It seems that for the magnitude of the Fast and Furious scandal, there isn’t much outrage.
Arizonans don’t need me to tell them that Fast and Furious is a big story. This scandal started in our backyard — in the ATF’s Phoenix office — and was administered by a U.S. attorney appointed by President Obama.
Every step of this operation seems riddled with incompetence and dishonesty.
High-ranking U.S. officials used taxpayer money — stimulus money no less — to buy guns and ship them to Mexico. The administration claims these firearms were shipped to Mexico in an attempt to destabilize Mexican drug cartels.
A further investigation will help us determine if, in fact, the administration’s real agenda was indeed promoting gun control.
Not only did this incompetence sink the operation, it strengthened the cartels and destabilized Mexican security forces on the border.
In other words, under this then-secret program, thousands of guns were shipped over our borders and placed directly into the hands of criminals. Sadly, these guns can be traced to over 200 murders, including that of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and high-ranking Mexican officials.
Some have tried to say that Fast and Furious is simply a case of an overreaching federal government dropping the ball or botching an operation — that it was planned to do something different, that weapons were lost and that officials miscommunicated or were ill-informed.
However, as more evidence has come to light, it has become clear that this operation was not botched. The administration fully intended for guns to end up in the hands of Mexican criminals.
As an Arizonan watching this unfold in my backyard, I can also assure you this is more than feds dropping the ball. People are dying. American tax dollars are arming criminals and it seems the administration is trying to cover it up.
This is egregious.
Almost as egregious, is the fact that the mainstream media has largely seemed to ignore this scandal. Where is the media’s understanding of the scale of this operation? Where is the outrage for not only the actions of President Obama and Eric Holder, but for their inconsistent stories? Where is the outrage for the use of American tax dollars for criminal activity? Where is the outrage for the more than 200 lives lost?
There is a growing voice in the House, mine one of the strongest among them, that believes we need a special prosecutor to hold Eric Holder and the Justice Department accountable. We must put the facts together and properly lay them out on a timeline.
Let’s face it. If it turns out that our attorney general misled the House Oversight Committee in May, the honorable thing for him to do is tender his resignation.
However, the honorable thing for President Obama to do right now is to stop playing politics and come clean on what his Justice Department knew and when they knew it. Incompetence and dishonesty that cost lives cannot and will not be tolerated.
The truth of this operation must come out just as fast and furiously as it was withheld from us.
The main duty of our government is to protect her citizens. However, here in my backyard, taxpayer-funded weapons have taken lives. I do not know what else needs to be said for America to start listening.
Congressman David Schweikert represents Arizona’s Fifth Congressional District.