Once again, another hearing on Capitol Hill to get to the bottom of what the Attorney General knew about the botched gun-running program called Operation Fast & Furious. Another opportunity to get to the bottom of what happened. And, unfortunately, another session that resulted in four hours of stonewalling.
In an appearance before the House Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Holder once again refused to give specifics about what he knew and what his involvement was concerning the failed program that resulted in the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent by weapons that ended up in the hands of Mexican drug dealers.
Despite pre-hearing reports that the Attorney General and the Justice Department were working to provide Congress with the missing information, the hearing itself produced nothing new.
In fact, the dodge-ball-like appearance by Holder only reinforced what we already knew – the Attorney General has created his own problem. He’s not answering pointed and direct questions. One can only conclude, either the Attorney General doesn’t know the answers to the questions, or he’s made a conscious decision to cover it up.
Either way, in an interview today on FOX News, I brought up the point that with today’s testimony, or more accurately, the lack of it, the Attorney General acted if he wasn’t prepared, or simply didn’t care.
Today’s hearing came on the heels of news that the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee had obtained new wiretap information that revealed top high-ranking Justice Department officials – and perhaps the Attorney General himself – knew more about Fast & Furious than they were telling Congress.
Not the first time we’ve heard that.
In addition to the continued stonewalling today, there was an interesting admission from the Attorney General, though, about how he views his role – especially in light of this troubling and flawed operation.
He admitted that the President’s top campaign advisor – David Axelrod – who is running the re-election campaign, was deeply involved in crafting the message put out by the Justice Department about Fast & Furious. That’s right, the political, re-election arm of President Obama – directing the nation’s top prosecutor. “There’s a political dimension to the job that I have as attorney general,” Holder said. “The reality is that I don’t sit up in an ivory tower and just do law enforcement.”
That’s really at the heart of the problem. It appears we have an Attorney General more interested in the re-election campaign and political fallout than serving as the nation’s chief law enforcement officer.