Friday, June 22, 2012

There's a Reason Why the Victim Is Invisible

Writing about the Fast and Furious hearings, right-wing columnist Michael Graham tries to claim that the "Victim [is] becoming a footnote"...and Obama/Holder are to blame:
The two most important words in the current Obama administration scandal aren’t “Fast” or “Furious.” They are “Brian Terry.”
For Team Obama, this story is all about politics.
But for the family of Brian Terry, it’s the story of their son — murdered with guns given to killers by his own government. Yet many mainstream news consumers never heard of it until this week. According to Media Research Center, the first time NBC mentioned the story was last week.
And he's half right: the numbers show that Brian Terry really is getting lost in the shuffle. Google "fast and furious"+"brian terry" and you get 297,000 hits. Do the same with "fast and furious"+"eric holder" and it's 66 million.

But as Graham himself observes, the wingnuts have been pretty much the only ones talking about this--so if the victim is being neglected, it's because wingnuts are neglecting him. Sure, that not-Joe the not-plumber campaign video opens with Brian Terry...and within 30 seconds it launches into the insane anti-Holder tirade. Graham's column itself, ostensibly about Terry "becoming a footnote", uses him only as setup for cheap shots at the Democrats on the committee.

Despite having a victim's family that's more than happy to disseminate their talking points, the wingnuts haven't put him front and center. Given that this is all about Holder (and Obama) for them, and that Terry is just a pretext, you'd still think they'd do much more to highlight the grieving (and pliant) family.

Except that this is where agendas collide. In their version of the tale, Brian Terry died because the DOJ let weapons get into the wrong hands. Thus we have to stop the DOJ's nefarious keep weapons from falling into the wrong hands.

That's the problem. There has to be just enough focus on Brian Terry to whet the wingnuts' appetite for rage, but not so much that it highlights the internal incoherence of the whole thing. To make him a full-blown martyr would be to admit a fundamental premise of gun control.

Brian Terry isn't becoming a footnote. Brian Terry started out as a footnote, and he'll be a footnote as long as the Gun-thers* are controlling the message.

*Nice coinage, Steve.

1 comment:

Victor said...

I feel terrible for Mr. Terry, and especially his family.

But what I'd like to see is the gun that killed him, and when it was bought?

Here's what we know now, according to wikipedia:
"When they fired non-lethal beanbag guns, the suspects responded with their own weapons, leading to a firefight. Agent Terry was shot and killed; four of the suspects were arrested and two AK-pattern rifles were found nearby. The rifles were traced to Fast and Furious within hours of the shooting, but the bullet that killed Terry was too badly damaged to be linked to either gun."

So, it wasn't possible to tie the bullet back to the gun(s).

But what about WHEN the guns were sold - when Bush was President, or Obama?

Here's more about the program, from the same source:
"...led to the sale of over 2,000 firearms, of which nearly 700 were recovered as of October 20, 2011."

Even more details on the arms:
"Altogether, 2,020 firearms were bought by straw purchasers during Fast and Furious.[3] These included AK-47 variants, Barrett .50 caliber sniper rifles, .38 caliber revolvers, and FN Five-sevens.[33] As of October 20, 2011, 389 had been recovered in the US and 276 had been recovered in Mexico. The rest remained on the streets, unaccounted for.[15] Most of the guns went to the Sinaloa Cartel, while others made their way to El Teo and La Familia.[2][25]"

So, LESS THAN A THIRD of the assortment of guns, including AK's AND sniper rifles, have been recovered.
Therefore, OVER 2/3's ARE STILL out there!

My mind can't wrap around how feckin' stupid and pointless this program was.
And I also can't wrap my head around the fact that, since LESS THAN 1/3 of the guns have been recovered, at not only how idiotically conceived this whole thing was, but also how poorly administered, and how ineffective the tracking was.

This sounds typical of anything Bush's people touched.

And, like with the economy, and the occupations, it's Obama, and now Holder, left holding the bag.

And yeah, the right can't make TOO big a deal about terry's death.

Not only does his death cry out for MORE AND BETTER gun control, but how this F&F program was no different from any of the rest of the ones from the Bush Administration - from tax breaks, to wars and occupations, to using and defending the use of torture.

Poorly conceived.
Poorly planned.
And horribly executed.

With no ramifications for the architects of this disaster!

But plenty for some poor ATF agent and his family, who knows how many other victims (and victims to come, with over 2/3's of the guns unaccounted for), and the Administration that had to take over another of Bush's absolute clusterfucks.

What's still hidden?
What will we find out next?
The mind shudders...

A program to sell heroine to minors, to track the buying and selling of it to other schoolchildren?

Nah, not even the Bush Administration could be that fucking stupi...

Hey, Tom - can you make a few calls?