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

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

New Fast and Furious E-Mail Surfaces, Raises New Questions

Those of us who have been following the Fast and Furious operation closely really want to believe that Rep. Darrell Issa and Sen. Chuck Grassley are pursuing this to the very end, with no 'dog and pony show' element to it. I hope those of us who demand to see the proof come out of the pudding before we go 'all in' are extended some grace; Congress has a long track record of dog and pony shows without justice being done.

Based on the history of Congress, a healthy dose of skepticism might be warranted at this point and an e-mail presented to and posted by Sipsey Street doesn't exactly help to bolster confidence because either former ATF Director Kenneth Melson told Congressional investigators an egregious lie on July 4th or we just got a whiff of what's behind the curtain and it smells like dog and pony excrement.

There is no third option.

According to a letter from Grassley addressed to Eric Holder, dated one day after Melson's visit with congressional investigators, the Iowa Senator said that Melson had been 'candid' about wanting 'to remedy  the problems.' Grassley also told Holder in the letter that Melson admitted to being 'sick to his stomach' when he learned about what was going on.

Now thanks to Sipsey Street, an e-mail from Melson to then US Attorney for Arizona, Dennis Burke on February 3, 2011 (one day prior to the date on letter from Asst Atty General Ronald Weich to Grassley that the DOJ has since withdrawn because of 'falsehoods'), Melson thanked Burke for the latter's help in crafting the letter signed by Weich as well as his work on Fast and Furious.

This makes the letter from Grassley to Holder inaccurate; Melson was not candid.

CLICK HERE to view the e-mail.

This brings me back to Grassley's appearance on the Senate floor last week, on December 1st. While he talked tough about questions the Justice Department had to answer, he also did something else. He telegraphed to the Justice Department what questions Holder is likely to be asked, which gives the latter time to 'craft' appropriate responses.

Giving Grassley the benefit of the doubt means the questions were so obvious, DOJ didn't need to have them telegraphed. That may be true as well but this one-sentence e-mail from Melson to Burke does at least raise questions about the fortitude with which this investigation is being carried out. If Melson lied on July 4th, we should see a backlash from Issa and Grassley, a tangible one, not just a rhetorical one.

Issa and Grassley deserve vehement support as long as this is a completely honest investigation.

Surely, they can understand our skepticism. Congressional committees have a history of playing the role of Lucy holding the football.

Read it all.

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