I have heard several commentators theorize that Eric Holder was pushing the Fast and Furious gun running operation to promote the need for more gun control.
Clearly there is a huge coverup here, and clearly there’s an ulterior motive for the Fast and Furious gun running operation, but this explanation never made sense to me. Why would guns in Mexico upset Americans? That’s Mexico’s problem, not ours. “Vote for increased gun control to help bring peace to the streets in Ciudad Juarez!” Really? You think that’s going to sell? No, that strains credibility. And to get that benefit, they would have to eventually publicize the existence of the guns and the sales, which would be risky. And then people who believe this theory cite a memo that came out of the Justice Department which suggested that Fast and Furious was about engineering public sentiment for gun control. But an internal memo like that only serves to raise my suspicions that it’s really something else.
No, what came to mind when I first heard of Fast and Furious was what we had learned about Eric Holder from his role back in the Clinton administration, arranging those pardons for terrorists and organized crime figures. Remember Mark Rich? What was the motivation for his pardon? Campaign donations, and it was Eric Holder who arranged that.
In connection with this, there was a little noticed but very strange item in the news in early February 2012. A casino owner named Juan Jose Rojas (Pepe) Cardona had bundled over $200,000 in donations for the Obama campaign. In February, the New York Times advised the Obama campaign that a story raising suspicion about Pepe Cardona’s connections to a Mexican drug cartel was going to hit the press.
Pepe Cardona and several brothers and a sister were involved in this fundraising for Obama. And the story from the New York Times, while it raises suspicions, details only sketchy connections between Pepe and corruption in Mexico, and implies, but does not prove, connections to Mexican organized crime. It says “suspected” in every place where it mentions questionable activities. And a sister-in-law to Pepe Cardona pointed out that the negative rumors and negative press all surrounded Pepe Cardona, and there were no such negative allegations about his brothers and sister, who were the actual donors. On Monday, before running the story, they decided to tell the Obama campaign about it. And this is where the story gets unusual. I had noticed that whenever there were accusations like this tainting the source of campaign donations, the typical response of the Obama campaign was to dismiss the allegations and keep the money. But in this case, by the end of the day on Monday, in time to be part of the story as it broke on Tuesday morning, the Obama campaign got back to the Times to tell them they were returning the money.
There was no waiting out and confirming those ties. You would think that would be a reasonable response: These are just allegations. We will investigate and if we find the charges are true, we’ll return the money. Maybe Cardona’s story that he told the Times was true, that he had just developed an interest in Latino issues and so he wanted to support Obama. What would the harm be in waiting it out a little? There may have been no uproar at all. I mean, this is a cool quarter million we’re talking about, and there may have been more coming. Cardona owns a casino. These ties to organized crime could just be rumors spread by unscrupulous competitors.
No, the return of the money was with blazing speed, so that it was able to be a part of the story when it was released, thus quashing any further curiosity on the matter. It worked. There was no follow-up.
Why? I ask. Why this extreme nervousness over these donations? Could it be that the donations were a quid pro quo for the Fast and Furious guns?
It would be worth looking into. We know from his history that Eric Holder tends to think this way. “Mark Rich is in trouble? Well, for the right consideration, we could arrange a pardon.” Holder was the guy who did that for Clinton.
Here’s an excerpt from the New York Times article:
“Last fall, Carlos Cardona and another brother in Chicago, Alberto Rojas Cardona, began raising money for the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee. The Cardona brothers, who have no prior history of political giving, appeared seemingly out of nowhere in the world of Democratic fund-raising, Democratic activists said.”
But if you dig into the Mexican press, you find more details that the New York Times would probably not want to report. In particular, you will find alleged connections between Pepe Cardona and the Beltrán-Leyva drug cartel. This is a cartel known for its infiltration of the Mexican government. Cardona would use political donations to leverage influence in Mexico.
So many unusual aspects to this story.
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