Should Congress Hold Eric Holder In Contempt?

If the Department of Justice does not fully comply with Congressional subpoenas, then there seems to be no alternative other than holding the Attorney General in contempt.

House Republicans are seemingly united in the desire to move forward with a Contempt Of Congress charge against Attorney General Eric Holder for what they say is the Justice Department’s refusal to comply completely with the subpoenas issued by the House Government Oversight Committee in connection with its investigation of the “Fast &  Furious” gun walking scandal. Down the road from Congress, the White House and Justice Department remains similarly unwilling to budge from their position that they have provided all of the documents they intend to provide in response to the subpoenas. What that means is that, with Campaign Spring quickly turning into Campaign Summer, Washington appears to be setting itself for the biggest Separation of Powers showdown we’ve seen in quite some time.

Already, the White House is saying that this entire matter is a essentially a political witch hunt, despite the fact that questions remain unanswered about exactly what it was Arizona-based ATF officials thought they were doing when they began selling hundreds if not thousands of high-powered weapons to sham buyers and watched those weapons “walk” across the border to Mexico without making any effort to track where they were ending up. For their part, Republicans say that all they want are the documents that they have, pursuant to their oversight powers, requested in duly issued subpoenas:

House Republicans sounded like they were ready to go to war with the Obama administration Monday over the Fast and Furious program as they announced a committee vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.

But behind the scenes, House Republican leaders want nothing more than for the White House and Justice Department to fork over thousands of pages of documents related to the ill-fated gun-running program and avoid a dramatic — and potentially distracting — House floor showdown.

At the same time, though, the article goes on to note that House Republican Leadership recognizes that this isn’t the message they want to be going into the campaign season with. Poll after poll over the past several years have shown that the last thing voters want to see is confrontation between the various sides in Washington over something that isn’t easy to explain. At the same time, of course, I don’t think that the Democrats are going to benefit very much politically from this either. As with the debt ceiling debate, a showdown over contempt citations between the White House and Congress would likely lead to the same kind of “pox on both their houses” response from the public that we saw in the polls in the wake of the debt ceiling fiasco last summer.

That doesn’t mean that Congress should just give in on this, though. Obviously, there are political motives in the investigation and more than a few Republicans are likely salivating over the prospect of “getting” a high-ranking Obama official on the eve of the General Election campaign. However, Congress has a legitimate role in oversight here, and there are more than enough unanswered questions about this scandal that seems to have no logical explanation to justify continuing the investigation. Moreover, as Mitchel A. Sollenberger and Mark Rozell argue in today’s Roll Call, the Justice Department’s intransigence in response to these subpoenas leaves the Government Oversight Committee with little choice but to go forward with contempt proceedings:

[N]ewly leaked information about the DOJ’s actions leaves no doubt that the committee has a duty now to aggressively pursue any and all information germane to its investigation. Six wiretap applications for the Fast and Furious program signed off by Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein and Deputy Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco  provide clear evidence that this scandal reaches the top level of the DOJ. Dismissing the investigation as mere partisan politics simply is not credible given what we now know.

The undisputed fact is that there are two dead federal agents and potentially hundreds killed in Mexico because top DOJ officials approved the sale of thousands of weapons and never determined how such dangerous firearms would be tracked.

Furthermore, DOJ has been sitting on a request for specific information about Fast and Furious since October. To be sure, it has produced a series of Friday night document dumps that allow the attorney general to testify that he and the department are really cooperating with this investigation.

But everyone on the committee knows it is the oldest trick in the book to release reams of materials while holding back those that are most directly germane to answering its questions. And one cannot help but wonder what information is in the more than 130,000 documents relating to Fast and Furious that Holder recently admitted that the Justice Department has not disclosed.

So the committee has exhausted its means of compelling the DOJ to cooperate fully with this investigation. Enough is enough. Eight months of stonewalling make it clear that further appeals for documents, additional testimony by the attorney general and other department officials will not change this pattern. If Congress wants to get to the bottom of this scandal and make sure that the responsible officials are held accountable, it has to use whatever constitutional tools it has at its disposal, even if that means holding Holder in contempt.

The necessary path for Holder going forward is to finally cooperate with the Congressional investigation and respond forthrightly and fully to the subpoena requests. Such a decision is not only in the best interest of the Obama administration but also of the American people, who have a right to know the truth and to demand  accountability. Continued stonewalling does not resolve this battle between the branches and it suggests that Holder possibly has something to hide.

There’s very little here that I can disagree with. As the representatives of the people, Congress has a duty to oversee the agencies of the Executive Branch, and to investigate in situations that require it even if it may end up being politically messy and inconvenient. Yes, there’s a partisan motive involved but, in some sense, that’s a good thing. Would a Democratic controlled Congress be pursuing this matter with similar zeal? For that matter, would a Republican Congress have pursued the Iran-Contra Scandal with the zeal that the Democrats did in the late 80s? Regardless of what criminal actions may or may not have been committed here, something that isn’t really the jurisdiction of Congress anyway, the American people have a right to know what happened her. For that matter, this investigation also implicates national security interests. Specifically, this scandal implicates our relations with our southern neighbor, whose generally pro-American Attorney General is still upset that she was kept entirely out of the loop about what was going on with Fast & Furious even while weapons involved in the scandal were no doubt being used to kill Mexican citizens in the country’s bloody drug feuds. It simply isn’t enough for the Justice Department and the White House to say “Trust us.” The oversight process exists precisely because we cannot trust them without making sure there’s someone looking over their shoulder.

How will this all end? Well, an incident during the Bush Administration may provide a clue:

During the Bush administration, as Democrats pushed a probe into the firing of U.S. attorneys in late 2006 orchestrated by White House officials, the Justice Department refused to take any action on a criminal contempt resolution approved by the House. This left the House Judiciary Committee with the option of suing the White House in federal court, which it did. The process lasted months, and in the end — despite an early round victory for the Judiciary Committee — both sides cut a deal before setting a legal precedent binding future presidents and Congresses.

That’s  what will happen this time, no doubt, but whether it happens before or after Eric Holder is found in contempt is the question we’re all waiting to find out the answer to.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Congress, Law and the Courts, Politicians, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Hello World! says:

    Absolutely! It would be so embarrassing to the Obama administration. Even if there is no merit to it, just to see the look on his face! When this all started under the Bush administration the democrats should have done the same, but they didn’t so now we birthers need to stick it to Hussain Obama. Darrel Issa sure is an American tea party birther hero for doing all this.

  2. Vast Variety says:

    The problem with all of this is that it seems like the GOP is going to go after this regardless of how much the DOJ hands over. They could hand over every document and bit of data they have and it wouldn’t satisfy the GOP.

  3. anjin-san says:

    Ah, for the good old days when the President (according to Republicans) was a unitary executive, and even to question him smacked of treason.

  4. WR says:

    Let’s see:

    The governor of Florida issues new rules illegally banning many thousands of citizens from voting because he suspects they might be Democrats.

    The attorney general — known to Republicans as “that other uppity black fellow” — orders them to stop under the voting rights act.

    Congressional Republicans vote to find Holder in contempt on this oh, so crucial issue.

    Nah, there’s no way anyone will think the Republicans are doing anything but upholding truth, justice and the American way.

    Hey, maybe if they shout “Solyndra” really loud, everyone will believe them.

  5. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Vast Variety: The problem with all of this is that it seems like the GOP is going to go after this regardless of how much the DOJ hands over. They could hand over every document and bit of data they have and it wouldn’t satisfy the GOP.

    You are aware, of course, that the Justice Department — by its own admission — has NOT handed over about 95% of what was subpoenaed? That they’ve only provided one out of twenty documents, saying essentially “the rest isn’t really relevant — just take our word for it?”

  6. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: I guess I’m too young to remember those days (I’m almost 50). Are we talking 20th century, 19th, or even earlier?

  7. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @WR: Shorter WR: “Duh, Republicans bad! Me so smart for showing this by lifting from Democratic Underground! Them super-geniuses!”

  8. Hello World! says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: The ave provided over 7,000 documents and Issa has no specific questions. They are fishing, period

  9. Modulo Myself says:

    The White House would be crazy to hand over anything. No one cares about Fast and Furious. All the GOP wants is a way to start dragging people in front of kangaroo courts. This is the same party that propped up Kenneth Starr after Robert Fisk came back with zilch, and then when Starr found the same quantity of zilch gave the man carte blanche to begin chasing after interns who went down on the President, all with enormous powers as if he was chasing corruption or something.

    And incidentally, outside of being in the pocket of Wall Street and having an enormous functional death squad of robots, Obama has nothing to hide. So we’d be getting endless outrage about budgets for office parties, missing crates of pens and envelopes, unsaved drafts of memos, conspiracies within conspiracies within conspiracies to have Class 5(C) whatevers counted as Class 4334-B, in direct violation of rule 553s.

  10. anjin-san says:

    All the GOP wants is a way to start dragging people in front of kangaroo courts.

    I’m inclined to agree. Fox has been pushing the “plagued by scandals” meme pretty hard, but no one with an IQ in triple digits is really interested. The GOP is doing what it has been doing for years now, trying to damage Obama by any means possible.

  11. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Hello World!: The ave provided over 7,000 documents and Issa has no specific questions. They are fishing, period

    They’ve produced over 7,000 documents. They identified over 140,000 documents.

    Do the math yourself. Giving 1 out of 20 documents legally demanded is NOT compliance.

  12. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Modulo Myself: The White House would be crazy to hand over anything. No one cares about Fast and Furious. All the GOP wants is a way to start dragging people in front of kangaroo courts.

    Because, after all, who the hell cares about a few hundred dead Mexicans? And Border Patrol agent Brian Terry — he probably voted Republican. And if he was Border Patrol, then he was probably a racist, too.

    Isn’t that pretty much what you’re saying here?

    And you wanna talk about kangaroo courts? Let’s look at the Plame investigation. They found out almost immediately who blew her “cover” — Richard Armitage. Scooter Libby was convicted of lying about telling the truth about a liar.

  13. @WR:

    You’re right nothing crucial about two dead Federal Agents and high-powered weapons being smuggled to drug lords. Move along, nothing to see here?

    Are you serious? If this were a Republican President, I have no doubt you and your allies would be screaming for scalps by now

  14. Modulo Myself says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Look, the DEA has also made it their business to be laundering money for drug lords, all in order to continue our wonderful drug war’s high rate of success in ending the drug war. Are you for that? I’m not. The same goes for Fast and Furious, just as it does for the numerous bogus setups using informants that the FBI perpetrates. It’s repulsive.

    If the GOP was remotely interested in going after the police state, I’d be happy to see Eric Holder go down. And even though they’re about 3000% authoritarian, compared to the 2500% of the mainstream neoliberals, I still would find it worthwhile, but the lameness of watching cheerleaders of this crap pretend to care can not be overstated.

  15. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Doug Mataconis: WR is always serious.

    The question is, why the hell would anyone take him seriously?

  16. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Modulo Myself: We’re not talking about differences in political philosophies or approaches. We’re talking real dead bodies here. People were murdered by this program.

    And we don’t even have a remotely plausible story as to what they were trying to accomplish.

  17. Modulo Myself says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    As opposed to the fake dead bodies that America has glossed right over for so long? And the GOP is going to say that the guns were the killers, and the gun dealers, rather than the guys who pulled the trigger? Seriously, looking at actual oppression and injustice is not going to be your strong suit. Go back to raging about hippies, black and brown people, and tax rates, comrade.

  18. I’m kinda torn on this. On one hand I think Holder is guilty of contempt and would like to see him held to account for that. On the other hand, I don’t think the Republicans really care about the crime so much as they see an oppurtunity to embarass the president, so I don’t really want them to benefit from an issue they are pursuing for bad reasons.

  19. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Modulo Myself: Sheesh, is that the best you can do?

    The guns themselves are innocent. Hell, if you like, I’ll kick in for their legal defense fund.

    But how the frick are you NOT outraged that the federal government actively gave these guns to the Mexican drug cartels? And not as some elaborate (or even semi-elaborate) “sting” operation, but just “here, have a couple of thousand guns, free an clear.”

    For f’s sake, the Bush administration tried something similar — but they actually had plans to trace the guns into Mexico, and coordinated with Mexican officials. When it started falling apart, they pulled the plug.

    Then along comes the Obama administration. They dust off the plan, yank out all the safety features that were intended to keep the guns from just disappearing into the Cartel’s hands (and didn’t work too well), and tried it all over again.

    Remember the Challenger disaster? Defective O-rings that couldn’t withstand cold blew up the shuttle. To draw a parallel, imagine if someone had proposed “you know, these O-rings didn’t work as they were supposed to. Let’s just yank them out and launch the shuttle anyway.”

    Or the Titanic. “The ship couldn’t withstand hitting an iceberg along the side of the ship. So let’s just get rid of the ship’s side entirely.”

    This would be even funnier if the body count wasn’t already in the hundreds.

    That’s a lot of blood on Eric Holder’s hands.

    How many people died over Watergate? Who was killed over the Valerie Plame scandal?

  20. anjin-san says:

    Are you serious? If this were a Republican President

    I seem to remember the previous administration misplacing about 200,000 guns in Iraq.

  21. Modulo Myself says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Let’s see…Watergate: up to a hundred thousand in Cambodia. Plame: maybe five hundred thousand in Iraq.

  22. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Should Congress Hold Eric Holder In Contempt?

    Do bears shit in the woods?

    In any case, I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating, thus I’ll say it again: Holder is to attorneys general what Evel Knieval was to motorcycle safety. Dude literally is a flaming disaster of a wreck. That we’ve gone from the likes of Thornburgh and Meese to Eric Holder bodes quite ill for the country at large.

  23. anjin-san says:

    People were murdered by this program.

    Even for you, this is incredibly stupid. People were murdered by criminals. Criminals always manage to get guns from somewhere. I guess the argument is that if not for Fast & Furious, the guys who actually did the murdering would be managing teams of chiclet boys on tourist beaches instead of being gangsters.

    As usual, you sound like a hysterical old lady.

  24. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: If you can find a source that upgrades “misplaced” with actively gave the guns to terrorists and insurgents,” you might — MIGHT — have a valid point.

    That’s the key point, which you seem to be working very hard to ignore. This was no “botched operation.” The operation went off exactly as planned.

  25. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Let’s take that “logic” and run with it. Since people get raped every year, why shouldn’t we give the addresses of single women to sex offenders? Let’s give every elementary school its own pedophile in residence.

    And I’ll start running off some letterhead for the Madoff & Corzine Investment Firm.

  26. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Modulo Myself: Plame: maybe five hundred thousand in Iraq.

    So let’s haul Richard Armitage before the Hague for crimes against humanity.

  27. WR says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Yup, once again Jenos realizes he can’t argue against the obvious truth, so he tries to be adorable.

    Geeze, dude, you’re really almost fifty — and this is what your life adds up to?

  28. WR says:

    @Doug Mataconis:High powered weapons being smuggled to drug lords? You mean the very same high powered weapons that drug lords can buy in unlimited quantities at swap meets because Republicans have rammed through laws eliminating all regulation of “gun show” sales? Yeah, no way those drug lords could ever get American weapons without our government helping them.

    And about those “high powered” — or as Jenos called them in a previous thread “near military grade” — weapons… aren’t these the same assault rifles we were told were exactly like every other kind of gun back when the Democrats wanted to regulate them?

    Why, yes. Yes they are.

    And I’m sure you care desperately about the federal agents who would be so much more alive if they’d been shot by weapons bought at a swap meet under Republican laws. Just as I know you care about uncovering executive branch wrongdoing. I mean, I do remember your attitude about Bush’s people revealing the name of an undercover CIA agent.

  29. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @WR: I addressed every valid point you raised.

    Which was… let’s see… carry the seven… exactly zero.

    Others actually raised semi-valid points, and I’ve addressed them. You, though… you really are a colossal waste of skin.

  30. WR says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Heck, why don’t we ask Attorney General Holder!

    Holder: With all due respect, senator, there is so much that is factually wrong with the premises that you started your statement with, it’s almost breathtaking in its inaccuracy, but, I’ll simply leave it at that.

    You know, we want to talk about Fast and Furious, this is, I guess, what, the ninth time?— [turning to an aide who nods “yes”]—this is now the ninth time that I have answered questions before a congressional committee about “Fast and Furious.”

    If you want to talk about Fast and Furious, I’m the attorney general that put an end to the misguided tactics that were used in Fast and Furious. An attorney general whom I suppose you would hold in higher regard was briefed on these kinds of tactics in an operation called “Wide Receiver” and did nothing to stop them. Nothing. Three hundred guns, at least, “walked” in that instance.

    I’m also the attorney general who called on an inspector general to look into this matter, to investigate this matter. I’m also the attorney general who made personnel changes at ATF and in the U.S. Attorneys office that was involved, have overseen the changes of processes and procedures within ATF to make sure that this doesn’t happen ever again.

    So I don’t have any intention of resigning. I heard the White House press officer say yesterday that the president has absolute confidence in me. I don’t have any reason to believe that in fact is not the case.

    And in terms of, you know, what is it that we have turned over to Congress in this regard, let’s put something on the record here. … We have collected data from 240 custodians, we have processed millions of electronic records, looked at over 140,000 documents, turned over 7,600 pages. Over the course of 46 separate productions, we have made available people from the department at the highest levels to be interviewed.

    And I’ve also said, indicated, I guess, earlier in my testimony, to the extent that all of that is not enough to satisfy the concerns that have been raised in the House committee, I am willing to sit down and talk about the provision of more materials. I have sent letters in that regard, the deputy attorney general has sent letters in that regard, and have not had responses. Which leads me to believe that the desire here is not for an accommodation but for a political point-making. And that is the kind of thing that, you know, you and and your side, I guess, have the ability to do if that’s what you want to do. It is the kind of thing that I think turns people off about Washington. While we have very serious problems, we still have this political gamesmanship.

  31. WR says:

    @Stormy Dragon: When asked if he’s trying to express contempt for congress, Holder should give them Mae West’s answer:

    “No, your honor, I’m trying to conceal it.”

  32. Ron Beasley says:

    I’m left of center and opposed the Holder appointment from the beginning. After the financial crisis I thought the last thing we needed was a Wall Street lawyer in the AG slot. That turned out to be right – there have been few if any investigations of the financial industry. Instead we get stuff like Barry Bonds. If you haven’t you should read The Monster by Michael Hudson.

  33. anjin-san says:

    @ WR

    There is a strange commonality between dead brown people and the deficit these days.

    Conservatives did not give a shit about either until the black dude became President. Now its an obsession.

  34. WR says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: Oh, yes, Ed Meese. That paragon of judicial wisdom. How could America have survived without him spending millions of dollars to generate a report saying that pornography is icky. Truly a giant among men.

    Hey, while we’re at it, how about Robert Bork, the only man Nixon could find who was corrupt enough to fire Archibald Cox, so he was named acting AG? He’s got to be one of your heroes.

  35. Dave Schuler says:

    Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. The Congress is acting within its oversight responsibilities and AG Holder should be responsive and cooperative. His failure to do so would warrant a contempt of Congress citation.

  36. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @WR: Nice collection of self-serving BS and whine there. Did Holder get your input on it?

  37. Tsar Nicholas says:

    @WR: Dude, you missed the point of that comment the way Rob Deer used to miss curveballs. Meese had the dignity and virtue to resign when he became involved in a scandal. That Holder hasn’t taken the high road and resigned speaks volumes. At least Meese had more respect for the office than his own personal power. That was the point of that reference.

  38. al-Ameda says:

    Anything Holder can do to make Issa angry is a public service. And clearly everything Holder does causes Issa to become unhinged. Holder could provide Issa with a million pages of documentation and it would not change anything. Fast and Furious started I the Bush Administration and became the subject of Issa’s concern because conservative media brought it to Darrell’s attention.

    I’m guessing that a contempt order is issued, better now than in September

  39. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: Anything Holder can do to make Issa angry is a public service.

    Like, say, kill a few hundred more Mexicans? Think that’ll do it?

    Fast and Furious started I the Bush Administration and became the subject of Issa’s concern because conservative media brought it to Darrell’s attention.

    Yeah, the Bushes tried it. And when it failed, they pulled the plug. As I said above, the Obama administration took the same basic idea — and found ways to make it even more dangerous.

    Actually, I’m sensing a theme here. “Bush waterboarded terrorists, and that was grossly inhumane. Let’s just blow them up instead. That’s way more compassionate.”

  40. Drew says:

    @anjin-san:

    Stupid

  41. Drew says:

    BTW

    not surprisingly, Schuler makes the correct point.

  42. @WR:

    There is absolutely no evidence that drug lords or any other criminal is buying weapons at gun shows (not swap meets, my friend).

    I understand the real reason you don’t care about this, because it’s a Democratic Administration, but do you not even care about the two dead Federal agents?

  43. Ben Wolf says:

    @Dave Schuler:

    Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. The Congress is acting within its oversight responsibilities and AG Holder should be responsive and cooperative. His failure to do so would warrant a contempt of Congress citation.

    Well said, Dave. Even if Republicans are being hypocrites by not investigating other issues which deserve attention, it doesn’t change the fact they’re doing the correct thing this time. A lot of people are dead because of this screwup and I as a citizen want to know why.

  44. jan says:

    It’s encouraging to see such a compilation of agreement in seeing the duties of AG outside the box of partisanship: Jenos, Dave Schuler, Ben Wolf, Drew, Ron Beasley, Tsar, Doug.

  45. WR says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Yes, Jenos. I write all of the testimony for the attorney general of the United States. Thank you for asking.

  46. WR says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Of course there is no evidence. Because the Republicans made it illegal to find out. They also made it impossible to keep someone from buying guns just because he’s on the terrorist watch list. The whole point of the Republican-passed legislation was to make sure no government agency could ever find out who was buying guns.

    Funny how no one ever asks who funds the NRA, the biggest supporter of criminal enterprises in the country.

  47. WR says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: If Meese had respect for his office, he wouldn’t have been using it to sniff after smut.

    And if Holder resigns because a corrupt and sleazy politician like Issa demands it, then the entire administration will have to resign, because they’re guilty of the same crime — they’re Democrats.

    Ed Meese. Please.

  48. WR says:

    @jan: Yes, Jan, how refreshing to see Jenos, Tsar, Drew and Doug all repeating the Republican line. Heavens knows that never happens!

  49. WR says:

    @Doug Mataconis: I suspect I care about the two dead Federal agents exactly as much as you do.

  50. Tano says:

    questions remain unanswered about exactly what it was Arizona-based ATF officials thought they were doing when they began selling hundreds if not thousands of high-powered weapons to sham buyers and watched those weapons “walk” across the border to Mexico

    What on earth do you think they thought they were doing Doug? Other than what countless other prosecutors think they are doing when they do similar thing?

    BenW: A lot of people are dead because of this screwup and I as a citizen want to know why.

    A lot of people?
    And are you arguing that, without these weapons, the drug runners would have been unarmed when they got into the confrontation that left the agents dead???

  51. Ron Beasley says:

    @jan: I think the reasons the Republicans are going after Holder is pure political hackery. I dislike Holder because he hasn’t gone after the banksters, something I doubt the Republicans would want him to do.

  52. dennis says:

    Meh. I’m just waiting for the day when, once again, we have a White man in the office of POTUS. Then everything will again be right with the world, peace on earth and good will toward men. Yeah.

  53. Chris says:

    @Doug Mataconis: But it was a republican president. Your all too willing to forget that this program was started under Bush.

  54. Argon says:

    @Ron Beasley: Didn’t go after the banksters or the torturers. Holder has been very disappointing.

  55. anjin-san says:

    @ Drew

    If you can provide some links to posts you made in opposition to the Iraq war and Bush taking us from surplus to deficit, I will be glad to take a look at them.

  56. Jeremy R says:

    @Hello World!:

    The ave provided over 7,000 documents and Issa has no specific questions. They are fishing, period

    Yup, and Issa’s team slowly leaks like a sieve to the media cherry-picked documents from those thousands. The purpose of his oversight is extremely transparent.

  57. Jeremy R says:

    From the OP:

    The undisputed fact is that there are two dead federal agents and potentially hundreds killed in Mexico because top DOJ officials approved the sale of thousands of weapons and never determined how such dangerous firearms would be tracked.

    I haven’t been following this as much since it became mainly the obsession of FNC and the rightwing fever-swamps, but I thought there were two guns used in the firefight with the slain ATF agent, and then two more that were found nearby afterward (those additional ones found were traced to to the ATF program) and the actual bullet in question was too damaged to conclusively match to any of the guns. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems that Roll Call article is massively exaggerating in a number of places.

  58. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Chris: Apparently you missed it the first two times I said it, so I’ll say it a third time:

    Yes, the Bush administration tried something similar. But unlike Fast & Furious, they actually notified the Mexican government and tried to track the guns within Mexico. But even that was too dangerous, so they pulled the plug on it.

    And then the Obama administration took the same plan, stripped out all the safety measures, and tried it again. See my space shuttle and Titanic metaphors above.

  59. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Jeremy R: You familiar with the concept of “felony murder,” Jer? If you’re part of a felony where someone is killed, then each and every single member of the conspiracy is considered equally guilty. For example, if someone is killed during a bank robbery, then the trigger man and the getaway driver (who had no gun and never entered the bank) are both considered equally responsible for the death.

    Here, there were several F&F guns present and fired in the firefight where Agent Brian Terry was murdered. As far as I’m concerned, each gun is equally “guilty” in his death.

  60. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Some time ago, I said words to the effect of “there are some people who are so insanely hyperpartisan, they’ll let people get away with murder — as long as they have the right letter after their name.”

    Looking here, I had no idea I was so literally correct.

    Jesus H. Christ.

  61. Ben Wolf says:

    @Tano:

    A lot of people?
    And are you arguing that, without these weapons, the drug runners would have been unarmed when they got into the confrontation that left the agents dead???

    It would be more than foolish to assume those weapons were discarded after the death or two agents, or do the murders of Mexican citizens not register for you? Those guns are still out there being used to kill.

  62. Dazedandconfused says:

    …despite the fact that questions remain unanswered about exactly what it was Arizona-based ATF officials thought they were doing when they began selling hundreds if not thousands of high-powered weapons to sham buyers and watched those weapons “walk” across the border to Mexico without making any effort to track where they were ending up.

    That is actually pretty clear, and has been for quite some time. The bone of contention is “when did you know, or when should you have known”.

    Don’t ignore the things Elijah Cummings has said about all this. Even though he’s an evil Democrat, he has had access to all the stuff that is being kept in camera.

  63. Rob in CT says:

    Sure, it’s partisan witch hunting stuff. But I’d like to see them turn over all the documents, and then have all that public and really blow the lid off of the ridiculous drug warrior stuff. A kid can dream, right?

    Shorter me: sometimes partisan witch huntin’ is a good thing.

    Yes, the Clinton farce gives one pause. Or should. But this isn’t about an affair with an intern. This is more serious. People died.

  64. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Like, say, kill a few hundred more Mexicans? Think that’ll do it?

    Thankfully and expectedly, your words not mine.

    Again, Holder will get the contempt citation, there is no doubt about that.

  65. Rob in CT says:

    Further, if Holder’s argument (as presented in the quote WR provided) is that he’s the guy who decided this was messed up and he cleaned house/fixed things, then the documents should bear that out.

    Yes, Issa will likely be an asshat and cherry pick things to try and make the Ds look bad. Well, expect that and respond accordingly. What’s the saying? Politics ain’t beanbag?

  66. al-Ameda says:

    @WR:

    You’re right. This is the primary reason that both the Bush and Obama administrations tried to tract the guns in a Fast & Furious operation:

    Of course there is no evidence. Because the Republicans made it illegal to find out. They also made it impossible to keep someone from buying guns just because he’s on the terrorist watch list. The whole point of the Republican-passed legislation was to make sure no government agency could ever find out who was buying guns.

  67. Jeremy says:

    I am shocked and appalled by some of the people in this thread. Really–people died because of a screwup by federal officials, but you don’t care because they were Democrats, and you think the Republican care is phony?

    Maybe the Republican care is phony (it probably is, at least for some) but you should at least be able to say “This is wrong” and hold Holder in at least personal contempt.

    This makes me sick.

  68. Moosebreath says:

    Rob,

    “Issa will likely be an asshat and cherry pick things to try and make the Ds look bad. Well, expect that and respond accordingly.”

    This would work if the So-called Liberal Media actually felt a duty to present facts and call people on their lies. With the Media we have, all that does it add fuel to the fire.

  69. Moosebreath says:

    Jeremy,

    My reading is more like people died, possibly because of a screwup by federal officials, but Republicans don’t care what the actual facts are because they just want any excuse to pound on Democrats, as they did the last time a Democrat held the White House, and so I am in favor of responding with all the openness that Alberto Gonzalez did during the US Attorney subpoenas.

    Or perhaps we should take Doug’s advice from the judicial confirmation hearings and just escalate to higher levels of non-compliance, because that will bring a claim that both sides are equally to blame from him.

  70. mattb says:

    @jan:

    It’s encouraging to see such a compilation of agreement in seeing the duties of AG outside the box of partisanship: Jenos, Dave Schuler, Ben Wolf, Drew, Ron Beasley, Tsar, Doug.

    Jan,

    Leaving Doug out of it for the moment, the problem with your comment is that you imagine that Jenos, Drew, and possibly Tsar, and I’m assuming you, are supporting this for reasons other than partisanship.

    It’s clear that Dave Schuler, Ben Wolf, Ron Beasley, and now @Jeremy are interested in this for non-partisan reasons. You can add me to that list as well.

    I look forward to some time in the future when you, Jenos or Drew will support something outside of your political alignment — especially without turning your non-partisanship into an attack on Obama or libruls in general.

  71. mattb says:

    @jan

    I look forward to some time in the future when you, Jenos or Drew will support something outside of your political alignment

    I should have said, post something non-partisan here on OTB, as I know you have said in the past that on blogs with conservative leaning comment threads you get called a “liberal.”

  72. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @mattb: Leaving Doug out of it for the moment, the problem with your comment is that you imagine that Jenos, Drew, and possibly Tsar, and I’m assuming you, are supporting this for reasons other than partisanship.

    How sadly typical and predictable. Only liberals can be non-partisan. When we conservatives do the right thing, it must be for the wrong reasons.

    Bite my pro-choice, pro-gay-marriage, pro-equal-rights, pro-legal-immigrants ass.

  73. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    And isn’t it funny that the same people who keep bringing up the body count for Fast & Furious are accused of “not really caring” about the victims, while those who (presumably) do care so much about them want this whole thing to just quietly go away?

  74. Tillman says:

    Yes, there’s a partisan motive involved but, in some sense, that’s a good thing. Would a Democratic controlled Congress be pursuing this matter with similar zeal? For that matter, would a Republican Congress have pursued the Iran-Contra Scandal with the zeal that the Democrats did in the late 80s?

    Which really just leads to the question: Why the hell does the majority party in Congress get to staff the Government Oversight Committee? I don’t like political motivations as much as the next guy, but if it gets results…

    I suppose a scheme to insure the “out-of-power” party gets its oversight role would be somewhat complicated given the general separation of powers, but it might be worth looking into.

  75. WR says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: I am sorry if I injured your feelings. I am sure that you have deep, heartfelt grief over the deaths of these two men whose names are, if not always on your tongue, available via Google. We have all seen over the years how much the suffering of strangers affects you. Just because you have been completely indifferent to the deaths of thousands of Iraqis killed when we invaded their country for no reason, positively gleeful about Americans who die because they can’t afford health insurance, joyous at the notion of the uncountable deaths that would occur if we were to invade Iran at your cheerleading, rapturous at the vision of Mexicans dying of thirst in the desert if they try to cross our border, and so fast to declare that Trayvon Martin deserved to be dead because that was the side your team chose to back, there’s no reason to assume that you don’t feel a sincere pain at the loss of two more human beings you’ve never met and who you find useful as a political tool.

    Again, please accept my abject apologies for doubting the sincerity of your caring. We all know just how deep a man you are.

  76. mattb says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    How sadly typical and predictable. Only liberals can be non-partisan. When we conservatives do the right thing, it must be for the wrong reasons.

    Nope… Don’t put words in my mount. That wasn’t my point, nor was that what I’ve wrote.

    I was simply pointing out that you, Jan, and Drew have yet to demonstrate — through your posts on OTB — any proof of your so-called non-partisan behavior. If I’m wrong, please point me to comments you’ve posted here that demonstrate your non-partisanship.

    On the other hand Ron and (I think) Jeremy are typically in support of the liberal perspective on most threads here. I consider myself to be left leaning independent. I think Ben falls in that category. We’ve all got a record of typically taking the more progressive viewpoint on things here. So our saying “There is value in this investigation” has more credibility as being non-partisan because it’s going against the party that we more often than non-align with.

    I’m spiritually from Missouri … I don’t care if you say you regularly act in a non-partisan way… you need to show me that you do.

    Bite my pro-choice, pro-gay-marriage, pro-equal-rights, pro-legal-immigrants ass.

    Jenos, I think I speak for a number of us in saying that nothing we have ever seen you post on OTB remotely suggested that you ass was pro-choice, pro-gay-marriage, pro-equal-rights, pro-legal-immigrants ass. That said, if you’re ass is pro-choice, pro-gay-marriage, pro-equal-rights, and pro-legal-immigrants, then I think it’s a mighty fine ass and let me encourage you (in a heterosexual way) to flaunt it a lot more often in your comments here at OTB.

    —-

    Aside: Dave S is a pragmatist and I don’t think I feel comfortable trying to claim he typically goes one way or the other.

  77. mattb says:

    Sigh… that should have been “don’t put words in my MOUTH.”

  78. al-Ameda says:

    @Moosebreath:

    Or perhaps we should take Doug’s advice from the judicial confirmation hearings and just escalate to higher levels of non-compliance, because that will bring a claim that both sides are equally to blame from him.

    “both sides do it” is today’s updated equivalent of “mutually assured destruction” or in the case of proposed congressional investigations, “mutually assured evasion”

  79. Dazedandconfused says:

    @Tillman:

    “Which really just leads to the question: Why the hell does the majority party in Congress get to staff the Government Oversight Committee?”

    They do not “staff” it, they hold the chair, as the majority party does in all Congressional committees. Waxman, who had it when the Dems were in power, abused it (at least here and there…) in much the same way Issa is now, IMO.

  80. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @WR: You couldn’t hurt my feelings if you tried, troglodyte.

    But it saddens me that you can’t seem to EVER get past the personal and the partisan. It seems to be the only levels you can operate on.

    And not even effectively.

  81. Tano says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    Those guns are still out there being used to kill.

    That wasn’t my question to you. I asked you whether you really believed that, lacking these specific weapons, the drug runners would be unarmed.

    Because you seem to imply so, by claiming that people have died because of this incident (who would not have died otherwise).. I think it is an absurd claim.

    Obviously it was a botched operation, and we all wish operation were not botched, but there is no reason whatsoever to claim that the people killed with these weapons would not have been killed, at the same time, in the same way, with different weapons, had this screw up not happened.

  82. WR says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “But it saddens me that you can’t seem to EVER get past the personal and the partisan.”

    I’d say that Jenos had just stolen Doug’s title of Least Self-Aware Man in America, but that would imply that Jenos actually ever meant or believed anything he said here.

  83. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @mattb: I was simply pointing out that you, Jan, and Drew have yet to demonstrate — through your posts on OTB — any proof of your so-called non-partisan behavior.

    Let me fix that for you: I haven’t done so to your satisfaction.

    And I probably won’t, because I’m not going to put the slightest bit of effort into doing so. I’ll comment on the threads that interest me, and I’ll ignore the ones that don’t. I have no obligation to anyone to respond to any particular article.

    This topic, though, really pisses me off. To me, should be absolutely black and white. (And not in any racial sense.) As several people have noted, agents of the United States government, for absolutely no comprehensible reason, supplied at least a couple thousand weapons to Mexican narco-terrorists with absolutely NO plan to control the guns or apprehend the narco-terrorists, who have since used them to kill at least a couple hundred Mexican nationals and at least one United States Border Patrol agent.

    And for being outraged, a lot of us are instead called racists because we object to the senseless murders of Mexicans and American law enforcement officials, because two of the top figures who might be implicated (Holder and Obama) are black.

    I hereby retract my “bite my ass” comment. Instead, to those who want to turn this from a discussion about how “racist” some of us are, I say this: kiss my flabby, pasty white ass.

    You are defending the indefensible here, and that puts you beneath even my contempt,

  84. WR says:

    @Tano: Yes, but they’d be much less dead if they’d been killed with less-American weapons.

  85. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @WR: WR: Proudly defending the right of Democrats to help kill Mexicans since 2011.

    Got any more “dead Mexicans are funny” jokes? You’re absolutely killing here.

  86. mantis says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    But it saddens me that you can’t seem to EVER get past the personal and the partisan.

    Comedy gold.

  87. mattb says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Let me fix that for you: I haven’t done so to your satisfaction.

    Possibly… though I suspect that I’m probably one of the most open minded people you can find here on OTB when it comes to looking beyond partisanship, so if you haven’t done so to my satisfaction, you probably haven’t done it to anyone’s satisfaction.

    BTW, Jenos, my point wasn’t that you haven’t do it enough, it was that I don’t remember you doing it at all.*

    And I probably won’t, because I’m not going to put the slightest bit of effort into doing so. I’ll comment on the threads that interest me, and I’ll ignore the ones that don’t. I have no obligation to anyone to respond to any particular article.

    Which is your prerogative.

    But since you are the one putting forward the claim that we’re misjudging you or assuming you are a partisan, it is sort of incumbent upon you to present evidence to the contrary. That’s the way an argument works.

    If you choose, as you have done so here, not to present the evidence to the contrary, then you realize that you have no reason to get offended when we point out the level of rank partisanship that permeates most of what you post here or accuse of ignoring when you haven’t been partisan.

    Sorry, the ultimate playing of the victim card is saying one’s a victim without ever demonstrating why you are a victim.


    * – I will give you one possible exception. If you are Jay Tea reincarnated, then I do think I’ve seen you make fun of birthers. Though, as I pointed out on another thread, you also, in the same breath, explained that while birthers are crazy, it’s all Obama’s fault. If you don’t see how that sort of move fails the “nonpartisan” test, then we can’t even begin to seriously have this conversation.

  88. mattb says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    As several people have noted, agents of the United States government, for absolutely no comprehensible reason, supplied at least a couple thousand weapons to Mexican narco-terrorists with absolutely NO plan to control the guns or apprehend the narco-terrorists, who have since used them to kill at least a couple hundred Mexican nationals and at least one United States Border Patrol agent.

    I think a number of us “progressives” who support the investigation, regardless of it’s political origins, support it for exactly these reasons.

    I think it would also impress us if we saw all of you “conservatives” who are up in arms about this get… oh… I dunno, expend slightly more energy being concerned about the manipulation of intelligence data in the lead up to the Iraq War, which I would hope we all can agree had at the very least an equally profound effect on the people of another country and members of our military branches.

    I’d also like an intellectually honest explanation of why the neo-con wing of Bush’s party should get as pass on Iraq while “Fast and Furious” should be the reason Obama should not be re-elected.

    Oh… look at that, it’s a Doug-worthy “both sides do it.” 😉

    Sorry Doug, couldn’t resist… I guess I’m just scoring points.

    …..

    again, I support this investigation if not necessarily the way its playing out. I also believe that Iraq needs to be separated from Afghanistan (which we would have been in regardless).

  89. Moosebreath says:

    “I think it would also impress us if we saw all of you “conservatives” who are up in arms about this get… oh… I dunno, expend slightly more energy being concerned about the manipulation of intelligence data in the lead up to the Iraq War, which I would hope we all can agree had at the very least an equally profound effect on the people of another country and members of our military branches.”

    Or to choose a closer example, if all of the conservatives who are up in arms about this supported the investigations into the firing of US Attorneys for not prosecuting enough Democrats in the prior Administration. Instead, the Republicans on Capitol Hill voted in lockstep against Congressional subpoenas.

    See, once in a while both sides really do it. And refusing to condemn it when one side does it means not being taken seriously when you condemn the other side for doing it.

  90. WR says:

    @mattb: Or, for that matter, why it doesn’t bother them at all that the Bush administration was doing exactly the same thing they’re having a hissy fit over now that That Guy’s administration did. There’s some feeble attempts at rationalization — oh, the Bush program was completely different, even though it was identical — but it all comes down to the same thing:

    Your team sucks.

    I do love the phony self-righteousness as some of them rend their garments and pretend to care so deeply about the lives lost. Especially from Jenos, who has spent his entire time here demonstrating that he cares about absolutely nothing besides scoring points.

  91. anjin-san says:

    Jenos, who has spent his entire time here demonstrating that he cares about absolutely nothing besides scoring points.

    Come on dude, Jeno is pro gay marriage. He thinks it should be allowed when enough people who hate gays agree it should.

  92. anjin-san says:

    I am still wondering where all this concern for dead brown people was when the bodies of innocents were stacking up like cordwood (or simply being blow to bits) in the war we started in Iraq.

  93. Rob in CT says:

    Look, Jenos is highly partisan, sure. But blind nuts, squirrels, etc. There was a screwup, and people have died. There should be investigation.

    One advantage to turning over literally every document relating to F&F would be that Holder did that, and the Bush Administration was also culpable, you can document it. Again: partisan witch-hunt? Ok, play that game. Return fire. Don’t hide.

  94. WR says:

    @Rob in CT: Because Darrell Issa will be sure to present all the evidence in a fair manner.

  95. Dazedandconfused says:

    @Rob in CT:

    Cummings says that Issa is fully aware that he is asking for things Holder is prohibited by law from making public, due to on-going investigations leading towards possible prosecutions.

    Here’s a clip of how things looked in last weeks confrontation.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSYHCB3hYrw&feature=related

    Not real sure Issa wants answers from Holder.

  96. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    It’s incredible the lengths some people will do to avoid a very simple question: should Congress hold Eric Holder in contempt?

    Holder’s department was responsible for an operation that resulted in the deaths of at least one American (a Border Patrol officer, no less) and hundreds of Mexican nationals. Further, it had absolutely no rational goal in mind — no overarching plan that would result in any kind of good. It literally began and ended with “let’s give guns to Mexican narco-terrorists.”

    Holder is doing all he can to cover up this story. To date, exactly one involved party has been punished — the guy who blew the whistle on it. The others involved in it have been promoted or transferred laterally.

    How much courage and intellectual honesty does it take to say “this is bad?”

    Conversely, how much swinery does it take to find ways to try to turn this conversation away into yet more conservative-bashing?

  97. Ben Wolf says:

    @Dazedandconfused: The documents wouldn’t be made public, they would be released to a Congressional committee which has issued lawful subpoenas. Authority is not given to an Attorney-General to refuse compliance and I find this sort of thing very disturbing whether by a Democrat or Republican administration.

  98. Dazedandconfused says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    The AG’s position is that they are in compliance.

  99. Ben Wolf says:

    @Dazedandconfused: Failing to comply with a subpoena and then claiming you complied is a perfect example of an administration which considers itself unaccountable.

  100. Dazedandconfused says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    I believe it plausible that they are in compliance. Can you point to something specific that is leading you to assert that it is not?

    I dug into all this stuff about a year ago pretty deep. I might be able to explain. The media coverage on this has largely been driven by highly charged partisan rhetoric.

    For starters, here is a WaPo article that jibes quite well with what I saw in all the hearings.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/us-anti-gunrunning-effort-turns-fatally-wrong/2011/07/14/gIQAH5d6YI_story.html?nav=emailpage

  101. anjin-san says:

    @ WR

    Hey, maybe if they shout “Solyndra” really loud, everyone will believe them.

    Going off topic a bit, here is an interesting article about the solar industry

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303768104577460821763050592.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_MIDDLE_Video_Third

    As someone who lives in the bay area, I can attest that solar installs are indeed a red hot area. Probably very upsetting for conservatives clinging to their centuries old romance with coal.

  102. An Interested Party says:

    But it saddens me that you can’t seem to EVER get past the personal and the partisan.

    In other news, Rush Limbaugh made fun of Michael Moore for being fat and Donald Trump called Michael Bloomberg a blowhard…

  103. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: I am still wondering where all this concern for dead brown people was when the bodies of innocents were stacking up like cordwood (or simply being blow to bits) in the war we started in Iraq.

    So, by that logic, if I have no moral authority to speak up on Fast & Furious, doesn’t that mean you have no moral authority to stay silent?

    Sorry, I don’t play the “holier than thou” game, so I’m not familiar with the rules.

  104. mattb says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: I’m doing a lot of catch up reading on this before I comment further on the specifics of the Fast and Furious and Holder. From the bit of what I’ve read, I am currently holding a position that seems pretty similar to @Ben Wolf.

    Based on this I can say “this is bad.” I still have to get a handle on how “bad” it strikes me as.

    In all honesty, and this is not an attempt at a partisan crack, it has a long way to go before it becomes “Iraq” bad to me. But if that changes, I’ll let you know.

  105. anjin-san says:

    Sorry, I don’t play the “holier than thou” game

    Yea, you should stick with whiney bore. It’s your game for sure.

  106. matt says:

    @WR: Well that’s interesting. I live in Texas mighty close to the border and the last time I bought a gun at the gunshow I had to have a Texas state issued ID and submit to an instant background check. Now in order to even get the Texas state issued ID I had to present my birth certificate and SS card.

    I find it odd that people rant and rave about a subject they obviously have no experience with.

  107. jan says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    “How much courage and intellectual honesty does it take to say “this is bad?”

    Conversely, how much swinery does it take to find ways to try to turn this conversation away into yet more conservative-bashing?”

    All you would have to do, Jenos, is attach a Republican label to the current administration and their AG, and the entire conversation would do a 180 degree turn in the other direction.

    All of a sudden Holder would be a scum-bucket of an attorney, not complying with Congress’s directives, and not doing the bidding of the people. The people killed, because of this foolishly conducted offensive, would also be brought up in the most sympathetic terms, while there would be an accusatory tone against the administration who ok’ed this gun-running sham — so different to today’s milquetoast take and exposure by the MSM and some of the posters here.

    Also, we just acknowledged the anniversary of Watergate. How is Fast and Furious any less diabolical? For that matter, why aren’t the blatent security leaks not being held up as a serious information breach in this administration, because of putting projects, strategical plans and agents on the ground in jeopardy?

  108. anjin-san says:

    Gosh Jan, you conservatives are such………… victims.

  109. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @jan: Also, we just acknowledged the anniversary of Watergate. How is Fast and Furious any less diabolical? For that matter, why aren’t the blatent security leaks not being held up as a serious information breach in this administration, because of putting projects, strategical plans and agents on the ground in jeopardy?

    Because you’re obviously a racist, jan.

    Only a racist would point out that nobody died at Watergate, and the Plame outing had absolutely no serious consequences, while the “leaks” that make Obama look so manly are costing lives and valuable opportunities.

    That’s the only true value of intelligence: to make Obama look manly and help his re-election. Hell, that’s the only value of anything.

  110. WR says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Just curious — could you describe your level of access to top level CIA internal documents that allows you to know exactly how much damage the outing of Valerie Plame did or did not do?

    And nice job standing up for Watergate. If you were anyone else, I’d assume you were acting on simple ignorance, believing that there was nothing going on besides that break in. But since you’re Jenos, I have no doubt that you happily cheerlead for any set of vicious crimes as long as they were perpetrated by your team. Oh, and then you’ll whine about what a victim you are, because you’re sure the other team would do even more if they wanted to.

  111. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @WR: Just curious… is there any particular reason I should bother responding to your babblings?

    It’s actually a remarkable example of projection. You’re on this thread that is about “vicious crimes” committed by “your team,” and you’re doing all you can to turn the subject away from that topic. For example, you talk about how we don’t know what kind of theoretical harm “outing” of Plame might have caused, but have nothing to say about the real, verified damage the more recent leaks have caused — the leaks about the new underwear bomber, and the outing of the Pakistani physician who helped us get Bin Laden. The fact that those leaks helped “your team” seem to make them not worthy of your concern.

    Mind you, this is about the only thing that I find interesting about you and your comments. I feel kind of like an epidemiologist when I start into one of your frothings…

  112. WR says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: ” Just curious… is there any particular reason I should bother responding to your babblings? ”

    Because you’re desperate to have people pay attention to you.

    Now if you’re asking the reasons why you’ve decided to spend your life as an internet troll, that’s something you need to consult a doctor for.

    But the fact that every message you post is a desperate attempt to prove you can have some impact on the world, even if that impact is nothing more than mildly irritating complete strangers, is obvious to everyone. I’d think even you would be aware of that. If you weren’t, I’m happy to have been able to help out here.

  113. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @WR: Shorter WR: Nope. Now shut up about dead Mexicans, you racist.

  114. matt says:

    @WR: I’d also like to point out that those drug lords aren’t buying their grenades or RPGs from swap meets in the USA. Those fully automatic m16s aren’t coming from swap meets in the USA either. The heavy weaponry is either coming from southern Mexico or from the actual Mexican military itself. So what basically happens is the US in a futile effort to battle the drug lords sends military hardware to Mexico. Then that hardware is distributed amongst the Mexican military and the local police.Since the drug lords own the local police and even a good chunk of the local military the weapons end up in the hands of the drug lords. There’s been plenty of reports down here on the border that the automatic and heavy weapons the drug cartel members are using are actually coming from the military.

    Having said that I have no doubt that the wannabes are buying inferior weapons in the USA for their personal use.