As political pressure has mounted, ATF and Justice Department officials have reversed themselves. After initially supporting Group VII agents and denying the allegations, they have since agreed that the ATF purposefully chose not to interdict guns it lawfully could have seized. Holder testified in December that "the use of this misguided tactic is inexcusable, and it must never happen again."
There's the rub.
Quite simply, there's a fundamental misconception at the heart of the Fast and Furious scandal. Nobody disputes that suspected straw purchasers under surveillance by the ATF repeatedly bought guns that eventually fell into criminal hands. Issa and others charge that the ATF intentionally allowed guns to walk as an operational tactic. But five law-enforcement agents directly involved in Fast and Furious tell Fortune that the ATF had no such tactic. They insist they never purposefully allowed guns to be illegally trafficked. Just the opposite: They say they seized weapons whenever they could but were hamstrung by prosecutors and weak laws, which stymied them at every turn.
"Republican senators are whipping up the country into a psychotic frenzy with these reports that are patently false," says Linda Wallace, a special agent with the Internal Revenue Service's criminal investigation unit who was assigned to the Fast and Furious team (and recently retired from the IRS). A self-described gun-rights supporter, Wallace has not been criticized by Issa's committee.
Lewisville Lake is at 520.73 feet, which is about 15 inches low. Lewisville is currently under a Stage 1 water watch, calling for voluntary conservation.
Dr. Al Armandariz, the EPA administrator who resigned after Congressional Republicans and gas industry shills willfully took his comments at a Dish town hall meeting out of context, has now taken a position at environmental advocacy organization, The Sierra Club. Here's the press release:
Sierra Club Welcomes Dr. Al Armendariz to Beyond Coal Campaign DALLAS – Former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regional administrator Dr. Alfredo “Al” Armendariz will join the staff of the Sierra Club effective in mid-July as Senior Campaign Representative for the organization’s Beyond Coal campaign. Based in Austin, Dr. Armendariz will draw on his scientific expertise working on air, water, and climate science to help move Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas off coal-fired electricity and toward an economy powered by job-generating clean energy sources such as wind and the sun.
"This is an exciting day for clean energy and public health supporters in Texas,” said Bruce Nilles, Senior Campaign Director for Beyond Coal campaign. “Al has worked closely with the Sierra Club for many years, as an environmental scientist and professor. He understands the critical importance of developing clean energy to create jobs, protect people and protect air and water."
Before becoming Regional Administrator for the EPA, Dr. Armendariz spent eight years as a professor in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He has previously worked as a chemical engineer with Radian Corporation in North Carolina. Throughout his career, Dr. Armendariz has spent countless hours volunteering to help protect America’s air, water, treasured landscapes and public health through various environmental groups and he worked to teach the next generation of environmental leaders through the Volunteer Center of North Texas.
“As a third generation Texan, I’m proud to be taking on this new role to help protect Texas,” said Dr. Armendariz. “As a father and a scientist, I know how important it is to transition to cleaner sources of energy that don’t pollute the air that our children breathe, and I’m proud to be working on a campaign with a proven track record for success.”