Today, as he has during five previous appearances in front of congressional committees regarding Fast and Furious, Attorney General Eric Holder feigned being poorly prepared and claimed to know little or nothing about the program — even more than a year after it was shut down.
I give him more benefit of the doubt than he deserves by claiming Holder feigned being poorly prepared; the alternative is that he simply doesn’t care that federal laws were broken under his watch, and that people on both sides of the border died as a result.
But Holder’s shameful testimony was overshadowed by the disgraceful Ranking Member Elijah Cummings, Edolphus Towns, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Lacy Clay, Carolyn Maloney, and the other Democrats in the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s minority.
Hundreds have died, an unknown number were maimed, and thousands of family members have faced a shocking loss as direct result of the guns provided to the Sinaloa drug cartel by the Obama Justice Department. The minority Democrats have not offered so much as a soft word for the victims.
Their rigid focus was on accomplishing three political tasks:
1. Creating the false narrative that Operation Fast and Furious was the same as weapons interdiction programs during the Bush era.
This is a lie. Wide Receiver and other operations dredged up by the minority were controlled deliveries, where surveillance was supposed to be constant. Fast and Furious was gunwalking, allowing criminals to walk away from law enforcement oversight to commit crimes. Further, Democrats obfuscated that the earlier programs were designed to result in arrests before crimes were committed. Fast and Furious explicitly relied upon these weapons being used in crimes, then traced. Fast and Furious relied upon gun violence, including murders, to take place as a fundamental aspect of the program’s operational success. Let that sink in, if you dare.
2. Shifting the argument to support more gun control laws.
Time and again, Democrats tried to claim that gun dealers were the problem, and that more gun control laws needed to be passed to prevent this sort of crime. They purposefully and blatantly overlooked that these gun dealers allowed known straw purchasers to buy weapons on the orders of Holder’s own Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). They ignore the fact that existing laws stipulate that a straw-purchasing felony conviction carries with it up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Perhaps they should check the website that DOJ helps run that is dedicated to this fact.
Of course, if Oversight Democrats were really worried about gun trafficking, they’d press Attorney General Holder to explain why the Department of Justice chooses to prosecute so few straw-purchasing cases, and actually pleads most potential felony straw prosecutions down to misdemeanors, putting gun-running felons right back on the street.
Yes, you read that right. Under Eric Holder’s leadership, DOJ decided not to aggressively prosecute straw purchasers, as demonizing the gun dealers the ATF forced to sell guns to straw purchasers was much more important for their hopes of justifying more gun-control laws with just a few hundred Mexican deaths.
3. Protect, at all costs, Attorney General Holder so that he does not hurt President Obama’s reelection campaign.
Sadly, this is the primary reason the minority Democrats showed up at today’s hearing.
While they would love to pass more gun-control laws, today was about generating soundbites and protecting a political appointee so that he would not reflect poorly upon his embattled boss. It does not matter to these minority Democrats that 300 or more Mexican citizens died so Operation Fast and Furious could “work” by manufacturing evidence in support of more gun control. It does not matter to them that numerous federal laws may have been broken, or that a cover-up is being engineered even as it publicly unravels. What matters to these politicians is providing the mainstream media with enough of a smokescreen so that they can help protect Obama.
For Cummings, Towns, Norton, Clay, Maloney, and other Democrats in the Oversight Committee’s minority, refusing to support the actions of Holder’s felonious Department of Justice is a betrayal of their party figurehead, who is far more important in their estimation than the lives of a few hundred foreigners, or even the lives of American law enforcement officers.
Today we saw a frustrated majority seeking answers, an attorney general trying to avoid prison, and a minority intent on preserving political power.
This was a travesty, and the saddest part of this bloody drama is that the minority no doubt thought that what the did today was “right,” according to what they consider their moral imperative.