Today, President Obama announced he will shield U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder from delivering any more documents to Congress related to the Fast and Furious program in which the government delivered thousands of guns to drug organizations in Mexico. U.S. gun owners believe the program’s underlying goal was to make it appear that further gun control was needed in the U.S. to stop deaths in Mexico. The key to this strategy would be keeping secret the government’s role in transferring the guns to criminal organizations. In the spring of 2009, administration officials began claiming that 90% of guns used in crimes in Mexico were from the United States. Junk Journalists at the networks and other major papers leaped at the story without verifying the claims. However, Fox News debunked the administration’s claims almost immediately. The network found the administration, in order to get to the 90% number, ignored all the guns Mexico found without serial numbers. When Fox News included those guns, the network said U.S. originated weapons accounted for only 17% percent of the guns confiscated or found at crime scenes. However, FactCheck.org. says that Fox News also got the number wrong and says it’s number of 34 percent is more accurate.
Published reports say Fast and Furious was conceived by the Obama administration in late 2009. After the administration’s 90% claim. Did the administration attempt to increase the percentage of U.S. guns used in drug crimes in Mexico to further its cause for further gun sales controls? The administration never notified the Mexican government of the program, allowed the guns to cross the border without being followed and spent time working to keep the program secret.
Buy claiming executive privilege, the administration is not living up to its own standard of disclosure it attempted to impose on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce prior to the 2010 election.
Democrats ran a campaign advertisement in which the party asserted that Republicans were taking foreign money to change election outcomes. They specifically targeted the U.S. Chamber of Commerce claiming it used foreign money to influence the election. Chief among the accusers was President Obama’s now campaign advisor and then senior staff advisor David Axelrod. The Hill described the effort best in its headline “Axelrod: Chamber Must Prove Foreign Money Allegations False.” The Junk Journalists at the White House need to determined if the White House will live up to its own standard on Fast and Furious Axelrod asserted that a lack of disclosure threatened the U.S. democracy and the allegation needed to be disproved even though he had no evidence of any wrong doing by Republicans or the chamber.
On Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer, Axelrod demanded that the chamber make public the names of people donating to it.
Transcript From October 2010 Face the Nation appearance.
Schieffer: ”The Democrats put out an ad that is released this morning that blames the Republicans and specifically the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for injecting foreign money into campaigns. The president’s words on the trail last week were ‘groups that receive foreign money are spending huge sums to influence American elections.’” Let’s just look at this ad that Democrats put out today. (plays ad). Now I want to ask you about that because the New York Times looked into the chamber specifically and said the chamber really isn’t putting foreign money into the campaign. That it does charge its foreign affiliates dues that bring in less than a $100,000 a year. a lot of organizations including labor unions do that. But the chamber has an annual budget of $200 million and it says a long with that it keeps these foreign dues separate. They do spend heavily on politics – $25 million so far, they expect to spend $50 million. But this part about foreign money that appears to be peanuts Mr. Axelrod. I mean do you have any evidence that it is anything other than peanuts.
Axelrod: Well do you have any evidence that it is not Bob? The fact is the chamber has asserted that but they won’t release any information about where their campaign money is coming from. That is at the core of the problem here. What we have seen in part because of a loophole that the supreme court allowed earlier this year. We now see tens of millions of dollars being spent by the chamber and a number of organizations some of which just cropped up. Ed Gillespie and Karl Rove run one of them Tens of millions of dollars from undisclosed donors under benign names like The American Crossroads Fund and they are spending heavily in all of these elections. In one race in Colorado, there six different organizations running negative ads against the Democrat Senator there, Michael Bennet. No one knows where the money is coming from. so, I guess my question back to you and for your next guess is. “Why not simply disclose where this money is coming from and then all these questions will be answered?”
Schieffer: Well that will certainly be fine with me, but I want to go back to this thing about the chamber of commerce. If they are only taking $100,000 a year>
Axelrod: If they are:
Schieffer: You question that
Axelrod: Well, I don’t know, No one knows Bob. The point is you, they can, I can assert anything I want but you would ask how do we know that is true. Do you have documentation to prove that. If the chamber opens up its books, and says here is where our political money is coming from here are the million, two, three million dollar contributions we’ve gotten from this company or that industry. Then we will know, but until they do that all we have is their assertion.
Schieffer: Do you, I guess I would put it this way. If the only charge three weeks into the election that the Democrats can make is that somehow this may or may not be foreign money coming into the campaign. Is that the best you can do?
Axelrod: No I think we have a more fundamental concern Bob which is the Republican party and these interest groups who are now they’re, the major force in some of these campaigns want to turn the clock back to the very same policies that got us into this mess in the first place. That exploded our deficits, that put the special interests in control to write their own rules – the oil industry, insurance industry, Wall Street. That presided over economic policies that punished the middle class. their incomes dropped by 5 percent during the eight years before we got here. That ultimately crashed our economy and now they want turn the clock back to those policies. We just cannot afford to do that. this issue of this special interest spending is very important it has never happened before that organizations are spending this kind of money. and the American people need to ask why is the oil industry, Wall Street and others spending this kind of money to defeat candidates and elect others in this sort of secretive way. That is a threat to our democracy.