When Ignorance Is the Best Excuse

Eric Holder's only defense of the ATF's "Fast and Furious" program is that he didn't know it existed.

When Rupert Murdoch went before the British Parliament yesterday to testify about the News of the World hacking scandal, he did not attempt to downplay the severity of his employees’ crimes. Rather, he apologized for the damage done and then said, "I didn’t know of it." When asked who, then, was responsible for the culture of criminality that had developed at News of the World, Murdoch told Parliament, "The people I trusted and the people they trusted."

Even longtime Murdoch haters had to concede that the mogul’s response was brilliant. If he’s telling the truth, the News Corp. owner is guilty only of having trusted the wrong people to oversee his British papers (such as News International chief and former World editor Rebekah Brooks), and of never checking in on things himself. Luckily for Rupert, being a disinterested executive is not a crime. Unforunately for the staff of the shuttered News, this means their boss quite possibly ignored Britain’s largest circulation newspaper into the grave.

On the other side of the Atlantic, Attorney General Eric Holder and his protectors in the Justice Department are using the same defense to keep the DOJ chief from being implicated in the increasingly sordid ATF gunrunner scandal.

Earlier this year CBS discovered that the Phoenix division of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and the U.S. Attorneys office in Phoenix had allowed known gunrunners to buy heavy arms, including several .50 caliber rifles, from border state gun shops and take them to Mexico. The program became public when U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry turned up dead near Rio Rico, Arizona, killed by two assault rifles that the ATF had practically shepherded into cartel possession.

That the U.S. government had a hand in Terry's death wasn't just news to his grieving family, it was allegedly news to the government as well.

When the House Oversight Committee began investigating the program, which was known as “Fast and Furious,” it found that border state ATF agents wanted to make arrests related to the program, but were told not to do so. Earlier this month Congress found out why: The FBI and the DEA both had cartel informants whose cover would’ve allegedly been jeopardized had the ATF acted on its intelligence.  

This revelation means that three of the biggest enforcement agencies within the Department of Justice knew about a program that one DOJ spokesman described to me as “illegal” and “isolated.” The one person who supposedly did not know is Holder. His first reaction to media reports about the gunrunner program was to “vehemently deny...that ATF has ever knowingly allowed weapons to get into the hands of suspected gunrunners for Mexico's drug cartels." His second and enduring response was to plead ignorance.

"Holder said he became aware of the ATF agents concerns about certain tactics used in Fast and Furious earlier this year,” a DOJ spokesperson told me last week. “That’s when he asked the IG to investigate those concerns.” Holder said the same thing in testimony before the House in March.

After several months of hearings and countless requests for documents and intra-department communications, there’s still no evidence that Holder knew about the program before the rest of us did. Holder’s ignorance is supported by acting ATF Director Ken Melson, who told Oversight that it “would be unusual for other Justice Department officials in Washington to know the details and that the U.S. attorney’s office in Phoenix was overseeing the program.”

The House Oversight Committee is now trying to find out why. “It’s hard for us to believe that all throughout that year-plus process and even as this program fell apart and became a problem for [the Department of] Justice, that nobody should have told [Holder] something,” Oversight Chair Rep. Darrell Issa told Fox Business Channel host Lou Dobbs last week.

While there’s some evidence that the people Holder trusted—his own Rebekah Brooks, you could say—knew about Fast and Furious, Holder appears to have been genuinely oblivious to the development and implementation of a project that has stained the U.S.-Mexico border blood-red.

Mike Riggs is an associate editor at Reason magazine.

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  • Virginia||

    here's the Deacon Turner shooting video. watch it before it's pulled. the shit goes down around 45 seconds. you can see the cop hitting him in the legs, then he's shot. motion sensor malfunction my ass.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    that shit is doctored.

  • tarran||

    Watching this video, there are lots of little discontinuities; I think the motion detector is only looking at the near part of the parking lot. The shooting happened pretty far away. So it's possible the camera wasn't tampered with but because everyone was staying away from the dangerous cops by not going into the parking lot, the camera did stop recording.

    The second thing that strikes me is that as the squad car pulls out, a bunch of people walk quickly accross the parking lot and melt into the shadows, and Turner has the misfortune to be following them. The cops grabbed him because he was the slowest in that 'group' towing his kids along with him. It didn't look to me like he had anything to do with the kids.

    In the end, though, the police are to blame; they escalated the situation. It's just fucking booze. The police are not the Taliban. They don't have to beat unbelievers into submission or kill them.

    Meanwhile, all over the U.S. supporters of temperance slept the sleep of the righteous. No doubt unaware that someone was gunned down as part of their war on demon rum.

  • Bingo||

    Better for one man to lose his life than for cops to have their absolute authority questioned and/or a teenager ever drink a beer.

  • Warty||

    In the end, though, the police are to blame; they escalated the situation.

    LAWFUL INVESTIGATION!!! IF YOU DONT WANT TO GET SOHT OBEY THE POLICE!!!!!

  • ||

    Where is it written that one must "Obey" or face death. 20 years ago one would be carted off home or to the tank to sober up. If you accept this you truly are an assimilated member of the New World Order. A*s H*le.

  • silent v||

    Sorry Tarran, I am not buying it. If you look at the video, two cars drive by at around 49 seconds and then the discontinuity happens at around 53 seconds. They would have us believe that the camera stops after four seconds of inactivity in the foreground? Later in the video there are lots of stretches of more than four seconds with nobody moving in the foreground. The police story is bullshit, the tape was doctored.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Sure looks like there's a guy at the front door at the 50:19 mark, holding his cell phone in the "I'm filming this" posture. Be nice to get his video, assuming it still exists. Moreover, don't the squad cars have video? And doesn't it look like the shooting happens right in front of them? It does look like there's nothing that would trigger the sensor from 50:13 to 50:19, but I'm certainly no expert on how that sort of thing works. There are multiple stops and starts of the tape; it could very well be that the sensor wasn't triggered. You'd think the guy standing in front of the door watching would trigger it, but who knows? Nice quality on the picture, however.

    Really, the first thing I thought watching the video was, "Holy shit. That could've been me." Guy's walking through the parking lot, and has the misfortune to cross in front of the squad car while holding some shopping bags, right as they're pulling in. And I'm not seeing what justifies whacking him in the legs with a baton to begin with. Just walking off? Going by the different scenarios dunphy listed here http://reason.com/blog/2011/07.....t_2403869:

    generally speaking, that would only be justified if the person was fleeing after committing a crime involving the use of force (threatened or used) and a # of other factors.

    a shoplifter running away? no

    a shoplifter who fought with store security? yes

    mercer island shot a bank robber in the back after he robbed the bank with a gun and refused to stop. justified? sure

    I'm having a hard time seeing the justification for hitting him.

    Of course, we all know why he got hit: judging by the video, he said something to the effect of, "Fuck you, I've cooperated. I'm going home. And btw, fuck you." Walked off, they said "Wait!", he didn't stop, 'thwack'.

  • omg||

    Its funny how cameras only seem to malfunction in such a way that removes any evidence of misconduct for the officer.

    Like that university student beating in Maryland where one of the wives of the offending officers (who was in charge of the footage) deleted the 30 seconds of her husband beating the shit out of some defenseless college kid who had done nothing wrong. Then they said "WELL THE VIDEO WAS CORRUPTED OR SOMETHING BUT FOR THE CORRUPTED PART THE KID WAS TOTALLY THREATENING AND LUNGING AT OUR OFFICERS YEP THAT IS ABSOLUTELY WHAT HAPPENED OR SOMETHING".

  • ||

    Exactly. When we hear, ever, about a case where the missing footage is in favor of the defendant and not the cops, I'll start believing these "malfunctions".

  • Bingo||

    It doesn't matter, because even if the footage was in favor of the defendant the cops word overrides it.

    This really cuts to the truth of the idea that police officers should wear recording equipment while on duty:

    If it shows them in a bad light it will be cut
    If it shows you in a bad light it will never be cut
    If there is a glitch that makes you look innocent, the cops word will be taken over yours

    It's a lose/lose proposition. Only third party recording that is kept out of law enforcement hands and published through an agency unaffiliated with the justice system has credibility.

  • ||

    Absolutely agree. The lady cop who edited the video of her cop husband's footage is the perfect example of why.

  • sevo||

    Rose Mary Woods by any chance?

  • Gilbert Martin||

    The difference of course is that the liberal MSM will demand that Murcdoch be held accountable while making excuses for why Holder should NOT be.

  • ||

    Actually the difference I've seen is that the local radio stations have gone so far as broadcasting the Parliament hearings with Murdoch in addition to covering the story nonstop...while the Gunrunner story I've only seen covered on Reason and a few other subversive media outlets.

  • ||

    Oh, and nothing NewsCorp did actually resulted in anyone getting killed. That's kind of a biggie too.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    Murdoch shut the offending organization down. The ATF will probably get a raise.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Holder also took an oath of office, Murdoch didn't. I guess that absolves Holder of all responsibility.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Sovereign immunity.

    He had all of the best intentions.

  • GH||

    The other difference is that I am not forced to pay Rupert Murdoch's salary.

    Your money, my money, Murdoch's money, Holder's money is ethereal to the left.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    You are also forced to pay taxes for the federal education funding provided to the cheating Atlanta school system.

    There isn't much reporting about that either.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Amazing how many people think nothing wrong was done in the Atlanta cheating scandal...

    ...and they're all Team Blue cheerleaders.

  • Hobie Hanson||

    That's not true. Your cable bill helps pay Murdoch.

  • sevo||

    "That's not true. Your cable bill helps pay Murdoch."
    So you admit you can't read? Not surprising.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    He probably went to school in Atlanta.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    He probably went to school in Atlanta.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    He probably went to school in Atlanta.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    He probably went to school in Atlanta.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    He probably went to school in Atlanta.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    He probably went to school in Atlanta.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    He probably went to school in Atlanta.

  • Bobarian||

    Wait...

    Do you think he went to school in Atlanta?

  • SFC B||

    I'd never thought it was possible he went to school in Atlanta.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    God, you are fucking stoopid, Hobie.

  • R||

    The operative word is "forced."

  • sevo||

    "The operative word is "forced.""
    Are you an Atlanta teacher? C'mon, no helping 3rd grade kids on the tests.

  • R||

    Is it okay to help that 1st grader?

  • ||

    I have no cable bill....

  • ||

    "..Holder appears to have been genuinely oblivious to the development and implementation of a project that has stained the U.S.-Mexico border blood-red."

    You can delegate your work, but you can't delegate your responsibility, motherfucker.

  • Eric Holder||

    Just watch me, motherfucker.

  • ||

    That'th jutht raythitht.

  • Janet Reno||

    Just watch me, suckka

  • ||

    What no one can claim ignorance of is that the ATF(E) does exist, yet there is no authority under the constitution for such an agency. So what need is there for plausible deniability when the government has already the people outgunned?

  • ||

    Oh yeah - we need another Ruby Ridge or Waco to stir up the far-right Neo-NAZI element!

    This could be it!

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: shriek,
    I know you're having a mental handjob but, please, don't leave your drippings all over the carpet.

  • ||

    Oh come on! You know the nutcase survivalist element gets all paranoid when a (D) is in the White House.

    Thankfully - the Hutaree is pretty much contained.

    But the FBI is tracking the other right-wing domestic terror groups.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: shriek,

    Oh come on! You know the nutcase survivalist element gets all paranoid when a (D) is in the White House.


    What does that have to do with far-right "neo-nazi" elements?

    But the FBI is tracking the other right-wing domestic terror groups.


    Nah, they dropped the case against the New Black Panthers.

  • ||

    Hey, I am a middle aged white guy so I have no worries.

    But I know my whackjob far-right Bircher code language in case I ever get interrogated.

    "Hey, them Jews are agitatin' fer a New World Order! And they own the Federal Reserve and are inflatin' our ass into slavery! And now they gots them a fancy talkin' Negro to sell dat shit!"

    You won't catch me unprepared!

  • NotSure||

    No matter how crazy the group is that you think is out to get you, you are probably the craziest one out there.

    Now I know that you equate questioning illegal government actions to a right wing coup attempt, but has it ever occurred to you that governments that act illegally can do so to you as well one day, even if you have been licking their behind all your life.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Our pal shrike is all for Obama's admin doing the poking and sniffing, while still blaming Bush (who does deserve blame).

    "But it's okay when Ds do it."

  • ||

    Hey - I live in the Georgia Confederacy. My dad is a Mason freak.

    "Hey, them Jews are agitatin' fer a New World Order! And they own the Federal Reserve and are inflatin' our ass into slavery! And now they gots them a fancy talkin' Negro to sell dat shit!"

    This is standard idiocy down here.

    Newt is even taking it up - the fucking idiot he is.

  • shrrrkke||

    If you got down on your hands and knees and begged, the church would let you back in.

  • Janet Reno||

    "Hey - I live in the Georgia Confederacy. My dad is a Mason freak"
    Tell it to someone who gives a shit, twerp.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Fake shriek is fake.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: shrike,

    But I know my whackjob far-right Bircher code language in case I ever get interrogated.


    Hmm, all your confusing rambling and conflating totally different ideologies could only mean one thing: you did not take your Thorazine today...

  • ||

    You are one of them, OM.

    Pure "Hey, them Jews are agitatin' fer a New World Order! And they own the Federal Reserve and are inflatin' our ass into slavery! And now they gots them a fancy talkin' Negro to sell dat shit!"

    That is you.

    And the Paultards.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: shriek,

    That is you.


    Really?

    I told you - you didn't take your Thorazine.

    And the Paultards.


    Right.

    Oh, by the way: Your pal, Paul Krugnutz, finally graced us with his answer to the question: Why is gold $1,600.00.

    It's not because of inflation.
    It's not because of the Fed.

    No!

    You see, it's all Glenn Beck's fault!

    Talk about two peas in a pod... Shriek, and Krugnutz.

  • tarran||

    If shrike is real, then he just let slip something very illumninating.

    Much of what he writes is prompted by his daddy issues, the poor pathetic creature.

  • fish||

    Credit due to Shrike for finding someone to help him work through those issues.

    Tonys hand must smell awful after working your mouth from the inside.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    OM said nothing of the sort, you fucking liar.

  • pmains||

    OM said nothing of the sort, you fucking liar.

    You're absolutely correct. And when is Reason going to give OM his own column? I like Kurt Loder, but I can go anywhere if I want to hear film buffs bag on bad movies.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    So, it's okay when shit like Ruby Ridge or Waco happens, then?

    Is that what you're saying, shrike? Sure as fuck sounds like you're in favor of such actions.

    BTW, what about far-leftists who engage in violence? You okay with that, too?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Mr. FIFY,

    So, it's okay when shit like Ruby Ridge or Waco happens, then?


    Yes, he thinks it is OK when the state kills. And the Fed inflates.

  • ||

    Randy Weaver moved into the country because he feared the government was growing too powerful and intrusive.. turns out he was right to be worried.

  • tarran||

    Hey, don't be excusing Randy Weaver, when the Feds offered him that sensible deal he chose the more dangerous path.

    What sane man decides to endanger his family by withdrawing to his farm rather than taking the safe course and joining the Aryan Nations as a undercover government agent.

  • ||

    The dangerous, live fast and die hard lifestyle of a farmer is a dead-end, zero-sum game.

  • cynical||

    Yes, the Nazis were well known for their staunch opposition to having the government burn children to death.

  • ||

    They tuurk our Gunzzzz!

  • Old Mexican||

    This revelation means that three of the biggest enforcement agencies within the Department of Justice knew about a program that one DOJ spokesman described to me as "illegal" and "isolated." The one person who supposedly did not know is Holder.


    It's like the Iran-Contra thing all over again! Uh, except for one thing: Are people in the ATF willing to take a bullet for Holder the same way Ollie took one for The Gipper?

    Because the Gipper was "The Gipper." Instead, Holder is... fucked.

  • ||

    The GOP isn't going to be interested in getting into the nitty gritty of Gunrunner any more than the Dems wanted to get into the nitty gritty of Bush's waterboarding and black sites. The two parties agree on one thing, which is that people in power must be unaccountable.

  • ||

    I have to agree with the Commodore on this one. Accountability is poison to politicians.

  • ||

    I, too will take your financial advice. Surely InTrade has a line on this, don't they?

  • ||

    I, too will take your financial advice. Surely InTrade has a line on this, don't they?

  • ||

    Squirrel! It's what's for dinner...

  • ||

    This attack on the DOJ is just an effort to distract the American people from the real issue of the day; the fact that rich people have airplanes!

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Speaking of airplanes, if your wife keeps on packing junk in her trunk, you'll need a C-5 Galaxy to haul her around!

  • 35N4P2BYY||

    Or if you prefer your humor with a bit of Eastern Block flair, an Il-76.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    She already flies around in a C-40B!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    When asked who, then, was responsible for the culture of criminality that had developed at ATF, Holder should say, "I didn't know of it, so I am."

  • Rock Action ||

    Just where the failure and breakdown had occurred was still a matter of controversy despite blamestorming sessions at the very highest levels of compliance, though ultimately the responsibility lay with the Rome REC Director despite the fact that it was never quite established whether the department heads had made her fully aware of the extent of the backlog. The dark Service joke about this Director now had been that her desk had had a Trumanesque wooden plaque on it which read: WHAT BUCK? -- David Foster Wallace, The Pale King

  • ||

    I don't think there is a fair comparison between reporters doing crazy things to get a story and the US arming a criminal element in Mexico. I think more citizens should be frightened that our government is simultaneously disarming people at our borders and arming criminals just over them.

  • pmains||

    What is Mike Riggs implying here? That Rebekah's quarterly presentations contained slides on how corporate espionage has allowed them to diversify, paradigms, blah blah blah? If you're breaking the law in order to improve your performance metrics while exposing the corporation for which you work to enormous danger, why on earth would you be drawing attention to that fact?

  • Abdul||

    NOTW was under police investigation three times before 2010 for the hacking, including at least one conviction as I recall. They had to pay civil settlements at least a few times as well.

    With that much smoke, Murdoch should have looked for the fire.

  • pmains||

    Ah. Good point.

  • ||

    Murdoch has no credible way of getting out from this wiretapping scandal from what I've read. He is using Clinton-era CALEA-conforming hardware (I am quite certain of this) which was engineered to provide centrally-available wiretapping capability. If the reports that this stuff goes into his NYC bunker, er, offices (ditto the same in London), we can safely infer that this was done with the knowledge and consent of high government officials.

  • ||

    One of the things that really pisses me off about the coverage of the Murdoch wiretapping story is that it's consistently labeled "hacking" by the press. Nothing could be further from the truth. Those of us who were dead set against CALEA as opening the door to massive abuse, inside and outside government, predicted something like this would ultimately happen.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I'm not saying he shouldn't be held responsible but News of the World represents 1% of News Corps operations so it would be doubtful he would be all that involved in the day to day stuff. Certainly doesn't compare to the ATF bullshit. The DOJ has been spiraling out of control for years. The ATF, DEA, and TSA should all shut down immediatly. They're all a bunch of jackbooted a**holes who serve no useful purpose in society.

  • chrispy||

    There is evidence Holder knew as far back as 2009. He even specifically mentioned Project Gunrunner. http://www.justice.gov/ag/speeches/2009/ag-speech-090402.html

  • Cliché Bandit||

    SF still LOOMS LARGE!

    linky no worky

  • ||

    As much as I hate to defend Holder, Gunrunner and Gun Walker/Fast and Furious are two different programs.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    Overall the situations are so different, that this attempt at trying to be all "fair an balanced" is sort of a fail.

  • Binky||

    Holder appears to have been genuinely oblivious

    To be fair, he is part of the Obama administration.

  • fish||

    Why do you think that DOJ functionaries refer to him as "Place" Holder?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "the FBI is tracking the other right-wing domestic terror groups"

    And how many of those groups are being watched for no good reason?

    Point is, bullshit lists compiled by the likes of the SPLC, include groups that aren't even close to being violent - Campaign for Liberty being an example.

    But apparently, the shrike-minded types are in favor of surveillance of groups that have no violent tendencies. Must have been trained by all those Bush-era scare tactics.

  • ||

    Too bad US Attorney's were not there to take down 4-5 more Duke Cunningham's.

    Bushy and Rove fired them before that could happen.

  • sevo||

    "Too bad US Attorney's were not there to take down 4-5 more Duke Cunningham's.
    Bushy and Rove fired them before that could happen."
    Right, twerp.
    And what about Elvis's alien love child, huh? What about THAT!?
    Got your tin-foil lids, blue-light special, aisle 6.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I see... so you ARE okay with surveilling non-viiolent groups.

  • sevo||

    Nope.
    I was responding only to shriek's non-sequitur.

  • pmains||

    Wasn't Mr. FIFY being sarcastic?

  • Au H20||

    So, we will ever see, say, a New York Times editorial about Fast and Furious.

    I mean, I'd hold my breath, but I don't want to die.

  • ||

    Why should you? Its made up bullshit like the bogus Blank Panther voter intimidation shit.

    Just don't look at the News Corpse hacking crimes! Don't go there!

  • ||

    ATF facilitated straw sales that would land Joe Q. Public in prison for ten years. Guns from those sales were involved in the shooting death of a border agent and an unknown but non-zero number of Mexican civvies.

    And this is "made up bullshit", according to you.

    Do you have to work at being this grotesque a sore on the ass of humanity, or is it a gift?

  • ||

    OK - fire the head of ATF then.

    I don't give a fuck.

  • ||

    Oh shit! I see where you wanted to go!

    3-yr old scandal on gun sales = to the Bushpigs lying and fixing the CIA in order to waste $2 trillion on Iraq!

    HaHA! How could I be so slow?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: shriek,

    HaHA! How could I be so slow?


    You can only blame your parents... slowly.

  • sevo||

    Don't worry:
    Shriek:
    "Hey - I live in the Georgia Confederacy. My dad is a Mason freak."
    I remember reading a long time ago that to become an adult, you had to learn to forgive your parents for not being perfect.
    That may help explain shriek.

  • ||

    You got us there shrek, we're big fans of Bush here.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    What role did Rupert Murdoch play in Brian Terry's death? None.

    What role did Eric Holder play in Brian Terry's death? It was his goons who sold the cartels the weapons that were used to kill him.

    What role did Barack Obama play in Brian Terry's death? Gunrunner's funding to send weapons over the border came from the Stimulus.

  • Apogee||

    Don't worry - the little shit is just scared to death that Fast & Furious will develop real legs.

    Can't have that because the little shit will have to get a job.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    BPs are on the SPLC shit-list, shrike.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Not sure if this has made the rounds yet today but:

    TSA to Upgrade Body Scanners, Eliminate Naked Images

    http://www.foxnews.com/politic.....ed-images/

  • Binky||

    Pistole wouldn’t say how much the upgrade is costing.

    Based on the article's description of the new "advanced imaging technology" I would say the upgrade is costing too fucking much.

  • Paul Krugman||

    Glenn Beck was financially intertwined with Goldline, and therefore had a financial stake in pushing fears of hyperinflation. And he had many, many viewers. So there was a direct channel through which conservative Americans were being pushed into buying gold.

    Market prices almost always tell you something useful. But sometimes what they tell you is that there’s a marketing scam in progress.

    In other news, two gentlemen have just now showed up at my door. I understand they are here to suit me for a new jacket. Strange, they don't look like tailors . . .

  • AlmightyJB||

    I ddin't know the Chinese government listened to Glenn Beck.

  • Paul Krugman||

    If its printed on the NYT blog, it must be true!

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c.....onnection/

  • Old Mexican||

    It's the craziest shit he has come up with so far. The guy is really nuts.

  • cynical||

    I couldn't really follow all the little connections he was trying to make. Maybe if he walked me through it on a chalkboard...

  • sevo||

    "Glenn Beck was financially intertwined with Goldline, and therefore had a financial stake in pushing fears of hyperinflation. And he had many, many viewers. So there was a direct channel through which conservative Americans were being pushed into buying gold."

    I call bullshit! Everybody knows it's Bush's Fault(TM)!

  • Old Mexican||

    So there was a direct channel through which conservative Americans were being pushed into buying gold[.]


    "Because, well, you see... Only foolish conservatives buy gold, and since conservatives follow Glenn Beck and he is sponsored by a gold seller, well... Ta-da!"

    I would wager an honest lefty would scratch his or her head after reading the above, but I'm afraid no honest lefty reads Krugman.

  • A Serious Man||

    For this to be true it would mean that Glenn Beck is really running the central banks of India, China, and other countries around the world that are currently buying up gold.

    This shit just got real!I expect a Steven Soderbergh movie within the next year or so.

  • fish||

    ....but I'm afraid no honest lefty reads Krugman.

    Honest lefty?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: shriek,
    By the way: Your pal, Paul Krugnutz, finally graced us with his answer to the question: Why is gold $1,600.00.

    It's not because of inflation.
    It's not because of the Fed.

    No!

    You see, it's all Glenn Beck's fault!

    Talk about two peas in a pod... Shriek, and Krugnutz.

  • Larry Summers||

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/324f.....z1SajET0dR

    There must be a clear commitment that, whatever else happens, no big financial institution in any country will be allowed to fail.

  • Jess Asken||

    Dr. Bernanke, how much gold do you personally own, and why?

  • ||

    Well, anyone who bought gold over the last several years has done quite well, so if there's a criticism of Glenn Beck in there, I'm not seeing it.

  • James Peterson||

  • James Peterson||

    Too bad US Attorney's were not there to take down 4-5 more Duke Cunningham's.
    Bushy and Rove fired them before that could happen."
    Right, twerp.
    And what about Elvis's alien love child, huh? What about THAT!?
    Got your tin-foil lids, blue-light special, aisle 6.

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  • Spoonman.||

    WTF?

  • cynical||

    It's a spambot that copies a reply from earlier in the thread to simulate actual relevance.

  • sevo||

    Fails the Turing test.

  • qianming||

    On the other side of the Atlantic, Attorney General Eric Holder and his protectors in the Justice Department are using the same defense to keep the DOJ chief from being implicated in the increasingly sordid ATF gunrunner scandal.

  • Almanian||

    Riggs! Cop killers!!

    *throws ATF-marketed-druglord gun to Riggs*

    Shit, that's not even a joke any more...

  • MC Holder||

    Can't touch this.

  • Ed Sievers||

    It's akin to a hospital doing abortions, but the director is clueless.
    Proof the Peter Principle is valid.

  • Obama||

    What about me ?

  • ||

    Holder appears to have been genuinely oblivious to the development and implementation of a project that has stained the U.S.-Mexico border blood-red.

    Its a little early for that. DOJ has been fighting like crazy to withhold lots of information about F&F; wonder why?

  • cynical||

    Even if he was can't proved to know what was going on, the next level below him almost certainly did.

    The question is, are any of them going to drop a dime like Melson?

  • cynical||

    Fuck, even I can't make out what the hell I was trying to say there.

  • Mike||

    I'm sort of curious how he can deny any knowledge, when he *specifically* mentioned the program in one of his speeches as part of what they were doing to fight Mexican drug violence. Now, maybe he just had a name of the cool new things his agents were doing, and no real information about it.... but that seems really sketchy.

    http://americaswatchtower.com/.....n-in-2009/

  • ||

    Why on earth would an idiot let the world know that they were running an undercover operation to catch gun runners. Did he do that so they would know where they could buy guns and walk away with them?

  • cynical||

    I know, I totally thought I could get away with smuggling drugs until I learned that the government had some program called "the DEA".

  • ||

    "After several months of hearings and countless requests for documents and intra-department communications, there’s still no evidence that Holder knew about the program..."

    Perhaps that is because not all of the requested documents have been provided, or not heavily redacted?

  • Apogee||

    That and the avoidance of every major news service to the story, ensuring no public pressure develops to provide those documents.

  • ||

    I suppose it's possible that F&F isn't an attempt to "prove" that this country "needs" more gun control. But if that isn't what it is, then the only remaining explanation is that it's an example of the most grotesque stupidity: initiating a program to traffic in deadly weapons without thinking it all the way through to its conclusion. Why should the grotesquely stupid have any authority to control anything?

  • ||

    "Holder appears to have been genuinely oblivious to the development and implementation of a project that has stained the U.S.-Mexico border blood-red."

    Oh, come on. Holder is a control freak and this operation was a set up by Obama, Hillary, and Holder to advance their cause for gun control. You cannot be serious to believe Holder knew nothing about this operation...

  • ||

    The only problem with this article is that there is evidence that Holder knew about this program earlier on. There is a speech he was giving at the DOJ about Project Gunrunner, not only that but DOJ assests were used all throughout Fast and Furious. How on earth could he not know that this was going down when $10,000,000 of funding is running through his department to keep it going? I mean that isn't a huge sum overall, but that is big enough to have it be noticed. There is enough evidence here to roast Holder and I would Imagine that much of this goes all the way to Barry himself.

  • ||

    You wrtie: "Holder’s ignorance is supported by acting ATF Director Ken Melson, who told Oversight that it “would be unusual for other Justice Department officials in Washington to know the details and that the U.S. attorney’s office in Phoenix was overseeing the program.”

    However, it now appears that exact duplicates of F&F also took place in Florida and Texas. The thought that three exact same programs of such dubious intent would simultaneously and independently devised by three separate areas of ATF is beyond believable.

  • ||

    CBS did not make the discovery. It was the gun nut bloggers.

  • ||

    since the DOJ has stonewalled and withheld evidence up to this point your assertion that there is no evidence is factully true but may very well be incomplete ... time will tell ...

  • M||

    While there’s some evidence that the people Holder trusted—his own Rebekah Brooks, you could say—knew about Fast and Furious, Holder appears to have been genuinely oblivious to the development and implementation of a project that has stained the U.S.-Mexico border blood-red.

    If that is really the case, why is DOJ doing everything it can to stonewall the Congressional investigation into this matter? Why isn't DOJ eagerly and actively trying to get to the bottom of this?

    This piece by Riggs reads like something from The America Prospect rather than Reason.

  • Apogee||

    Maybe Riggs is another Weigel?

  • ||

  • ||

    I am confident that Holder is responsible for re-imposition of the non-disclosure wall in DOJ. If not, it resulted from orders by higher authority. ATF did not originate Gunwalker and Castaway. The planning came from the highest level of authority in DOJ. If not, it came from cabinet officers and/or Obama.

    Apparently there are e-mails from which one can infer that Hillary Clinton and Holder are the ones who authorized set this process in motion.

    I hope that Issa and Grassley intensify their pressure on the Administration and get develop information to impeach the SOBs that are responsible. This scandal is worse than any other during my lifetime (80 years).

  • Apogee||

    Riggs - Nice try in attempting to exonerate Holder.

    You haven't explained why the internal whistle blowers of F&F have been punished with dismissal. Are you saying that Holder also has no authority at DOJ? Or is he not as shocked as it might seem?

    Murdoch is a distraction - who doesn't enjoy sovereign immunity from litigation - and you know it. Are you really so disingenuous as to compare a hacking scam with the running of illegal guns to drug cartels?

  • ||

    I thought it was widely recognized that Holder most likely did know about Fast and Furious long before he claimed he did. Check out http://www.salem-news.com/arti.....ath-tk.php . It was easy enough to find on the Internet and the argument that he was lying is very convincing.

  • cynical||

    Fast and Furious is not another name for Gunrunner (which started in 2005), it's a sub-program.

    More damning is the fact that Fast and Furious started in late 2009, suggesting that it was cooked up by the political appointees to DoJ, and maybe have even had the knowledge/approval of the appointer.

  • Eric Holder||

    This gunwalking program... the violence is intensifying to the point where we may not be able to contain it.

  • Barack Obama||

    Why contain it? Let it spill over into the schools and churches, let the bodies pile up in the streets. In the end they'll beg us to save them.

  • t. schostok||

    You say Holder didn't know? Horsefeathers! The smoking gun is an email with Holder copied in. Don't you read the papers?

  • ||

    Do you think the MSM would have picked up this story if they'd known where it was going to lead?

  • ||

    ERIC HOLDER IS A BALD FACE LIER AND A CROOK WHO BELONGS IN JAIL, FOR SELLING PARDONS OUT THE BACK DOOR OF WHITE HOUSE, FOR $200,000.00 FOR BILL CLINTON!!!!!~

  • ||

    Ignorance is no excuse, neither is negligence, stupidity, incompetence, or mental retardation. Holder is a criminal people, Obozo is a fraud, and the USDOJ refuses to investigate his obviously fraudulent birth certificate, as does the FBI. Holders latest scam is covering up HUD's illegal $125 million loan guarantee in the Marina strand apartment complex. And the USDOJ's refusal to prosecute black on white crimes such as the black panther voter intimidation scandal. And their open about it, if your white, the USDOJ isn't interested in any crimes against you. Where do you go when the highest law enforcement agency in the country is a criminal enterprise?

  • Bradley||

    Oh god

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