CNN Political Ticker: “‘Fast and Furious’ flap likely to linger”

posted at 4:53 pm on November 3, 2011 by Tina Korbe

Ya think? And since when is it acceptable to refer to an operation that resulted in the deaths of at least 200 Mexicans and some 11 violent crimes in the U.S. as a “flap”? It’s a “flap” when the president mistakenly refers to 57 states, when he taunts the House of Representatives for reaffirming the national motto in the midst of a jobs crisis, when he tours the country in a Canadian bus to promote the creation of American jobs. It’s a scandal when a bureau within the Justice Department shows “wanton disregard for the law” (to borrow a phrase from a Congressman) to funnel weapons into the hands of Mexican drug lords. I can only hope the hed writer chose the word “flap” for alliterative purposes and not out of a concern for accuracy.

But, then, the reporter had no reason to think F&F is a scandal when his sources downplayed the seriousness of the operation, repeating the line that it was intended to track the weapons and disrupt the power of the drug cartels and suggesting the failure to track the weapons was a mistake of non-monumental proportions:

Congressional committees and the Justice Department’s independent inspector-general are now looking into what happened, with Republicans accusing Attorney General Eric Holder of trying to stiff-arm investigators. But as embarrassing as “Fast and Furious” may be, it’s not in the same league as administration-threatening scandals like Watergate or the Harding administration’s Teapot Dome, University of Virginia analyst Larry Sabato said.

“The only scandals that matter in a presidential year are the ones that directly connect to a president,” Sabato said. He added, “Everybody admits it was a dumb idea,” but similar programs were launched during the Bush administration.

Nor does the controversy about “Fast and Furious” appear to be a mortal threat to anyone’s job at this point, said Peter Toren, a former federal prosecutor and Justice Department official. …

“It’s certainly a black eye for the Justice Department,” which oversees the ATF, Toren said. But he added, “This is more of a botched operation rather than a scandal.”

Sadly, Sabato and Toren are probably right. Despite calls for Eric Holder’s resignation from at least 30 different members of Congress, the AG’s job is probably not in “mortal” jeopardy at the moment — especially thanks to the recent testimony of DOJ criminal division chief Lanny Breuer, who said he failed to warn his superiors (presumably including Holder) about the questionable tactics employed in both Operation Wide Receiver (a similar Bush-era program) and F&F. As Sabato put it, Breuer is “taking one for the team,” leaving Holder in a comfy, cozy spot, insulated from the implication that he had intimate knowledge of the dangerous practices employed under F&F.

Still, even Toren suggests it’s stupid of Holder or anyone in the DOJ to stonewall.

“I think it would be best to get out in front of it, say what really happened and let the chips fall where they may,” he said.

We’ll see if Holder takes that tactic when he testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee next Tuesday.

In the meantime, the Political Ticker article makes me wonder whether I wouldn’t rather the MSM continue to ignore the story.


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“It’s certainly a black eye for the Justice Department,” which oversees the ATF, Toren said. But he added, “This is more of a botched operation rather than a scandal.”

I wonder how Brian Terry’s family refers to it. Odds are they don’t use the term “flap”, “black eye”, or even “botched”.

They probably call it murder.

BobMbx on November 3, 2011 at 4:57 PM

Ho ho… Hey hey!!

How many Mexicans did you kill today?

Khun Joe on November 3, 2011 at 4:58 PM

A scandal is when a politician cheats on their spouse, Gunrunner is a crime and an attempt to subvert the 2nd Amendment.

Bishop on November 3, 2011 at 4:58 PM

since when is it acceptable to refer to an operation that resulted in the deaths of at least 200 Mexicans and some 11 violent crimes in the U.S. as a “flap”?

It’s a flap when it is viewed through a political lens. The dems would love for it to be a “flap”–ie, a political attempt to score points. Trouble is that US Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and ICE agent Jaime Zapata are not around to shrug it off as merely a republican v. democrat ‘flap.’ Those guys don’t get a vote, nor do the 200+ dead Mexicans that Eric Holder, his boss, and the ATF are responsible for.

ted c on November 3, 2011 at 4:59 PM

Agent Brian A. Terry is unavailable for comment…

Seven Percent Solution on November 3, 2011 at 5:00 PM

I am getting the feeling that they are trying to divert attention back to W and Wide Receiver. Never mind that that was a joint project with Mexico, move along, it’s W’s fault.

Cindy Munford on November 3, 2011 at 5:02 PM

How murder of our own, and Mexican citizens, hauling drugs into Mexico , to drug dealers, without Mexicos governments knowledge or consent, and using all of this as a means for what else other than gun control., isn’t a scandal of the utmost, is beyond me.

People died for this, and some did lose their jobs over this. This is NOT a flap. It’s an outright crime, and many criminals are involved.

What I can’t understand is…why there are so many willing to live with the knowledge they are complicit in murder, and not willing to stand up and do and say what’s right. The truth!!!

Retribution may not come in this life, but it sure as hell will in the next…and I think I’d rather get something like this off my chest, and work toward the good, than keep it bottled til the end.

capejasmine on November 3, 2011 at 5:03 PM

We’ll see if Holder takes that tactic when he testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee next Tuesday.

pffttt. Watch Grassley and Cornyn get shut down by Leahy and lots and lots of stone put upon Eric’s wall….

ted c on November 3, 2011 at 5:03 PM

When we have Obama mentioning “working under the radar” on gun control months before the story broke I think we should assume there is administrative involvement. Unless of course Obama wants to come clean on that effort as well.

DanMan on November 3, 2011 at 5:03 PM

I like how CNN finally decides to cover the story.

lorien1973 on November 3, 2011 at 5:04 PM

Sure CNN is going to cover this “flap.” They’ve found a way to blame it on W.

sandee on November 3, 2011 at 5:05 PM

The real scandal is the coverup as always…but this one has the LSM on the coverup side.

d1carter on November 3, 2011 at 5:06 PM

We’ll see if Holder takes that tactic when he testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee next Tuesday.

I thought he was scheduled to visit to the Hill on December 8.

JM Hanes on November 3, 2011 at 5:06 PM

Valerie Pflame was a scandal, but this….dead guys and illegal gun sales….now THIS is a flap.

definitions

ted c on November 3, 2011 at 5:07 PM

So 34 Republican Congressmen have called for Holder to step down. Why aren’t we seeing every single Republican member of both Congress and the Senate, along with all the Republican Presidential candidates calling for the same? Don’t these idiots understand that Republican unity is the only thing that has the clout to challenge the Democrats and the MSM?

Where does the phrase “Republican attack machine” originate from? It comes from the fact that during the vast majority of the time, Liberals get to shove their talking points down our throats, with the only rebuttals coming from the Conservative New Media, which outside of Rush Limbaugh, didn’t even exist until fairly recently.

Then, every four years, we have a Presidential election, and the Republicans get to run political ads, hold debates, and have a national convention, and actually have people pay attention. It is during this time, and this time only, that Republicans get to take their message directly to the American people. This outrages Liberals who believe that Republicans should never get to voice their opinions, and that the only time Republicans should ever speak is when they’re being grilled over supposed misdeeds by MSM talking heads. So when Republicans actually go on the offensive in a unified manner during an election campaign, and are able to score points with the public, something that Liberals are free to do all the time, this is characterized as “fear mongering”, etc.

The so called Republican attack machine needs to be in operation at all times, but sadly, it’s not.

ardenenoch on November 3, 2011 at 5:08 PM

Ho ho… Hey hey!!

How many Mexicans did you kill today?

Khun Joe on November 3, 2011 at 4:58 PM

Hey now…

Everybody knows that liberals don’t care what happens to Mexicans.

Just vote Democrat!

tetriskid on November 3, 2011 at 5:09 PM

They had to say “flap” so they can continue to write stories about how this administration is “scandal free.”

Youngs98 on November 3, 2011 at 5:09 PM

We’ll see if Holder takes that tactic when he testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee next Tuesday.

I suspect Holder just might stand up, whip out an AK-47 borrowed from the FBI gun room, and start blazing away at all those Obama haters in front of him.

“Say hello to my little friend….bambambambambambam…..I love you Barack!….bambambambambambam…this is for the cause…..

BobMbx on November 3, 2011 at 5:10 PM

Valerie Pflame was a scandal, but this….dead guys and illegal gun sales….now THIS is a flap.

definitions

ted c on November 3, 2011 at 5:07 PM

And no where near as bad as Watergate…Except for a few hundred dead people and thousands of untraceable guns in the hands of drug cartels on our border…

sandee on November 3, 2011 at 5:10 PM

scandal is in the eyes of the beholder…

ted c on November 3, 2011 at 5:11 PM

So 34 Republican Congressmen have called for Holder to step down.

And 40 want higher taxes.

I guess getting more money for Holder is more important than firing Holder.

BobMbx on November 3, 2011 at 5:11 PM

There still is the pending little issue regarding written authorization required by the State Department…

… Oh, wait!

Seven Percent Solution on November 3, 2011 at 5:12 PM

scandal is in the eyes of the beholder…

And of course only happens if you have an R after your name.

sandee on November 3, 2011 at 5:12 PM

And no where near as bad as Watergate…Except for a few hundred dead people and thousands of untraceable guns in the hands of drug cartels on our border…

sandee on November 3, 2011 at 5:10 PM

yeah, now watergate…*whew*…those boys really jimmied that lock up good and did lots of damage. But these few dead guys and these rogue guns and drug traffickers …ehhhh, no big deal. I mean Kevin O’Reilly, a White House staffer, only got briefings, cool charts and such on this. NBD.

ted c on November 3, 2011 at 5:12 PM

BTW, since we’re pulling out of Iraq so dang fast, you would think that the White House would just love to get Kevin O’Reilly back here to answer a few (dozen) questions regarding what he knew, when he knew it, and who he briefed about it, right????

ted c on November 3, 2011 at 5:15 PM

I want a video of Ben Stein standing in front of the Supreme Court saying “Holder, Holder…Holder”!

tim c on November 3, 2011 at 5:16 PM

ardenenoch on November 3, 2011 at 5:08 PM Re the republican attack machine. There are really only a few conservatives in the R party. These are always on the attack but are never covered. Elections mean potential power loss so lets talk a good fight,then back to ops normal.

retiredeagle on November 3, 2011 at 5:17 PM

And Sen. Barbara Boxer (“Call me Senator!”) sees the Fast and Furious hearings as a further call for national gun registration because the “laws are too lax.”
http://cnsnews.com/news/article/feinstein-uses-fast-and-furious-make-case-national-gun-registration

onlineanalyst on November 3, 2011 at 5:18 PM

ardenenoch:

“Why aren’t we seeing every single Republican member of both Congress and the Senate, along with all the Republican Presidential candidates calling for the same?”

Because it would derail the investigation if Grassley & Issa jumped on that bandwagon too soon. They are not going to do that till all the evidence in on the table for the world to see. It’s much better to let the drum beat build, and every time another Congressman adds his voice to the others, it keeps the story alive and kicking.

JM Hanes on November 3, 2011 at 5:18 PM

As Sabato put it, Breuer is “taking one for the team,” leaving Holder in a comfy, cozy spot, insulated from the implication that he had intimate knowledge of the dangerous practices employed under F&F.

except for all of those memos that Holder received that were directly addressed to him. C’mon Tina, he knew. He can play the stupid boss trick, shrug his shoulders and such, but the bottom line is that guns crossing the border is a SERIOUS deal that no flunkie at any level of government is going to make without a triple-dog “go ahead, I approve” from the leadership.

ted c on November 3, 2011 at 5:19 PM

Standard Comedy Relief Interlude:

I have no idea, but I do know that you guys come up with really cool names for your fake scandals.

crr6 on July 10, 2011 at 1:24 PM

Del Dolemonte on November 3, 2011 at 5:20 PM

Del Dolemonte on November 3, 2011 at 5:20 PM

our fake, but lingering, scandals.

modifications.

ted c on November 3, 2011 at 5:24 PM

Valerie Pflame was a scandal, but this….dead guys and illegal gun sales….now THIS is a flap.

definitions

ted c on November 3, 2011 at 5:07 PM

She’s Baaack!

Naomi Watts and Valerie Plame Wilson are teaming up – again – but this time it’s about more than whitewashing history via the big screen.

Watts portrayed the former CIA operative in ‘Fair Game,’ the 2010 feature on Wilson’s famous outing by a member of the Bush administration.

Now, the two women are joining forces to compel the Obama administration to “cut nuclear weapons instead of education and other priorities.”

-snip-

Naomi: This fall our kids start the new school year in the middle of an economic crisis. There are fewer teachers and extra curricular programs, and more overcrowding in our schools.

Valerie: In the face of this global economic crisis governments around the world are slashing funding for education, and the things that really matter to most of us.

Naomi: Meanwhile over the next decade, governments will spend one trillion dollars on nuclear weapons globally.

Valerie: We’re both mothers, and along with Global Zero we’re urging our government to invest our tax dollars in essential things like education, jobs, health care and not in useless, dangerous weapons that belong in the dustbin of history.

Del Dolemonte on November 3, 2011 at 5:27 PM

I am getting the feeling that they are trying to divert attention back to W and Wide Receiver. Never mind that that was a joint project with Mexico, move along, it’s W’s fault.

Cindy Munford on November 3, 2011 at 5:02 PM

Assuredly, this is the game with the O weasels, led by Holder at the top.

onlineanalyst on November 3, 2011 at 5:28 PM

A scandal is when a politician cheats on their spouse, Gunrunner is a crime and an attempt to subvert the 2nd Amendment.

Bishop on November 3, 2011 at 4:58 PM

This.

Holder is either lying or incompetent. Either way, he needs to go. Via impeachment (and hopefully conviction), if necessary.

nukemhill on November 3, 2011 at 5:28 PM

del. heh!!

ted c on November 3, 2011 at 5:29 PM

This could be called the “Breitbart paradox.”

No scandal will ever really become a “Scandal” until the MSM acknowledges it as such. Those are prevailing rules of our media culture. Breitbart has sought to force the MSM into covering stories they otherwise would not, i.e., compelling them to admit they are scandals, or face embarrassment and lost credibility. But it appears that the MSM is deciding to call his bluff. They are doubling down.

So what happens to the pressure around a story like Fast and Furious if it NEVER gets real, sustained, scandal-worthy MSM coverage? Does it just diffuse through the alternative media and bleed out into the conservative body politic but no further? Is there an absolute limit to how many people will ever hear about it? The MSM could believe this. “So what,” they might say. “We’re not ever going to cover these stories no matter how many times you repeat them on your blogs. The same people will keep venting the same outrage but its a closed loop and we don’t care.”

It’s war to them, not journalism, and they just don’t care. They can’t be embarrassed anymore — or they realize much more is at stake than professional embarrassment from the Right. They’re defenders of the faith, not journalists.

rrpjr on November 3, 2011 at 5:31 PM

ardenenoch:

“Why aren’t we seeing every single Republican member of both Congress and the Senate, along with all the Republican Presidential candidates calling for the same?”

Because it would derail the investigation if Grassley & Issa jumped on that bandwagon too soon. They are not going to do that till all the evidence in on the table for the world to see. It’s much better to let the drum beat build, and every time another Congressman adds his voice to the others, it keeps the story alive and kicking.

JM Hanes on November 3, 2011 at 5:18 PM

I don’t expect Grassley and Issa to say this, but what about all the others? Do the Democrats ever act in such a prudent manner? Of course not, they’ll jump all over anything, knowing that the MSM have their backs.

ardenenoch on November 3, 2011 at 5:31 PM

Don’t forget that “stimulus” money was used for this endeavor, too. How in the world was that expenditure justified?

onlineanalyst on November 3, 2011 at 5:34 PM

Hey Tina! Add this quote from Dianne Feinstein:

“My concern, Mr. Chairman, is that there’s been a lot said about Fast and Furious, and perhaps mistakes were made,” Feinstein said. “But I think this hunt for blame doesn’t really speak about the problem. And the problem is, anybody can walk in and buy anything.”


BULLSHIT Senator! YOUR own DEMOCRATIC administration PURPOSELY violated those so-called “lax laws” in order for criminals to purchase weapons. BLAME Senator? Damned right there is BLAME. There are people in your DEMOCRATIC administration that should be going to PRISON!

GarandFan on November 3, 2011 at 5:34 PM

Holder is O’s favorite Cabinet member and he can do a lot of dirty work on his boss’s behalf – e.g. refusing to prosecute Black Panther voter intimidation, using the full force of the Federal government against a guitar manufacturer (while ignoring a unionized guitar company which uses the same wood), and completely stonewalling the Congressional investigation of the F & F scandal.

That is why they are offering up Lanny Breuer as the fall guy, who will be rewarded for his services at a later time.

But who knows, Sandy Berger may have already had his law license reinstated at this point.

molonlabe28 on November 3, 2011 at 5:35 PM

ardenenoch on November 3, 2011 at 5:08 PM Re the republican attack machine. There are really only a few conservatives in the R party. These are always on the attack but are never covered. Elections mean potential power loss so lets talk a good fight,then back to ops normal.

retiredeagle on November 3, 2011 at 5:17 PM

And there are plenty of Democrats who aren’t committed Leftists, just committed to gaining power via Leftist methods. Even if many GOPers don’t stand for anything, don’t they at least want to play to win?

ardenenoch on November 3, 2011 at 5:36 PM

You heard it here first: Holder takes the 5th

ConservativePartyNow on November 3, 2011 at 5:50 PM

Holder got a strong endorsement today from the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP).

Note the Freudian Slip by the “writer” for The Politico:

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1111/67575.html

The FOP expressed its solidarity with Holder without mentioning the Operation Fast and Furious controversy.

“The FOP is very proud of the strong and positive working relationship that we have had with Eric Holder, not just for the two years in which he has served as the nation’s ‘top cop,’ but through his long career of public service,” wrote Chuck Canterbury, the organization’s National President. “As the brother of a retired law enforcement officer and one of the most dedicated and experienced law enforcement leaders, General Holder has been a true partner to the GOP and to our nation’s rank-and-file officers.”

Del Dolemonte on November 3, 2011 at 5:58 PM

There still is the pending little issue regarding written authorization required by the State Department…

… Oh, wait!

Seven Percent Solution on November 3, 2011 at 5:12 PM

Did you notice how Hillary!!! weaseled around her answers? “We have no record of…” (Why? Were the records never made or were they shredded into the black hole of oblivion?) How could Hillary!!! go into this hearing without knowing the role of State in issuing such waivers?

onlineanalyst on November 3, 2011 at 6:00 PM

You heard it here first: Holder takes the 5th

ConservativePartyNow on November 3, 2011 at 5:50 PM

I hope you are right.

GaltBlvnAtty on November 3, 2011 at 6:13 PM

Flap!? Botched operation!? What about an operation that was a direct attack on the 2nd amendment that was run so poorly it resulted in the murder of hundreds of people. Nothing like having the sh#t hit the fan and get flung back into your face.

Kissmygrits on November 3, 2011 at 6:36 PM

Two more F & F guns have surfaced in drug busts. From a couple of days ago:

AZ sheriff says 2 guns tied to ‘Fast and Furious’

Desert Gardens on November 3, 2011 at 6:49 PM

Still, even Toren suggests it’s stupid of Holder or anyone in the DOJ to stonewall.

“I think it would be best to get out in front of it, say what really happened and let the chips fall where they may,” he said.

Yeah, its stupid to stonewall, unless the truth will get you and a bunch of other bloody corruptocrats indicted and bring down a Presidency. Then you stonewall, stupid or not, because it is the only option that doesn’t involve federal prison time.

novaculus on November 3, 2011 at 6:52 PM

“Fast and Furious,”…but, but, come on, people, what about Herman Cain and, uhh, remember how awful Bush was?!

/ CNN/MSNBC.

Lourdes on November 3, 2011 at 6:54 PM

“It’s certainly a black eye for the Justice Department,” which oversees the ATF, Toren said. But he added, “This is more of a botched operation rather than a scandal.”

I wonder how Brian Terry’s family refers to it. Odds are they don’t use the term “flap”, “black eye”, or even “botched”.

They probably call it murder.

BobMbx on November 3, 2011 at 4:57 PM

1000+.

Lourdes on November 3, 2011 at 6:56 PM

A scandal is when a politician cheats on their spouse, Gunrunner is a crime and an attempt to subvert the 2nd Amendment.

Bishop on November 3, 2011 at 4:58 PM

And another 1000+.

Lourdes on November 3, 2011 at 6:56 PM

Del Dolemonte:

“Note the Freudian Slip by the “writer” for The Politico”

Only lightly less amusing than the GOP error is the fact that the FOP Prez (of all people!) thinks that you call the Atty General…. a General. LOL!

JM Hanes on November 3, 2011 at 7:23 PM

Del Dolemonte:

“Note the Freudian Slip by the “writer” for The Politico”

Only lightly less amusing than the GOP error is the fact that the FOP Prez (of all people!) thinks that you call the Atty General…. a General. LOL!

JM Hanes on November 3, 2011 at 7:23 PM

I would have had the same thought until a couple of years ago when I was in a meeting in which a former state attorney general repeatedly was referred to as “General,” and he answered to that appellation. I had to resist the LOL urge.

GaltBlvnAtty on November 3, 2011 at 7:42 PM

Still, even Toren suggests it’s stupid of Holder or anyone in the DOJ to stonewall.

“I think it would be best to get out in front of it, say what really happened and let the chips fall where they may,” he said.

We’ll see if Holder takes that tactic when he testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee next Tuesday.

Judicial Committee Chairman: “Mr Holder, can you tell us what you knew about Fast and Furious, and when?”

Holder: “Well Mr. Issa, its like this… It all started with the fact that I hate Mexicans…”

Danny on November 3, 2011 at 7:48 PM

“when the president mistakenly refers to 57 states”

Tina! There may not be 57 states in the “American Union” BUT there are 57 Islamic States in the Arabic Union

jpcpt03 on November 3, 2011 at 9:13 PM

onlineanalyst on November 3, 2011 at 5:18 PM

Oops! I attributed to Boxer what I should have attributed to Feinstein. Then again, how does one California airhead differ from another?

Maybe I should work for Politico with my lousy attribution techniques.

onlineanalyst on November 3, 2011 at 9:18 PM

BULLSHIT Senator! YOUR own DEMOCRATIC administration PURPOSELY violated those so-called “lax laws” in order for criminals to purchase weapons. BLAME Senator? Damned right there is BLAME. There are people in your DEMOCRATIC administration that should be going to PRISON!

GarandFan on November 3, 2011 at 5:34 PM

I like your passion there.

listens2glenn on November 3, 2011 at 10:23 PM

Holder lied and people died.

esnap on November 4, 2011 at 11:15 AM