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Scandal Watch: Fast and Furious round-up

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By Michelle Malkin  •  October 5, 2011 05:04 PM

Question: Why does Eric Holder still have a job?

Answer: Because he has thrived on incompetence, stonewalling, and corruption his entire career.

Why would the outcome of Fast and Furious be any different than all the rest of the scandals that make up his long track record of putting political interests of the public interest at the expense of public safety, conflicts of interest, and his own admissions of screwing up, then moving up.

Why is anybody surprised that Holder and his hole-ridden memory can’t recall key facts, or that he admits to not doing his job properly?

He has a long history of conveniently forgetting things and screwing things over.

Flashback:

Now, we learn that it just happened to conveniently slip Holder’s mind to mention during the Senate confirmation process that he had contributed to a legal brief with the use of federal courts in fighting terrorism on behalf of al Qaeda operative Jose Padilla:

“The brief should have been disclosed as part of the confirmation process,” Justice Department spokesman Matt Miller said in a statement. “In preparing thousands of pages for submission, it was unfortunately and inadvertently missed.”

Oopsy-doopsie!

Flashback:

Let me remind you that before his confirmation, Holder “forgot” to mention that disgraced former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich had appointed him to probe corruption in the state’s casino licensing decisions. Holder pocketed $300,000 and — surprise, surprise — concluded that no corruption existed. Refresher:

Before Eric Holder was President-elect Barack Obama’s choice to be attorney general, he was Gov. Blagojevich’s pick to sort out a mess involving Illinois’ long-dormant casino license.

Blagojevich and Holder appeared together at a March 24, 2004, news conference to announce Holder’s role as “special investigator to the Illinois Gaming Board” — a post that was to pay Holder and his Washington, D.C. law firm up to $300,000.

Holder, however, omitted that event from his 47-page response to a Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire made public this week — an oversight he plans to correct after a Chicago Sun-Times inquiry, Obama’s transition team indicated late Tuesday…

And now, the Fast and Furious dirt continues to fly at a fast and felonious speed.

POGO reports that DOJ was briefed in early March 2010 on F&F.

Screw up, move up, cover up is back in shuffle up mode. Here’s the official ATF announcement of the newest round of “reassignments:”

WASHINGTON, Oct. 5, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Acting Director B. Todd Jones today announced key staff changes aimed at refocusing the bureau’s direction on its core mission.

“I have assembled a team to move ATF forward in its mission to fight violent crime and protect the American people, and to ensure that an experienced and strong staff is in place to implement that mission,” Jones said. In addition, he thanked all newly reassigned ATF officials for their service and praised their flexibility and willingness to take on the tasks at hand.

Jones was appointed by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder recently to lead ATF following the departure of former Acting Director Kenneth Melson. The leadership change followed the reassignment of several other ATF officials within the agency following concerns raised about Operation Fast and Furious, a firearms trafficking investigation out of Phoenix now under review by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). While today’s changes are geared toward refocusing ATF under a new acting director, additional staff reassignments may be warranted at the conclusion of the OIG’s report.

Under the changes announced today by Jones, ATF executive staff will be reassigned as follows:

Thomas Brandon will become deputy director. He most recently served as special agent in charge of the ATF Phoenix Field Division. Prior to that assignment he was the special agent in charge of the ATF Detroit Field Division from January 2008 to August 2011.
W. Larry Ford will become assistant director of the Office of Field Operations. He most recently served as the assistant director of the Office of Strategic Intelligence and Information. Prior to that assignment he was the assistant director of the Office of Public and Governmental Affairs from December 2004 to August 2010.
Gregory Gant will become the assistant director of the Office of Public and Governmental Affairs. Most recently he was assigned to the Office of Public and Governmental Affairs as the deputy assistant director. Prior to that he was the special agent in charge of the ATF Atlanta Field Division from August 2008 to August 2011.
James McDermond will return to assistant director of the Office of Strategic Intelligence and Information, the position he held before most recently serving as assistant director of the Office of Public and Governmental Affairs. He was the prior assistant director of the Office of Strategic Intelligence from 2004 to August 2010.
Julie Torres will become the assistant director of the Office of Professional Responsibility and Security Operations. She most recently served as deputy assistant director of the Office of Field Operations – East Region. Prior to that she was the special agent in charge of the ATF Miami Field Division April 2004 to June 2008.
Theresa Stoop will become the assistant director of the Office of Human Resources and Professional Development. She most recently served at special agent in charge of the ATF Baltimore Field Division from November 2008 to September 2011. She had also served as chief of staff for a prior ATF director.
Mark Potter will become the assistant director of the Office of Management. He most recently served as deputy assistant director of the Office of Field Operations – West Region. Prior to that he was the special agent in charge of the ATF Philadelphia Field Division March 2003 to July 2011.
William Hoover will become special agent in charge of the ATF Washington Field Division. He had served as deputy director from May 2009 to September 2011. Prior to that he was the assistant director of the Office of Field Operations.
Mark Chait will become special agent in charge of the ATF Baltimore Field Division. He had served as assistant director of the Office of Field Operations from May 2009 to September 2011. Prior to that he was deputy assistant director of the Office of Field Operations – Central Region.
Vivian Michalic will become the deputy assistant director of the Office of Management and will remain the chief financial officer for ATF. She was the assistant director of the Office of Management from September 2010 to September 2011, and had served previously as the chief of staff for a prior ATF director.
Melanie Stinnett will become deputy chief counsel of ATF. Most recently she served as assistant director of the Office of Professional Responsibility and Security Operations. Prior to that she was assistant director of the Office of Management and chief financial officer from January 2006 to May 2010.

ATF’s primary mandates are to protect the American people from firearms-related violent crime, criminal organizations, and the illegal use of explosives and arson; and to regulate the firearms and explosives industries.

Contact: Public Affairs Division
(202) 648-8500

SOURCE Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

CBS investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson deserves a national journalism award for her work on F&F in the mainstream media. Instead, she’s getting yelled at by White House officials and possibly muzzled by her own network.

Here’s the Laura Ingraham interview with her in case you missed it…

All Attkisson’s latest work is here. For now.

Relentless GOP House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform chair Darryl Issa’s message to Holder: Admit you knew.

Republicans want a special prosecutor.

As always, CleanUpATF and vanguard Second Amendment bloggers David Codrea and Mike Vanderboegh are your go-to sites on the Internet.

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