A proposal by the Obama/Holder Justice Department to allow agency officials to lie about the existence of so-called “sensitive information” seems curiously timed as momentum builds for a full accounting by the Obama administration on Operation Fast and Furious.
Fox News is reporting that:
A longtime internal policy that allowed Justice Department officials to deny the existence of sensitive information could become the law of the land — in effect a license to lie — if a newly proposed rule becomes federal regulation in the coming weeks.
It is no secret that news agencies have been getting their hands on sensitive documents relating to the Fast and Furious scandal outside of official channels, which is the only way such documents typically ever see the light of day. Sources on Capitol Hill have repeatedly insisted to this column that certain documents obtained by, for example, CBS investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson or online investigative journalists like Dan, that have helped widen and deepen the probe “didn’t come from us.”
Codrea advised this column that his initial Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests struck pay dirt, but that the Justice Department “as a whole…was unresponsive and they are reviewing my appeal and taking way more than the legal time limit to do it.”
Henceforth, FOIA requests could be essentially neutered by the proposed regulation.
The proposed rule directs federal law enforcement agencies, after personnel have determined that documents are too delicate to be released, to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests “as if the excluded records did not exist.”
After months of stonewalling and obfuscation, and delivery of documents so heavily redacted as to render them useless, there is no doubt on Capitol Hill that the Justice Department is trying to cover-up the gun trafficking operation-gone-bad.
Mike Vanderboegh at Sipsey Street Irregulars shared his concerns about the proposed regulations here. Affirming that politics makes strange bedfellows, like sentiments were offered to Fox News by Mike German, policy counsel for the ACLU:
“It’s shocking that you would twist what is supposed to be a statute – that’s supposed to give people access to what the government is doing – in a way that would allow the government to actually mislead the American public.”
The Obama administration sailed into office on a very thick carpet woven by media cheerleaders, with the promise to be “transparent.” Page after page of requested documents that were totally redacted, making them nothing more than large blocks of black ink on a white background, are not transparent. They are not even translucent.
This proposed regulation by the Justice Department – the agency under Attorney General Eric Holder that spread its tentacles fast and furiously to cover the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ gun trafficking fiasco – might theoretically allow the department to claim the whole thing never happened, had it not already been uncovered.
Advocates for open government are battling the proposal right now. If the proposal does become an “official regulation” sometime this fall, it will be too late to shield Fast and Furious. That cat is already well out of the bag.
BREAKING: CBS News is reporting that a Mexican drug smuggling suspect now awaiting trial in Chicago is claiming he was promised immunity by the Drug Enforcement Agency. He is also claiming that U.S. government agents have actually provided aid to the Sinaloa drug cartel in exchange for help in fighting more dangerous cartels.
Prosecutors say Vicente Zambada-Niebla oversaw drug running on a massive scale into the U.S. But now, from behind bars at a maximum security prison in Chicago, he’s making his own explosive accusations — that U.S. government agents have been aiding Mexico’s infamous Sinaloa cartel — even tipping off leaders on how to avoid capture.—CBS News
The claim might be considered far-fetched, but for revelations in the Fast and Furious scandal weeks ago about the apparent existence of a third gun relating to the murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry that had been concealed by the FBI to protect the identity of a key informant in the cartels. This column discussed that revelation.
Whether drug suspect Vicente Zambada-Niebla actually was guaranteed immunity is speculation at best, and CBS noted that such a guarantee would be unenforceable.
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