Whose misfortune? 3

What is unique about American foreign policy today is not just that it is rudderless, but how quickly and completely the 70-year postwar order seems to have disintegrated — and how little interest the American people take in the collapse, thanks to the administration’s apparent redeeming message, which translates, “It’s their misfortune and none of our own.”

We quote from an article by Victor Davis Hanson in the National Review.

He sets before us a picture of what passes for US foreign policy under Obama, and the disasters that have ensued from it – and continue to get worse.

ISIS took Ramadi last week. …

On a smaller scale, ISIS is doing to the surge cities of Iraq what Hitler did to his neighbors between 1939 and 1941, and what Putin is perhaps doing now on the periphery of Russia. In Ramadi, ISIS will soon do its accustomed thing of beheading and burning alive its captives, seeking some new macabre twist to sustain its Internet video audience.

We in the West trample the First Amendment and jail a video maker for posting a supposedly insensitive film about Islam; in contrast, jihadists post snuff movies of burnings and beheadings to global audiences.

We argue not about doing anything or saving anybody, but about whether it is inappropriate to call the macabre killers “jihadists”.  When these seventh-century psychopaths tire of warring on people, they turn to attacking stones, seeking to ensure that there is not a vestige left of the Middle East’s once-glorious antiquities. I assume the ancient Sassanid and Roman imperial site at Palmyra will soon be looted and smashed. …

As long as we are not involved at the center of foreign affairs and there is no perceptible short-term danger to our security, few seem to care much that western North Africa is a no-man’s-land. Hillary Clinton’s “lead from behind” created a replay of Somalia in Libya.

The problem with Turkey’s Recep Erdogan is not that he is no longer Obama’s “special friend,” but that he was ever considered a friend at all, as he pressed forward with his plan to destroy Turkish democracy in the long march to theocracy.

There was never much American good will for the often duplicitous Gulf monarchies, so the general public does not seem to be worried that they are now spurned allies. That estrangement became possible because of growing U.S. self-sufficiency in oil and gas (thanks to fracking, which Obama largely opposed). Still, let us hope the Gulf States remain neutral rather than becoming enemies — given their financial clout and the availability of Pakistani bombs for Sunni petrodollars.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration has it in for Israel. Why, no one quite knows, given that the Jewish state is the only democratic and liberal society in the Middle East. Perhaps it resembles the United States too closely, and thus earns the reflected hypercriticism that so many leftists cultivate for their own civilization.

Theocratic Iran has won more sympathy from the Obama administration. No neutral observer believes that the current policy of lifting sanctions and conducting negotiations will not lead to an Iranian bomb; it is hoped only that this will be unveiled on the watch of another president, who will be castigated as a warmonger if he is forced to preempt its rollout.

The current American foreign policy toward Iran is baffling. Does Obama see the theocracy as a valuable counterweight to the Sunni monarchies? Is it more authentic in the revolutionary sense than the geriatric hereditary kingdoms in the Gulf? Or is the inexplicable policy simply a matter of John Kerry’s gambit for a Nobel Peace Prize or some sort of Obama legacy in the eleventh hour, a retake of pulling all U.S. peacekeepers home from a once-quiet Iraq so that Obama could claim he had “ended the war in Iraq”?

Hillary Clinton has been talking up her successful tenure as secretary of state. But mysteriously she has never specified exactly where, when, or how her talents shone. What is she proud of? Reset with Russia? The Asian pivot to discourage Chinese bellicosity? The critical preliminary preparations for talks with Iran? The Libyan misadventure? Or perhaps we missed a new initiative to discourage North Korean aggression? Some new under-appreciated affinity with Israel and the Gulf monarchies? The routing of ISIS, thanks to Hillary’s plans? Shoring up free-market democracies in Latin America? Proving a model of transparency as secretary? Creating a brilliant new private-public synergy by combining the work of the State Department, the Clinton Foundation, and Bill’s lecturing –as evidenced by the Haitian renaissance and nation-building in Kazakhstan?

He also considers the administration’s domestic failures:

Meanwhile, no one seems to much care that between 2009 and 2017, we will have borrowed 8 trillion more dollars. Yet for all that stimulus, the U.S. economy still has staggering labor non-participation rates, flat GDP growth, and stagnant household income. As long as zero interest rates continue, the rich make lots of money in the stock market, and the debt can grow by $500 billion a year and still be serviced. Financial sobriety is now defined as higher taxes bringing in record revenues to service half-trillion-dollar annual additions to an $18 trillion debt.

The liberal approach to the underclass continues as it has been for the last 50 years: The elites support huge, unquestioned redistributionist entitlements for the inner city as penance for avoiding it. Minorities are left to run their own political affairs without much worry that their supposed benefactors live apartheid lives, protected by the proof of their caring. The public is left with the lie “Hands up, don’t shoot” as a construct that we will call true, because the made-up last-seconds gasps of Michael Brown perhaps should have happened that way. As an elite bookend, we have a Columbia coed toting around a mattress as proof of society’s insensitivity to sexual violence, which in her case both her university and the New York City police agree never occurred. In theory, perhaps it could have and thus all but did.

As far as scandals go, no one much cares any more about the implosion of the Veterans Administration. In the public’s defense, though, how does one keep straight the multitudinous scandals — Lois Lerner and the rogue IRS, the spying on and tapping of Associated Press journalists, the National Security Agency disclosures, Fast and Furious, the serial lying about needless deaths in Benghazi, the shenanigans at the General Services Administration, the collapse of sobriety at the Secret Service, the rebooting of air-traffic controllers’ eligibility to be adjudicated along racial and ethnic lines, and the deletions from Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server, which doubled as her government server.

Always there is the administration’s populist anthem of “You didn’t build that”; instead, you must have won the lottery from President Obama. If his economic programs are not working, there is always the finger pointing at those who are too well off. Michelle Obama lectured a couple of weeks ago on museum elitism and prior neglect of the inner city, in between recounting some slights and micro-aggressions that she has endured, presumably on jumbo-jet jaunts to Costa del Sol and Aspen. I think her point is that it is still worse to be rich, powerful, and black than, say, poor, ignored, and non-black. …

He concludes on a note of despondency not far off from despair:

The center of this culture is not holding. …

More Americans privately confess that American foreign policy is dangerously adrift. They would agree that the U.S. no longer has a southern border, and will have to spend decades and billions of dollars coping with millions of new illegal aliens.

Some Americans are starting to fear that the reckless borrowing under Obama will wreck the country if not stopped.

Racial tensions, all concede, are reaching dangerous levels, and Americans do not know what is scarier: inner-city relations between blacks and the police, the increasing anger of the black underclass at establishment America — or the even greater backlash at out-of-control violent black crime and the constant scapegoating and dog whistles of racism.

Whatever liberalism is, it is not working.

It’s certainly not “liberal” in the real meaning of the word. It is the opposite – dictatorial.

We call it Leftism. It has the Western world in its crushing grip.

America on the threshold of dystopia 1

The untruths and hypocrisy hover in the partisan atmosphere and incrementally and insidiously undermine each new assertion that we hear from the president … Indeed, the more emphatically he adds “make no mistake about it,” “let me be perfectly clear,” “I’m not kidding,” or the ubiquitous “me,” “my,” and “I” to each new assertion, the more a growing number of people will come to know from the past that what follows simply is not true. … When we hear the president remind us that he is not a tyrant or monarch, then we assume he laments that fact; “make no mistake about it” ensures that you should believe that the president is not being “perfectly clear.”

So Victor Davis Hanson writes at PJ Media.

Here are more extracts from the same article:

The president had a strange habit, like a moth to a flame, of demagoguing the wealthy as toxic (spread the wealth, pay your fair share, fat cat, you didn’t build that, etc.), while being attracted to the very lifestyle that he damns, a sort of Martha’s Vineyard community organizer. Sometime in 2009, $250,000 in annual income became the dividing line between “us” and “them.” …

I did not think that the administration would be so haughty as to go after the Associated Press and monitor their official and private communications, especially given that the source of most national security leaks par excellence was the Obama White House itself. Recall the sordid details of the AP scandal: the AP sat on a story until they were given a quiet administration go-ahead to publish the account — even as the administration desperately wanted to scoop them and high-five over the story of the Yemeni double agent 24 hours earlier than the AP. The AP was not first advised of the administration investigations, nor were the phone checks focused and narrow. Instead, the administration went whole hog after two months of phone records to send a message to its pets in the press — secure that Eric Holder, in Fast and Furious fashion, could always go to Congress with “I don’t now,” followed by executive privilege and stonewalling.

Meanwhile, in Machiavellian fashion the Obama administration had divulged classified information about the Stuxnet virus, the bin Laden raid, and the drone targeting — in order that sympathetic Washington Post and New York Times reporters might have pre-election fuel for the hagiographic accounts of Obama, the underappreciated commander-in-chief.

While we all knew that a filmmaker did not prompt a riot that just happened to kill four Americans, we did not, until the testimony of State Department officials and the published communications of White House, CIA, and State Department staffers, appreciate just how far the administration would go to further a false narrative. And quite a myth it was: lead-from-behind Libya was still a success; al-Qaeda was still scattered; Obama was still on the global front lines condemning anti-Islamic bigots like Mr. Nakoula, whose religious hatred supposedly had spawned violence that even the Nobel laureate Barack Obama could not deter. …

The IRS, AP, and Benghazi scandals were all adroitly kept under wraps for months before the 2012 election, as [Democrats] thundered about right-wing wealthy people not paying their fair taxes, and the press echoed a “how dare you” when anyone questioned the frightening state of events.

Now the wraps have come off and we find –

Five departments of government are either breaking the law or lying or both: State [Benghazi], Defense [sexual harassment issues], Justice [monitoring of phone lines], Treasury [corruption at the IRS], Health and Human Services [shaking down companies to pay for PR for Obamacare]).

The National Rifle Association is now supposed to be a suspect paramilitary group …

Women [are] suddenly eligible to serve in front-line combat units — no discussion, no hearings, no public debate.

We had a “war on women” over whether upscale Sandra Fluke could get free birth control from the government, but snoozed through the Dr. Gosnell trial. The latter may have been the most lethal serial killer in U.S. history, if his last few years of snipping spinal cords were indicative of his first three unmonitored decades of late-term aborting.

The Obama administration …  decided to shut down as many coal plants as it can, stop most new gas and oil drilling on federal lands, and go after private companies ranging from huge aircraft manufacturers to the small guitar concerns — based not on law, but on certain theories of climate change and labor equity. As in the case with the IRS, the EPA is now synonymous with politically motivated activism designed to circumvent the law. The president in his State of the Union address assured us that cap-and-trade will be back, given, he says, the atypical violent weather that hit the U.S. in his term — even as global temperatures have not risen in 15 years, and hurricanes are now occurring more rarely than during the last administration. …

We are in unchartered territory.

The IRS has lost our trust, both for its rank partisanship and its inability to come forward and explain its crimes.

Eric Holder wants us to believe that he has no idea why his office was monitoring the communications of journalists, and yet now warrants the renewed trust of the president.

Susan Rice serially misled on national television about Benghazi and so will probably be promoted to national security advisor. …

On campuses, the Departments of Justice and Education have issued new race/class/gender guidelines that would effectively deny constitutionally protected free speech in universities, a sort of politically correct idea that proper thinking is preferable to free thinking.

If you oppose “comprehensive immigration reform” you become a nativist or worse—and apparently are one of the “enemies” the president wants to “punish.” …

In sum:

Government has become a sort of malignant metasisizing tumor, growing on its own, parasitical on healthy cells, always searching for new sources of nourishment, its purpose nothing other than growing bigger and faster and more powerful—until the exhausted host collapses.

We have a sunshine king and our government has become a sort of virtual Versailles palace.

I suppose that when a presidential candidate urges his supporters [as Obama did] to get in someone’s face, and to take a gun to a knife fight, from now on you better believe him.

And, finally, the strangest thing about nearing the threshold of 1984? It comes with a whimper, not a bang, with a charismatic smile and mellifluous nonsense — with politically correct, egalitarian-minded bureaucrats with glasses and iPhones instead of fist-shaking jack-booted thugs.

Obama a disaster for America and the world 1

Ed Driscoll interviewed Monica Crowley, whose book What the (Bleep) Just Happened Again was recently published. You can find the whole interview on video and in transcript here at PJ Media.

Monica Crowley’s opinions of Obama and his policies are very close to our own. So we are posting some extracts from the transcript, letting her speak for us, while we nod in the background – only  interjecting a few words.

On transforming America:

I really believe that Obama’s objective from the beginning — and it’s not just him, it has been the objective of the far left for a very long time — … is to change the very nature of America. America, the gift that the Founding Fathers gave to us  … a nation that was exceptional because it was based on an idea. And the idea, instead of being based on the ambitions of men …  was centered on the concept of limited government and individual freedom.

And those two things are deeply interrelated. You can’t really have tremendous individual freedom when you have a big government. The idea of the last few decades has been to try to transform that fundamental Americanness, that great American idea that has given us tremendous prosperity and tremendous power, [and made] America into a great nation [and] a good nation. … The far left has been on this mission to strip away both … the limited government part and the individual liberty part.

And for many years they had success in putting up these big, huge entitlement pillars, dependency pillars, pillars that would change the way the government related to the individual; big redistributionist pillars like Social Security and like Medicare, like Medicaid. But they were never able to sort of put the whole thing together and do a dramatic socialist overhaul of the country until they found their perfect marriage of man and mission in Barack Obama.

And so from the beginning, and from day one of his first term, Obama and the far left set out to change the very nature of America, to change our character. And by that I mean strip away the self-reliance that underpins limited government and individual freedom. Strip that away and replace it with massive dependency; dependency on government.

So over the last four years, what they have done, and they have largely succeeded, is change the balance between the government sector and the private sector, change the relationship between the government and the individual, and created and expanded this massive dependency society. …

Obama and the far left have had enormous success in changing the character of this country. …

On the state of the GOP today:

I think over the next four years, certainly, we are going to see — we’re going to see federalism come to the fore. We’re going to see that Tenth Amendment rise.

And the reason is … Republicans now control thirty out of fifty governorships. We control the vast majority of state houses across the country. And it’s been a very interesting phenomenon to watch, because those offices are closer to the people than the presidency and then Washington, Congress, the Senate, and so on.

So when people have a choice, when they think that their vote will actually matter to their direct lives, meaning governor, state houses, they’re going more conservative. They’re going toward conservative governors, not even just Republican governors, but conservative governors, in most states. …

And so what I think you’re going to see is a real tension — and we already see this tension now, but I think it’s going to increase — between Washington, the federal government, and the states. And we’re going to see the states, as they’re starting to do now, on gun control, on immigration, … on a whole range of issues, you’re going to see the states pushing back and asserting their rights on behalf of the people that put them into office.

Taking on the federal government is a really tough thing, especially now, because it’s so big and it’s so powerful under Obama. But I think you’re going to see an increase in states going forward with their own agendas and pushing back on Washington. …

On foreign policy:

I actually believe [Obama] wants Iran to get a nuclear weapon. He has done nothing to stop Iran. Those sanctions that his administration put into place are toothless. The Iranians have found every way to get around them.

He has done nothing but stall. And the Iranians have used that time to go ahead and a) slaughter their own people in the streets when they revolted in 2009; and b) try to acquire a nuclear weapon. And they are getting there with every passing hour This president has done nothing to stop them, on purpose.

I would also say on the Arab Spring, this is a man who wants to see the rise of the Islamists. He wants to see the rise of the Islamists across the board, and that is why he threw over a long time ally of the United States, Husni Mubarak in Egypt. That is why he paved the way for Muammar Gaddafi, who yes, was a longstanding terrorist, but over recent years Gaddafi was trying to reach out to the United States and providing us with crucial intelligence on the movements of Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood across Northern Africa. And now we see what a problem that is. This president then went to facilitate his overthrow as well.

Why hasn’t he moved in Syria, where you have, what, upwards of maybe 40,000 people slaughtered under the Assad regime? Well, it’s because he’s been waiting for the Muslim Brotherhood to be poised and ready to take control there as well.

This is a man who knows exactly what he is doing. It is incredibly dangerous. It is completely antithetical to American interests. And now here we are. And we see it with China. He hasn’t taken on China. China continues to be a currency manipulator, getting very aggressive along the Pacific Rim, with very close allies of ours, like Japan and South Korea. Obama hasn’t lifted a finger. North Koreans just tested another nuclear weapon. No consequences from the United States. …

Yes. Obama wants victory for Islam in the world as much as he wants victory for socialism in America. A big step towards Islamic victory would be the defeat, and so the destruction, of Israel. He has to seem to be somewhat supportive of Israel, somewhat even-handed in the – totally defunct – “peace process” ostensibly still taking place between Israel and the Palestinians. But meanwhile he lets Iran build a nuclear arsenal because the quick and reliable way to destroy Israel would be by nuclear attack.

This president came into office with a far left ideology of wanting to take down America a notch or two or ten abroad, because we are not worthy. America’s full of sin from the past, and we have had our way around the world, and now it’s time we pay the price.

So I would argue, and I argue in this book, that his whole philosophy is all being carried out and it’s all deliberate and it’s all on purpose. There is no incompetence. There’s no naivete. It’s being carried out exactly as he’d like to see it.

On the collusion of the media:

The philosophy of the Obama administration is we will do what we want, Constitution be damned. And we know that nobody’s really going to cover the bad stuff, because they’re all out to protect us. They’re with us ideologically. They’re never going to allow the first black president to get into any real trouble. They will protect us. So therefore, we will get away with everything.

And they have. And like I said, with a few exceptions of certain news outlets that have covered Fast and Furious, it really hasn’t gotten covered. And they believe that when the bad stuff happens, whether it’s Fast and Furious or Benghazi or any of the range of unconstitutional maneuvers this president has done, that they can just wait it out, because it doesn’t get covered. So they wait it out, they stonewall, they don’t give any explanations. They continue to smile, and the story blows over. …

These scandals [the Fast and Furious gun-running scandal, and the scandal of the Benghazi murders] under Barack Obama actually have an American body count. Watergate, nobody died. So you tell me which one is the more serious. They have covered up these scandals. They go as high as Eric Holder, possibly the President of the United States, and still, no sense of curiosity from the mainstream media. It’s astonishing. And they ought to be ashamed. …

On how badly Obama is wrecking America:

Assuming he does leave in 2017… I think the extent of the damage we don’t even know yet. I think we have a sense of the extent of the damage, but we really have no idea [of]the destruction that he has wrought and is wreaking on this country.

This is a man who spoke in 2008 about his dream of the fundamental transformation of the nation — his words, not mine — the fundamental transformation. He also talked about remaking America — again, his words, not mine.

And he would invoke the phrase “a more perfect union.” And you know, part of his genius [or Alinskyite training – ed] four years ago was, in allowing those statements to kind of float out there on their own, and allowing the American people to hear those statements and assign to them their own meaning, what they thought he meant by those phrases.

What I argue in the book is, don’t pay attention to what you think he meant. Pay attention to what he meant by it. Now we have four years of evidence as to what he meant by the fundamental transformation of the nation. And that is he intends to change us and is changing us, very quickly, into a European-style socialist state.

The result of that is, as we see in Western Europe, after decades of socialism, we see stubbornly and permanently high unemployment. We see sovereign debt crises that are imploding nations, if not the entire continent of Europe. We see immigration policies out of control, where these nations have lost their very identities, because they have been overrun by all kinds of different ethnicities, including radical Muslims that have taken over a lot of these countries, or at least exerting a lot of influence there.

So you see the results that are absolutely devastating in Western Europe. No economic growth. We see that now here. We have seen it. All of those results of decades of socialism building up in Western Europe, that is imploding all of those once-great nations. We see it happening here on a much more accelerated scale, because this economy is so much bigger, this country is so much bigger than any country in Western Europe.

So it’s happening a lot faster here. And when he leaves office, I do think that this country — the tentacles of redistributionism that he has wrapped around every major pillar of this economy, from the industrial base, to the financial sector, to the energy sector to the healthcare sector, those tentacles will be wrapped so tightly after eight years, that it will be almost impossible to unwind without great, enormous economic pain and dislocation. I think that’s where we’re heading. …

The laws of economics will kick in, and everything will come to a screeching halt.

Inflation, interest rates going up, higher taxes, no jobs. You’re seeing it happening across Western Europe. The debt crisis will kick in and it will be brutal, and it will affect every single person.

You can’t spend the last four or five years — actually longer than that, with the easy money policy from the Fed — you can’t spend all this time pumping trillions of dollars down into the system and not expect inflation to kick in big time. That is actually — massive inflation is actually a tax that affects the middle and lower classes more than anybody else. That is coming.

We have had brave Republicans like Paul Ryan put out budget after budget and plan after plan saying, guys, this is foreseen. We can see this coming. And here’s how we fix it before the crisis hits. But people don’t want to hear it. People vote them out. People — people take the courageous folks and throw them out on their ears. And they don’t listen until they have to. And by that point, the pain so intense that it is going to be an absolute nightmare.

Can it be repaired? Yeah. But I fear, I really worry, that we’re going to have to hit rock bottom before we even get to that point. I hope that’s not the case. But I fear that it may be.

A bad idea, badly executed 3

To continue our discussion of the “Fast and Furious” scandal (see the two posts immediately below, one of them a video of Bill Whittle putting his argument), we now quote Paul Mirengoff’s opinion on what the operation was intended to achieve:

Bill Whittle is arguing that the Fast and Furious program was an effort by the Obama administration to increase bloodshed in Mexico and thereby lead to tougher gun control regulation in the U.S. … The theory cannot be ruled out. However, I don’t find it persuasive. …

Obama and Holder probably would not have believed that increased violence in Mexico could lead to tougher regulation of guns in the U.S. Americans simply don’t care enough about Mexico to alter domestic policy based on what occurs there, especially when it comes to an issue as passionately and endlessly argued as gun control. Americans view violence in Mexico the way they viewed violence in Colombia – unfortunate, typical, and not our problem at any fundamental level. …

Why, then, was the program implemented? As noted, considerable frustration existed over attempts to deal with gun running through interdiction at the point of sale because this form of enforcement resulted in the apprehension of only the small fry. Those who came up with Fast and Furious probably hoped that if guns followed their natural course into Mexico, they would lead to much more important players. Wire taps and other surveillance of Mexican cartel bosses would assist in nailing these players, or so the thinking went.

It was a very bad idea, poorly executed. But, as conservatives should understand better than most, the government frequently implements very bad ideas and does so incompetently.

Yes. Whatever government does, it does badly.

In any case, trying to apprehend cartel bosses through Fast and Furious strikes me as less foolish than intentionally increasing shootings in Mexico to enhance the cause of gun control in the U.S.

But what about the cover-up, including the assertion of a weak executive privilege claim? Bill Whittle says that to understand it, we should follow the ideology. In reality, cover-ups typically stem from a quintessentially non-ideological motive – the desire to escape blame and stay out of trouble.

What kind of trouble? The administration may be motivated by the desire to cover up evidence that the Attorney General knowingly and deliberately lied to Congress. It may want to cover up evidence that Holder knew plenty about Fast and Furious and/or that Obama did too.

Bill Whittle is right anyway that Obama and Holder are evil men. 

Two evil men 5

Bill Whittle gives his answer to the question we ask in the post immediately below.

He calls Obama and Holder evil men – and explains precisely why he calls them that.

Why? 2

The mainstream media tried to ignore the “Fast and Furious” scandal, but can do so no longer. A Congressional panel has recommended that the House of Representatives cite Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. for contempt of Congress, and President Obama has asserted executive privilege to shield Justice Department documents from disclosure.

This summary of the dire results of the nefarious activity authorized by the Department of Justice comes from Investor’s Business Daily:

Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in December 2010 at the hands of an illegal immigrant working for the Sinaloa Cartel just 10 miles from the Mexico border near Nogales, Ariz. Two AK-47 assault rifles found at the site of the Terry shooting were traced back to a straw buyer allowed to smuggle guns into Mexico with the blessing of the ATF [Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives] and Eric Holder’s Department of Justice.

In addition to Agent Terry, Immigration Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata was also killed [February 2011] in a separate incident by a weapon allowed to “walk” into Mexico from the U.S. as part of the administration’s third-rate alleged attempt to track and catch gun traffickers. Let us not forget the hundreds of Mexican nationals who have been killed by Fast and Furious weapons.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Rep. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) tried to get information from the DOJ and the ATF about the operation dubbed “Fast and Furious”.

They were lied to. The DOJ claimed that allegations of sales of assault weapons to a straw purchaser who then took them to Mexico were false. President Obama declared on TV that neither he nor the Attorney General, Eric Holder, had authorized Fast and Furious.  In May 2011 Holder testified to the House Judiciary Committee that he didn’t know who had approved the operation but now it was being investigated. He said he’d only heard about it in “the last few weeks”. But in October 2011 documents surfaced revealing that he had known about it since July 2010. Holder then hastened to say that he had misunderstood the question. (“When did you first know about …” is a difficult question to understand?) In November 2011 he admitted that “gunwalking” had in fact been done in Fast and Furious, and explained that his earlier denials had been unintentional. But he still insisted that he personally had been unaware that “gunwalking” tactics had been used. On June 7 2012 Holder again testified at a Congressional hearing (his seventh on this issue), and again denied knowing anything about his department ordering “gunwalking”. His department had provided only 7,000 documents, about 5% of the number Congress had asked for. Now Congress asked for 1,300 documents in addition to the 7,000. Holder refused to hand them over. On June 20 2012 President Obama invoked “executive privilege” to keep the documents from Congress under his personal orders. On the same day, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform cited Holder for contempt. The House of Representatives will vote on the issue next week.

Can anyone explain, or plausibly conjecture, why Fast and Furious was launched? What the real motive was for the operation, just what the DOJ hoped to accomplish, and exactly how?

The aim stated when the operation was finally admitted to, was to track the firearms to the bosses of Mexican drug cartels, who would then be arrested so that the cartels could be destroyed. Without the co-operation of the Mexican government – which was not even informed about it – how might that have been managed?

Some say it was to help the Obama administration make a case against the Second Amendment rights of US citizens to carry arms. How might that case be argued?

Answers are invited.