LZ Granderson at CNN:
We are a nosy country.
Though to be fair, it’s not entirely our fault. Between the 24/7 news cycle, social media and reality TV, we have been spoon fed other people’s private business for so long we now assume it’s a given to know everything. And if there are people who choose not to disclose, they must be hiding something. Being told that something’s “none of your business” is slowly being characterized as rude, and if such a statement is coming from the government, it seems incriminating.
Times have changed. Yet, not everything is our business. And in the political arena, there are things that should be and need to be kept quiet.
Heads should roll because of the Fast and Furious debacle. We don’t need every detail of that operation to be made public in order for that to happen.
If it were an isolated sting, maybe. But it is at least the third incarnation of a gun-running scheme stretching across two administrations, which means we could be pressing to open Pandora’s Box. We do not want to open Pandora’s Box, not about this and certainly not about a bunch of other potentially scandalous things the federal government has been involved with.
Think about it: We have allowed weapons to cross the Mexican border and into the hands of criminals for years. Many of these weapons were involved in killing innocent Mexicans. There’s nothing very admirable about that. But the truth is, it’s very American.
By allowing guns to infiltrate Mexico’s drug cartel, we thought we could trace them up the ladder to the leaders. Take off the head and the body dies. As for the innocent people who lost their lives? Collateral damage. That’s the uncomfortable backstory to this scandal. And there are likely other operations like it in our nation’s history that we don’t even have a clue about.
And maybe it’s better for us not to be so nosy, not to know everything because, to paraphrase the famous line from the movie “A Few Good Men,” many of us won’t be able to handle the truth.
This guy is a journalist?
There is such a thing as operational security. Law enforcement and military operations would be compromised if there was no secrecy. Spies, informants and undercover agents need to be protected.
But nothing stays secret forever. One of the biggest Allied secrets in World War II was Operation Overlord – D-Day, the invasion at Normandy. But eventually the Germans found out because our troops started landing on the beaches.
When law enforcement runs undercover operations the goal is to catch criminals. At some point the deception ends and (hopefully) arrests are made.
Sometimes operations go awry. Mistakes are made. Even with the best of intentions things go wrong and people get hurt or killed. When that happens it is important to find out why. Was it bad planning or bad luck? Were any laws broken? Who was responsible?
Fast and Furious was a major-league fuck-up. A couple hundred Mexicans and two US Agents died. That’s not collateral damage.
Whose idea was it? What did Eric Holder know and when did he know it? What about President Obama? Who else was in the loop? When the scandal broke, what attempts were made to cover it up?
We have every right to know these things.