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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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

This administration and the lunatic dems have never let facts get in the way of their rhetoric. They continued on with the global warming bullsh!t long after the whole con was blown (and continue with it to this day, making new regulations based on BS “data” and reports). They say whatever they want whenever they want. They tell lies long after everyone knows they’re lies.

With Fast and Furious, they were working to support their earlier lies (which were proven false not long after they uttered them, but that didn’t stop the talking points from continuing ,,, until they were finally “proven” correct, if it took action by the feral government to make them correct.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 25, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Aren’t serial numbers used for tracking guns

No, they were used to IDENTIFY the guns, to track the weapons would have required knowing their location from gun case to end user…it’s been said before, but you don’t read well…they had two data points, the purchase location and the location of the crime….you cannot “track” gun flows with that.

JFKY on June 25, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Why is anyone engaging a troll who is either so stupid or so disingenuous that it tries to conflate “tracking” with “recovering”?

novaculus on June 25, 2012 at 2:31 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

Why would you want to do that? Why do you keep using the word “vast”? Is that part of being a liberal? Anything to do with the GOP is a “vast” conspiracy?

The guns were not equipped with tracking devices (like GPS) to see where they ended up. They were tracked after they were used to kill someone because guns in the US have serial numbers. The ATF was responsible for having the gun dealers here sell the guns to people without questioning if they were legal purchasers. The gun dealers would still keep records of the guns they sold, which would, at a minimum include the serial numbers of the guns.

I am not trying to be mean, but you are in way over your head here.

Night Owl on June 25, 2012 at 2:32 PM

With Fast and Furious, they were working to support their earlier lies (which were proven false not long after they uttered them, but that didn’t stop the talking points from continuing ,,, until they were finally “proven” correct, if it took action by the feral government to make them correct.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 25, 2012 at 2:30 PM

The plot thickens. So now, they created f&f because they were caught in a lie.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 2:33 PM

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

F&F involves only a “tithe” of the weapons in México….You realize that the MAJORITY of the weapons in the hands of the various cartels are either purchases, IIRC, of AK-47’s from further south or from US Military Aid….We ARE arming the cartels, only it’s not private gun dealers doing it. It is Uncle Sugar, indirectly, I hope….
And now you’re just flailing….look up Occam’s Razor.

JFKY on June 25, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Why is anyone engaging a troll who is either so stupid or so disingenuous that it tries to conflate “tracking” with “recovering”?

novaculus on June 25, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Yeah, I just reached that same conclusion. He held it together for a while, but, the ignorance eventually shines through like a beacon.

a capella on June 25, 2012 at 2:35 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

Let me try to ask it in a simpler way for you:

How could they have known where the guns went in the traverse between point A (the gun store) to Point B (the crime scene – when and gun was recovered)?

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

Chip on June 25, 2012 at 2:36 PM

The plot thickens. So now, they created f&f because they were caught in a lie.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 2:33 PM

The claim that 90% of guns found at Mexican crime scenes came from American dealers was a bald-faced lie that wasn’t even close to true. But the Dog-Eater and his lunatic junta kept repeating it even after it was proven wrong.

This is the “never let a crisis go to waste” Executive who has a history of creating crises and there are documents public detailing the ATF’s thrill at using the consequences of Fast and Furious to push for more gun control.

Get a brain. And go back to Kos, you blithering idiot.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 25, 2012 at 2:38 PM

No, they were used to IDENTIFY the guns, to track the weapons would have required knowing their location from gun case to end user…it’s been said before, but you don’t read well…they had two data points, the purchase location and the location of the crime….you cannot “track” gun flows with that.

JFKY on June 25, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Maybe we’re just playing semantic games here. I would say that if I know where a gun starts and where it ends up, I can glean some useful information from that, such as: which straw purchasers are working for which cartels, what locations certain cartels target in the US, if only some cartels are getting guns from the us, etc.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Why is anyone engaging a troll who is either so stupid or so disingenuous that it tries to conflate “tracking” with “recovering”?

novaculus on June 25, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Yeah, I just reached that same conclusion. He held it together for a while, but, the ignorance eventually shines through like a beacon.

a capella on June 25, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Yes, you have my apologies.

The same thing just dawned on me in light of your comments – maybe sometimes I just need a slap upside the head to realize something..

Sorry about that.

Chip on June 25, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Let me try to ask it in a simpler way for you:

How could they have known where the guns went in the traverse between point A (the gun store) to Point B (the crime scene – when and gun was recovered)?

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

Chip on June 25, 2012 at 2:36 PM

that’s easy. You can’t. You can only know where they start and where they end up.

BUT, that doesn’t mean they weren’t tracking them.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 2:40 PM

Why is anyone engaging a troll who is either so stupid or so disingenuous that it tries to conflate “tracking” with “recovering”?

novaculus on June 25, 2012 at 2:31 PM

You have a point. I was just thinking about explaining this to my twelve year old to prove to myself it wasn’t that hard to grasp. Then I thought, “What’s she ever done to me?”

Night Owl on June 25, 2012 at 2:40 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

Again, this is where you are trying to play fast and cute. I am not saying that Holder/Obama must produce documents to disprove my or anyone else’s speculation.

No, we are saying Holder/Obama must produce documents in response to a legitimate congressional subpoena.

See how you are trying to play too cute by half with your argument? You are conflating our speculation with the requirement to produce documents pursuant to a subpoena.

And then you argue – why you can’t require them to produce documents that don’t exist or unless you have some proof.

Nonsense on stilts. We are not asking them to produce anything in response to our speculation. the documents requested in fact exist, were specifically identified, are not covered by any remotely reasonable reading of EP and need to be produced.

And that has absolutely nothing to do with the speculation.

Monkeytoe on June 25, 2012 at 2:41 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 | Delete | Delete and Ban

Because F&F gave them the ability to prove the weapons were from the US. The numbers were recorded and the guns were sold. The weapons didn’t need to be actively tracked as long as they could get serial numbers off recovered weapons.

Here is the problem: in F&F they ORDERED the sales to be made over the objections of gun dealers who suspected straw purchases. Otherwise the dealers would have refused the sales. So the Obama admin is directly responsible for those weapons getting to Mexico, not the dealers.

All the Obama admin needed was to be able to point to gun violence in Mexico and *prove* that it was done with guns that originated in the US. F&F provided that data.

200 dead Mexicans and the death of Brian Terry would have gone even further to get them to their desired result: “mounting pressure” for the US to “do something” about gun control. Mission accomplished.

Missy on June 25, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Andy McCarthy on Megyn Kelly now.

novaculus on June 25, 2012 at 2:42 PM

OT: but I marvel at the guns hop owners. Once I reported straw purchases and the Fed’s said, “Don’t worry.” I’d have contacted my lawyer. And told the Fed’s unless they gave me WRITTEN authorization to sell the guns, even though I believed the law was being broken, I wouldn’t sell the fire arms. Further, I’d have contacted the Fed’s with EACH suspect sale, informing them of the purchaser and serial numbers of the weapons. I would have kept each and every communication between myself and the Fed’s, with my lawyer. Because there is NO WAY I’m getting involved in this, because it is OBVIOUS you’d be the fall guy if things came to light….

JFKY on June 25, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Reichstag Fire.

Dunedainn on June 25, 2012 at 2:43 PM

All the Obama admin needed was to be able to point to gun violence in Mexico and *prove* that it was done with guns that originated in the US. F&F provided that data.

I could be wrong here, but even if 90% of guns used in cartel violence in Mexico isn’t from the US, aren’t there still a lot of murders using US guns? Couldn’t they use those as examples (again, correct me if I’m wrong).

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Am I speculating there was no conspiracy?
I don’t see that’s a fair contrast

verbaluce on June 25, 2012 at 2:24 PM

You are using your claim that there is no “there there” to argue that the investigation should not go forward and Holder/Obama should not produce the docs. I’m not saying you are speculating there “is no conspiracy”. No, you are speculating that there is no reason to even investigate anything. I.e., based on your partisan sentiment, there is no need to investigate what everyone admits was at the very least a completely incompetent operation that resulted in many deaths by guns allowed to be trafficked by the US Gov’t.

there is much more evidence supporting the need for production of the documents (i.e., evidence of misconduct, incompetence, dishonesty, malfeasance, whatever) then there is evidence that there is no reason for an investigation. Yet, you speculate away that there is no basis to investigate – other than “partisanship”.

If anyone were to take you seriously and apply your logic to any matter – there could be no investigation until someone proved beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime was committed and the person being investigated committed the crime. Which means, no investigation would ever occur b/c you couldn’t investigate until you could prove what you intend to investigate.

You are arguing in circles. But, your intent is nothing more than to obfuscate and attempt to make this seem muddy and “just a partisan mud fight”. Obama’s only hope at this point appears to make this so confusing and partisan that everyone tunes out, and you have jumped right on that bandwagon.

Monkeytoe on June 25, 2012 at 2:47 PM

Why is anyone engaging a troll who is either so stupid or so disingenuous that it tries to conflate “tracking” with “recovering”?

novaculus on June 25, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Like I said before, this might just a game of semantics (and I’m sorry for playing).

Other posters have tried to claim that there’s no credible reason for F&F if you don’t track the guns continuously, but you can still get useful information from just knowing the beginning and end points.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 2:48 PM

The plot thickens. So now, they created f&f because they were caught in a lie.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 2:33 PM

Now you’re getting it.

LIES about USA Mexico Gun Trafficking

Flora Duh on June 25, 2012 at 2:50 PM

I can glean some useful information from that, such as: which straw purchasers are working for which cartels, what locations certain cartels target in the US, if only some cartels are getting guns from the us, etc.

Really tell me what have you learned? You have learned that Bob purchased a Barret .50 caliber in America and that on a certain date that weapon killed someone in México. You don’t know if Bob sold it to any particular cartel or to another middle man. You don’t know the route it took into México or anything. And you can’t make a case against Bob, because there is no linking him to the final crime.

So basically you have gotten 200 Mexicans killed and two Border Patrol officers murdered to find out that guns can flow from the US to México. *WOW* Dood/doodette, you are amazing if you call that “tracking” or intelligence or even evidence. You are just flailing now…F*&F could have NO legitimate intelligence or criminal investigation purpose, because there wasn’t enough control on the weapons to actually track them! And there is absolutely no way that the Federal authorities could not realize this!

Try Occam’s Razor OR Sherlock Holmes, “Once all else has been eliminated, that which remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” You must believe that experienced law enforcement officers and their superiors and their various general counsels, failed to grasp that F&F could yield no actionable intelligence or indictments, but decided to continue on any way with the program? Is that reasonable?

JFKY on June 25, 2012 at 2:51 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

It’s not just that He doesn’t have a legit reason, He has an illegitimate one – unless you wish to say that protecting criminals/criminal behavior from exposure is legit, that is.

So, you already know that He’s up to no good, like Nixon wasn’t. But, we shouldn’t stop there. Guns were not only allowed to walk, they were ordered to be allowed to be sold & to walk, in violation of US & international law. That does not look good for His stonewalling administration, does it?

Yet, we know of even more damning info – there is also an undeniable WH connection to F&F, through emails. Where do you believe the trail stops? What makes you trust that all of this is as benign as you are hoping?

Bizarro No. 1 on June 25, 2012 at 2:54 PM

So basically you have gotten 200 Mexicans killed and two Border Patrol officers murdered to find out that guns can flow from the US to México. *

I hope you realize that statement only makes sense if you think guns kill people.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 2:56 PM

I hope you realize that statement only makes sense if you think guns kill people

Rhetorical dodge and non-responsive…this is getting too tough for you isn’t it?

JFKY on June 25, 2012 at 2:59 PM

Flora, we need to be on the lookout for clips of MKelly’s interviews with Holder’s former spokestool Mark Miller and Andrew McCarthy, which she ran in sequence. Miller made a number of false statements, and his body language speaks volumes. McCarthy does much to undo the damage, and his body language is in stark contrast to Miller’s.

Megyn may finally be getting up to speed on this mess. Andy can certainly school her. I’ve been very disappointed in her reporting on it so far. She hasn’t seemed to be familiar with the facts that would give her some useful insight. But today she obviously understood the points McCarthy made in his last column about the significance of the OCDETF designation.

novaculus on June 25, 2012 at 3:01 PM

I hope you realize that statement only makes sense if you think guns kill people.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Give it up folks. This comment shows that this guy has no interest in an honest debate about the administration’s knowledge or participation in the Fast and Furious Operation.

He’s just as intellectually dishonest as any liberal troll or moby here.

Flora Duh on June 25, 2012 at 3:01 PM

If anyone were to take you seriously and apply your logic to any matter – there could be no investigation until someone proved beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime was committed and the person being investigated committed the crime. Which means, no investigation would ever occur b/c you couldn’t investigate until you could prove what you intend to investigate.

Monkeytoe on June 25, 2012 at 2:47 PM

No, that would be if you were not taking me seriously.
I am not saying there can be no investigation.
And there HAS been an investigation. A long one, with much testimony and evidence.
And yes…it continues.
Do you honestly see an end to it – or at least to all the suspicions of nefarious goings ons – regardless of anything Holder, etc. provide?

verbaluce on June 25, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Red herring
absolutely guns kill ppl, if they are in the wrong PPL,s hands….. If the LAW ABIDING citizen who purchased the gun still had the gun it would not kill anyone, a gun is just a tool…….Kinda like your acting like…………

angrymike on June 25, 2012 at 3:06 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

Would you stake your life on that?

It’s more likely that he was simply hinting at what he was doing. Almost telling the truth, as it were.

Solaratov on June 25, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Other posters have tried to claim that there’s no credible reason for F&F if you don’t track the guns continuously, but you can still get useful information from just knowing the beginning and end points.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 2:48 PM

Perhaps, but the information you get would not outway the damage done in getting it. You might learn that cartel “x” likes to buy a lot of its guns in City “y”, while cartel “A” uses City “Z”.

What does that get you? Very little, if anything. Meanwhile, you are putting a bunch of guns in circulation into criminal hands.

Now, one of the left’s arguments is that the criminals would have obtained the guns from somewhere and all of the crimes would have happened anyway (despite Mexico’s gun laws). But that isn’t really a valid argument. Yes, it is likely that the criminals would have obtained guns anyway, but the US Gov’t would not have been complicit in it. (and, for the record, I find it ironic that the left is now arguing that gun control does not work as its response to F&F – perhaps F&F will totally backfire to the point that the left has to embrace the argument “if you make owning a gun criminal, only criminals will own guns” and become staunch advocates of the 2nd Amendment).

But is saying that a criminal would have still committed the crime anyway absolve an abettor? If I arrest a drug dealer, his response can be “hey, the user is going to get his drugs somewhere, so why are you hassling me?”.

It seems a very weak argument to state that the crimes would happen regardless so there is nothing to investigate. Or that perhaps there was a valid purpose to the operation so there is no reason to investigate.

Monkeytoe on June 25, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Andy McCarthy on Megyn Kelly now.

novaculus on June 25, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Dang it – I got carried away cleaning up a mess, didn’t DVR it, and missed it! How was his appearance?

Bizarro No. 1 on June 25, 2012 at 3:08 PM

The typical troll’s agenda isn’t promoting reasonable discussion and argument. Its agenda is about self-gratification. It is focusing attention on itself to make itself feel important. For this purpose, rational argument doesn’t serve as well as being contrary, confrontational, or both. These tactics do not require intellectual capacity or effort. They are more likely to generate angry responses, and the angrier the response, the greater the troll is gratified.

As a general rule, feeding such trolls isn’t a good idea.

novaculus on June 25, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Well someone up thread said something about talking to his twelve year old….. I think the twelve year old would catch on a lot quicker, they usually don’t try to talk in circles………..

angrymike on June 25, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Give it up folks. This comment shows that this guy has no interest in an honest debate about the administration’s knowledge or participation in the Fast and Furious Operation.

He’s just as intellectually dishonest as any liberal troll or moby here.

Flora Duh on June 25, 2012 at 3:01 PM

I respectfully disagree – I don’t believe either red_herring or verbaluce are close to being thorough hacks the way someone like libfreeordie is…

Bizarro No. 1 on June 25, 2012 at 3:12 PM

No, that would be if you were not taking me seriously.

It is exactly what you have argued – that in order to investigate, we need to prove something. You, in other threads, consistently throw out “what did Holder do”; where’s the proof, ad nauseam and then state the investigation shouldn’t go forward. I’m not sure how else one reads those arguments/statements other than as I described.

I am not saying there can be no investigation.

You have previously argued exactly that.

And there HAS been an investigation. A long one, with much testimony and evidence.
And yes…it continues.
Do you honestly see an end to it – or at least to all the suspicions of nefarious goings ons – regardless of anything Holder, etc. provide?

verbaluce on June 25, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Well, look – at the end of the day there will always be people who believe conspiracies, etc. So what? What exactly is your point? That the investigation should end b/c some people won’t believe the conclusion they finally reach?

If misconduct or crimes are found, I’ll guarantee you that the left will have conspiracy theories explaining that away. And, to this day the left has all kinds of conspiracy theories involving Bush, Iraq, Valerie Plame, 9/11, etc.

So, aside from you not liking the fact that there is an investigation, or that we speculate about F&F, whatever point you think you are making remains opaque.

Monkeytoe on June 25, 2012 at 3:14 PM

I thank the lord that F@F discussions are a daily thing now, after a year and a half………..

angrymike on June 25, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Do you honestly see an end to it – or at least to all the suspicions of nefarious goings ons – regardless of anything Holder, etc. provide?

verbaluce on June 25, 2012 at 3:06 PM

As to this question, I think if Holder complies with the subpoena and nothing is found to show anything criminal or politically damaging, the matter will end as far as a congressional investigation goes.

there may very well be people who are unhappy with it ending like that, but so what?

Do you believe it is a valid reason to not comply with a subpoena to argue “well, people aren’t going to be satisfied no matter what, so let’s just ignore the subpoena”.

Monkeytoe on June 25, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Give it up folks. This comment shows that this guy has no interest in an honest debate about the administration’s knowledge or participation in the Fast and Furious Operation.

He’s just as intellectually dishonest as any liberal troll or moby here.

Flora Duh on June 25, 2012 at 3:01 PM

It’s sad that not buying into conspiracy theories, and refusing to use the liberal argument that “guns kill people” gets someone labeled a liberal troll around here.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Issa seems to be laying the groundwork for what’s coming next in this farce, i. e. the exposure of Obama and Holder’s conspiracy to manufacture the facts they need to void the Second Amendment, even at the cost of lives.

blackgriffin on June 25, 2012 at 3:25 PM

I respectfully disagree – I don’t believe either red_herring or verbaluce are close to being thorough hacks the way someone like libfreeordie is…

Bizarro No. 1 on June 25, 2012 at 3:12 PM

I may be off-base in my opinion of red_herring, but verbaluce has been given the facts of Fast and Furious, with links verifying those facts, numerous times. Yet he/she still shows up in almost every F&F thread asking the same questions that have been answered repeatedly and making the same accusations against the GOP’s investigation that have been debunked over and over.

Flora Duh on June 25, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Now, one of the left’s arguments is that the criminals would have obtained the guns from somewhere and all of the crimes would have happened anyway (despite Mexico’s gun laws). But that isn’t really a valid argument. Yes, it is likely that the criminals would have obtained guns anyway, but the US Gov’t would not have been complicit in it.

I think that’s a fair point. Perhaps that’s what the earlier commenter was getting at.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 3:29 PM

It’s sad that not buying into conspiracy theories, and refusing to use the liberal argument that “guns kill people” gets someone labeled a liberal troll around here

When you deploy it as a desperate measure to buy time or divert attention…the rhetorical equivalent of -SQUIRREL- what do you expect us to say about you? So get back to me on why experienced agents, their superiors and the various lawyers in the ATF, FBI, DHS and the like couldn’t realize that no actionable intelligence or indictments could emerge from F&F but they continued on with the program? I’ll wait…again I refer you to Occam’s Razor or Robert Downey Jr (Sherlock Holmes).

JFKY on June 25, 2012 at 3:29 PM

Rhetorical dodge and non-responsive…this is getting too tough for you isn’t it?

JFKY on June 25, 2012 at 2:59 PM

I’m fairly certain I’d already posted my response to the point you were trying to make (look up a few posts before yours). Basically, I think we’re going to disagree on a fundamental point no matter what. I think there’s useful intelligence in knowing where guns were sold and where they ended up. You do not. Since we can’t get passed that, there’s probably no reason to keep arguing.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 3:32 PM

It’s sad that not buying into conspiracy theories, and refusing to use the liberal argument that “guns kill people” gets someone labeled a liberal troll around here.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Which is worse in your opinion, liberal troll or dim bulb?

Night Owl on June 25, 2012 at 3:33 PM

I’ll wait…again I refer you to Occam’s Razor or Robert Downey Jr (Sherlock Holmes).

JFKY on June 25, 2012 at 3:29 PM

Isn’t Occam’s Razor that the simplest solution is probably correct? I’d posit the simplest solution is Government incompetence.

As to the Sherlock Holmes (this was somewhat tongue in cheek, right?), unlike you, I have not ruled out EVERY possible explanation. If you claim to have done so, your mind must work like a super computer.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 3:35 PM

You do not. Since we can’t get passed that, there’s probably no reason to keep arguing

Best summed up with the following:

Which is worse in your opinion, liberal troll or dim bulb

JFKY on June 25, 2012 at 3:35 PM

Which is worse in your opinion, liberal troll or dim bulb?

Night Owl on June 25, 2012 at 3:33 PM

What’s the difference?

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 3:36 PM

I have not ruled out EVERY possible explanation. If you claim to have done so, your mind must work like a super computer.

Would you care to speculate on why law enforcement agencies pursued a course of action that could produce no indictments, much less convictions, then?

JFKY on June 25, 2012 at 3:37 PM

to red_herring, and/or verbaluce:

ok, so you are prosecutors, and/or you’re PDs, who take your job(s) seriously. You look at the mass of evidence about F&F: none of it is a positive indicator of righteous behavior, you are aware of the undeniable lies told to a Congressional committee, and you see unending stonewalling/excuse-making from 0bamessiah’s administration, yet, despite that, you come to the conclusion that we should take 0bamessiah’s/Holder’s words about F&F at face value?

Give us a break! The evidence all points in one direction here…

Bizarro No. 1 on June 25, 2012 at 3:38 PM

What’s the difference

In your case, none, really…you either can’t argue honestly or you won’t….

JFKY on June 25, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Analogy:

Fast & Furious and the South Park Underpants Gnomes Business Plan

We are, in other words, being asked to believe that the BATFE’s grand strategy for bringing down the drug cartels (when did that become a BATFE mission, anyway?) resembled South Park’s Underpants Gnomes’ business plan (see sidebar video for 10-second version), with the BATFE adaptation going something like this:

Phase 1: Encourage gun dealers (and sometimes pay them, as confidential informants) to sell guns to known traffickers
Phase 2: ?
Phase 3: Humbly accept plaudits as Mexican drug cartel comes crashing down

Brilliant!

novaculus on June 25, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Flora Duh on June 25, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Both of them seem to think ignorance of the facts is the same as disagreement about the facts, even when it is obviously intentional ignorance. When someone chooses not to avail themselves of numerous opportunities to be knowledgeable, they are not worth arguing with. You are right about verbulace, he admitted last week he never really heard about this issue until very recently, but has made no effort to educate himself.

Night Owl on June 25, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Would you care to speculate on why law enforcement agencies pursued a course of action that could produce no indictments, much less convictions, then?

JFKY on June 25, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Isn’t that what i’ve been doing? There’s value in gaining intelligence on how gun running operations work, even if they don’t result in indictments. A previous commenter argued that the benefits are outweighed by the costs, which I think is a fair point. That doesn’t negate the fact that there are some benefits though (which you seem to refuse to acknowledge).

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 3:39 PM

What’s the difference?

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 3:36 PM

That is the first good point you’ve made today!

Night Owl on June 25, 2012 at 3:40 PM

yet, despite that, you come to the conclusion that we should take 0bamessiah’s/Holder’s words about F&F at face value? Give us a break!
Bizarro No. 1 on June 25, 2012 at 3:38 PM

I’ve never said anything even close to that. Give ME a break.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Bizarro No. 1 on June 25, 2012 at 3:08 PM

McCarthy was cool and knowledgeable. He made many of the same points in his last column, but had some additional insight on how the DOJ works. Miller, on the other hand, grew increasingly vague and uncomfortable as the interview went along. Kelly really didn’t press him too hard, but she knew she had Andrew coming up to de-bunk. She may have been “giving him enough rope…”.

novaculus on June 25, 2012 at 3:43 PM

That is the first good point you’ve made today!

Night Owl on June 25, 2012 at 3:40 PM

What’s that saying about a broken clock?

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Which is worse in your opinion, liberal troll or dim bulb?

Night Owl on June 25, 2012 at 3:33 PM

He’s just as intellectually dishonest as any liberal troll or moby here.

Flora Duh on June 25, 2012 at 3:01 PM

I didn’t call him a liberal troll. I said he was as intellectually dishonest as the liberal trolls.

See, I can parse statements and intent just like red_herring does. :-)

Flora Duh on June 25, 2012 at 3:45 PM

Press conference from March 2009 where Robert Gibbs, former White House press secretary ,Janet Napolitano head of DHS, David Ogden Deputy Attorney General, and Jim Steinberg Deputy secretary of state roll out a new initiative that the “President has directed” which included ” fortifying Project Gun Runner” , and “working with the Mexicans to facilitate Gun Tracing which targets illegal weapons and their sources in the United States”, This operation officially became known as Fast and Furious

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9sBBm43Ee0&feature=plcp

golembythehudson on June 25, 2012 at 3:48 PM

There’s value in gaining intelligence on how gun running operations work, even if they don’t result in indictments. A previous commenter argued that the benefits are outweighed by the costs, which I think is a fair point. That doesn’t negate the fact that there are some benefits though (which you seem to refuse to acknowledge

Really and I keep asking what “intelligence” was gained? That guns flow into México? I think we already knew that. “Intelligence” ought to mean, a fairly thorough knowledge of the players, their techniques, tactics, and tricks, and a wiring diagram of the cartel’s purchasing apparatus and a map showing the ratlines…NONE OF WHICH could emerge from F&F, by its very nature.

List the “benefits”, please….but don’t forget the cost, about 200 citizens of a neighboring country dead and two law enforcement officers from the US dead, to collect what? Can Holder tell me HOW, or WHO, or WHEN those weapons arrived in México?

JFKY on June 25, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Would you care to speculate on why law enforcement agencies pursued a course of action that could produce no indictments, much less convictions, then?

JFKY on June 25, 2012 at 3:37 PM

It is my understanding that there were a few convictions from F&F. Very few, but convictions nonetheless.

I don’t think it is fair to say that there was absolutely no possible valid reason for F&F.

I just don’t believe it is likely that F&F was cooked up in the first instance for the purpose of gun-control. I can easily see someone viewing the outcome of F&F and thinking “hey, we can use this as evidence that we need more gun control”, but I would be very surprised to see that it was cooked up with that purpose in mind from the get-go.

Monkeytoe on June 25, 2012 at 3:50 PM

I didn’t call him a liberal troll. I said he was as intellectually dishonest as the liberal trolls.

See, I can parse statements and intent just like red_herring does. :-)

Flora Duh on June 25, 2012 at 3:45 PM

Heh. That sounds like one of joanna’s tricks!

Night Owl on June 25, 2012 at 3:51 PM

Give it up folks. This comment shows that this guy has no interest in an honest debate about the administration’s knowledge or participation in the Fast and Furious Operation.

He’s just as intellectually dishonest as any liberal troll or moby here.

Flora Duh on June 25, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Given the circular illogic of the trolls, it should be clear that there was no other purpose to Fast and Furious than to ship as many guns over the broader as a pretext to disarm the law abiding.

The current crop of trolls don’t have a better explanation, so that should be the conclusion.

Chip on June 25, 2012 at 3:52 PM

List the “benefits”, please….but don’t forget the cost, about 200 citizens of a neighboring country dead and two law enforcement officers from the US dead, to collect what? Can Holder tell me HOW, or WHO, or WHEN those weapons arrived in México?

JFKY on June 25, 2012 at 3:48 PM

I listed a few of the benefits in a previous comment. Like I said before, I can tell there’s no way you’re going to change your mind on this (not even a fraction) so there’s no point in continuing.

Also, perhaps you think I’m arguing that F&F was worthwhile. Just to be clear, I’m not. I think it was poorly thought out and poorly executed.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 3:54 PM

On Monday, two straw buyers who purchased guns for a known Mexican drug cartel pleaded guilty in federal court to gun trafficking-related charges.

These are the first convictions in the federal government’s severely flawed gunwalking program, Operation Fast and Furious.

The two defendants, Jacob Wayne Chambers and Jacob Anthony Montelongo each pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge. Montelongo also pleaded guilty to selling firearms without a license, according the Associated Press.

The STRAW PURCHASERS were convicted…just as they could have been WITHOUT F&F. The gun shop owners felt that these were straw purchases and alerted authorities, did they not? So F&F netted us EXACTLY what a non-F&F would have netted, without 200 dead Mexicans and dead Border patrol Agents.

JFKY on June 25, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Just to be clear, I’m not. I think it was poorly thought out and poorly executed.

And obvious to anyone familiar with US law….like the BATFE, the FBI, and DHS…so why did they authorize such a clearly poorly conceived and executed program?

The rest of your argument, that intelligence was gleaned, is laughable, or would be if it didn’t involve the death of so many people.

JFKY on June 25, 2012 at 3:57 PM

I’m furious because it turns out our first half black president hates Mexicans.

Slade73 on June 25, 2012 at 3:57 PM

red_herring and JFKY,

It appears to me that you guys are arguing past each other. I don’t think Red Herring is arguing against the subpoena or the investigation into F&F.

I think he is responding to the theory that F&F was created for the purpose of gun control. In other words, I think Red Herring is simply attributing to stupidity and incompetence what some are attributing to malfeasance.

In other words, I don’t think you guys are on opposite sides of the issue generally (i.e., that it should be investigated, that Holder should turn over the documents), just with regard to speculation over why F&F happened the way it did.

Monkeytoe on June 25, 2012 at 3:58 PM

The rest of your argument, that intelligence was gleaned, is laughable, or would be if it didn’t involve the death of so many people.

JFKY on June 25, 2012 at 3:57 PM

I don’t think he is necessarily arguing that any useful intelligence was gleaned, only that the operation could have originally been set up with the purpose of gleaning information rather than with the nefarious purpose of being a stalking horse operation to further gun control legislation.

Monkeytoe on June 25, 2012 at 4:00 PM

In other words, I don’t think you guys are on opposite sides of the issue generally (i.e., that it should be investigated, that Holder should turn over the documents), just with regard to speculation over why F&F happened the way it did.

Monkeytoe on June 25, 2012 at 3:58 PM

That’s a good summary of my position.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 4:00 PM

And obvious to anyone familiar with US law….like the BATFE, the FBI, and DHS…so why did they authorize such a clearly poorly conceived and executed program?

The rest of your argument, that intelligence was gleaned, is laughable, or would be if it didn’t involve the death of so many people.

JFKY on June 25, 2012 at 3:57 PM

But aren’t tons of government programs poorly thought out and poorly executed? I could take it one step further and say that tons of human endeavors generally are poorly thought out and poorly executed. Surely you’ll agree with those two statements.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 4:02 PM

JFKY on June 25, 2012 at 3:57 PM

And, for the record, on the evidence we have seen thus far, I also don’t buy that F&F was instituted as a stalking horse operation to further gun control legislation. I think someone may have seen the results of F&F and realized it could be used that way, but I don’t believe it was created with that intention.

In other words, I think it was originally an incompetent operation incompetently run, but that led to a) a cover up wherein Holder and others lied to congress and b) possibly a plan to use F&F info to bolster arguments for gun control – which I am guessing is the politically damaging stuff the WH/Holder are trying to hide – probably emails or memos to that effect.

Monkeytoe on June 25, 2012 at 4:03 PM

‘I am not saying there can be no investigation.’

You have previously argued exactly that.
Monkeytoe on June 25, 2012 at 3:14 PM

I don’t recall that I ever did – but if in some fast typed reply to something in the past I got too strident and implied such,
then I retract it.
(In a Holder-esque way, assuming good faith in that instance as well.)

verbaluce on June 25, 2012 at 4:04 PM

In other words, I think it was originally an incompetent operation incompetently run, but that led to a) a cover up wherein Holder and others lied to congress and b) possibly a plan to use F&F info to bolster arguments for gun control – which I am guessing is the politically damaging stuff the WH/Holder are trying to hide – probably emails or memos to that effect.

Monkeytoe on June 25, 2012 at 4:03 PM

In fact, my guess is that “b” is the most damaging thing from the WH point of view. I’ll bet there are some explicit memos/emails discussing how to use F&F information to push for gun control. And the WH realizes when people learn that the admin wanted to use its own incompetence (which, led to some extent, to people being killed) to bolster its political position, it will be extremely harmful politically.

It would be like Bush, after Hurricane Katrina, using the allegedly bad FEMA response to argue for getting rid of FEMA. Think about the repercussions of such a tactic. It could potentially completely undermine any faith independents have left in Obama. It wouldn’t hurt him with the left, but independents would likely be lost as they would no longer trust him at all (why they still do is beyond me).

Monkeytoe on June 25, 2012 at 4:10 PM

But aren’t tons of government programs poorly thought out and poorly executed? I could take it one step further and say that tons of human endeavors generally are poorly thought out and poorly executed. Surely you’ll agree with those two statements

But after review they are modified or dropped and if they are NOT, then they fulfill some purpose(s) even if not the stated ones, q.v. Food Stamps or Head Start….as the program NEVER had a law enforcement function and almost no intelligence function, my conclusion is that it was NOT designed to produce convictions but dead Mexicans and Mexican outrage to bolster support for Gun Control. Gun Control is a political loser, domestically, but with dead Mexicans, and the Mexican Government pressing for changes, and the “situation in México growing grimmer by the day” it would be EXTERNAL politics that would justify Gun Control. Hillary and others had been laying that ground work early on.

It needn’t be some vast, conspiracy, some secret cabal, with an elaborate map of stages and steps, just one more little effort to support Gun Control. “Look more dead Mexicans, dead at the hand of US guns, privately sold.” And that follows much more easily than to believe BATFE and the US Attorney’s OK’d a plan that could NEVER produce convictions of cartel members.

JFKY on June 25, 2012 at 4:15 PM

I don’t recall that I ever did – but if in some fast typed reply to something in the past I got too strident and implied such,
then I retract it.
(In a Holder-esque way, assuming good faith in that instance as well.)

verbaluce on June 25, 2012 at 4:04 PM

Fair enough. I may have been over-reading it as well. I’m actually guessing that Holder did not know much about the program (even assuming he had been briefed on it – I’m guessing he gets a lot of briefings and doesn’t remember all of them).

However, the problem is that DOJ as a whole, and through Holder, told Congress some untrue things – later recanted. And some of those things were clearly within the knowledge of someone at DOJ. (Such as the first claim that no guns were allowed to walk).

So, the question becomes, were all of those instances inadvertent, or were there efforts to purposefully mislead congress? I’m guessing that there were some efforts aimed at misleading congress. Holder himself may have been unaware and been misled as well.

But, none of that explains refusal to comply with the subpoena, the the very weak EP assertion.

I, for one, think there is likely something politically damaging in those documents – not necessarily criminal but significant enough that the WH does not want it out before the election. Otherwise, I don’t think the WH would have climbed on board this train.

Monkeytoe on June 25, 2012 at 4:15 PM

BUT, that doesn’t mean they weren’t tracking them.
red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 2:40 PM

No tracking devices were used. Can you read English?

Akzed on June 25, 2012 at 4:19 PM

No tracking devices were used. Can you read English?

Akzed on June 25, 2012 at 4:19 PM

You can track more than one way. For instance, how is it, do you figure, that we know which F&F guns ended up where? Were used in certain crimes, etc.?

They were tracked – perhaps not with a radio or satellite device, but only with an identification number. But we know where at least a large number of the guns ended up.

To say they were not tracked whatsoever seems anti-factual. That were not tracked in real time. They were not tracked every step of their journey. But we can determine that gun “a” ended up in location “b”.

Monkeytoe on June 25, 2012 at 4:25 PM

It needn’t be some vast, conspiracy, some secret cabal, with an elaborate map of stages and steps, just one more little effort to support Gun Control. “Look more dead Mexicans, dead at the hand of US guns, privately sold.” And that follows much more easily than to believe BATFE and the US Attorney’s OK’d a plan that could NEVER produce convictions of cartel members.

JFKY on June 25, 2012 at 4:15 PM

I don’t think you can make the claim that this was for gun control AND it was just one little effort. If you’re right, the consequences of the plot being uncovered would be HUGE. It certainly wouldn’t be worth that risk for one little effort.

I don’t know how reliable this statistic is, but apparently 3,111 people were killed in Juarez alone in 2010 in the drug wars. I’m guessing quite a few of those involved guns bought in the US. The additional 200 murders from F&F (over a few years and all over mexico) would add very little to argument for more gun control.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 4:27 PM

JFKY on June 25, 2012 at 4:15 PM

In other words, both theories (yours and mine) rest on an incompetent government.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 4:29 PM

I don’t think it is fair to say that there was absolutely no possible valid reason for F&F.

I just don’t believe it is likely that F&F was cooked up in the first instance for the purpose of gun-control. I can easily see someone viewing the outcome of F&F and thinking “hey, we can use this as evidence that we need more gun control”, but I would be very surprised to see that it was cooked up with that purpose in mind from the get-go.

Monkeytoe on June 25, 2012 at 3:50 PM

What could possibly have been valid about a program that’s led to the punishment of whistleblowers of said program? How could such programs (F&F wasn’t the only one) possibly have occurred w/o Holder’s/0bamessiah’s awareness on some level? Such a notion doesn’t pass the giggle test.

The behavior of 0bamessiah’s administration during the coverup of F&F, and Holder’s/0bamessiah’ lies about guns/gun control throughout their political careers as well as their established history of plain untruthfulness, says to me that a person is profoundly naive if they believe it’s somehow possible that 0bamessiah isn’t heavily involved in all things F&F…

Bizarro No. 1 on June 25, 2012 at 4:29 PM

Jake Tapper is a rarity in the media today. I have tons of respect for him.

the new aesthetic on June 25, 2012 at 4:30 PM

You can track more than one way. For instance, how is it, do you figure, that we know which F&F guns ended up where? Were used in certain crimes, etc.?
They were tracked – perhaps not with a radio or satellite device, but only with an identification number. But we know where at least a large number of the guns ended up

Do we, we know where the weapons that were left at the scene of a crime turned up, but do we have any idea where the MAJORITY of the weapons ended up? How would we, we didn’t follow the weapons across the border! Helllloooooo that’s the ESSENCE of tracking!

Try this an airplane takes off from Newark NJ…….sometime later it’s found in Zimbabwe. H’hhhhhhhhhhhhhm what do we know about the ‘plane? Well that it started in NJ and ended up in Zimbabwe, and if we didn’t keep an eye on it anytime in between that’s all we can know! Just like the guns from the AZ gun shops. They walked out the door and then they turned up in México, how, by what routes, who trafficked in them, how did they ship, how much money was paid, are any Mexican authorities involved, if so which ones? We don’t know, because we didn’t follow the guns! All the serial number shows us is that the gun started in the Us and ended up at a crime scene in México.

JFKY on June 25, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Bloody hell. Why are there so many commentators on the right playing catch up with this story like the Powerline guy? We’ve been over this for a year at least now as the information trickled out. Its sad so many are coming up with theories that have long been shot down. The administration was behind it and covered it up. This was not just the fault of some rogue ATF agents, if it was they would’ve hung them out to dry by now. They’ve gone after the atf agent whistleblowers for pete’s sake.

Pete and repeat get in a boat… (is it a government licensed boat?)

oryguncon on June 25, 2012 at 4:40 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

Well, gollllleeeeee. Yuh think so?

They might be pissed that our DoJ was arming criminals who were committing thousands of murders and trying to bring about the downfall of the Mexican government!!

You drones are a riot!

Solaratov on June 25, 2012 at 4:41 PM

Well. I don’t know how that strike-through happened. Just read it as though the line wasn’t there.

Solaratov on June 25, 2012 at 4:43 PM

I’ve never said anything even close to that. Give ME a break.

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Did you not notice that I addressed my post to either you and/or verbaluce? Why the defensiveness on your part, hmmm? :)

However, I will assert that you are naive/foolish about 0bamessiah’s involvement in F&F, not all that interested in getting to the very bottom of it, as well as having a double-standard for yourself and those who disagree with your speculations about the “botched” program… :)

Bizarro No. 1 on June 25, 2012 at 4:45 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

Wrong! They traced the guns because they already had the serial numbers from when the straw purchasers bought the guns. THAT’S how they knew.

Also, don’t you find it the least bit “odd” that so many guns from the Fast and Furious straw purchasers were “found at the scene” of so many murders? One would think that a criminal would hold onto a weapon that he had paid a lot of money to be bought at retail and smuggled into Mexico. It’s almost as though whoever supplied the weapons to the killers had made a deal with them to be sure to drop the gun at the scene so that it could be traced to a US gun dealer. But that, of course would mean that our DoJ was conspiring with drug dealers and murderers, wouldn’t it?

Solaratov on June 25, 2012 at 4:56 PM

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:

I’ll grant that Paul Mirengoff is usually a pretty sharp political observer, but I think he’s trying to give too much benefit of the doubt to Obama here. Everything about F&F testifies to a political operation with a certain amount of plausible deniability. The same person launched both F&F and Operation Wide Receiver, and it seems unlikely he would be less cautious the second time around. Far more likely that it was the environment that changed, and that someone higher up was pushing to paint guns as dangerous and out of control. And since Obama suddenly asserted executive privilege as the walls were closing in on the Attorney General, either Obama is implicated, or Obama was being basically blackmailed on other grounds. For some reason, Obama had to assert executive privilege to protect himself. And we should know why.

tom on June 25, 2012 at 5:06 PM

Or did they just happen to essentially do the same thing for completely different reasons?

verbaluce on June 25, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Well, essentially the same except for

1) Informing the gov’t of Mexico.

2) Actually arresting people when they received the guns.

3) Putting GPS trackers into the guns.

4) Ending the program when it was realized the trackers were not working, in order to prevent or reduce injury to the innocent.

Come to think of it, the two programs were nothing alike, after all.

Siddhartha Vicious on June 25, 2012 at 5:09 PM

Aren’t serial numbers used for tracking guns?

red_herring on June 25, 2012 at 2:27 PM

There is a difference between “tracking” a gun (which would be having ‘eyes on’ through every stage of its journey), and “tracing” a gun (which would be finding out what store it came from via the serial number…usually after a crime has been committed).

You would do well to learn the difference; and not try to use a word which does not mean what you think it means…simply because you want it to mean that.

Solaratov on June 25, 2012 at 5:11 PM

I, for one, think there is likely something politically damaging in those documents – not necessarily criminal but significant enough that the WH does not want it out before the election. Otherwise, I don’t think the WH would have climbed on board this train.

Monkeytoe on June 25, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Of course that is possible.
But there’s also a pretty low threshold these days for what can be politically damaging.

verbaluce on June 25, 2012 at 5:11 PM

HOT OFF THE PRESSES!

ATF leader’s email could be Fast and Furious smoking gun and Holder admitted Obama can’t shield it

“The ATF director, Kenneth Melson, sent an e-mail. And he had said to us in sworn testimony that, in fact, he had concerns,” Issa said. “And we want to see that e-mail because that’s an example where he was saying, if we believe his sworn testimony, that guns walked. And he said it shortly after February 4, and [on] July 4. When he told us that, we began asking for that document.”

…Ken Melson, now the former acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, purportedly sent that email to several DOJ leaders in March 2011. According to Grassley, Melson wrote that he had reviewed the wiretap applications — the same documents Cummings and Holder claim do not show senior DOJ officials knew of or approved gunwalking tactics in Fast and Furious.

“ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson described reading those same wiretap affidavits in March of last year,” Grassley told Holder during the Senate hearing. “He said he was alarmed that the information in the affidavits contradicted the public denial to Congress.”

novaculus on June 25, 2012 at 5:17 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. 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.

Exactly, Ed! After F&F broke Clinton suddenly shut up and we have heard very little about it. I also think the Mexican government was getting huge bribes or something in return for staying quiet on it, and they are still quiet even though they have thousands dead because of it. Their government is at least as corrupt as ours.

woodNfish on June 25, 2012 at 5:49 PM

“ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson described reading those same wiretap affidavits in March of last year,” Grassley told Holder during the Senate hearing. “He said he was alarmed that the information in the affidavits contradicted the public denial to Congress.”

novaculus on June 25, 2012 at 5:17 PM

Isn’t this the dude who testified in secret before Issa’s Committee last 4th of July?

Del Dolemonte on June 25, 2012 at 6:15 PM

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