Yes, we know that the a initial version of the controversial "Operation Fast and Furious" drug-running program originated during the administration of President George W. Bush, just like we know that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were products of the the Bush administration. But recent events coming out of Washington and now the announcement of a wrongful death suit against the Justice Department by the family of the US Border Patrol agent who was gunned down by Mexican drug runners prove one thing: this isn't about President Bush anymore, this is about the current administration of President Obama. This is about a failed "war on drugs" that continues to reflect a US-Mexico relationship that leads to nowhere.
Today President Obama exerted executive privilege for this first time in his administration when Congress asked for more information about a setup that basically sold US guns to Mexican drug cartels. After that, Holder was held in contempt by the Congressional committee that was investigating this. Sure, the logic is that by supplying tracked guns to criminals, you have a better chance of capturing them (which in essence makes no sense to us, since we still can't get beyond the fact that the US government gave guns to Mexican drug dealers), but let's repeat this again: the US government sold guns to Mexican drug cartels.
To those who don't want to hear it, that is what happened, and yes, we know that the administrations of many US presidents have done similar things, but the past is the past. This is the now. And while you will hear the typical partisan talk about this (the GOP is out to get Holder and Obama), the fact remains: the US government sold guns to Mexican drug cartels. And now President Obama is invoking executive privilege. Yes, executive privilege about a situation that we can state with confidence added to the thousands and thousands of deaths in the failed war on drugs. Now, we are NOT saying that "Operation Fast and Furious" is the direct cause of the Mexican drug tragedy, but it is one of its many causes. And for those who don't know by now, over 50,000 people have died as a result of this sad and senseless war.
You would think that if anything good came out of "Operation Fast and Furious," the Obama administration would have let the American people know by now. People would accept results, but it appears that very little positive results have occurred. Instead we get executive privilege and tons of questions. We will leave the partisan claims to others, we tend to focus on one of the sad consequences of this whole campaign: the death of a US Border Patrol agent. As CBS News reported today:
CBS News has learned that the family of ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata has filed a claim for wrongful death against the Justice Dept. and other federal agencies. Zapata was gunned down by suspected drug cartel members in Mexico in Feb. 2011 with weapons later linked to an ATF case in the Texas area. Joining the claim is Zapata's surviving partner in the attack: Victor Avila.
In an interview last November, Zapata's family told CBS News they feel that U.S. law enforcement could have stopped the sale of a gun used to kill their son. CBS News obtained law enforcement records that show the gun that killed Zapata came from the U.S., and the suspects who allegedly trafficked it had been under law enforcement's watch for months in Dallas but weren't arrested.
In February, CBS News learned a second weapon used in the Zapata attack was also linked to an ongoing case under the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. The Justice Department has said ATF "was not aware of" the suspect's purchase of the gun that killed Zapata when it happened, and that answering further questions would jeopardize the investigation.
This isn't some patriot conspiracy blog reporting this. This is flipping CBS News. You don't think there are questions about this? Shouldn't the American people demand that more transparency be displayed here? What are the secrets that are not being shared? And why?
The tragedy of the Mexican drug war has negatively affected too many lives. When is enough enough? If the Obama administration had real political courage, it would be in front of this story and be more forthcoming. Instead, we get immigration promises and campaign videos in Spanish, while people continue to die south of the border. Maybe Obama is just like the rest of the American presidents who have followed a Monroe-Doctrine philosophy with Latin America. The more things change…. well, you know how that ends.