In one of the most repulsive scandals in college history, former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky has been charged with 40 counts of sexually abusing eight boys over a 15-year period, some of them as young as seven. Sandusky is alleged to have used a charity he founded to help disadvantaged boys, the Second Mile Foundation, to find his victims in assaults that occurred between 1994 and 2009.
The American public, and the media in particular, is sickened by these charges and has reveled in the opportunity to destroy the perverse and their enablers in this scandal.
Yet Elisabeth Meinecke, deputy managing editor of Townhall.com, has noticed that the public and media outcry regarding the abuse of these eight children is almost entirely absent from a concurrent scandal of far greater magnitude:
But across the news cycle, this cry for accountability seemed to vanish when applied to a similar situation in the political world, a place where a program cost someone his life and responsibility always seemed to be the job of someone else.
Operation Fast and Furious, as Townhall’s Katie Pavlich has documented, was a program under the Department of Justice from 2009 to 2010. Its mismanagement and corruption cost at least 200 Mexicans their lives, as well as the life of a U.S. border agent. That is a hefty body count. Yet Attorney General Eric Holder, in that position from 2009 till now, has claimed he knew nothing of it till 2011 (and his story has changed at least once on when the program was brought to his attention). He has refused to apologize to the border agent’s family.
There hasn’t been a grand cleaning of house sweep that people are hinting could happen in the Penn State situation. There were a couple reassignments. In fact, a few people got a promotion. One guy, the acting ATF director, got a demotion but remained in the Justice Department. The U.S. Attorney for Arizona resigned.
The cries for Eric Holder’s resignation have been limited to the NRA and a few members of Congress. They have not dominated the court of public opinion.
But shouldn’t Holder be just as guilty by the standards people are using to judge Joe Paterno?
This does not amount to any minimization of Penn State’s scandal: Meinecke’s observation of accountability is entirely valid.
Operation Fast and Furious saw a multi-agency federal task force send more than 2,000 guns to the Sinaloa drug cartel, in just one of ten alleged gunwalking programs in five states run by the federal government. Mexican Attorney General Marisela Morales has claimed that weapons traced to Operation Fast and Furious have been traced to the homicides of 200 Mexican citizens.