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Should the President Have Invoked Executive Privilege on Fast and Furious?

If the investigation into "Fast and Furious" was strictly a Department of Justice issue, and not connected to the White House, should President Barack Obama have invoked executive privilege in the matter?

In a surprise move before the deadline ran out on a threat by congressional Republicans to hold U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, the president threw a curveball.

According to media outlets, including The Huffington Post, President Barack Obama invoked executive privilege Wednesday, essentially withholding documents a committee was demanding from Holder. The documents were requested for an investigation into "Fast and Furious" — the name given to an operation launched to track weapons purchased by Mexican drug cartels. It turned sour, however, when agents lost track of more than 1,000 firearms and two turned up at the scene of the murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. The family of the dead border agent is reportedly condemning the move not to allow for full disclosure.

While it is the first time Obama has invoked this privilege, previous administrations have done it often. President George Bush invoked it six times and President Bill Clinton 14 times. With it being used now by Obama, it brings up all the old arguments made against previous administrations that “if there is nothing to hide, why hide?” Obama, as a senator, had asked that same question of the Bush administration. His own move drew swift criticism from House Republicans, including this comment by Speaker John Boehner’s press secretary, reported in The Huffington Post:

"Until now, everyone believed that the decisions regarding 'Fast and Furious' were confined to the Department of Justice. The White House decision to invoke executive privilege implies that White House officials were either involved in the 'Fast and Furious' operation or the cover-up that followed. The administration has always insisted that wasn't the case. Were they lying, or are they now bending the law to hide the truth?"

So what do you think? Should the president have invoked executive privilege in this case? If it was indeed outside the White House and strictly an issue with the Department of Justice, should he have stayed out of it and let the chips fall where they may? Tell us what you think in comments below. 

Brian Crawford June 27, 2012 at 08:45 PM
Fortune is the "Democratic media machine"?
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew June 28, 2012 at 06:09 AM
SO according to you, if I understand both your position and this article the NRA and CBS are at fault ... There are many issues that seem to point disarray within ATF and DOJ but we shouldn't worry. Since the text below describes a COMPLETELY legal function and this example is one of many throughout the article, it seems to be tilted somewhat left of center. "Hurley is an avid gun enthusiast, according to two law-enforcement sources who worked with him. One of those sources says he saw Hurley behind the counter at a gun show, helping a friend who is a weapons dealer." A couple of other segments just for fun below "The ATF is a bureau of judgment calls. Drug enforcement agents can confiscate cocaine and arrest anyone in possession of it. But ATF agents must distinguish constitutionally protected legal guns from illegal ones, with the NRA and other Second Amendment activists watching for missteps." Sounds eerily like immigration enforcement in AZ and the DOJ don't you think?
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew June 28, 2012 at 06:10 AM
"comprehensive electronic database of gun sales that the ATF's congressional appropriation explicitly prohibits establishing one." "Day after day, they visited local gun dealers and pored over forms called 4473s, which dealers must keep on file. These contain a buyer's personal information, a record of purchased guns and their serial numbers, and a certification that the buyer is purchasing the guns for himself. (Lying on the forms is a felony, but with weak penalties attached.) The ATF agents manually entered these serial numbers into a database of suspect guns to help them build a picture of past purchases." So is this database destroyed somewhere? somehow? AH HUH ... "It was the first time Voth learned that Dodson intended to walk guns. Voth says he refused to approve the plan and instead consulted his supervisor, who asked for a proposal from Dodson in writing. Dodson then drafted one, which Voth forwarded to his supervisor, who approved it on May 28." So the guns grow legs ... AH HUH
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew June 28, 2012 at 06:14 AM
(A CBS spokeswoman, Sonya McNair, says CBS does not publicly discuss its editorial process but notes, "The White House has already acknowledged the truth of our report.") So the Whitehouse either knows or has NO clue of what they DON'T know... "Sinaloa Cartel operatives and Mexican nationals who were providing the money, ordering the guns, and directing the recruitment of the straw purchasers—turned out to be FBI informants who were receiving money from the bureau. That came as news to the ATF agents in Group VII." Where are Mulder, Scully and the smoking man? "But the public bludgeoning of the ATF has had the opposite effect. From 2010, when Congress began investigating, to 2011, gun seizures by Group VII and the ATF's three other groups in Phoenix dropped by more than 90%." No longer chasing FBI assets Nothing to see here, Now lets just go off and create "jobs" Shall we?
Msgoff July 01, 2012 at 05:43 AM
American Patriot, you are absolutely right, the executive branch has become too powerful; however, it should have been reigned in YEARS ago; probably before many of us were born. We didn't know all of the stuff that was happening because we did not have the media in it's current state and technology to spread the truth and lies in a heart beat. Let's not even talk about Bush's war and all of the lives and money it has cost us. Why?

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