Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Obama administration will advance their political agenda at any cost, even American lives

It's difficult for anyone reading about Operation Fast and Furious to follow the logic of the federal government. To what end should we ever knowingly allow straw purchasers to buy high-powered weapons? The government claims that it was to build a bigger case against the ultimate end-users. In other words, they were letting the "little guys" go about their business in order to build a better case against the bigger fish. That's pretty hard to believe, considering the possible implications of this strategy. This stated strategy just doesn't make sense and often when something doesn't make sense, it's simply not true.

The operation was in direct conflict with the official DOJ policy, which is to everything possible to reduce the number of illegal guns traveling south of the border. Email trails and other documentation in this case show a disturbing trend of doing the wrong thing on every level of this operation. Those running OFF were repeatedly reminded that all actions should support the DOJ mission statement yet they purposely continued to run their operation contrary to those goals. Field agents were repeatedly ordered to stand down in situations that would normally warrant action and even threatened with repurcussions should they insist on acting responsibly. The whistleblower was summarily terminated by the ATF as the investigation into the scandal grew.

The Congressional investigation is bringing disturbing new information to light. One example shows that Attorney General Eric Holder lied to Congress. Holder testified in May 2011 that he had merely heard about OFF a few times in recent weeks as the investigation into OFF got underway but proof shows that he was aware of the operation and regularly briefed on it from at least June of 2010 on. The White House has also denied knowledge of this and similar operations, claiming that high-level officials in the administration were not made aware of these cases but proof shows that at least one of Obama's National Security officials, Kevin O'Reilly, had knowledge of these operations.

Exactly how much O'Reilly knew is not known at this time because as the scandal heated up, he was transferred to the State Department and as the Congressional investigation picked up speed, O'Reilly was suddenly sent to Iraq as part of his new duties and unavailable to testify. The administration should recall O'Reilly immediately for testimony to avoid any illusion of impropriety. Anything less looks like an obvious and clumsy attempt at a cover-up. That O'Reilly is still in Iraq is not only obstruction of the Congressional investigation but is also fueling speculation among conspiracy theorists that the Iraq mission may be so dangerous that O'Reilly won't survive.

What has happened to the most transparent administration in the history of the nation? For all of his campaign rhetoric about accountability and transparency, Obama hasn't improved anything on those fronts. If anything, his administration appears to be doing everything in it's power to cover-up, destroy evidence and obstruct the investigation. How else can they explain missing the Congressional deadline to turn over subpoenaed documents by a full week? The public deserves to know everything that happened, the offending parties must be punished to the full extent of the law and procedures need to be revised to ensure such a debacle never happens again. But these things can't happen so long as the investigation is hampered by all of the offending parties.

To what end did anyone support OFF and the similar operations? The stakes were high, after all. Loss of life was guaranteed and there was no reason to believe that the majority of these weapons would ever be recovered so the potential repurcussions are exponential. The only thing that makes sense is that this administration wanted to support it's spurious claims that drug cartel violence is fueled by illegal American weapons purchases. After all, Hillary Clinton and others in the Obama circle like to claim that most of the guns used by the cartels come illegally from America.

Despite the fact that this claim is easily proven to be false,  the administration appears to love to insist it's a fact. The folly of these operations is easily explained by the goal of "proving" this falsehood. After all, if they can facilitate a way to allow large volume buys by known straw purchasers, then track the guns across the border to seize the cache at a later date, they could easily spin it as "proof" that they've been right all along in their assertions about illegal guns in America fueling the Mexican drug trade. No matter that the evidence would be anecdotal and based on faulty premise, all that matters is that large seizures would take place and the confiscated weapons would be easily tracked back to US dealers.

The intent to further a partisan agenda here trumped the responsibility of the government to perform it's most basic function. Rather than stopping the purchases, the government coerced gun dealers into cooperating. At least one dealer expressed concern that the firearms would be used for illegal activities, especially to bring harm to law enforcement in border areas, but was continually assured that the best course of action was to continue selling guns to criminals. Rather than arrest the purchasers and recover the weapons, the government insisted on doing nothing in the hopes that they would later recover the firearms in a manner that would allow them to grandstand.

This is a complete failure of government in every possible way. They have intentionally put guns into the hands of criminals in order to further a partisan agenda. They are obstructing the investigation on various levels. There is nothing even close to transparency from this administration, as this may actually be one of the darkest corners of our government. Additional details of the Congressional investigation will be posted soon in a follow-up, so stay tuned.

No comments: