It was a raucous day of hearings on Capitol Hill, as one Republican after another blasted Eric Holder for withholding thousands of documents related to the bloody “Fast and Furious” scandal. The day culminated in the 23-17 vote to hold the Attorney General in contempt of Congress.
The resolution was passed along pure party lines. Of course, it will be the Republicans accused of being ‘partisan’ and ‘political,’ but not the Democrats. The mainstream media are already in full spin mode, but one wonders how much damage they will do attacking the Republicans, while continuing not to report on the substance of the scandal.
Earlier in the day, Attorney General Holder had requested, and was granted, “executive privilege” by the Obama administration not to turn over the subpoenaed documents. As Heritage Foundation’s Todd Gaziano rightly points out, the precedent of United States v. Nixon implies that the executive branch cannot withhold documents citing “executive privilege” for the purpose of shielding wrongdoing.
However, some bloggers and pundits are claiming that such obstruction implies that the White House should be assumed as implicated in the scandal. This is a fallacious assumption, as Gaziano points out in his article.
Attorney General Holder, despite all his lies and self-contradiction, cannot be iron-clad guaranteed as having played a part in the scandal from its inception to its presumed termination. But one thing is for certain: the Attorney General’s refusal to turn over thousands of documents in reasonably unredacted form makes it impossible to find out all the relevant facts of Operation Fast and Furious. And regardless of the outcome of any full investigation, Holder is to some extent professionally responsible.
If the American people deserve accountability, as many Democrats and the Justice department claim to support, then let’s have it. This was the general theme of today’s hearings, and much of the apparent grandstanding was insistence on this supposedly agreed-upon and reasonable point. And for any media outlet or the Democrat Party to call the Republican Party ‘partisan’ for insisting on transparency and accountability, regarding a bloody international incident leading to hundreds of Mexicans’ deaths, as well as that of border patrol agent Brian Terry, is simply beyond-the-pale as a smokescreen for an increasingly lawless presidency.
In many ways, today’s contempt vote was a small victory for the conservative and independent blogosphere, because the Fast and Furious scandal would most likely have been swept under the Oval Office rug if the mainstream media had their druthers. But we “just bloggers” have been dogged in holding not only the government accountable, as the major news media routinely fail to do; we have also remained determined to hold an out-of-control media complex accountable for failing to report accurately on certain political elites of a particular political party.
But very few are cheering for merely holding Eric Holder in contempt. Perhaps there would be only brief celebration even if he were to be impeached. The sheer magnitude of Fast and Furious as a political scandal, with all its dark implications for the organized left’s case to ratify an international small arms treaty, leads us to the somber and sobering conclusion that we have a segment of our own government that not only refuses to act humanely and obey the laws of the land, but would outright lie and obstruct to our faces even when caught red-handed. That is why Fast and Furious is not going away as a scandal; not even if the Republicans hold the entire Obama administration in contempt.
The historical record will show that the failed gunrunning operation Fast and Furious, which saw drug lords armed by the ATF with the U.S. government’s assistance, and hundreds of people killed due to an unlikely degree of negligence, will go down as one of the darkest pages in this country’s history. It was undoubtedly pre-meditated, calculated, and cruel. It smacks of an Alinsky-type “ends justify the means” operation designed to justify infringing on our Second Amendment rights. And when the full light of day shines on the scope and depth of this supposedly botched operation, the true contempt will finally come to be seen: that of an elected government for the American people.