February 02, 2012 4:32 pm ET by Chris Brown
During today's House Oversight Committee hearing, Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI)
echoed the gun lobby's conspiracy
theory suggesting that Operation
Fast and Furious was "set up to go wrong" in order to undermine the "Second
Amendment liberties of law-abiding citizens."
In fact, an official report issued by the House Oversight Committee's own chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), found that the "purpose" of Fast and Furious was to "build a large, complex conspiracy case" targeting high-level Mexican cartel members. Further, as has now has been documented extensively in a report by House Oversight Committee Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD), similar misguided tactics were used in several cases during the Bush administration. Nonetheless, Walberg is more comfortable pushing conspiratorial accusations than discussing the reality of these misguided ATF tactics.
WALBERG: No admission [by Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein], other than now when brought on the carpet and brought into the public light, that this has gone wrong, was set up to go wrong, and frankly I believe was set up to go wrong in order to deal with Second Amendment liberties of law-abiding citizens and pushing into a perception that it was the problem of the Second Amendment as opposed to law enforcement, and more importantly, Mr. Attorney General, your oversight of an agency, of a department of individual leaders in that department that have not been held accountable.
HOLDER: Well, with all due respect and,, I mean this with great respect, the notion that this was an operation set up to do something to impinge upon the Second Amendment rights of my fellow citizens is absurd.
Walberg is not the first Republican to adopt this conspiracy, which is a favorite of the National Rifle Association and their allies in the right-wing media. Reps. Blake Farenthold (R-TX), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Joe Walsh (R-IL), and Dan Lungren (R-CA) have all embraced similar claims. Lungren was rebuked by Holder after raising the issue at a December hearing.