The Right Opinion

Does Fast and Furious Put Impeachment on The Table?

By Ben Shapiro · Sep. 28, 2011

“The story is one of not covert activity alone,” intoned Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, “but of covert foreign policy …. It is a tale of working outside the system and of utilizing irregular channels and private parties accountable to no one, on matters of national security, while ignoring the Congress and even the traditional agencies of executive foreign policy making. The story is both sad and sordid.”

Sen. Inouye was speaking not of the biggest scandal of the Obama administration, but of the biggest scandal of the Reagan administration – the Iran-Contra scandal. In that scandal, the United States sold weapons to parties in Iran in an attempt to free Lebanese-held hostages, then funneled the weapons cash to the anti-communist Contras in Nicaragua. The outcome of that scandal: indictments against the secretary of defense, the national security advisor, the assistant secretary of state, the chief of covert ops at the CIA and several others.

That scandal pales by comparison to the so-called Fast and Furious scandal now bubbling in Washington, D.C. In fall 2009, Eric Holder and the Department of Justice decided on a strategy supposedly designed to combat gun trafficking on the Mexican border. They didn’t want the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to seize illegal firearms anymore; instead, they wanted them to give firearms to members of the Mexican cartels.

According to the Congressional report, “ATFs Phoenix Field Division began allowing suspects to walk away with illegally purchased guns …. This shift in strategy was known and authorized at the highest levels of the Justice Department.” One goal was to identify “straw purchasers” – legal gun purchasers who hand off those guns to illegal owners. Instead of arresting the straw purchasers and their contacts, however, ATF was to allow the guns to continue to flow to the Mexican drug cartels. “ATF and DOJ leadership were interested in seeing where these guns would ultimately end up,” the report states. “ATF would only see these guns again after they turned up at a crime scene.”

That’s exactly what happened. The entire operation ended with only 20 indictments of straw purchasers – indictments that could have happened immediately upon transfer of the weapons, stopping the flow. In fact, the straw purchasers, at issue, were known to be straw purchasers from the get-go. The indictments only took place at all because U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered using the weapons authorized for free flow by ATF and DOJ. Terry wasn’t the only person killed because of Fast and Furious – the weapons OK’d by the DOJ and ATF were used in three murders, four kidnappings and an attempted murder in Mexico. They’ve been identified at 11 other crime scenes in the United States.

So what was the real goal of the DOJ and ATF? It certainly wasn’t to shut down access to arms for the cartels – the ATF was agreeing to such access. It wasn’t to stop straw purchasers – the ATF was signing off on the straw purchasers. It wasn’t to track the movements of the cartel – there was no way to do that. It was, very simply, to establish for political reasons that American guns were being used in crimes by foreign cartels.

This was the Reichstag fire of the Second Amendment. By authorizing the passage of weapons to America’s enemies, President Obama and his administration clearly wanted to set up a narrative that America’s lax gun laws were killing American troops and law enforcement officers. They wanted their misuse of law enforcement authority to create the impetus for a crackdown on gun sales in the United States.

How high does this go? Apparently, all the way to the top. The attorney general of the state of Arizona, a Democrat operative, has already resigned in an attempt to avoid the consequences of participating in this fiasco. Middle management at DOJ and ATF has already been thrown under the bus. The acting director of the ATF, Kenneth Melson, has already been defenestrated.

For his part, Obama has denied that Attorney General Eric Holder green-lit the operation, stating, “My attorney general has made clear he certainly would not have ordered gun running to be able to pass through into Mexico.” This is less than credible – how could the head of the DOJ not know about an operation of this magnitude handled by the DOJ? And how could President Obama not know? And why, if the DOJ is uninvolved, do they want a copy of Melson’s confidential interview with Congressional staff?

If this scandal runs all the way up the chain of command – and by all indicators, it could – it is certainly an impeachable offense. This is a high crime, not a misdemeanor. Pushing an operation designed to undercut American freedoms that ends with the death of Americans is not only illegal, it is unconscionable. And unlike Iran-Contra, it wasn’t done for the right reasons.


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wjmccrindle said:

Add this to the list of impeachable offenses. Coersion of to alter the testimony of a US General Officer. Contempt of court in halting gulf drilling. Supporting half a billion wasted on Solyndra. Warfighting with the UN in violation of the war powers act. The illegal extra-constitutional plethora of czars. Lies Lies and more lies! Impeach NOW!!!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 8:41 AM

Brian said:

This fiasco, the refusal to defend DOMA in court, the refusal to prosecute voter intimidation by the Black Panthers, the bailout of GM, Goldman Sachs, etc, are ALL impeachable offenses. Yet, no peep from anyone in Congress. They are all cowards!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 10:16 AM

Eleanor in AK said:

Elections have consequences. There may be votes in the House to impeach President Obama, but the Senate will support him just as they did President Clinton.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 10:57 AM

Mark S said:

If this be true, it makes me wonder more and more about how that BP oil spill occured, resulting in near shutdown of the Gulf oil industry.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 11:58 AM

Tex Horn said:

"President Obama and his administration... wanted their misuse of law enforcement authority to create the impetus for a crackdown on gun sales in the United States."Ben, you fired the shot and you've hit the target. For whatever misguided reasons the DOJ and ATF had for the gun sales to Mexican cartels, the real reason was to discredit law-abiding American gun owners and to weaken our Second Amendment rights. This DOJ and the ATF are criminals at best, treasonous at worst. Good people, if you are not writing your Congresspeople to put a stop to these criminal acts, aren't you aiding and abetting them? Please, continue to make a stand for our Second Amendment rights!"”A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.”~George Washington

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Abu Nudnik said:

1) Fast and furious2) DOJ's prosecution of duly signed law: DOMA3) EPA's legislation of defeated legislation re: cap 'n trade.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 1:08 PM

azgrunt said:

It was the U.S. Attorney for Arizona who resigned, not our current AZ Attorney General. But, other than that, you do raise both the stenches of cover-up and of Democratic hypocrisy.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Dave the Canuck said:

It's no coincidence that Fast and Furious was authorized around the time that Obama was talking up the "More than 90 percent of the guns recovered in Mexico come from the United States" fallacy. Clearly he intended for the ATF to manufacture evidence to support this assertion. The blood trail leads right back to the Oval Office.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 3:05 PM

Rich said:

Is there no depth that this rouge administration will go to undermine the Constitution and destroy the USA. The list is long and one can start with the enormous debt that will bring us all down. Every day my opinion of this group of radicals gets lower.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 4:27 PM

Howard Reed said:

Hello American,Fast and Furious is firing up the consciences of Americans paying attention to this ever unfolding story. Bama is dirty, not because I thing he is a worthless president, but because he is on record in the early days of this Bama disaster. Holder is about as dirty as a person in charge can get. He had to know, probably set up the operation with Bama and other higher ups. What has happened is by definition criminal, not just unconstitutional, but criminal.The House Republicans are asking for special counsel to investigate illegal gun running to Mexican cartels with a hands off policy being given agents involved. It has resulted in the loss of human life, much of it in Mexico, some in our country. Impeachment certainly is not out of the question, skip the misdemeanor, this is a high crime committed by public officials sworn in to serve and defend. Not themselves, as is happening, but the American people . . . people are dying in this country due to this operation.Impeachment with criminal indictments from the top down. Time to get rid of other worthless pieces of progressive flotsam and jetsom. This can't happen to soon. It would implode the Bam's second term dreams, which is so much castle building in the sky anyway. Nail the criminals.The Turban Torpedo

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 4:35 PM

Jonathan Sipe said:

This was high treason by Obama and Holder. They are both accessories to murder as well. This never was about bring down any drug cartells or straw buyers. This was strictly a propaganda operation to enforce strict gun control measures and I think that their end game to this was complete gun confiscation across America. They were in bed with the cartells in this. Think about it. For years the cartells were getting their guns and weapons from Middle Eastern and Russian illegal arms dealers. They foreign gun runners sell the cartells fully automatic AK-47's for pennies on the dollar. So tell me there was any reason for the cartells to purchase semi automatic AK-47's for $500.00+ or AR-15 semi automatic rifles for $800.00+. There wasn't, so Barack Obama and Eric Holder used United States tax dollars to arm the drug cartells in order to spread propaganda and strip law abiding American gun owners of their 2nd Amendment Rights. Here is the million dollar question. How much did Obama recieve in campaign contributions from the cartells in Mexico? I whole mess is investigated thouroughly then we will be able to add drug trafficing and sells to Obama and Holders rap sheets. Not only should Obama be impeached and Holder fired but they should be tried and convicted of all of their crimes and then they should recieve the maximum sentences.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 4:51 PM

DaneChile in Unknown said:

Quote by Obama: "My attorney general has made clear he certainly would not have ordered gun running to be able to pass through into Mexico." You may as well restate that as "My attorney general SAID he certainly would not have ordered gun running to be able to pass through into Mexico." Well, that certainly clears up that question. or does it? Would he have ordered that the straw purchasers be able to complete the purchases as long as the weapons did not make it into MX?Would he have ordered that gun running be able to occur as long as we stopped it at the border?With a weasel like Hussein, one must parse every word.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 7:11 PM

David Powell said:

Hey I am sure Sarah Brady, Sen. Chuck Schumer and the mainstream media will be all over this in.... oh who's kidding, they're trying to stop the word from getting out.This is to the Anti Gunners what covering for Bill Clinton was to the NOW type Feminists. After keeping their mouth shut and even backing their favored party in this over the actualy people they claim to care about they had better never complain about their issue again because they have sold out so bad. P.S. Sending guns ot kill Mexicans was a racist and anti-Mexican foreign policy, think you're going to hear from anyone on the left about that? What about people who said President George W. Bush interfered with other nations' affairs?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 7:23 PM

Akgum said:

Mr Obama staes he never oredered "his" attorney general to make this deal. I have news for him. Mrholder is not his attorney general he is our attorney general "we the people of the united states" not the president's own attorney general but ours. He is supposed to serve us not the other way around and yes these offenses should be impeachable, but our do nothing congress has not the cohones to do it.

Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 1:30 AM

ron said:

Obama is doing a great job. He came into office with the intention of destroying the USA and converting it to Marxism and hes doing a great job.

Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 9:42 AM