Fast and Furious is the name for the Obama administration's latest thorn the failed gun-walking operation that cost the lives of one American and numerous Mexicans.
Furious can also describe the feelings many people have on how the administration has handled the controversy which has the makings of turning into a constitutional crisis. This week, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder could face contempt of Congress charges with the U.S. Congress unless he produces documents the lawmakers are seeking.
This investigation is not something that Republicans lawmakers have concocted as an election-year ploy, as some Democrats allege. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has been investigating it for the last year-and-a-half and the Justice Department has turned over 7,600 documents regarding Fast and Furious.
Listening to Democrats say that they have been compliant by furnishing documents, however, is a smoke screen. Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa has been frustrated in getting the documents that are most relevant in the case, papers that can tell us what people knew what, and when they knew it.
The president's main mouthpiece to the media, White House press secretary Jay Carney, has said there was "absolutely" no cover up of Fast and Furious. Last week he even attempted to once again deflect blame to the previous Bush administration for initiating the "tactics" on gun-tracking operations.
President Obama has invoked executive privilege, a legal principle used to avoid disclosure of internal presidential documents, which as Carney is quick to point out, is this president's first. House Speaker John Boehner has said that the president asserting executive privilege only proves White House involvement and indicated a cover-up.
One thing this administration has been consistent in doing is to deflect blame. Their biggie, of course, is our sour economy, which of course, they say was inherited from the previous administration. What you will never hear Democrats talk about is the misconceived, mismanaged and mishandled Obama stimulus package, which cost taxpayers $831 billion.
Voters are easily turned off in hearing terms like executive privilege, contempt of congress, stonewalling and cover-up. But in dismissing it as just another secret intelligence fumble by our government, one can't lose sight of the fact that an American border agent died in the Fast and Furious operation.
In the middle of last week's White House press briefing, it was humiliating and disgraceful when White House Press Secretary Carney had to be reminded by a member of the press corps of the name of the slain Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. The fact that an American died sets this apart from other congressional investigations.
The parents of agent Terry showed their emotions while being interviewed on the "Hannity" show last week. Both believe the administration is stonewalling details about their son's death. Saying it was like "a bad dream," Kent Terry, the victim's father, charged the Obama administration with hiding something, lying and "passing the buck."
To those Democrats like Carney, who can't even remember the victim's name but want to dismiss the investigation as a "fishey expedition" by Republicans, Kent Terry posed this strong response: "Why don't they ask themselves, search their souls, and also, why don't they ask the people in Mexico who were murdered with those same guns that killed my son?"
Brian Terry's parents have a right to be angry and deserve answers. They are also right in stating that there are many in this administration who need to "search their souls."
By Jim Zbick