25 March 2011 - Under fire for an operation that allowed smuggling of U.S. weapons across the nation’s border with Mexico, President Obama said in an interview that neither he nor Attorney General Eric Holder authorized the controversial “Operation Fast and Furious.”
...Obama told Univision‘s Jorge Ramos that President Felipe Calderon wasn’t informed of the operation because he — the president of the United States — wasn’t informed either. When asked whether he knew of the weapon smuggling plan, Obama responded that it is “a pretty big government” with “a lot of moving parts.”
...President Obama said ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms enforcement) was behind "Operation Fast and Furious."
Item 2: According to documents obtained by the House Judiciary Committee, Deputy Attorney General Gary Grindler was keenly aware of all aspects of Operation Fast and Furious as early as March 2010. In a letter to A.G. Holder, Chairman Issa wrote:
Gary Grindler, the then-Deputy Attorney General and currently your Chief of Staff, received an extremely detailed briefing on Operation Fast and Furious on March 12, 2010. In this briefing, Grindler learned such minutiae as the number of times that Uriel Patino, a straw purchaser on food stamps who ultimately acquired 720 firearms, went in to a cooperating gun store and the amount of guns that he had bought. When former Acting ATF Director Ken Melson, a career federal prosecutor, learned similar information, he became sick to his stomach...
Item 3: Newly released White House Visitor Logs list Grindler as having visited the White House 40 times, but only four times with the President himself. All four meetings with the President occurred over a two-week period, between 7 May 2010 and 19 May 2010.
According to The Los Angeles Times, these dates just so happened to represent the run-up to "the height of [Operation] Fast and Furious":
In the U.S., intelligence officials consider the Sinaloa cartel the most powerful drug trafficking organization in the world. Weekly reports from U.S. intelligence authorities to the Justice Department in the summer of 2010, at the height of Fast and Furious, warned about the proliferation of guns reaching the Sinaloa cartel... Under Fast and Furious, begun in fall 2009, the ATF allowed illegal buyers to walk away with weapons in the hope that agents in Phoenix could track the guns and arrest cartel leaders.
Summary: In early 2010, Gary Grindler was intimately involved in all aspects of Operation Fast and Furious. During the height of the operation, Grindler visited the President on four separate occasions in only two weeks -- his only documented meetings with the president at the White House.
So my question is this:
What did President Obama know -- and when did he know it?
Hat tip: Michelle Malkin.