Fast and Furious: Executive Privilege

Teacher: “Good morning children, I’m guessing you must have had a nice vacation with all those bright little faces.”

Children: “Groans…”

Teacher: “I know, I know, but we have a very exciting day planned. I hope you are ready to learn!”

Children: “Yaaaayy!”

Teacher: “Wonderful, now lets get started. Has anyone heard of a little gun laundering operation called, “Fast and Furious?”

Booby: “I have! It was an operation approved by President George W. Bush in 2006 to secretly track and distribute guns to mexican cartels.”

Teacher: “Very good Bobby, you’ve been paying attention.”

Bobby: “Yeah, and then in 2010, a border patrol agent was murdered by one of these guns and the operation, “Fast and Furious” became public. I remember people were really upset when it was learned that thousands of the weapons had gone missing and were used to kill innocent citizens.”

Teacher: “That is all true, but does anyone know whos’ fault it is?”

Jessica: “The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives?”

Teacher: “Of course, the ATF were in charge of running the operation. Who else?”

Alex: “The Justice Department and Attorney General Eric Holder?”

Teacher: “Wonderful! Anyone else?”

Alicia: “My daddy says that it’s all President Obama’s fault.”

Teacher: “Ah, now that’s an interesting point. President Obama actually inherited the problem program from the previous administration, but saying he didn’t know what was going on would be disingenuous. See, this past Wednesday, President Obama used executive privilege to block a House committee headed by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif. to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.”

Alex: “Why was Attorney General Eric Holder held in contempt of congress?”

Teacher: “Well you see, Mr. Holder had been given eight months to adhere to a Republican led House committee request to turn over documents detailing the DOJ’s failure. When he didn’t, Rep. Issa pushed for a vote to hold Mr. Holder in contempt of congress. You must understand children, that within our government, there is a constant power struggle between politicians, elected officials, and judges. When one group has the edge over another, they typically use that power to make an example and advance their parties’ agenda.”

Beth: “This really just sounds like another Obama coverup. He uses national security as an excuse to keep documents that will hurt his administration secret. If you ask me, they knew the whole time what they were doing. They gave the guns to the mexicans on purpose, knowing full well that violence would increase, allowing the President Obama to take action and strip away people’s second amendment rights.”

Teacher: “So what you’re saying is that in 2006, then Senator Obama, led a secret conspiracy to take away second amendment rights by purposefully fanning the mexican drug cartel violence? Was this done with or without President Bush’s permission?”

Beth: “…”

Teacher: “It’s okay Beth, we all make mistakes. Just remember that making unsubstantiated claims give people the impression that you are ignorant or uninformed.”

Jamie: “See, it’s not Obama’s fault. He had to protect the documents with the executive privilege in the name of national security. Plus, he has only used it once, not six times like President Bush.”

Teacher: “You have to be careful Jamie, that type of argument doesn’t hold up well against people well educated on the subject. Saying that it’s okay for President Obama to use the executive privilege in the name of national security, but saying former presidents, such as President George W. Bush shouldn’t because you don’t agree with their politics is hypocritical. Also, if you dig deeper, you will see that former President Clinton used executive privilege twelve times. Are you saying that just because President Obama has used the privilege less than his predecessors that it’s okay?”

Jamie: “…”

Teacher: “Class, have you been watching cable network news channels again?”

Children: “…”

Teacher: “I understand it’s difficult to stay informed and unbiased when opinion is passed off for information and news lacks context, but you must stay strong. If someone lied to your face over and over again and you knew it, would you continue to listen to that person?”

Children: “No…”

Teacher: “That’s right. Children, you must understand that there are people in the world there that will gain from your misinformation. If you stand up for the truth, then they have no power against you.”

Amanda: “So what’s going to happen? It seems like President Obama withholding the information was a predictable political move.”

Teacher: “True, but since we don’t know what the documents actually say, we can’t know if there is a coverup or not. We can gather that the documents contain unflattering results about the operation and releasing them would give power to the Republicans to use during the upcoming election. Even though it wasn’t President Obama that approved the operation, the media will continue to argue about irrelevant information or exacerbate politically motivated opinions until something juicer comes along. At the end of the day, the uproar will eventually fade away as the election draws closer and will yes, be seen as a political move. Both Democrats and Republics do this on a regular basis to get the upper hand. Give a person power, and they will find ways of keeping it.”

Jimmy: “What does exacerbate mean?”

Teacher: “It means… it’s time for finger painting!”

Children: “Yaaaayy!” ∞

Children in the Classroom

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