Expect Nothing from the DOJ IG Report on Fast and Furious
It has been amusing watching all the anticipation about the release of the Department of Justice Inspector General's report on Fast and Furious. Some folks in Washington actually think that it will be the key that unlocks the door to the scandal. Balderdash. I've watched defective report after defective report come from the Justice Department internal affairs units. In the end, they always protect the institution, unless of course conservatives are in the cross hairs.
If you think that the Inspector General's report on Fast and Furious will awaken the nation when it is released next week, you better hit the snooze bar and sleep in.
I knew the fix was in when I read this:
Horowitz told Issa that agencies and officials named and criticized in the report were being allowed to respond to the IG’s findings in an effort to make it as fair and accurate as possible. The new hearing has been scheduled for next Wednesday.
Are you kidding me? The DOJ Inspector General never afforded Republican political appointees any right of review and revision during the Bush administration. In fact, the DOJ Inspector General entirely ignored stacks of exculpatory evidence that the targets of Bush-era IG reports gave to the Inspector General. That's right, the Department of Justice Inspector General not only didn't allow the targets to see, much less respond to the IG's findings, but ignored documents they gave the IG.
For example, the Bush-era DOJ officials gave the Inspector General stacks of data about non-partisan hiring in the Civil Rights Division, as well as partisan hiring during the Clinton administration. The Inspector General totally ignored the information.
In fact, the report on CIA interrogations produced by the DOJ Office of Professional Responsibility lawyer Tamara Kessler was so shoddy, General Michael Mukasey and his Deputy Mark Filip had to rewrite it. Not surprisingly, Kessler was involved in the IG hiring report also. She never gave anybody the right of review and response, as Fast and Furious targets are now enjoying.
The DOJ report on the New Black Panther investigation was another example of the Obama administration using the internal affairs process to protect their political position.
So the first questions Chairman Issa should ask the DOJ Inspector General next week when he testifies are:
1. Did the Inspector General give Bush-era political appointees the right to "review and respond to" draft IG reports before they were released as you have done with the Fast and Furious report?
2. Will you allow the Committee to review the draft report as they existed before DOJ officials enjoyed their "review and response" rights?
Anybody who thinks next week's DOJ IG report on Fast and Furious will be anything but a defensive play to protect political appointees involved is dreaming.