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The other shoe has dropped in the “Fast and Furious” gun-walking scandal, and it has landed on Eric Holder’s doorstep. Members of Congress are calling for his resignation, and the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee has called for a special prosecutor to investigate the affair.
Holder’s resignation would be a good start. But if there is anyone in Washington who doubts that the White House not only knew about the illegal ATF project but was up to its elbows in it, that person must be in an hypnotic trance deep inside the CNN Washington bureau.
There is mounting evidence that far from being a rogue operation by a few ATF agents, the “Fast and Furious” gun-walking project had the backing of officials at the highest levels in the Obama administration.
Email messages between Justice Department officials and ATF managers made public last week by CBS News show that Attorney General Holder was well aware of the ATF operation in mid-2010, almost a full year earlier than previously admitted. This means Holder lied to a congressional committee. Why did he lie and what else has he been lying about?
Holder’s complicity in the ATF scandal is only the latest in a series of cases showing pervasive corruption inside the Department of Justice. The first case was the outrageous dropping of the prosecution the Black Panther Party for blatant, well-documented intimidation of Philadelphia voters in the 2008 election. The “Fast and Furious” scandal is remarkable only in its scope and sheer audacity – and the ugly byproduct: the death of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.
The evidence of DOJ involvement and support for the illegal ATF operation also shows clearly that the White House was also aware of it. Again, there are some obvious and inevitable questions that flow from this fact, questions enterprising journalists are beginning to ask. For example, how could the White House be “aware” of the operation and not call a halt to it – unless it had the approval of the West Wing? If the president approved of the operation, what were the motives behind it?
It is worth remembering what brought on Richard Nixon’s impeachment and eventual resignation. It was not the Watergate break-in itself, because there was never any evidence that Nixon personally had prior knowledge of the break-in. But he did participate in the cover-up, which is a felony; it is obstruction of justice.
What is it that Holder is trying to hide by lying about his early awareness of the ATF project? Is he merely trying to save his own skin? Or is it more likely that he is protecting someone in the White House?
How plausible is it that multiple layers within the Justice Department approved the illegal operation to allow more than 2,000 semi-automatic weapons to be delivered to the Mexican drug cartels, but the White House was kept in the dark? And how plausible is it that “low-level White House National Security staff” knew about it but remained silent – unless they believed it had Oval Office approval?
Such questions about who knew about the operation and when will soon take a back seat to the really explosive question: What was the true motive behind the illegal operation? It is becoming clear the real purpose for getting more than 2,000 guns into the hands of Mexican drug cartels was purely political: The purpose was to support the discredited claim that guns purchased in U.S. gun stores are fueling the violence in Mexico.
The ATF has claimed for years that more than 90 percent of the guns used to commit murders inside Mexico come from the U.S., but the real figure is about 17 percent. The truth is that drug cartels get most of their weapons either from the Mexican military and police or from the black market in Europe and Asia.
What is becoming clear is that the anti-gun crusaders in the ATF and the Obama administration dreamed up the “Fast and Furious” scheme as a means to blame U.S. gun shops for the mayhem in Mexico.
There is abundant evidence that many ATF field agents questioned the wisdom of the operation. First, they knew the avowed purpose of the operation – tracking the route of the guns inside Mexico – was totally impractical and impossible to achieve. Once a gun crossed into Mexico, there was no way to track or monitor its journey through many levels of the cartel’s criminal organization. Second, they knew that the quantity of guns being “walked” into Mexico was far in excess of the number needed for that official purpose. Finally, they also knew the guns would inevitably be used to kill and maim innocent people, possibly on the U.S. side of the border, as well as within Mexico.
So, if the avowed goal of the operation was totally impractical and impossible to achieve, why did it have such high-level support over an extended period of time? If the presumed purpose made no sense, what was the real purpose? Did it have a motive that was never acknowledged because it was purely political?
The smoking gun is now pointing at Obama’s close friend, Eric Holder, and the Obama administration has been working fast and furious to hide this fact. What we need to know is who in the White House has assisted in the cover-up?