Two Republican presidential candidates have joined the 51 congressmen who have called for U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to resign over the gunwalking operation Fast and Furious. They join former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who called on Holder to be fired more than a month ago.
This past Friday, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann told the Daily Caller:
Attorney General Holder should resign because of the mismanagement of “Fast and Furious.” … As the nation’s top law enforcement officer, he bears the responsibility for the actions of his department.
Bachmann stopped short of calling on President Obama to fire Holder if he refuses to resign. Texas Governor Rick Perry, who had originally refused to answer when asked about the attorney general last week, wrote a scathing editorial in the Washington Times Monday that stated Holder must resign because he was either grossly incompetent or criminally involved in the plot:
Mr. Holder’s proclaimed ignorance leaves Americans to draw one of two conclusions: Either he is guilty of extraordinary bureaucratic incompetence or he is guilty of a cover-up meant to shield him from the consequences of an operation that has left at least one federal agent dead and continues to imperil many more.
Either way, it is high time for Mr. Holder to step down. If he refuses to resign, Mr. Obama must fire him immediately.
Under the attorney general’s leadership, our nation’s top law enforcement agency proactively armed some of the most dangerous criminal organizations in North America, and at least one American is dead as a direct result. The damage done to Mr. Holder’s credibility is irreparable.
Perry’s forceful statement is in line with growing public and Capitol Hill opinion, putting the administration in the unenviable position of having to defend a cabinet-level appointee against charges of gross incompetence, corruption, and criminality that has resulted in the deaths of American law enforcement officers and hundreds of Mexican civilians.
Operation Fast and Furious is one of ten alleged gunwalking operations in five states that seem to have existed with the express purpose of arming criminal gangs with the very weapons that the Obama administration and his gun control allies have long sought to ban. The Department of Justice has claimed that Operation Fast and Furious was an effort to identify drug cartel kingpins and to take down entire gun-smuggling rings, but the evidence suggests the DOJ’s position is a poor alibi.
High-level cartel members are simply not involved in low-level work such as weapons acquisition. Such a scheme would have been rejected at the planning phase. Further, there was no attempt at all to interdict or even to track the weapons being sold to the cartels. In multiple instances, executive branch law enforcement agencies stepped in to ensure that smugglers were freed from custody with their weapons when stopped by local police.