With at least one high-ranking Republican calling the “Fast and Furious” scandal “worse than Watergate,” we will no doubt hear more and more about one of the Obama Administration’s greatest crises as the November election approaches. The trouble is, some say, Attorney General Eric Holder continues to cover up evidence of the controversial operation, including what he and other members of the Justice Department knew and when they knew it.
Here’s what we do know: As ordered by the Justice Department (whose top official is Attorney General Eric Holder), from fall 2009 to early 2011, the BATFE allowed suspected Mexican gun smugglers to purchase firearms from Arizona gun shops; the intent, according to the Justice Department, was to track these “walked” guns to drug trafficking organizations and other criminals. Unfortunately, the BATFE lost track of many guns, while others, as the Justice Department expected, ended up in the hands of dangerous criminals. Guess what, they used them to commit crimes; guns allowed to “walk” during the “Fast and Furious” Operation ended up at the scenes of several murders, including that of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December 2010.
Yet rather than seeking justice for Agent Terry, as you’d expect the director of the Justice Department to do, many Republicans argue that Holder continues to drag his feet. If Holder hopes to change their minds, his remarks during a House Judiciary committee hearing last week probably aren’t going to help.
As he was questioning Holder regarding “Fast and Furious”, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) read several Justice Department emails that include the very phrase “Fast and Furious.” It was then that Holder made what some are calling a rather bizarre claim, asserting that the emails that say “Fast and Furious” don’t actually refer to Operation Fast and Furious, but to another gun-walking operation known as “Wide Receiver.”
After a long pause, Chaffetz fired back, “No, it doesn’t. It says Fast and Furious. [One email says] ‘Do you think we should have Lanny participate in press when Fast and Furious and Laura’s Tucson case [Wide Receiver] are unsealed?’ It’s specific to Fast and Furious. That is not true, Mr. Attorney General. I’m happy to share it with you.”
What do you think? Is Attorney General Eric Holder covering up information that would bring those responsible for “Fast and Furious” to justice? And is it possible the scandal leads all the way to him?