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I swear to God the title of this essay is NOT in any way, shape or form, some kind of racist thing – overt, covert, implied or otherwise. But what are you gonna call it with the Attorney General of these United States gets caught lying to Congress, and the best thing they can come up with for their defense of Fast n’ Furious is “Oh yeah? Well the Bush people did it, too!” Pot, meet kettle. 

According to the “we claim we’re neutral but you couldn’t prove it by me” folks over at Politico, the Associated Press has dug up a story that claims the Bush Administration ran an operation that allowed hundreds of guns to be transferred to suspected arms traffickers – the very same tactics used by the ATF under the Bush administration.

The AP story claims that another ATF program, this one code-named “Operation Wide Receiver,” that ran from 2006 through 2007, run out of the Tucson, Arizona office. The program concluded without any charges being filed. The implication in the story is that we shouldn’t condemn the Obama Administration for something that the Bush Administration was doing, long before they took office.

I kinda wondered how long it would take before someone picked up on the dates for Operation Wide Receiver, and started flogging the “It’s Bush’s Fault” meme again. Didn’t take long. The CBS story focused on the, um, discrepancies in Holder’s testimony. It blew right by the idea that the web of intrigue might snare anybody in the Bush Administration.

The AP was not so willing to focus on the important stuff, spinning a story that ignored Holder and the whole potential of “Contempt of Congress” thing (go back and watch Holder’s blink count when he fields a question that strikes a little too close to home. I wanna play poker with that guy. I’ll get rich.) The AP story went for the jugular – Bush’s jugular, that is.

In both politics or stage magic, this is what’s known as misdirection. But to be perfectly fair about everything, I’ve done a little digging, and found that the AP and Politico are guilty of a little spin here. Here’s why:

  • As my momma used to say, two ‘wrongs’ don’t make a ‘right.’ Just because Georgie let his pals break the law, doesn’t mean Barry and Eric can.
  • Both times, it’s the ATF running amuck. See a pattern here? (You’d have to be blind NOT to.) In both cases, it’s the ATF that’s guilty of overreach. But Bush never tried to cover it up. Obama and Holder have.
  • Wide Receiver involved “hundreds” of guns. Fast n’ Furious involves “thousands of guns.” Even one gun getting into the hands of a bad guy is a bad idea. But it looks like Obama and Holder’s ATF took an idea they knew was a non-starter and applied the logic “if it didn’t work before, let’s do MORE of it and see if that fixes it!” (No, guys. It doesn’t.)
  • Holder and Company seem to trying to make a case for him being confused when he told the Congressional investigators he’d only just heard about Fast n’ Furious. But his story keeps changing. And if he was confusing the two operations, logically, he would have answered that he’d known about Fast n’ Furious sooner rather than later. Details, details.
  • This has the look and feel of something that came over the transom to the fellow travelers at the AP. There are no sources cited in the piece that indicate how this choice bit of intel came to grace the desks of the Associated Press. Which leads me to believe the story was “leaked” by Justice, in the hopes that it would deflect some heat away from Obama and Holder, and towards their favorite Judas goat – George W. Bush.
  • The AP has a lot of experience, turning phrases. I’ve not seen them write anything so emphatic as when they are pillorying Bush. This article is no exception to that rule.
  • If they investigate the earlier operation (and they should) and it’s discovered that the Bush Justice Department green-lighted this, those who broke the law should be punished, regardless of the (D) or (R) after their name. And if it’s discovered that Bush covered up any crimes, then it’s time to go after him for something that’s a REAL crime.

I don’t for a second believe that Bush covered up Operation Wide Receiver, not because I’m a fan of Bush (I’m lukewarm), but because this is the first time it’s been brought up. And remember, you can’t blame an executive for what their underlings do, unless (and this is a BIG unless) they explicitly ordered their flunkies to break the law, or they engaged in a cover-up to hide the lawbreaking.

Clearly, if the Bush Administration did nothing to cover this up, they are in the clear.

The ATF, however, is in deep kimchee over all their follies. And the Holder Justice Department is right in there with them. What has yet to be determined is what Obama knew, when did he know it, and does he have any exposure on this. Given what I know about the Chicago Way, I’m betting he knew, and he’s been at the epicenter of the wagon-circling, stonewalling, and wallpapering. (Perhaps he’s prepping for a career change to build Habitat for Humanity homes for the homeless, like his spiritual mentor, Jimmy Carter does. I guess Habitat for Humanity is on the approved list for Liberal penance.)

So let’s recap: The latest from the Obamateurs in the White House is that “Bush let guns walk, too.” And again, that doesn’t mean we can/should overlook the crimes of the ATF, nor the Obama Administration’s cover-up. It just means we need to expand the investigation.

But that will likely mean that we find the ATF is even MORE guilty than we thought. I don’t see this as a viable defense for Holder & Company. And I keep thinking, “when push comes to shove, will Holder take one for Team Obama, or will he drag the O-Man down with him?” We’ll see. But if he’s already playing these kindergarten games, I wouldn’t bet on Holder playing the stoic soldier.

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  1. I don’t give a flying fuggetaboutit when it comes to Bush. He’s not the guy threatening America now. Now, we have a God Emperor in the White House and a putz in the AG’s office. We have the Brady Campaign Against America, the Joyce Foundation, PMS/NBC and the entire Red Chorus shilling for them. So let’s get rid of the clear and present danger first, okay? Then we can worry about Bush.

  2. Think about all this next time you fill out a 4473 and comply with all state, local and federal laws. You’ve done something good the ATF didn’t even blink about ignoring.

    Can we get a new prez next year so we can finally start blaming him for whats wrong with the country? I mean if the Last Guy is always at fault, let’s make Barry The Last Guy.

  3. The article is a good piece, however, I would change the current headline of this story and modify the first paragraph.

  4. As my momma used to say, two ‘wrongs’ don’t make a ‘right.’ Just because Georgie let his pals break the law, doesn’t mean Barry and Eric can.

    It’s just like my mom’s response when I tried to excuse staying out late or whatever by saying all my friends were were doing it: “Well, if all your friends were torturing people with power drills and hanging them off of overpasses would you do that too?”

  5. yikes, the Obama administration has not yet learned that blaming bush for every thing (deserved and undeserved) has damaged their credibility. One thing i am fairly sure of is that Holder will be cut loose or resign before he takes the whole ship down with him.

    • A lot of the blame is well deserved – the economic issues certainly.

      Brad – I thought this site was for truth. Your political bias is clearly showing with terms like “Obamateurs” and “Given what I know about the Chicago Way, I’m betting he knew”. You have no proof of that. You go from clearing Bush (quite correctly I think) to saying Obama must know. Clearly biased.

      • Well, I guess he could have said “allegedly.” I’m sure we’ll be hearing that word a lot on the next few months.

        Personally, I think POTUS is doing a great job. The economy was never better, there are no scandals in D.C., and everyone in America is happy. How’s that for unbiased?

        • Great sarcasm. Of course things are not great economically. But where we were in late 2008 this is not the worst it could have been.
          Scandal wise, pretty limited too. It has taken 3 years for this to come up. Bush and Clinton were well ahead at that time.
          Getting top terrorists in the past few months has been pretty good news.

          • The old “save or create 1M jobs” line. Set an imaginary metric so you can’t be measured, clever.

          • Is it just me or is the whole “unbiased” complaint trotted out to defend the libs and dems and ignored when the conservatives and conservative parties are being demonized? I suppose there are some exceptions as whiny is not limited to one party, but Mike you have been camping on this unbiased thing on multiple posts. Take a hint: TTAG folk are generally pro-gun and anti-gun grabber

              • Ralph – thanks for your human kindness.

                William – I understand that TTAG folk are generally pro-gun and anti-gun grabber. I just don`t see anyone taking your guns. Also I think there is a wide range of opinions, even on here, between the absolutist positions of “no regulations at all” to “no-one have a gun”.

  6. Remember, the article said that the Operation Wide Receiver under the Bush administration allowed guns to be sold to traffickers…nothing in the story about how many of those made it to Mexico.

    So, were the guns stopped at the border?

  7. My understanding is that there was another difference between “wide receiver” and F&F, unlike F&F “wide receiver” implanted some sort of radiotransponders inside the some of the firearms themselves and flew aerial patrols to try and track them.
    Now granted for a number of reasons (antenas folded decreasing output, concealing the transponders inside of metal instead of wood limiting signal strength, short battery life, short duration of aerial patrols due to fuel limitations etc….) they were never able to track any of the guns past the border, but they did have a plan and attempted to track the guns.

    The above is from open source materials and could be incorrect, I have no first hand knowledge.


  8. Also what is it with the “Barry” thing. His name is Barack. Just like Bush Jr is George W.

    Word is that his friends have always called him “Barry”. So you are correct, most of us here should use Barack.

    • I call him POTUS. I hope I don’t have to do so for another four years, but for now, he’s POTUS.

  9. And I keep thinking, “when push comes to shove, will Holder take one for Team Obama, or will he drag the O-Man down with him?”–BK

    Don’t lose sight of this important distinction: Holder undoubtedly lied to Congress but BHO orchestrated a program that led to the loss of innocent life. Holder’s fate is largely irrelevent; BHO must be held full accountable for his capital crimes.

  10. Wow. The Bush Administration. It’s ok because they did it. The Bush Administration only being the most flagrantly illegal administration in the last seventy five years or more. The Bush Administration is a good example to those that actually think that FnF will cause Obama to resign.

    • Nate: While I’m a Conservative and lean right (as if that’s a surprise to anybody around here) I was NOT a big fan of the Bush administration. Waaaaay too “progressive,” if you get my drift. But if you’ll go back and re-read my article, you’ll see where I was pointing out that the Bush era ATF follies SHOULD be investigated, and anybody that was guilty of crimes brought to justice. I’d feel the same way, even if I’d been a Bush fanboy. The law cannot and should not play favorites.

      And for the record, I don’t care if it’s Fast n’ Furious, Solyndra, LightSpeed, or any of the other scandals brewing that drive Obama from office. I just want him to either STOP screwing the country with his Socialism, or I want him gone.

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