Mexico is a problem. No, it isn't immigration. In fact the number of immigrants here illegally has been steadily dropping. It is violence. The accelerating violence may yet cause Mexico to lapse into a Somalia-type anarchy. It occasionally touches tourists, including US tourists. It is increasingly threatening to surge over the border, becoming our national business in a big way.
The violence is caused by trade. Illegal trade. Drugs come our way, guns go the other way. Drug cartels rule.
In 2006, the Bush administration began a series of aggressive steps to attack the gun half of the circle of violence. They began with sting operations intended to get them to the top of the gun smuggling schemes. They sold weapons to gun runners, then quickly stepped in to arrest the runners and recover the weapons.
When the Obama administration took over, they continued for a while the undercover operations aimed at the gun runners. But soon they decided to increase the aim of the Bush program to another level. If they could, they would go beyond low level criminals and target the highest masterminds, those in charge of getting guns to the drug cartels.
The plan went awry, lots of guns, undercover government supplied guns, got into circulation. One of them wound up in the hands of a killer. The victim was a US government agent.
By coincidence of sorts, the advent of the Obama administration produced remarkably detailed views of some Second Amendment enthusiasts that diverged from traditional forms of evidence. The Obama people were going to outlaw guns.
And the plot to abolish the Constitutional protection of the right to bear arms hinged on deliberately not making any moves involving gun rights. NRA Vice President Wayne LaPierre spoke for many conservatives earlier this year when he reviewed the evidence at the annual conference of CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference.
All that first term lip service to gun owners is just part of a massive Obama conspiracy to deceive voters and hide his true intentions to destroy the Second Amendment during his second term.
We see the president's strategy crystal clear: Get re-elected and, with no more elections to worry about, get busy dismantling and destroying our firearms' freedom, erase the Second Amendment from the Bill of Rights and excise it from the U.S. Constitution.
That's the conspiracy. All the verbal assurances accompanied by a lack of any moves that could be interpreted as a threat to gun rights must be interpreted as a threat to gun rights. The threat is hidden in plain sight. The threat is the lack of any threat.
Conservatives are too clever to fall for it, however. Repetition of the LaPierre message is not confined to obscure bloggers in remote corners. When officials of the new administration allowed the anti-drug-cartel program to spin out of control, it was actually part of a larger plot. The guns had gotten out of control on purpose. The agent was killed as part of the Obama conspiracy.
Consider the words of Darrell Issa, chair of the House Oversight Committee, late last year. Issa talked about the killing of the agent.
Very clearly, they've made a crisis and they're using this crisis to somehow take away or limit people's second amendment rights.
So. The botched operation was only ostensibly aimed at gun running. It had been botched deliberately, the agent had been killed in order to create a crisis.
Darrell Issa began an investigation of the killing and the weapons that had gotten into the hands of drug lords, and the program that had spun deliberately out of control as a part of a well planned botch. As part of the investigation, he demanded thousands of documents. The Department of Justice complied, turning thousands of documents to Issa's committee.
Not all of the requested documents were handed over, however. Some documents were part of continuing investigations. Some were evidentiary parts of criminal court cases. Some were simple requests for information. In some cases those requests are themselves confidential. Privacy, investigations, and court cases meant that the Justice Department would be breaking the law by providing those documents to Issa's committee.
There were other issues. Some documents were internal White House memoranda augmenting private policy conferences. Policy generally is about making and enforcing laws. Private advice given to the President is traditionally beyond the scope of any investigation unless discussion goes beyond policy to demonstrable criminal intent. The withholding of legal discussion and documentation is known as Executive Privilege.
So Issa publicly issued a threat. The committee would hold the Attorney General in contempt. At the last minute, Issa agreed to exclude from his demands those documents that would be illegal for the administration to give to him, a compromise of sorts. But other documents, those that might compromise investigations or could violate privacy or would involve private advice to the President, were still demanded.
When the President invoked Executive Privilege, Republicans on the committee voted to demand that the full House of Representatives hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt.
The logic of the move appears to be consistent with previous public statements and the more general theories of conservatives. It goes something like this:
Executive Privilege does not protect criminal conspiracies, including cover ups. There exists additional evidence, evidence that Holder is not providing to Darrell Issa's investigation. We know this, because the thousands of documents that have already been provided show no criminality.
Since there is nothing to show any criminal intent, that is evidence of a coverup, which is criminal.
The lack of evidence of any criminality is the evidence of criminality. Such is the state of contemporary conservative thought at the highest levels of the Republic.
Holder is accused of showing contempt for Congress.
Public testimony makes it clear that Holder has tried to conceal the contempt many of us are beginning to feel.
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