Eric Holder Held in Contempt

Patriotslog has long avoided the topic of the “fast and furious” scandal simply because there is too much speculation out there, and it is too often being taken as fact. The fact is we do not know the greater part of the details pertaining to this operation. Patriotslog has always believed that one must know the facts on matters such as these when the subject is so sensitive. However, this week the Republicans in Congress decided to hold Attorney General under contempt of Congress for failing to turn over a few key documents pertaining to the operation.

Before we can have a meaningful discussion over the charges drawn against Attorney General Holder we must first lay out the details of the “fast and furious” operation; which are not many to begin with. Aside from the name being distastefully stolen from a Hollywood blockbuster, the operation itself could almost be called clinically insane. Under the Bush administration the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) began a program called wide receiver. The idea behind this program was to find illegal arms dealers on the Mexican-U.S. border. ATF agents took a small number of guns (probably 30-50, though estimates have ranged as high as 200) and marked the serial numbers, then gave them to gun shops in the Southwest border states, where they would be sold to arms traffickers who were suspected to be supplying the Mexican drug cartels in their current wars in Mexico. Sometime after President Obama was elected this operation was ramped up to 2000 guns, and given the name fast and furious. Border agents in cooperation with the ATF believed that a large shipment would lead them directly to the major suppliers: it did not. In fact, it led them nowhere. To date 1400 firearms are still unaccounted for, and two federal agents have been killed by weapons confirmed to have come from the fast and furious operation, and as many as 300 civilians; although that number comes from the Mexican Government and cannot be positively confirmed.

When it was learned that Brian Terry, a border patrol agent was killed by one of these weapons the Congressional investigation into the operation intensified. A letter was released form Attorney General Holder’s office that stated the Justice Department had no knowledge of this operation. When the Attorney General became aware that the Justice Department, of which the Attorney General is the head, did in fact have some knowledge of this on the lower levels of the administration a second letter was released in essence apologizing for the mistake, and admitting that lower level officials did in fact have knowledge of it. This is where the Republican firestorm started. Undoubtedly, with partisan politics and this year’s elections as fuel, the House Republicans stopped investigating fast and furious, and started investigating Eric Holder.

The United States Justice Department is one of the largest government agencies in operation, and because operations such as wide receiver were already running under the Bush administration the ATF and the Justice Department did not need top level permission to simply expand the size of the operation. The evidence in this situation does not give any indication that Attorney General Holder knew of the fast and furious operation, there were discussions among lower level authorities, however of the over 7,600 documents were subpoenaed by Congress there is no direct proof Holder knew. There has also been evidence that the Deputy Attorney General did give permission for wire taps in this operation; however, there is no evidence that he knew of the size of the operation, or even that they would let guns walk when he gave this permission. Indeed, he would not have had to be aware of these things in order to approve wiretaps, which are fairly standard when arms dealers are involved. However, when Attorney Genial Holder first denied knowledge the damage was done. House Republicans are now on a blood thirsty witch hunt to attempt to prove that Eric Holder is responsible for this. When the Attorney General did not turn over a few documents subpoenaed by the Congress, they voted to hold him in contempt. Then President Obama used his executive authority to keep the documents private.

House Republicans insist on getting the documents because they believe that they hold evidence linking the Attorney General to the scandal, despite no evidence pointing toward this in the first 7,600 documents already turned over by Holder. Though it is suspicious that the administration refuses to turn over these documents, Patriotslog believes that if there is no evidence of Attorney General Holders involvement in the first 7,600 documents, there is most likely none in the remaining handful. There surely is something embarrassing contained in them, but it may have nothing to do with fast and furious; and after so many scandals have been made public, one more will give credibility to the argument that President Obama has no control over his government. The reality is no President does. It is impossible for one man to monitor and regulate hundreds of thousands of employees in scores or agencies. Though Patriotslog does not particularly like President Obama, Republicans sending the message that the GSA party, or Secret Service scandal, or fast and furious operation would not happen under Mitt Romney is deceptive, deceitful, and a flat out lie.

The Republican default justification has been that they have to find answers and accountability for the family of Brian Terry. Pardon my French, but that is a load of crap! They may as well spit on the grave of Brian Terry for even suggesting that as their goal. Republicans have even admitted that the documents they are after have nothing to do with the operation, but with the letters sent out by the Attorney General in regards to it. If Republicans really cared about finding answers for the Terry family they would interview Bush administration officials, where the operations started, along with Obama officials to try to get the whole story, yet no Republican officials have been implicated in Congress. This investigation carries the common foul stench of Washington hypocrisy; bitter Republicans are making a political ploy to unseat President Obama through the dirtiest of politics, and attempting to get even with Democrats who held the Bush Attorney General in contempt.

The time is fast approaching that the Bush tax cuts will expire, the payroll tax cut will expire, and automatic spending cuts will be initiated, and interest rates on student loans will double. With this fiscal cliff, a $16 trillion debt, and an economy that continues to struggle, can Congress really ask why they have a record low approval rating when they continue to pull stunts like this? This investigation keeps Attorney General Holder from doing his job, like deporting more illegal immigrants than at any time in history; yet not even that can appease the bitter GOP. When all is said and done this is meaningless anyway; the one to prosecute a person being held in contempt of Congress is the Attorney General: Eric Holder is not going to prosecute Eric Holder. No law was ever even broken; or if there was, then the fact that nobody from the previous administration is being prosecuted is a crime in itself.47938146#47938146

The Terry family deserves answers, but nothing Congress is doing right now will provide them. Republicans are pissing on the Terry family and insulting them with an attempt to tell them it is rain. If they are going to invoke morality on their quest they probably ought to actually investigate the shooting, not the Attorney General. This kind of partisanship is an insult to the American people who are actually paying these Congressional incompetents to do this. If I may use a Biblical reference, whether or not you are a believer, true wisdom is always beneficial. Jesus may as well have been speaking of our current political drama when he stated that a house divided against itself cannot stand. Congress should do their real job, start helping the country, and finding real answers for the Terry family; not answers for this year’s presidential campaign.

–Matt Young

24 June 2012


About patriotslog

I am studying to achieve a double major in political science and journalism from the University of Kentucky. I am married to a wonderful woman named Sierra. I am starting this blog because I feel the political climate in Washington is carving deep canyons for our children to climb out of. Our representatives, on both sides of the isle, do not represent us, they represent the lobbyists.This blog is not to give answers, but to make people think. I believe the more we think about our ideas the better they will become; as opposed to becoming more and more intrenched in far left or right wing brainwash, where it seems nobody thinks anymore. I hope y'all enjoy.

Posted on June 25, 2012, in Patriotslog Articles, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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