by Joseph P. Tartaro
This issue of TheGunMag will be on the printing press on Oct. 16, the same day on which the second presidential debate will be broadcast to the nation.
The same date will be exactly three weeks before the election.
Who, if anyone, will win the Oct. 16 debate or the last one remains to be seen. I suspect that most likely voters have already made up their minds on their candidate, with the outcome of the last two debates more reinforcement of views than game changers.
The debate however may be decisive for those voters who have not yet made a candidate or party decision.
Most polls claimed that Mitt Romney won the first debate with President Barack Obama. The vice presidential debate between Paul Ryan and Joe Biden, who was playing the Joker, was probably a fairly even match up, with each side’s supporters claiming a win.
However, for all of the debating, there is at least one question that has so far gone unasked, especially of Obama. Simply put, it is: “Who was really responsible for the Fast and Furious fiasco, and why?” It appears that my 12-word question will not be asked unless some moderator goofs and actually allows such a question from the audience in the town-hall format.
The reason why this important question will not be asked is because most in the media, and perhaps many Americans, never thought Fast and Furious posed a serious problem that impacted their personal liberties.
Some, for whom Fast and Furious and the conduct of Attorney General Eric Holder was a problem, now believe that the Justice Department’s Inspector General’s report answered all questions and as it laid the blame on mostly nonpolitical government employees.
The Obama administration, with the help of most of the general media, also tried to shift or share the blame for Fast and Furious with the Bush administration. The White House news spinners guided the media to report in the news about the Inspector General’s report that Fast and Furious was an extension of a similar “sting” launched under the previous administration.
That has been an Obama administration stratagem for the last three and a half years: Blame all the nation’s ills on the Bush administration.
They have never linked policies of the Clinton administration and a Democrat-controlled Congress that preceded Bush to the collapse of the housing industry, Fanny May and Freddy Mac and the mortgage bankers.
The Obama administration, with the help of allies in the media, has circled the wagons on the subject of the Fast and Furious mess, and the lies and obfuscation of Erie Holder and his Justice Department.
Americans might wonder why the White House has gone out of its way to shield Holder and to cover up any trails that might lead to the whole Obama team.
Perhaps some of the answers can be found in a book about the Obama years by Richard Miniter, Leading from Behind, that was not released until August 2012, just two months ago.
The subtitle of Miniter’s book is “The reluctant president and the advisors who decide for him.” Bear in mind that Miniter is a professional journalist who has at least two previous New York Times non-fiction bestsellers. His book may be too late to have any impact on the upcoming election, but it contains some fascinating information about the people who play such important behind-the-scenes roles in the Obama White House, particularly on decision making.
One chapter in Leading from Behind is devoted to an examination of the Fast and Furious stratagem and Eric Holder, and helps explain why Obama and his team have protected his politically-appointed attorney general.
Obama has a huge political debt to Holder, according to Miniter, a debt that the author traces back to Obama’s early political career and Holder’s role in fund-raising for the 2008 campaign and his help in securing Obama’s election as president.
Miniter’s book adds new insights into the Fast and Furious fiasco that just will not go away, not just in the US but around the world, particularly in Mexico, which was never told in advance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives operation, supervised by the Department of Justice. By contrast, when the Bush administration ran its own gunrunning operation in 2007 and 2008, it had fully informed Mexican authorities.
Fast and Furious will not go away much as the Obama-Holder team and its allies try to bury it.
The Spanish language television news network Univision unleashed a bombshell investigative report of its own on Operation Fast and Furious the evening of Sept. 30, finding that in January 2010 drug cartel hit men slaughtered students with weapons the United States government allowed to flow to them across the Mexican border.
“On January 30, 2010, a commando of at least 20 hit men parked themselves outside a birthday party of high school and college students in Villas de Salvarcar, Ciudad Juarez,” according to a version of the Univision report in English, on the ABC News website.
“Near midnight, the assassins, later identified as hired guns for the Mexican cartel La Linea, broke into a one story house and opened fire on a gathering of nearly 60 teenagers.
Outside, lookouts gunned down a screaming neighbor and several students who had managed to escape.
Fourteen young men and women were killed, and 12 more were wounded before the hit men finally fled.” Citing a Mexican Army document it obtained and published, Univision reported that “[t]hree of the high caliber weapons fired that night in Villas de Salvarcar were linked to a gun tracing operation run” by ATF.
The “massacre,” as Univision described it, was not the only bombshell the network unveiled in its report.
“Univision News identified a total of 57 more previously unreported firearms that were bought by straw purchasers monitored by ATF during Operation Fast and Furious, and then recovered in Mexico in sites related to murders, kidnappings, and at least one other massacre,” the Univision report reads.
Obama’s White House has claimed the Inspector General’s report exonerated Holder, but congressional investigators believe otherwise. Hence the need for someone to ask the question of Obama at the debates.