White House spokesman Jay Carney held his first press briefing since President Obama invoked executive privilege regarding the Department of Justice’s withholding of subpoenaed Fast and Furious documents. Fox News Channel’s Ed Henry peppered Carney with questions that Carney attempted to deflect by blaming Bush for the operation which led to the death of US Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, probably ICE agent Jaime Zapata, and probably hundreds of Mexican citizens.
Carney is simply incorrect that Fast and Furious began under the Bush administration, and Henry corrects him, leading Carney to retreat to asserting that “the tactic (of gunwalking) began under the previous operation.” There was a gunwalking operation, but it did not involve allowing firearms to cross the border into Mexico as Fast and Furious did. Fast and Furious began in 2009. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered by Mexican drug runners in December 2010, and guns founds at the scene were connected to Fast and Furious. Holder’s own office knew both of Terry’s murder and its connection to Fast and Furious the night he was killed.
Carney also says that the February 2011 DOJ letter, retracted a few months later due to serious factual inaccuracies, has been “thoroughly discussed” in congressional testimony and the “7,600″ documents that DOJ has provided. Those documents concern the Fast and Furious operation itself, not the retracted DOJ letter.
Carney also addressed a reporter’s question about hypocrisy: As a presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama criticized President Bush’s invocation of executive privilege:
That clip is a bit shorter than I would have preferred, but Carney’s spin grew no more convincing the longer he spoke.
Neither of those passages were the worst of Carney’s day. This next one was. Pay close attention at the end, when Carney momentarily forgets a very important name.
“The family that you referred to…”?
Carney also coined a new phrase that we’re sure to hear from the White House and its allies in the legacy media going forward: “election year political fishing expedition.” He used the phrase or variants of it several times to describe the Fast and Furious investigation, which has been going on for 18 months now. The perpetual Obama campaign now seems to regard every single year as an election year, and thus every single issue as merely political, and “election year political fishing expedition” seems to be the phrase they hope NBC and its ilk will run with going forward as the executive privilege war forces them to start covering the bloody scandal.