Earlier today, Katie posted a clip from last night's Freedom Watch, in which a retired US Army officer suggests the foiled Iranian-backed terrorist plot might be a manufactured crisis by the Obama administration. The segment was brimming with conjecture and dark theorizing. If true, the allegations raised would represent a stunning betrayal of a the public trust, and a fulfilment of liberals' worst fears about the Bush administration. Not so fast. Andy McCarthy throws several dashes of ice cold water on the notion that this is all just mind-blowingly cynical political theater:
There are conspiracy theories floating around claiming that this bizarre plot — the Iranians recruit a Mexican drug cartel guy who just happened to be a DEA informant to rub out the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. — was probably cooked up by the Justice Department to deflect attention from the Fast & Furious debacle. No way.
To be sure, Attorney General Holder has only himself to blame: under his stewardship, law enforcement has been thoroughly politicized, and when you run the ship that way people are apt to be suspicious of your every move. But this Iran case is not being run by Main Justice — and I don’t mean to cast aspersions at Main Justice, where many fine people work; I’m simply pointing out that if you were an AG trying to pull off a scam, you’d keep it close to home with as few people in the know as possible. The case is being handled by my old office (the Southern District of New York), where the U.S. attorney is a very honorable guy and the prosecutors are notoriously resistant to micro-management by Main Justice. The FBI director is also a straight arrow, as are the vast, vast majority of agents. There are just too many people involved — good, hardworking people, who would take no part in a charade designed to take the heat off the AG.
Two other points on this subject: (a) If you were of a mind to trump up a spectacular case, you could gin up something without involving international relations, the potential of provoking a war, and the involvement of top government officials who don’t have much incentive to go out on a limb for Eric Holder (i.e., the Justice Department does not have its usual free reign when a prosecution implicates the responsibilities of other agencies); and (b) the attorney general knows that Fast & Furious is not going away, so it would be pointless to try to make it go away with a case that will only get a few days’ attention before fading from our notice.
McCarthy -- a strong conservative, National Review contributor, former federal prosecutor, and author of two important books -- goes on to explain why this plot is an entirely plausible extension of Iran's evil modus operandi, and laments the fact that our State Department's moral paralysis will likely prevent the US from mounting much of a forceful push-back against Iran. Many conservatives are prepared to believe the absolute worst about this administration -- and with good reason, in many cases. That doesn't mean every conspiracy theory that comes down the block should be embraced; there's no shortage of genuine White House outrages to discuss and decry. As with the Birther nonsense, we ought not invent or latch on to every provocative fable simply because it may align with the general "Obama is bad" template. Conservatives can and should defeat liberalism, and this president, on the merits.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography