Sunday, October 09, 2011

Kelly's scandal

So today Jack Kelly again goes after the "Gunwalker" scandal. Kelly calls for Eric Holder to be impeached, and calls the scandal "one of the bloodiest scandals in American history.". OK, so there might be something there. Now, an AP article from the end of July described the effort (which they called "Fast and Furious") as having "loftier" goals, but describes the awful consequences of not arresting people right away when illegal purchases were made. I can understand trying to get the bigger fish, but it sounds like the plan was just to allow guns to be sold and then see if they can tied later to a higher level criminal. Not surprisingly considering guns that were bought to be used in crime, there were (actually predictable) consequences that occurred. It does seem likely that Holder would have been told about the plan early on, although I wouldn't be surprised if his subordinates would have become more reticent as the negative consequences started rolling.

So is this a thing that Eric Holder should be impeached for? Well, maybe, although don't treat us like we are stupid, Mr Kelly. Your motivation for your complaints is purely political. Have you or would you call for charges against President Bush and Vice-President Cheney with regard to the invasion of Iraq, where the various justifications given - Weapons of Mass Destruction, connection to al Qaeda and spreading freedom across the Middle East - all justifications the administration knew ahead of time were false. How many Americans, let alone Iraqi civilians, died in Iraq?

I will say that I think it is fine to call attention to real scandals, whether they are "Gunwalker" or invading Iraq, torturing "detainees" or wiretapping the nation. And by the way, I want to call attention to on lonely paragraph in Kelly's column "ATF whistleblowers have been fired or transferred to dead end jobs. Agent Newell was promoted.". As I have pointed before, Glenn Greenwald has been pursuing the issue the current Justice Department's harsh attitude toward whistle blowers as well as continuing wiretapping programs. But the problem for Kelly is that talking about whistle blowers means blaming the administration when it covers up its own scandals, but agreeing with them (or at least remaining silent) when they mistreat Bradley Manning and go after Wikileaks. And Kelly can't condemn Obama for wiretapping programs if he praised Bush for it (or he can, but he only makes his hypocrisy more apparent).

Jack Kelly takes an important issue and, by being partisan, manages to make it seem trivial.

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