Last Updated:October 24 @ 10:15 pm

Fast and Furious

By UPI Staff

UPI - The U.S. government's botched "Fast and Furious" gunwalking operation is leaving a deadly legacy in Mexico where weapons related to the operation regularly show up at crime scenes.
U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley said two guns linked to the operation were found last month after a gun battle between Sinaloa drug cartel members and the Mexican military.

Grassley said one of the weapons was lost by federal agents during "Fast and Furious" and the other was originally purchased by George Gillett, who served as Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives field office in Phoenix during the "Fast and Furious" scandal.

Grassley, who has asked Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz to investigate the findings, said firearms records suggest Gillett was the purchaser of the weapon. He said it is one of three such records in Gillett's name that list a non-residential address.

"Using false home residences on Firearms Transaction Records is a felony," Grassley said.

The other weapon was an AK-47 purchased in Arizona by Uriel Patino, who allegedly bought 730 guns illegally under the watch of federal agents.

Gillett is still employed by the ATF, despite being recommended for disciplinary action. Grassley said a report by the inspector general called Gillett's supervision and judgment "seriously deficient."

"Fast and Furious" was an ATF operation based in Phoenix that allowed gunwalking, in which federal law enforcement agents allowed suspected criminals to buy weapons, with the hopes they would eventually lead them to Mexican drug leaders.

Some 2,000 weapons were lost under "Fast and Furious" and not one seizure was made, nor were any drug leaders arrested, officials said. The weapons are believed to still be moving back and forth across the U.S.-Mexican border and will likely show up at crime scenes for years, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The Justice Department, which initially denied knowledge of the gunwalking operation when it was first uncovered following the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, has since acknowledged major systemic problems with it.

"Fast and Furious" first came to light in January 2011 following the death of Terry, who was gunned down on Dec. 14, 2010, in Arizona by two men armed with at least two semi-automatics trafficked by "Fast and Furious" suspects. Several ATF agents contacted Grassley, who began investigating the case.

"Fast and Furious" has its roots in the "Project Gunrunner" initiative by the ATF in 2006, during the Bush administration, to stop drug and gun trafficking between Mexico and the United States.

Starting in 2009, ATF encouraged a select number of gun dealers in the Phoenix area to sell weapons to suspicious customers, some of whom would pay for their purchases with large sums of cash. Federal agents asked the gun dealers to contact ATF with names of the purchasers and the serial numbers of the weapons. The goal, ATF officials said, was to see where the guns landed in Mexico.

The Justice Department said the blame lay with officials in ATF's Phoenix office. Efforts to uncover the depth of the Justice Department's knowledge of the operation led to a U.S. House vote to hold Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt of Congress for withholding documents requested as part of a congressional investigation.

A report issued in October by the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, chaired by U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., specifically found fault with five senior Justice Department officials for failing to identify red flags indicating reckless tactics. A number of ATF employees were also recommended for discipline. William McMahon, who was in charge of field operations, has been fired and going into the new year, other ATF managers are expected to lose their jobs.

Grassley, ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Justice Department officials "saw any number of warnings and some even had the gunwalking information right in front of them, yet nothing was done to stop it."

Two years after his death, Terry's family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against seven government employees, and a gun shop and its owner. McMahon and Gillett are among those named in the lawsuit.

Gary Grindler, Holder's chief of staff, announced in December he was leaving the Justice Department. Grindler's conduct was criticized by the inspector general in its review of "Fast and Furious."

"Gary Grindler was appropriately faulted by his Department's own inspector general for keeping information about a connection between the murder of a Border Patrol agent and a mishandled department operation away from the attorney general and the Department of Homeland Security," Issa said. "His departure from the Justice Department is warranted and long overdue."

Issa said other figures in "Fast and Furious" are currently being evaluated for their conduct.

"I expect more departures and discipline to come," he said.

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28 Comments

  1. fiddlerbobComment by fiddlerbob
    December 28, 2012 @ 12:06 pm

    As much as I would like to see this issue (and others) come to full steam, until we address the root problem of having an illegal usurper in the White House (and all the corruption that went into allowing that to happen) this, Benghazi, etc., will remain simply distractions, the like of which we are guaranteed many, many more.

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    • bizzybuzzerComment by bizzybuzzer
      December 28, 2012 @ 12:38 pm

      Well said fiddlerbob. Like they say, you have to go deeper than what the whale leaves on the ocean floor to find someone to put in the Justice Department. Holder and his gang don’t even try to hide from their operations. When called out they just show their new logo of a third finger and walk away laughing at you and praising one another.

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    • stopspendingComment by stopspending
      December 28, 2012 @ 1:30 pm

      I think F & F was always a program designed to send US guns to Mexico, have the Mexican gov say how terrible the gun problem from the US was, and then Holder/Obama could take some steps to limit gun rights. I remember all the bs about guns going south and drugs going north and something had to be done about it. suddenly, when F&F became public that bs stopped. Even this article is still trying to blame it on Bush even though he stopped the program and his program was in concert with the Mexican Gov.

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    • bna42Comment by bna42
      December 28, 2012 @ 3:21 pm

      “I think F & F was always a program designed to send US guns to Mexico, have the Mexican gov say how terrible the gun problem from the US was, and then Holder/Obama could take some steps to limit gun rights.”

      Stopspending,
      That is exactly what Hillary and Obama intended to do, and Hillary had already complained that there were too many guns crossing the border from the U.S. into Mexico. She just didn’t mention that the government was the culprit.

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    • franklintonComment by franklinton
      January 1, 2013 @ 11:40 am

      Caroyln.

      Also, Barry Soetoro is a MASS MURDERER along with Holder and others. Barry and Holder are personally responsible for Fast and Furious and Benghazi where many in Mexico and one American was kill;ed by their directives (Fast and Furious) and four (+how many others) in Benghazi. These two and many others in their administrations belong in the BIG HOUSE NOT THE WHITE HOUSE.

      Florida courts are addressing facts regarding Barry’s eligibility to be on the Florida ballot. There may be other states waiting for this outcome?

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  2. rattlerjakeComment by rattlerjake
    December 28, 2012 @ 12:07 pm

    We shouldn’t ban guns, we should ban the US Government from owning guns or having any dealings with guns (other than the military).

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    • elaineComment by elaine
      December 28, 2012 @ 1:10 pm

      Actually, Rattlerjake,..you are 100% correct. Between F&F and the murders in Libya of our Ambassador and others, they should never have anything to do with weapons of any kind.
      Now he is arming Syria AGAINST Christians.

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  3. bizzybuzzerComment by bizzybuzzer
    December 28, 2012 @ 12:44 pm

    I think the banning of guns is just a last minute ploy to get our sorry selves through the swearing in of Obama for his kingdom hitch and the open door to Obama II with all it’s little goodies. Like a second Christmas. Once that goal is accomplished the gun ban will drift off.

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  4. Pingback: Obama's Fast and Furious gunwalking operation is leaving a deadly legacy in Mexico - ALIPAC

  5. truckmanComment by truckman
    December 28, 2012 @ 1:12 pm

    Think about all the criminal,unconstitutional,immoral stuff this alleged president and his yes men/women have done so far,and what they are still planning to do;if you were them,would YOU want a whole nation of pi$$ed of ARMED Americans out there? Once you have them disarmed,you have the leverage to make them bend to your will.

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  6. truckmanComment by truckman
    December 28, 2012 @ 1:13 pm

    And I STILL want to see Holder fired. He’s as corrupt as Obama;no wonder they get along.

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    • jeronimodanComment by jeronimodan
      December 28, 2012 @ 1:36 pm

      I’d really rather see Holder in a federal prison, doing twenty-five to life.

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    • fiddlerbobComment by fiddlerbob
      December 28, 2012 @ 2:00 pm

      The the whole lot of Obama goons, terrorists, enablers and apologists need to be arrested for treason (and other crimes) and sent to Federal prison (Or Club Gitmo) for 25 to life, and, except for the Constitutional restriction against cruel and unusual punishment, subjected to an endless loop of Obama speeches.

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  7. roystoll2Comment by roystoll2
    December 28, 2012 @ 1:36 pm

    It is simply unconscionable that President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have not been impeached over the “Operation Fast & Furious” fiasco. About 3000 people have been killed by these weapons that these two using five different federal agencies, funnelled to the Sinaloa Drug Cartel, including Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and a state Department official. They are trying to play it off that it was a rogue agent in the Phoenix BATFE Office that ran the whole operation. The Democrat Politicians and their liberal minions have played this off as a political ploy to discredit Obama by The Republican Party. How many people have to die to make it real to them? The media still refuses to cover it although CBS and Fox News have covered it. This is a full blown cover-up and the entire world is watching. Now Obama is arming Al Qaeda in Libya and four Americans have died there. Are we powerless to stop this egregious behavior? Surely we have failed the American people by allowing this to continue. If this does not meet the definition of a high crime or misdemeanor as an impeachable offense, then what does? Clinton was impeached over one single lie. Both Holder and Obama have lied numerous times on both of these issues.

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    • empty pocketsComment by empty pockets
      December 29, 2012 @ 10:26 am

      All 5 stars, Roy. As tragic as the Ct. shooting was, over 100 times more people died as a result of Obama/Hiolder’s F &; F. And the grand total is unknown since it continues. Facilitating the further arming of a criminal entity, knowing they will use those weapons to murder people, aiding and abetting each and every one of those murders before, during and after the fact, lying to Fed investigators as well as under oath…forget 25 to life. Bare minimum, life without parole. Should be death penalty, just like they executed against the victims of this crime.

      Obama’s racking up quite a death tally and he’s only barely started on US. O-care is only the leading edge, the most passive. After seeing the callous disregard he showed for American citizens in Benghazi, including his own Ambassador, who believes he “cares” about any of us? “Obamacare”?? Nope. Obama definately DOES NOT care. He’ll use any crisis to his advantage, and if there isn’t one handy when he’s ready—he creates one like Fast and Furious.

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  8. MutantoneComment by Mutantone
    December 28, 2012 @ 2:02 pm

    When just when will it become to much, enough is enough! Still no charges even pending against any one in the adminstration He sees himself as the grand Caliph when it is all over and done with, the inclusion of Muslim Brotherhood members in Homeland security, his staff. His financial support to the Arab Spring. He was taught at a Muslim school over seas went to Pakistan. all under the guise of Taqiyya and Kitman which allows him to lie to heathens.
    All planned to further restrict guns here by creating incidents. He has allowed thousands of guns to disappear inside the untied states, Project Gangwalker the ATF and the DOF allowed the straw purchases of weapons which eventually ended up in the hands of United States gang members in Indiana” Operation Community Shield,” individuals are from El Salvador, three are from Mexico, one is from Honduras and one is from Haiti. ICE said the individuals are members or associates of the following street gangs: MS-13, Sur-13, and Zoe Pound.  Charged in connection with the shooting of an Indianapolis police officer last week are gang members, the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office Gonzalez-Ramirez is a member of the Puros Vatos Locos street gang, and Taboada-Perez is a member of the SCT-13 gang. Both have tattoos that express allegiance to those gangs, authorities said. and other weapons have been found at crime scenes in that state and surely have spread out from there to other gangs. A Civilian National Security Force that has gone off the map somewhere inside the United States, who’s numbers are any where from 10,000 to 100,000 strong. “”We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.” And just who is the We that he is talking about surely not the people or congress for they had no vote in the matter. He refuses to secure the southern border knowing full well that there are now terrorist encampments training and running drugs across our border. He has yet to uphold his oath of office to defend and protect the Constitution from all enemies both foreign and domestic by allowing Communist-Marxist to stay in congress but then again that is his political leaning as well. and his reason for supporting and facilitating the advance of the Agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood, using Our tax payers monies, our troops and equipment. 125 M1A1 tanks to Egypt, 20 F-16 fighter jets, two German submarines. Placing know terrorist inside our Security system leading to the Naming, hunting down and executions of the CIA’s agents in the Middle East. Which facilitated the attacks on our embassies on 9/11.
    And then the lies the blame and the “Any one but Me” responsibility creed of the democrats and Obama’s’ administration ies and more lies laying the ground work for Obama’s current regime message that it was not Terrorist! And the to stand down orders to troops that could have made it there in time or aircraft that could have gone in to obliterate any one out side the fence line of the embassy. It was a sacrifice to the Muslims an openly gay ambassador and two former SEAL members, and the “Stand Down orders” given to any attempted intervention.

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  9. CharlieComment by vietnamvet
    December 28, 2012 @ 2:19 pm

    ” … The goal, ATF officials said, was to see where the guns landed in Mexico. … ”

    Wrong.
    The goal was to drastically increase the number of U.S. guns in Mexico to support Hillary’s claim that “90% of the guns used by the cartels were American guns.”

    She NEEDED for them to show up at crime scenes so they could be traced back to us.

    Why did she need that?
    It was an attempt to create and international problem that required an international solution … and her U.N. Gun Control Treaty was to be that solution.

    Don’t think she was involved?
    Read this …
    http://www.examiner.com/article/breaking-new-evidence-shows-hillary-a-mastermind-behind-gunwalker

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  11. jackflackettComment by jackflackett
    December 28, 2012 @ 4:00 pm

    Here’s a question: Since the end of Fast and Furious how much has the gun running traffic between the USA and Mexico decreased? My guess is 0%. From what I’ve read, the problem with Fast and Furious was that 98% of the “gun-walking” process was totally legal. Buy 30 rifles at once? Legal. Buy as the procurer for other, not legal purchasers? No problem. A homeless guy walks into a gun shop and buys 10 assault rifles with cash? Totally legal in the areas they were purchased in. The problem was that the last bit of the process, when the guns were actually carried over the border, was inherently difficult to catch and bring to court, since every other action was perfectly acceptable. The lawyers involved, state and fed, were highly reluctant to prosecute because these kinds of cases are so easily lost in court due to the extremely fine line between what is legal and what is not, and the virulence of the legal support for the defense. Not to mention the political costs incurred by enforcing any kind of firearms laws.

    The firearms dealings by George Gillett were done against the direct order of his supervisor, and amounted to 5 handguns as I believe.

    How all of this points to an imminent takeover by the United Nations escapes me.

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    • bna42Comment by bna42
      December 28, 2012 @ 4:48 pm

      “The firearms dealings by George Gillett were done against the direct order of his supervisor, and amounted to 5 handguns as I believe”

      Jack, how do you know the purchases were done “against the direct order of his supervisor”? The article doesn’t say that. It only says he was fingered for disciplinary action and named in the inspector general’s report which also “called Gillett’s supervision and judgment “seriously deficient.”

      IF his supervision was seriously deficient, then I doubt that his supervisor directly ordered him NOT to purchase the pistols.

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    • catmanComment by catman
      December 28, 2012 @ 5:24 pm

      “From what I’ve read, the problem with Fast and Furious was that 98% of the “gun-walking” process was totally legal. Buy 30 rifles at once? Legal. Buy as the procurer for other, not legal purchasers? No problem. A homeless guy walks into a gun shop and buys 10 assault rifles with cash? Totally legal in the areas they were purchased in.”

      Sorry, Jack – but you are 110% wrong. Every one of the purchases that you describe are felonies. They are called “Strawman” purchases, and fully prosecutable.

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  12. roystoll2Comment by roystoll2
    December 28, 2012 @ 5:10 pm

    The original purpose of the “Operation Fast & Furious” operation was supposedly to catch and prosecute private gun dealers who were selling to straw buyers, obviously so they would be smuggled to Mexico. Then the goal was to track the weapons and prosecute the gun-runners and the groups (cartels that were buying the “illegal weapons”. First problem was that almost every single gun dealer refused to sell to the straw buyers and called the BATFE agents that covered their areas. The agents in almost every case told them to sell the weapons and taped a lot of the transactions and the main thing they said was “we have got it under control, make the sale.” BATFE Agents were in the stores on some occasions and watched the sales take place. POINT #1- by their own admission, not one single weapon had a tracking device, not one. POINT #2 The money used to purchase the weapons was provided by the FBI Agents and was allocated in Obama’s stimulus bill in two entries ($10.4 million dollars). The guns were then allowed to “WALK” across the border totally unmolested. POINT #3 Testimony has revealed that everybody involved was told to not divulge any of this to the Mexican Government. The Mexican Government was told ONLY AFTER the brother of the Mexican State Attorney General was assasinated by one of the weapons. 2000 assault and sniper rifles were bought and given to or sold the Sinaloa Drug Cartel by the U.S. Government and the death toll is at least 3000 with more to come.

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  13. sumitchComment by sumitch
    December 28, 2012 @ 6:53 pm

    One of the first things out of Holder’s mouth was “We’re going to have to take a look at the 2nd amendment”. Holder dropped the charges against the Black Panther in Philadelphia because of “lack of evidence” when there was film of him doing as charged. Holder refuses to cooperate with the House and Obama protects him with an executive order. Holder is up to his eyeballs with F&F and the president protects him. All of this and more comes from the very top with a wink and a nod. Oliver North was an amateur compared to this lawless administration as far as their gun running shows.

    Apparently the rule of law in this country has been changed to the rule of Obama and his lap dogs. Congress goes on break and when they are in session all they do is blame each other, point fingers and ignore the laws that this administration has broken. Fifty percent or so of the country voted to keep Obama in office.

    This country is in more trouble than it has been since WWII (maybe more) and all we get is a bunch of lip and lies from every side.

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  14. oklahomaComment by oklahoma
    December 28, 2012 @ 8:49 pm

    Armed citizens are citizens, Unarmed citizens are subjects! We are moving in the direction of subjects with this group.

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  15. jackflackettComment by jackflackett
    December 28, 2012 @ 11:49 pm

    Thank you catman and bna42 for your comments. In a narrow sense you both are correct. Straw-man purchases are indeed unlawful. Perhaps I should have used the term “un-prosecutable.” It is virtually impossible to prosecute “intent” to commit such a purchase, and no way to get a search warrant since the purchase is done in mere moments.

    My information comes from several sources, not just the above article:

    http://www.crimefilenews.com/2009/03/huge-phoenix-arizona-straw-man-gun-case.html

    http://www.federalobserver.com/archive.php?aid=319

    In a third article, this one from The Observer, “… ATF agents found that a man who purchased 476 firearms for $300,000 over six months was on food stamps. This would seem to suggest that he was a straw-purchaser of firearms—someone used by criminals to buy their guns for them. In the other, an unemployed man paid more than $10,000 for a 50-caliber sniper rifle, in what again seemed like a straw-purchase. In both cases the assistant US attorney in Phoenix warned agents about taking action against the men.

    That’s because in Arizona anyone over 18 who passes a criminal background check can walk into a gun shop and purchase as many guns as they want. They can also resell them. Here’s how Patrick Cunningham, the US attorney’s former criminal chief in Arizona, described the state’s laws: “[P]urchasing multiple long guns in Arizona is lawful… Transferring them to another is lawful and even sale or barter of the guns to another is lawful unless the United States can prove by clear and convincing evidence that the firearm is intended to be used to commit a crime.” That’s usually a difficult case to make, so prosecutors are reluctant to go after straw-purchasing, which carries a relatively small penalty anyway.”

    I wish it were true that straw-man purchases are not only illegal, but something that can be used to attack this kind of amoral gun-running. But I fear that as long as anyone can buy quantities of weapons at any time, merely by lying about their intended use, then it will always be impossible to curtail.

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    • catmanComment by catman
      December 29, 2012 @ 5:13 am

      In a broader sense, the whole purchase thing should no be an issue. If I buy one car or ten cars and resell them, is not an issue – if you take one of those cars and use it in a crime, it is on you.

      They (the ATF) knew where those guns were going – they should have been stopped at the border and the traffickers would be in jail for 15 years (just like the marine who just was released).

      When you pass ineffective laws, like out useless gun laws, and they don’t work, so you pile more useless laws on top of them, and they don’t work, you wind up with a quagmire of legal garbage that only effects the honest citizen.

      The whole drug/border things has easy solutions, but no one will take them, cuz the solutions are not politically correct.

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  17. hisemiester1Comment by hisemiester1
    December 29, 2012 @ 12:45 pm

    Why is it so hard for people to believe, this nation is a rogue nation today. Has been since B. Clinton was President. There is nothing you can say to make it not so. We have been shipping arms to small countries for at least five decades. People in those nations have been killing each other with American Arms and American advisers have taught the how to kill since WWII. How many millions of dollars have been made on the arms markets of the world by US manufacturers since WWII? Giving the drug lords in Mexico arms is the same as arming the El Quieda muslims in the middle east and north Africa.
    And when when a massacre of children as in Sandy Point, the people want to know why? If the people in the country would open their eyes they wouldn’t have to ask that question. We are our worse enemy. The country started to eat itself during the Vietnam war and has escalated the feast since. Don’t be surprised when it gets much much worse. It is time the US will have to pay the piper. (And it is broke)

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  18. yoldsComment by yolds
    December 29, 2012 @ 5:48 pm

    Unfortunately there isn’t a damn thing we can do about it. We have completely lost control of our country and are now being run by a bunch of criminals in Washington. I don’t care if they are Republician or Democrat, Independants or Tea Partiers, they are ALL corrupt and we are screwed. Why do you think they want to take our guns away? That is the last step towards creating a Communist state where the politicians are rewarded with the treasures of the populace despite being bancrupt. Take head America, we are in our last days as a nation and will fall sooner than you think.

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  19. gsreaganComment by gsreagan
    December 30, 2012 @ 10:07 am

    It’ s time to clean house in the so called “DOJ” under BHO and his thugs. So much for Bush’s anti terrorism policies and BHO’s “Hope and Change”. It’s Tea Party Time in spite of the lefts concerns. US Navy vet, 1966-1969.

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  20. afsargeComment by afsarge
    December 30, 2012 @ 10:10 pm

    I’m wondering just is going to be done about this and the other problems with this administration. Holder is in contempt of Congress, well I haven’t seen Congress do anything about it. Why not have him arrested and put in jail until he is ready to bring forth the documents and other stuff that was asked of him? Look if it were anyone of us outside of capital hill we would have been in prison long ago. Don’t tell me that it isn’t that simple, it is! I’m fed up with everyone in Congress ***** footing around, blaming it on partisan politics and both sides getting away with murdering the Constitution and destroying this country. The Obama administration goes around Congress, pushed an unpopular health care bill through, flips off the American people, uses union thugs to threaten state governments and right to work individuals, throw down the race card about closing the borders and basically get away with anything unimpeded because they can. And you can bet your last dollar that they are going to back door a gun band because of this recent school shooting. By my screen name you can tell I serve and have since high school because of how I feel about this country and how important I believe it is to the rest of the world. But lately I and others are wondering why we put forth the effort when the American people elect weenies that seem to have had a frontal lobotomy after they get in office! Is that a requirement now?
    Another thing, every time they have a budget crises the first thing they do is point at the military and the military retirement. But they never point at their wasteful programs or their retirements or their premium health care plan families included and not to mention their security. It took someone to scream about the fact that Congress could get away with insider trading information on the stock market before they begrudgingly repealed that law.
    Yes, the government is well over bloated and over staffed with too many people with no common sense and to much time on their hands listening to the few greasing their skids to pass/support wasteful programs and laws. Many of witch are duplicate or overlap programs and laws that already exist and many that the government shouldn’t have gotten involved with in the first place. (Just one example: Obese kids and McDonald’s happy meals. Blame the vendor, require nutrition information raise the cost of the product. All without caring that 100% of those proceeds go to funding the Ronald McDonald House) Americans are over taxed, over regulated and fed up forced fed with what Congress is passing without smelling. (If you get my meaning) And then they wounder why ALL our prime manufacturing and other business are going overseas and why people can’t find jobs. Look I know that you will never get rid of all the corruption but the common person really can’t get away with anything. Lately it seems like that old saying “They that have all the gold pass all the laws”.
    Okay, enough, I’ll get off my soap box now! Sorry but I’m just frustrated with the B/S and wanted to get it off my chest.

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