The American people need to stop being so darn "nosy" and demanding to know why our federal government recklessly armed murderous drug cartels with thousands of guns and then let them walk across the U.S.-Mexico border -- at least according to CNN contributor and "Journalist of the Year"* LZ Granderson. He is also a senior writer and columnist at ESPN.
In an Op-ed posted on CNN.com on Tuesday, Granderson argues "times have changed" and "not everything is our business," so we need to just butt out already. And as for those killed because of the operation? "Collateral damage."
Granderson even invokes former President Ronald Reagan in a bid to prove to Republicans that it's OK that the government keeps secrets, it's for our own good.
"We still don't have access to all of the messy facts surrounding the Iran-Contra scandal that erupted during the Reagan administration," he wrote.
Lt. Oliver North took the fall in that mess and Holder will probably "take one for the team" in Fast and Furious, he explained. Not for a partisan team, but on behalf of all Americans so they don't have to be unsettled by the big, bad, scary truth. How heroic of Holder.
Here is an excerpt from his CNN column:
We are a nosy country.
Though to be fair, it's not entirely our fault. Between the 24/7 news cycle, social media and reality TV, we have been spoon fed other people's private business for so long we now assume it's a given to know everything. And if there are people who choose not to disclose, they must be hiding something. Being told that something's "none of your business" is slowly being characterized as rude, and if such a statement is coming from the government, it seems incriminating.
Times have changed. Yet, not everything is our business. And in the political arena, there are things that should be and need to be kept quiet.
Heads should roll because of the Fast and Furious debacle. We don't need every detail of that operation to be made public in order for that to happen.
If it were an isolated sting, maybe. But it is at least the third incarnation of a gun-running scheme stretching across two administrations, which means we could be pressing to open Pandora's Box. We do not want to open Pandora's Box, not about this and certainly not about a bunch of other potentially scandalous things the federal government has been involved with.
Fast and Furious? Please [Emphasis added]
But Granderson understands that we are used to living "in a society where pregnancies and marriages of D-list celebrities make the cover of People Magazine." Unfortunately, for Congress and concerned American citizens there comes a point where the public's right to know needs to "take a back seat" when it comes to national security and diplomacy. On the other hand, it leaves everyone more time to catch up with the latest developments in the potential baby names the Kardashians are considering.
Further, Fast and Furious, along with previous gunrunning operations like "Wide Receiver" and "Project Road Runner," were done with good intentions, so give the guys a break, he says.
Much in the same way, Project Wide Receiver and Project Road Runner -- the earlier versions of Fast and Furious under President Bush -- were executed with the hope that they will do more good than harm. Hardly anyone in the public knows the finer points of these programs.
Were they legal?
Were they effective?
Were they done as a way to keep America safe?
And what did he call the innocent people who lost their lives as a result of the operation, including Border Agent Brian Terry and ICE officer Jaime Zapata? "Collateral damage."
He correctly points out that there are probably gunrunning operations from administration's past that the public has absolutely no knowledge of. Without knowing it, Granderson correctly points out one of the biggest problems in Washington: a lack of transparency.
The "Journalist of the Year" concludes with this: "And maybe it's better for us not to be so nosy, not to know everything because, to paraphrase the famous line from the movie 'A Few Good Men,' many of us won't be able to handle the truth."
*Granderson was named journalist of the year by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association.