CBS lets Sharyl Attkisson decloak long enough to print Eric Holder’s “I didn’t lie, I swear, I was just incompetent” defense for the Fast and Furious scandal:
Holder says that his testimony to Congress, stating he first heard of Fast and Furious earlier this year, “was truthful and accurate… I have no recollection of knowing about Fast and Furious prior to the public controversy about it.”
In other words: I’m so out-of-the-loop that I didn’t know my underlings were involved in a massive, illegal, and deadly plot to break the law resulting in over 200 deaths. Way to be on top of things, Mr. AG!
Holder maintains he didn’t know about the controversial gunwalking tactics used in the case.
The Sgt. Schultz defense.
The Attorney General says that while he was sent received memos on Fast and Furious, they are “actually provided to and reviewed by members of my staff and the staff of the Office of the Deputy Attorney General.”
The Richard Nixon “I was out of the loop” defense. Didn’t work so well for him either.
As CBS News has reported, the Deputy Attorney General during Fast and Furious, Gary Grindler is now Holder’s Chief of Staff. Documents provided to Congress indicate Grindler received a detailed briefing on Fast and Furious in March of 2010 and made handwritten notes on briefing materials.
However, in the letter, Holder says Grindler “was not told of the unacceptable tactics employed in the operation in his regular monthly meetings with ATF…”
“I now understand some senior officials within the Department were aware at the time there was an operation called Fast and Furious although they were not advised of the unacceptable operational tactics being used in it,” says Holder’s letter.
There’s a word for this sort of denial: it’s called bullshit. Bureaucracies are good at one thing: Following the rules. Even as stupid as some of the cowboys in ATF are, there’s no way some field-level supervisor got the bright idea: “Hey, let’s directly violate the federal laws we’re supposed to enforce! Plus I won’t tell anyone higher up! What’s the worst that could happen?” Doesn’t pass the smell test. You don’t isolate top officials from this sort of info, you make sure they’re in the loop to cover your own ass. Fast and Furious is so far off the reservation that the order for it had to come from way up high. Not necessarily Holder (though that’s a distinct possibility), but someone far enough up the food chain to make such an outrageous order stick. Like Obama.
In his letter, Holder also criticized the House Committee investigating Fast and Furious, saying he cannot sit idly by “as law enforcement and government employees who devote their lives to protecting our citizens be considered ‘accessories to murder’.”
Well then, maybe you should have, oh, I don’t know, provided enough oversight to make sure they weren’t accessories to murder. Shouldn’t be that hard.
There are two possibilities:
A. If Holder knew about Fast and Furious, he’s an accessory to murder, and shouldn’t be Attorney General.
B. If Holder didn’t know about Fast and Furious, then he’s manifestly incompetent, and shouldn’t be Attorney General.
There is no option C.