Today we'll consider one possible answer to that question, an answer I doubted when I first heard it several months ago but which makes more sense as time goes on. But first a little background.
When Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) agents first alerted us to Operation Fast and Furious, the rationale offered by DoJ for the fiasco was that it was designed to allow BATF to track and prosecute the leaders of the Mexican drug cartels. As more information surfaced from the Mexican government and the BATF's Mexican bureau chief specifying that none of them knew anything of this operation this explanation became increasingly incredible and untenable.
If the Mexican authorities had not been notified of the operation, if even the BATF's own agents were not authorized to operate in Mexico, then the DoJ's justification made no sense for the simple reason that once those guns made it into Mexico, there was no procedure in place to track them to their supposed targets. The illogic of this made reasonable people suspect that something else was afoot in the DoJ about which Mr. Holder wasn't willing to be forthcoming.
Russ Vaughn at American Thinker argues that F&F was part of a surreptitious plan to undermine Americans' opposition to gun control. I quote him at length:
For those who keep a constant wary eye on the left's never-ending war on our 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms, the increasingly fishy smell emanating from Washington led to connecting the dots back to the year-earlier revelations in the liberal media that weapons being used in Mexican crimes were traceable back to American sources more than 90% of the time. That false meme had spread quickly through the major liberal media, along with calls for stricter gun control laws in this country by...our president, our secretary of state, our attorney general, and other notable Democrats....Fast and Furious bids fair to become this generation's Watergate, but no one lost their lives in Watergate. The weapons this operation "walked" into Mexico were used in the murders of two American agents and at least two hundred Mexicans.
Here we had an operation mounted by the executive branch of the United States, an operation which had as its stated goal -- after being outed, that is -- the targeting of Mexican drug lords on sovereign Mexican soil. Yet this was done without the knowledge of anyone in the Mexican government. Quite clearly, a secret and subversive operation had been conceived and implemented against our sister nation to the south -- subversive because, again, quite clearly, the American government was subverting the sovereign authority of Mexico without that nation's knowledge.
If the goal was, as stated later by DoJ, to track guns into Mexico to the purchasing sources in the cartels, then was there not some diplomatic requirement to notify the Mexican government that we were arming their most violent criminal elements? And what was the need for keeping our own BATF agents in Mexico -- the only American agents with Mexican presence to conduct such surveillance and tracking operations on Mexican soil -- equally in the dark?
For those who haven't really followed the Fast and Furious scandal, here's a five-step summary of how the operation was supposed to work:
When looked at this way, doesn't Obama's statement to a group of gun control advocates in March 2011 that he was taking steps to further gun control restrictions, but "under the radar," now seem less cryptic than it did at the time? For those who still don't believe Fast & Furious was an end-run on the 2nd Amendment by a liberal, gun-averse administration, here are five questions to consider:
- Allow guns to flow freely to criminal elements in Mexico, where they are naturally used in the extremely violent and deadly criminal activities of the drug cartels.
- When sufficient guns of American origin have been used in such criminal activities, enlist the willing services of the liberal media to announce the discovery thereof to the world.
- Enlist multiple prominent Democrats to untruthfully proclaim that 90% of the guns used in Mexican crimes originate in the U.S.
- Use steps one through three to substantiate the liberal fallacy that private gun ownership leads to increased gun violence by gun owners.
- With the compliance of a thoroughly duped American public, enact increasingly restrictive gun ownership policies through federal agencies, bypassing Congress and the Supreme Court.
- Could the possibility that this plan was concocted at the very top of the administration, putting it on par with Watergate, explain Eric Holder's entrenched refusal to release the tens of thousands of documents being sought by congressional investigators?
- Is the liberal media's refusal to investigate this scandal due to the fact that they suspect that the acts of this administration may rise to criminal and impeachable offenses?
- Has the reluctance of the Republican leadership to more aggressively support the House investigation been attributable to the same possibility -- that full exposure could lead straight to the Oval Office and the politically unsavory possibility of impeachment of the nation's first black president?
- Does anyone really think an ambitious politician like Holder would risk career-ending contempt of Congress charges to protect some incredibly stupid subordinates who supposedly, all by themselves, planned and implemented such a boondoggle?
- In an administration known for its quickness in throwing friends and associates under the bus in matters of self-preservation, is it not remarkable that rather than being so dispatched by Holder, many of the key players in F&F have been promoted despite denials by their bureau?
If it turns out the White House okayed it, and especially if they did so for political reasons, Mr. Obama will join, even surpass, Richard Nixon as among the most disreputable presidents of the last hundred years. If that turns out to be the case it'll be no wonder that, like Nixon, he has invoked executive privilege to keep the evidence from being made public.