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