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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  July 29, 2012 4:30pm-5:00pm EDT

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but just making it an accepted and natural part of their universe, that, i would say, is the most important thing for young americans to do. >> okay. we will end with a complement of comments. as a longtime reader of your work in the listener on npr. it is a pleasure to hear you in person. i would second that. thank you very much. >> thank you. it is an honor to be here. i appreciate your great moderation and thank you for coming on a beautiful evening. .. welcome, katie pavlich.
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[applause] >> good morning, everyone. apparently, it's red friday. we're all dressed in red today. [laughter] lots of red in the crowd as well. i hope you're having a good time in washington d.c. the weather is holding out for you, it's not so hot today and not so humid, which is great. how many of you have heard -- what do you think of when you think of fast and furious? what's the first thing that pops into your head? >> [inaudible] >> scandal, for you? anyone think of the movie? [laughter] the series of movies. >> obama's trying to get people to think that -- [inaudible] >> right. exactly. he won't admit that his own justice department sent them to cartels to kill people. well, the embarrassing part about the name fast and furious
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is that the obama justice department actually named this lethal program after the hollywood movie, and i have the official government slide show, atf slide show cover to prove it. they actually took a screen shot of the hollywood movie cover and put it into their official documents as an official name. so the unfortunate thing is that this operation fast and furious isn't about racing and stealing fancy cars, it's about, um, something that the justice department claimed to be a program where they were going to allow straw purchasers who are people who go into gun shops and buy guns for people who cannot buy them. their claim was that they were going to follow these guns, allow them to be transferred to these cartel members in order to take down the big fish or what they called cut off the head of the snake, stressing that this was a tracing program. but the problem is out of 2500 wells that they -- weapons that they allowed to go into mexico and into the hands of the same cartels who we recently saw
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dumping those headless, feetless, handless bodies of women and men on the sides of the roads in mexico, um, out of 2500 guns there were only two tracking devices in them, one of which was a radio shack homemade version of a device. so that doesn't sound like a very serious tracing program, in my opinion. um, and i'd like to remind president obama that successful drug cartels didn't end up slaughtering hundreds of people in mexico, and two of our federal agents, they didn't get there on their own, in the words of president obama. they got there by his justice department handing them guns. and we've heard over and over again from the media that this was a botched program, that this was somehow a mistake of a program that, you know, thousands of guns accidentally and somehow fell into the wrong hands. but if you look at all the testimony and you look at all the documentation, the word "botched," and this being a
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mistake couldn't be further from the truth. whistleblowers who have been the only people throughout this process, um, who have been telling the truth with documentation to back it up have said that this wasn't a program where a couple thousand guns accidentally fell into the wrong hands, this was a program where they were mandated by their superiors -- including senior officials and the number two with man, lanny breuer, in the justice department -- to allow these guns to go to mexico, not to arrest these guys. they watched them buy guns over and over and over again and transfer them over and other again without watching them or seeing where they were going. and so now, more than 18 months later, we've seen -- and fast and furious is such a big scandal, i really don't have time to get into all the details of it, but just catching you up on the current events, we saw the contempt charges of civil and criminal against attorneyeric holder -- attorney general eric holder, the first sitting cabinet member to be
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held in contempt of congress, and yet the media doesn't seem to think that this is a big deal. they've been complicit in the cover-up, they have decided that mitt romney's tax returns are more important than, you know, hundreds of people being killed in mexico and getting to the bottom of a scandal that resulted in two of the murders of our own federal agents. out of 240,000 documents that exist about fast and furious -- and, remember, attorney general eric holder claims he knew nothing about this. think about what 240,000 pieces of paper stacked up look like. seems like a pretty big case, right? yet this attorney general doesn't seem to know anything about it. but going back to the tax return argument, and i'm happy mitt romney's been bringing the this up. he says, well, why don't you release some fast and furious documents, and then we'll talk. and the truth is, like i mentioned, out of 40,000 -- 240,000 documents they've
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released 7,000, most of which look like this. i'll give you a little preview. they look like this, and this is what they expect you to think is the truth. out of the 7,000 documents, you know, a lot of the redactions include redacting upcoming policy initiatives which is not something that you should be redacting. in fact, that's something at a very low level taxpayers should know about because they'll do be paying for the it, and it will effect them. and then, of course, you had the contempt charges with where chairman of the oversight committee darrell issa kept saying all you have to do is turn over 300 documents $1300 documents out of the 240,000 that exist, and we'll stop the contempt vote from going forward, we'll continue with our investigation, but we'll see that as cooperation. they showed up to a the last-minute meeting with 30 documents, decided not to turn them over. they proceeded with contempt
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charges, and right before the first vote -- and i was sitting in the hearing room at in this point -- 15 minutes before the first vote came off the committee to hold eric holder in contempt, president obama asserted executive privilege. now, what's important here is from the beginning of this scandal more than a year ago the justice department and the white house have said they knew nothing about this, that this was a low-level, rogue operation, that the whistleblowers' whose claims have been proven and backed up by fact and documentation, they were crazy to even, you know, bring up the idea of gun walking into mexico. that was their argument all along, and eric holder still makes that argument. this was a low-level rogue operation. well, memos show that eric holder was briefed on fast and furious multiple times throughout 2010. he says he didn't find out about the program until may of 2011. he uses the excuse that he doesn't read his memos. someone in his staff did and didn't brief him about this program, and that staff member
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hasn't been fired. nobody has been fired as a result of this program. the white house says that they knew nothing about this, and i think they're getting a free pass because they asserted the least, the executive privilege with the least amount of power. and so they're saying, well, this doesn't necessarily mean that, um, there were communications with the president about this program, but they failed to mention that at least three national security advisers at the white house were being briefed about this program. as soon as we found out about kevin o'reilly who was a national security adviser at the time of this program was in touch with the phoenix office about this, they shipped him off to iraq, and he is unavailable for comment or to answer any questions by investigators. not to mention president obama's senior adviser for latin america was also getting briefed on program. and so why does this matter to you? why does this matter to young people, why is this a topic you should be interested in? fast and furious is, like i said, a huge scandal.
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it's a scandal with many scandals in a scandal. whether it's the justice department turning law-abiding gun dealers into criminals to push their own anti-second amendment political agenda, the documentation backs that up, the internal e-mails back that up, whether it's the attorney general changing his story under oath and not being held accountable for this, whether it's the whistleblowers who, like i keep saying, were the only ones who were actually being factual, having their careers destroyed. just today, actually, and this week the new atf director, you know, issued a somewhat minor threat trying to be under the radar, and i don't think he really understands how youtube works because he recorded it and put it up for everyone to see. but he basically said if you're going to go outside of your chain of command, there will be
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consequences. you have to go outside of your chain of command for whistle blowing, not to mention they've been warning about corruption in the atn for years and it went nowhere. and then there's, of course, the covering up of the murder of border patrol agent brian terry, i.c.e. patrolman hey my zapata. -- jaime zapata. some of the suspects were let go and now they may be at large in mexico. so the list goes on and on and on. and it's important for -- i don't know what all of you want to do as a career path, but i mentioned the media, and we need more of you to be digging into these things because it's really difficult when there's only a few people doing it. like i said, they're more than happy to ask mitt romney to overturn his personal tax returns that don't effect anyone, but they're more than happy to ignore the fact that
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there's 240,000 fast and furious documents out there and that the justice department isn't complying with open records requests, and they're, you know, this is a program that got people killed, yet they don't seem to care much. i'm glad that you guys are here. i know it's summertime, and there's lots of things you can be doing in the summer. i hope that you learned something. like i said, i can't explain the entire thing in 15 minutes, but i just wanted to come here today and let you know that this is something you should be interested in, and all of you can make a difference not only in scandals like this, but other things too. sunlight is the best disinfebruary tax, and we need all of you to start shining on it. with that i'll take your questions. [applause] i know you have questions. [laughter] >> there's one in the back. >> um, yeah. i've seen this -- >> tell your name. >> my name's brent, i'm from --
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[inaudible] university. i see this story hasn't gotten a ton of traffic in the mainstream media, and do you think there has been collusion with the obama administration on that, and if so, to what extent? >> well, i do think that there is some collaboration there, and this is the evidence i have. um, when my book first came out, there was a reporter from the freebie con to e-mailed the justice department to ask about a specific topic in the book to get some commentary, and the justice department e-mailed back and said you're going to have to refer your question to the fbi, but in the meantime, i've been instructed to give you this link. and the link was to a media matters hit job on the entire book and didn't even address the specific question that the reporter was looking for. now, the reason that's relevant is that the daily caller did a big expose about how the white house was working with media matters on messaging on a weekly basis, and, of course, media
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matters pushes their talking point out to left-leaning web sites, mainstream web sites and msnbc and i'm not sure about cnn, but the fact is they're working together. so the idea that the justice department would be willing to, um, peddle this george soros-funded web site material to try and discredit the entire book, um, really shows what they're interested in. they're not interested in answering any questions, as usual they're handing it off to an outside organization. but also they are collaborating on messaging and using media matters as a way to get their talking points out to the media. >> katie, i have a question. this is such a dumb, stupid plan that anybody in this room would have vetoed such a dumb plan as that. so that you get the impression that it's not just a food plan that made a -- a good plan that made a mistake and wasn't followed through.
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there must have been some important hidden purpose of it behind. >> well, and that's one thing that's important to get to the bottom of. and the reason why president obama was pushing for solyndra loans was because his motive was to get more green energy in the united states, right? so what was the motive behind operation and furious? the people i talk to said, look, they knew that gun control was a politically-suicidal issue to take up especially before the 2010 election based on the 1994 election, rahm emanuel at the time was president obama's chief of staff, he is a smart guy. and so you look at the evidence of the e-mails, the internal e-mails, the sources i've talked to, and they say this wasn't an issue of legislating gun dealers out of business, this is an effort to regulate them out of business, and the obama administration has a habit of when they can't get something through congress, they go through regulatory agencies. this falls into that pattern. at the beginning of the obama administration, president obama right out of the gate made gun
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trafficking and taking on these mexican cartels a top priority. he was in mexico within three months of his inauguration. hillary clinton was there, eric holder was there, and they were all pushing that 90% of guns found in mexico and linked to these violent crime scenes come from mom and pop gun stores in the united states. well, that's not true. wikileaks, actually, released a bunch of state department cables that show that that's a flat-out lie. state department cables. hillary clinton is the secretary of state, and yet she was still quoting this pirg. this figure. and so instead of taking a step back and saying, you know, these cartels are actually getting their guns from china, central america, they're not coming to regulated mom and pop dealers to get their guns. they instead decided to flood mexico with guns, and the way this worked was they went to the gun dealers, and they said you need to help your country by selling to these traffickers who come in to buy guns.
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gun dealers say, okay, willing to cooperate, but just want to make sure these guns aren't going to mexico, they're not falling into the wrong hands. they were told by these atf officials, don't worry, the guns aren't going to mexico, we're going to make sure these guys are arrested. guess what happened? did atf say, well, we didn't stop these guys at the border and we allowed them to go through, and i apologize that the gun linked to your gun store are being used to kill people? no. they turned right around in the press in public speeches and said speez cartels are coming -- speeches and said these cartels are coming to shop for guns in arizona, look at the trace data. and the trace data linked right back to the very stores who were participating in this program. so you have the evidence there, and can there's more evidence in the book of that. but that was the motive behind this. and, you know, peter forsellly who's faced a lot of retaliation for speaking out about this said, you know, under oath in
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front of congress that we weren't giving guns to people who were hunting bear, we were giving people to kill other people. and so, essentially, humans were being used as collateral damage to push this agenda of we need more regulation on border state gun shops. >> but they really didn't track for guns. >> no. right. >> there was that was the whole point of it was to track the guns, and they didn't track them. >> right. the only way their traceable now, when they show up at violet crime scenes, they're left at that scene, and then they're traced back to these gun dealers in the united states who were participating in this program. and one thing i want to bring up, too, is, you know, because the media hasn't really been paying attention to this in a way that they should be, um, they haven't really been digging into who the players are behind fast and furious. and the people in the chess game are always very important. and one person who was key to
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this entire thing was former u.s. attorney for arizona, dennis burke. and he worked for janet napolitano when she was the attorney general of arizona as her staffer, was her chief of staff when she was the governor of arizona, served as her senior homeland security adviser when she went into the obama administration, and president obama strategically placed him back in arizona. why do i say strategically? it's a pro-second amendment state, it's a border state, it's easy to plame the state -- to blame violence in mexico on the state. well, dennis burke just so happens to have drafted up the clinton era assault weapons ban with rahm emanuel, of course, served as president obama's chief of staff. eric holder, who's changed his testimony multiple times, says he knew nothing about this program, right? the very same time dennis burke has this longstanding professional relationship with
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janet napolitano, and while he is serving as attorney in arizona, he's sitting on eric holder's attorney general's advisory board giving him direct advice on border policy on the border, yet they all claim that they never talk to each other and that none of them knew anything about this. >> ruth carlson from eagle forums st. louis. my question is, how did this catch your eye and how did it catch your eye and go into a book? >> yes, to answer your second question, first. all of you in this room are capable of doing exactly this. the reason i, this caught my eye was when the news started sort of coming out about it, my first question was why would the obama administration be giving guns to the very people they made this huge effort and this huge agenda to stop. and it made no sense at all. and i remembered them blaming gun dealers over and over again for the violence in mexico, and
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it just made -- it really just didn't make a whole lot of sense. so i was in washington, d.c., um, and that was when the hearing started, and i just went to every hearing. i sat in that room for hours upon hours and listened to testimony. i went back to arizona and talked to a lot of people there and really just developed relationships and dug in to what was really going on here. and the reason it turned into a book was because you can't talk about fast and furious in whole on the radio for an hour even, you can't talk about it at all in a three minute news package which is, you know, standard for television. and so it's a very complicated story with lots of different moving parts with lots of different people, so it required a book to really give people a lot of evidence and to really put the public uses together. because there were, you know, clashing headlines, but in a 24-hour news cycle, that would go away within, you know, the next morning people would forget about it. so i thought it was important for people to know all the details of the case up to this
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point. it's been a while since the book came out, but i might have have to do an update. really to give people a basic understanding of what was going on here and who was involved and why when we hear these calls for, you know, political witch hunts and this is just a fishing expedition, why that's not the case. and i was happy to see that a cnn poll two weeks ago showed that 53% of voters think the contempt charges were appropriate. and that's, i think, six percentage point t higher than president obama's approval rating in general. and then that 69% of people, you know, a lot of independents were in this poll, showed that they thought the assertion of executive privilege was inappropriate and that president obama should answer all questions regarding the scandal. so i would hope, you know, the media ignoring it is only making people angrier, and they see right through it. and the good thing is that with no media -- sorry, i keep hitting these -- new media and
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social media we can get stories out there in a way that doesn't require a newsroom, an editor necessarily telling you what to do and what to write. >> katie, the lesson of your book in part is so much of the washington media will ignore a good story like this, and a story that's ignored can be picked up by a young journalist with enough perseverance and run wit. and i just want to commend you for what you did, especially since you were met with a stone wall. two quick questions. the obama administration defends this by saying it's a direct outgrowth of efforts the bush administration made. secondly, i keep hearing there were other similar rumors in florida and tampa and miami, how similar were they, and are there scandals going to come bubbling up from those cities? >> well, the answer to your first question, you know, the tactic at the beginning was deny this, act like this never happened, try to frame the whistleblowers as crazy.
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once they admitted that was happening, they turned to, well, this was a bush administration program, and they did the same exact thing which isn't true. the evidence that we have so far, and the justice department has been more than willing to turn over evidence about fast and furious -- or about the bush administration, but not their own fast and furious program. the evidence we have so far shows that the mexican government was working with the bush administration on a similar program, and it was probably a pretty stupid program, too, to be honest. but they would allow straw purchasers to come in and do these gun deals in similar fashion, and allow them to either transfer or take these guns to the border or over at the border. they were arresting straw purchasers, and if the guns were going to go over the border, the mexican government was informed and told, hey, look, these guys are coming over, it's your responsibility now to take care of them and deal with them in your country. especially if this is something that you are participating in.
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and so, you know, once they started losing guns, the mexican government was dropping the ball -- which is not surprising considering they're one of the most corrupt governments especially in the northern hemisphere -- you know, they were working with the mexican government. now, under president obama the mexican government was left in the dark, they weren't told about any of this. indictments went to nearly zero of straw purchasers under president obama. and the atf agents working in mexico and working these blood-soaked crime scene, they're the ones that are called to go get the guns and trace them back weren't even informed about this program. so there are huge differences between the two and not to mention we have con full-termed deaths of people as a result of fast and furious including border patrol agent brian terry, and to answer his question about multiple instances of fast and furious like programs across the united states, there's plenty of evidence to support that.
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this is happening in houston, texas, where the gun dealer was told to sell to these guy, and then the -- after cooperating with the federal government, they turned right around and slapped a federal investigation on them for selling to the cartels. and then in florida there's allegations of them selling to the mf13 gang and sending guns to honduras. as i said, it's difficult to keep up with all the news and evidence that's coming out, but there's definitely other programs that need to be investigated, and it's estimated that there was similar programs and at least 10,000 guns were sent south of the border whether it was into south america or into mexico under this justice department. and considering there's 240,000 documents surrounding fast and furious specifically, i don't have any doubts about that. yes. >> okay. so what is your view on gun control?
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because -- just like today in aurora, colorado, the mass murder of innocent victims. >> right. a horrible situation, right? but the bottom line is whether you're an economist or whether you're a pro-gun advocate, um, when you take the right of people, law-abiding citizens to bear arms, the crime rate skyrockets. and you turn people into victims. all the economic data shows it. in chicago and new york city the crime rate is higher, washington, d.c. the crime rate is higher because the only people who are allowed to obtain guns are criminals because they don't care about breaking the law whereas law-abiding citizens are willing to obey the law, but they still have the consequences of people coming into their home or being mugged on the street. texas and arizona are good examples of where you're allowed to carry concealed, and every state i believe you're allowed to carry concealed except for illinois, of course. and can those crime rates have
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gone down as a result of that, because it's a te tent. in mexico t the perfect example. i always say that president calderon claims that he wallets to take cartels on, but in my opinion he's actually on their side in a sense because he doesn't allow his own citizens to carry their own firearms or own their own firearms, so guess who has the guns? the cartels, and their mowing everyone down. libya is another example of this. what happened when gadhafi, when the uprising happened. people were getting mowed down. same thing is happening in syria. and so i'm all about people. you know, a constitutional right, and there's a reason for it. it's pretty laid out and simple. yes. >> i'm from -- [inaudible] university. what's kind of baffled me throughout this whole thing is still how eric holder has his job. [laughter] >> i don't know. >> the president's david axle rod, these are great guys,
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politically savvy guys. i mean, is it -- alberto gonzalez was crucified for a scandal much, much less serious. do you just think it's because the media perception is lukewarm? the stuff is being coveredded, can you offer insight into how and why eric holder is still our attorney yen? >> you know, that's a question that i get confused about a lot. i mean, i think that the obama administration but specifically the justice department, and i would encourage you to read a book by jay christian adams called injustice because it also details the way the justice department and this administration works extensively. this is when you transplant chicago-style politics into washington d.c. i really do think, you know, trying to add on as to exactly your question for months and months and months, the media's a part of it, but i also think this administration doesn't think they're ever accountable to what they tell everyone else they're accountable there are.
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eric holder hasn't done that. he's changed his testimony multiple times under oath, and he hasn't been charged with perjury yet. and so, and considering, too, that the justice department decide canned before the contempt votes were even counted that they weren't going to pursue or even look into the charges against eric holder. there's a lot of corruption going on there, and i think it's just a matter of a lot of them are just covering for each other. they're all buddies, and they think if they can just hold out long enough, that they'll get away wit. i have to have faith in our system, i don't think they will. i think chairman issa's doing a great job at getting the facts for as many as he can, anyway, and there are a few select journalists who are doing the best they can, too, in exposing what's going on. ..


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