Rep. Elijah Cummings: Issa Is On 'Fast And Furious' Witch Hunt


From this weekend's Face the Nation -- Dem: Issa is on "Fast & Furious" witch hunt:

Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the Oversight & Government Reform Committee, said Sunday he thinks committee Chair Darrell Issa is conducting a witch hunt regarding the ATF "Fast and Furious" gunwalking scandal - and that Issa has issued "some very unfortunate statements about the chief law enforcement officer in our country," Attorney General Eric Holder.

Cummings, appearing on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday, said Holder absolutely "didn't know" what was going on with the "Fast and Furious" operation, or that the program - which was aimed at taking down a major Mexican drug cartel - resulted in letting thousands of guns "walk" into the hands of suspected traffickers. Two of those weapons turned up at the scene where Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered last December.

"The man in charge of the ATF has told us, has told Mr. Issa, that he never communicated the controversial tactics with regard to 'Fast & Furious' to Attorney General Holder," Cummings told CBS' Bob Schieffer.

In fact, Cummings said, the head of the ATF himself wasn't even aware of the tactics being used.

"And still, Chairman Issa goes out there - and Republicans - accusing the highest law enforcement officer in the land of being an accessory to murder and things of that nature, and calling for his resignation," he added. "Just because ... you don't like some facts, you don't throw them out the door and say, 'I'm not going to look at those.' You look at the entire picture.

"That simply has not happened here," he said. Read on...

Media Matters has more on the right's latest conspiracy theory in regards to the program here -- Fast and Furious Conspiracy: Hillary Clinton Edition:

Another day, another right-wing conspiracy theory about guns. This time it's that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is not running for President because she must be nefariously involved in the failed Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Fast and Furious program. Of course, Clinton has consistently said she will not seek the presidency in 2012 since long before Fast and Furious became public.

The details of the ATF's operation Fast and Furious are certainly worthy of the investigations being undertaken in both Congress and Department of Justice's office of the Inspector General. But since Fast and Furious became public, right-wing blogs, Fox News reporters and gun lobbyists have all pushed a variety of baseless conspiracies related to Fast and Furious.

Right-wing media has previously claimed that Fast and Furious was funded by the stimulus bill; not true. They also thought Attorney General Eric Holder mentioned Fast and Furious in a speech; again not true. They've long asserted Holder and the White House must have known/approved of the program early on despite a lack of evidence; Bush-appointed former ATF acting director Michael Sullivan said that wasn't necessarily the case. They've gone as far as to suggest, again without evidence, that Fast and Furious has deliberately set up with the intention of arming the cartels to justify increased gun control.

So no surprise that today gun blogger Mike Vanderboegh asserts that Hillary Clinton's recent statement that she is not running for president against President Obama must be caused by her being somehow implicated in the Fast and Furious program. Read on...

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