who served as deputy director for North American affairs inside the White House.

Now, it's coming out that O'Reilly wasn't the only person in the White House who received e-mails about Fast and Furious.

The new emails, delivered to Congress Thursday night, show contacts between William Newell, the head of the Phoenix office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Kevin O’Reilly, who served as director for North American affairs on the White House National Security Staff. O’Reilly, in turn, briefed Dan Restrepo, the NSS senior director for the Western Hemisphere, and Greg Gatjanis, director for Counterterrorism and Counternarcotics, White House officials confirmed Friday. The emails were first reported by the Los Angeles Times.

“The emails validate what has been said previously, which is no one at the White House knew about the investigative tactics being used in the operation, let alone any decision to let guns walk,” said a senior administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

While the emails don’t contain tactical details of the operation, they do show that the White House was in frequent direct contact with the ATF officials directly involved in Fast and Furious. The exchanges also suggest that ATF officials in Phoenix thought White House officials shared their goals and were acutely interested in the bureau’s work aimed at tackling the flow of guns into Mexico.
So that is now two additional White House staffers who were in the loop to some degree. Yet, we're to believe that Holder knew nothing?

Rep. Darrell Issa and Senator Charles Grassley have shown no signs of backing off in this investigation. In fact, POLITICO quotes Grassley as hinting that this scandal may just reach Obama:
Another lawmaker who has pressed for more answers about Fast and Furious, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), suggested Friday that people in the White House beyond O’Reilly, Restrepo and Gatjanis must have been aware of the operation — possibly including President Barack Obama.

“Presumably, people in the White House want us to think only these three people knew anything about Fast and Furious, but if they’re advisers to the president on national security, wouldn’t they be telling the president about important information in our relationship with Mexico?” Grassley said in an interview with Fox News. “Why wouldn’t they be telling other people?”
Of note, if you remember when Newell was grilled at the July 26th hearing about his correspondence with O'Reilly, of particular interest was one of his emails that started out with, 'You didn't get this from me.'

Read it all.

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