I haven’t written anything about the Fast & Furious gunrunning scandal because, well, I always find these high-level scandals too confusing and depressing at first. Best to wait until more is known — and the martinis kick in.
Also known as Project Gunrunner, the Arizona-based operation was supposed to be a sting, under which the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which is part of the Justice Department, allowed “straw purchasers” to transfer weapons from gun shops in Arizona to Mexican drug cartels to trace and halt crossborder arms-trafficking.
That’s the official version, anyway — but it’s crumbling, fast.
The ATF’s acting director, Kenneth Melson, has been singing like a canary to congressional investigators as he pushes back against administration pressure for him to resign and take the fall for something that, at the very least, had to include the US Attorney’s Office, the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration and possibly the Homeland Security Department.
Look at that list. Doesn’t it remind you of your favorite conspiracy nut, going on about all the organizations involved in JFK’s assassination? The Castro brothers, the 82nd Airborne, the Mob, LBJ & the Texas Rangers, the Soviets, the Kiwanis, that homeless guy right there, space aliens, and so on.
Only this thing is real. At least three major departments or offices and possibly the attorney general himself. This makes Iran-Contra look like a bake sale to raise funds for your kid’s Cub Scout troop. A properly detailed congressional investigation and ensuing court cases could take us right into the late summer and autumn campaign season next year — and wouldn’t that be fun?
I know President Obama and AG Holder are best buds and all, but if Melson isn’t going to take the fall — and he won’t — then Obama had best show Holder the underside of the bus.