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What's the 'Fast and Furious' scandal? Why should furs care?

Edited by GreenReaper
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Last week the U.S. House of Representatives voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. The charge? Illegally withholding documents that the House had lawfully subpoenaed regarding an ATF program gone berserk.

Pretty much everyone agrees that the Fast and Furious operation itself – which began under the Obama presidency and thus was ultimately overseen by Eric Holder and which involved supplying Mexican drug cartels with weapons without so much as consulting the Mexican government – was an ill-conceived failure, so poorly planned as to border upon the absurd. This much, the administration has acknowledged. But what they seem to want to cover up is, who knew what and when did they know it?

This may not seem important to a generation that doesn't recall Watergate, which is why this scandal is especially important to furs (who tend to be young and in many cases apolitical). They aren't as familiar with the past as they might be, and their lives will extend further into the future than most others. Yet the Fast and Furious affair seems to have much in common with the events that brought down Richard Nixon's presidency, right down to the nature of the questions being asked.

In the end it wasn't the Watergate break-in that took Nixon down – there's considerable evidence that he was being honest when he said he had no foreknowledge. But he did lie repeatedly after the fact in order to protect his underlings and his political organization, and proving these lies depended on determining what he knew and when he knew it. Indeed, it was these events that made the phrase famous.

During the Watergate years it was the missing tapes that were most famous. In the case of Fast and Furious, the potentially-damning information is in the form of e-mails that Attorney General Holder – the nation's chief law-enforcement officer short of the President himself – has refused to make available to Congress. In a move again reminiscent of Watergate, President Obama has invoked the nebulous concept of "executive privilege" to protect his underling and thus entangled himself even further into the affair.

So, what will the future bring? Nixonian "stonewalling" (again a phrase made famous by the scandal) followed by dramatic revelations? Yet another presidency ruined by indiscretions so ridiculous that they might fairly be labeled juvenile? Will we be treated to endless hours of televised coverage as the House struggles to obtain official records and use them to determine who knew what and when? Will the current gridlock turn into total deadlock as the wheels of justice grind away for month after month?

I lived through Watergate, and I've not forgotten the heartache and endless pain of it all. We're facing exactly the same sort of crisis again, I believe, and it would be to everyone's benefit everywhere if Mr. Holder were to simply comply with the clearly stated requests of our duly elected representatives. Failing that, we should remember what Nixon's similar abuse of "executive privilege" meant to our country on election day.


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And to prevent the waters of this gate (mwhahaha) that has occurred, one voting this too.

I see what you're doing, but I disapprove of both so, I rate on content not political intent.

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Now, this I consider as having nothing to do with the Furry community, except in what how it affects the American public in general. It should be of interest to all Americans, yes, but the rationale that most Furry fans are young and therefore ignorant and/or uninterested and must be educated about this seems extremely dubious. You should see how much about Central Asian and Indian geopolitics I would inflict on Flayrah if I didn't limit it to what is at least marginally Furry-related.

Fred Patten

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Dude, Rabbit. C'mon man. Don't fuel the fire. You're better than this. Libertarians deal with these things with logic, not spite. I like libertarians. You're thinkers. Not petty crap-chuckers. We're all looking forward to a politics free Flayrah for everyone. This is not why we're here.

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EDIT: Sorry, the "YOU" here is referring to original poster, not the person I directly hit reply to. :)

Gosh, I'd love to talk to a libertarian who is a "thinker" because every, every, every single time I've discussed politics with one, they quickly get angry and stomp off when I bring up basic things like "Explain how would the internet could have come to be without decades of federal government expenditure?"

Libertarianism is simple, reality is complex. They do not correlate.

Anyway, so let me get this straight. Fast and Furious (actually, the real program was initiated while George W. Bush was president) is about how Arizona's lax gun control laws have turned the state into a gun supermarket for Mexican gangs? Essentially, the same conservatives and libertarians who whined about Obama imposing the fed to take your guns away are now whining that Obama hasn't treaded on Arizona's gun laws enough?


If you weren't complaining about overreach of fed when George W. Bush suspended Habeus Corpus, initiated programs that spied on American citizen's phone calls illegally, arrested innocent Canadians and sent them to Syria to be tortured, then I don't know what road you're traveling on. I was too young to "experience" Watergate but having read several books on it as well as Nixon (a tragic, fascinating figure indeed), Nixon, Reagan, Bush II - all part of a continuous story involving many of the same presidential-power-mad players behind the scenes. To compare Obama's presidency to this means you aren't really paying attention.

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Actually, if you look carefully you'll find "Furious" began in September 2009.

As for the rest... I'm not going to deal with your opinions here and now, because I originally posted this article as a form of protest against another article and don't want to create the very effect I'm protesting against.

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Yes, is such a respectable journalism outfit.

(Actually, not respectable at all)

Get your facts straight. First paragraph is contradicted by Fortune, a much more respectable news source:

A Fortune investigation reveals that the ATF never intentionally allowed guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. How the world came to believe just the opposite is a tale of rivalry, murder, and political bloodlust.

Such a shame that people who just hate the very idea of a black president will likely not get satisfaction here.

(Actually, not a shame at all)

But it's adorable that the man leading the "Fast and Furious" charge, Darrell Issa, is a compulsive liar.

(Oh, and a former car thief and suspected arsonist, amongst things)

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First, Rabitguy, let me thank you for your warm, collegial and carefully considered reply. It's precisely the kind of discourse I've come to expect these days when American politics are discussed online, especially in inappropriate venues, and I'm pleased that you followed type so perfectly and didn't disappoint me. Truly, I find myself in your debt. Your words are just _perfect_ to support my major point, which is that political articles like this one (and the previous one on the Obamacare decision) do not belong in a publication like Flayrah, which should IMO serve to support and unify the fandom rather than divide it.

I'll admit to you that I chose that URL from among many that offered the same information specifically in hope of eliciting such a reply-- you seemed like a promising prospect. Here's another link you may find less, well, obnoxious. Please note that it's _exactly_ the same report containing the same facts, without the name on it that offends you so much.

Green-- I said in my original post that discussing politics in Flayrah would, among other things, destroy friendships. While I haven't (to my best recollection) ever met or had any previous dealings with Rabitguy, I think it's fair to say that due to these discussions we've gotten off on a fairly bad footing where otherwise we might've become friends and shared interests (like, apparently, rabbits). I hope you'll read this exchange and see why I think both of these "political" articles need to be pulled off the web and the experiment never repeated here. I now consider my point made, and in spades at that.

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Political discussions only seem to be a problem for those heavily invested in being wrong. The fact that after four years of Obama, that is what Obama-haters can come up with is pretty remarkable. The previous administration started off with scandal (voter purging) and went WAY downhill from there: defunding anti-terrorism programs, memo warning of Bin Laden (weeks before attack), Iraq War, Walter Reed, Katrina, torture, eavesdropping, US attorney purging, etc, etc... All individually more actionable than "Fast and Furious." World-renowned attorney Vincent Bugliosi has even wrote an excellent book making the case that Bush could be tried for murder.

But had the Obama administration acted differently on "Fast and Furious" - it would just be another scandal.

Fun Fact: Republican Obamacare is good for America but socialized medical care is the only real fix.

Socialized.... Run away!

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Thank you again! You're a veritable font of affirmation, in this case. In my original reply to another article that led to the posting of this one, I said that discussing politics in Flayrah would cause (in addition to the ending of friendships) "name-calling and all the other politics-related misery that Americans have come to know so well in recent years." Earlier today I was too fatigued to realize how completely you validated my prediction.

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Well, it does confirm a recent ARP survey finding - species preference does not predict compatibility.

If you choose not to talk with others about topics which you may disagree on, it follows that you are less likely to find them disagreeable. I also think that if you go into a discussion with the belief that it must ruin any potential friendship that you have, you are likely to find evidence to confirm that belief.

As the contributor of this piece, you should be able to delete it if you wish (the button is next to save on the edit tab). I have no intention of withdrawing either piece as editor.

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If there's going to be politics or even outright propaganda from the Left-- as your article most assuredly was-- then the natural outcome is that there will also be politics and propaganda from the Right. It's what we call the "fair and balanced" effect here in America.

Again, my _preferred_ solution is no politics at all. Lots of your readers seem to agree with me, and I'm disappointed that you haven't chosen to heed them.

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So your answer , Rabbit, is that when you see GR post something (as he's said, he will not stop), that you MUST post something from the right?

Fuck it. This site has outlived any level of usefulness.

Thanks for screwing a good thing up, guys.

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I am listening to Flayrah's readers - while bearing in mind that many were recently directed here from "confurvatives". I had no plans to make a habit of posting on political topics myself - the matter I wrote about merely piqued my interest - and the response to it has not changed that.

I am however not about to withdraw a published piece which I am satisfied with, regardless of the response to it. I stand by my words.

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Yes, this is a direct reply to the health care article. It's intended to show how ridiculous this is all going to become if we go down this road. Which, I'll point out again, I do _not_ want to go down. Not petty-- illustrative.

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Yeah, uh, dude, respect your opinions and all, but I've found the best way to not go down a road is, you know, not go down a road.

*obvious joke about Vin Diesel goes here*

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Well played my man Well played

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Nixon won universal acclaim with his Foreign Policy initiatives. Yet he alone had to resignn. Was his actions so very different from those US Presidents before and after Watergate? Was therea plot against him?

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Rabbit, I agree with your stance on keeping Flayrah politics-free, except as it directly impacts furries as furries (not just as people who tend to be a certain age or economic class or whatever). That said, you're fighting fire with fire and would be better off using water instead.

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I get what you were trying to do with GR's post, but a better course of action would have been either posting an entry addressing whether general politics should or shouldn't be discussed on Flayrah, or not posting anything at all.

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If you keep this shit up, I'm dropping your site like a bad habit.

Might even start one JUST to point out how silly politics is here. Stop.

I have to deal with this shit at EVERY OTHER FUNCTION/ASPECT/LOCATION in my whole life now that America has become ultra-polarized. I don't want it here, no one does. You guys were literally the one site where I didn't have to see this bullshit.

Stop landgrabbing for page views.

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This is completely off-topic for this site. Focus, people, focus.

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I'm sorry, but this and Watergate are nowhere near the same. The economic, social, and political landscape of the U.S. during each of these periods are very different. I will credit the author with taking a more stern approach to the scandal, but as someone who is active in politics, public policy, and foreign affairs, this case could only be paralleled to Valery Plame of the previous administration.

If you had made this comparison, it would better reflect that the growing power of the Executive branch and commonplace dysfunction that can occur in Congress is a much more recent trend that revolves around 3 major shifts: Technological innovations (and the powers to control/monitor it by government and business leaders), ethnic shifts (institutes that delve into U.S. population trends find both Asian America and Hispanic American (as well as immigrants of both regions) are the largest growing populations, while others are stagnant or barely growing), and the boom of economic globalization. All have had reverberations in our economic society, our social society, and our political society. This comparison, within a short period of time, would also be capable of starkly contrasting the two political parties, while reflecting leadership decisions between both President's are not as contrasting as you would think.

I am not here to debate, so if you wish to reply then please do and I will try to read it. But I've learned online debates more often than not go nowhere, and I'd rather move forward.

I appreciate the efforts of Flayrah and FNN for posting this, though I will join other voices and state that this form of expression is something we should care about. But it simply does not have direct relevance to the society. Nor does it necessarily attract positive attention. This does not mean either news source should not post political content. However, if it were possible to highlight stories in the news that reflect the interests of this fandom (policies/politics/stories that affect animals, e-commerce, artwork, entertainment, etc.), it would develop a healthy and active audience. This is my opinion though, and I do not speak on behalf of the majority of members who are furs or visitors to this website.

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Just a point of order..

Fast and Furious started under Bush as Operation Wide Receiver. The Obama administration continued it under the name Fast and Furious as an attempt to make more guns walk.

And this has nothing to do with Furry :P

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There were fundamental changes made after Wide Receiver, which was also a failure. Thus, a new start (and a new operational name). In any event, the real issue as far as I can tell is the failure to release subpoenaed documents and the invocation of executive privilege. Again, like Watergate, the initial event is no longer the primary issue.

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"Fast and Furious?" "Wide Receiver?"

Jesus, who let frat boys name everything?

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Or seeing as how they went... they weren't involved in just the naming...

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We shouldn't hide are heads in the sand.

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Unless you're an anthro Ostrich.

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