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Katie Pavlich Updates Watchdogs On Fast and Furious Scandal

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November 2, 2012

Our week of webinars wrapped up with Katie Pavlich, the TownHall.com writer best known as the author of Fast and Furious: Barack Obama’s Bloodiest Scandal and Its Shameless Coverup. Pavlich, who appeared in a successful webinar for citizen watchdogs earlier this year, returned to talk about new developments in the scandal, and why it hasn’t been getting the attention it deserves in the final weeks of the campaign.

And the new developments in the scandal are, sadly, much more of the same, as the White House continues to cover its tracks with the blatant disregard for the truth that compelled Pavlich to write her tell-all book. The senior ATF agent who oversaw the fateful operation has been moved into the Office of Professional Responsibility, responsible for matters of public integrity (his role in the coverup apparently not an issue for the administration). This agent, William McMahon, has also been drawing a six-figure salary from JP Moran during his time at ATF, Pavlich reported.

Bloggers like Pavlich have been the truth-seekers in this case, as the legacy media has provided little to no coverage of Fast and Furious. With the exception of Spanish-language broadcaster Univision, which ran a risky, courageous operation in a dangerous region of Mexico, the networks with the resources to send investigative journalists to the scene of the crime have done nothing. Pavlich pointed out that this response differs starkly from the way the traditional media covered scandals during the Bush Administration.

The media has been loath to label President Obama and those in his administration as responsible for Fast and Furious, and the resulting death of Agent Brian Terry. Yet Pavlich’s research has implicated the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service, the IRS, ATF, and border patrol as all playing a role in Fast and Furious. Who besides the White House could have possibly overseen an operation spanning so many federal bureaucracies?

The White House initially labeled Fast and Furious as a “low-level, rogue operation,” although Pavlich wondered how an operation could be either low-level or rogue if both the President and the Attorney General were involved. Also, guns were smuggled into Mexico through multiple border crossings in three states, again invalidating the administration’s “low-level” claim.

Pavlich identified the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), as the best hope for those seeking justice for Agent Terry. The committee has two more reports on Fast and Furious pending, and is sifting through some of the 280,000 federal documents pertaining to the “low-level” operation–of course, the White House and Department of Justice are refusing to turn over the rest.

Pavlich encouraged citizen watchdogs to keep applying pressure to both politicians and the media, especially if Mitt Romney is elected President next week. Past presidents, including George W. Bush, have dropped investigations into scandals from previous administration, under the guise of “turning the page.” (There’s less of a chance of the investigation being dropped if Obama remains in the White House.)

Citizens can use Twitter to directly engage with professional journalists who are not covering Fast and Furious, or who are accepting without question the White House’s version of the story. They can also call their Congressman, and attend town hall meetings, where Pavlich says Congressmen almost always get questions about the scandal–questions for which they have no good answers.

Aside from the cover-up of the tragic death of a uniformed agent, citizens should be concerned about their Second Amendment rights. Pavlich raised the question of whether Fast and Furious was a concerted attack on gun owners and vendors, and pointed out that the White House’s initial “response” to the operation was to blame gun dealers and push for tighter restriction on gun sales in border states.

Above all, Pavlich recommends patience and persistance. As she noted, “It took over 2 years for the effects of Watergate to force Nixon from office–and no one died in that hotel room!” She encouraged aspiring citizen journalists to make as many connections as they can with politicians, and search for the “good people” in government–those willing to act as whistleblowers.


Kevin Palmer

Staff writer at Franklin Center. Contact me at kevin@watchdogwire.com

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