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Old 06-21-2012, 08:50 AM  
qabbaan qabbaan is offline
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Fast and Furious scandal is turning into President Obama's Watergate

Fast and Furious scandal is turning into President Obama's Watergate

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/ti...mas-watergate/

Obama is repeating many of the mistakes that led to Nixon's resignation in 1974

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Fast and furious hasn’t been discussed a lot in the mainstream media,
which is why the facts can seem so preposterous when you read them for
the first time. But the story is slowly unraveling and the public is
catching up with the madness. On Wednesday, the The House Oversight
and Government Reform Committee voted to hold Attorney General Eric
Holder in contempt over his decision to withhold documents related to
the "gun walking" operation - documents that President Obama tried to
keep secret by invoking executive privilege. The question of why the
Prez intervened in this way will surely hang over the investigation
and the White House for many months to come.

Be patient, conservatives. It took nearly eight months for the
Watergate break in to become a national news story. But when it
finally did, it toppled a President.

Here’s what Fast and Furious is all about - and for the uninitiated,
be prepared for a shock. In 2009, the US government instructed Arizona
gun sellers illegally to sell arms to suspected criminals. Agents
working for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
(ATF) were then ordered not to stop the sales but to allow the arms to
"walk" across the border into the arms of Mexican drug-traffickers.
According to the Oversight Committee’s report, "The purpose was to
wait and watch, in hope that law enforcement could identify other
members of a trafficking network and build a large, complex conspiracy
case…. [The ATF] initially began using the new gun-walking tactics in
one of its investigations to further the Department’s strategy. The
case was soon renamed ‘Operation Fast and Furious."

Tracing the arms became difficult, until they starting appearing at
bloody crime scenes. Many Mexicans have died from being shot by ATF
sanctioned guns, but the scandal only became public after a US federal
agent, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, was killed by one of them in a
fire fight. ATF whistle blowers started to come forward and the
Department of Justice was implicated. It’s estimated that the US
government effectively supplied 1,608 weapons to criminals, at a total
value of over $1 million. Aside from putting American citizens in
danger, the AFT also supplied what now amounts to a civil war within
Mexico.

It’s important to note that the Bush administration oversaw something
similar to Fast and Furious. Called Operation Wide Receiver, it used
the common tactic of "controlled delivery," whereby agents would allow
an illegal transaction to take place, closely follow the movements of
the arms, and then descend on the culprits. But Fast and Furious is
different because it was "uncontrolled delivery," whereby the
criminals were essentially allowed to drop off the map. Perhaps more
importantly, Wide Receiver was conducted with the cooperation of the
Mexican government. Fast and Furious was not.

So Obama’s operation is subtly different. But just as concerning is
the heavy handed way that the administration has handled criticism.
Obama says that the Oversight Committee has been hi-jacked by
Republicans who would rather talk about politics than creating jobs
(because Obama is o-so very good at generating those). But there has
been Democratic criticism too, and the Prez’s determined defence of
Holder will only encourage conspiracy thinking that the scandal has
hidden depths. Executive privilege is usually associated with
protecting information that passes through the Oval Office. What did
the documents reveal about Obama’s association with the operation?

Again, it’s important to contextualise. Executive privilege has been
invoked 24 times since Ronald Reagan, and attempts to over-ride it
rarely reach the courts. Moreover, Holder’s request for executive
privilege made no reference to White House involvement in Fast and
Furious, which seems to have been run exclusively by the ATF.
Nevertheless, by refusing to sack Holder or push him to come clean,
Obama may have made a very Nixonian mistake.

A lot of conservatives are writing at the moment that not only is
Obama turning into Nixon Mark II, but Obama is much worse because no
one actually got killed during Watergate. The comparison is based on
the myth that Nixon ordered the Watergate break in and that’s what he
eventually had to resign over. But that’s not true. Nixon’s guilt was
in trying to pervert the course of justice by persuading the FBI to
drop its investigation of the crime. Mistake number one, then, was to
involve the White House in covering up the errors of a separate,
autonomous political department. Mistake number two was that when
Congress discovered that evidence about the scandal might be recorded
on the White House bugging system, Nixon invoked executive privilege
to protect the tapes. In both cases, it was the cover up that
destroyed Tricky Dick - not the original crime.

And, forty years later almost to the day, here we have Obama making
the same mistake.
Perhaps it’s an act of chivalry to stand by
Holder; perhaps it’s an admission of guilt. Either way, it sinks the
Oval Office ever further into the swamp that is Fast and Furious. Make
no mistake about: Fast and Furious was perhaps the most shameful
domestic law and order operation since the Waco siege. It’s big
government at its worst: big, incompetent and capable of ruining
lives.
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:02 AM   #2
cosmo20002 cosmo20002 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qabbaan View Post
Fast and Furious scandal is turning into President Obama's Watergate
It is turning into something the Rs wish and will argue was as bad as Watergate and every other scandal 40 years, but it isn't close.
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:17 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmo20002 View Post
It is turning into something the Rs wish and will argue was as bad as Watergate and every other scandal 40 years, but it isn't close.
I don't think we know enough to say yet. If they're just covering up an honest blunder that is embarrassing politically, it's small potatoes. If they're covering up lies previously told to Congress to cover up an embarrassing blunder, it's pretty bad. If they're covering up an intentional, cynical effort to stoke gun violence on the border for whatever reason (e.g. to build support for gun control), it's far worse than Nixon's sins.

It sure seems like we're trending toward the latter two possibilities.
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:18 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmo20002 View Post
It is turning into something the Rs wish and will argue was as bad as Watergate and every other scandal 40 years, but it isn't close.
Your opinion might be right or wrong, but either way by exercising Executive Priviledge Obama has taken ownership of the scandal. If he fires Holder he can cleanse himself of the issue, unless he really is guilty. Romney's camp just keeps receiving un-solicited gifts from Obama.
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:23 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
I don't think we know enough to say yet. If they're just covering up an honest blunder that is embarrassing politically, it's small potatoes. If they're covering up lies previously told to Congress to cover up an embarrassing blunder, it's pretty bad. If they're covering up an intentional, cynical effort to stoke gun violence on the border for whatever reason (e.g. to build support for gun control), it's far worse than Nixon's sins.

It sure seems like we're trending toward the latter two possibilities.
The only way this makes sense is if Fast and Furious was a White House blunder or an intentional coverup of something much more serious initiated or approved by the White House.
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:29 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Chief Faithful View Post
Your opinion might be right or wrong, but either way by exercising Executive Priviledge Obama has taken ownership of the scandal. If he fires Holder he can cleanse himself of the issue, unless he really is guilty. Romney's camp just keeps receiving un-solicited gifts from Obama.
I understand how exercising EP gives the right something to fan the flames, but it is quite reasonable that such documents could endanger current and future undercover / crime-fighting operations.

Assuming Obama wins, AGs generally don't stay on the full 8 years, so Holder is likely to leave soon anyway. And the right will accuse him of running away from the scandal.
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:31 AM   #7
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"Fast and furious hasn’t been discussed a lot in the mainstream media,
which is why the facts can seem so preposterous when you read them for
the first time."


I don't understand...my liberal friends are always telling me how unbiased the mainstream media is...I'm so confused!
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:35 AM   #8
cosmo20002 cosmo20002 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
I don't think we know enough to say yet. If they're just covering up an honest blunder that is embarrassing politically, it's small potatoes.
This, at worst.

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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
If they're covering up lies previously told to Congress to cover up an embarrassing blunder, it's pretty bad.
Agreed, it is bad to lie to Congress. Right now, there's no evidence of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
If they're covering up an intentional, cynical effort to stoke gun violence on the border for whatever reason (e.g. to build support for gun control
This is lunatic fringe territory on par with birther theories.
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:35 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by cosmo20002 View Post
I understand how exercising EP gives the right something to fan the flames, but it is quite reasonable that such documents could endanger current and future undercover / crime-fighting operations.

Assuming Obama wins, AGs generally don't stay on the full 8 years, so Holder is likely to leave soon anyway. And the right will accuse him of running away from the scandal.
The best thing that could happen to Obama is a Holder resignation.
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:45 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Chief Faithful View Post
The best thing that could happen to Obama is a Holder resignation.
I don't think it would change much. Rs would still go after Holder, and they would still go after Obama.
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:45 AM   #11
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Nixon's goose was cooked even before the smoking gun tape. The tape proved he had obstructed justice and was guilty of criminal offenses, but his political support evaporated when it became clear that even though he was not involved in the crime, he had known about the event within days and had been lying about that the entire time. The proven lie destroyed the people's trust in him.

This scandal bears similarity. I think it looks very likely that Holder and even the White House knew about this far before they told Congress they did, and they engaged in a campaign to conceal those facts.
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:52 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Chief Faithful View Post
The best thing that could happen to Obama is a Holder resignation.
But, the best thing for America would be an Obama defeat/resignation because of the situation. Biden would give him a pardon, I think.
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:52 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by qabbaan View Post
I think it looks very likely that Holder and even the White House knew about this far before they told Congress they did, and they engaged in a campaign to conceal those facts.
Based on?
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:52 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Iz Zat Chew View Post
But, the best thing for America would be an Obama defeat/resignation because of the situation. Biden would give him a pardon, I think.
What would Obama need to be pardoned for?
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:53 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by cosmo20002 View Post
Based on?
Why would the President invoke EP? What is in the records that would be harmful to the security of the nation? I say nothing, harmful to Obama but if is was just Holder he'd throw him under the bus in a New York minute!
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