It’s tempting to get distracted with the horse race aspect of electoral politics during a primary season. But as pundits talk about “who’s up and who’s down” in the 24 hour news cycle, we must keep our eye on the ball with the Obama administration. They rely on distraction to skirt responsibility, but we’re going to hold them accountable for their corruption and incompetence.
When the stories about Operation Fast and Furious first broke, it sounded too crazy even for this administration.
Why would any government official with an ounce of common sense think it’s a good idea to facilitate the smuggling of thousands of guns into the hands of violent Mexican drug cartels? That’s what Operation Fast and Furious did.
You might think Eric Holder’s Department of Justice was setting up a sting operation in which our federal agents would swoop down and arrest the bad guys the minute the guns traded hands. But that’s not what happened. Eric Holder’s DOJ had American gun dealers sell weapons to “straw purchasers” tied to drug cartels without actually following the movement of the guns as they were then sold to Mexican drug lords. They apparently thought this so-called “gun-walking” operation would help them chart the path of gun smuggling, but they didn’t have a plan to actually control the weapons’ movements as the guns were allowed to “walk” into Mexico. All Holder’s DOJ did was arm violent criminals. What manner of fools do we have working in this administration? What’s next? Supplying nuclear weapons components to the Iranians so we can track their activities?
Fast and Furious isn’t just your typical government incompetence. This is a deadly tragedy. U.S. border agent Brian Terry was gunned down with weapons connected to Holder’s debacle. At least 200 Mexican citizens were also killed by criminals using Fast and Furious weapons. We can only imagine how many more people will be murdered by criminals our government armed.
When an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives blew the whistle on this operation, the DOJ leaked sensitive information about him to the press. This week, the former U.S. Attorney for Arizona, who was ousted in the wake of the scandal, admitted to being the leaker.
And where is President Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder in all of this? When did he first know about the operation? In his testimony to the House Oversight Committee on May 3, 2011, Holder stated, “I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.” But the DOJ’s own documents prove that Holder had been receiving briefings on Fast and Furious for nearly a year before that date. In other words, our government’s top law enforcement official, Eric Holder, lied to the American public. He finally admitted this week to the Senate Judiciary Committee, “In my testimony before the House committee [on May 3], I did say a few weeks. I probably could have said a couple of months. What I said about a few weeks was inaccurate based on what happened.”
When the nation’s highest law enforcement official lies to the American people, he must go.
And if he claims that he didn’t lie, then how else do we explain this situation? He’s either lying or he’s so grossly incompetent and lazy that he didn’t read important life and death briefings from his deputy attorney general and didn’t know about this deadly operation run by people under him. So, which is it? Incompetent, lazy, or lying? No matter which explanation fits, he needs to go.
Holder conceded this week, “I have ultimate responsibility for what happens in the department.” He can prove it by resigning. And if he refuses to resign, then President Obama – with whom the bucks ultimately stop – can prove that he respects honesty, transparency, and accountability in his administration by firing Holder.
I stand with the members of Congress who are calling for Holder’s resignation. I stand with the family members of Brian Terry who are demanding transparency and accountability. Mr. President, where do you stand?