Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Responsibility and Authority

Bob Owens over at Pajamas Media has a good article on possible outcomes for the investigation into Project Fast and Furious, AKA Project Gunwalker.  This is the program in which the BATFE allowed illegal purchases of weapons in the United States in order to see where they ended up in Mexico.  This led to a lot of guns getting into Mexico, where they have been used to kill Mexicans and at least one American.

Mr. Owens believes that the damage to the Obama administration will probably stop at or below Attorney General Holder, and I tend to agree.  As little as I respect President Obama, he'd have to be stupid on a level that scares me to let himself be culpable for something like this, and I don't think he's that politically ignorant.  I doubt we're going to hear anyone asking "What did the President know and when did he know it?" on this one.

But that doesn't preclude the President taking a hit on this.

When I was in the military, we had an axiom:  "You can delegate authority, but not responsibility."  Basically, you can give your subordinates the authority to do what is necessary to get the job done, but you are responsible for whether or not they are successful and the methods they employ.  Not knowing what they were doing was no excuse.  You couldn't plead ignorance if your soldier got caught with his hands in the cookie jar if by doing your job you should have known his plans to do it and didn't stop him.

President Obama and AG Holder need to man up, admit that the people who worked for them messed up and possibly broke the law, and take responsibility as leaders.  If AG Holder knew or should have known what his subordinates at Justice and the BATFE were doing, he should resign and be investigated for possible criminal activity.  President Obama should come to the American people, admit that people in his administration broke the law and violated a neighboring countries sovereignty, and take personal responsibility for it, whether or not he's criminally culpable.

But forgive me if I don't hold my breath.

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