This week, as pressure mounted on the Obama administration over the “Fast and Furious” scandal, the White House turned to its now well-worn attempt at diversion: it’s all Bush’s fault. The President should seriously consider trademarking it:
The Previous Administration™
The most egregious falsehood came during Press Secretary Jay Carney’s press conference as he was grilled by ABC’s Jake Tapper:
We absolutely agree with the need to find out the truth about why Fast and Furious happened, why the tactic that, again, was employed in the Previous Administration™ in different operations and was stopped by this attorney general- why it came about
First of all, Carney’s claim that Attorney General Eric Holder put a stop to something that started in the Bush administration is flatly false. ”Operation Wide Receiver” was a program that took place under the Bush administration, but that program ceased in 2007, almost two years before Eric Holder was sworn in as Attorney General.
Secondly, “the tactic that was employed by the Previous Administration™” implies that “Fast and Furious” employed the same tactics as “Wide Reciever,” but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Here are some key differences between the two programs:
- Wide Receiver - small number of guns involved: between 200 and 300 total
Fast and Furious - large number of guns involved: over 2,000 guns total
- Wide Receiver - used RFID systems to track the guns
Fast and Furious - there is no record of RFID being used to trace these guns
- Wide Receiver - used “controlled delivery,” tracking the guns all the way into the hands of the buyers, then apprehending the purchasers.
Fast and Furious - did not use “controlled delivery” Instead, agents agents were ordered to not to track the weapons.
- Wide Receiver - program ended in 2007 when the RFID systems in 30-40 guns malfunctioned and agents were no longer able to trace the weapons
Fast and Furious - Program began in 2009 and allowed all 2020 guns to disappear without tracking them in the first place.
- Wide Receiver - only 12 guns were not recovered
Fast and Furious - over 1,400 guns from the program have not been recovered
- Wide Receiver - program took place with the full knowledge and consent of the Mexican government
Fast and Furious - Mexican government was kept completely in the dark about the program
- Wide Receiver - program resulted in over 1,400 arrests made of gun smugglers
Fast and Furious - only 20 suspects were indicted as a result of Fast and Furious
- Wide Receiver - Zero casualties resulted from this program
Fast and Furious - At least 200 Mexican civilians, possibly as many as 300, including Mexican Attorney Mario Radriguez, were murdered with guns from this program at over 170 different crime scenes. 2 US Federal Agents died as a result of this program. U.S. Marine and Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and ICE Agent Jaime Zapata were both murdered; guns from the Fast and Furious programs were found at their murder scenes.
The differences between these two programs are stark and alarming. The truth is that under Attorney General Eric Holder, the Justice Department began a program that was far more dangerous than the one that ended during Previous Administration™.