The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has announced a second hearing to be held into Operation Fast and Furious (aka Project Gunwalker) next week. According to the notice on the Committee’s website, the 2-hour hearing will take place Wednesday, June 15th.
The Full Committee hearing entitled, “Operation Fast and Furious: Reckless Decisions, Tragic Outcomes” will take place at 9:30am on Wednesday, June 15 in room 2154 RHOB.
The hearing will be streamed live at http://oversight.house.gov.
According to David Codrea’s National Gun Rights Examiner column there will be three panels of witnesses including ATF agents, Senator Chuck Grassley, members of Brian Terry’s family, and Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich.
The manner in which Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) is holding these hearings seems to be very wise. He starts by building the constitutional case for investigating ATF and DOJ and then goes to the consequences of their actions. I anticipate it will go from there and build into making the case that this was no rogue operation dreamed up by SAC William Newell out in Phoenix. Rather it was explicitly authorized by political appointees in the Obama Administration.
This seems to be the argument that Issa made yesterday when he was interviewed on the Hugh Hewitt Show. From the show’s transcript which can be found here. Definitely read the whole thing as Issa goes into other areas of oversight.
HH: … But when did this Fast and Furious program start that countenanced, basically, Americans selling guns with the effort to sting someone on the other side? When did it start?
DI: It started with this administration.
HH: It is?
DI: It started with, literally, the political appointees, many of whom had to approve specifics of this, including funding. And understand, there were agents at the ATF who have testified that they believe this was a good program. And there are agents who gave up their careers, basically, by refusing to be involved in it. So it was controversial. But it’s not about the agents in Arizona, or a similar program in Texas. It’s about the approvals all the way back in Washington. This is the Iran Contra decision. The Iran Contra decision was made by people around the President in the White House. This decision was made at least by people in the Office of Attorney General Holder. And they’re hiding behind every delay tactic they can, claiming that we’re going to interfere with an investigation. I’ve got to tell you, Hugh, I don’t want anyone to walk because of our investigation. But if some meth addict doesn’t get a strong sentence for buying guns, that’s probably not the worst damage if this kind of program continues, and we believe it continues to today.
Comparing it to Iran-Contra is probably correct. That said, I don’t expect the Obama Administration to produce an Ollie North or a Fawn Hall that can generate support and sympathy for the program. An Eric Holder, a Ken Melson, or a Lanny Breur just don’t inspire confidence or sympathy especially given the tragic outcomes. Stopping Communism in the Western Hemisphere hits a little closer to home than trying to build support for more gun control in the United States by helping the violence to increase across the border in Mexico.