November 30, 2011

Transparency is a selling point, not a governing principle, sillies.

You fucked up. You trusted us!:

The Obama Administration has abruptly sealed court records containing alarming details of how Mexican drug smugglers murdered a U.S. Border patrol agent with a gun connected to a failed federal experiment that allowed firearms to be smuggled into Mexico.

This means information will now be kept from the public as well as the media. Could this be a cover-up on the part of the “most transparent” administration in history? After all, the rifle used to kill the federal agent (Brian Terry) last December in Arizona’s Peck Canyon was part of the now infamous Operation Fast and Furious. Conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the disastrous scheme allowed guns to be smuggled into Mexico so they could eventually be traced to drug cartels.

Instead, federal law enforcement officers lost track of more than 1,000 guns which have been used in numerous crimes. In Terry’s case, five illegal immigrants armed with at least two semi-automatic assault rifles were hunting for U.S. Border Patrol agents near a desert watering hole just north of the Arizona-Mexico border when a firefight erupted and Terry got hit.

We know this only because Washington D.C.’s conservative newspaper got ahold of the court documents before the government suddenly made them off limits. The now-sealed federal grand jury indictment tells the frightening story of how Terry was gunned down by Mexican drug smugglers patrolling the rugged desert with the intent to “intentionally and forcibly assault” Border Patrol agents.

You can see why the administration wants to keep this information from the public and the media, considering the smugglers were essentially armed by the U.S. government. Truth is, no one will know the reason for the confiscation of public court records in this case because the judge’s decision to seal it was also sealed, according to the news story. That means the public or media won’t have access to any new or old evidence, filings, rulings or arguments.


During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this month to address the flawed gun-tracking program, Attorney General Eric Holder said it’s not fair to assume that mistakes in Operation Fast and Furious led to Terry’s death. Holder also expressed regret to the federal agent’s family, saying that he can only imagine their pain.

Meh. This is just how DC works. Either accept it or wallow in a constant state of outrage. Your choice.

Because if there’s one thing for certain it’s that this kind of thing simply can’t ever be changed. It’s like a force of nature. Or gravity. It just is.


(h/t sdferr)

Posted by Jeff G. @ 11:10am

Comments (50)

  1. Perception being reality and all, they’re guilty as sin until they prove otherwise. Which is kind of ironic for the Justice Department and that whole presumption of innocence thing.

    Pony up, Holder.

  2. Most. Transparent. Administration. EVAH.

  3. Truth is, no one will know the reason for the confiscation of public court records in this case because the judge’s decision to seal it was also sealed,

    Good Lord. It’s like we’re living in 1950 USSR.

  4. Never fear, the news story was broken by the Washington Times, which is owned by a notorious Moonbat.

    I’m guessing that will be the response. Nothing to see here; move along.

  5. First report on this appeared on Nov 15th. Seems the main media takes a week or two to catch up.

  6. If we had to guess, it’s most likely true that Obama knew about/at least implicitly approved this, right?

    (Not going anywhere with my question but just wondering what the current state of affairs is as there is a lot to keep track of.)

  7. bh, let’s just say the presidents ideas about the role of Attorney General have evolved

  8. Are you kidding? If he knew, that would mean he’s corrupt. And as we all know Democrats are merely incompetent, never corrupt. Corruption is for Republicans.

  9. Because if there’s one thing for certain it’s that this kind of thing simply can’t ever be changed. It’s like a force of nature. Or gravity. It just is.

    Not long ago a liberal friend instructed me that things were never going back the way they were, and that since if the GOP didn’t actually commit crimes similar to the Democrats’, in his cartoons of them they were capable of them, which justifies the left’s preemptive criminal reaction, as I took it.

    With OWS under its belt, today I realize they actually do “think” that way. So: It’s preemptive liberal striking (as I used to call it about 15 years ago) because it just is and don’t you go questioning it. In a leftist’s cartoon of the right, we simply deserve this compensatory — and/or preemptive — comeuppance because we can be so cast to have earned or to be about to earn it.

    Read: The TEA Party’s treatment at the hands of the State Press. Wrong and vile and cancerous because even if they aren’t those things by their agenda or the evidence, they can be claimed to be. And this is how things are so get used to it.


    Heck of a tactic. You never have to account and you can always be offensively defensive and vice versa, all the while having no obligation to regard truth and justice at all.

    Shy of the general evident disorder that attracts leftists to the dysfunction that is leftism, I can’t think of a more concise way to admit that you both plan to and know you’ll launch everything from a corrupt platform, because in your mind that’s what the other guys would do, given the chance.

    …as we all know Democrats are merely incompetent, never corrupt. Corruption is for Republicans.

    Remarkable that this sits at the same table as the adults, as the saying goes. I mean, this argument wins by a conscious lie constructed on a base of malignancy aforethought.

    Again, think OWS.

    The pragmatic right can bite me.

  10. Oh, and the polite rightwing blogosphere can too. These are the fools asking to be on maintenance in Havana, for the security.

  11. Ah, the “Flounder” explanation, always a favorite.

    Of course, despite the thorough background investigations run by the MSM guys, some crooks and liars are bound to slip through the net.

    Yes. Sarcasm.

  12. Oh my. This just started. With Burge, naturally.


  13. And no, that’s not an OT.

    You figure it out.

  14. I think we have no choice but to Occupy the judge’s front lawn ’til he comes clean about who made him seal the records.

  15. Can’t, Squid. The reasons for sealing the records are themselves sealed.

    Round and round we go…

  16. Major Major would be so proud of the Judge.

  17. “Round and round we go…”

    First the evidence disappeared, next it will be the unpeople.

    communist propaganda was extensively based on the Marxism-Leninism ideology to promote the Communist Party line. In societies with pervasive censorship the propaganda was omnipresent and very efficient. […]

    With “truths repressed, falsehoods in every field were incessantly rubbed in in print, at endless meetings, in school, in mass demonstrations, on the radio”. Main Soviet censorship body, Glavlit employed seventy thousand full-time staff not only to eliminate any undesirable printed materials, but also “to ensure that the correct ideological spin was put on every published item”. Telling anything against the “Party line” was punished by imprisonment […]

    “All in all, unprecedented terror must seem necessary to ideologically motivated attempts to transform society massively and speedily, against its natural possibilities. The accompanying falsifications took place, and on a barely credible scale, in every sphere. Real facts, real statistics, disappeared into the realm of fantasy. History, including the History of the Communist Party, or rather especially the history of the Communist Party, was rewritten. Unpersons disappeared from the official record. A new past, as well as new present, was imposed on the captive minds of the Soviet population […]

    CIA estimated in 1980s that the budget of Soviet propaganda abroad was between 3.5-4.0 billion dollars. Propaganda abroad was partly conducted by Soviet intelligence agencies. GRU alone spent more than $1 billion for propaganda and peace movements against Vietnam War, which was a “hugely successful campaign and well worth the cost”, according to GRU defector Stanislav Lunev [8]. He claimed that “the GRU and the KGB helped to fund just about every antiwar movement and organization in America and abroad”. According to Oleg Kalugin, “the Soviet intelligence was really unparalleled. … The KGB programs — which would run all sorts of congresses, peace congresses, youth congresses, festivals, women’s movements, trade union movements, campaigns against U.S. missiles in Europe, campaigns against neutron weapons, allegations that AIDS … was invented by the CIA … all sorts of forgeries and faked material — [were] targeted at politicians, the academic community, at the public at large.”

  18. Can’t, Squid. The reasons for sealing the records are themselves sealed.

    Confronted with the proper presentation of drum circles and papier-mache effigies, I’m certain the judge would come to see it our way.

  19. They might be able to seal the official records, but there has to be plenty of unofficial information floating around that, when put together, is going to be damning. Sooner or later it’ll all come back to bite the liars and obfuscators in the butt. Hopefully sooner.

    Holder is going to be in a lot of hot water when that happens. His best bet really would be to wait for something else to grab everyone’s attention, quietly resign, and hope that when Obama is booted from the White House, the new occupant and new Congress are too busy tackling current pressing issues to go after him when he’s already gone.

  20. If the “Trib” were interested everything would be unsealed, but this one is not in the interest them or their boy.

  21. That Ulsterman fellow has something to say on this issue today. Grain of salt and all that, it goes without saying, natch.

  22. Here is something filed under “Man Bites Dog” in that an academic (other than JG) made a seemingly profound contribution to learning:

    On a different tack, Adam Carolla (via Ace) is cogent, if profane, on OWS:

    I like “Participation Trophy Generation,” especially after having been forced to give out many trophies to kids who didn’t hustle, improve, try or care (at the expense of the several who really did):

    Apologies in advance for the threadjack but I do argue it is generally PW germane.

  23. Folks, the phrase “…necessary to a free state…’ should give an indication of how things will hafta’ change.

  24. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has denied requests for public records that might shed light on his decisions to raise vehicle fees and water rates and to legalize speeding camera tickets that could hit drivers with $100 fines.

    It’s the latest in a pattern of records denials from the mayor, who proclaimed a new commitment to transparency at City Hall under his leadership.

    After Emanuel this fall proposed a series of fee increases to help balance his budget, the Tribune filed requests for any internal City Hall documents to show how Emanuel came up with his plans…

    To date, the only internal document provided by the city is a PowerPoint demonstration on the need for water rate hikes…

    Law Department spokesman Roderick Drew said the city identified about 1,300 relevant emails each for the speed camera and water rate issues, and about 700 emails relevant to the vehicle sticker increases. But the Emanuel administration refused to produce them on the grounds that it would be too much trouble to remove any opinions or deliberations that they say they are allowed to withhold from the public under state law.

    In an attempt to narrow its October requests, the Tribune three weeks ago asked for a log of the emails, including the subject line, sender and recipient. After being informed that the Tribune intended to publish the denials of the records, Drew last week said the email logs would be forthcoming. By late Tuesday, they had not arrived.


    Separately, the mayor announced and gained quick state legislative approval for his plan to install speed cameras at 79 intersections near schools and parks, arguing that the first-ever use of such cameras in Illinois is needed to protect children.


    The mayor previously rejected broader requests for emails or logs documenting his interactions with top aides, and his administration suggested that the newspaper tailor its requests to particular issues.


    “At some point you expect your public officials to be reasonable. When they just keep saying no, it’s no longer about right and wrong,” [David Morrison, associate director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform] said. “It’s about what they want, and they don’t want you to know anything.”

    Emanuel’s press office has defended his transparency efforts by focusing on the administration’s push to publish thousands of records online, including contracts and budget figures.

  25. Completely OT but I thought these were pretty cool.

  26. my favorite thing was the bridge at the end of the video… the dumbest thing is the National Sofa idea

    by far

  27. Those are pretty cool, bh. In Pittsburgh, back behind the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, which is super cool on its own, is a museum of architecture. They have all kinds of old archetechtural drawings for various different landmarks and public spaces in the city. They have recreated numerous offices in the time period at which the buildings were being created. It is really a cool place to visit.

  28. hey the M83 I linked the other day is all over kroq so now it’s sort of a thing

  29. Of the small handful of the great men among the founders, which had the most particular spur toward architecture and architectural fame? And which, though quite a gifted political rhetorician, also had the most hair-brained political ideas? Yep, they’re one and the same man. Architects make for strange politics. Just sayin’.

  30. But he also brought us macaroni and ice cream, sdferr. So, he has that goin’ for him.

  31. Oh, he had lots of lots going for him. It’s the living architects I intend to beware of.

  32. He had it goin’ on. Unusual in itself for a redhead, but he’s the exception that makes the rule. Modern architects? Faugh.

  33. To fill out the picture, as a tribe, in my experience, architects are second only to academic political scientists for their wandering in political fantasy lands of the mind, while clinging to an expectation that their beautiful geometric schemes will bring peace and glory to mankind. Hug their buildings for beauty now and again, maybe, but abhor their politics for the utopian horseshit they most often are.

  34. The only thing that driving on the circles around DC has brought me is a lot of swearing when I’ve missed a turn. It is quite beautiful from the air, though. Stupid Lafayette for not being able to envision auto traffic, anyway.

  35. L’Enfant, sorry. Stupid french names.

  36. Meaningless. The time to have done this was months ago, not now.

    Congress already has a bite of this scandal sandwich. They’re not about to be put of by His Imperial Presidency Barack I putting everything in a No Boys Allowed folder. Rather, they will be further frenzied by it.

    BTW, remember when thor said that Barack Obama was “clearly a leader of men.”

    It’s still funny.

  37. Hammer-boi told us all to buy GM stock, too. He was a little different.

  38. Clearly a ‘Leader of Men’? When’s that curtain gonna rise? Of course, we’ll have to re-elect BHO to see what’s really ‘in’ him, he’ll tell us.

    The thought of 4 more years of an unchecked-by-anything, nothing-to-lose Barack Obama, unleashed, is unbelievably scary to me. With Newt or Mitt perhaps our only hope? We are neck-deep in deep human waste products.

  39. OT, but here’s how to make me smile on the Twitter… )

  40. The populist pitch in Scranton and the fundraisers in New York served as political bookends for the president and illustrated the dual policy and political demands on him as the 2012 campaign season nears.

    He first rallied the type of working-class crowd that would benefit from the tax cuts and then appealed for campaign contributions from donors, many of whom would be the ones to shoulder the tax increases Obama supports.

    Obama told one group of donors that he still needs to make sure that key aspects of the health care law get implemented in 2014, that banking regulations are enacted and that energy policies are updated.

    “I’m going to need another term to finish the job,” he said.

    So a crowd in Scranton and donors in NYC, but how many?

    Obama told about 50 donors at a Greenwich Village restaurant
    Obama was welcomed warmly by a crowd of nearly 2,000 in the Scranton High School gym

    Massive crowds, just massive.

  41. Obama told one group of donors that he still needs to make sure that key aspects of the health care law get implemented in 2014, that banking regulations are enacted and that energy policies are updated.

    “I’m going to need another term to finish the job,” he said.

    I’ll just assume that no-one bothered to ask the obvious question, “Just how would you be getting any of that done given the likelihood that both Houses of Congress will be in the hands of your opponents, and furthermore, that no-one among recent Presidents has done more to purposely alienate their opponents than you yourself have done? So, tell us, President Obama, how will you accomplish anything in such a circumstance, eh?”

  42. That was a crowd of 2000 after initial ticket pickups were less than 225. The rest went in a few big chunks… unions. Can’t have the One looking vulnerable.

  43. remember when thor said that Barack Obama was “clearly a leader of men.”

    Everyone knows what Frank Herbert had to say about men and leadership, right?

  44. 2000 is bad enough for a sitting President. 225 is D list star area. Especially free tickets.

  45. Stephanie,

    Do you have a link to the 225 story?

  46. Never mind found it on Fox.

  47. Most modern architects would more correctly be called exterior designers.


    He lost me when he said Newt Gingrich was a tea party candidate.

  49. Well, I imagine the tea partiers would vote for Newt before they voted for Mitt. So there’s that.