– “Fast And Furious” Just Might Be President Obama’s Watergate (Forbes, Sep. 28, 2011):
The Favored Few Get New Positions
Obviously perplexed with what to do with Melson, the U.S. Justice Department moved Melson to a new post inside the ATF, a position that protects his retirement package. Perhaps this is some of the “appropriate action” President Obama said would be taken, if so, more appropriate action soon followed.
The Obama administration next promoted some of the officials who ran the program. William G. McMahon, who was the ATF’s deputy director of operations in the West, William D. Newell, and David Voth, who were both field supervisors who oversaw the Fast and Furious program out of the agency’s Phoenix office, were promoted to positions in Washington, D.C. Voth is the one who said in an email, “If you don’t think [Fast and Furious] is fun you’re in the wrong line of work — period.” And, when asked if guns were being allowed to cross the southern border, Newell is the one who said, “Hell, no.” Yet both got cushy desk jobs in D.C.
Then, as if to shine a spotlight on how political the Fast and Furious operation always was, last August the Obama administration announced new firearm-reporting regulations that gun stores in southern border states must follow—this when gun storeowners have done everything asked of them and as the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association that represents firearms manufacturers, pays for a longstanding program called “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” (www.dontlie.org ) that combats illegal gun sales by raising awareness.
Also, the National Rifle Association has been on top of this story from the beginning. Chris W. Cox, the NRA’s chief lobbyist now says, “It would be a serious miscarriage of justice if no one is held accountable for this deadly scandal. The President and his Justice Department cannot run away from this. The NRA will make sure that every member, hunter, gun owner, and indeed every American, knows the truth about this reckless operation.”
Given all the politics and the cover up that even the former ATF director says has occurred, could operation Fast and Furious have been about anything other than pushing for new gun-control laws? And given all of this obfuscation from the Obama administration, isn’t this scandal comparable to the cover up that surrounded Watergate? After all, both administrations forgot that America is a country that reveres its freedom of the press and that in America officers speak out when misguided policies get cops killed. Here mothers testify before Congress when they find out a secret government program, and a stupid one at that, got their son killed.
Not that morality ends at the American border. To stress this point, Rep. Issa held a conference call with journalists on September 21 in which he said Marisela Morales, Mexico’s attorney general, is reporting that at least 200 Mexican deaths can now be traced to weapons from the Fast and Furious program.
And so the investigation and the bloody aftermath continue….