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Real Answers™
Copyright: © 2012 Gary Hardaway
690 words


By:  Gary Hardaway


TO:         President of the United States, Barack Obama

              Attorney General of the United States, Eric Holder


Dear Mr. Obama and Mr. Holder:


My name is Joe Citizen, and I need to get to the bottom of this “Operation Fast and Furious” business. Facts now public indicate  that in 2009 the Phoenix Office of the Bureau of Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) began supplying Mexican drug cartels with high-powered weapons, like AK47s. I have to ask: Who came up with that brilliant idea?

As an average citizen with only average intelligence, I don’t understand all the complexities of government programs. But I do know this: drug lords are the most evil, vicious criminals on the planet. Giving these fiends machine guns was bound to result in a lot of dead people.

Sure enough, we now know that at least 200 Mexicans have been mowed down with these assault rifles. Two of our own public servants, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent, Jaime Zapata, now lie dead in their graves, slain by killers with these weapons. Weapons provided by the U. S. government with taxpayer money.

What were you men thinking? How did this insanity come to possess you? I am told that Fast and Furious was supposed to track the weapons from their point of purchase in the United States to end-users in the drug cartels. OK, maybe you had good intentions. Still, it was a crazy scheme.

But, given the intent, how did ATF lose track of 2,500 of these killing machines? Why weren’t they tracked? Why weren’t the purchasers identified and targeted? With thousands of lives on the line how could our government sponsor such a sloppy, dangerous operation?

According to sworn testimony from AFT agents, our government instructed gun retailers to illegally sell firearms to suspected criminals. ATF agents were ordered to let the smugglers carry the guns unhindered into Mexico and into the hands of drug-traffickers.

Mr. Holder, where were you? Did you keep the president informed of all the illegalities involved, and the potential for mass murders to occur? Was the Mexican government alerted to terrible new perils to their citizens inside their borders?

I want these and other questions answered. Obviously, as an average citizen I don’t have access to the needed information, but fortunately the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is working for me. It has subpoenaed over 80,000 relevant documents which no doubt will shed a lot of light on this ugly snafu.

So . . . Mr. Holder, when first questioned by my committee, why did you say that Fast and Furious didn’t exist? Did you deliberately lie to my representatives? Did you perjure yourself? Or were you totally ignorant of the program? If so, how can you live with your own incompetence?

Furthermore, why have you been defying and stonewalling my committee for the last 20 months? Why are you withholding 70,000+ documents? My committee has every right to assess them, and gather appropriate findings therein. They have the right to report their findings to me, except for substantial matters involving national security or vital diplomatic relations.  

That, Mr. President, brings me to your involvement. Suddenly you have claimed the executive privilege of withholding the subpoenaed documents. Why did you wait twenty months to claim this privilege when you could have asserted it as soon as the subpoenas arrived on Mr. Holder’s desk? Why didn’t Mr. Holder assert it from the first day of the hearings in 2009?

Mr. President, something smells very fishy about your behavior and that of your attorney general’s defiance of Congress regarding this affair. I’m just an average Joe, so I don’t know what’s going on, but something’s rotten in the bowels of the executive branch of the U. S. government – my government of my beloved country.

Come clean. Tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Remember Solomon’s warning: “The unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.” Otherwise, July 4 is going to be a most dreary, scandal-laden holiday for all us Joe Citizens.


Gary Hardaway directs Summit School of Ministry in Northwest Washington, where he teaches a course on “Joy at Work,” a Christian perspective on the significance of one’s work and calling.

"Real Answers™" furnished courtesy of The Amy Foundation Internet Syndicate. To contact the author or The Amy Foundation, write or E-mail to: P. O. Box 16091, Lansing, MI 48901-6091;

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