A DOJ Government Employee Made It Her Job to Stop Sharyl Attkisson.
“I”m also calling Sharryl”s editor and reaching out to [CBS news correspondent Bob] Scheiffer. She’s out of control.”
Those are the words of Eric Holder’s chief press aide, Tracy Schmaler, in an email to White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz, regarding steps he planned to take to get CBS Journalist Sharyl Attkisson “under control.”
The email was part of 42,000 documents released to Judicial Watch from the Justice Department through a Freedom of Information Act request. Naturally, the DOJ had asserted executive privilege and Judicial Watch had to go to court to get the most transparent administration in history to release the documents. More relevant information may be forthcoming, but this email has already been found.
The Independent Journal Review, which re-printed the above email excerpt, summarized the case:
Back in 2011, CBS-TV reporter Sharyl Attkisson had been reporting extensively on the “Fast and Furious” operation which began in 2009. The operation, which was overseen by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice, involved letting weapons dealers sell guns illegally to suspected straw buyers.
Instead of arresting the buyers, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms allowed them to go free in the hopes of “following” those guns back to the Mexican drug cartels who were using them to commit acts of violence.
But this “gunwalking” tactic backfired, when U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in December of 2010 in a shootout with cartel members who were armed with these illegally-purchased guns.
Attkisson was trying to report on the Fast and Furious scandal, but claimed that the Obama administration was urging CBS to quash her stories about the topic (as well as others which made the White House uncomfortable). Naturally, many people viewed these claims as outlandish and paranoid. But as it turns out, Attkisson, who later resigned from CBS, was right.
I think the summary is far too easy on the Administration. There is no evidence that anyone actually had “hopes of ‘following’ those guns.” That sounds like something they told the underlings was going to happen in order to get them to follow orders and stop asking questions.
Attkisson has admitted that a plausible explanation for the Department of Justice’s behavior is that the agency was actively supporting a Mexican drug cartel. In order to present a credible story about a “botched operation” we would need some evidence that anything was botched. In this case, we would need evidence that the government tried and failed to follow the guns. Instead, all we have is evidence that the government allowed drug cartels to get hold of the weapons. There is no sign of an attempt to “follow” those weapons.
So we now know, beyond reasonable doubt what we already suspected, that the Administration was actively calling Sharyl Attkisson’s boss to get her in trouble.
It is our Federal Government that is “out of control.”