Here, you are urged and encouraged to run your mouths about something important.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Applying lessons learned from Fast and Furious investigation to Benghazi-gate

Attorney General Eric Holder recently told a class of law students that he may not be back for a second term. To say Holder's first term was scandal-ridden would be an understatement. Right out of the gate, after the Justice Department dropped charges against members of the New Black Panther Party (NBPP) related to voter intimidation, Holder was dogged by an investigation that just wouldn't go away for his first two years.

In November of 2010, the Civil Rights Commission found that Holder's Justice Department had created and implemented a policy that favored blacks over whites when it came to voting rights.

Approximately one month later, U.S. Border agent Brian Terry was gunned down in Arizona. Guns found at the scene were traced back to an ATF operation known as Fast and Furious. Whistleblowers came forward and informed the public through House Oversight Committee chairman Darrell Issa and Senate Judiciary ranking member Charles Grassley, that they were being told to let guns 'walk' into Mexico. What ensued was a nearly two year battle that ensnared the Justice Department. To this point, that investigation culminated with the Attorney General being found in both criminal and civil contempt of Congress for not honoring a subpoena for documents.

If not for the dogged pursuit of justice over Fast and Furious by a significant contingent of engaged Americans, conservative bloggers, and certain Republican members of Congress (particularly on Issa's committee), the scandal likely wouldn't have gotten as far as it did and Holder might not be mulling retirement right now.

To the extent that the Fast and Furious investigation was successful, it was hamstrung by a complicit media, a corrupt and hyper-partisan Democratic party, and Republican leadership that seemed disinterested in fighting the good fight. Speaker John Boehner rarely spoke about the scandal and when he did, his words were brief, measured, and virtually inconsequential. Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee, rarely broached the subject when it would have been most effective; the third debate comes to mind.

Had Mitt Romney asked the president to explain why he asserted Executive Privilege to prevent the subpoenaed documents from being released to Congress, the mainstream media would have been forced to cover the story. Ditto if Boehner would have been more outspoken about the scandal. Any hopes that a Romney win would have given Republican leadership the opportunity to take the path of least resistance were dashed on November 6th.

Now that same Republican leadership has something much bigger and much more significant to deal with - an Obama second term and Benghazi-gate.

We're already seeing a willingness on the part of the mainstream media and the Democratic party to follow the same formula that either prevented or delayed justice in Fast and Furious. What we cannot afford is for Republican leadership to do the same. Benghazi is far worse than Fast and Furious. While Committee hearings appear to be in the offing - to include Issa's Oversight Committee - House leadership, to include John Boehner (assuming he's re-elected as Speaker), is more likely than not to attempt to avoid fighting that good fight again.

Some will say that Benghazi-gate will be dealt a blow as a direct result of the President's reelection. Again, however, had there been a responsible media to report on the scandal before the election, Obama likely would have lost.

Those of us who understand that 2+2=4 know that socialist, liberal economic policies are always doomed to fail. To the extent that they're implemented in Obama's second term, they will again. The United States is going to hit a very rough patch in the coming months / years. That, coupled with a very public, forceful, and united front from House Republicans and leadership on Benghazi-gate could lead to justice being done.

Getting to the bottom of Benghazi-gate will require much of what got us so close to getting to the bottom of Fast and Furious - whistleblowers, an informed and engaged public that demands answers, and committed Republicans on House Committees with fearless Republican chairmen. It will also require something we didn't have during the Fast and Furious investigation...

...a fearless Speaker.

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