Obama administration will invoke Bush in Fast and Furious defense
Now that Obama has invoked executive privilege in order to protect Eric Holder and apparently the White House relative to the "Fast and Furious" gun-walking debacle, the sycophants in the media and the Democratic Party will have to find a new narrative. In keeping with the administration's normal exercise in buck-passing and obfuscation expect to hear constant references and blame attached to the usual suspect: George W. Bush.
In fact there was a program dubbed "Operation Wide Receiver" during the Bush administration to trace those who were smuggling arms into Mexico; but the differences between the two programs was a matter of night and day.
In 2009, the first year of the Obama presidency, the US government instructed gun sellers, primarily in Arizona, to illegally sell arms to suspected criminals and potential smugglers. Agents working for the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) when then ordered not to stop the sales or detain the buyers but to allow the firearms to walk across the Mexican border to the waiting arms of Mexican gangs and drug dealers. This program was dubbed: "Operation Fast and Furious".
According to a report issued by the House Oversight Committee: "The purpose was to wait and watch, in the hope that law enforcement could identify other members of a trafficking network and build a large, complex conspiracy case." However the arms soon disappeared and tracing the weapons became nearly impossible until they began to show up at various Mexican crime scenes. It is estimated that nearly 1,700 guns were supplied to the criminals in Mexico and not until the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and the subsequent reports from various whistle-blowers in the ATF did this debacle become public as well as the involvement of the Justice Department.
By comparison, during the Bush term, in 2006, a program dubbed "Operation Wide Receiver" was begun. It used the common tactic of "controlled delivery" whereby agents would allow the illegal sale to take place, closely follow the movements of the weapons and then arrest the culprits.
The difference: "Fast and Furious" was uncontrolled delivery whereby the smugglers and the arms were allowed to disappear. Further, and most important, "Operation Wide Receiver" was conducted with the cooperation of the Mexican government, "Fast and Furious" was not.
Andy McCarthy in the National Review wrote more comprehensive analysis of the Bush program in November 2011. At the time he wrote:
But it was enough to see that "Bush did it" is going to be the Democrats' excuse for the inexcusable "Fast and Furious" operation conducted by the ATF on the Obama administration's watch.
By invoking "executive privilege" the White House has now voluntarily stepped into the swamp that is "Fast and Furious," its cover-up by the Justice Department and the discovery by Congress that the Eric Holder and his department engaged in a pattern of lies and obfuscation. Their willingness to drag the Bush administration into the mud with them completes the portrait of an administration lacking in any character and integrity.