Printed letters, May 24

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While Glenn Menard is not alone in bemoaning the unsurprising fact that government bureaucracies often prevent public officials charged with overall responsibility from anticipating and proactively responding to “crises” based on timely and accurate information (“Leaders don’t plead ignorance of decisions”, May 24, 2013), Menard’s lame lament betrays his own irresponsible ignorance of relevant details.

Thus, the “Fast and Furious” fiasco began during the Bush Administration, but Bush’s outgoing and fully-informed Attorney General did not brief Eric Holder about it.  Thus, President Obama and his AG remained unaware of the DEA’s failed operation until previously seized weapons turned up at a Border Patrolman’s murder scene.

As to “Benghazi”, both the President and Secretary Clinton necessarily relied on the best intelligence then available – which was more accurately refined over time.  We now know that Ambassador Stevens twice declined security support from our military, that his contract security detail was lounging around away from their automatic weapons when the attack began, and that – even though Secretary Clinton was apprised while the attack was still in progress – it was already too late for anyone to do anything about it.

As to the “AP investigation”, since Watergate, the President is legally prohibited from any involvement in on-going DOJ/FBI criminal investigations.  Because AG Holder was privy to the leaked classified intelligence and thus was interviewed by the FBI as a potential “suspect”, he properly recused himself from the AP matter.  Had the President been “informed” or Holder remained “involved”, inquisitors of Menard’s ilk would be asking “what did they know, and when did they know it” – implying political influence.

This predictable outcome is confirmed by the “IRS audit” matter, wherein underlings in Cincinnati haplessly created a political firestorm that is now exposing widespread abuse of tax-exempt status by – particularly – “conservative” groups seeking to conceal their donors’ identities.

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