Op-Ed: Public Needs Truth in Operation Fast and Furious (February 6, 2012)
February 6, 2012
Contact: Apryl Marie Fogel
By Congressman Paul Gosar, D.D.S., AZ-1
Public Needs Truth in Operation Fast and Furious
I read with interest Doug MacEachern's column defending his admitted good friend Pat Cunningham, a Department of Justice official ("Congress Republicans now leading their own witch hunt," Viewpoints, Jan. 22).
In an effort to defend his friend, MacEachern deflects a lawful review of Operation Fast and Furious and accuses the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee -- the people's watchdog committee -- of engaging in a "blood sport" political witch hunt.
I respectfully disagree.
I understand defending a close friend, and I understand Cunningham's Constitutional right to plead the Fifth Amendment. However, if no one comes forward with facts, and instead everyone involved hides behind lawyers, who will defend the American people?
The public has a right to know what happened with Operation Fast and Furious. Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, and myself, who are singled out in the column, have a responsibility to demand those answers.
If Cunningham is innocent of any wrongdoing, as stated by MacEachern, then perhaps Cunningham should not be asserting his Fifth Amendment right and refusing to testify before Congress.
Simply put, that is not the action of an innocent person who wants to clear his name or bring transparency to the matter.
We have three goals:
Find out what really happened in Operation Fast and Furious.
Determine who was behind the operation.
Assure the American and Mexican people it can never happen again.
It may very well be that Attorney General Eric Holder is 100 percent responsible, as MacEachern asserts. But we can't find that out if his friend Cunningham won't talk to us.
Rest assured I have not led this effort as a "witch hunt," but instead as an advocate for accountability, on behalf of the victims of the crimes of this terrible operation and as an Arizona resident well aware that countless more lives may be lost from the weapons walked.
This is a travesty, and our government did it. We need the truth.
If MacEachern is going to be outraged, he should join me in my outrage that no one is coming forward with the facts.