If Gun Walking Is Wrong, Why Isn’t Nuclear Blueprint Walking?

In his statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee today, Attorney General Holder tried to stave off questions about Fast and Furious by asserting that “gun walking” is wrong.

I want to be clear: any instance of so-called “gun walking” is unacceptable.   Regrettably, this tactic was used as part of Fast and Furious, which was launched to combat gun trafficking and violence on our Southwest Border.   This operation was flawed in concept, as well as in execution.   And, unfortunately, we will feel its effects for years to come as guns that were lost during this operation continue to show up at crimes scenes both here and in Mexico.   This should never have happened.   And it must never happen again.

It’s a statement he repeated a number of times during the hearing.

The emphasis on the problems with the technique of letting illegal guns pass into Mexico to allow the ATF to trace straw buyers represents a shift in the way Democrats are dealing with the Fast and Furious scandal by looking at similar efforts made under Attorney General Mukasey.

For example, to undercut Darrell Issa’s efforts on Oversight, Elijah Cummings has asked him to include the earlier instances under Mukasey.

A briefing paper prepared for Attorney General Michael Mukasey during the Bush administration in 2007 outlined failed attempts by federal agents to track illicitly purchased guns across the border into Mexico and stressed the need for U.S. and Mexican law enforcement officials to work together on such efforts using a tactic that now is generating controversy.The information contained in one paragraph of a lengthy Nov. 16, 2007, document marks the first known instance of an attorney general being given information about the tactic known as “gun-walking.” It since has become controversial amid a probe by congressional Republicans criticizing the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for using it during the Obama administration in an arms-trafficking investigation called Operation Fast and Furious that focused on several Phoenix-area gun shop

[snip]

Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, wrote to the panel’s Republican chairman, Darrell Issa of California, asking that he call Mukasey to testify about his knowledge of the program.

“Given the significant questions raised by the disclosures in these documents, our committee’s investigation will not be viewed as credible, even-handed, or complete unless we hear directly from Attorney General Mukasey,” Cummings wrote.

It’s nice our elected officials are coming to the conclusion that it’s not a good idea to intentionally deal guns directly to people with ties to drug cartels.

But then why is Eric Holder’s DOJ prosecuting Jeff Sterling for allegedly exposing CIA’s practice of dealing nuclear blueprints to Iran (while, at the same time, alerting them to the flaws in those blueprints designed to sabotage their nuclear program)?

After all, if selling guns to cartel members presents unacceptably high possibility for unintended consequences, doesn’t passing on nuclear blueprints to Iran present an even greater risk?

And if that’s true, and if DOJ agrees that the ATF officers who exposed this program are whistleblowers, then doesn’t it follow that Sterling allegedly was, too?

If, as the Attorney General himself maintains, Fast and Furious was “flawed in concept, as well as in execution,” then what distinguishes it from Merlin?

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14 Responses to If Gun Walking Is Wrong, Why Isn’t Nuclear Blueprint Walking?

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel @chooglinondown2 It's his job, and most of it is laudable--this should be teaching moment of all the corps not taking this seriously.
23mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @digby56 I took it to be an "attack on" "1) freedom of expression" & "2) way of life." @ddayen
24mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @ColMorrisDavis Argh. Sorry.
24mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @matthewstoller @ddayen's potential exposure notwithstanding, think more Americans still more fucked by Target hack. @digby56
25mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @ddayen LOL. I'm like you: obscurity through non-lucrative cybertarget, as opposed to Target, shopping @digby56
25mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @ddayen Do you feel like your way of life has been attacked? More than, say, your Target habits? @digby56
27mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @digby56 True. Should have said former. However one you're way too familiar with!
30mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @bungdan I'm glad they are though. Not least bc it'll work better in google searches.
31mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @digby56 To be fair, they did kind of attack your way of life.
31mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel NK attacked our "way of life"? http://t.co/FFmhEKnnBl
33mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel NatSec types now insist we defend freedom of speech in face of terrorist threats. Huh. Lots of silenced people could speak to that.
34mreplyretweetfavorite
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