Like a cancer, the growing number of news stories being uncovered from the cache on Operation Fast and Furious relentlessly gnaws at the Obama administration. And at a time like this, when other scandals, such as Solyndra, are raising questions about possible White House improprieties, the President who promised us transparency is forced to circle the wagons to protect the White House, the Justice Department and the myriad federal agencies involved in Fast and Furious from the eyes of investigative committees in the House and Senate.
What makes things even worse for Obama & Co. is that Fast and Furious is not over yet. There are still more than 1,000 guns unaccounted for, grenade components that were moved across the border to the Mexican cartel, and questions about how truthful the administration has been in reporting details to date.
For example, although we’ve been told for months that only two Fast and Furious guns were found at the murder scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December 2010, we now know there were at least three. We also know that the existence of the third gun and its ties to Fast and Furious were intentionally covered up by the FBI.
And while Obama & Co. has tried to act like American citizens were not endangered by Fast and Furious, recent unsettling news is that in 2010, police in Maricopa County, Ariz., apprehended a Mexican national with a Fast and Furious gun in his possession. He had rammed two police cruisers and tried to outrun others before being caught with two weapons in his possession, one of which was a gun that was supposed to be walked into Mexico and transferred to the cartel.
How many other criminals are driving the streets in Arizona, Texas and New Mexico with Fast and Furious weapons in their cars right now?
Moreover, how many of the 1,000 Fast and Furious guns unaccounted for are in the U.S. instead of Mexico?
These are serious questions that need to be answered by the administration that promised us transparency.
And when you couple these new developments with the fact that we now know White House officials were briefed on Fast and Furious far more and in far greater detail than we were first led to believe, it’s hard to keep from thinking that Obama and his underlings have something to hide.
For example, although the administration is playing dumb on the specifics of the operation, Rep. Darrell Issa (R.-Calif.) has learned that White House official Kevin O’Reilly received e-mails from Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) supervisor William Newell about “a 22-year-old kid on State financial assistance [who walked] into a gun store and [plopped] down $12,000 in cash to buy a tripod mounted .50-caliber rifle” during the Fast and Furious operation. In other words, the White House was told that a young man on food stamps bought a $12,000 specialty rifle (for which ammo alone is well over $3 per bullet), and this was only one of nearly 700 gun buys this particular straw purchaser made under the auspices of that operation.
How can a White House that knew such purchases were taking place likewise claim it knew nothing about the gun-walking aspect of the Fast and Furious operation?
For now there’s no answer, but answers need to be pursued, because this operation is rife with coverups and questions that could sink even the most popular President, much less Obama.
Someone in the administration lied, and people died: lots and lots of people, among them a U.S. Border Patrol agent whose family is being denied closure. Therefore, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Issa has “formally asked the Obama administration to turn over copies of ‘all records’ dealing with exchanges between White House officials and the ATF on Fast and Furious.”
Let’s hope Issa gets to the bottom of this mess before a Fast and Furious weapon makes it to a town near you.