Friday, June 29, 2012

Braley Bytes: Fast & Furious Edition

The recent vote to hold U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over subpoenaed documents in the investigation of the Department of Justice operation "Fast and Furious," which resulted in the deaths of over 300 Mexicans and an American border patrol agent, was "purely political theater" according to 1st District Rep. Bruce "Clunkers" Braley.  Braley voted against holding Eric Holder in contempt, both in committee and when the measure came before the full house.

If Braley thinks that the Fast and Furious investigation is merely "political theater," contributor John R. Lott Jr. points out a salient fact that Braley should bare in mind: "People died. It is something to remember during today’s historic House vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt. Never before has a sitting attorney general been held in contempt.

Lott continued, "With all the hoopla over past scandals from Watergate to Filegate to Pardongate, the cover up was always worse than the crime. Yet, in 'Fast and Furious,' the guns that the US government supplied to Mexican drug gangs have been used to kill one American border agent and over 300 Mexican citizens  and commit numerous other crimes.

"To date, because of administration stonewalling, we don't have answers to the most basic questions. Why would the Obama administration give drug gangs guns without trying to trace them? Why not inform Mexican officials about the program so that the Mexicans could try tracing the guns on the Mexican side of the border? Why start pushing untraceable guns to Mexico at the same time that the Obama administration was making their wildly false claim that 90 percent of crime guns in Mexico were from the US?

"One hopes that it was sheer incompetence combined with a desire to stonewall any investigation, but the fact that people knew that the guns weren’t being traced raises questions even about this explanation. It raises the possibility that the guns were being sent to Mexico as part of a plan to push for more gun control."

Whether it was or wasn't part of a plan to push for more gun control as Dr. Lott suggests (and I agree), Holder has stonewalled the congressional investigation to the best of his ability.

Small town lawyer Ben Lange, who is challenging Braley for the 1st District seat, had this to say about Thursday's contempt vote:

"Border Agent Brian Terry died at the hands of weapons given to drug lords by a federal agency under the jurisdiction of Attorney General Eric Holder. The Attorney General subsequently admitted to misleading Congress and retracting a letter that contained false information about what officials in the administration knew about the 'Fast and Furious Operation.' The Attorney General then refused to turn over documents that would allow our elected representatives and the Terry family the ability to hold our government accountable and find out who knew what and when. Instead of holding the Attorney General accountable, however, Congressman Braley chose to play politics. The family of Brian Terry deserves better. Iowans deserve better.”

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