Attorney General Eric Holder did not fire the men behind Operation Fast and Furious. He promoted them. To hush them up? Or reward them?
Three fast and furious promotions
The Los Angeles Times reported yesterday that William G. McMahon, William D. Newell, and David Voth, all connected with Operation Fast and Furious, received promotions and transfers. The transfers were to the Washington, DC headquarters of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Newell and Voth ran the operation out of the Phoenix Division. McMahon, as Deputy Director of Operations in the West, was their boss.
[I]t is inconceivable to reward those who spearheaded this disastrous operation with cushy desks in Washington.
I suspect, and I think Congressman Issa and Senator Grassley agree with me, the knowledge of this goes to the highest levels of the Justice Department and perhaps beyond that. Stated differently, it is hard to believe that the Attorney General, himself, and the president of the United States did not know about this.
Mistake? Or plan?
The promotions are outrageous enough by themselves. The Intelligencer carried this editorial today, saying that the promotions show yet again that government is broken:
Why is the government broken? Because many bureaucrats can get away with critical mistakes and, instead of being penalized, reap rewards.
But few are asking whether this really was a mistake. Bob Unruh at WorldNetDaily is one. He notes that gun dealers in the four border States where the “Fast and Furious” guns came from, will have to file more papers for each gun sale. He finds that mighty convenient for the government. In fact, he suggests that the extra paper requirement was the real goal of the program.
The National Rifle Association thinks that the Obama administration is trying to distract the public from a tragic blunder. But if ATF always wanted to make buying a gun more difficult, it wasn’t a distraction at all.
Now the promotions make sense. They made no mistakes, other than letting Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) smoke them out. They did exactly what they set out to do. And now they are “Headquarters agents,” the highest status for any bureaucrat.
But Operation Fast and Furious brought about more than that. Now liberal commentators have a new story to tell: that drug kingpins are getting guns from uncouth and uncaring Americans. The final step is obvious: no one should have guns, other than a law-enforcement officer.
The man now holding office as President knows that he may not sign, much less enforce, such a law.
A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
But Barack H. Obama has said before that he finds the Constitution flawed. He was talking about redistribution of wealth then. He could also have been talking about the idea of ordinary citizens having guns and resisting tyranny.
Senator Cornyn, and for that matter Senator Grassley and Representative Issa, are not likely to get the right answers until they ask the right questions. The question is more than why ATF promoted three men instead of firing them. It is whether they have any respect for the Constitution, and for the most important right that it recognizes.
Featured image: the Constitution of the United States. Photo: National Archives
- A Journalist’s Guide to Project Gunwalker, Parts One, Two, Three, and Four
- Cover-ups continue
- Death threats
- Fast and Furious is not Gunrunner
- The unraveling
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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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