There are a lot of sound bites going around about the Fast and Furious gun program that apparently, according to Congress, Attorney General Holder mucked up, by not stepping up prosecution of suspected gun runners.
Well here’s some news that hasn’t been covered by the teams of talking heads. The ATF agents approached the Phoenix office of the Justice Department, told them of their plans, and the office said, “Can’t prosecute. There is noting illegal in buying guns in Arizona, they way in which they are being bought. Yes, we agree with you– we THINK they are going to Mexican drug cartels, but until you can prove intent to distribute after a sale and distribute to a person or persons intent of using the guns in crimes – there is nothing we can do.”
That means the Justice Department had its hands tied. Why?
1. NRA…pressure from this gun organization caused huge back lash in officers raiding suspected unlicensed gun traders in Arizona, which lead to new state laws protecting the buying and selling of guns in that state. It is almost impossible to stop a gun transaction in Arizona.
2. Arizona gun laws. If you are 18, with no criminal record, you can buy a gun with no waiting period. And not just one gun. You can a bunch. You can hundreds – perhaps thousands. And you can pay cash and once you buy those guns you can do with them as you please. You can give them to family, friends or even “strangers"…even if those strangers are from Mexico and have nefarious ideas about using them for bad things.
3. The 2nd amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Citizens of the USA have the right to bare arms. How those arms are purchased has been deemed, for the most part, a state issue by the SCOUS. The nine justices for decades have been too cowardly to hear this one. They know the power of the NRA. Guns and gun control has been a hands-off issue for both the Federal courts and the Justice Department for at least three decades. Even the Reagan Administration lost on the Brady Bill, because it got so watered down that it was, according to prosecutors, worthless. They can’t win against the lobbying of the NRA.
We just came full circle.
So when the Attorney General’s office in Phoenix got the Fast and Furious case dropped in its lap, it told the ATF agents it needed intent of the person buying the guns to show that they were going to re-sell them to outlaws. That’s hard to get. But that is the bar at which the government lawyers felt they must operate, otherwise they would be trampling on the Constitutional rights of gun buyers in Arizona.
Kind of reminds you of Catch 22 doesn’t it?
Here’s the real rub. Most of this came down in top secret sessions, because the Justice Department wanted these guys caught and put away as much as anyone. So the meetings were very hush-hush and kept secret because of the on-going nature of the investigation. That is why Holder refused to give to Congress some of the information they requested. He even told them that some of the items they were requesting could not possibly be given to Congress, because the Justice Department didn’t know if the people identified in the documents had committed any crimes under Arizona law or not. And the Justice Department could not prove they had violated any Federal Laws. Want your name leaked to the news media in D.C.? That's got law suit written all over it.
Plus, you start blowing this open in a wind-bag city like Washington, and an entire investigation and undercover agents and plants can be and would be compromised.
But wasn’t it the Republicans who compromised Mid-East and African CIA agents during the Bush administration to get back at Ambassador Wilson for writing articles warning the American public that the Weapons of Mass Destruction was a coax and the African nuclear stock pile trading had never occurred, as Bush said it had?
Just to remind you – it was.
The outing of Valerie Plame, Wilson’s wife, compromised years of CIA work conducted by Ms. Plame, all in the name of getting even. The real effect of the Bush-Cheney Administration's actions was the destruction of the CIA Counter-Proliferation Division (CPD), where Valerie Plame worked in the Iran and Iraq units. It is said those operations have never come back to full strength in a time when we could desperately use them.
Holder was not going to let that happen to the ATF program on the ground along the Mexican boarder. Was it failed? Yes. Even the ATF admitted that guns got into the hands of the drug cartel and even some of those guns were used in the murder of a U.S. Border agent. But the program, including the names it had generated, was still active and could be salvaged, so long as the people at ground zero were not compromised.
So here are the Republicans again wanting to out agents and undercover people to try and snare the Attorney General of the OTHER party in their political game. Trying to make hay in the spotlights of the Washington press corps. Trying to get TV head time with quick sound bites against an Attorney General who stood up and said, the law is the law and this time it is working against us.
It is stupid. It is distasteful. It is little league. And I love it that Fox News has called it Obama’s Watergate. No what this is, is totally patrician politics at a level that we have not seen in many years.
The GOP should be renamed GrOPe. Groping for anything and everything to smear the other side. These are our elected officials, who should be above this juvenile behavior. They should be looking at real issues facing America. Instead of wasting time in a trumped up charge of gun running by the Attorney General.
Governor Rick Perry, of Texas, got so worked up about this he went on the CBS Sunday news talk show, Face the Nation and told Bob Schieffer he wanted to get Holder and even go after Obama. When Schieffer asked Perry what the Attorney General and for that matter what the President had done, the Czar of the Lone Star State said, “I don’t know.”
And that’s the point. The Republicans want to rant. They want TV time. And they want attention turned away from the fact that they have a rather weak candidate for President, when all the crap is peeled away. Look over here, America. Look at this shiny thing. Don't look too closely at our candidate, he won't look good under the spot lights. And forget that odor coming from his flip flops. It is just bad foot odor.
Listen, a federal agent lost his life because of this. And that is bad. But we have some really dumb gun laws on the books, which tie the hands of police and federal authorities in doing their job. If you’re going to lay blame for Officer Terry’s death, lay it at the feet of the NRA.
They are the ones, whose lobbied laws, caused the delays at justice.
The NRA has every right to pontificate about the right to own guns. But some of the laws they force on states in the name of protecting the 2nd Amendment, are criminally stupid.