The Plot Thickens: Obama Asserts Executive Privilege to Block Fast & Furious Disclosures
If this were a Republican administration, the press would long ago have made the Department's obstruction of Congress a five-alarm scandal. Bush administration Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was forced to resign over a matter that was less than frivolous compared to F&F. The press is in the tank for Obama, so Holder & Co. have relatively smooth sailing -- even when it became clear that they provided blatantly false information to Congress about the use of the gun-walking tactic. Chairman Darrell Issa (R., CA) has been heroic in pursuing this investigation at a time when Republicans have been generally feckless in challenging Obama's abuses of power.
But while Holder has been in the eye of what little storm there was, it has always been the case that F&F is Obama's scandal. Holder has never done anything other than implement Obama's policies and manage relations with Congress as Obama wished them to be conducted. Obviously, the hope was that if DOJ was intransigent enough, the House would get frustrated and bored and move on to other things. That hasn't happened, thanks to Rep. Issa and his colleagues. But the focus on Holder and withheld documents should not obscure that F&F is really about Obama and the murders of a federal agent and hundreds of others -- very likely, to promote the Left's political argument that American Second Amendment rights are the cause of international violence.
Because Issa has been dogged, we have now gotten down to brass tacks. The prospect of the attorney general's being held in contempt finally prompted the president -- the only official in the government empowered to assert executive privilege -- to claim that the documents sought are being withheld at his (Obama's) direction, based on his constitutional authority.
Executive privilege is a vestige of Richard Nixon's desperate effort to conceal criminality in the Watergate scandal. The last thing Obama wanted to do, with the November election looming, was resort to the Nixon strategy (which, we should recall, failed in the end). And, again, if the Obama administration's story was true, they would want to release the documents that support it.
They really don't want you to see what is in those documents.
Thumbnail image courtesy shutterstock / Jag_cz