FAST AND FURIOUS EXPLODES, LITERALLY: Eric Holder’s ATF Gave Explosives to Mexican Drug Cartels

Guest post by Investors Business Daily

Scandal: A deadly battle involving grenades between a drug cartel and Mexican police has added to the toll of lives taken with weapons trafficked by suspects that U.S. officials watched but did not stop.

The same Obama administration officials responsible for letting thousands of weapons walk into Mexico and right into the hands of drug cartels in Operation Fast and Furious also passed on several opportunities to arrest and prosecute an arms smuggler who was busy supplying the cartels with hand grenades.

This according to a report by Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News, the one reporter who has taken the time to expose the deadliest of the administration’s “phony” scandals.

Attkisson, whose yeoman work exposed much of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Fast and Furious operation, acquired a Justice Department “Significant Incident Report” filed last Tuesday. It details a deadly drug-cartel shootout with Mexican police in Guadalajara last week that killed three policemen and four cartel members and in which at least 10 hand grenades were used.

Grenades have been a weapon of choice for the Mexican cartels. A cartel attack on Aug. 25, 2011, in a Monterrey casino killed 53 people. One of those used in last week’s battle with the Jalisco New Generation Cartel has been linked to Jean Baptiste Kingery, an alleged firearms trafficker U.S. officials allowed to operate for years without arresting despite significant evidence that he was supplying the cartels with massive amounts of grenade parts and ammunition.

Kingery’s smuggling is not directly part of Fast and Furious. But, as Attkisson reports, the Kingery case was overseen by the same U.S. attorney in Arizona and ATF office in Phoenix that let suspects traffic thousands of weapons to drug cartels in the operation that resulted in the deaths of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry and ICE agent Jaime Zapata.

The Fast and Furious pattern of failing to interdict the weapons flow or arrest those involved in a timely manner is once again apparent. In 2009, ATF learned that Kingery, already under suspicion for running AK-47s into Mexico, was also dealing in grenades.

“Documents show they (ATF) developed a secret plan to let him smuggle parts to Mexico in early 2010 and follow him to his factory. Some ATF agents vehemently objected, worried that Kingery would disappear once he crossed the border into Mexico. That’s exactly what happened,” Attkisson reports.

Kingery resurfaced in January 2010 and was again under ATF surveillance after he bought about 50 grenade “bodies” and headed to Mexico. Six months later, Kingery was caught leaving the U.S. for Mexico with 114 disassembled grenades in a tire.

Kingery, who in addition to his gun-running is suspected of smuggling parts for as many as 2,000 grenades into Mexico, could have been prosecuted in the U.S. at least twice for violating export control laws. But each time, prosecutors in Arizona refused to make a case.

The U.S. attorney for Arizona at the time was Dennis Burke, a onetime Obama campaign donor who oversaw Fast and Furious and helped convert it from a gun-interdiction to a gun-walking program, and who resigned shortly after Brian Terry’s murder made the scandalous operation public.

Burke’s assistant, Emory Hurley, has been transferred. Sources say Hurley is the one who let Kingery go, saying grenade parts are “novelty items” and the case “lacked jury appeal.” There’s no way to know how many died as a result of the decision to let Kingery walk repeatedly and continue his murderous smuggling.

The carnage from U.S. agents allowing guns and grenades to cross the border continues, as does the stonewalling by Attorney General Eric Holder’s Department of Justice. No one has yet been punished for what at the very least is criminal negligence and prosecutorial misconduct in a continuing national shame.

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Doug Ross @ Journal

GROUNDS FOR IMPEACHMENT: IRS Gave White House Confidential Taxpayer Info; Punishable by Five Years in Prison

Guest post by Investors Business Daily

Scandal: The IRS official in charge of tax-exempt organizations when the unit targeted Tea Party groups now runs the IRS office responsible for enforcing ObamaCare and may have illegally shared confidential tax data.

It’s bad enough that no one at the Internal Revenue Service has been meaningfully punished for the targeting of conservative groups before the 2012 election. Now we learn that, for some, the unconstitutional and illegal action was a good career move.
Sarah Hall Ingram, who served as commissioner of the Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division from 2009 to 2012, was so good at her job of suppressing the political speech of administration opponents by using the tax code as a bludgeon that she was rewarded during her tenure with four bonuses totaling $ 103,390.

Her salary went from $ 172,500 to $ 177,000 during that period, and she would also be rewarded with the post of director of the IRS’ Affordable Care Act division.

That the person who rode roughshod over Tea Party groups was put in charge of riding roughshod over our health care was entirely fitting. The Tea Party was a grass-roots response to the power grab and assault on the Constitution that ObamaCare represents. It had to be punished for its electoral success in 2010 and Obama-Care had to be saved at all costs.

As the IRS scandal was unfolding, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., prophetically warned that “the IRS part of administering ObamaCare, particularly in the wake of this IRS scandal with regard to suppressing the views of Americans who were critical of the IRS, raises further suspicions about their involvement in the administration of ObamaCare.”

His concern appears to have been warranted with the release of redacted emails provided by the IRS to Rep. Darrell Issa’s House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Those emails indicate that while counseling senior White House officials on how to deal with a lawsuit from religious groups opposed to the ObamaCare contraception mandate, Ingram may have shared confidential taxpayer information with those White House officials.

Ingram appeared before Issa’s committee Wednesday and claimed she could not recall a document that contained confidential taxpayer information. But as the Daily Caller reports, emails provided to Oversight investigators by the IRS had numerous redactions with the signifier “6103.” That’s the section of the Internal Revenue Code that forbids a federal employee from “disclosing any return or return information obtained by him in any manner in connection with his service as such an officer or an employee.”

The markings would seem to indicate that, while personal tax information was withheld from Oversight, it was not withheld from the White House.

Issa and other Republicans on Oversight believe the redactions in the email exchanges involving Ingram and White House officials, including White House health policy adviser Ellen Montz and Jeanne Lambrew, deputy assistant to the president for health policy, did contain confidential taxpayer information. Issa has requested unredacted copies of the emails,

“So it was OK for (a) political White House to get the unredacted version from the same entity that targeted groups who came into existence because they opposed the Affordable Care Act, but Congress can’t get it?” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, pointedly asked Ingram. “That’s unbelievable.”

If confirmed, this leaking of confidential tax data for political purposes by the Obama administration would not be new. As Matthew Boyle has reported at Breitbart News, Obama’s re-election campaign co-chairmen used a leaked document from the IRS to attack Mitt Romney during the 2012 election, according to another targeted group, the National Organization for Marriage, which opposes the president on gay marriage.

Now Sarah Hall Ingram and the IRS will have access to your health and medical information as well. Wasn’t one of the articles of impeachment of Richard Nixon the seeking of tax data to target political enemies?

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Doug Ross @ Journal