You just knew this was gonna happen. Here we’ve been focusing on the ATF lo these many weeks. And now the shockwaves emanating from Fast n’ Furious are rippling out to other alphabetic agencies in the ObamaNation. Think the ATF could get in this much trouble and screw up this badly without some big-time help from it’s sister-agencies? Think again, because reports are starting to surface that the FBI is neck-deep in kimchee, right along with our friends from the ATF&E (and sometimes Really Big Fires). And here at TTAG, we’re not too big to say “I told you so.”
Remember that book, Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten? Well, aside from the fact that some of the cowboys over ATF way have been acting like a bunch of spoiled brats about to get sent to their room for a Really Long Time-Out, there are some other lessons from the playground that might well be applied here. First up, the Rule of Mutually-Assured (Self-)Destruction.
You know what I mean. When a kid is Hell-bent on devilment at recess, first thing he’s gonna do is to enlist the help of some other bully. Why? A) a bully on your team is a bully you don’t have to worry about playing for the other side, and B) the other bully isn’t liable to rat you out to the teacher, if you’ve got the goods on him.
We know, for instance, that Fast n’ Furious was what they euphemistically refer to as a joint agency task force, wherein one agency can’t hack it alone, and has to offer the other kids a chance to play with the agency’s toys, in exchange for their help.
Anthony Martin over at the Examiner.com has a scoop that suggests (read: “emphatically describes”) the FBI is in even deeper than the ATF in this mess. Check out this story from the Los Angeles Times: Gun-smuggling cartel figures possibly were paid FBI informants. Aside from the clumsy title, the piece lays it all out in black and white.
Congressional investigators probing the controversial “Fast and Furious” anti-gun-trafficking operation on the border with Mexico believe at least six Mexican drug cartel figures involved in gun smuggling also were paid FBI informants, officials said Saturday.
The investigators have asked the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration for details about the alleged informants, as well as why agents at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which ran the Fast and Furious operation, were not told about them.
If I were FBI Director Robert Mueller, I’d be looking over at his boss, Attorney General Eric Holder, and saying something like “I got a bad feelin’ about this, Sundance.” In fact, when you think about it, this whole mess is beginning to read like some B-movie Western script.
You know, the one where the bad guy/robber baron (that would be Obama) is trying to steal all the land from the peaceful ranchers (that would be private gun owners), and gets his hired guns (ATF) and the corrupt sheriff (FBI) to go plant some evidence (oh, say of guns in the hands of hostile Indian tribes) and gets some of the honest deputies shot to Hell and gone. (Agents Terry & Zapata). The robber baron gets his hand caught in the cookie jar, when some of the ranchers recognize members of the band of cutthroats behind the kerchiefs covering their faces. (Seeings how effective the ATF/FBI ops were, perhaps they had the kerchiefs over their eyes instead of their noses and mouths.)
But even though they get caught red-handed, the robber baron brazenly goes ahead with his plan to take control of the valley, pass all sorts of new laws (that would be the Executive Orders) and generally point to the failed op as proof positive there’s a problem that only his heavy-handed control can solve. Um…Hell YEAH, there’s a problem, pal! It’s YOU! YOU’RE the problem – you and your bunch of thugs that resemble the Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight more than the Magnificent Seven. Sheesh!ˆ
We’ve seen this movie before. In the cinema, the bad guy never wins. The Lone Ranger and Tonto, John Wayne, Audie Murphy – SOMEbody shows up that understands that Law and Order is more than a cop show on NBC, stops the bad guys, rights the wrongs, and saves the farm.
Only this isn’t the movies. What I wanna know is where in the Wide, Wide World o’ Sports are Woodward and Bernstein, or their modern-day equivalents? I mean, don’t those guys still have the fire in their bellies? Don’t they smell a good story and see “Pulitzer Prize” written all over it, then jump to cover it? They are still alive, aren’t they? I don’t know I think this is further evidence (as if we needed any) that traditional journalism has lost all credibility, and the modern-day Woodward and Bernstein won’t be found behind a battered Smith-Corona or IBM Selectric at the WaPo, but is far more likely to be found in some den, hunched over a cheap Dell laptop, combing through sources, making calls, and exposing the villains for who they really are.
Seriously, the FBI? I mean, I’m not surprised, but I was kind holding out hope that the Fibbies would retain at least a little credibility, so we could have someone to turn too, once the ATF gets the bureaucratic version of the death penalty, and be able to point to them and say, “Well, at least these guys aren’t willing to break laws just to get their agenda in play.” But nooooooooooo! We’ve gotta have yet again another agency willing to do anything, say anything (or in this case NOT say anything, as in “withholding evidence”), or hide anything to have their way.
But there is another side to this story. All that inter-departmental cooperation and joint task-forcing stuff? That requires approval of the bosses. The head of the ATF and the head of the FBI can’t just wake up one morning and decide to have a bromance. They gotta go ask Dad’s permission first. Now let’s see…who do the FBI and ATF report to? Oh, yeah. They are both direct reports to Eric Holder, the U.S. Attorney General.
That means he was aware of the project well before it blew up. And it also means he is responsible for what happens on his watch, regardless of how much knowledge he had/has of the inner workings of the project. But let’s look at this logically. We’ve seen the movie, remember. Thugs don’t make the plans. They carry them out. It’s the big guy and his lieutenants that make the plans.
So I’ve got in mind a scene from a movie. We’ll remake it. I’m gonna cast Obama and Holder as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Forget Melson and Mueller. They don’t have the box office draw of the superstars of politics. Let me set the scene. It’s the very end of the flick. Butch and Sundance are holed up in a shack in a valley in Bolivia. The Pinkerton man has tracked them down, and has the shack completely surrounded. We’ll get Issa to play the Pinkerton detective, and Grassley will be in charge of the Senators, uh…Federales. Obama looks at Holder and says “who ARE these guys?”
Then Holder and Obama throw the door open and run out, guns blazing. Fade to white. Or black. (I’m easy.) Cut. Print. It’s a wrap.