- (Photo: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)
Texas governor Rick Perry has compared the controversy involving President Obama and the recent "Fast and Furious" gunwalking tactic to former president Richard Nixon and the Watergate scandal.
During an interview Sunday on "Face of the Nation," former Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry suggested that the recent controversy involving the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms was remnant of the 1970s Watergate scandal, which resulted in President Nixon's resignation from office.
Known as the practice of "gunwalking," the project was developed to help track down high up members of the Mexican drug cartel by allowing known gun traffickers to purchase guns. While it was officially named "Project Gunrunner," the label "Fast and Furious" quickly spread when controversy was raised, largely instigated by the death of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata. It is believed that Zapata may have been killed by a gun whose sale could have been prevented.
On Sunday, Texas governor Rick Perry compared the controversy to that of the Watergate scandal.
"This is almost Nixonian, if not absolutely Nixonian, in the cover-up that's going on with the Fast and Furious," Perry said on Face of the Nation.
Perry suggested that both scandals were linked by an evident crime.
"I mean, with Watergate, you had a second-rate burglary," Perry explained, adding that in the Fast and Furious case, "a former marine and a border patrol agent by the name of Brian Terry lost his life."
In February of 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder requested that the Department of Justice's Inspector General begin an investigation of Fast and Furious. He claimed that he had no previous knowledge of the project and had only become aware of it in recent weeks. However, it was later unveiled that Holder had signed off on documents pertaining to "Fast and Furious" as early as July 2010. In March, President Obama stated that neither he nor Holder had authorized the project.
As the controversy continued to unravel, Holder later admitted that he had known of the project but was unaware of the tactics that it involved. Last week, while the threat of Holder being in contempt of court loomed, President Obama decided to invoke his executive privilege, preventing over 1,300 documents from being turned over by subpoena. Perry suggested that the President was attempting to keep people in the dark.
"What I would favor is the President of the United States being transparent with what is going on. I mean what is so important - what are they hiding? What has gone on that's so important that I'm going to use executive privilege to keep the United States Congress from having documents?" Perry asked. "This is really troubling."