Young Voters Speak Out: Each day, RR.com will spotlight politically minded youth writers from throughout the U.S. speaking their minds on Election 2012. First-time voters, student journalists and new graduates will debate the Obama vs. Romney race to the White House. Young Democrats, Republicans and ‘Undecided’ Americans are eager to play politics and choose the next Commander & Chief.
Read Brian William Waddell's thoughts from a right-leaning perspective:
Guns sold by the United States government to drug cartels killed hundreds of people over the past couple of years, including some of our own border patrol agents. This is the direct result of operations carried out under the orders of the Department of Justice, and the head of that department must be held accountable.
Operation Fast and Furious was an attempt to track gun shipments to Mexican drug cartels that went terribly wrong because the people in charge chose to ignore their own standard operating procedures. Instead of intercepting the guns at the point of sale to the cartels, the guns were allowed to remain in their hands. Many people have tried to separate the actions of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives from the office of the Attorney General. A quick glance at the DOJ organizational chart removes all doubt about where the buck stops with regard to ATF operations.
United States Attorney General Eric H. Holder has become the very first active member of a Presidential Cabinet to be held in criminal contempt of Congress as a result of his refusal to submit subpoenaed evidence in the Congressional inquiry into the operation. This is a start.
Unfortunately, the odds that Mr. Holder is ever prosecuted for withholding evidence are very slim, considering the office he runs would have to do the prosecuting. The fact that he was also opened up to civil proceedings by a civil contempt of Congress vote leads to more interesting possibilities. Civil proceedings in this situation could lead to some historic judgments about Executive Privilege since President Barack Obama extended this protection to some of the documents in question.
Mr. Holder is in denial mode, but I don't know how anyone can possibly believe that Congress knew about the tactics used in the operation before the head of the Justice Department did. While his department didn't directly kill anyone in this case, their actions led to more guns in the hands of those who do kill people. His lack of cooperation is certainly grounds for contempt at the very least, and, hopefully, an obstruction of justice charge somewhere down the line.
If we can't trust those in control of our justice system to obey our laws then whom can we trust? Shame on Mr. Holder for doing anything that needed covering up. An Attorney General should be above reproach at all times. And shame on President Obama for helping him cover it up. A President should not block Congress from receiving information vital to their work. And finally, shame on anyone who argues that this is simply a political ploy. Both Mexicans and Americans have died at the hands of men wielding the guns released in the Fast and Furious operation and those people, and their families, deserve the most thorough justice possible.