I’ve got a feeling there is going to be some profanity in this post…
Eric Holder should be in jail, and with this week’s usage of Executive Privilege to head off a congressional investigation, it looks like Barack Obama might get to be his cellmate.If you haven’t been paying attention to the Fast & Furious fiasco, (and I’m not talking about the Vin Diesel movies) you really should start. It is far bigger than Watergate. Watergate didn’t have a body count.
It is understandable if you haven’t heard about this scandal until now, because the mainstream media has mostly ignored it or tried to downplay it so it doesn’t cause any harm to Obama. http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2012/06/20/Big-Three-Networks-Cover-Fast-and-Furious-Updates-Only-CBS-Satisfies?utm_source=e_breitbart_com&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Breitbart+News+Roundup%2C+June+21%2C+2012&utm_campaign=Breitbart+News+Roundup%2C+June+21%2C+2012&utm_term=More
However, with the events of the last few days, even those partisan hacks won’t be able to ignore F&F anymore. Now they’ll just try to spin the narrative to make it some sort of republican witch hunt.
I wish that was it. Because the ugly reality is that the federal government committed several thousand felonies, got a bunch of people killed, all in order to push a political agenda, and now it appears that the president is complicit in the cover up.
For those of you who haven’t been paying attention, Fast & Furious was a DOJ/ATF project that knowingly allowed straw purchasers for the Mexican drug cartels to purchase firearms from American gun dealers in order to ship them into Mexico. When the American dealers contacted the ATF about suspicious purchases (like they are required to by law)* the ATF told them to let the transfers go through. Several thousand American guns went over the border to the cartels, where they were then used in thousands of crimes.
The best estimate is that around 300 Mexicans have been murdered using these weapons. The lid was finally blown off of F&F about a year and half ago when a US Border Patrol Agent named Brian Terry was murdered with one of these F&F guns.
The supposed reasoning behind F&F was to track the flow of guns through the criminal underworld… Uh huh… That’s how the DOJ is spinning it now that they got caught, but let’s look at this logically. The DOJ’s justification doesn’t pass the smell test. Gun rights activists, bloggers, and a handful of actual journalists have been working on dredging up F&F details for 18 months now, and it is pretty damning.
The guns crossed the border and then simply weren’t tracked. There was no mechanism in place to track the guns. The Mexican authorities weren’t even notified about the operation. It would seem that for a tracking operation, they might have wanted some… I don’t know, tracking involved.
This week Holder told congress that his DOJ had inherited the project from Bush’s DOJ… (wow, it is all Bush’s fault. We’ve never heard that from the Obama administration before!) Holder was only partially lying this time. The Bush DOJ tried a similar project called Gunrunner, which was also about trying to track the flow of guns, and it was a complete and total embarrassing stupid failure and was cancelled. But, and this is a huge but, Gunrunner actually attempted to track the guns with tracking devices and aerial surveillance.
EDIT: as was pointed out in the comments, I w as incorrect, the Bush era operation was actually called Operation Wide Receiver. Gunrunner was part of the F&F.
So with tracking devices and airplanes, GR still failed to actually catch any of the cartel bad guys… So F&F comes along under Holder and supposedly has the same mission as Gunrunner, only it doesn’t have any sort of actual law enforcement investigation attached. It is just guns going across the border in some nebulous hand wave reason of “tracking”. That doesn’t hold up.
So what was the real reason for this big, dangerous, stupid, deadly, illegal operation? It certainly wasn’t to track the flow of the illicit Mexican arms trade, because once the guns crossed the border, the next time they showed up was when the serial numbers were read at crime scenes around the bodies of dead Mexicans. NBC is now calling F&F a “flawed sting” but it was actually impossible for F&F to serve any legitimate law enforcement sting purpose from the start.
Do you all remember a couple of years ago the deluge of news reports about how all of Mexico’s massive crime problems are the fault of America’s lax gun laws? Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, even spoke about this grave issue. Something needed to be done about this horrible problem! Won’t somebody think of the children!
Yet, when you looked at the actual stats, only a small percentage of Mexico’s crime guns came from legitimate American sources, and considering that we’re talking about a criminal enterprise with a net worth bigger than most countries, that bribes entire Mexican army units, and owns freaking submarines, that narrative is extra stupid.
So, you’ve got an administration that hates civilian gun ownership, laying the narrative groundwork about how we need stricter gun control because of Reason X, and then in that same time frame that same administration starts an operation that directly contributes a whole lot more Reason X. Well huh… Considering that F&F’s stated mission was impossible from the get go, that’s a little suspicious isn’t it? Or in the words of Sherlock Holmes, when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.
But as repulsive as that line of thought is, it is irrelevant. For the purposes of justice, we don’t care why they committed the crime, just whether they are guilty or not.
Once Brian Terry was murdered with an F&F gun, the lights came on and the cockroaches scattered. You can get detailed timelines about the DOJ’s ham-fisted response online. Eric Holder tried to stonewall to make the whole thing go away, but congressman Darrel Issa is part pit bull, and has spent the last year kicking Holder’s ass. An investigation was started, and every step of the way Holder either lied, hid evidence, or refused to present internal documents.
At this point it isn’t even a question of whether the DOJ broke the law, but how much they sucked at breaking it, and how high did it go? A lot of us have been wondering if the president knew about and allowed F&F to proceed. He is on record having made a few cryptic comments about working on the gun “problem” during the right timeframe.
So this week Barack Obama invoked executive privilege for the first time to try and protect F&F documents.
Things are about to get remarkably interesting.
Don’t believe anybody who says that this is some sort of republican witch hunt or an election year stunt. The timing is irrelevant since Holder could have simply handed over the requested documents last year, but he didn’t because he had something to hide. The really sad part is that the vote to censure Holder was split exactly on party lines. Surprise. This shouldn’t be about party. If this had been a republican DOJ then I’d want them hung from the nearest tree.
F&F is huge. It is far worse than Watergate or Plamegate, or any Whatevergate. This isn’t Clinton getting a blowjob and then committing perjury about it. We’re talking about three hundred plus dead people.
The media is trying hard to spin this. For example the WaPo, the same dipshit newspaper that can somehow manage to connect Romney to massacres in the 1870s, wrote this bit of tripe: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/in-congress-blowing-gunsmoke/2012/06/20/gJQA4eULrV_story.html
Every single bit of that editorial is pure spun bullshit. All of Holder’s stonewalling, lies, and refusal to divulge information is glossed over, while everything else is pedantically dismissed. He points out how Holder handed over some documents, but leaves out the 90,000 other pages he didn’t hand over.
This is how he sums up F&F:
Terry’s death is indeed a scandal, part of the “Fast and Furious” operation in which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives lost track of 2,000 guns it was planning to trace on their way to Mexican drug cartels; two of those firearms were found near Terry’s body.
Lost track? Whoops? I could’ve swore I left a couple thousand guns laying around here somewhere… Hmm… That’s either a super nice way to put it, or Dana Milbank is a fucking idiot.
I especially like the quote in there from Elijah Cummings about how Issa calling Holder a liar was highly inflammatory. Personally, I’d call liar a fairly truthful assessment. If he wasn’t a liar, then why does he keep having to retract statements where he was caught lying? An example of a highly inflammatory statement would be saying that Eric Holder is a disgrace to the office of the attorney general, and a scum-sucking bureaucratic parasite that represents all that is wrong with the federal government, who should be arrested, prosecuted, convicted, and then sent to serve his time in a Mexican prison where he can get his shit pushed in by friends of the three hundred and some odd Mexicans whose death he was complicit with.
But maybe I shouldn’t hold back and let you know how I really feel about the whole thing… Eric Holder’s Justice Department is a sick joke and a blight on America. He couldn’t prosecute Black Panthers threatening people with clubs at the polls, because he was too busy shipping thousands of guns to a criminal organization so violent they make the Taliban look like the Girl Scouts. The only discernible reason for F&F to exist was to push a political agenda, but they screwed up and killed a bunch of people, got caught, and now they are whining about it. If I’d knowingly sold a gun to a violent criminal, and then that criminal killed somebody, then I would have been considered an accessory and prosecuted, but if I shipped several thousand I’d just be a DOJ official.
Dana Milbank, fucking idiot, referred to congressman Jason Chaffetz as “volatile” for saying “We have a dead United States Border Patrol agent, and we have a government that’s withholding information so that we cannot get to the bottom of it.”
That was volatile? Do you sleep in a helmet, Mr. Milbank? If the press would quit fellating the president for a few minutes, you might want to maybe think about how it is congress’ freaking job to question little things like the executive branch committing several thousand felonies. Milbank brings up congress’ crappy approval rating, like that somehow invalidates them doing their job… Nice try douchebag. In a country where the biggest news organization talked about F&F for all of 8 SECONDS over the last year, how does public awareness and poll numbers have any bearing on them performing their actual job?
FI, Dana Milbank, then closes with this little gem. The indignation would sound more genuine if Republicans weren’t going after Holder over what has happened since Terry died.
Naw. We already know that the DOJ is incredibly corrupt. The real question, Dana Milbank, you quisling ditz, is how much Barack Obama knew about this?
*- As a former gun dealer, believe me when I say that if we have even the slightest hunch that we are dealing with a customer trying to break the law, we don’t do the sale. A straw purchase is when somebody who can pass a background check comes in and buys a gun on behalf of somebody who can’t pass a background check, and a dealer can lose his license and go to jail for knowingly selling the gun.
Gun dealers are a very law abiding bunch for the most part, yet there is a federal agency tasked with busting gun dealers that needs to continually justify its existence. So since the dealers aren’t trying to commit crimes on purpose, the ATF spends a lot of energy trying to get dealers to break the law, often through snitches and fake straw buyers. So if a dealer thinks something is odd, they aren’t going to sell the gun, because they don’t want to go to jail.
On some of the F&F sales, the dealers called their ATF agent because they were suspicious of the buyer. The ATF had to tell these gun dealers to go ahead and complete the sales. When F&F broke, the ATF tried to hang those dealers out to dry, but luckily they had documented that their ATF agents had okayed the transfer.
EDIT 1: And this just in. So much for it being a conspiracy theory. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31727_162-57338546-10391695/documents-atf-used-fast-and-furious-to-make-the-case-for-gun-regulations/ ATF was trying to use the F&F sales to justify new regulations. And from CBS of all places!
And a note, I complain about the news media a lot (like for example, the WaPo editorial above, which is just brazenly stupid), however CBS has been doing excellent work. Actual journalistic investigation type stuff! From reporters! I know, right? Way to go CBS.