Special Report Panel Lambastes Obama, Liberal Media Over Treatment of Fast and Furious Scandal

Moments after the Fox News Channel program Special Report provided viewers the first look at documents related to the Fast and Furious scandal finally surrendered by the Obama administration, the All-Star Panel lambasted the administration’s lack of transparency and predicted that the document dump will fetch “minimal coverage in the mainstream media.”

Up first was Weekly Standard senior writer Steve Hayes, who touted the findings as “significant” because “it gives us a behind the scenes look at just how far the Justice Department is willing to go to avoid transparency.”

Hayes reminded the audience that President Obama frequently promised that his administration would be the most transparent in history, but have instead failed to do so and resulted in a “politically embarrassing” situation like this one in which the stonewalling occurred for four years.

“We know that with respect to Fast and Furious the administration mislead Congress several times. There was a letter February 4th, 2011 which they claim that we didn't — there was no gun walking. We didn't know and then just a short time later they had to write back” that this was not the case,” Hayes added. 

Atlantic senior columnist Ron Fournier admitted that, being “a member of the mainstream media,” he could predictably bash the Republican Party for “overreaching” and that Fast and Furious has never been a scandal but merely “a bad policy that went wrong.”

However, the fairly neutral reporter ruled that he would not be that kind of person on this matter because it strikes at the heart of transparency and at a time when so few people trust the federal government:

We cannot have a healthy democracy in the digital age, in the modern age without more transparency in our government and President Obama not only said what you said he said but he also said, from now on, there is going to be a presumption that every document that is produced by my government will be public unless we can make the presumptive argument that it needs to be private. Instead, he has factually been the least transparent administration probably in this nation's history, certainly in modern time[.]

Observing that “the administration is clearly lying” and “hiding documents that belong to us, not them and their secretary of state did what she did with her emails,” Fournier concluded that the country has to fundamentally answer how we collectively want “to conduct our government in the coming century.”

Tell the Truth 2016

Conservative syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer closed out the segment by asking everyone to consider just “how far away from the underlying scandal we have come” and the answer being that, four years later, the Obama administration have provided “further proof that stonewalling works” since “[w]e can't even remember what the scandal was about.” 

Before going to break, Krauthammer predicted that the liberal media will have almost zero interest in informing their viewers of how these documents showed an active strategy to duck and dodge attempts to find out what happened with the gun-walking scheme:

It now has come out, there are about nine months to go in the administration, this will get the minimal coverage in the mainstream media the story will be gone in a few days, and it will have zero effect on what happens in the real world between now and the next election as it was just indicated the fact is the President is supporting a candidate who deliberately created an email system so that it would never be found and that's what we are living and the reason they do it is because it works. 

The relevant portion of the transcript from FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier on April 13 can be found below.

FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier
April 13, 2016
6:51 p.m. Eastern

STEVE HAYES: Well, I think it's significant in that it gives us a behind the scenes look at just how far the Justice Department is willing to go to avoid transparency. Remember, President Obama came in and on his first full day in office issued an executive memo saying that his government would be — his administration would be the most transparent administration in history and would abide by transparency requests and congressional inquiries, even if it were to prove politically embarrassing. Well, this was politically embarrassing and its very cleared as laid out in those e-mails that you just read and the others that you read before and others, that they had no intention of being transparent and that they did everything possible to withhold the information from Congress. But more broadly, this is about the administration and honesty. This is about the administration and integrity. We know that with respect to Fast and Furious the administration mislead Congress several times. There was a letter February 4th, 2011 which they claim that we didn't — there was no gun walking. We didn't know and then just a short time later they had to write back — Deputy Attorney General James Cole had to write back to Congress “facts have come to light during the course of investigation that indicates the February 4th letter contains inaccuracies.” They were not inaccuracies. They were lies and the second thing is Eric Holder testified before the Senate Judiciary committee and claimed that Michael Mukasey, his predecessor in the Bush administration had known all about this, was — had been briefed on all of this. He later had to retract that testimony because it was false. At a certain point after this many inaccuracies, and after a pattern of trying to withhold documents from Congress, you blame the Obama administration. 

BRET BAIER: So, you know, it's important to put context here. Besides this operation and the scandal and getting the documents, you did have a Border Patrol agent who died as a result of this gun walking botched operation. Brian Terry. 

RON FOURNIER: Look, it will be really easy for me as a member of the mainstream media to say the Republican Party is overreaching here and this isn't a scandal, it's a bad policy that went wrong. The problem is that I think the real issue here is what Steve was talking about. We cannot have a healthy democracy in the digital age, in the modern age without more transparency in our government and President Obama not only said what you said he said but he also said, from now on, there is going to be a presumption that every document that is produced by my government will be public unless we can make the presumptive argument that it needs to be private. Instead, he has factually been the least transparent administration probably in this nation's history, certainly in modern time and it comes at a time when people are demanding to have more transparency in their government, when we need to have more transparency in our government and when we’re losing all trust in our government and when you have something like this where the administration is clearly lying, it's clearly hiding document that belong to us, not them and their secretary of state did what she did with her emails. We really have a problem and we all do. Not just the Democratic Party, not just the Republican Party, how are we going to conduct our government in the coming century? 

BAIER: This particular operation we are still in different instances, finding guns tied to fast and furious. Tied to crimes. 

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: But it tells you how far away from the underlying scandal we have come. I mean, I agree with everything that Chaffetz is doing and I admire it, but the fact is and, you know, I'm cynical enough to believe this, this is further proof that stonewalling works. We can't even remember what the scandal was about. They’ve succeeded four years in hiding this stuff. It now has come out, there are about nine months to go in the administration, this will get the minimal coverage in the mainstream media the story will be gone in a few days, and it will have zero effect on what happens in the real world between now and the next election as it was just indicated the fact is the President is supporting a candidate who deliberately created an email system so that it would never be found and that's what we are living and the reason they do it is because it works. 


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