Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer admitted in a statement released this afternoon that he knew of both Operation Wide Receiver and Operation Fast and Furious as early as April 2010.
Today, Breuer issued a statement saying he “regrets” that he didn’t alert others in Justice Department leadership, apparently including his boss Attorney General Eric Holder.
In a separate ATF case reported by CBS News earlier this year, called “Fast and Furious” and started under the Obama Administration, Breuer says he likewise regrets not alerting leaders about the similarities in the cases. That, said Breuer, was a mistake.
Given the increasing number of Representatives calling for Attorney General Eric Holder’s ouster as well as the new ad campaign from the NRA, my surmise is that this is an effort to deflect attention away from Holder. It appears to me that Breuer is willing to take the fall in order to protect those higher up in the food chain. It would be interesting to know what perk or promise he is being given in exchange for being the designated fall guy.
I think a pattern is developing in which mid-level officials are taking the hit in order to protect Holder and eventually President Obama. First you had former US Attorney for the District of Arizona Dennis Burke and Acting ATF Director Ken Melson take blame and now you have Assistant AG Lanny Breuer do the same thing. At the rate this is going, the Administration is going to run out of successively more important fall guys. However, it won’t be for a lack of trying on their part.
UPDATE: Katie Pavlich of Townhall.com writing today about Breuer’s sudden acknowledgement of knowing about Operation Fast and Furious:
Breuer’s testimony and statements about “not making connections” between two separate but similar gunwalking programs and his claim he never told Attorney General Holder about his concerns or Fast and Furious at all, raise new questions.
Why is Breuer coming out with these revelations now? The House Oversight Committee Investigation into Fast and Furious has been going on for months, yet Breuer all the sudden regrets not sounding the alarm about the dangers of gunwalking when Operation Fast and Furious started in the Fall of 2009? While claiming he never told Attorney General Eric Holder about the program? Although Breuer claims he personally never told Holder about the tactics being used in Fast and Furious, five detailed memos about the lethal program dated July and August 2010 were addressed directly to Holder. Despite Breuer’s testimony, the question of “who authorized Fast and Furious,” remains unanswered.
It looks like someone, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, is falling on a sword, and that sword happens to be Eric Holder’s.