Thank God America has journalists who aren’t afraid to ask President Obama the tough questions about the brewing scandal knows as “Gunwalker.” [FYI: That’s the name given the scheme whereby the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) enabled gun smugglers intent on providing Mexican drug cartels with weapons purchased in the United States.] Univision‘s Jorge Ramos grilled President Obama on the topic with some not-entirely-unpredictable results. Turns out the President of the United States didn’t tell the President of Mexico about the U.S. feds aiding and abetting gun smugglers because he — the president of the United States — didn’t know about it. What’s more, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is also doing a passable Sgt. Schultz imitation. I know nothing! Make the jump for the full transcript of the interchange . . .
JR: THE MEXICAN GOVERNMENT COMPLAINS THAT THEY WERE NOT INFORMED ABOUT THE “FAST AND FURIOUS” OPERATION. DID YOU AUTHORIZE THIS OPERATION AND WAS PRESIDENT CALDERON PROPERLY INFORMED ABOUT IT?
PBO: Well, first of all I did not authorize it. Eric Holder, the Attorney General, did not authorize it. He’s been very clear that our policy is to catch gun runners and put them into jail. So what he’s done is he’s assigned an I.G., an inspector general, to investigate what exactly happened…
JR: SO WHO AUTHORIZED IT?
PBO: Well, we don’t have all the facts. That’s why the I.G. is in business. To collect the facts.
JR: AND YOU WERE NOT EVEN INFORMED ABOUT IT?
PBO: Absolutely not, this is a pretty big government, the United States government. I got a lot of moving parts. But I want to be very clear, I spoke to President Calderon when he came to visit just a few weeks ago, our policy is to ramp up the interdiction of guns flowing south because that’s contributing to some of the security problems that are taking place in Mexico and what we are doing is trying to build the kind of cooperation between Mexico and the United States that we haven’t seen before. That ensures that we have a comprehensive approach.
I’ve said to President Calderon and I’ve said it publicly, we’ve got obligations. It’s not just Mexico’s problem, it’s also our problem. We got to reduce demand for drugs, which is why even though we got obviously significant deficits; we are allocating 10 billion dollars in our budget to try to reduce demand through prevention programs and education programs.
We have to make sure that we are enforcing the kinds of measures that will stop the flow of guns and cash down south that is helping to fuel these transnational drug cartels. So we’ve initiated excellent cooperation, there may be a situation here in which a serious mistake was made, if that’s the case then we’ll find out and will hold somebody accountable.
JR: MEXICO WAS NOT INFORMED THEN?
PBO: Well, if I wasn’t informed I assure you that Mexico wasn’t either.
Right. Because there’s no way that the ATF would keep the President of the United States and the Attorney General in the dark about the main thrust of its firearms interdiction program—for which they received an extra $200m or so—and tell the Mexicans what they were up to. Because shhhh. It’s a secret!
We can now conclude that President Obama isn’t the ringleader in a large criminal conspiracy perpetuated by a federal law enforcement agency against an ally. I repeat: the buck doesn’t stop there. But this exchange does reveal the Prez and his number one law enforcement guy as disconnected and incompetent.
Now, shall we talk about the cover-up?