The Republicans did it too!!

The Obama White House must really be feeling the heat over the Fast and Furious scandal:

AP sources: Bush-era probe involved guns ‘walking’

The federal government under the Bush administration ran an operation that allowed hundreds of guns to be transferred to suspected arms traffickers — the same tactic that congressional Republicans have criticized President Barack Obama’s administration for using, two federal law enforcement officials said Tuesday.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and other Republicans have been hammering the Obama Justice Department over the practice known as “letting guns walk.” The congressional target has been Operation Fast and Furious, which was designed to track small-time gun buyers at several Phoenix-area gun shops up the chain to make cases against major weapons traffickers. In the process, federal agents lost track of many of the more than 2,000 guns linked to the operation.

When Bush, a Republican, was president, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Tucson, Ariz., used a similar enforcement tactic in a program it called Operation Wide Receiver. The fact that there were two such ATF investigations years apart in separate administrations raises the possibility that agents in still other cases may have allowed guns to “walk.”

Don’t worry guys, there’s plenty of blame to go around.

Seriously – like Solyndra, it doesn’t matter who else did it or who did it first.

Speaking of which:

The Republicans know all this, surely. In 2005, when the Energy Policy Act was first proposed by the Bush administration, they made some of these same arguments in support of the loan guarantee program, which was part of the bill. The bill passed the House with overwhelming Republican support. Most Democrats voted no.

Today, the Republican-led Energy and Commerce Committee is investigating Solyndra, forcing its executives to take the Fifth Amendment, and releasing embarrassing White House e-mails. I looked it up: every single Republican on that committee who was in office in 2005 voted for the loan guarantee program that they are now so gleefully condemning.

The fact that corruption and poor judgment are bipartisan does not make them good things.

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22 Responses to The Republicans did it too!!

  1. Mimi says:

    Mr. Yost is one of the finest stenographers in the world. In high school he learned the dying art of short hand which he used to get a part time job at the local daily paper. In business school he became proficient in using a dicta phone and court reporting machine. With the invention of the fax machine he said “I could just use my round nosed scissors and some Elmer’s and hand it over to my editor”. The increasing popularity of email caused some problems. “I had to type everything all over again until some chick in accounting showed me how to change fonts and cut and paste” he opined.

  2. Mimi says:

    From Wikipedia -In a August 2011 column on the US debt ceiling crisis, Nocera compared “Tea Party Republicans” with terrorists, and wrote that they “have waged jihad on the American people” and suggested that they “can put aside their suicide vests”.

  3. timothy2010 says:

    All the more reason to beg Sarah to run

  4. DeniseVB says:

    Obama promised us ponies and rainbows, not icky politics as usual. Now we’re stuck with someone so much worse than the guy he replaced……and continues to blame. What a weenie man.

  5. WMCB says:

    Have the Democrats and their sycophant press forgotten that one of the main reasons the Republicans got thrown out of office in 06 and 08 is because the public was sick of their corruption and secrets and cronyism?

    Have they noticed that even R primary voters got fed up with the spending and the waste and the backroom deals and started trying to clean house by throwing a lot of their own old guard out on their ass in ’10?

    “The Bush administration did it tooooooo!!!” Ain’t gonna fly. Tell us something we didn’t know.

  6. timothy2010 says:

    no idea who i should talk to, but I had an idea when it was posted that you guys had hit 400k . Love this site, but have an idea which would let this venerable place stand but also allow for some cash flow, i am a self professed idiot so maybe my idea is dead on arrival but if the powers that be here want to engage me I will present my proposal

  7. WMCB says:

    Okay, Obama is a fucking idiot who understands nothing about how the real world works, and continues to churn out policies with no regard for the potential side effects of those policies.

    In his jobs bill is a proposal to limit the tax writeoffs for high earners. That’s all well and good intentioned, but one of the tax writeoffs listed to be hit is municipal bonds. MOST muni bonds in this country are held by the wealthy, precisely because of their tax characteristics. You don’t make jack on the interest, as it’s usually very low, but it’s fairly safe and the big draw is that it’s tax free.

    So what is going to happen if you decide to take that tax-free status away? All those wealthy people immediately start dumping their muni bonds, and looking for another place to park their money. So what happens to all the struggling cities and towns and school districts and states who have been keeping their heads above water by selling municipal bonds? This idiot move could well bankrupt entire cities.

    Jeebus, this moron lives in a lala land where the fact that a policy means well is all you need, and reality is somehow going to take a back seat to noble good intentions.

  8. yttik says:

    Congratulations to the 19% today who still approve of the job the Republican in the white house is doing. You are hardcore koolaid drinkers, man. My hat’s off to anybody who can consume that much bullsh&t and still remain standing.

  9. WMCB says:

    HotAir asks some pertinent questions about the “Bush did it too” meme:

    Wide Receiver apparently allowed a small number of weapons to get into the hands of gun traffickers — but did any of those cross the border? If so, did the Bush administration coordinate that effort with the Mexican government? The issue here isn’t the idea of a sting operation, but the fact that the Department of Justice knowingly allowed weapons to flow over the border and get into the hands of drug cartels. The AP carefully dances around that issue when reporting that OWR was similar, an argument which is nonsense if the Bush administration kept the guns on this side of the southern border or coordinated the operation with Mexican officials to keep the weapons out of the hands of the gangs.

    So, we really don’t know if “Bush did it too”, or if Operation Wide Receiver was a legitimate sting by law enforcement. Issa said this when questioned by Anderson Cooper about it:

    Issa tells Cooper that the Obama administration is also withholding documents relating to Wide Receiver, but that he would be interested in probing that operation as well.

    Notice that? Why would the Obama administration be withholding documents about what Bush did? There are two possibilities in my mind:

    1) this is big govt malfeasance spanning 2 administrations, and it’s all connected, or

    b) Release of those documents would show that what started as a well-controlled and legitimate sting operation under Bush blossomed into a rogue clusterfuck under Obama – and the contrast would be evident.

  10. WMCB says:

    Wow. Okay, some of the questions from HotAir seem to be getting answered fast. The original reporter, CBS’s Sharyl Attkisson, has a new piece up about OWR under Bush:

    Gun enthusiast and licensed dealer Mike Detty said he was working a Tucson, Ariz., gun show in early 2006 when a young Hispanic man bought a half-dozen semi-automatic rifles. He paid $1,600 cash.

    Detty recalled, “But then he asked if I had more, and I told him that later in the month I would have another 20 from my supplier. And he said, ‘I’ll take ’em all.'”

    Detty said he suspected the buyer was trafficking for a drug cartel. Tucson is just an hour from the Mexican border and a popular shopping center for smugglers.

    Detty notified ATF – the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. To his surprise, ATF told him to go ahead with the big sale and sent an undercover agent to watch. Then, a local ATF manager made an unusual and dangerous proposition: He asked Detty to be a confidential informant.

    Detty told CBS News, “He said, ‘Mike, I think we’ve got a real chance at taking out a powerful cartel. Can you help us?’ I made that commitment. And I really thought I was doing something good.”

    Detty said he even signed an informant contract. As he understood it, he’d sell to suspected traffickers. Agents would track the weapons, expose the cartel’s inner workings, and then interdict the guns before they could ever get loose on the street – or so Detty thought.

    Detty said his business, “Mad Dawg,” catered to this dangerous clientele in his living-room showroom. ATF agents watched and listened outside.

    In an audio recording from a sale, Detty can be heard saying, “if your guys need more guns – ” A suspect replies, “I do.” Detty says, “You let me know.”

    “I do,” the suspect repeats. Detty says, “And it’s cool with me, OK?”
    “I want to buy all of them that are like that. All of them I can get,” the suspect says. Detty responds, “OK, I have a lot of them like that.”

    “I want to buy them all,” the suspect responds.

    Detty said ATF would have a small audio recording device. Sometimes it was hidden in a box of Kleenex,” he said. One of the biggest cases was code-named: “Operation Wide Receiver.”

    Attkisson asked Detty, “Do you know about how many guns we’re talking about?”

    Detty said, “It’s right around 450.”

    Detty came forward after things didn’t work out as Detty had thought they would. Detty says he realized ATF was letting guns “walk” and instead of helping to take down cartels, he’d helped ATF arm them.

    Attkisson asked, “When you look back and think in hindsight knowing what we know now – that all those guns were going on the street – what do you think about?”

    Detty said, “It really makes me sick.”

    So currently I’d have to lean toward Option (1) in my scenario above: This is govt malfeasance spanning 2 administrations. A bad idea by Gonzalez that Holder expanded and made even worse. But it’s Holder and Obama that’s on the hook now for the cover-up.

    In one sense, this is a great opportunity for the R’s. If Issa and the Republicans really want to prove to the public that they have heard them, and are serious about reforming their own party, then they need to follow this where it leads, even into the Bush administration as well as the Obama one.

    If they did that, they could maybe undo some of the damage to their party re: ignoring the rule of law that Bush and Co. did.

    • votermom says:

      I can’t imagine how that guy (Detty) felt. He takes this incredible risk to bug the buyer for the cartel because he thinks he’s helping take down the cartel. And it turns out he’s doing the opposite.

    • ralphb says:

      An ongoing criminal enterprise. Why would anyone be surprised?

      • WMCB says:

        I’m leaning that way, but it’s not clear from the article whether those guns hit the street during the Bush administration. It’s not clear WHEN Detty found out that the guns he sold were in cartel hands with no oversight, and so came forward. Does he know that HIS guns are, or does he assume that they must be, since the later ones are?

        IOW, it’s still possible that they were being tracked under Bush, but all that changed under Obama. That part is still a bit fuzzy. I don’t see any mention of whether any of those early OWR guns have been identified as being in cartel hands.

        • ralphb says:

          Bush’s entire presidency was a criminal enterprise, looting the treasury for his backers. Obama just accelerated it to loot the treasury for his backers.

          I detest Obama but that has not blinded me to the SCOAMF that was Bush the Lesser.

        • WMCB says:

          Um, I’m not in any way excusing Bush for all the crap he did, nor am I blind to it, thanks. I ranted about it plenty while Bush was in office.

          But I believe in facts and the rule of law, and I was discussing this particular operation, not his entire presidency. “He was guilty of X” does not automatically equal “he was guilty of Y”.

          And thinking that way leads to “I couldn’t nail him on X, even though I know he did it, so I’ll find a way to nail him on Y whether he did it or not”. That is what is commonly referred to as trumped up charges, which in a failed legal system are okay so long as the defendant is a bad bad person.

          I hated that motherfucker Bush, but I won’t go there.

    • WMCB says:

      And I will say it again:

      This woman needs a fucking Pulitzer. Seriously.

    • votermom says:

      Greta Van Susteren has some FF questions on her blog including this:

      3. I am suspicious that the accusation against US Attorney General Eric Holder is political. With more information, I might change my mind but right now there are two reasons that are spiking my suspicion.

      a. I heard my FNC colleague Martha Maccallum ask Congressman Darrell Issa point blank (about an hour ago) if he thought a Special Prosecutor should be appointed to investigate Attorney General Holder. Congressman Issa not only did not say yes immediately but gave a long answer that did not answer the question for me. The answer just seemed to go around and around (I will try and review it when I get to the bureau today.) I had thought he would answer yes right away so naturally that caught my attention;

      b. Congressman Darrell Issa did not sign the letter that Chairman Lamar Smith sent the President asking that a Special Prosecutor be appointed to investigate A/G Eric Holder. I realize that Rep Issa and Rep Smith chair different committees but I would think the two would work together on such an important matter as asking for a Special Prosecutor. I know that Congressman Issa has been deeply involved in investigating Operation Fast & Furious so the absence of his signature on that letter caught my attention.

      Of course….this is early….more facts (lots more) are needed. We want a strong thorough investigation getting to the bottom without us being played by the possibility of political interests of both parties. This is not about who you like and who you do not – it is about the facts.

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