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Tag: house oversight and government reform committee

Senior Homeland Security Official Flip-Flops on Gun Sales to People on Terrorist Watch List

gunsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A senior Homeland Security official who suggested last week that President Obama’s plan to ban firearm sales to people on the government’s terrorist watch list was misguided has taken an entirely different tone, the Washington Times reports. 

Alan Bersin seemed to undermine Obama’s proposed ban in sworn testimony to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, saying that he didn’t think it would be appropriate to ban gun sales based on one’s presence on the terrorist watch list.

Bersin was repeating the opinions of many Republicans who feel it’s a violation of the Second Amendment to create such a ban because of the lower standards of evidence to place someone on the no-fly list.

But following the testimony, Bersin issued a statement that he agrees with President Obama and Democrats that a ban is needed because of the dangers of terrorism.

“To be clear, it is the administration’s position that Congress should act to make sure no one on a no-fly list is able to buy a gun. This is a matter of national security and common sense, and it is a position I and the department support,” Mr. Bersin said in the statement.

Some Republicans lashed out, saying Bersin was likely pressured to change his tone.

“I think he said what he meant, and his bosses weren’t happy with that answer. We’ve seen that multiple times from this administration,” Rep. Blake Farenthold, a Texas Republican, told the Washington Times.

House Report Concludes Secret Service Is ‘in Crisis,’ Beset by Leadership Problems

Joseph Clancy

Joseph Clancy

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A yearlong investigation into the Secret Service has found an agency “in crisis,” beset by low morale, scandals and the failure to provide adequate protection, the Associated Press reports.

The report by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee found that facilities that are secured by the agency were breached or had attempted breaches 143 times.

The report faults poor leadership and congressional budget cuts that have left the agency with a “staffing crisis.”

Following the report’s release, President Obama expressed “absolute” confidence in Joe Clancy, who is the agency’s director.

“This report reveals that the Secret Service is in crisis,” said the committee chairman, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah.

“Morale is down, attrition is up, misconduct continues and security breaches persist. Strong leadership from the top is required to fix the systemic mismanagement within the agency and to restore it to its former prestige.”

Other Stories of Interest

Congressman Issa Says ATF ‘Dangerously Mismanaged’ Program Designed to Rid Street of Guns

Darrell Issa

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Saying the ATF “dangerously mismanaged” a program aimed at gunning guns off the street, Rep. Darrell Issa is subpoenaing the agency for more information.

Issa chairs the House Oversight and Government reform Committee, which is investigating the ATF’s blundered storefront operations.

Issa criticized the ATF for showing a “complete lack of cooperation.”

“I have no choice today but to issue the enclosed subpoena,” he wrote to ATF Director B. Todd Jones. “… The time for hollow promises is over.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Justice Department Files First Charges in Attack on U.S. Consulate in Benghazi

 

Rep. Issa/gov photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Nearly a year after protesters barged into the U.S. consulate in Benghazi , Libya, and killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, the Justice Department filed the first criminal charges in the case, the Washington Post reports

According to numerous reports, the Justice Department filed an unspecified number of counts in the September 2012 attack on the consulate.

“The department’s investigation is ongoing. It has been, and remains, a top priority,” said Justice Department spokesman Andrew C. Ames, who declined to comment further.

Details remain unclear, but members of Congress are pressing the administration for more than charges.

“Osama bin Laden had been criminally charged long before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks but was not apprehended,” Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said in a statement. “Delays in apprehending the suspected Benghazi killers,” Issa added, “will only put American lives at further and needless risk.”

Issa: No Evidence of White House Cover-Up in ‘Fast and Furious’

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa said Sunday there is no evidence that the White House was involved in a cover-up of the botched gun-trafficking operation known as “Fast and Furious,” Bloomberg reports.

Instead, Issa said on several Sunday talk shows that the blame lies with Justice Department for covering up documents about the operation, which allowed illegally purchased guns to be smuggled to Mexican drug cartels.

Meanwhile, the U.S. House is expected to vote this week on contempt of Congress charges against U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder for withholding some documents.

“Justice lied to the American people on Feb. 4 and didn’t make it right for 10 months,” Issa sad on Fox New Sunday, according to Bloomberg.

 

House Contempt Vote Possible Against AG Holder

file photo

Update: Fox News reports that President Obama has granted an 11th-hour request by Attorney General Eric Holder to exert executive privilege over the release of  Fast and Furious documents.
 
Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Short of  last minute document dump, Fox News reports Republicans are poised to take a vote on a contempt resolution against  Atty. General Eric Holder.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), head of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, is leading the charge and wants to Holder held in contempt for failing to turn over documents in the bungled ATF Fast and Furious Operation.

The committee is likely to vote on the matter when it meets Wednesday morning.

Holder has denied that he or the White House has done anything wrong and has said that he’s being as cooperative as possible.

“I think the ball’s in their court,” Holder told reporter, according to the AP.

Holder said the documents will show he has nothing to hide.

Holder Faces Possible Contempt of Congress Charges

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. House Oversight Committee will take the unusual step this week of deciding whether to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for failing to turn over documents in the controversial Fast and Furious weapons sting investigation, CBS News reports.

Republicans say the Justice Department is withholding tens of thousands of pages of documents that would shed light on a sting operation that put guns in the hands of thugs and drug dealers.

Holder can prevent a contempt hearing by handing over the documents, CBS News reports.

But the Justice Department said it has been open and cooperative about requests for records.

If the committee takes action, it will be Congress’ fourth contempt action against a presidential cabinet member in 30 years.

High Ranking Justice Dept. Official Suggested Letting Guns Walk, Emails Show

Lanny Breuer

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Newly released Justice Department emails sent to Capitol Hill for a congressional inquiry into a gun-smuggling operation indicate that the head of the department’s criminal division suggested letting some illicit “straw” weapons buyers in the U.S. transport their guns across the border into Mexico where they could be arrested.

According to the emails turned over to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Friday night, the Justice official, Lanny Breuer, made the suggestion to Mexican officials because it “may send a strong message to arms traffickers.”

Mexico has stringent gun control laws with long prison terms as opposed to the U.S., where small-time “straw” buyers working for major arms traffickers seldom face jail time.

To read more click here.