The New York Times Editorial Board and their editor, Andrew Rosenthal, think
the Operation Fast & Furious investigation is "a pointless partisan fight."
Their op-ed takes the position that one of the deadliest political scandals in American history has been blown out of proportion by Republicans in Congress, and their contempt vote was meant only to score political points against the Obama administration. And to reach this conclusion, they have to twist the facts into a simple-minded caricature of what's really happened.
From the get-go, the piece downplays the significance of the operation's horrific toll. They simply refer to Brian Terry as "an
American border agent." Yes, just some nameless agent, right? It would've only taken a two-second search to find he was
Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. He had a name. He died protecting this country. That the NYT casts his identity aside to soften the blow of his death is telling.
These guns are also connected to the deaths of over 300 Mexicans, which you wouldn't know from their whitewashing generalization, "some of the guns turned up in deadly shootouts." Yes, "some," as in "hundreds." Guns have also
been found at twelve crime scenes in America.
The NYT also repeats the standard DOJ line that the operation was "botched." Fast & Furious was not botched. Special Agent John Dodson, the original
whistleblower, confirmed this last year. It went exactly as
planned. Of course, those in the media who are content to suck up to the powerful wouldn't bother reporting his account.
The article further claims Attorney General Eric Holder’s supposed crime is not giving the
Oversight Committee documents--which, again with their spin, is described as "some" documents--not the tens of thousands that were requested. Regardless, that is not his crime. As Rep. Trey Gowdy points out in his Wednesday speech,
a regular person would not be able to ignore a subpoena and get away with it. If an ordinary
citizen lied to Congress, he would be hauled to prison.
It wasn’t the Republicans who “shamelessly” turned a routine matter into
a “pointless” constitutional confrontation. It was Mr. Holder and the Department of
Justice. This could have been over by this time last year if they had only cooperated.
Instead, they chose to lie to Congress in a February 4, 2011 letter to Senator
Charles Grassley. The letter said there was no gunwalking. The letter
was retracted on December 2, 2011, because it was proven false. Of course it raised
red flags and questions, but the NYT is content to pass along Holder's excuse that the falsehood in that letter was "inadvertent."
Worse yet, the piece engages in outright mind reading, saying Darrell Issa "has relished making this investigation a political fight." No "seems to" or "appears to"--he just does, because they say so. It's not even a viable possibility for them that Issa and the committee could be passionately and sincerely pursuing justice -- that they want to know who thought of Fast & Furious, who authorized
it, and how far up it went on the chain of command. Mr. Holder and the DOJ can’t or
won’t – maybe even both – answer those questions. Is it really a surprise to the
Times that Chairman Issa is treating this as a cover-up?
“There was no reason the House committee and the Justice Department could
not work out a deal to produce the documents requested, or some form of
them,” the piece scoldingly claims. This is a flat-out lie. There was a deal. Mr. Holder told Chairman Issa
he would give the committee documents post-February 4, and a briefing of the
ones he couldn’t. He showed up to the June 20 meeting without any documents. He broke the terms he himself agreed to. And since he has broken that agreement, Chairman Issa are pressing forward to bring justice for the family of Brian Terry and others who have been harmed by this program.
Brian Terry is dead. 300 Mexican civilians are dead. The United States federal government is complicit in their deaths. And all the New York Times can think about is how offensive it is to Eric Holder and Barack Obama, two men living in some of the greatest luxury and security in all the world, that Republicans want them to come clean about their responsibility for this operation. It seems all too clear that their "partisan" label is little more than projection.