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Joe Lieberman inserts himself into Operation Fast & Furious.

Short version of the background: Operation Fast & Furious was a botched Department of Justice operation where the federal government catastrophically mucked up a program ostensibly designed to curtain illegal gun running to Mexico by… sustaining, encouraging, and enabling gun running to Mexico. Several hundred people have died as a result – including at least one American law enforcement official – and now questions are being asked in Congress.

Including questions by Homeland Security Chair Joe Lieberman (CT). The Daily Caller reports that the retiring Senator has instructed his staff to ‘examine’ the circumstances regarding interagency ‘miscommunication’ with regard to the Fast & Furious program; which is actually somewhat worrisome to the White House, once you translate the announcement from Political Washingtonian to Standard English. Specifically, the Daily Caller was told by a spokesman that Senator Lieberman “believe[s] that the lack of interagency coordination along the border merits further examination, and as Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, he has directed his staff to follow up with the relevant federal agencies on that topic.” In other words, Senator Lieberman has already determined that somebody in the federal government is to blame; indeed, probably a whole flock of somebodies. The only questions are, how many somebodies; and (not incidentally) how many careers are going to get blighted as a subtle hint (and Horrible Example) for the next generation of federal bureaucrats.

Hot Air has more, including Ed Morrissey’s observation that it will be hard for the administration to ignore an actual Democratic Senator on this issue; I’m not entirely sure, though, that the administration won’t try anyway. Joe Lieberman is only very tenuously a Democrat these days; he caucuses with that party, but the relationship between him and the Democratic base has been hostile on both sides since the netroots tried and failed to defeat him in 2006 and Lieberman tried and failed to get McCain elected in 2008. So there wouldn’t be the same kind of partisan fallout from the base if the Obama White House tried to brush off Lieberman. Note ‘tried,’ though: most of the population of the United States doesn’t particularly care what the technical details are about Lieberman’s party status. To them he’s a Democrat; and so to them his call for an examination is going to legitimize this issue still further.

Not much more to add here, except of course to remind the Democratic netrooots that this is yet another of the prices for failure. Aiming at a king – or Senator – and missing almost never ends well…

Moe Lane (crosspost)

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