Reminiscent of Nixon
by Chip Latcham
Jun 22, 2012 | 787 views | 3 3 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
An article appearing Thursday in The Telegraph, a UK-based newspaper and website, provided a thought-provoking analysis of the “Fast and Furious” investigation and President Obama’s White House.

Written by Dr. Tim Stanley, a historian of the United States, the author believes that President Obama is repeating many of the mistakes that led to Nixon’s resignation in 1974.

Many Americans have not been paying attention to Fast and Furious until now. However, on Wednesday, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt over his decision to withhold documents related to the “gun walking” operation – writings that President Obama tried to keep secret by invoking executive privilege.

Stanley noted that it took nearly eight months for the Watergate break-in to become a national story. But when it finally did, it toppled a president.

After explaining the botched Fast and Furious operation, he noted that many Mexicans have died from being shot by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives-sanctioned guns. However, the scandal only became public after a U.S. federal agent, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, was killed by one of those guns in a firefight.

“ATF whistle-blowers started to come forward and the Department of Justice was implicated. It’s estimated that the U.S. government effectively supplied 1,608 weapons to criminals, at a total value of over $1 million. Aside from putting American citizens in danger, the ATF also supplied what now amounts to a civil war within Mexico,” he said.

The Bush administration conducted a similar operation, the author pointed out, but it involved a “controlled delivery,” during which agents would allow an illegal transaction to take place, closely follow the movements of the arms and then descend on the culprits. This was vastly different to Fast and Furious’ “uncontrolled delivery,” in which the criminals were essentially allowed to drop off the map.

Now, he claims, “Obama says that the Oversight Committee has been hijacked by Republicans who would rather talk about politics than creating jobs.” (Like Obama has been so effective at doing that; see stimulus and green jobs.) However, executive privilege is normally associated with protecting information that passes through the Oval Office. So, what did these documents reveal about Obama’s connection with the operation?

“By refusing to sack Holder or push him to come clean, Obama may have made a very Nixonian mistake,” Stanley added.

Not only is Obama turning into Nixon II, but he could be worse because no one actually got killed during Watergate, Stanley said. Remember what took Nixon down was not the crime but the cover-up.

“And, 40 years later..., here we have Obama making the same mistake. Perhaps it’s an act of chivalry to stand by Holder; perhaps it’s an admission of guilt. Either way, it sinks the Oval Office ever further into the swamp that is Fast and Furious. (This) was perhaps the most shameful domestic law and order operation since the Waco siege. It’s big government at its worst: big, incompetent and capable of ruining lives.”

Stanley could be wrong, but it’s eerie to witness the similarities of an administration that appears to hold itself above the law.

– Chip Latcham
Comments-icon Post a Comment
August 07, 2012
The Nixon White house has been described by many in the world of politics as a criminal organization, and in fact, Nixon did have a hit list. To state that no one was killed has not been proven or explored...where's the conspiracy nut cases when you need them?

The logic of Fast and Furious is vaguely reminiscent of the Drug Enforcement Administration's efforts to infiltrate drug trafficking organizations by facilitating shipments of money and drugs, with the one key difference being that money doesn’t kill people, drugs do.

Since the man leading the Fast & Furious "investigation," Darrell Issa, has already been caught lying about being briefed on F&F himself, Holder's characterization of the "investigation" as "a political witch hunt" is apt. It's the same kind of stunt Issa pulled with the FCIC.

Meanwhile a $60 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia sails through the pipeline. The Defense Department notified Congress of the plan, and lawmakers had 30 days to try to block or amend the deal. But with no loud objections, the matter received little debate and lawmakers focused their attention on this month's midterm elections. The package includes 84 new F-15 fighter jets, upgrades to 70 existing Saudi F-15s, 190 helicopters and a wide array of missiles, bombs and delivery systems, as well as accessories such as night-vision goggles and radar warning systems.

I guess selling guns to Mexicans is a bad thing, but selling weapons of mass destruction to Saudi Arabia, Israel and others is somehow good for Democracy.