It was faint at first, but it grows ever louder, this cry for Attorney General Eric Holder to resign. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) today became the fourth Congressman to explicitly call for Holder to take responsibility for the lethally reckless Operation Fast and Furious and to voluntarily leave his post because of his presumed authorization of the program. Walsh’s behest follows similar requests from Reps. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), Blake Farenthold (R-Tex.) and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.).
Walsh today sent a harshly-worded letter to Holder, in which he asked Holder to “resign immediately and issue an apology to the American people [he has] failed to serve.” Walsh also took Holder to task for his stonewalling of the House Oversight Committee’s investigation into Fast and Furious.
But the most memorable portion of the letter came, not at the beginning, when Walsh lambasted Holder’s understanding of his job, nor at the end, when he called for Holder’s resignation. It came in the middle, when Walsh delved into the seemingly-obvious-but-not-yet-confirmed motivation for the program:
Your Department has made an enormous error in judgment. It instructed federally-licensed firearms dealers to illegally sell at least 2,000 guns that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) intended to be trafficked to drug cartels in Mexico. The results of this error in judgment have implicated the United States in well over one hundred deadly crimes and the deaths of two federal agents.
This not only raises serious questions about your ability to serve as the head of the Justice Department, but also begs the question of why an anti-gun Administration would knowingly force licensed firearms dealers to sell guns to violent criminals. I raise this because Operation Fast and Furious — if the facts of this case had not come to light — would have been used by this Administration as another false argument to attack law-abiding American gun owners.
The American people deserve to know if your Department had any intent to link the legal purchase of firearms here in the U.S. to crimes committed near our southern border. Operation Fast and Furious funneled firearms legally purchased at gun shops in the U.S. to known criminal syndicates to prove these syndicates have access to legal purchased weapons. This is a deliberate attempt to vilify and attack the millions of gun owners in America who value our Second Amendment and have never broken the law.
Walsh’s posited explanation appears to be the only plausible one. Why else would the administration authorize the program — then fail to follow up to catch the criminals the program was purportedly designed to catch? Had ATF made any kind of legitimate attempt to track the weapons — had they not allowed the guns to so completely disappear into the hands of violent criminals — it might have been believable that the administration sought to use the program to disrupt the power of Mexican drug cartels.
Yet, Walsh’s explanation is not a fun one to believe. It’s sickening to think anyone in the administration would really be so rash and so ideologically driven as to risk the nearly inevitable results of this program — the deaths that did, in fact, result — just to prove the point that legally purchased weapons show up at violent crime scenes, just to suggest the government ought to make it harder to legally purchase guns in the first place. It’s even more terrifying to think someone as high up as Holder would be.
Walsh and the rest are brave to call for Holder’s resignation — but they definitely should. Walsh isn’t afraid to take the matter to the president, either.
“If [Holder] fails to [resign], I would ask that President Obama dismiss him immediately,” Walsh said today.
Then again, Obama has stood by Holder through all kinds of nonsense, so no real reason exists to believe he won’t stand by him now — unless F&F somehow becomes well-known enough to threaten his reelection.