…that I spent the time period from 7 to 8 being heavily impressed with Univision’s coverage of Operation Fast & Furious, despite the fact that I don’t speak Spanish and I was counting on people doing running translations for me. I will have to sit down and watch the whole thing again once it’s subtitled, but this is my first takeaway: Univision made a compelling case that the US government is stonewalling any kind of meaningful investigation into what the hell happened, and it did so all the more powerfully by not taking a partisan political side.
But I will. I am with Paul Ryan on this: FIRE ERIC HOLDER. NOW. And note that we’ve all been saying this for over a year at this point.
Background: the Spanish-language media organization Univision has apparently been building up quite the head of steam over Operation Fast & Furious, which was an operation where we blithely let guns get handed over to Mexican narco-terrorist gangs with precisely zero oversight, hesitation, or interest in what said gangs would do with said weapons. What they did with them, of course, was to use those guns to murder Mexican nationals. The administration is stonewalling the investigation into all this (particularly the investigation into US Border Agent Brian Terry’s murder, as OF&F guns showed up at the murder scene); and Univision is promising a long, hard look at the ongoing debacle tomorrow.
[UPDATE: Welcome, Instapundit readers. Come, I will conceal nothing from you: it’s been a rotten week (the whole family’s been down with colds, which is precisely as much fun as it sounds when your youngest is two and a half). Retail therapy would be nice: hit the tip jar to the side and I promise to spend it on wargame miniatures.]
This is going to be a very visual post, and, as usual, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney provides little if any actual semantic content, so I will simply summarize each video. First off, we have the standard obfuscation:
He hates his life – or at least, he’s about to hate his life. You see, if Congress votes today to hold US Attorney General Eric Holder in criminal contempt of Congress today for Holder’s stonewalling on providing documents on the botched Operation Fast & Furious botched gunrunning scandal* then Mr. Machen is apparently the lucky individual who gets to bring charges up for a grand jury. Assuming, of course, that Holder doesn’t blink before then and give House Oversight Chair Darrell Issa the documents that Issa’s been demanding ever since Holder got caught lying about the Department of Justice’s oversight of Operation Fast & Furious.
All of this puts Machen in an absolutely no-win situation: if the US Attorney brings charges, Machen will get an unbelievable amount of push-back from both the administration (which will be passive-aggressive) and the DC local political structure (which will just be aggressive). But if Ronald Machen does not bring charges then his career is over; the DC federal power structure values obedience to Congressional prerogatives a heck of a lot more than they value obedience to Presidential ones. Presidents are ephemeral; even the successful ones have less than a decade of true power. Congress endures, and it gets mean when it’s crossed. Continue reading Meet Ronald C Machen, US Attorney for the District of Columbia.
K, here’s the background. CJ Ciaramella is a reporter at the Washington Free Beacon, and he emailed the Department of Justice to find out if they had any response to the allegations being featured in Kate Pavlich’s latest book on the Operation Fast & Furious scandal (Fast and Furious: Barack Obama’s Bloodiest Scandal and the Shameless Cover-Up). Specifically, the allegation that there was a third gun found at the scene of Border Agent Brian Terry’s murder that could be traced back to that DOJ/DEA botched gunrunning operation; and that the existence of this third gun was being covered up in order to protect a confidential informant. And let me note in passing: I don’t care how highly-placed this alleged informant could be; his or her needs do not take precedence over the needs of Agent Terry’s surviving loved ones, or indeed the survivors of anybody that the US government helped murder by freely letting guns get illegally sold to Mexican narco-terrorists.
But let us move back to the main point: Ciaramella emailed the DoJ for their response to this issue… and the DoJ’s official response, in the form of one Office of Public Affairs spokeswoman Katie Dixon? Go read Media Matters for America (MMfA).
So, we now what the priorities are when it comes to American law enforcement officials acting badly. Secret Service agents who patronize, then refuse to pay, Colombian prostitutes? People end up getting fired, investigated, and generally have their careers blighted, within days. DEA/DOJ officials who put cop-killing (and Mexican-civilian-killing) guns into the hands of Mexican narco-terrorist gangs? No firings. The bare minimum of non-Congressional investigations. Certainly no career blighting. It’s an… interesting… contrast, especially since nobody died at the hands of government fools in the first case and quite a lot of people died at the hands of government fools in the second. Continue reading Comparing the Colombian Prostitute Scandal to Operation Fast & Furious.
…why are none of them talking about Operation Fast & Furious? And when I say ‘talk’ I mean ‘bringing it up at every opportunity, complete with raised voices and angry tones.’
Seriously. This is an easy issue to be on the right side of: everyone agrees – now – that it’s bad to create a sting operation where you facilitate the running of guns to Mexican narco-terrorists without proper safeguards (or indeed any safeguards at all); everyone agrees that it’s bad when guns that you’ve facilitated turn up at the murder scene of a US Border Agent; and while everyone may not agree that Attorney General Eric Holder is either a blithering incompetent or a malignantly corrupt callous bureaucrat, certainly virtually anybody who will be voting in the Republican primaries does. As Mark Hemingway notes here: this should be a slam-dunk issue for a Republican candidate. Particularly one who, I don’t know, might want to shore up his conservative credentials?