Maybe it does have something to do with previous admins. If you review the ocassions it has been invoked over the past 20 years - most every time was to hide dirty laundry - this time probably no different.
" First, this operation began under a previous administration."
No it didn't. Obama admin people and the press keep claiming another operation under the Bush admin was the same as this one. But when Holder was challenged on it he withdrew the claim.
Wide Receiver, the operation under Bush, involved following guns, via tracking devices, that were sold to members of a specific drug cartel. Every move the guns made, including the initial sale, was tracked. The Bush admin notified the Mexican government whenever the guns crossed the border. The ATF shut down the program in 2007 after they discovered the drug cartel people were removing the tracking devices. WR resulted in over 1400 arrests.
Fast and Furious began in 2009, two years after Wide Receiver ended. There was no tracking. There wasn't even surveillance during the sales. Nobody notified the Mexican government. Agents were told not to follow the purchasers. F and F netted 0 arrests.
There are a number of key differences.
1 - WW involved surveillance while F&F didn't. 2 - WW resulted in arrests while F&F didn't. 3 - F&F began after the Bush admin had already labeled WR a failure. The Obama admin had past data, but still tried a similar (but different) program with less surveillance and fewer checks.
The fact that the Obama people undertook F&F after the more secure WR had failed is telling. It's likely Obama Admin's goal was to create gun violence so they could make a case to further restrict gun ownership.
Can Obama's 'blame Bush' strategy still work in 2012?
In a big campaign speech this week, President Obama made perhaps his most focused case that the economy is still struggling because he inherited a giant mess created by eight years of Republican policies. And according to a new Gallup poll, Americans don't necessarily disagree: Three and a half years after George W. Bush left office, 68 percent of Americans still blame our 43rd president a "great deal" or a "moderate amount" for the lousy economy. The "blame Bush" crowd includes 67 percent of independents and, surprisingly, 49 percent of Republicans. What's more, those numbers have remained relatively static since August 2010. Mitt Romney is running hard against Obama's economic record, but could Obama keep his job by running against Bush's?