Issa: Fast and Furious might have been a political operation to push for gun control

posted at 12:01 pm on June 25, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

The big question from last week’s assertion of executive privilege by Barack Obama was what, exactly, was so troublesome that the White House couldn’t have Attorney General Eric Holder release it.  It certainly wasn’t to protect the precedent of confidentiality of presidential advice; Obama and Holder have insisted that the President had no knowledge of Operation Fast and Furious until it made the headlines. Even the assertion of privilege attempted to skirt that issue by relying on deliberative process rather than direct presidential privilege, although it seems almost certain that deliberative process won’t shield Holder and others at executive agencies.  Clearly, the documents showsomethingObama finds damaging — but what is it?

Rep. Darrell Issa has headed the Congressional probe as House Oversight chair, and he told Jake Tapper yesterday that he thinks that the entire operation was political.  Tapper sounded skeptical, and Issa responds by pointing to Holder’s actions after the scandal broke:

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TAPPER:  You really think that there’s a possibility that they were sending guns across the border not because they were trying to get people in the Mexican drug cartels, not because they were trying to figure out drug — I mean, gun trafficking, but because they were trying to push gun control?

ISSA:  Two things quickly.  First of all, this was so flawed that you can’t believe they expected to actually get criminal prosecutions as a result of it.  So the level of flaw — flaw — flaw, if that’s a word, here is huge.

But here’s the real answer as to gun control.  We have e-mail from people involved in this that are talking about using what they’re finding here to support the — basically assault weapons ban or greater reporting.

So chicken or egg?  We don’t know which came first; we probably never will.  We do know that during this — this Fast and Furious operation, there were e-mails in which they’re saying we can use this as part of additional reporting or things like assault weapons ban.  So the people involved saw the benefit of what — what they were gathering.  Whether or not that was their original purpose, we probably will never know.

And I — and I take people at their word that this started off in some way as an idea where they could get good information, they could, in fact, roll up bad guys.  But after it was out of control and people are saying, we’re letting too many guns walk, those kinds of e-mails occurred, we — we have people who also were being opportunists.

And, remember, Eric Holder issued a four-state  reporting for long rifles and used what he had had here.  Right in the middle of the scandal, he issues that for four states.  They never needed this information.  They never needed the reporting to get this information.  These federally licensed gun dealers came to ATF and told them they had straw-buyers, told them they had suspicious buyers, and turned them on to the very people.  And one of these people bought over 700 weapons, just one straw-buyer.

So it’s very clear the system was working, where ATF was getting information voluntarily from licensed gun dealers.  They don’t need the additional reporting, but they got it anyway, and they used gun violence to the border and this operation as part of it.  So I think when you look at the chicken or egg, there’s proof that they certainly were opportunist.

Holder’s orders might be a chicken-egg issue as well.  After the scandal broke, the DoJ may have wanted a way to frame the issue as one of gun control rather than incompetence.  As Issa says, the entire structure of the ATF operation was so poor that it’s hard to see how anyone could have expected to get convictions in court from the results.  Is that more incompetence, or an indication that the DoJ wasn’t really interested in convictions?  That’s the big question, and one that Issa wants answered — from the documents that Obama is currently hiding behind a very weak claim of executive privilege.

Bill Whittle argued passionately that the only rational motive for Operation Fast and Furious was to push gun control, but Paul Mirengoff at Power Line is a little skeptical, too:

First, Fast and Furious does not appear to have been the brainchild of President Obama or Attorney General Holder. Rather, the program reportedly was formulated by the ATF in Phoenix in response to an edict from Washington to focus on eliminating arms trafficking networks, as opposed to capturing low-level buyers, as had occurred under traditional interdiction programs. If Fast and Furious had been the product of a conspiracy by the administration to promote gun control legislation, the program would have come from the top down, not from the bottom up.

Now, it’s possible that a thorough review of documents would show that, contrary to current understanding, the plan originated in the White House or with Eric Holder. But it seems unlikely. For if this had happened, those who have been blamed for the program would likely have said they were following edicts from the highest reaches of the government.

Eric Holder’s claim that he knew nothing about Fast and Furious is implausible. But this doesn’t mean that he and/or the president came up with the idea. As far as I know, there is no evidence as of now that either did.

Second, Obama and Holder probably would not have believed that increased violence in Mexico could lead to tougher regulation of guns in the U.S. Americans simply don’t care enough about Mexico to alter domestic policy based on what occurs there, especially when it comes to an issue as passionately and endlessly argued as gun control. Americans view violence in Mexico the way they viewed violence in Colombia – unfortunate, typical, and not our problem at any fundamental level.

I’m not so sure.  First, I recall the effort by administration officials, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to claim that Mexican gun violence was our problem by using falsely inflated figures of American origins of drug-cartel guns.  I wrote about the mythmaking in April 2009, long before the Fast and Furious  scandal got exposed (and before the operation had even begun).  I warned what the outcome of this claim would be at the time:

So why make up the lie? The more conspiratorial will conclude that the Obama administration wants to have a pretext for seizing weapons. Public statements like those made by Hillary Clinton certainly put pressure on the US to take some sort of action, if we’re admitting to being the problem. So far, the Obama administration has not proposed a solution to this mythical problem, but we will want to keep a very close eye when they do.

I don’t think Issa’s suggestion is far-fetched at all.  And at this point, it’s incumbent on the President and his staff to release all of the documents on this deadly program so that we can find out exactly who knew what, when they knew it, and why the Obama administration responded to this supposed problem by flooding Mexico with guns they didn’t bother to track.


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Yesterday one of HA’s more quiet trolls stated this:

There isn’t a single shred of evidence that Holder or Obama had any knowledge of the operation before Terry’s unfortunate death. None.Zip. Nada. Anyone suggesting otherwise is simply ignoring the facts.

I responded with the following but I think by that time she was already gone, so I’m going to repost it in case she shows up in this thread.

Page 16 of the PDF document of the Stimulus Bill under the sections marked OFFICE OF JUSTICE PROGRAMS, STATE AND LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT ASSISTANCE…

For an additional amount for ‘‘State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance’’, $40,000,000, for competitive grants to provide assistance and equipment to local law enforcement along the Southern border and in High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas to combat criminal narcotics activity stemming from the Southern border, of which $10,000,000 shall be transferred to ‘‘Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Salaries and Expenses’’ for the ATF Project Gunrunner.

Or if you’d prefer, you can listen for yourself while former Deputy Attorney General David Ogden refers to “Project Gunrunner” in a March 24, 2009 press conference.

Washington Post April 11, 2011

On March 30, 2011 the 30th anniversary of the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, Jim Brady, who sustained a debilitating head wound in the attack, and his wife, Sarah, came to Capitol Hill to push for a ban on the controversial “large magazines.” Brady, for whom the law requiring background checks on handgun purchasers is named, then met with White House press secretary Jay Carney. During the meeting, President Obama dropped in and, according to Sarah Brady, brought up the issue of gun control, “to fill us in that it was very much on his agenda,” she said.

“I just want you to know that we are working on it,” Brady recalled the president telling them. “We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar.”

Of course, it’s always better when it comes straight from the horse’s own mouth.

Attorney General Eric Holder at the Mexico/United States Arms Trafficking Conference in CUERNAVACA, MEXICO Thursday, April 2, 2009

Last week, our administration launched a major new effort to break the backs of the cartels. My department is committing 100 new ATF personnel to the Southwest border in the next 100 days to supplement our ongoing Project Gunrunner, DEA is adding 16 new positions on the border, as well as mobile enforcement teams, and the FBI is creating a new intelligence group focusing on kidnapping and extortion. DHS is making similar commitments, as Secretary Napolitano will detail.

Brian Terry was murdered December 14, 2010.

Flora Duh on June 25, 2012 at 1:00 PM

How come Obama’s statement about working on gun control “under the radar” never comes up in these discussions? This was reported about on this site

http://hotair.com/archives/2011/05/25/obama-were-working-on-gun-control-under-the-radar/

Sugarbuzz on June 25, 2012 at 1:00 PM

‘I have a wild speculation…prove I’m wrong.’

No. We have motive and probable cause, and we need additional information likely held by key players in our investigation. If to prove a bet I were looking for pictures of elephants in your wedding album, would you withhold it if there were no pictures of elephants, or show everyone the album to win the bet?

Akzed on June 25, 2012 at 12:46 PM

If only your analogy was fitting here.
More accurate might be ‘you have pictures of elephants in your wedding book to hide something they are blocking from view. Prove I am wrong.’

verbaluce on June 25, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Can you re-read what I wrote, and try to avoid knee jerk cliches?
No?
Well, ok.

verbaluce on June 25, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Because you appear to not understand what you yourself write, I’ll quote it for you. In your argument for why F&F is not bad, you write:

And did the Bush admin have the same objective with the gun walking that happened on their watch?
Or did they just happen to essentially do the same thing for completely different reasons?

verbaluce on June 25, 2012 at 12:38 PM

To which I responded:

By all means – I am more than happy to investigate back into what was done in these programs during Bush’s tenure. If they were acting as incompetently as Obama’s ATF/Justice, then it should also be investigated.

Of course, the reality is, based on everything that has been reported thus far, that Operation Wide Receiver was performed differently than F&F. In OWR, they actually, you know, attempted to interdict the buyers/sellers before the guns got to Mexico, whereas in F&F, they were purposefully not doing that.

But, as always, don’t let facts get in the way of your argument that a) Bush did it too and b) it was Bush’s fault.

Monkeytoe on June 25, 2012 at 12:46 PM

How does my comment not respond to teh idiocy that flows from your fingertips into the typewriter. Do you really not understand the drivel you are typing? By bringing up Bush you argued 1) that Bush did it too and 2) that somehow it is all Bush’s fault (i.e., it started under Bush).

I pointed out that a) who cares – if it did let’s investigate that as well and b) the reporting thus far indicates that F&F was wholly different than OWR.

And I called out your sophomoric “Bush did it too” argument.

Exactly how do you not understand that?

Again, breathing. How do you remember to do it?

Monkeytoe on June 25, 2012 at 1:02 PM

lol

What reasonable explanation can you provide for why the F&F guns would be allowed to walk w/o being tracked?

If you cannot give one, why don’t you make yourself look more intelligent, and shut up until you do give one?

Bizarro No. 1 on June 25, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Well…

April 23, 2010: An ATF colleague warned Voth (group supervisor) that GPS trackers may not work once they cross into Mexico because the coverage there is limited. Voth responded, “If everything works and goes according to plan we will intercept the firearms at or near the border. We have no plans on letting any firearms (with or without a tracker) cross from the U.S. into Mexico.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/06/25/fast-and-furious-documents-what-do-show/#ixzz1ypES7zKa

On top of that, the government can be incredibly incompetent. Why isn’t that possibility more likely than some giant conspiracy theory leading up to the POTUS?

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 1:03 PM

I find it interesting that the DEMS only response to this is that “it’s only a fishing expedition” by the Republicans and nothing more. Well I say, if there are no fish in the pond, then why is Obama so against them fishing there?

AverageJoe on June 25, 2012 at 1:04 PM

And did the Bush admin have the same objective with the gun walking that happened on their watch?
Or did they just happen to essentially do the same thing for completely different reasons?

verbaluce on June 25, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Operation Wide Receiver:

It began when the ATF identified Mexican suspects who bought weapons from a Phoenix gun shop over a span of several months. The probe ultimately involved over 200 guns, a dozen of which were lost in Mexico. On September 27, 2007, ATF agents saw the original suspects buying weapons at the same store and followed them toward the Mexican border. The ATF informed the Mexican government when the suspects successfully crossed the border, but Mexican law enforcement were unable to track them.

Less than two weeks later, on October 6, William Newell, then ATF’s special agent in charge of the Phoenix field division, shut down the operation at the behest of William Hoover, ATF’s assistant director for the office of field operations.[26] No charges were filed. Newell, who was special agent in charge from June 2006 to May 2011, would later play a major role in Operation Fast and Furious.

I think the biggest difference here, is that the Mexican government was part of the operation – with the intent of shutting down the arms routes in Mexico. When it became apparent that the Mexican authorities were unable to track the guns after they crossed the border – the operation ceased.

I’ll grant you this: We have no idea how many people died as a result of those 200 guns getting past the Mexican police. So yes, if we need to investigate OWR – let’s do so. But I think you’d find that the failure of the operation rests with the difficulties that the Mexican authorities faced in tracking the guns on their side of the border.

Hill60 on June 25, 2012 at 1:05 PM

If only your analogy was fitting here.
More accurate might be ‘you have pictures of elephants in your wedding book to hide something they are blocking from view. Prove I am wrong.’

verbaluce on June 25, 2012 at 1:00 PM

No, the analogy is “we are investigating something and you have relevant documents, please turn them over pursuant to law”

and the other side saying “no.”

We are speculating about what might be in the documents, that is all. You are trying to make it about us (and therefore congress) having to prove something before the investigation can go forward.

You deny it, but why else bring up such silly arguments?

Or, again, are you arguing that we can’t speculate what the underlying purpose of F&F was or what is being hidden from congress?

“Oh no, you can’t speculate – you just have to accept our version of the facts, even though we refuse to produce the relevant documents.”

Monkeytoe on June 25, 2012 at 1:06 PM

I think there will be some great super pac ads coming out with 0bama, Hillary, and Holder in their own words about a private war on Mexico and gun owning Americans.

jukin3 on June 25, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Issa: Fast and Furious might have been a political operation to push for gun control

Correction: Gunwalkergate was a political operation to push for gun control.

Documents: ATF used “Fast and Furious” to make the case for gun regulations
(CBS News)

On July 14, 2010 after ATF headquarters in Washington D.C. received an update on Fast and Furious, ATF Field Ops Assistant Director Mark Chait emailed Bill Newell, ATF’s Phoenix Special Agent in Charge of Fast and Furious:

“Bill – can you see if these guns were all purchased from the same (licensed gun dealer) and at one time. We are looking at anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long gun multiple sales. Thanks.”

Chip on June 25, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Monkeytoe on June 25, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Monkeytoe,
I was addressing Ed’s suggestion that there was a hidden motive to enact gun control.
It’s not (yet) a specific charge in F&F investigation.
My point was more to the kinds of conspiracy theories that these types of probes encourage.
It was recently suggested here that F&F is all about a deal Obama has with the Sinola cartel to to import drugs into the US.
Maybe Ed or you feel there’s something.
Then there’s that guy who says he smoke cracked with and had sex with Obama.
Are there documents to prove this is false?
Hope you follow my point now.

verbaluce on June 25, 2012 at 1:11 PM

Correction: Gunwalkergate was a political operation to push for gun control.

Chip on June 25, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Even Issa admits this is a chicken/egg problem. Thus far, there’s no evidence that the political operation came first.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 1:11 PM

April 23, 2010: An ATF colleague warned Voth (group supervisor) that GPS trackers may not work once they cross into Mexico because the coverage there is limited. Voth responded, “If everything works and goes according to plan we will intercept the firearms at or near the border. We have no plans on letting any firearms (with or without a tracker) cross from the U.S. into Mexico.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/06/25/fast-and-furious-documents-what-do-show/#ixzz1ypES7zKa

On top of that, the government can be incredibly incompetent. Why isn’t that possibility more likely than some giant conspiracy theory leading up to the POTUS?

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 1:03 PM

Former ATF Agent John Dodson has already answered your question.

Agent: I was ordered to let U.S. guns into Mexico

An Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms senior agent assigned to the Phoenix office in 2010, Dodson’s job is to stop gun trafficking across the border. Instead, he says he was ordered to sit by and watch it happen.

Investigators call the tactic letting guns “walk.” In this case, walking into the hands of criminals who would use them in Mexico and the United States.

Dodson’s bosses say that never happened. Now, he’s risking his job to go public.

“I’m boots on the ground in Phoenix, telling you we’ve been doing it every day since I’ve been here,” he said. “Here I am. Tell me I didn’t do the things that I did. Tell me you didn’t order me to do the things I did. Tell me it didn’t happen. Now you have a name on it. You have a face to put with it. Here I am. Someone now, tell me it didn’t happen.”

Flora Duh on June 25, 2012 at 1:11 PM

On top of that, the government can be incredibly incompetent. Why isn’t that possibility more likely than some giant conspiracy theory leading up to the POTUS?

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 1:03 PM

It is entirely possible. Indeed, if you read what Issa said, he believes that the operation was simply an incompetent ATF operation but that once it went bad, the idea to use it toward gun control came up.

Issa does not indicate in this comments that he believes the operation started as means to pursue gun control, but that opportunist later on may have seen it that way.

My guess is that is true to some extent and the damaging information we will find is not anything about the program itself, which was simply a completely incompetent operation, but about the political use higher-ups thought they could put it to.

I, for one, doubt very much that Holder or anyone higher than Holder were involved in formulating the operation. They probably didn’t even hear much about it until it started to go bad. And then people started thinking about using the info about guns going into Mexico to pursue gun control. I think that is the damaging info they don’t want out there – that and information that will tend to evidence that DOJ purposefully lied to congress in the first few letters / hearings.

I don’t think that there is anything damaging leading to Holder or higher about the operation itself. It’s likely all about stuff that went on after.

Monkeytoe on June 25, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Aside from the fact that nothing in what I just wrote says that, I have also in the past specifically acknowledged congress need not have any proof at all to start or pursue an investigation.
But by all means, argue from a false premise.

verbaluce on June 25, 2012 at 12:51 PM

Why would someone w/o an agenda would choose to defend an Administration which is not willing to easily work with the Oversight Committee to lay all of the pertinent facts on the table? What possible good reason could 0bamessiah have to work to hide F&F information?

If you want to say my presentation is warped, then explain why Ken Melson secretly gave testimony under oath w/his personal lawyer present to Issa last July 4th which contradicted the DOJ, instead of having Holder’s complete blessing to go on the record?

Bizarro No. 1 on June 25, 2012 at 1:12 PM

If they get all the documents and there’s no evidence that this was about gun control its going to look really bad for the GOP. Assuming anyone starts to care about this story at all.
libfreeordie on June 25, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Right, because the dead people are just Mexican’s and 2 law enforcement officers so who cares?

Whats a few hundred dead Mexicans and two dead cops between scummy liberals such as yourself? No big dea, nothing to see here.

You liberals are going to pay dearly for your culture of death. Mark my words.

jawkneemusic on June 25, 2012 at 1:13 PM

Correction: Gunwalkergate was a political operation to push for gun control.

Chip on June 25, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Even Issa admits this is a chicken/egg problem. Thus far, there’s no evidence that the political operation came first.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 1:11 PM

Well we would know better whether that was the case if the most transparent regime in the history of the known universe would stop it’s stonewalling.

Chip on June 25, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Former ATF Agent John Dodson has already answered your question.

Agent: I was ordered to let U.S. guns into Mexico

Flora Duh on June 25, 2012 at 1:11 PM

That doesn’t disprove the incompetence theory. It is still very likely that they let guns walk without tracking devices because they thought they could track them other ways.

Or, it’s quite possible that they only cared about tracking them once used at crime scenes (which they’ve clearly been able to do). Maybe they just wanted to see where the guns would end up so they could get an idea of how sophisticated the gun running operations are.

None of these explanations rely on a conspiracy theory with the POTUS, and all are more likely.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 1:18 PM

You deny it, but why else bring up such silly arguments?

Monkeytoe on June 25, 2012 at 1:06 PM

You seriously ask this after offering ‘elephants in your weeding book’?
(And for the record, the in-laws are circus people.
They insisted, ok?)

verbaluce on June 25, 2012 at 1:18 PM

It was recently suggested here that F&F is all about a deal Obama has with the Sinola cartel to to import drugs into the US.
Maybe Ed or you feel there’s something.
Then there’s that guy who says he smoke cracked with and had sex with Obama.
Are there documents to prove this is false?
Hope you follow my point now.

verbaluce on June 25, 2012 at 1:11 PM

In this case, there are specific emails stating that the F&F guns going into Mexico could be used for further gun control. Now it is entirely possible that Obama/Holder never considered that. But to claim it is just out of the blue conspiracy theorizing is a bit much.

Not sure how that rates as a conspiracy theory up there with “that guy who says he smoke cracked with and had sex with Obama” (which, by the way, I have never heard of).

Regardless, a large proportion of stuff on political blogs is speculation. Not sure why it is such a big deal in this case. When someone hides something during an investigation, people will speculate as to what is being hidden.

But, we on the right are used to it. If we support requiring photo ID to vote, you on the left claim to know our inner motivation is racism and voter suppression. Or if we oppose Obama, you on the left claim it is merely because we are racist. Or if we don’t like Obamacare, it is because we are greedy and hate the poor. Or if I think affirmative action is unconstitutional, I must be racist. Or if I am anti-amnesty = racist. So, as far as the left is concerned, speculation as to the inner workings of a republican’s motives are always fair game.

How do I disprove any of those claims? Are there documents for it?

So again, not sure what your point is. That speculation is wrong?

Monkeytoe on June 25, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Flora Duh on June 25, 2012 at 1:11 PM

Thanks for your solid work on this Fake Scandal. I’ll continue to supply the old crr6 clips.

Speaking of which, remember this one?

Poor minds think alike!

crr6 on June 12, 2011 at 4:22 PM

Del Dolemonte on June 25, 2012 at 1:20 PM

On top of that, the government can be incredibly incompetent. Why isn’t that possibility more likely than some giant conspiracy theory leading up to the POTUS?

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 1:03 PM | Delete | Delete and Ban

Well, there is that little problem of what Obama said to the Brady Bunch about having some things in process but having to fly under the radar. That doesn’t sound like incompetence. It sounds like a plan.

a capella on June 25, 2012 at 1:21 PM

In this case, there are specific emails stating that the F&F guns going into Mexico could be used for further gun control. Now it is entirely possible that Obama/Holder never considered that. But to claim it is just out of the blue conspiracy theorizing is a bit much.

I believe the theory linking Obama and gun control was widely held long before the email was released. Later, there was one email conversation that kinda sorta supports the theory, which the theorists have latched onto as though it proves everything.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 1:23 PM

But, we on the right are used to it. If we support requiring photo ID to vote, you on the left claim to know our inner motivation is racism and voter suppression. Or if we oppose Obama, you on the left claim it is merely because we are racist. Or if we don’t like Obamacare, it is because we are greedy and hate the poor.

How do I disprove any of those claims? Are there documents for it?

Monkeytoe on June 25, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Fair enough – and there are indeed examples of such.
And supportive of my point.

verbaluce on June 25, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Well, there is that little problem of what Obama said to the Brady Bunch about having some things in process but having to fly under the radar. That doesn’t sound like incompetence. It sounds like a plan.

a capella on June 25, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Here is conspiracy theorist thinking 101. What’s more likely, that Obama admitted to his grand conspiracy to the Brady Bunch, or that he was trying to appease a political supporter worried that he wasn’t doing anything about gun control?

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 1:25 PM

You seriously ask this after offering ‘elephants in your weeding book’?
(And for the record, the in-laws are circus people.
They insisted, ok?)

verbaluce on June 25, 2012 at 1:18 PM

Huh? I did not offer “elephants in your weeding book”. By the way, what is a weeding book? Do you take pictures of weeds you pull from your garden or something?

Let’s see if I understand your argument. We don’t know yet what the investigation will reveal, therefore it is not fair to speculate what it might reveal, b/c then we are essentially putting the onus on the administration to prove a negative. i.e., “when did you stop beating your wife?”

The problem with you making this argument is twofold:

(1) this is a political blog, that is what political blogs do – speculate; and

(2) you also take the position that the investigation is unreasonable and that Holder/Obama should not turn over the documents, and there there is nothing to investigate.

So, a) you are speculating without any evidence that there is no crime/misconduct, etc. and b) you are telling us we can’t speculate until the investigation is complete while arguing for their to be no investigation.

So, you see why that is not really a good faith argument on your part?

Monkeytoe on June 25, 2012 at 1:25 PM

“might have been”

“MIGHT have BEEN”??????

Yea SURE and the F5 armageddon-like twister that laid waste to a substantial portion of Joplin Missouri “might have been” a bit windy…………

BEAM me UP Scotty!!!!!!!!!!!!! SHEEEEEESH!!

Katfish on June 25, 2012 at 1:26 PM

I believe the theory linking Obama and gun control was widely held long before the email was released. Later, there was one email conversation that kinda sorta supports the theory, which the theorists have latched onto as though it proves everything.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 1:23 PM

I’m not saying the theory is proven or even will be proven. I’m saying that there is at least a reasonable basis for the theory.

But, the theory is meaningless. What is important is the investigation. What is proven or disproved will happen there. But, I don’t see anything fundamentally wrong with engaging in speculation and theorizing about what an investigation will ultimately uncover.

Monkeytoe on June 25, 2012 at 1:28 PM

As usual, Powerline gets it backwards.

It’s not really important where the idea for F&F initiated.

What’s important is how it was manipulated for other people’s purposes. Namely the AG.

That’s essentially what Issa and Congress are after. The subpenaed documentation will show precisely that: what happened and how were things being covered up once this story broke.

Lets not forget the DoJ lied about this twice already…until they were proved to be lying.

Marcus Traianus on June 25, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Mirengoff was always the least savvy of the PowerLine guys – readable only on matters very close to his professional expertise.

And Ed greatly understates the collateral “evidence” here. The rhetorical campaign, at the highest levels, to push the absurd notion that (non-existent) lax US firearms laws were material to the violence in Mexico would have no purpose (no “so what?”) to it – none – except for changes in US firearms laws or regulations. One such change – the ATF letter to dealers in the southwest – sort of confirms this for the defiantly clueless.

And I’m shocked that even Issa is misstating the case, in a way that perpetuates the myths and lies being offered by the administration. The very design of F&F meant no sting or apprehensions, much less prosecutions, were conceivable. Period. There was no tracking of individuals or guns. The straw purchase was the only US crime (the regulatory violation of concluding a suspected straw purchase was voided by the fact that ATF compelled the sales).

On the Mexican side of the border, anyone in possession of the firearms would have been wanted for dozens of much more serious crimes, so the illegal gun imports would have been immaterial.

There was NO conceivable law enforcement outcome to this. The speculation about this being a strategy to tweak inter-cartel conflicts (Zetas vs. others) is interesting, and something that idiotic cannot be excluded when dealing with folks as clueless as the president, his AG, Clinton, et al – folks who are among the least able ever to hold their jobs, if not the least able ever.

If any further discouraging news is needed, just look at how unintelligent and resistant to facts the administration’s defenders are. They cannot get even the most basic facts straight (e.g., Wide Receiver and F&F share no important substantive characteristics, merely the involvement of firearms and Mexico). It really starts to become questionable whether the country will survive the incredible dumbing-down that has occurred in the last several decades.

IceCold on June 25, 2012 at 1:31 PM

… I recall the effort by administration officials, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to claim that Mexican gun violence was our problem by using falsely inflated figures of American origins of drug-cartel guns.

Bingo. Shrillary is up to her eyeballs in this. She’s been described as “one of the masterminds” of F&F.

This appears to go to Holder and likely to Øbama, as well as to Hillary and several other secretaries:


Fast and Furious and OCDETF
Whom is executive privilege protecting?

June 23, 2012, Andrew McCarthy, National Review Online

DOJ deflects blame down food chain. Bad news for designated patsies & for the rogue field office theory. Meet Compass, the key to Gunwalker intel May 9, 2011, Sipsey Street Irregulars.

petefrt on June 25, 2012 at 1:31 PM

On top of that, the government can be incredibly incompetent. Why isn’t that possibility more likely than some giant conspiracy theory leading up to the POTUS?

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 1:03 PM

If that were the case, they wouldn’t claim Executive Privilege, which really only covers the President, now would they? I will whole-heartedly agree with you that the government is incompetent, especially this one. That doesn’t mean they aren’t criminals as well.

Night Owl on June 25, 2012 at 1:31 PM

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 1:23 PM

During the meeting, President Obama dropped in and, according to Sarah Brady, brought up the issue of gun control, “to fill us in that it was very much on his agenda,” she said.

“I just want you to know that we are working on it,” Brady recalled the president telling them. “We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar.”

What did Downgrade mean by the phrase: under the radar?

Chip on June 25, 2012 at 1:31 PM

I believe the theory linking Obama and gun control was widely held long before the email was released. Later, there was one email conversation that kinda sorta supports the theory, which the theorists have latched onto as though it proves everything.
red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 1:23 PM

I wonder why?

jawkneemusic on June 25, 2012 at 1:32 PM

And supportive of my point.

verbaluce on June 25, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Not really. Because my examples are what the liberals will claim about republicans/conservatives every time regardless of evidence and no amount of evidence or logical argument can convince them otherwise.

Whereas in this instance, there is some (albeit scant) evidence to support the theory on offer here, and an actual investigation is ongoing, which hopefully will ultimately come to some kind of conclusion, that most rational people will ultimately except.

If, at the end of the day the investigation concludes that there was no such motive (before or after the fact) to use F&F for gun control, but people continue to push the theory, then it becomes a conspiracy theory that cannot be disproved b/c you can’t prove a negative. At that point, you will have a valid point that it is impossible for Obama to ever satisfy the conspiracy theorists b/c nothing exists to point to as proof.

But, right now, we are all just speculating as to what is being hidden behind executive privilege and, again, hopefully, the facts will actually come out here.

Monkeytoe on June 25, 2012 at 1:33 PM

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 1:25 PM | Delete | Delete and Ban

You don’t have to choose between the two.

a capella on June 25, 2012 at 1:34 PM

On top of that, the government can be incredibly incompetent. Why isn’t that possibility more likely than some giant conspiracy theory leading up to the POTUS?

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 1:03 PM

Do you remember what got Nixon into trouble regarding Watergate?

Contrast: do you remember what GWB told his underlings to do in the Plame case? Do you find that 0bamessiah/Holder are acting like people who want to the full truth to come out?

Are you really so naive?

Bizarro No. 1 on June 25, 2012 at 1:35 PM

What did Downgrade mean by the phrase: under the radar?

Chip on June 25, 2012 at 1:31 PM

He meant “we’re not actually doing anything, but I have to keep you as a supporter, so i’ll tell you it’s under the radar and that’s why you don’t see me doing anything.”

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 1:36 PM

jawkneemusic on June 25, 2012 at 1:32 PM

Heh. Nice body blow.

a capella on June 25, 2012 at 1:37 PM

If that were the case, they wouldn’t claim Executive Privilege, which really only covers the President, now would they? I will whole-heartedly agree with you that the government is incompetent, especially this one. That doesn’t mean they aren’t criminals as well.

Night Owl on June 25, 2012 at 1:31 PM

It doesn’t only cover the President. Ed doesn’t understand executive privilege. Listen to the Jake Tapper interview with Issa because he explains that it can cover high ranking officials too.

Remember, the emails they’re withholding came AFTER Holder lied to congress (which he later corrected). I’m guessing they’re protecting some “frank” discussions in the DOJ such as, “should we come clean about the lie or try to cover this up?” That would look really really bad, but it isn’t some crazy conspiracy theory.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 1:40 PM

What did Downgrade mean by the phrase: under the radar?

Chip on June 25, 2012 at 1:31 PM

He meant “we’re not actually doing anything, but I have to keep you as a supporter, so i’ll tell you it’s under the radar and that’s why you don’t see me doing anything.”

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 1:36 PM

And when nothing happens Downgrade loses that supporter…

Buuuzzap! That explanation doesn’t fit the facts – try again.

Chip on June 25, 2012 at 1:41 PM

You don’t have to choose between the two.

a capella on June 25, 2012 at 1:34 PM

You’re right, they’re not mutually exclusive. But one is more probable than the other (by a great margin too).

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 1:42 PM

Or, it’s quite possible that they only cared about tracking them once used at crime scenes (which they’ve clearly been able to do). Maybe they just wanted to see where the guns would end up so they could get an idea of how sophisticated the gun running operations are.

None of these explanations rely on a conspiracy theory with the POTUS, and all are more likely.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 1:18 PM

Are you really saying that professional law enforcement agents allowed guns to be traced to dead people just out of curiosity? You are really stretching your point outside the limits of sanity.

Night Owl on June 25, 2012 at 1:42 PM

flyfisher on June 25, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Flora Duh on June 25, 2012 at 12:29 PM

It may be even worse. The informant was known to the DEA and FBI to be running a rip crew in that area that night. They did not inform Border Patrol. The “third gun”, the missing gun, was described as an SKS rifle sold out of Texas. It shoots the same ammunition that the “found” AKS rifles that were out of F&F. The bullet fragments that were recovered from Brian Terry’s body were too small to permit connecting them to a particular weapon, but they were determined to be 7.62×39, the round common to all three rifles. So it may well be that Brian Terry was murdered by an FBI informant, whose activities were concealed from Border Patrol by the FBI and DEA.

novaculus on June 25, 2012 at 1:43 PM

Listen to the Jake Tapper interview with Issa because he explains that it can cover high ranking officials too.

To date, it is my understanding that Court precedent covers high ranking officials when charged by the President to carry out the President’s Article II functions and/or when advising the President. Not when the “high ranking official” is merely working in his official capacity.

In other words, EP will not cover Holder simply for engaging in deliberations about day-to-day DOJ policies or in carrying out DOJ operations.

So, based on that, I can’t imagine a scenario in which F&F falls under those EP standards.

Monkeytoe on June 25, 2012 at 1:43 PM

And when nothing happens Downgrade loses that supporter…

Buuuzzap! That explanation doesn’t fit the facts – try again.

Chip on June 25, 2012 at 1:41 PM

I still think my first explanation is highly likely (given Obama’s penchant for telling supporters whatever they want to hear, even if it’s not true).

But why does “under the radar” mean F&F? There’s pretty much zero evidence to support it, other than the fact that it fits into the conspiracy theory. Couldn’t it just as likely (actually much more likely) mean that they were internally discussing gun control measures not related to F&F?

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Remember, the emails they’re withholding came AFTER Holder lied to congress

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 1:40 PM

So it okay with you that officials of the Downgrade regime to Lied to congress?

Chip on June 25, 2012 at 1:45 PM

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 1:42 PM

Whether this program was started to create a reason for more gun control remains to be seen but it’s quite clear that democrats wanted to use this as a reason for more gun control regardless. There’s no way around that. These people are truley diabolical.

jawkneemusic on June 25, 2012 at 1:46 PM

Remember, the emails they’re withholding came AFTER Holder lied to congress (which he later corrected). I’m guessing they’re protecting some “frank” discussions in the DOJ such as, “should we come clean about the lie or try to cover this up?” That would look really really bad, but it isn’t some crazy conspiracy theory.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 1:40 PM

Whatever, the point is that congress is entitled to the information, the administration does not have a right to withhold it. Thinking that Obama did something outside his authority and without any care for the oath he took is not a conspiracy theory. It’s a fact. You can continue to make excuses for them all you want, it just makes you look really gullible and not very bright.

Night Owl on June 25, 2012 at 1:49 PM

To date, it is my understanding that Court precedent covers high ranking officials when charged by the President to carry out the President’s Article II functions and/or when advising the President. Not when the “high ranking official” is merely working in his official capacity.

You could be right. I’m not intimately familiar with EP. Here’s a quote from Nixon though (via findlaw):

The Court recognized “the valid need for protection of communications between high Government officials and those who advise and assist them in the performance of their manifold duties.” It noted that “[h]uman experience teaches that those who expect public dissemination of their remarks may well temper candor with a concern for appearances and for their own interests to the detriment of the decisionmaking process.”

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 1:49 PM

IceCold on June 25, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Did you see this:

novaculus on June 25, 2012 at 12:56 PM

We are on the same page here.

FWIW, yesterdays “missing the point” story had some great stuff in the comments. Start at the beginning and go until it unfortunately is perverted into an off-topic pissing contest. Little of interest was posted after that crap started.

novaculus on June 25, 2012 at 1:50 PM

Whatever, the point is that congress is entitled to the information, the administration does not have a right to withhold it. Thinking that Obama did something outside his authority and without any care for the oath he took is not a conspiracy theory. It’s a fact. You can continue to make excuses for them all you want, it just makes you look really gullible and not very bright.

Night Owl on June 25, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Well, for one thing, I honestly don’t know whether they can withhold it (whether EP is valid here).

But no, that’s never been my point. My point is that Ed has gone crazy with conspiracy theories related to F&F. He’s a bright guy and has made Hotair an incredible blog. But, he’s gone a bit off the deep end with this F&F stuff.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 1:51 PM

Remember, the emails they’re withholding came AFTER Holder lied to congress (which he later corrected). I’m guessing they’re protecting some “frank” discussions in the DOJ such as, “should we come clean about the lie or try to cover this up?” That would look really really bad, but it isn’t some crazy conspiracy theory.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 1:40 PM

Why is it okay for you to speculate but no one else can?

Night Owl on June 25, 2012 at 1:52 PM

Are you really saying that professional law enforcement agents allowed guns to be traced to dead people just out of curiosity? You are really stretching your point outside the limits of sanity.

Night Owl on June 25, 2012 at 1:42 PM

I hope you don’t mind my strike!

These defenders of ‘There must be a plausible, non-malicious explanation for F&F and every other similar programs to it!’ are crazy – innocent people w/nothing to hide don’t act like 0bamessiah/Holder have been.

Mindlessly accusing the GOP of partisanship is the icing on the cake that indicates their own guilt…

Bizarro No. 1 on June 25, 2012 at 1:52 PM

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 1:49 PM

I think Executive Privilege is an area of law that is not very fleshed out.

I imagine though that the Court will be reluctant to enlarge the scope to include agency head deliberations that do not involve the president, as that would effectively end much oversight of executive agencies by congress.

I support EP in general, but there has to be reasonable limits otherwise the agencies are wholly unaccountable to anyone.

Monkeytoe on June 25, 2012 at 1:53 PM

can gun owners, after US guns were found at the scene of Mexican crimes, cry out that “We was framed!!!” when gun control laws and regulations come down from on high?

ted c on June 25, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Why is it okay for you to speculate but no one else can?

Night Owl on June 25, 2012 at 1:52 PM

Fair point (and a good argument for why they should release the documents). I will just say that my speculation does not involve a vast conspiracy theory involving the POTUS, which, in my humble opinion, makes it more probable.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 1:56 PM

And when nothing happens Downgrade loses that supporter…

Buuuzzap! That explanation doesn’t fit the facts – try again.

Chip on June 25, 2012 at 1:41 PM

I still think my first explanation is highly likely (given Obama’s penchant for telling supporters whatever they want to hear, even if it’s not true).

Again, later on Downgrade would lose that supporter – not a good move.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 1:45 PM

First of all, other measures to deprive the law-abiding of the right of self-defense may not involve subverting our founding documents – so they wouldn’t have to keep them ‘under the radar’.

You can argue the other way that as well – there is pretty much zero evidence to support it NOT being about Gunwalkergate.

Couldn’t it just as likely (actually much more likely) mean that they were internally discussing F&F instead of gun control measures not related to subverting the US Constitution?

Chip on June 25, 2012 at 1:57 PM

UH, ok, let’s say gun control was not the goal.
What was the goal?

ORconservative on June 25, 2012 at 1:57 PM

I hope you don’t mind my strike!

These defenders of ‘There must be a plausible, non-malicious explanation for F&F and every other similar programs to it!’ are crazy – innocent people w/nothing to hide don’t act like 0bamessiah/Holder have been.

Mindlessly accusing the GOP of partisanship is the icing on the cake that indicates their own guilt…

Bizarro No. 1 on June 25, 2012 at 1:52 PM

I don’t mind a bit. I don’t even know if the guy is trying to defend Obama and Holder or if he is just really, really bad at playing Devil’s Advocate.

Night Owl on June 25, 2012 at 1:59 PM

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 1:56 PM

What’s vast about Downgrade suggesting that they “Use” a concept from a previous administration to funnel guns to criminals – but without tracking them – so they can call for the beginnings of gun registration?

[Demand letter Three]

There’s nothing ‘Vast’ about that.

Chip on June 25, 2012 at 2:01 PM

First of all, other measures to deprive the law-abiding of the right of self-defense may not involve subverting our founding documents – so they wouldn’t have to keep them ‘under the radar’.

Since more and more Americans support the 2nd Amendment, it’d be a good idea for political reasons to keep it under the radar.

You can argue the other way that as well – there is pretty much zero evidence to support it NOT being about Gunwalkergate.

Couldn’t it just as likely (actually much more likely) mean that they were internally discussing F&F instead of gun control measures not related to subverting the US Constitution?

Chip on June 25, 2012 at 1:57 PM

No, I don’t think you can logically make that point. Since there’s zero evidence for any theory, they all have similar probabilities. The sum of those other possibilities will therefore be greater than the probability of F&F.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 2:03 PM

What’s vast about Downgrade suggesting that they “Use” a concept from a previous administration to funnel guns to criminals – but without tracking them – so they can call for the beginnings of gun registration?

[Demand letter Three]

There’s nothing ‘Vast’ about that.

Chip on June 25, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Just add up all the different levels of government and people who’d have to be involved.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 2:04 PM

UH, ok, let’s say gun control was not the goal.
What was the goal?

ORconservative on June 25, 2012 at 1:57 PM

It would be unfair to speculate about that! LOL Unless it’s just innocent curiosity by our Federal Agencies how many dead people would turn up if we sent a bunch of untraced guns to Mexico.

Night Owl on June 25, 2012 at 2:04 PM

So it okay with you that officials of the Downgrade regime to Lied to congress?

Chip on June 25, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds should be prosecuted for lying to Congress about issues of national importance like baseball, but DOJ officials in service to 0bamessiah, who lied to Congress because they’re benevolent, innocent little angels who only want what’s best for this country, should not

Bizarro No. 1 on June 25, 2012 at 2:04 PM

There is absolutely no plausible law enforcement objective for F&F. That’s not in dispute for those who know the basic facts.

The Mexican side was not informed of the program. What is the possible law enforcement – or even intel – scenario that produces either convictions or actionable information, given this situation?

Answer: there is none.

Therefore (listen closely, kids) – logic requires another explanation. Filling in that blank – however it is filled, if it ever is – is not “conspiracy” mongering. It is speculation, for now. But those who mindlessly spout off about “vast conspiracies” might find it good intellectual exercise to offer some plausible, factually feasible explanations.

Inter-cartel scale-tipping to slow down the Zetas (plausible, and stupid enough to be possible for this administration, plus some parts of the ATF and the CIA). But a pretty good stretch.

Next?

IceCold on June 25, 2012 at 2:07 PM

I don’t mind a bit. I don’t even know if the guy is trying to defend Obama and Holder or if he is just really, really bad at playing Devil’s Advocate.

Night Owl on June 25, 2012 at 1:59 PM

I think you might be referring to me. If so, I’m not defending Obama and Holder entirely. I’m sure there’s something bad in the documents, otherwise they wouldn’t withhold them. I’m also not defending Obama’s use of EP (though I honestly don’t know if it’s legal or not).

I am defending them from the charge that they’re involved in a vast conspiracy to create more gun violence in Mexico in order to pass more gun control in the US.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 2:07 PM

On top of that, the government can be incredibly incompetent. Why isn’t that possibility more likely than some giant conspiracy theory leading up to the POTUS?

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 1:03 PM | Delete

Because Obama, Hillary and Napolitano all gave major speeches in early 2009 talking about how US gun dealers were partially responsible for increased gun violence in Mexico, and their administration was going to do something about it.

Fast & Furious was what they did.

Missy on June 25, 2012 at 2:07 PM

I think Issa has seen or heard of an email that pretty much states that. He knows the truth but cannot prove it yet.

jeffn21 on June 25, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Might? MIGHT?!

Fast and Furious had no rational purpose otherwise!

wildcat72 on June 25, 2012 at 2:10 PM

There is absolutely no plausible law enforcement objective for F&F. That’s not in dispute for those who know the basic facts.

The Mexican side was not informed of the program. What is the possible law enforcement – or even intel – scenario that produces either convictions or actionable information, given this situation?

Answer: there is none.

Perhaps they wanted to trace how the Cartel gun running operations worked. They could trace which guns from which stores in the US ended up in which regions in Mexico. There’s surely some intel to be gained from knowing to what regions the guns travel.

Perhaps they didn’t tell the Mexican government cause they’d be PISSED that the US was letting these guns get into their country.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 2:10 PM

What’s vast about Downgrade suggesting that they “Use” a concept from a previous administration to funnel guns to criminals – but without tracking them – so they can call for the beginnings of gun registration?

[Demand letter Three]

There’s nothing ‘Vast’ about that.

Chip on June 25, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Just add up all the different levels of government and people who’d have to be involved.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 2:04 PM

The decision to implement that scam could have come for just one level – the top.

The rest would be ‘just carrying out orders’.

No conspiracy needed.

Chip on June 25, 2012 at 2:11 PM

Because Obama, Hillary and Napolitano all gave major speeches in early 2009 talking about how US gun dealers were partially responsible for increased gun violence in Mexico, and their administration was going to do something about it.

Fast & Furious was what they did.

Missy on June 25, 2012 at 2:07 PM

Then why would they give these speeches before F&F? Wouldn’t they wait until the violence actually increased?

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 2:12 PM

But why does “under the radar” mean F&F? There’s pretty much zero evidence to support it, other than the fact that it fits into the conspiracy theory. Couldn’t it just as likely (actually much more likely) mean that they were internally discussing gun control measures not related to F&F?
red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 1:45 PM | Delete | Delete and Ban

They well could have been discussing other measures, but that doesn’t exclude the possibility F&F was on the agenda and that he was telling the truth to the Brady Bunch, even if he wasn’t specific.

a capella on June 25, 2012 at 2:13 PM

can gun owners, after US guns were found at the scene of Mexican crimes, cry out that “We was framed!!!” when gun control laws and regulations come down from on high?

ted c on June 25, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Secret recordings raise new questions in ATF ‘Gunwalker’ operation

WASHINGTON – CBS News has obtained secretly recorded conversations that raise questions as to whether some evidence is being withheld in the murder of a Border Patrol agent.

The tapes were recorded approximately mid-March 2011 by the primary gun dealer cooperating with ATF in its “Fast and Furious” operation: Andre Howard, owner of Lone Wolf Trading Company in Glendale, Arizona. He’s talking with the lead case ATF case agent Hope MacAllister.

Flora Duh on June 25, 2012 at 2:13 PM

There is absolutely no plausible law enforcement objective for F&F. That’s not in dispute for those who know the basic facts.

The Mexican side was not informed of the program. What is the possible law enforcement – or even intel – scenario that produces either convictions or actionable information, given this situation?

Answer: there is none.

Perhaps they wanted to trace how the Cartel gun running operations worked. They could trace which guns from which stores in the US ended up in which regions in Mexico. There’s surely some intel to be gained from knowing to what regions the guns travel.

Perhaps they didn’t tell the Mexican government cause they’d be PISSED that the US was letting these guns get into their country.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 2:10 PM

How many times do we have to repeat this before you get it through your head:

THEY WEREN’T TRACKING THOSE GUNS!!

So your speculation is worth nothing.

Question: If they weren’t tracking those guns, what exactly was the purpose of Gunwalkergate?

Chip on June 25, 2012 at 2:16 PM

Fair point (and a good argument for why they should release the documents). I will just say that my speculation does not involve a vast conspiracy theory involving the POTUS, which, in my humble opinion, makes it more probable.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 1:56 PM

Why won’t you put your thinking cap on, make an honest effort to eliminate your bias towards Democrats/0bamessiah, and come up with a good explanation for why He is protecting Holder’s butt so much more vigorously than He is pushing for the whole truth to come out?

Crimes were committed under Holder’s DOJ, yet 0bamessiah is showing that He really doesn’t care, isn’t He? Do you believe that 0bamessiah cares about the suffering the Terrys are going through – where’s your evidence that He does?

Bizarro No. 1 on June 25, 2012 at 2:17 PM

I have concerns about the gunrunning operations of both the Bush and Obama Administrations that go beyond the Congressional investigation, which I have addressed to the media and congress.

The gun running operations of the Bush Administration were significantly different from those of the Obama Administration. One major difference between the two is that under Bush’s Operation Wide Receiver the Mexican government was working with the US Government; thus the sovereignty of Mexico was respected. It was recently confirmed by the Obama DoJ that President Bush’s AG, Michael Mukasey, did not know about Operation Wide Receiver. That, to me, opens up a few questions. At what level in the DoJ and other government departments do lower level officials in any administration have the power to skirt laws, and as in Fast and Furious (F&F) and other Obama Administration gunrunning operations, permit the violation of the sovereignty of other nations? That alone causes me serious concerns about the distribution of power in our ever growing government.

While Operation Wide Receiver had the cooperation of the Mexican Government, at a minimum the FBI had to be involved to allow the background checks for the weapon’s purchasers to be bypassed. In Fast and Furious both US laws and Mexico’s sovereignty were violated. These violations were performed with the knowledge and cooperation of the FBI, DHS, State Department and even the IRS. If I am to believe AG Holder, he and his deputies were not in the approval loop for F&F. If that is true, we have a government that has renegade elements that can violate our laws and other nations sovereignty with impunity. That is very dangerous and I can envision scenarios where some lower level official’s actions could provoke a war.

While the Congressional investigation has centered on the AZ F&F operation there were others by the Obama Administration that have had little public scrutiny. One was ATF in Tampa sending arms to Honduras, where Obama supported a want-a-be dictator against the Honduran rule of law. Additionally beyond the questions of who authorized F&F and why, Congress needs to determine at what level can officials authorize such operations and the process. We must not sweep these questions under the carpet.

amr on June 25, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Then why would they give these speeches before F&F? Wouldn’t they wait until the violence actually increased?

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 2:12 PM | Delete | Delete and Ban

How the hell would I know? They lie with every breath they take.

Bottom line is, they gave major speeches publicly connecting US gun dealers with Mexican gun violence early in the Obama adminstration, and indicated that they were working on the problem. Why would they do that if they didn’t have something in the works?

p.s. look at the weird choices I just got when I copied and pasted red_herring’s 2:12. I promise I am not a mod.

Missy on June 25, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Perhaps they didn’t tell the Mexican government cause they’d be PISSED that the US was letting these guns get into their country.
 
red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 2:10 PM

 
Perhaps it’s a teensy violation of sovereignty rights and multiple treaties.

rogerb on June 25, 2012 at 2:18 PM

How many times do we have to repeat this before you get it through your head:

THEY WEREN’T TRACKING THOSE GUNS!!

So your speculation is worth nothing.

Question: If they weren’t tracking those guns, what exactly was the purpose of Gunwalkergate?

Chip on June 25, 2012 at 2:16 PM

Obviously they were tracking the guns because we know they were used in murdering Terry and 200 Mexicans.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 2:19 PM

The most convincing argument that Fast and Furious was an attack on the Second Amendment is the complete absence of any useful purpose in forcing gun dealers, over their objections, to supply 2500 high powered automatic rifles to vicious, violent, murderous Mexican drug cartels without any tracking or tracing of the weapons or arrests of the straw buyers.

scrubjay on June 25, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Bottom line is, they gave major speeches publicly connecting US gun dealers with Mexican gun violence early in the Obama adminstration, and indicated that they were working on the problem. Why would they do that if they didn’t have something in the works?

p.s. look at the weird choices I just got when I copied and pasted red_herring’s 2:12. I promise I am not a mod.

Missy on June 25, 2012 at 2:18 PM

That’s strange (the delete delete/ban thing).

I don’t doubt they had something in the works, but I won’t make the giant leap to that “something” being F&F. It seems to me that if they were planning to use F&F for more gun control, the logical thing would be to wait until violence actually went up.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Obviously they were tracking the guns because we know they were used in murdering Terry and 200 Mexicans.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 2:19 PM | Delete

That could only be discovered after the guns were recovered. Had the guns not been recovered, no one would have known what happened to them, which is the case today with the vast majority of the guns that went over.

“Tracking” means real time tracking. As in RFID or the like.

Missy on June 25, 2012 at 2:24 PM

So, a) you are speculating without any evidence that there is no crime/misconduct, etc. and b) you are telling us we can’t speculate until the investigation is complete while arguing for their to be no investigation.

Monkeytoe on June 25, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Again, you are of course free to speculate. What I am pointing out is that it’s kind of silly to demand an accused to provide documents to disprove that speculation – because if it’s ain’t true, there are no such documents proving it is. And I know the reply to that will be ‘show us all docs so we know there aren’t others’.
So if you think it’s enough to go with ‘we think you are hiding something’, well sure – nobody can ever prove they are not.
Am I speculating there was no conspiracy?
I don’t see that’s a fair contrast – I guess you could say I also speculate that you’ve never tortured a small rodent.
(A set up!)

verbaluce on June 25, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Fine that you don’t see this as ‘far-fetched at all’, but there is nothing to support such a theory beyond imagining sinister motives. As is typical of how this stuff gets played out in conspiracy theories, you feel it’s incumbent on Obama and the administration to to provide ‘documents’ that prove your suggestion false, wile you/others offer no documentation or evidence at all.
‘I have a wild speculation…prove I’m wrong.’
Thanks for cutting to the chase here.
And did the Bush admin have the same objective with the gun walking that happened on their watch?
Or did they just happen to essentially do the same thing for completely different reasons?

verbaluce on June 25, 2012 at 12:38 PM

http://i214.photobucket.com/albums/cc85/Mamba1-0/frequently%20used/facepalm_implied.jpg

Solaratov on June 25, 2012 at 2:25 PM

How many times do we have to repeat this before you get it through your head:

THEY WEREN’T TRACKING THOSE GUNS!!

So your speculation is worth nothing.

Question: If they weren’t tracking those guns, what exactly was the purpose of Gunwalkergate?

Chip on June 25, 2012 at 2:16 PM

Obviously they were tracking the guns because we know they were used in murdering Terry and 200 Mexicans.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 2:19 PM

Excuse me, I sometime forget that there are those who aren’t up on the full story that’s been going on for more than a 1 ½ years.

They only had two data points – one where the weapons left a gun shop and two when it showed up at a crime scene.

What data can you glean from those two data points?

And since you dodged the question the first time: If they weren’t tracking those guns, what exactly was the purpose of Gunwalkergate?

Chip on June 25, 2012 at 2:25 PM

There is absolutely no plausible law enforcement objective for F&F. That’s not in dispute for those who know the basic facts.

The Mexican side was not informed of the program. What is the possible law enforcement – or even intel – scenario that produces either convictions or actionable information, given this situation?

Answer: there is none.

Therefore (listen closely, kids) – logic requires another explanation. Filling in that blank – however it is filled, if it ever is – is not “conspiracy” mongering. It is speculation, for now. But those who mindlessly spout off about “vast conspiracies” might find it good intellectual exercise to offer some plausible, factually feasible explanations.

Inter-cartel scale-tipping to slow down the Zetas (plausible, and stupid enough to be possible for this administration, plus some parts of the ATF and the CIA). But a pretty good stretch.

Next?

IceCold on June 25, 2012 at 2:07 PM

The magnitude of the multi-agency, multi-department Fast & Furious operation makes it highly probable that more than one agenda was being served. It is at least possible that one goal was proxy war on los Zetas (more dangerous to national security) by arming the rival Sinaloas, and another goal was to create a crisis that could be exploited to push the gun control agenda.

The “multiple longun sales” records requirement permits the BATFE to collect and keep information that it is specifically forbidden to collect and keep under current law. It is the camel’s nose of national gun registration under the tent.

novaculus on June 25, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Why won’t you put your thinking cap on, make an honest effort to eliminate your bias towards Democrats/0bamessiah, and come up with a good explanation for why He is protecting Holder’s butt so much more vigorously than He is pushing for the whole truth to come out?

Crimes were committed under Holder’s DOJ, yet 0bamessiah is showing that He really doesn’t care, isn’t He? Do you believe that 0bamessiah cares about the suffering the Terrys are going through – where’s your evidence that He does?

Bizarro No. 1 on June 25, 2012 at 2:17 PM

Think cap on!

I don’t think I’ve once said Obama has a legit reason for protecting Holder. I don’t think he does have a legit reason.

I’m only protecting him from accusations that he allowed guns to walk into mexico to create more gun violence there which could then be used for more gun control in the US.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 2:26 PM

Obviously they were tracking the guns because we know they were used in murdering Terry and 200 Mexicans.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 2:19 PM

Oh, fer cryin’ out loud. By that logic, all law enforcement has an official tracking program in place because it investigates the serial number/purchaser relationship when the gun is used in a crime and part of the evidence.

a capella on June 25, 2012 at 2:26 PM

Excuse me, I sometime forget that there are those who aren’t up on the full story that’s been going on for more than a 1 ½ years.

They only had two data points – one where the weapons left a gun shop and two when it showed up at a crime scene.

What data can you glean from those two data points?

And since you dodged the question the first time: If they weren’t tracking those guns, what exactly was the purpose of Gunwalkergate?

Chip on June 25, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Aren’t serial numbers used for tracking guns?

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 2:27 PM

It seems to me that if they were planning to use F&F for more gun control, the logical thing would be to wait until violence actually went up.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 2:22 PM | Delete | Delete and Ban

The actual level of violence was irrelevant. Again, bottom line, early in Obama’s term they indicated a clear intent to involve themselves in a situation they deemed needed their involvement.

Missy on June 25, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Obviously they were tracking the guns because we know they were used in murdering Terry and 200 Mexicans

No, they weren’t…they found out about THOSE weapons because they were used in crimes and found at the scene. Tracking means knowing where the weapon is from store to end user. All that happened in F& F is that the Fed’s noted the purchaser and the serial number. Once it left the store, who knows where it went? Or how it got there.

JFKY on June 25, 2012 at 2:28 PM

I’m only protecting him from accusations that he allowed guns to walk into mexico to create more gun violence there which could then be used for more gun control in the US.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 2:26 PM | Delete

Yet you can’t come up with a valid alternative explanation.

a capella on June 25, 2012 at 2:29 PM

The actual level of violence was irrelevant. Again, bottom line, early in Obama’s term they indicated a clear intent to involve themselves in a situation they deemed needed their involvement.

Missy on June 25, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Then why do F&F if they didn’t think it’d be helpful for the violence to go up?

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 2:29 PM

Oh, Dan Bongino, a former SS agent wondered out laud in an interview on F&F, why the number of illegal weapons found in NY and other states spiked after F&F began. Just asking.

amr on June 25, 2012 at 2:29 PM

Yet you can’t come up with a valid alternative explanation.

a capella on June 25, 2012 at 2:29 PM

I have many times. They could see where the guns would end up.

I also saw another poster say they might have been arming cartels against other cartels (or something like that). That seems plausible too.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 2:30 PM

verbaluce on June 25, 2012 at 2:24 PM

It’s an accusation of wrong doing – 200 people are dead, shouldn’t we be investigating how that happened?

As El Presidente Downgrade stated Last year [March 22, 2011 to be exact]:

“There may be a situation here which a serious mistake was made and if that’s the case then we’ll find out and well hold somebody accountable,”

Shouldn’t we be doing that?

Chip on June 25, 2012 at 2:30 PM

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