We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Fast & Furious: why ‘Bush started it’ will not save Obama

One of our commenters has made what I think is a very important point about the rapidly snowballing ‘Fast & Furious’ scandal that may well consume the Obama presidency:

The (vitally important) difference, however, is that ‘Wide Receiver’ (the Bush administration program) was carried out in cooperation with the Mexican government, and actually attempted to track the weapons crossing the border. ‘Fast & Furious’ was carried out in complete secrecy from the Mexican Government, and attempted to basically funnel weapons illegally to Mexican drug runners, so that the guns left at crime scenes could then be traced back to US gun dealers. As someone on NRO (I think it was Andrew McCarthy) pointed out, this operation REQUIRED the deaths of Mexican nationals. How this is distinguished from an act of war against Mexico is not at all clear to me. But then, I didn’t go to Harvard.

– Samizdata commenter ‘Disillusionist’ making a very germane point about the ‘Fast & Furious’ scandal.

24 comments to Fast & Furious: why ‘Bush started it’ will not save Obama

  • Snorri Godhi

    I thought that the height … or rather, depth of self-destructive insanity by a democratic government was the Blair government stirring up xenophobia by rubbing people’s noses in diversity.
    Fast & Furious easily reaches that depth, but I still think it hardly goes deeper.

  • Bill Whittle discuses Fast and Furious in his latest Afterburner vid, “Follow the Ideology”.

    He gets as angry at the press as he gets at Obama and Holder, and that’s pretty angry.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    The big problem in exposing F&F to the general public is that they aren’t going to believe that elected politicians would do such a thing. So maybe a side order of ‘Reichstag Fire’ and the refusal of the West to believe that the Nazis were ‘like that’ is in order early in the process, along with recurring references to the fire.

    So, suggested first episode: “Fast and Furious – America’s Reichstag Fire.”

  • Aristotle

    The Diplomad made a similar point and asks why nobody is interrogating HIllary Clinton about the undeclared war on Mexico. See http://thediplomad.blogspot.com/2012/06/where-is-hillary-clinton-on-fast-and.html

  • the other rob

    The big problem in exposing F&F to the general public is that they aren’t going to believe that elected politicians would do such a thing.

    PFP has hit the nail on the head. The lie has been too big for too long.

    But what do I know – I’m listening to Rush’s 2112 as I type this.

  • James

    The big problem in exposing F&F to the general public is that they aren’t going to believe that elected politicians would do such a thing.

    I think the even bigger and more immediete problem is that the Beltway/NYC media will simply sit on the story as best they can in order to save Obama’s blushes.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    The most distressing thing about all this:

    40% of the electorate will still vote for Obama.

    Say bye-bye to the US. It’s just a matter of time.

  • And the rest will vote for Romney. I will concede that Romney is clearly an improvement over Obama, but only to about the extent that David Cameron is an improvement over Gordon Brown. Meaning, not to an extent that it will actually help.

  • Amen, Michael. And that is why in the long run I think a Romney victory actually sets back the emergence of a political order that actually cares about reality.

  • RRS

    Wobbly –

    Probably only 60% of the registered voters (not to be confused with the”electorate”) will vote. Thus, your 40% may more likely be 24% of that larger grouping.

    The “Electorate” (imho) is that much broader swath of the populace whose multiple powers of choice (beyond voting) and the exercise thereof set and change the course of U S society and the roles of politics and government(s) in our lives.

    That electorate, since about 1960, has trended toward a “rent-seeking” society and the transfers of individual and cooperative obligations and responsibilities to the politically determined collectives which our governments have become.

    The great tragedies are not how and what

    the electorate chooses, but why.

  • RRS

    Incidentally, Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s spouse has begun the series of the 2012 Reith Lectures (not to be deprecated by the BBC connection) of which the first is now available as a podcast (very rapid fire).

    You can find it in the Google soup.

    It begins an historians observations on these points of electorate choices.

  • RRS

    Oh Dear! smited whilst PdH is away!

    Look up the current Reith Lectures of 2012

  • RRS

    Ok been off a bit.

    Look up the current Reith Lectures

  • PersonFromPorlock

    I don’t usually quote myself from other blogs, but this seems worth repeating:

    Granting for the sake of argument that Fast and Furious was an extension of Wide Receiver and identical with it, how does that justify the actual program? At most, it makes Bush guilty, too, and the refusal of the Republicans to investigate him as well makes them hypocrites. But it doesn’t change a thing with regards to this administration’s responsibility.

  • I suspect that the real progress will be in the House and Senate as the small government types enlarge their number and President Romney is confronted with a Congress pulling him to the small government right. If they can stay focused and actually deliver progress, this is a workable dynamic.

  • Alisa

    The problem with that line of argument, PFP, is that the Administration’s line (or at least its spokesman’s) is that ‘Bush started it, but Holder – who was unaware of it – ended it’.

  • Michael Staab

    Obama owns Fast & Furious. Executive privilege, a legitimate procedure, is used from the inception of a program, not added to it after results have been botched or bungled.

    Comparisons to Watergate seem inevitable, one being that it took far less to bring down Nixon than what seems to have occurred in Fast & Furious.

    300 or more Mexican’s, one border agent, are dead due to the monumental incompetence of this administration.

    The hardest thing to answer in this seems to be,Why?
    I believe an answer to Why is contained within the reason for Fast & Furious, which may have been an anti-2nd amendment attack as it’s primary purpose.

    As a means to track guns, Fast & Furious failed in nearly every possible way. As a means to bring anti-gun sentiments into the election, this failed. The ideological side of Obama must not be ignored.

  • RRS


    I fear you confuse those of the U S Senate who want a “more efficient” government as wanting a government of less involvement in, and direction of, the affairs of their “constituents.”

    There is no demonstrated desire of any meaningful bloc of Senators to reduce their “importance” in “the Affairs of the Nation and its People.”

  • newrouter

    Granting for the sake of argument that Fast and Furious was an extension of Wide Receiver and identical with it,

    bush program was in cooperation with the mexican gov’t. baracky/holder told the mexican gov’t nothing about f&f.

  • Paul Marks

    I agree that the Obama/Holder defence “it is the fault of George Bush” should fail.

    But it may not fail in the court of public opinion – for a particular reason.

    Most people still get their news (what little news they do get) from the “mainstream” media.

    And the msm (with a few honourable exceptions – for example the reporting of a few brave people at CBS over Fast and Furious has surprised me) do not CARE about the deaths of Mexixcans or the deaths of Americans (a million Brian Terrys could die for all most of the msm care).

    They care only for the “Progressive” cause, and its servant Barack Obama.

    Yes the msm is dying – but it will spit its poison of lies and spin to the very end.

    As will the education system – the schools and the universities.

    And they have vast taxpayer subsidy to support their hard core collectivist propaganda.

  • Alisa

    Not so sure about that anymore, Paul: on this last trip to the US, in at least one McDonalds where they had a TV screen, they had FOX News on.

    I believe that most people do have the MSM channels on. However, how much they actually watch, listen and believe, is a separate question. I don’t know if this particular scandal will affect those people – namely, those who don’t necessarily follow the news closely and do not obsess over politics. But the thing is, most of these people are much worse now than they were, oh, a decade ago: unemployment, high prices, draconian regulations, etc. These factors seem to me to be much more powerful than a couple of hundred of dead Mexicans and one dead BP agent. It’s the economy, stupid.

    Now, when it comes to people who are interested and are following the news, or have special political interests (such as, on the Left, the unions and welfare recipients) – on either side of the left-right divide – F&F will only reinforce their existing agenda: for the Right it is the greatest outrage since the Clinton’s shenanigans (and possibly worse). For the Left it: never happened, Bush started it Holder ended it, and it was for a good cause anyway.

    I guess what I’m saying is that at this point these elections can only be influenced by economic factors, and I have trouble seeing how these factors can be now made positive enough to drastically change the picture for the better. I could be wrong.

  • Laird

    Here’s an excellent video editorial on the history and implications of “Fast and Furious”.

  • Laird

    I have to say, that post from “Hair Again” (really?) was a cut* above the usual pap you get from spammers. It almost looked like a real post, until you realize that it has no substance and absolutely nothing to do with the thread. The Smitebot has been successfully spoofed!

    * Pun intended.

  • Paul Marks


    They had Fox News on at the local MacDonalds.

    Then there is a hope.

    As long as it was not Shep Smith and the JOURNALISTS (his stress) of Fox News.