Faster and Furiouser

I had not, until this point, paid particular attention to the Fast and Furious scandal.  I was certainly aware of it, to the extent that I might sometimes engage in some fairly perverse viewing of Fox News.  It’s a vice, to be sure – but certainly no worse than smoking, excessive drinking, gambling, or credulously viewing Fox News. So I couldn’t help but be peripherally aware of it.  After all, Attorney General Holder obviously should be jail, and it just might be an impeachable offense for President Obama.

However, Fast and Furious as covered on Fox News actually exemplifies one of the worst aspects of Fox News – its inacessibility to the uninitiated.  Somewhat like reading a trade journal, the majority of its coverage really only makes sense to those who are already fully caught up on all the latest predilections of the conservative fever swamp.  Something like Fast and Furious is never really explained, and the substance more or less is assumed.  And of course since the lamestream media is ignoring the story (mainly because the charges seem transparently absurd) there’s not much opportunity to get well-versed in it.  As I understood it through the somewhat dismissive mainstream media coverage, it concerns “gun-walking”, wherein the ATF would let guns go to Mexico through US purchasers and then attempt to track them over there.

Nope.  An incredibly illuminating Forbes report illustrates what was actually happening here – an investigation into US citizens purchasing guns in Arizona for the Mexican cartels.  However, due to Arizona’s extreme gun rights protections, it basically proved impossible to apprehend these purchasers unless agents could prove they were buying guns with the explicit intention of using them in the commission of crimes.  This was, more or less, impossible.  There was one “gun-walking” incident, which seems to have been something of a rogue incident…authored by the ostensible “whistleblower” who has been so helpful with the House commission investigating the program.

The whole piece is extremely depressing, dealing as it does with the utter pathology of the American criminal infrastructure when it comes to dealing with guns.  The implications are even more depressing – the House, and specifically Rep. Darrell Issa have basically concocted a scandal out of whole cloth.  Similarly to the way that the endless repetition of the “Broccoli Mandate” legitimated a formerly laughable legal argument, the GOP and Fox News have basically conjured a scandal out of whole cloth.

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