Yesterday, Univision reporter Jorge Ramos did the job the American press won't do by asking Barack Obama tough questions, including questions on the topic of Fast and Furious. Obama of course tried to dodge the question by falsely citing Fast and Furious as starting under the Bush Administration. In reality, Fast and Furious was initiated in September 2009 and was carried out starting in October 2009, well into President Obama's first term. From the Univision interview:
Ramos: Shouldn't Attonrey General Eric have known about that and if he didn't shouldn't you fire him?
Obama: “I think it’s important for us to understand that the Fast and Furious program was a field-initiated program begun under the previous administration. When Eric Holder found out about it, he discontinued it. We assigned a inspector general to do a thorough report that was just issued, confirming that in fact Eric Holder did not know about this, that he took prompt action and the people who did initiate this were held accountable.”
Obama: "Eric Holder has my complete confidence."
A few things.
1) As I said above, Fast and Furious started in Fall 2009, President George W. Bush left office well before then.
2) Fast and Furious was shut down immediately after Brian Terry was killed on December 14, 2010. Attorney General Eric Holder told the DOJ Inspector General he didn't know about Fast and Furious until January or February of 2011, he told Congress in May 2011 he had known about the program only for "a few weeks." Based on that timeline, how did Holder "shut it down" when the program was shut down before he admits to even knowing about it?
3) People still haven't been held accountable. Resignations and retirements are not firings and Holder gave those named in the IG report at "responsible" glowing reviews in a statement he released Wednesday.
“First, Kenneth Melson, the former Acting Director at ATF, has retired from the Department, effective immediately. Ken has served the Department in several important roles for over thirty years, including as a United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia and more recently as an advisor on forensic science issues. I want to thank him for his dedication and service to the Department over the last three decades.
"Second, those individuals within ATF and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Arizona, whom the OIG report found to have been responsible for designing, implementing or supervising Operation Fast and Furious have been referred to the appropriate entities for review and consideration of potential personnel actions. Consistent with the requirements of the Privacy Act, the Department is prohibited from revealing any additional information about these referrals at this time.
“Finally, I have accepted the resignation of Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein, a longtime career prosecutor who most recently served in the Criminal Division where he led our violent and organized crime, computer crimes and intellectual property enforcement efforts. Jason has dedicated much of his career to fighting violent crime and has led highly successful efforts around the country in this effort. The American people are safer because of his work. His commitment to the Department has been unwavering, and I deeply appreciate his 15 years of distinguished service here at Main Justice as well as in Baltimore and New York.
4) As Eric Holder continues to enjoy the full confidence of Barack Obama, the American people have lost their faith and support the Contempt of Congress charges against him.
A majority of Americans approve of the House vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, according to a CNN/ORC survey released Monday.
Indeed, 53 percent of respondents looked favorably upon the rebuke of Holder’s unwillingness to hand over documents related to the Fast and Furious gun-walking program, while 33 percent disapproved of the vote. 13 percent had no opinion.
5) If this was a "field initiated program" then why in the world was it necessary for President Obama to assert executive privilege over thousands of Fast and Furious documents on behalf of Holder?
6) While attorney generals have been asked to resign for far less than failing to do anything about a program allowing the trafficking of thousands of weapons to Mexican narco terrorists, resulting in hundreds of cold blooded murders, Holder still has a job and Obama has no plans to fire him.
7) It isn't surprising Obama lied about this horrific and lethal scandal in front of a Hispanic audience, afterall, he needs their votes and exposing a program that resulted in more than 400 deaths of Mexican citizens, run under an attorney general he has full confidence in, might complicate things a bit.
This isn't the first time Obama has been asked by Ramos about the scandal. Obama was questioned on his knowledge of the program in March 2011. Talking points sound familiar? That's because they are.
Keep in mind, President Obama has offered zero transparency when it comes to getting to the bottom of Fast and Furious. He shipped his White House National Security Adviser Kevin O'Reilly off to Iraq as soon as the public found out he was getting emails from former ATF Special Agent in Charge Bill Newell about Fast and Furious. IG Horowitz said yesterday it was "impossible" to get any information from the White House about the program.