“My, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive” Sir Walter Scott
By proclaiming executive privilege in the Fast and Furious scandal, Barack Obama is either hiding something embarrassing to the administration or he is lying. It is rather disturbing that, after 2 years of stonewalling, procrastinating, and false testimony, Eric Holder pulls the rabbit out of his hat and has the President declare Executive Privilege on the subpoenaed documents pertaining to this issue. Why now, after almost 2 years?? I mean, anyone in control of the situation would have realized long before now that certain transmissions would be classified and protected under “executive privilege?” This is not a last-minute, final line of defense. Either something is privileged or it is not.
The last time we had a situation like this was when the former Tennessee Senator and Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker uttered those infamous words in the course of the Senate Watergate investigations “what did the President know and when did he know it?” But last year Eric Holder assured us that the President knew nothing about this subject. President Obama now has confirmed blood on his hands by invoking executive privilege. The very same executive privilege that he chastised George W. Bush about.
The state of denial commenced 3/25/11 when Barack Obama denied that neither he nor the Attorney General of the United States Eric Himpton Holder had any knowledge about gunrunning operations:
This week for the first time, President Obama addressed the controversy. It was in an interview Tuesday evening with the Spanish language network Univision.
"Well first of all I did not authorize it. Eric Holder the Attorney General did not authorize it. He's been very clear that our policy is to catch gun runners and put 'em into jail," Mr. Obama said of the controversial ATF operation called "Fast and Furious."
"You were not even informed about it?" asked Univision reporter Jorge Ramos.
"Absolutely not," said Mr. Obama. "There may be a situation here which a serious mistake was made and if that's the case then we'll find out and well hold somebody accountable."
But who? In an exclusive interview with CBS News, the lead ATF official in Mexico at the time Darren Gil says somebody in the Justice Department did know about the case. Gil says his supervisor at ATF's Washington D.C. headquarters told him point-blank the operation was approved even higher than ATF Director Kenneth Melson.
May 3, 2011 Eric Holder testifying under oath to Congress
"I'm not sure of the exact date, but I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks."
Documents show Attorney General Eric Holder was briefed on Operation Fast and Furious on a regular basis as early as July 5, 2010. Not only do the documents and memos show Holder was briefed, they are addressed directly to him.
The American public deserves answers and accountability. We expect nothing less from our elected representatives and their appointees. They serve at the pleasure of the American electorate.
As Mark Levin states:
As the Supreme Court recognized in US v. Nixon, the Executive Branch has a legitimate interest in confidentiality of communications among high officials so that the President can have the benefit of candid advice. However, as President Washington himself recognized, that privilege does not protect the President or his underlings from embarrassment or public exposure for questionable actions.
As the Supreme Court has also recognized repeatedly, the Congress, in the exercise of its constitutional powers, has the essential power to investigate the actions of the Executive Branch.
In this case, the exercise of Executive Privilege seems, in its timing and over-inclusiveness, to be nothing less than a political delaying tactic to prevent exposure of wrongdoing and incompetence that resulted in the murder of a American law enforcement agent and injury and death of many others. Further, a wholesale claim of privilege is facially improper: the President should be held to the standard that anyone claiming privilege is held to: identify each document in a log so that privilege can be disputed. (U.S. v. Nixon, 1974)
Again, what did the President know and when did he know it?
The question must be answered. What, if anything, is Barack Obama hiding?