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#1 Jun 20 2012 at 3:41 PM Rating: Default
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Since there's been very very little discussion of this (shocking, I know!), and some interesting developments occurred today, I figured I'd start a thread on the subject.


I've been following this story for some time now and have been somewhat surprised both by the lack of media coverage and the apparent solid stonewall the Obama administration (especially AG Holder) have used. It just seems like something they could have complied with and cooperated with a year+ ago and been done with, which makes one really wonder why he hasn't. It's gotten to the point where today the House Oversite committee voted to hold the Attorney General in Contempt of Congress (which is theoretically a "big deal").


What's really interesting is that President Obama just jumped in by exercising executive privilege to block the documents the committee has been asking for for over a year from being handed over. It's strange because for most of that time the Justice Department has insisted that this was a regional program that was handled well below the federal level, and Holder was never involved in anything to do with it. How then does the White House get involved? My understanding is that the documents under subpoena have no direct connection to the White House or any senior White House staff (other than Holder).


So... President jumping in to protect his subordinate? Something about the operation actually did involve the President? Or something else? ****. Are there people who've just never even heard of this before?


EDIT: Added link I intended to include initially.

Edited, Jun 20th 2012 3:22pm by gbaji
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#2 Jun 20 2012 at 3:53 PM Rating: Good
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I have no idea what's going on here...
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#3 Jun 20 2012 at 4:00 PM Rating: Good
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Most people would have provided a source to go with their opening statements, but that also would imply they had any intention of informed discussion. Here's a link to what he's directly talking about.. Anyway, a while ago it was found out that some officials were running guns to (from? I forget.) Mexico and it was a big no no. I'm just about out the door to pick up my daughter so I'm not doing any more digging, but from my understanding is privilege was invoked because there are issues during the investigation, and not knowing what those problems were, or if there even were any makes me not really care too deeply in any direction.
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#4 Jun 20 2012 at 4:01 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
So... President jumping in to protect his subordinate? Something about the operation actually did involve the President? Or something else? ****. Are there people who've just never even heard of this before?


My guess is that someone with some sort of political connections was involved deeply enough in the debacle to tap those connections in an attempt to cover his own ***. Unfortunately the problems didn't go away as hoped, and have slowly escalated to where they are now. Eventually someone will end up doing something illegal to cover up something stupid or illegal that someone else did, if they haven't already.


Edited, Jun 20th 2012 3:02pm by someproteinguy
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#5 Jun 20 2012 at 4:10 PM Rating: Good
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lolgaxe wrote:
Most people would have provided a source to go with their opening statements, but that also would imply they had any intention of informed discussion. Here's a link to what he's directly talking about..
Thanks, I was thinking that maybe Gbaji accidentally made a thread instead of a reply or something since his post is such a vague and standard Gbaji post (not knowing about the issue or who Mr Holder is) that it seemed like it could have applied to any number of topics Gbaji cares to ramble about.
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#6 Jun 20 2012 at 4:37 PM Rating: Good
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Read Gbaji's post below mine. It's a much better synopsis of what happened.

Edited, Jun 20th 2012 5:51pm by Bigdaddyjug
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#7 Jun 20 2012 at 4:44 PM Rating: Good
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His Excellency Aethien wrote:
lolgaxe wrote:
Most people would have provided a source to go with their opening statements, but that also would imply they had any intention of informed discussion. Here's a link to what he's directly talking about..
Thanks, I was thinking that maybe Gbaji accidentally made a thread instead of a reply or something since his post is such a vague and standard Gbaji post (not knowing about the issue or who Mr Holder is) that it seemed like it could have applied to any number of topics Gbaji cares to ramble about.


Nah. Sorry about that (and thanks to lolgaxe for providing a link). I had a page all loaded up and ready, and then just plain forgot to link it when writing the OP.


The issue is that the ATF (which operates under the Justice Department) ran a sting operation where they worked with local gun store owners in the SW to deliberately sell guns to illegal buyers. But instead of just catching the buyers or middlemen (which previous operations had done), they were supposedly going to track the guns and see where they went and then catch someone bigger up the stream. But what happened is that the guys who were setting up the selling part of it assumed that some other group of agents were going to be tracking the guns, but it appears that no one actually did. Thus, the guns "walked" across the border, into Mexico, ended out in the hands of drug cartel guys and resulted in increased gun violence on the border (remember that happening back in 2009/2010?).

This eventually lead to a Border Patrol agent being shot and killed by one of the guns that the ATF had allowed to walk (or at least one or more of those guns were at the scene, I'm don't remember if he was actually shot by one of them). At that point, it appears that there may have been a cover up of the operation once someone realized that the serial numbers on those guns matched those used in the operation. Or at least an attempt to do so. However, a couple of ATF agents got together and compared stories and realized that this wasn't just some fluke mistake, but that apparently no one involved in said operation was actually involved in the tracking part of it (some of this is speculation of course, since we still don't know all the facts). But they blew the whistle on the operation and brought it to the attention of the media and the House Oversite Committee (which has... um... oversite on such things).


The committee has attempted to get an answer about this since that happened, but the Justice Department originally claimed that it knew nothing about it. Then they admitted that they heard about it, but only after the fact. Then they started handing over documents consisting of blanked out pages. All very unusual for an executive branch agency when reporting to an oversite committee. The more the committee has dug, the more stonewalling they've run into. Culminating in todays vote to find Holder in contempt of Congress.


What's really strange is Obama using executive privilege though. That's only something that can be used with documents directly related to actions taken by the president. Very unusual for something that supposedly never even reached federal level attention. Lots of people have speculated that Obama might do something like this, but that it would be a bad idea since it effectively admits that this whole mess involved the office of the President in the first place. Up until now, it's been downplayed as a minor snafu at a low level. It's kind of a risky move since while it may protect the documents in question, it now puts the President right in the middle of it.


Oh. And as a bit of side fun, there's been some theorizing about *why* the operation went down the way it did. Obviously, the first answer would be incompetence, perhaps followed up by a foolish, but otherwise not terribly sinister attempt to cover up the mistake. Another theory though is that this was the intent of the operation from the beginning. They told the agents setting up the selling part of the operation that the guns would be tracked as cover, but never did so. The plan was to increase the statistics on illegal guns sold in the US that ended out in the hands of criminals along the border. After all, absent those agents blowing the whistle on this, since the guns were not sold by ATF agents directly, but laundered through local gun shops, the DOJ could just have included them in some data used to general gun crime statistics and none would be the wiser.


I'm not sure how much I buy that theory, but it has the interesting quality of actually explaining every single thing that's happened. The poor construction of the operation. The decision to have gun stores act as the sellers. ****. You could even tie in trips and statements Obama made at the time about the problem of gun violence on the border. Certainly, Obama's decision to use executive privilege today only gives fuel to that conspiracy theory. Why do that unless there was some coordination between his office and this operation? You can certainly argue that just a regional level coverup within a sub-organization of the DOJ should not justify such an action.


Dunno. I find it to be an interesting story. One that has unfortunately been ignored in most of the media, but which I suspect might have just gotten a bit bigger.

Edited, Jun 20th 2012 3:47pm by gbaji
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#8 Jun 20 2012 at 5:30 PM Rating: Excellent
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The only people who think this has been "ignored in the media" are people who either (a) just want to cry about "the media" or (b) people who literally are not getting their news from anywhere.

It has been a story many people don't care about since it has come across as the same partisan dog and pony show as everything else Congress has done for the last two years.
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#9 Jun 20 2012 at 5:38 PM Rating: Excellent
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This issue is of great interest to me, but obviously not the liberal cheer section. Therefore, a discussion seems pointless.

Guns are bad, m'kay?
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#10 Jun 20 2012 at 5:55 PM Rating: Excellent
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The issue was pure politics the moment Issa bragged in 2010 that he was going to bury the administration in subpoenas. Any chance for a serious discussion died on the vine before it even got started.
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#11 Jun 20 2012 at 6:02 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
The only people who think this has been "ignored in the media" are people who either (a) just want to cry about "the media" or (b) people who literally are not getting their news from anywhere.


Or (c) People who note just how little this has been covered in the media given the issue itself. Government program somehow managed to result in thousands of guns being illegally obtained by Mexican drug cartels resulting in the death of a border patrol agent should be big news all by itself. Add in Justice Department refusing to cooperate with a pretty reasonable request for answers by the very committee responsible and empowered to ask them and it should be a big story and scandal. Have this go on for over a year and it should have been worth a half dozen front page NYT spreads.


Quote:
It has been a story many people don't care about since it has come across as the same partisan dog and pony show as everything else Congress has done for the last two years.


The only thing partisan about this is the circling of wagons the left is doing. Given the circumstances of this case *any* congress should be investigating it. Partisanship has nothing to do with it.
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#12 Jun 20 2012 at 6:07 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
The only people who think this has been "ignored in the media" are people who either (a) just want to cry about "the media" or (b) people who literally are not getting their news from anywhere.
Or (c) People who note just how little this has been covered in the media given the issue itself.

Which would only hold true if this were the case. Which brings us back to (a) and (b)

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Partisanship has nothing to do with it.

I won't even dignify that with a long sting of "Ha"s
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#13 Jun 20 2012 at 6:48 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
The only people who think this has been "ignored in the media" are people who either (a) just want to cry about "the media" or (b) people who literally are not getting their news from anywhere.
Or (c) People who note just how little this has been covered in the media given the issue itself.

Which would only hold true if this were the case.


Are you saying it's not? Care to elaborate on why this is such a non-issue that it does not warrant much media coverage? Forget which party is involved. Just honestly answer the question. The fact is that the oversite committee has not been provided any answers at all about who authorized the program, why it was implemented the way it was, who was involved in it, etc. The Attorney General has already been caught in one lie on this. Something that should have already been major news all by itself. But you can almost hear the crickets in this case.


The partisanship has been in the lefts willingness to do apparently anything at all to protect a senior member of the Obama administration. I suspect that's going to bite them in the end though.
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#14 Jun 20 2012 at 7:02 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Are you saying it's not?

It's not. There's been extensive coverage.
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#15 Jun 20 2012 at 7:06 PM Rating: Excellent
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Yeah, it damaged Reagan so much in the whole Iran-Contra debacle.

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#16 Jun 20 2012 at 7:16 PM Rating: Good
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#17 Jun 20 2012 at 7:46 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Are you saying it's not?

It's not. There's been extensive coverage.


Um... No. there hasn't.

Yes. Conservative source, but the fact that NBC failed to mention this even one time on their major news show is pretty amazing (and true). But if it was just them, that would be [link=http://m.newsbusters.org/blogs/geoffrey-****************************************************************************************** them, right?[/link]

I'm sure you'll just ignore this because those are crazy conservatives saying it. So it must be all lies. Um... Sadly, it's not. The lack of any serious coverage of this story is shocking. Most people have never heard of it, and those who have don't know much about it, or have any sense that it's very important (largely because it hasn't been covered of course). The media has a massive influence on people's perceptions about the relative importance of events, and in this case the lack of coverage is absolutely feeding a perception that this isn't important.

By all means though, show me this "extensive coverage" that the major networks have been providing to their viewers on this subject.
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#18 Jun 20 2012 at 7:48 PM Rating: Decent
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****. The fact that I posted a thread about this, forgot to include a link to the story, and the immediate responses were "without a link we don't know what you're talking about" ought to speak volumes about how this story has not been covered. I actually assumed that most of the posters on this board, being liberal, just choose not to bring it up. But now it appears that most of them have just never heard of it (or not enough to remember what it's about). Like I said, shocking.
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#19 Jun 20 2012 at 7:48 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Forget which party is involved.
Heh.
gbaji wrote:
****. The fact that I posted a thread about this, forgot to include a link to the story, and the immediate responses were "without a link we don't know what you're talking about" ought to speak volumes about how this story has not been covered.
Speaks more volumes that the only person that didn't know what you were talking about isn't even American but you seem to be counting him multiple times.

Edited, Jun 20th 2012 9:52pm by lolgaxe
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#20 Jun 20 2012 at 7:53 PM Rating: Good
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NPR may be more kind to the left than Fox News, but their main show isn't called "All Things Considered" for nothing. If it's important and it's happening, it'll probably end up on either ATC or Morning Edition at some point. Like this did, ages ago. Even the bits about the Rs in the House demanding Holder's resignation, and Holder almost giving a farewell speech at some points because this scandal might just take him down.

Funny thing is, most liberals weren't too fond of Holder anyway.
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#21 Jun 20 2012 at 7:53 PM Rating: Excellent
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Huh. And yet there's an average of around 135 stories in the last year that come up when you search for +"Fast and furious"+Holder on CBS News' website, ABC News' website and CNN website. NBC News's site is actually MSNBC which comes up with 374 hits but it's wonky about showing me the actual article list so I'm content to just call it ~135 as an overall average. Which I'll admit is much easier for the layperson to check against than me going through a year's worth of video from news outlets to check against some blog entries crying about the mean ole media.

Well, you already played the "crazy conservatives" card so no reason for me to go there. Carry on.
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#22 Jun 20 2012 at 7:59 PM Rating: Decent
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lolgaxe wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Forget which party is involved.
Heh.


I know this is hard to do, but try. At the end of the day, you've got an executive branch department refusing to comply with the requests of the committee that has direct oversite on that departments activities. It doesn't matter which party is which. Taking a side based on party in this case effectively tosses the rule of law out the window and assigns right and wrong to a simple determination of which party is involved. It's absurd. There is no indication that what the committee is asking for is unreasonable. It has every right to make those requests. Holder and the DOJ are required by law to comply. It doesn't matter which party is involved in which part of this.

Or at least, it shouldn't.

Edited, Jun 20th 2012 7:11pm by gbaji
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#23 Jun 20 2012 at 8:05 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
Huh. And yet there's an average of around 135 stories in the last year that come up when you search for +"Fast and furious"+Holder on CBS News' website, ABC News' website and CNN website. NBC News's site is actually MSNBC which comes up with 374 hits but it's wonky about showing me the actual article list so I'm content to just call it ~135 as an overall average. Which I'll admit is much easier for the layperson to check against than me going through a year's worth of video from news outlets to check against some blog entries crying about the mean ole media.


On their websites. Not on their evening news shows. Kind of a big difference, don't you think?
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#24 Jun 20 2012 at 8:05 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Or at least, it shouldn't.
I agree, and I'll add that most everything shouldn't be based on which party is involved as the deciding factor. You're full of shit if you think anyone believes that the reason you're in a tizzy over this isn't because of party affiliation, though. Which does deserve a chuckle.
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#25 Jun 20 2012 at 8:11 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
On their websites. Not on their evening news shows. Kind of a big difference, don't you think?

Right. One is easy to check when a blog tells you there's never been a story, the other one is much more difficult to verify. I suppose it makes sense that a news outlet would put out 135 stories but then be sure to super-secret-never-tell-anyone on the news though. Makes sense Smiley: nod

Also lulz at conservative cry-fests that are forced to say "Well, except CBS News which broke the story and won an award for their coverage" while going on about how the "media" refuses to cover the story. Who knew CBS was no longer the scary "mainstream media"? Smiley: laugh

Edited, Jun 20th 2012 9:21pm by Jophiel
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#26 Jun 20 2012 at 8:22 PM Rating: Default
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lolgaxe wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Or at least, it shouldn't.
I agree, and I'll add that most everything shouldn't be based on which party is involved as the deciding factor. You're full of shit if you think anyone believes that the reason you're in a tizzy over this isn't because of party affiliation, though. Which does deserve a chuckle.


If a republican AG were doing this, I'd also be demanding answers. The difference is that once those answers were made and the committee satisfied with them, I would question those who continued to insist that some kind of conspiracy was going on. The partisanship is coming from the left here, not the right (just like it usually does).
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