Will media chase this scandal?

Obama's silence compounds outrage over 'Fast and Furious'

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The “Fast and Furious” debacle already was a major scandal. Federal agents purposely allowed high-powered weapons to make it into the hands of murderous Mexican drug cartels – and one of the guns from the bungled operation apparently was responsible for the murder of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.


But the Obama administration has doubled the scandal with what appears to be a tenacious cover-up: Attorney General Eric Holder’s Justice Department has been so uncooperative in getting to the bottom of the scandal – most recently refusing to release documents that have long been subpoenaed by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee – that the committee was forced to hold him in contempt.

The full House of Representatives is set to vote on the contempt finding next week.

It may not yet be “Obama’s Watergate,” as historian Tim Stanley says it might in The Telegraph of London. Then again, it may arguably be worse: As Stanley notes, “no one actually got killed during Watergate.”

The other major difference in the scandals: Watergate involved a Republican president. We’ll see whether there’s a Woodward and Bernstein this time around who care enough to dog a Democratic one.

For what it’s worth, the early indications aren’t promising: The mainstream media mostly downplayed or ignored this roiling scandal until the contempt vote Wednesday. And even then, ABC’s evening newscast led with the weather.

Yawns aren’t in order, folks. A good man is dead, his family has no answers, and the White House that could provide those answers is defying even a contempt order by the House in order to keep a lid on those answers.

The questions must be answered: Who ordered this operation? Why has no one been held accountable? How high up in the administration does the responsibility lie?

And, most important: What are they hiding? What could be so damaging that the administration would rather face a contempt action than release the documents?

Remember: As commentator Charles Krauthammer noted Wednesday, this is the same administration that leaked highly sensitive information about covert operations in Iran and Yemen. Now, all of a sudden, when a U.S. Border Patrol agent lies dead, they actually want to keep a secret?

And didn’t this president promise the most transparent administration in history?

Just as outrageous, when the scandal first broke early last year with the help of whistleblowers in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Holder’s department denied in a Feb. 4, 2011, letter that the program ever existed. But evidence later indicated senior DOJ officials knew about Fast and Furious before the February 2011 letter. Holder’s department didn’t retract that falsehood until December 2011.

Holder himself has been caught red-handed. He told Congress in sworn testimony in May 2011 that he only learned of Fast and Furious in the prior few weeks – but internal Justice Department documents show he was informed as early as September 2010.

It’s not just Congress that the administration is showing contempt for. It’s also the family of fallen agent Terry.

“Our son lost his life protecting this nation,” the family said in a statement Wednesday, “and it is very disappointing that we are now faced with an administration that seems more concerned with protecting themselves rather than revealing the truth behind Operation Fast and Furious.”

President Obama invoked executive privilege to keep the documents hidden, which is interesting – not just because of the other leaks that have emanated from the White House recently, but because the documents in question may have more to do with the cover-up of Fast and Furious than the operation itself. It’s a very questionable use of the privilege power – even “Nixonian,” as some have said.

The question is, will the media be as curious about this president’s scandal?

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justthefacts
33778
Points
justthefacts 06/22/12 - 09:02 am
4
2
Et Tu Burn?

Deflection from you is a bit surprising.

Bruno
780
Points
Bruno 06/22/12 - 09:03 am
9
2
Holder is in contempt and

Holder is in contempt and also guilty of perjury in his testimony. When you lie, then get caught, then issue a retraction, you still have lied. Also, I am sorry Mr. Obama but you can't exert executive privilege over documents you claim to have never seen about an operation you claim to never been aware of. BTW, was Obama's EP claim ever verified? During the entire committee meeting I didn't see where the official claim was ever received.

jrbfromga
587
Points
jrbfromga 06/22/12 - 09:07 am
0
0
Special Prosecutor?
Unpublished

They had one to investigate the Contra issue, one for Clinton, why not now

Bizkit
46189
Points
Bizkit 06/22/12 - 09:17 am
9
1
This highlights the lack of

This highlights the lack of logic and consistency with an ideologue such as Obama. The Dems argued for independent counsel when it was a Rep in question but now, all of a sudden, it is different tale for a Dem and WH leaks. The Dems are master politicians and the Rep look like a bunch of idiots trying the same game as the Dems. Both Gonzales and Holder are both partisan attacks yet in this case there is actually a smokin' gun and something illegal took place (apparently the Bush program has already been investigated by Holder and 9 people held accountable). Seems odd that Holder is slow to act on a similar program during Obama's tenure. Don't let the politics and loyalties blind you to unethical behaviors by the present administration. Why not have an independent counsel to investigate Fast and Furious and the WH leaks so it will end partisan banter.

southernguy08
575
Points
southernguy08 06/22/12 - 09:31 am
0
0
Obama having no knowledge of this?
Unpublished

I'm finding this hard to believe. To all Obama robots, if he had no knowledge of these documents existing, why is he using executive privilege to keep them from congress? Bush used EP, but he didn't claim no knowledge of their existence. Pretty obvious his "administration" is trying to cover something MAJOR! Holder will probably be thrown under the bus, but the Obama robots in congress are already circling the wagons to protect him. Funny when you think he promised a transparent administration.

KSL
181409
Points
KSL 06/22/12 - 09:36 am
8
2
Just sitting back and taking

Just sitting back and taking in the comments. Several things stand out.

1. The horrible truth about just who these people are who are in control of our executive branch and the lengths they will go to in order to retain control.

2. How literally inept they are.

3. How the Obama supporters disappear from the conversation when the defense of Obama and company gets hard. Got to admire Burn for showing up. But his defense had holes in it.

TParty
6004
Points
TParty 06/22/12 - 09:35 am
9
1
I don't believe this! I

I don't believe this! I thought Obama ran on transparency and openness! Here is a quote from Obama: "The way to make the Government responsible is to hold it accountable. And the way to make Government accountable is to make it transparent, so that the American People can know exactly the decisions being made, how they're being made, and whether their interests are being well served."

And here's a video of Obama saying executive privilege is not a good reason to withhold information from Congress.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpwYh9TD6Nc&feature=youtu.be

Clearly this editorial has it wrong! Because if the murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was important, his family should have received a call from Obama, much like he did for Fluke. Right?!

I'm actually out of things to say on this, so sarcasm was all I had....The editorial hit everything I wanted to talk about yesterday. I guess I'll try to add something productive. Woodward and Bernstein like reporters- won't happen in today's age. It's easier for anchors on CNN to go to twitter and facebook, and for other news sites to just let pundits make up things.

This should be the end for Obama here. Even his most staunch supporters are against this. The media might be downplaying it- but it's their job to do nothing it seems. His voters, his supporters, are against this. I have left leaning friends- and this has cost Obama their vote. And these were people who donated time and money to his campaign.

Oh- and for those who bring Bush into this- just don't. A sting operation did occur under the Bush administration, but not like this.

Everyone should remember too that the cover up is always worse than crime. This is the end of Obama.

KSL
181409
Points
KSL 06/22/12 - 09:42 am
7
2
I hope so, Tparty, I hope

I hope so, Tparty, I hope so. But never underestmate the power to buy a vote. Suppose he comes out forgiving outstanding student loans and underwater mortgages. That would be a horrible abuse of power.

burninater
11569
Points
burninater 06/22/12 - 09:59 am
4
4
KSL, I appreciate the nod,

KSL, I appreciate the nod, but don't take my comment as a defense of the absence of transparency under Obama. I have no desire to try to defend that -- I'm a wikileaks kind of guy, the more information we all have about the powers that be, the better.

I just find it exceptionally interesting that many in the "guns don't kill people" crowd are suddenly very interested in the movement of and access to guns after someone was killed by one.

TParty
6004
Points
TParty 06/22/12 - 10:00 am
5
1
Yeah, he can't forgive loans

Yeah, he can't forgive loans and underwater mortgages. It can be a campaign talking point, be he can't get anything done. The topic will turn to interest rates going up on student loans- hope that doesn't happen (Rates increase), but it should not be enough to dismiss this. Soon, the Supreme Court will give their ruling on the health care- and that will be a distraction. And once those pass, this scandal needs to be pressed. And pressed hard. Full court.

No more made up things like, Obama is a socialist, Muslim, and other things. This is real, something we can sink our teeth into. Focus on this.

burninater
11569
Points
burninater 06/22/12 - 10:22 am
1
4
TParty, I personally think

TParty, I personally think the politics of gross wealth disparity are going to be the number one issue in this election. Our tax dollars continue to subsidize private capital both directly (just now, a nearly $1 TRILLION Farm Bill is being passed, and anyone that still believes the myth of the small family farm is, pardon my English, a fool), and indirectly -- either with bailouts of private sector risk loss, or with massive expenditures on public sector services (roads, education, infrastructure, security, socially stabilizing safety nets, judiciary, etc etc etc). The majority of both costs and risks to big business are socialized, and paid for with tax dollars, while the benefits are almost exclusively privatized. Keep capitalism, but get real about how much public wealth is allowed to be directly transferred to private hands.

I don't know if even a scandal like Fast and Furious will be enough to move the middle class majority to elect a man that is the very symbol of what is grossly wrong with our big business-rigged system.

KSL
181409
Points
KSL 06/22/12 - 10:38 am
4
1
Just as long as people

Just as long as people realize that the dems are every bit as guilty re the rigs.

KSL
181409
Points
KSL 06/22/12 - 10:37 am
5
1
Burn, how do you feel about

Burn, how do you feel about the chunk of change going to Kenya?

burninater
11569
Points
burninater 06/22/12 - 11:00 am
3
3
Well KSL, the most recent aid

Well KSL, the most recent aid numbers I could find tabulated were for 2010, when aid to Kenya was $687.6 million, which was 4.3% of the total given to the top 10 recipients, $16 billion. Given the minor role of Kenya in foreign aid dollars, I would ask what the motivation was for focusing on it while ignoring the other 95.7% of the top 10?

KSL
181409
Points
KSL 06/22/12 - 11:09 am
5
1
Because I just read the

Because I just read the article focusing in the money to Kenya. And yes, I am certain there was political motivation in focusing on Kenya. I wish all foreign aid would stop as long as we can't afford it.

avidreader
4055
Points
avidreader 06/22/12 - 11:12 am
4
1
Bush, Bush, Bush

Once again, the BLAME GAME! Banal, banal, banal.

southernguy08
575
Points
southernguy08 06/22/12 - 11:17 am
0
0
BURNATER
Unpublished

You don't think Obama invoking EP for documents he claimed he never knew about won't be remembered by the voters in November? The Romney Team will be HAMMERING this message into our minds relentlessly. This is Obama's Watergate. The slam you hear is the sound of the lid closing on the coffin where his re-election hopes lie. Someone is bringing the hammer and nails now, and the hole is already being dug. Even if he retracts this and gives congress everything they ask for now, the voters WILL remember this in November. Sorry, no more "Yes, we can!"

David Parker
7925
Points
David Parker 06/22/12 - 11:26 am
1
6
Nobody rumbles without me!

The constant badgering by the Conservative commenters here is more of a turn-off than any lack-luster performance of our President. I spend enough time sorting through all the hate and venom, I've no patience to actually dig in and figure out if Barack is doing a good/bad job and since many of you are concentrating on sarcasm and character assasination, I default to distrust. Maybe nobody cares if their "side" wins, it's the lure of the fight that keeps everybody at odds.

Word to the wise, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Start acting like intellectual thinkers and you may start attracting those on the fence. Doesn't take a degree to know that there is strength in numbers, which is apparently what was lacking for one side in the last election.

UGGGHHHH!

Riverman1
117870
Points
Riverman1 06/22/12 - 11:30 am
5
1
Burn, this point about gun

Burn, this point about gun control, I suspect your liberal friends in the administration were looking at it like you and some of the documents they are hiding bring out the fact they were working against the 2nd Amendment, also. Imagine if THIS comes out. It's a direct assault on the Constitution. This thing is getting bigger and bigger.

KSL
181409
Points
KSL 06/22/12 - 11:34 am
7
1
It should not matter what

It should not matter what people opine one way or the other, David. Your curiosity alone should inspire you to further investigate. You really have no patience to seek the truth because of annoyance?

burninater
11569
Points
burninater 06/22/12 - 11:36 am
3
2
KSL, I've got mixed feelings

KSL, I've got mixed feelings on foreign aid. As long as we are going to send troops overseas, foreign aid probably makes sense. Situations that escalate to military action often probably could have been mitigated with well-placed foreign aid, for less cost. I don't know if there is a component of "normalizing markets" (spending public tax dollars to decrease risk for private investment) but given the tendency to spend money that way at home, I can't imagine it's not occurring abroad. It's possibly even worse, since there's even less transparency.

carcraft
34871
Points
carcraft 06/22/12 - 11:43 am
3
1
Burninator- My Daughter is

Burninator- My Daughter is married to a farmer whow runs a small family farm. It is still owned by her Grandmother in law and legally operated by her father in law and uncle in law. My son in law works for the farm. It is a tough business and a tough life. They do get some government subsidies and and also have a lot of equipement so they do "public" i.e. cultivate and harvest for a percentage of the crop. My son in law works about 12 to 15 hours / day and some on week ends. They raise cattle, cotton, and hay. Ther are a bunch of family farms where they work. Government regulations etc are a royal pain for them. So yes there are still family farms and a lot of them in south georgia!

carcraft
34871
Points
carcraft 06/22/12 - 11:45 am
5
1
David Parker-The constant

David Parker-The constant badgering by conservatives hasn't killed anybody yet!

carcraft
34871
Points
carcraft 06/22/12 - 11:51 am
5
1
Burninator- Guns Don't kill

Burninator- Guns Don't kill people, people kill people and it is criminal to put guns in the hands of people that are more than willing to kill, the US government ran over 2,000 guns into Mexico with out the knowledge of the Mexican government! How many international laws, treaties and protocols of international depolmacy, not to mention deaths have resulted from this and some on the left yawn, see 02:36 AM post!

Bizkit
46189
Points
Bizkit 06/22/12 - 11:51 am
5
1
Well I think we need to

Well I think we need to initiate Obama's "Fairness Doctrine". Back when Bush was Prez the Dems were like rabid dogs investigatin' everyone and they investigated Attorney General Gonzales for nothing in a purely partisan manner. Now the Dems look like idiotic morons acting indignant that Holder's attack is purely partisan-even though in this instance there is reason for alarms. The Dems did get Gonzales to resign so it only seems "FAIR" for Holder to resign. Seems fair.

Bizkit
46189
Points
Bizkit 06/22/12 - 11:54 am
5
1
So sorry I forgot the

So sorry I forgot the ideologue Bizarro World semantics of fairness our president has only applies to Dems and progressives. So the Dems can insist on a special counsel to investigate Rep but it isn't "fair" for Rep to investigate Dems.

burninater
11569
Points
burninater 06/22/12 - 12:00 pm
1
3
Biz, who (besides you) has

Biz, who (besides you) has called this unfair?

burninater
11569
Points
burninater 06/22/12 - 12:01 pm
1
5
I've heard the movement to

I've heard the movement to cite Holder in contempt described as "unprecedented", but that's because it's unprecedented.

Bizkit
46189
Points
Bizkit 06/22/12 - 12:06 pm
6
0
I guess you didn't pick up on

I guess you didn't pick up on my mocking sarcastic tone. I'm just sick of the political grandstanding -nauseating, and I'm with you in all should be investigated in any administration. Maybe a wikileaks will shed some light on this. Everything is so partisan I just think a special investigator should be called to investigate Fast and the WH leaks so all the partisan banter will stop.

Riverman1
117870
Points
Riverman1 06/22/12 - 12:11 pm
5
1
About this executive

About this executive privilege. Are all cabinet department employees exempt from responding to Congress if the president so orders? Aren't all departments of government under cabinet members? So all employees of the federal government can be exempted from furnishing government information? Never knew that. Things are changing fast around the good ole USA.

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