Over at Right Wing News (I remember when it was “Right Wing Nuthouse”), John Hawkins says it’s time for Attorney General Eric Holder to resign over the Fast And Furious scandal. Holder testified, under oath, that he only learned about the Fast And Furious mess a couple of months ago. However, Senator Charles Grassley presented Holder with a letter on the matter in January, and Holder was given a memo last summer on the situation. Therefore, Holder’s only defense against perjury is “I didn’t read the letter or the memo,” which is essentially saying “I’m not corrupt, I’m just mind-bogglingly incompetent.”
I disagree with John. Holder shouldn’t resign.
He shouldn’t be allowed to resign. Not until we have a full accounting of Fast And Furious.
If you need a summary (and even if you don’t — it’s worth repeating just to keep the details fresh), here it goes:
The ATF (part of the Justice Department) set up a program called “Operation Fast And Furious.” Forget about the purpose; there hasn’t been a coherent explanation for what it was supposed to accomplish. In this program, gun dealers were “encouraged” to go along with suspicious gun purchases by “straw buyers,” who bought large amounts of weapons — some military-grade — and turn them over to Mexican drug cartels. In some cases, the ATF even paid for the guns themselves. Then the guns were smuggled across the Mexican border — again, sometimes with the assistance of the ATF — and given to the cartels for use in their ongoing wars. These guns have been linked to several hundred deaths, including the murder of United States Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
That’s what the ATF did. There were also many things they did not do. They did not make any attempt to track the weapons once they crossed the border into Mexico. They did not notify their own agents in Mexico that the guns were on the way. And they did not tell the Mexican government that we were supplying the drug cartels (which are posing an existential threat to the nation of Mexico) with a couple thousand weapons — again, many of which were military grade.
And all this happened under Holder’s watch.
Holder, resign? Hell, no. Hold the son-of-a-bitch’s feet to the fire. Have him explain what he knew, when he knew it, and who told him. Have him explain what was so goddamned important that we — as a nation — sanctioned supplying a couple thousand guns to a drug cartel, resulting in hundreds of innocent deaths. Let him say what grand purpose was behind agents of the United States government engaging in treason and acts of war against an allied nation.
I’ve said this several times, and I’m going to keep repeating it as long as necessary: I don’t give a goddamn what the official purpose of Fast And Furious was. The deeds committed in its name are so heinous, they defy any kind of rationalization or “higher purpose.” Let those who ordered them committed come up with their explanations and rationalizations as they answer for their deeds.
And while I wouldn’t start with Eric Holder, he’s managed to put himself on the hot seat with his… apparently contradictory explanations of just what he knew and when he knew it.
We need answers. And we deserve them.