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O’Reilly’s sudden transfer to Baghdad occurred just days after e-mails proving White House knowledge of Fast & Furious with ATF AZ Station ChiefWilliam Newell were produced to the Committee and Newell testified about them before Congress.
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WH Aide Involved in Fast & Furious
'Suddenly' Transferred to Iraq
Kevin O’Reilly, a member of the White House National Security Staff who regularly communicated about Operation Fast & Furious with the Arizona-based ATF agent responsible for running the operation that allowed guns to flow to Mexican drug cartels, was suddenly transferred out of the White House and into Iraq in July 2011.

The transfer took place shortly after the ATF agent had testified in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the White House had provided the committee with a series of emails that O’Reilly and the agent had exchanged while Fast & Furious was underway.

Since then, the White House has declined to allow O’Reilly to be interviewed either by the committee or by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who conducted the administration’s internal investigation of Fast & Furious. The White House also refused to give the inspector general access to internal White House communications relating to Fast & Furious.

Under Fast & Furious, the ATF and the Justice Department deliberately allowed known straw purchasers for Mexican drug cartels to buy about 2,000 guns at U.S. gun stores. In December 2010, two of these guns were found at the scene of the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. Many more of the guns were found at crime scenes in Mexico.

In Sept. 20 testimony before the Oversight Committee, Horowitz said that the White House’s refusal to let O’Reilly speak and to provide the IG’s office with access to relevant internal White House communications “made it impossible” to “pursue that aspect of the case.”

In a letter they sent to O’Reilly’s attorney last Thursday, House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa and Sen. Charles Grassley, the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, warned that Issa would subpoena O’Reilly if he did not agree to testify.

“We have been trying to arrange to speak with your client, Kevin O’Reilly, for nearly a year now,” Issa and Grassley wrote. “Earlier this year, you agreed to make O’Reilly available for an interview if the White House authorized his participation. The White House, where O’Reilly worked during the pendency of Operation Fast & Furious, refused to make him available, citing ‘an insufficient basis to support the request.”

“If O’Reilly chooses to continue to make himself unavailable, Chairman Issa will have no further alternative but to use compulsory process to require his testimony before the committee,” they wrote.

In a March 28, 2012 letter to White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler, Issa and Grassley had said: "O'Reilly's personal lawyer has represented to the Committee that he would permit his client to speak to the Committee in the absence of any objection from the White House."

In an April 5, 2012 response to Issa and Grassley, Ruemmler wrote: "In light of the important Executive Branch confidentiality interests and institutional prerogatives implicated by your request, including those of NSS [National Security Staff], and in the absence of any evidence that suggests that Mr. O'Reilly had any involvement in 'Operation Fast & Furious' or was aware of the existence of any inappropriate investigative tactics, there is an insufficient basis to support the request to interview Mr. O'Reilly."

In their letter to O'Reilly's attorney on Thursday, Issa and Grassley said that without getting O’Reilly’s story it would be impossible to determine the role that the White House played in Fast & Furious...

The letter indicates that while O’Reilly was working at the White House he communicated for more than half a year about Fast & Furious with ATF Special Agent in Charge William Newell, who was in charge of the operation for the ATF in Arizona...

When Newell testified before Issa’s committee on July 26, 2011, he said of White House aide O’Reilly: “He has been a friend of mine for a long time, and he asked me for information.”

“Not that I shouldn’t have been talking to him,” Newell testified. “He is a friend of mine. He asked for information and I provided it to him.”


Editor's Note: It must really s*ck when your boss sends you to a place hoping to get you killed rather than allowing you to honestly testify before a Congressional Committee...

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