- - Sunday, January 24, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Some of the chickens of Eric Holder, the former attorney general, and President Obama are fluttering over the chicken house again, looking for the roost. One of those chickens, as persistent as a tough old Dominecker hen, is the Holder scheme called “Fast & Furious.” This was a zany scheme put together by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms to pressure gun shops along the nation’s southern border to sell guns to criminals, who would then smuggle them across the border to the drug cartels wreaking havoc in Mexico. The guns would, in theory, make it easier to track the evil drug runners.

Several gun shops at first refused to sell the guns to known criminals, but were “persuaded” when they were reminded that federal agents could revoke or refuse to renew the federal licenses they had to have to stay in business. Many of the purchasers couldn’t pass a background check, but the government manipulated the National Instant Check System, supervised by the FBI, to clear them.

Before outraged federal whistleblowers whistled word of what their superiors were doing, more than 1,400 guns had made it across the Rio Grande. When a U.S. Border Patrol officer was shot and killed by a cartel gunman with one of Eric Holder’s guns, the Obama White House rushed into the stonewalling mode that has served the president so well in dealing with other outrages over his terms.

Mysterious rogue agents were first blamed for the killing, but when the pressure of the facts became so great the president invoked executive privilege to resist congressional investigators determined to find out what the president knew, and when he knew it. The House of Representatives eventually held Mr. Holder in contempt for lying to Congress.

Time passed, righteous rage subsided and the president relaxed, satisfied that he and his friends had put the controversy behind them. Then, a week ago, a federal court ruled that executive privilege doesn’t apply to the communications between the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms on one hand and the Justice Department and the White House on the other. The court ordered the White House to supply the emails that Mr. Holder and the president tried to keep out of the public eye.

To complicate matters, the Mexican authorities finally captured “El Chapo” and raided his mountain redoubt. They discovered among other things that he and his security team had a .50 caliber rifle, provided by the U.S. government’s “Fast & Furious” scheme, capable of taking down the police helicopters. The Mexican authorities surprised the thugs and the cartel didn’t have a chance to use the gun.

El Chapo is the leader of the Sinaola cartel and, according to Mr. Holder himself, responsible for “the death and destruction of millions.” He was described by the U.S. Treasury Department as “the most powerful drug trafficker in the world” and worth billions of dollars. He got many of the guns that Messrs. Obama and Holder enabled the cartel to obtain from American suppliers.

The realization of what he and Mr. Holder have done ought to be enough to bring Mr. Obama to tears again. But the president is busy at work now on regulations to make it more difficult for the innocent and law-abiding to buy guns of their own for defense and sports. We might be about to learn just why his administration thought it was a good idea to put guns into the hands of the worst of the worst.

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