Friday, June 22, 2012


U. S. Attorney General Erick Holder
       Every truth-loving American should be outraged by the egregious decision of the Republican controlled House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.
         Now Speaker John Boehner has indicated that the House will consider the case, and the NRA has warned that they will score the Representatives on how they vote!  
         The Attorney General has until now cooperated fully with the Committee, having appeared before them nine times and having already turned over thousands of documents.
         It is a blatantly political and totally unprecedented move to embarrass the President, who for the first time since he took office has exercised his Executive Privilege to prevent Mr. Holder from being forced illegally to turn over certain classified documents.
Right winger Mike Vanerboegh
         So of course the Republicans are now accusing the President of a cover-up, and even likening it to Watergate. It's astounding that the Republicans have bought hook line and sinker into the utterly preposterous gun control conspiracy idea promulgated by an ultra right-wing hate monger named Mike Vanderboegh. He was the Alabama militiaman who screamed for people to throw rocks into the windows of every Democratic office in the country following the passage of the Affordable Health Care Act!
         Readers will remember that the purpose of Fast and Furious was to allow a certain number of guns to slip across the Mexican border in order to track them to the leaders of the drug cartels. Unfortunately the plan went awry, when a U. S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was killed, possibly by someone using one of those guns. "Walked" guns were found at other scenes of violence.                  
       Vanderboegh has come up with the preposterous idea that Fast and Furious was a sinister plot by Attorney General Holder to further his supposed gun control agenda.  Now listen to this crazy logic: Vanderboegh would have us believe that in slipping the guns to Mexico, Mr. Holder's intention was for them to result in more violence and killings, which in turn would cause Americans on this side of the border to demand more gun control, in revulsion against the violence in Mexico! Can you imagine a more insane idea?
         But the Republicans have espoused it! And, as to be expected, the NRA is fanning the flames. So is Fox News, and who is the authority being cited for this absurd theory? The bombastic brick-thrower himself, Mike Vandenboegh!
        The gun-walking project was begun by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) in 2006 as a series of sting operations under Project Gunrunner, with the intention of ending the illegal flow of firearms into Mexico, by tracing the arms to their ultimate destination. I do not intend to try to outline here the complex history of the operation, but for those who would like to do so I suggest you check out the Wikipedia article* on the subject.
          Suffice it to say that what makes the Republicans' witch hunt so despicable is the fact that Project Gunrunner was initiated during the Bush Administration! The first major sting operation was called Project Wide Receiver. Project Fast and Furious came later.  It was continued and later ended by the Obama Administration.
         One would think that the Committee should hear testimony from those who devised and instituted the program. The Democrats on the Committee urged their Republican colleagues to do just that, but the Republican majority refused to do so! Instead, they have charged Mr. Holder with contempt of Congress and are threatening to arrest the Attorney General of the United States! Some are calling for his dismissal.
         Is it just a coincidence that Mr. Holder has been cracking down on the voter suppression efforts of Republican governors like Rick Scott of Florida? Is it just a coincidence that Mr. Holder is an African American? Is it just a coincidence that this spurious conspiracy charge comes so soon after the President's popular order to delay the deportation of children of illegal immigrants?
Republican strategist Karl Rove
Photo by Qurmudjin
         Mr. Obama's predecessors invoked their executive privilege many times. This is the first and only time he has done it. His opponents point out that as a Senator he had opposed President Bush's executive order protecting Karl Rove, as if Rove's behavior and Mr. Holder's performance as Attorney General were at all comparable.

          But truthfulness and fairness and consistency are noticeably missing from Republican rhetoric these days . What a pity they are not being held accountable by the main stream media for their unfounded accusations, misrepresentations, and outright falsehoods.
          Pardon the play on words, but, Is there an honest Republican in the House?

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