Holder chief-of-staff briefed on Gunwalker

Eric Holder has said that no one in the “upper levels of the Justice Department” knew about Gunwalker. Recently he has refined that blanket statement, explaining that officials were briefed on Fast and Furious, but were unaware that it involved “unacceptable tactics”.

Is it true? It seems hard to believe that so many agencies could be involved in Gunwalker, and that so many officials could be briefed on the operation, without anyone demanding some details. We have a specific case in Gary Grindler, former Deputy Attorney General and now Holder’s chief of staff.

Grindler has been on our radar screen for a while, but we now have learned that he received a detailed briefing on Fast and Furious in March 2010. Holder says he doesn’t pay attention to all his briefings but we know that Grindler paid attention to this one because he took notes:

In handwritten notes about Fast and Furious that are not all legible, Grindler writes about “seizures in Mexico” and “links to cartel.” He also noted “seizures in Mexico” on a map of Phoenix, the home base for Fast and Furious, and Mexico locations where some guns ended up. And Grindler made notations on a photograph of several dozen rifles.

There is no specific mention of the controversial tactic known as “letting guns walk” which, law enforcement sources say, was the heart of the Fast and Furious case.

Okay, so there’s no specific mention in the notes of letting guns walk deliberately. But there is specific mention that the guns are making it to Mexican drug cartels. So, at a minimum, it was clear that the operation was a disaster. Grindler should have demanded to know how the guns were getting away. Did he? If not, it sounds like willful blindness.

(Previous post.)

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