Definition of SHAM:
1: a trick that deludes; hoax.
2: cheap falseness; hypocrisy ("saw through the hollowness, the sham, the silliness of the empty pageant" — Oscar Wilde)
3: an ornamental covering for a pillow
4: an imitation or counterfeit purporting to be genuine
5: a person who shams
-- Webster's Dictionary.
"Obviously Eric Holder has launched a full investigation of this . . ."
Mike Levine, the Stockholm Syndrome sufferer who is paid by FOX News to be their correspondent covering the Department of Justice but who does a better job as DOJ's (presumably unpaid) advocate within FOX News, heralded on Monday the open moves in the White House counteroffensive in the Gunwalker cover-up.
Justice Department Accuses Issa of 'Mischaracterizing' Evidence in Probe of Operation Fast and Furious
The Justice Department is accusing the Republican congressman who is leading an investigation into "Operation Fast and Furious" of "mischaracterizing evidence" and "maligning" federal law enforcement officials by questioning Sunday whether the FBI was trying to cover up the existence of a third gun at the scene of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry's murder last year.
"The FBI has made clear that reports of a third gun recovered from the perpetrators at the scene of Agent Terry's murder are false," the department said in a statement Monday.
This comes one day after Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, appeared on a Sunday morning news show and noted that a now-public FBI ballistics report labeled two guns tied to "Fast and Furious" as "K2" and "K3," but "there's no 'Ticket 1.'"
"One weapon has a '2,' one has a '3,' on it. There's no '1,'" Issa said on CBS. "When agents who were at Brian Terry's funeral made statements to his mother indicating that there were three weapons, when the two weapons that they have tested don't conclusively match up [to the bullet that killed Terry], then you look and say, 'Well, was there a third weapon at the scene?'"
Asked why the FBI would make such a move, Issa said the agency "has a history in some cases of working with felons and criminals and hiding their other crimes in order to keep an investigation going."
In its statement late Monday, the Justice Department offered its first public explanation of "K1."
"According to the FBI, the item that Chairman Issa refers to as 'K1' is a blood sample from Agent Terry, not a firearm," the statement said. "For this reason, it was not listed on the ballistics report prepared by the FBI."
The Justice Department said law enforcement officials refer to some items seized at scenes as "known" items -- or "Ks" for shorthand.
"Unfortunately, this most recent false accusation not only maligns the dedicated agents investigating the murder of Agent Terry, it mischaracterizes evidence in an ongoing case," the Justice Department said in its statement Monday night.
Uh, huh. Of course these are the same people who from the very first denied even the possibility of DOJ gunwalking. Remember, if experience of other federal scandals in the past has taught us anything it is that statements by press flacks -- who are not in the chain of command and certainly not under oath or responsible in any way if the statements they peddle are later shown to be demonstrable lies -- melt when subjected to a rain of facts like the Wicked Witch of the West exposed to a bucket of water.
Then of course what scandal deflection story would be complete without a statement by Elijah "Ole Bloody Hands" Cummings, the guy who might have made it impossible for this scandal to get off the ground if he had done his job when HE ran the House Oversight Committee?
Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on Issa's committee, also criticized Issa for fueling what he called "baseless speculation" about tampered evidence.
"It is unbelievably reckless for Chairman Issa to go on national television and repeat these baseless accusations, which attack the integrity and credibility of entire law enforcement agencies and undermine the prosecution of those responsible for Agent Terry's death," Cummings said.
"Reckless . . . baseless." But note that he doesn't say "false." To reprise Issa's question to Holder last May, "What if it's accurate, Mr. Attorney General?"
But an Issa spokesman said the Justice Department is playing “word games” and has not answered whether officials with the department suspect one of the two guns they cite was used to kill Terry, or if there was another weapon to blame.
“If there was no third gun, then Agent Brian Terry was killed by a weapon from Operation Fast and Furious," the spokesman said. "The Justice Department has so far failed to acknowledge this or provide appropriate answers.”
Then we have this Levine couplet of paragraphs, which is most remarkable for what it doesn't mention:
In its statement, the Justice Department said Issa's staff had been told "there were two - not three - guns recovered" from the scene.
For weeks -- as speculation over a third gun spread and some accused the FBI of trying to protect a confidential informant -- the FBI has insisted as much in statements to news outlets.
!?!?! Of course it was FOX's own William LaJeunesse who broke that story. Why Levine does not mention that is beyond me.
And it was CBS who first played us the tapes of ATF supervisor Hope McAllister agreeing with Lone Wold Trading Co. gun store owner Andre Howard that there was a third gun and that it came from Texas and was an SKS. This is mentioned lower down in the story, no doubt as a result of the information given us at the bottom: "Fox News' William LaJeunesse contributed to this report."
In this analyst's opinion, he obviously did not contribute enough. Levine could do with some of LaJeunesse's skepticism when it come to the demonstrable track record of lies by the DOJ in this scandal. But, as I indicated here and here, Levine is evidently held in thrall by DOJ trolls.
Trolls of the DOJ scandal-deflection press office. Enclosure in back is where they keep hostage journalists like Mike Levine.
Sharyl Attkisson also covered this push-back in a story that once again did not make the CBS Evening News but was posted in the network cellar on her blog. Sharyl ends her story with:
The statement said because the prosecution for the murder of Terry is ongoing, "further public comment is inappropriate."
In other words, our non-denial denial is not subject to further troublesome factual questions.
But this was just the opening move in the counteroffensive to regain the lost ground on Holder's Ridge. They also brought out their biggest rhetorical weapon.
In desperation, they have resorted to gas warfare.
Tapper: Just to change the subject from the economy, the "Fast and Furious" controversy. Aside from some of the more wild charges out there, this is a big scandal. The Justice Department, the ATF was moving guns and some of them were tied to crime scenes. what was your response when you first heard about it?
Obama: Well I heard about it from the news reports. This is not something we were aware of in the White House and the Attorney General it turns out wasn't aware of either. Obviously Eric Holder has launched a full investigation of this, (Emphasis supplied, MBV) it is not acceptable for us to allow guns to go into Mexico. Our whole goal has been to interdict aggressively in the flow of weapons and cash flowing south into Mexico because the Mexican president, President Calderon, has done a heroic job of trying to take on these transnational drug cartels. So this investigation will be complete, people who have screwed up will be held accountable but our overarching goal consistently has been to say we've got a responsibility not only to stop drugs from flowing north, we've also got a responsibility to make sure we are not helping to either arm or finance these drug cartels in Mexico. So it's very upsetting to me to think that somebody showed such bad judgment that they would allow something like that to happen and we will find out who and what happened in this situation and make sure it gets corrected.
No Univision missteps here. Obama now has the mantra well practiced and, impressive as it is, he does it without a teleprompter. It is however, pure gas, quickly dissipated by the first factual breeze.
"Obviously Eric Holder has launched a full investigation of this."
The OIG investigation is the Obama-Holder cover-up version of the Crucifix and Dracula, and they whip it out at every turn. It is however, according to sources familiar with it, not only powerless to ward off congressional investigators but a total fraud.
"The OIG investigation shall make you lose interest in Gunwalker!"
Sources who have observed the OIG "investigation" in action, both in DC and in Arizona, are disdainful that anyone would believe that the OIG will stray off the Holder Ridge reservation and actually investigate anything. Said one who has been interviewed by OIG investigators, "It is a total sham that will go forever" or at least until after the election of 2012. Said another, "They came out once (to Arizona) in May, asked a few people some questions, looked around at the desert and left and they haven't been back since as far as I know."
As a token of how fundamentally unserious the OIG investigation is, they have failed to interview key witnesses such as former ATF Mexico City attache Darren Gil, who was first mentioned in the these pages back in January and who since has given interviews to the media, including CBS, and testified before Congress. When I first heard this I was incredulous, but have since verified it.
If the OIG "investigation" has not talked to key witnesses such as Darren Gil, they are uninterested in actually investigating anything. The investigation is, indeed, a "total sham."
I would invite other media outlets to survey their own sources and ask them when or if the OIG people have talked to them. If my sources are correct, the "sham" can be outed for all to see. And I don't mean a pillow covering.