After months of debate from GOP presidential candidates on topics ranging from Gardasil vaccinations to nuclear Iran, the topic of Operation Fast and Furious was finally mentioned during the Fox News Sioux City, Iowa debate Thursday night and met with roaring applause from the audience. Considering December 15, 2011 is the one-year-anniversary of the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, who was killed by an illegal Mexican drug cartel member in the Arizona desert using a gun provided through the Obama Justice Department, the timing was fitting. Fox News host Megyn Kelly asked the question about Fast and Furious without mentioning Brian Terry, didn't give background on the operation and framed it in a way that benefited Eric Holder. She asked Rick Santorum and Rick Perry if republicans were politicizing the scandal by calling for his resignation. Rick Perry has joined with 57 House Republicans in calls for Holder to resign immediately.
It would have been helpful for viewers to understand the Obama Justice Department deliberately allowed 2000 guns to be placed in the hands of Mexican drug cartels. The fatal result of this program? Two U.S. federal agents are dead, more than 300 Mexican citizens have been slaughtered. Even Eric Holder admits more people will be killed as a result of the operation for years to come. Questions to GOP candidates about whether criminal charges should be pressed against DOJ officials for their role in Fast and Furious and how they would repair the U.S. relationship with Mexico over the issue would have been more productive in moving the Fast and Furious conversation forward.
Both Santorum and Perry said if Holder was their attorney general, he would be fired for his role in Fast and Furious, whether he knew about gun walking techniques or for being incompetent for not knowing about them.
Although the discussion surrounding Fast and Furious tonight was brief, under 60 seconds, I'm glad the topic finally came up as it has been ignored for months by the mainstream media and been falsely classified as a "botched" operation. Fox News' Bret Baier credited Twitter for pushing the topic into the debate. Hashtags used to promote the topic were #fastandfurious and #murdergate.
|Katie Pavlich is the News Editor at Townhall.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiepavlich. She is also the author of Fast and Furious: Barack Obama's Bloodiest Scandal and the Shameless Cover-Up.
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Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography