Every so often a big news story develops, or at any rate a story that a lot of people are saying is a big story, and I miss the bus, so to speak. At first I ignore it, in this case because it seemed a small, local American matter of no great interest to me, and then, when I keep on being told, by people whom I respect, how significant the story is, the stories I do read don’t make much sense to me, and often hardly any. Having failed to grasp the fundamentals of the matter at a time when that was what everyone who cared was talking about, I never from then on got told about them. In more recent reports, the fundamentals of the story are assumed, rather than spelt out again and again. Consequently, as far as this story is concerned, I lack any sense of the big picture, and each further burst of paintwork that someone adds to the big picture only adds to my confusion.
So it has been with “Gunwalker” (aka “Fast and Furious” which I assume is the name given to the operation in question by those responsible for setting it in motion), which is a story about American government officials selling guns to bad Mexicans, and other Mexicans (Good ones? Other bad ones?) being killed with these guns. I think. Instapundit seems to have linked to stories about this story on an almost daily basis, ever since it became a story, most recently here and here.
Rather than meander on at greater length about what (this being my entire point here) I do not understand, let me state my request simply. Could our ever industrious and informative commentariat take it in turns to try to explain this story to me, and why it matters, as if explaining it to someone who knows nothing about it. Because that, pretty much, is what I am.
I am particularly interested in what the possible motivations of the accused government officials might have been. What nefarious, illegally money-making motives might they have had? But also: What honourable but undiscussable motives might they have had? What greater good might they have been pursuing with the apparent evil that they seem to have been presiding over?
Instapundit is fond of comparing Gunwalker with Watergate, on account of nobody having been killed by Watergate, but on account of it having mortally wounded the Presidency concerned. He presents Gunwalker as a story involving, among other things, blatant mainstream media bias.
But I am also reminded a little bit of that Arms For The Nicaraguan Contras thing that Reagan got accused of. That never bothered me too much, because however illegally Reagan may have acted in obtaining the arms in question, arms for the Contras sounded good to me, given the people that the Contras were said to be fighting against, and who was supporting the people that the Contras were said to be fighting against. And it never bothered Reagan too much because Reagan was not only a genius in general but also a genius in particular at appearing to be the opposite of a genius, with no clue as to what his underlings got up to and therefore who couldn’t be blamed for anything they did that was considered bad.
But, although apparently a fairly typical affair of state, this Contragate (?) matter was used by the then left-dominated media to badmouth Reagan. Could this be what the right-leaning alternative media are doing now with this Gunwalker thing? Using it as a stick to beat Obama with, when actually there are quite good reasons for what has been going on? Or are there extremely good reasons to bang on about this thing? These are not statements disguised as questions, they are actual questions. I do not know. But, I now find that I would like to.