Friday, June 22, 2012

"Who Authorized Fast and Furious?"

I like to get to the heart of the matter, so I will use this column to ask one question of  President Barack Obama, "Who authorized Fast and Furious?"

Since no answer will be given, I will rhetorically ask a couple legitimate follow-ups, "Why do you not have that answer by now?" "How do you not know?" "You're the President of the United States of America, shouldn't you know this by now?"

Follow-ups are always the best indication of when a journalist is serious, or when they are pandering. This president gets very few serious follow-up questions.

I've been to plenty of media scrums and press conferences where questions had to be shouted and I would have no problem shouting that question to the president at the end of every public appearance. "Who authorized Fast and Furious?" Ronald Reagan got questions shouted at him many times during public appearances, if Obama won't answer this question, I would make it obvious that the president is avoiding me.

Obama was asked this question by Univision's Jorge Ramos on March 22, 2011. "I did not authorize it, Eric Holder the Attorney General did not authorize. He has been very clear that our policy is to put gunrunners in jail, so what he's done is to assign an IG, an Inspector General to investigate exactly what happened here," said Obama. Ramos interrupts Dear Leader at that point and asks, "Who authorized it?" Obama's answer, "Well, we don't have all the facts, that's why the IG is in business....this is a pretty big goverment, the United State government, I've got a lot of moving parts."

Ya, I guess the government is too big to know who inside it would concoct a program to sell 2000 of the most dangerous hand-held weapons on the planet to known Mexican drug dealers, kidnappers and murderers.

It's been 15 months since Obama was first asked, "Who authorized Fast and Furious?" and we are still no closer to an answer today than we were then. In fact, thanks to Obama using executive privilege to keep vital documents secret, we are farther from an answer today.

As journalists we should unite on this. No other question should be asked of the president until he answers this one. No fluff interviews about Bo the dog or Michelle's diet requests. Brian Terry was killed more than 18 months ago and his family deserves to know the answer to this question, "Who authorized Fast and Furious?"

If the media won't demand answers from this president, who will?

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