The brouhaha over Attorney General
Mr. Issa, the California Republican who is chairman of the House Oversight Committee, would have us believe
At issue are
When Congress began looking into the failed operation, the Phoenix office made things worse by providing false information to the DOJ that was then passed on to the investigating committee. Now, the committee wants every document related to the incident. Mr. Holder, backed by the president, is refusing to give Congress complete access.
In response, conservative bloggers have gone ballistic about Mr. Obama's invocation of executive privilege, comparing it to
Just what is being covered up is not so apparent, at least to objective observers. But less-than-objective right-wing conspiracy theorists have a ready answer: Operation Fast and Furious was part of an elaborate plot to undermine the Second Amendment and take away citizens' guns.
Michael Vanderboegh, a blogger with militia ties and a long history of talking up armed resistance to the government, asserts that the ATF purposely let the guns go to the bad guys in Mexico so that, after the ensuing bloodbath, the feds could justify a crackdown on assault weapons and gun shows.
Now, to rational human beings, that may sound totally ludicrous, but not to the folks at Fox News. They have made Mr. Vanderboegh a prime source for their coverage of this dispute, being elastic enough in their measure of qualifications to identify him as an "online journalist." It's not just Fox News, though. Mr. Vanderboegh's curious theory has been picked up and repeated by Republican members of Congress, including Iowa's previously sane Sen.
This fits in with the broader conspiracy theory of Wayne LaPierre, the head of the
And what do the paranoid delusions of firearms devotees have to do with Darrell Issa's investigation? Well, Issa and other Republican members of his committee are also claiming the administration concocted this mess so they could mess with guns. "Very clearly," Mr. Issa told Fox News, "they made a crisis and they're using this crisis to somehow take away or limit people's Second Amendment rights."
Can a smart guy like Mr. Issa honestly believe this? And if not, what is he really up to?
As an answer, House Democratic Minority Leader
Ms. Pelosi may be wrong, but at least her theory has some political logic, which is more than can be said of the gun-nut fantasy being peddled by Darrell Issa.