Congress’s Fast and Furious capitulation
WASHINGTON, April 10, 2016 — When elite elements of Mexican law enforcement and military forces raided Sinaloa drug cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s safe house in Los Mochis in January, five of his men were killed and the billionaire crime lord was captured. Among the home’s collection of telenovela DVDs and mountains of cash was one particular item that stood out: a .50 caliber sniper rifle capable of blowing out a car engine or felling a helicopter.
It was one of 34 such weapons, among an estimated 2,000 arms, sold to El Chapo’s Sinaloa outfit under the Obama Justice Department’s Operation Fast and Furious.
On Friday, Assistant Attorney General Peter Kadzik said in a letter to Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that the DoJ will obey a court order to surrender administration documents concerning its gunrunning caper. It will do so “in light of the passage of time and other considerations, such as the department’s interest in moving past this litigation and building upon our cooperative relationship with the committee.”
“The department has decided that it is not in the executive branch’s interest to continue litigating this issue at this time,” said Kadzik.
This comes six years after U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was shot and killed in southern Arizona by Mexican criminals using a weapon sold to them by Obama and company; four years after the House of Representatives, by a 255-67 vote, declared then Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for lying under oath and obstructing investigations into the administration’s alliance with El Chapo; and after President Obama invoked executive privilege to block the transfer of 15,000 documents related to the illicit weapon sales. The administration has finally decided to end its nearly eight-year cover-up.
What explains this change of heart? Obama finally feels safe.
Throughout his time in office, Congressional Republicans have proved to be paper tigers and stumble bums. Obama has known this since the GOP took control of the House in 2011 and refused to use the power of the purse to rein-in the nation’s debt, reduce spending and defund Obamacare.
When Republican Speaker John Boehner resigned from Congress last October, it was because a minority of 41 House Republicans out of the conference’s 247 members refused to capitulate to the spending priorities of the White House.
That even 41 House Republicans should put their constituents’ wants ahead of those of the Democratic and Republican party establishment rulers was too much for Boehner to bear.
Whether it was their investigations into IRS harassment, Operation Fast and Furious or the Benghazi cover-up, establishment Republicans have proven, beyond a reasonable doubt, to be inept if not complicit with the administration in its crimes.
Cornell University Law School’s Josh Chafetz wrote in the Washington Times that the Republican-controlled House dropped the ball by not following Eric Holder’s contempt citation with an order for the House sergeant-at-arms “to arrest him [Holder] until his contempt is purged.”
With a weak Congress having surrendered so many of its powers to the executive branch over the decades, is it any wonder that Obama shows contempt when ordered to surrender documents Congress deems essential to fulfill its oversight role under the U.S. Constitution?
Republican abandonment of their role in maintaining America’s constitutional order, once considered the “law of the land,” has resulted in dangerous aberrations, from Obama’s dictatorial healthcare monstrosity to his sale of .50 caliber sniper rifles to billionaire Mexican drug lords.