PJ Media

Penn State vs. Gunwalker: Warped Priorities?

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.

Undoubtedly, the majority of those killed by the guns supplied to the drug cartels by our Departments of Justice and Homeland Security were likely members of other cartels. But the dead include family members of law enforcement officers and public officials. The murdered include sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, many of them who were nothing more than innocent bystanders in a country besotted by corruption and violent crime that our government has enabled, encouraged, and expanded.

Weapons that government officials would like to see banned in our nation were allegedly ordered by FBI informants, paid for by stimulus dollars, and shipped to violent narcotics smugglers under the watchful eye of federal law enforcement officers — who were forced to follow specific orders from their supervisors not to intervene or interdict the weapons as they disappeared over the border.

The anger and rage of federal agents abetting the smuggling finally boiled past the tipping point when a U.S. Border Patrol agent was murdered last December. Two of the weapons recovered from the firefight were linked to Operation Fast and Furious.

Where is the media firestorm aimed at the government officials that concocted and executed a scheme that armed this nation’s enemies? Why are the attorney general, secretary of Homeland Security, and White House under no pressure to provide accountability for the crime of smuggling thousands of weapons to criminals?

Further, where is the outrage against these same government officials who have threatened and fired whistleblowers, and who have protected those complicit in the cover-up?

The same media and public that caused Paterno and McQueary to be fired cannot seem to raise the same level of indignation against those political appointees and law enforcement officers that knew they were enabling murderers.

Are we so morally bankrupt and ideologically blind that hundreds of murders committed in the biggest political scandal in American history are met with nothing more than a collective shrug?

Are Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary Janet Napolitano, and President Barack Obama going to be absolved of the moral and criminal responsibility of Operation Fast and Furious, merely because they share common political cause with so many members of the media on other issues?

It appears that at the New York Times, the Washington Post, Associated Press, and network news programs, such cold and impersonal political considerations have been made.

In these cesspools, “morality” is as dead as the next Mexican victim ripped apart by a gun given to a cold-blooded cartel murderer.

Obvious lies  of “I didn’t know” and “I’m not accountable” cannot be excused at Penn State. They cannot be enough at 1600 Pennsylvania, either.