I’ve been perusing a bit of the right wing blogosphere.
Their take on the Eban expose of the Fast and Furious scandal is interesting, if neither fact based nor logical.
The premise of the Fast and Furious scandal is that ATF agents observed straw purchases of firearms, often in large quantities, that were quickly turned over to people who were not legal purchasers, as private transactions which are not subject to FFL checks.
These firearms then were trafficked over the border to a drug cartel.
The glitch in the right wingnut crazy conspiracy theory is that arrests should have been made.
The documentation is that those arrests were forbidden by the prosecutors, because of lax gun laws that made such transactions to drug cartels effectively legal. Without prosecutorial approval, arrests could not take place. PERIOD.
This does not make the ATF responsible for the sale and transfer of those firearms. This just proves they witnessed and documented that such transactions occur daily, whether they are monitored or not.
I was surprised to see that some gun nuts believe that this was some sort of sting operation, that there was some form of encouragement by the ATF to cause these straw purchases to occur. That is not the case. In those who claim to ‘fact check’, I have yet to see anyone debunk that 1. prosecutor approval is necessary for an ATF arrest; and 2. that there were no such arrest approvals received by the ATF from prosecutors.
Rather it is clear that these prosecutors in states like Arizona with NRA sponsored lax gun laws routinely DO NOT PROSECUTE STRAW PURCHASES — not through arrests by the ATF, or DEA, or local police, or state law enforcement.
I have yet to see where anyone of the pro-gunner gun zombies can explain how useful it would be to make an arrest without prosecution, or at least reasonable expectation of prosecution.
I have yet to see where anyone can demonstrate that such prosecution in these states like Arizona occur, EVER.
IF you cannot provide that documentation, which has not been sought by the Issa investigation, you cannot fault the ATF for failing to make arrests.
As to the hysteria that Eric Holder did not produce documentation as requested, in fact he produced a considerable amount. It was a relatively small subset of subpoenaed documents that were in question, and Holder made an effort to find ways to provide those, or at least most of those, to Congress IF – big IF – security for the information could be negotiated.
Ordinarily I would be reluctant to take the side of anyone resisting a congressional investigation, but I believe that Issa, along with a few other notable members of congress, like Congressman Peter King, who have on a variety of topics, not just this one, turned congressional investigation into cheap political theater, and witch hunts on the order of the late, debased Senator Joe McCarthy.
The McCarthy House Unamerican Activities hearings are among the darkest, most despotic and tyrannical of our history. The recent hearings on everything from Islam in America to the ridiculous and nasty contraception hearings that resulted in the Fluke scandal that so appropriately damaged Rush Limbaugh are not proper, honest hearings, and I agree with Holder that these are not members of Congress who have demonstrated that they operate in the scope of ethics that a Congressional hearing should encompass.
So long as the right persists in being post-truth liars and deniers, so long as they engage and propagate conspiracy theories and fact averse disconnects from objective reality, there is a legitimate concern that these investigations are not genuine investigations, they are attempts to smear people. A genuine investigation is based on a fair and thorough investigation that does not have a predetermined outcome.
That cannot be said of any investigation so far conducted by Daryl Issa.
Maintaining an electronic data base to verify numbers on guns trafficked across the border, instead of having to go through the much more time consuming and less effective, less efficient paper records, is NOT about gun control of legal weapons, and is a ridiculous claim of gun grabbing policies. It is simply an attempt to use the same computerized investigation techniques used in every other aspect of law enforcement. To try to spin this into something it is not, before seeing where a legitimate investigation would lead, is a perfect example of the outcome of an investigation being pre-determined BEFORE seeing evidence. A pre-determined outcome is a witch hunt.
A predetermined outcome is evident when someone is making statements about what has transpired, without seeing all the evidence or talking to all the witnesses. Issa made his comments using only a whistle blower, who was subsequently discredited, and without having interviewed other ATF agents involved and without examining the information on prosecutorial prohibition on arrests — or ignoring them.
And yet, when the Democrats unanimously support something like the Brian A. Terry Memorial Act, and the President SIGNS it, they get no credit for it. I would question why it is the President’s job to popularize this. Where was Issa? He was the legislative sponsor for this. Why didn’t he publicize it instead of grandstanding fact-averse statements to the media? Clearly Issa can get the attention of the media when it suits his purpose to do so. One has to ask, why is Issa so uninterested in sharing the limelight on his legislation with democrats — is it because it doesn’t suit the agenda of his puppet masters, the NRA and other right wing special interests? From the excellent web site resource, govtrack.us:
H.R. 2668: Brian A. Terry Memorial Act
- Jul 27, 2011
- Rep. Darrell Issa [R-CA49]
- Signed by the President