By Jim Kouri
Two Iranians, who allegedly worked for Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard, were charged with plotting to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States. They were also charged with plotting to attack the Saudi and Israeli embassies, Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday during a press conference at the Justice Department.
However, the lead terrorist — Manssor Arbabsiar — was arrested on September 29 in New York. Arbabsiar allegedly was a member of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard and he confessed to the assassination plot. A question being asked by many is: Why did Holder wait almost two weeks to make his announcement?
Over the Columbus Holiday weekend and during a Monday morning appearance on the Fox News Channel Congressman Darrell Issa continued his verbal attacks on Attorney General Eric Holder for his role in a botched ATF undercover gun-smuggling operation under investigation by Issa’s congressional committee.
The Californian member of the U.S. House told Fox News that the attorney general’s most recent explanation had “reached a new low,” and Issa accused both Holder and Justice Department officials of stonewalling, and even attempting to derail his investigation into “Operation Fast and Furious” by offering “a roving set of ever-changing explanations to justify [the ATF and DOJ’s] involvement in this reckless and deadly program.”
A law enforcement official in Washington, DC, tells the Law Enforcement Examiner that Holder and his minions are doing the verbal equivalent of “burying the investigators in endless paper.” The official also stated that he believed Holder’s announcement had more to do with distracting the media and the American people from the numerous scandals and missteps of his office and the Obama Administration.
The law enforcement commander quipped that listening to the Obama’s White House and Holder’s subordinates will make your head spin. It’s the old “it depends on what the meaning of the word is is” made famous by President Bill Clinton.
“All of these efforts were designed to circle the wagons around DOJ and its political appointees,” Issa, the chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said in response to a letter he received from the Attorney General.
Operation Fast and Furious has become an embarrassment and a political fiasco for the Obama administration, which has received renewed calls for Eric Holder to resign.
Under the Operation Fast and Furious program, guns were bought by straw purchasers for Mexican drug cartels with the aid of agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The plan was to track the firearms discovered during police raids and at crime scenes back to the firearms sold under the supervision of the operation. The idea was to eventually dismantle the trafficking routes used by Mexican drug cartels. But to make cases against the cartels, thousands of guns were released onto the streets and it’s believed a large number of Mexican nationals were killed with the Fast and Furious weapons and the ill-advised program was responsible for the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.\
During sworn testimony and on numerous occasions after, Holder has claimed he recently learned of the program. Yet Rep. Issa showed his committee, Holder’s department and the American people detailed correspondence that strongly suggests two senior Justice Department (DOJ) officials knew of the controversial methods used under Operation Fast and Furious.
Issa offered two examples in which DOJ’s former acting deputy director, Gary Grindler — who now serves as Holder’s chief of staff — and the assistant attorney general for DOJ’s criminal division, Lanny Breuer, were made aware of the gun “walking” methods.
Issa told Fox News viewers that either Holder was told about the tactics, had lied to Congress, and continues to lie; or Holder wasn’t informed about the operation and tactics, and therefore is running his agency incompetently.
“Incredibly, in your letter from Friday you now claim that you were unaware of Fast and Furious because your staff failed to inform you of information contained in memos that were specifically addressed to you,” Issa wrote in his letter, sent to Holder on Sunday but publicly released on Monday.
“At best, this indicates negligence and incompetence in your duties as attorney general. At worst, it places your credibility in serious doubt.”
Issa said on Fox News that he wishes Holder to testify again to Congress on the issue, and wrote that Holder’s letter “did little but obfuscate, shift blame, berate and attempt to change the topic away from the department’s responsibility in the creation, implementation and authorization” of Fast and Furious.
Issa blasted Holder’s letter and called into question his qualifications to serve as the nation’s attorney general.
“It appears your latest defense has reached a new low,” Issa noted.
This latest letter follows Issa’s weekend announcement that he will subpoena the Department of Justice for new documents related to department officials’ involvement in authorizing the operation, which was launched by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in 2009.
“With the skill of a hack politician, Holder sent a response to Issa’s committee defending the men and women of the ATF and DOJ,” said the Law Enforcement Examiner’s source who requested anonymity.
Holder had written: “I cannot sit idly by as a majority member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform suggests, as happened this week, that law enforcement and government employees who devote their lives to protecting our citizens be considered accessories to murder.”
“Holder obviously has a problem with the truth. No one questioned the integrity of the law enforcement employees. Only his integrity, honesty, and competence is being questioned,” said the anonymous source.