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Obama's Green Jobs Program a Boondoggle As a General Matter, Says... The Washington Post | Main | Testify: In 2009, Solyndra CEO Said Obama and Steven Chu Were Personally "Instrumental" In Securing Half-Billion In Loans for SCOAMF Boondoggle
September 15, 2011

Gunwalker: Issa Says Fast & Furious Goes All The Way To The White House; 3 More Murders Linked To Gunwalker Weapons


And furious.

People are wondering why Solyndra is getting attention, while the media continues to basically ignore Gunwalker, except for these obligatory "here's what happened, but we're also signalling by our lack of interest that it's no big deal" minor, middle-of-the-newspaper stories.

I don't know, of course. But here's my guess.

Solyndra looks like the sort of scandal they're used to calling a scandal. You have here money flowing to corporations and political allies and donors, and political pressure to push this money through, and then the money being completely lost.

They have a template in their minds for that sort of thing.

The problem with Gunwalker, from a media point of view, is that they don't know what pre-existing box it should be neatly packed into.

I have talked about Gunwalker and the theory of the crime. I've said that I don't think the "Turned Up To 11" theory is very helpful. This is the theory, popular on the right and especially with Second Amendment watchers, that the program was created deliberately to cause a spate of gun murders in Mexico and along the US border, which could subsequently be used, Reichstag Fire like, as a pretext for cracking down on the gun rights of American citizens.

To me, this seems a bit unlikely. Not completely unlikely, but a bit unlikely, and a bit too big and conspiratorial to buy without a lot of evidence.

The more likely theory, to me (and the one the media would buy, if it bothers to buy any theory at all), is that this is a crime of incompetence and gross negligence.

However, if that's what it is, the media is obviously pre-disposed to letting off Obama. After all, it's just a case of "mistakes being made." They meant well, didn't they? Okay, so Obama and his senior people apparently graduated with their Masters of SCOAMF degrees (with honors), but all this is (in this view) is an intelligence operation gone badly wrong.

For the media, I guess they'd say: Well, the CIA has goofed up on a lot of covert operations we don't like, that is, operations we never wanted them to try in the first place (Iran-Contra); so here at least the goof was on an operation we could at least all support.

So I think that is part of the issue here. The theory I think is more likely to be true, and also more likely to be considered by the media at all, is a story of gross incompetence and negligent homicide in a badly conceived and completely mismanaged intelligence sting. The media might buy into that, a little, but that also gives them an excuse to say "Mistakes were made, no big deal."

On the other hand, a theory which does have actual malice and corrupt motive attached to it -- the Deliberate Gun Murder As Pretext For Gun Law theory -- is so big that it's very hard to bite into. You can't sort of nibble around it -- you have to take the whole thing in in one bite, and even for someone like me, who's on the right and very opposed to Obama, it's a lot to cram in your mouth all at once.

So I think that's the difference. Solyndra is big, but not too big; they can wrap their heads around it. Money, politics, favors, boondoggles -- they get that.

Gunwalker is either some kind of gross incompetence -- which they'll just excuse Obama for -- or a very large, very serious conspiracy against the American people, which is certainly inexcusable but also difficult to prove (and even hard to conceive).

None of this is really meant to be prescriptive. I'm not offering any advice as to what to do about this. It's just descriptive.

For Gunwalker to be something the press can actually digest, it has to involve more deliberate malice than the "criminal negligence" theory, as they're currentl pretty chill about that level of deadly incompetence, but not so much malice as in the Reichstag theory, which they won't even consider as a possibility.

I don't know what that theory would be.

Problems With the Theories: The "gross incompetence" theory is unsatisfactory because it simply makes no sense.

You cannot have a covert law enforcement sting if you simply let the guns walk and do not track them. What, do you have psychics remotely viewing the weapons? Psychics who will later testify in court as to their psychometric visions of guns changing hands and then being used in murder?

This plainly makes no sense. Once the guns walk, as they did, that's it as far as law enforcement.

So what the hell was the plan here? No one will say. Oh that's not true; they'll say, but they're obviously lying. They claim, vaguely, it was a sting, but as I just explained, you can't have a sting without actually recording the evidence. Surveilling, videotaping, watching, following, tracking. None of that was done, so their claim as to the end-goal here is simply false.

On the other hand, I can't buy the Reichstag scenario, either, at least not as it's been explained to me.

Here's the problem. A small group of people may conspire in secret. That's possible. But bear in mind the actual operation was conducted by dozens (maybe in the low hundreds?) of ATF agents (and other agents, of the DEA and FBI too, it seems) who were not part of the conspiracy, but were integral parts of it; that is, they're not conspirators, but they are witnesses.

So: If the goal was to have a series of gun murders and then pass gun laws to crack down on the murders the Administration actually caused, how did anyone think they could possibly get away with it?

What actually happened was that ATF agents began screaming about this -- early and often. They thought this was bizarre and dangerous and would lead to deaths. (Maybe they were psychic, too, huh?)

The this-was-all-planned scenario relies upon the premise that these agents could have been controlled. The plan only works if you keep the non-conspirator participants in line. You keep them quiet. You threaten to fire them if they squawk.

Well that didn't work. But that's okay from a conspiracy point of view, because sometimes conspiracies are undone when someone squawks.

My problem is How could any reasonably intelligent person have imagined this would work? That is, I could buy a big plan like this if I could imagine, at the start of it, those involved had a reasonable expectation they could get away with it.

But the way this is explained to me -- the Big Theory -- I can't see how the malefactors could ever imagined, in the earliest planning stages, how they could have kept ATF agents from dropping dime on them.

I need some other theory, personally. I don't buy the Small Theory, and can't quite buy the Big Theory, either.

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posted by Ace at 01:42 PM

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