Justice Department Obstructing ‘Fast and Furious’ Gun Probe, ATF Director Says

The Justice Department is obstructing the congressional investigation of a U.S. law enforcement operation intended to crack down on major weapons traffickers on the Southwest border, according to the embattled leader of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Ken Melson, the acting director of the ATF, lobbed the accusation when he sneaked in for an interview with congressional investigators on July 4, two days ahead of his scheduled interview with the inspector general about the operation known as “Fast and Furious,” Fox News has learned.

“If his account is accurate, then ATF leadership appears to have been effectively muzzled while the DOJ sent over false denials and buried its head in the sand,” Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said in a letter Tuesday to Attorney General Eric Holder. “That approach distorted the truth and obstructed our investigation.”

The Justice Department is reportedly looking to oust Melson, who has been acting ATF director since April 2009, as the agency deals with its biggest scandal in nearly two decades. Andrew Traver, who was tapped in November by President Obama to become the permanent ATF director, could be named as acting director until the Senate acts on his nomination, sources have said.

In a separate development, congressional sources have learned that not only was U.S. taxpayer money being used to buy guns that were later sent to Mexico, but the main target of the investigation was actually a FBI informant and former drug dealer who had been deported years ago.

“Fast and Furious” has been at the center of an investigation by Issa and Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa. The operation began in the fall of 2009 as an effort to trace and stop the trafficking of illegal guns on the Southwest border, but instead allowed thousands of guns to get into the hands of Mexican cartel members.

Read more here.

Chief calls looting, beatings in Riverwest barbaric

Shaina Perry remembers the punch to her face, blood streaming from a cut over her eye, her backpack with her asthma inhaler, debit card and cellphone stolen, and then the laughter.

“They just said ‘Oh, white girl bleeds a lot,’ ” said Perry, 22, who was attacked at Kilbourn Reservoir Park over the Fourth of July weekend.

Though Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn noted Tuesday that crime is colorblind, he called the Sunday night looting of a convenience store near the park and beatings of a group of people who had gone to the park disturbing, outrageous and barbaric.

Police would not go quite as far as others in connecting the events; Flynn said several youths “might” be involved in both.

“We’re not going to let any group of individuals terrorize or bully any of our neighborhoods,” Flynn said.

Perry was among several who were injured by a mob they said beat and robbed them and threw full beer bottles while making racial taunts. The injured people were white; the attackers were African-American, witnesses said.

Store video of the BP station at E. North Ave. and N. Humboldt Blvd. shows the business being ransacked. A clerk at BP confirmed to the Journal Sentinel that he was busy waiting on customers when one or two people held the door open to let others rush in and steal snacks and candy.

Not far away, 20 to 25 friends from Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood had gathered at the park shortly before midnight to watch some fireworks set off by a neighbor. In interviews with 11 people who said they were attacked or witnessed the attack, a larger group of youths appeared in another section of the park around midnight and were joined by more young people running up the park’s stairs.

At some point the group of friends and the group of youths intersected; those interviewed said the attack appeared to be unprovoked.

“I saw people dancing and I figured they were just having a good time,” said Riverwest resident Jessica Bublitz, 28.

Minutes later Bublitz saw a male friend hit in the temple and fall down. Her fiancé told her to run to safety. James Zajackowski, 28, said things suddenly turned chaotic.

Read more here.

Egyptian Party Leader Claims Holocaust is ‘a Lie,’ 9/11 Was ‘Made in the U.S.A.’

It’s hard to imagine people in the modern age claiming — with a straight face –that the Holocaust never occurred. Yet, this is exactly what Ahmed Ezz El-Arab, a vice chairman of Egypt’s Wafd Party, believes. In addition to dubbing this monumental historical occurrence “a lie,” in a recent interview with The Washington Times, the political leader claims that Anne Frank’s memoir is “a fake” and that the 9/11 attacks were “made in the U.S.A.”

These curious comments were made while Ezz El-Arab was, quite ironically, attending the Conference on Democracy and Human Rights in the Budapest, Hungary. The Times has more:

He denied that the Nazis killed 6 million Jews during World War II.

“The Holocaust is a lie” Mr. Ezz El-Arab said. “The Jews under German occupation were 2.4 million. So if they were all exterminated, where does the remaining 3.6 million come from?”

Mr. Ezz El-Arab said he accepted that the Nazis killed “hundreds of thousands” of Jews. “But gas chambers and skinning them alive and all this? Fanciful stories,” he added.

When it comes to Anne Frank’s famed memoir, “The Diary of Anne Frank,” which Ezz El-Arab claims he studied as a doctoral student in Stockholm, he believes the young girl was present, but says, “I could swear to God it’s a fake.”

But, his opinions on important world events don’t end there. In addressing 9/11, he claims that Osama bin Laden was not responsible for the attacks. He told the Times, “He could not have the know-how or the ability to do it,” then he dubbed bin Laden “an American agent.” Instead of placing blame on the deceased terror leader, Ezz El-Arab claims that the CIA, Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency and the “military-industrial complex” are responsible.

Read more here.

White House uses Twitter to bully critics

President Obama’s director of progressive media is obsessed with one particular conservative provocateur. Jesse Lee’s duties at the White House include “online response” — and there has been no shortage of responses to one person who routinely communicates with him on Twitter.

Of the 267 tweets written by Lee in just over a month, a stunning 40 of them have been directed at Kevin Eder, a prolific Twitter user with more than 83,000 tweets to his credit. That means 15 percent of Lee’s tweets — from an official White House account no less — have been with Eder.

One such example happened last week in a dispute over the budget.

Eder posted this tweet: “Hmm…it can’t be true that @SenateDems haven’t passed a budget in 790 days and the only plan Obama has is a speech. Right, @jesseclee44?”

To which Lee responded: “@keder @SenateDems Plan is keep negotiating w/ Rs & Ds, not default & trash economy, not voucherize Medicare to fund more tax cuts for rich.”

Lee’s obsession has impressed Eder, even if he’s a bit baffled by the White House’s decision to engage with him so aggressively. (Obama to meet with congressional leadership to discuss debt ceiling)

Read more here.

The Casey Anthony verdict

Outrage? That’s putting it mildly. The outrage over the not-guilty verdicts in the Casey Anthony case is just about as close to universal as you can get. Thus far I haven’t heard one commentator or citizen say “Hey, hold on a minute here. Maybe the jury is right!”

Did Casey Anthony kill or have a hand in the death of her daughter? Probably. The jury did not say that she wasn’t involved in her daughter’s death. The jury said that the State of Florida didn’t PROVE that Casey Anthony was responsible for Caylee’s death beyond any reasonable doubt. To re-state: The jury didn’t say Casey was innocent. They said guilt wasn’t proven … and that’s the way our system works. As Voltaire (or some other character back then when people had only one name) said … paraphrasing here … “It is better that 100 guilty men go free than to convict one innocent man.” What’s worse? Leaving Casey Anthony to deal with the torment of what she did, or to put a completely innocent man behind bars for the rest of his life for a crime he did not commit?

Yeah — a guilty person may well have walked yesterday. Stuff happens. But instead of being angry, take a few seconds to try to understand what really happened here. The immense power of the state was thwarted.

I know you’re angry. We’re all angry. This skank probably got away with murder. Think pas that for a moment. Consider the fact that the state wanted to take Casey Anthony’s miserable life — and the state was stopped from doing so by a dozen common, ordinary and usually powerless private citizens. We had a nursing student, a salesman, a high school dropout (like Casey), a care giver for the elderly who does odd jobs on the side … everyday people who stood between Casey Anthony and the power of the state. These people were able to stand against this immense power and tell the state “Back off. You didn’t do your job. You haven’t proved guilt. So turn this woman loose and leave her alone!”

If you can set that anger aside for a moment and think … maybe you’ll realize just how wonderful this system really is. In our society the government — the state — has one exclusive power that nobody else has. The government, and only the government, can use deadly force to deprive a citizen of life, liberty and property. Take a look at other countries and other civilizations throughout world history. We’ve had dynasties, caliphates, dictatorships theocracies and monarchies. In all of those societies criminals could and would be punished at the behest (whim?) of some ruler; be it the King, an Imam, or some simple half-assed dictator. Not so in our country. Here we have the State of Florida a facet of the most powerful country in the world, stating its desire and its intention to put Casey Anthony on trial and execute her for the murder of her child. Monarchy, Muslim caliphate, Christian theocracy or simple dictatorship — Casey is on her way to the gallows. But in the United States 12 ordinary citizens step forward with the ability to stop the immense power of government in its tracks.

Frankly … I think there is as much of a reason to celebrate this verdict as there is to be outraged by it. What, after all, is our alternative? Do you want appointees or employees of the state to be the last line of defense between you and a government determined to take your liberty or your life?

But what about the verdict? Do you really think that the prosecutors proved Casey’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt? Really? Tell me, how did Caylee Anthony die? Did you hear any solid evidence proffered as to how she died? I hear theories about duct tape, and the defense floated this drowning theory. (Clever pun, don’t you think?) Then there was chloroform .. but did any of these ideas become more than theories? I have expressed my own theory several times over the months. I thought (and still think) that Casey had this idea of using chloroform to temporarily incapacitate her daughter so that she could party for a while. That’s how I think Caylee died. Then it was panic time. It matters not now.

The jury was told that they had to eliminate every reasonable hypothesis concerning the manner and cause of death in order to convict Anthony of murder. Can you say that was done? Let me ask you, is it possible that one of Casey’s innumerable boyfriends grew jealous of the time and attention devoted to Caylee and decided to remedy the situation? After all, Casey wasn’t exactly dating the cream of the Orlando crop, was she?

OK … so Casey Anthony waited a full month before notifying her parents that Caylee was missing. Just what does that prove? Just that Casey Anthony is a miserable mother and a liar. And Casey didn’t really work at Universal Studios as an event planner as she told both her parents and the cops. What does that prove? Again — she’s a liar. Does it prove murder? Is it even evidence of murder?

Let’s think about the police for a moment here. When were the police first notified by this strange Roy Kronk guy. That would be August of 2008. One month after Caylee was reported missing. The cops met with Kronk at the site. Apparently the cops didn’t like (a) Kronk, and (b) the fact that the site was littered with Rattlesnakes … so they made a cursory search and left. What if the body had been found in August? There would probably have been much more evidence to be gathered. Maybe Dr. G could have actually determined the cause of death! Here we go with the woulda coulda shoulda stuff.

UN environmental initiative is the Tea Party’s new nightmare

Tea Party activists have started to sound the alarms over a United Nations initiative most Americans have never heard of, but one that many in the movement see as one of the greatest threats to America’s sovereignty.

“Americans are so focused on Congress and Obama at the federal level of government right now that most are overlooking the socialism creeping in at the local level through Agenda 21,” the Tea Party publication the Tea Party Tribune warned readers on July 2.

Agenda 21 is a UN initiative that 178 governments at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) adopted in 1992 under the auspices of saving the environment. It bills itself as a coordinated plan of action to help nations and local government ensure “sustainability.”

“Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations System, Governments, and Major Groups in every area in which human impacts on the environment,” the U.N. website explains.

While the aim sounds innocent enough, Tea Partiers argue that it is just a means to an end. The end, they say, is the usurpation of American sovereignty, a planned economy and redistribution of the wealth.

The media may be quick to dismiss this as the breathless caterwauling of a minority of Americans, but American Policy Center president Tom DeWeese says not so fast. According to DeWeese, these concerns are legitimate and repercussions of Agenda 21 are already visible, in urban growth schemes across the country.

Read more here.

Casey going forward

Yeah .. there will be a book deal. The book won’t sell though. People know she’s a liar, and why read yet another pack of lies? And yes, some tabloid will pay her for her first interview. The money will come rolling in —for a while — but a person like this is going to go through that money like squeeze through a goose.

And where does Casey go when she’s released from jail? Home to her parents? “Hi mom! Hi dad! I’m home! Sorry about that sexual abuse thing! No biggie, right?”

Maybe she’ll rent an apartment somewhere .. but what apartment complex is going to want her around?

She’s going to be the focus of media – especially tabloid – attention for years. The paparazzi will be at every club she heads to … and will follow her to every mall. And what about a job? Eventually, when she runs through the initial cash, she’ll need one. Would you hire her? I predict a downward slide .. a self-destructive slide to complete misery. Trust me – she’ll be living in her own well-deserved hell for years to come. Karma can be a mother.

Obama tries to stop execution in Texas of Mexican killer

President Barack Obama is attempting to block the execution in Texas on Thursday of a Mexican man because it would breach an international convention and do “irreparable harm” to US interests.

The White House has asked the US supreme court to put the execution of Humberto Leal Garcia on hold while Congress passes a law that would prevent the convicted rapist and murderer from being put to death along with dozens of other foreign nationals who were denied proper access to diplomatic representation before trials for capital crimes.

The administration moved after the governor of Texas, Rick Perry, brushed aside appeals from diplomats, top judges, senior military officers, the United Nations and former president George W Bush to stay Leal’s execution because it could jeopardise American citizens arrested abroad as well as US diplomatic interests.

Leal, 38, was convicted in 1994 of the rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl in San Antonio. Few question that he was responsible for the killing but the Texas authorities failed to tell Leal, who was born in Mexico and has lived in the US since the age of two, that under the Vienna convention he was entitled to contact the Mexican consulate when he was arrested.

Read more here.