Applause to Univision hosts Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena. They asked President Obama tougher questions today than he typically gets in the rest of the media. Ramos even pressed Obama to fire Attorney General Eric Holder, and to release more Fast and Furious paperwork.
“Well, first of all, I think it’s important to understand that the Fast and Furious program was a field-initiated program, begun under the previous administration,” Obama said.
Begun under the previous administration? Obama can lie with the best sociopaths. There was a gunwalking program during the Bush years, but Fast and Furious was started in 2009 – his watch.
“When Eric Holder found out about it, he discontinued it.”
Maybe, maybe not. We don’t really know when he first learned of it, as his story on that has changed.
“We assigned an inspector general to do a thorough report that was just issued — confirming that in fact Eric Holder did not know about this, that he took prompt action and that the people who did initiate this were held accountable. But, what I think is most important is recognizing that we’ve got a challenge in terms of weapons flowing south, and the strategy that was pursued out of Arizona, obviously, was completely wrongheaded. Those folks who were responsible have been held accountable. The question now is, how do we move forward with a strategy that will actually work?”
That depends on what the programs was truly intended to do. If if was about tracking guns, why didn’t it actually track guns?
“We are going to have to work with Mexican law enforcement to accomplish this, but I will tell you that Eric Holder has my complete confidence, because he has shown himself to be willing to hold accountable those who took these actions and is passionate about making sure that we’re preventing guns from getting into the wrong hands,” Obama continued.
Ramos followed up in English: “But if you have nothing to hide, then why are you not releasing papers to the –”
Obama responded: “The truth is we’ve released thousands of papers.
“But not all of them,” Ramos countered.
From there, Obama filibustered about “internal communications.” Those communications could show, though, what and when the White House knew about Fast and Furious.
The inspector general’s report, which Holder was allowed to edit prior to its release, doesn’t reach into that question.
Ramos’ question to Obama brings up a very good point: Either Holder knew about Fast and Furious and deserves firing, or he didn’t know about it — and deserves firing. Obama kept claiming that Holder is “holding people to account,” but no one has been fired and Holder, says Obama, still has his “full confidence.”
Just what would it take to shake that confidence?
The most shocking thing about the interview, though, isn’t Obama’s disingenuous treatment of the facts or cavalier attitude toward the scandal, it’s that Univision brought Fast and Furious up at all. Ramos and Elena were both obviously well-versed in what happened, and in the IG’s report. They were both very skeptical and pressed the president to explain himself. The English-speaking mainstream media avoids Fast and Furious, except to dismiss it. Is it possible that Fast and Furious is a more serious issue among the Spanish-speaking set than anyone outside realizes?