Stupid is blowing off a “request” to appear before the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee. The committee was investigating the death of a Federal law enforcement officer, ICE’s Jaime Zapata, by Mexican cartel members using firearms BATFE allowed to be “walked” to Mexico.
This is what BATFE’s Associate Deputy Director Ronald B. “Ron” Turk did on Thursday, March 9th. In response, the committee chairman, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), issued a subpoena for Mr. Turk.
Now that was stupid. Really stupid is what happens next.
Turk did finally appear on April 4th at another House Oversight hearing at which his earlier absence was noted. After getting into it with Rep. Chaffetz about why he didn’t appear when “invited”, Turk made this accusation as he really starts to go off: “You want to get your 15 seconds of YouTube minute time to challenge my honor.” You can see this starting at 4:56 in the attached YouTube video.
It takes Rep. Chaffetz another minute or so of questioning before he really lights into Turk for blowing off the committee and for his YouTube comment. That starts at 7:12 and runs until about 8:04. At this point Turk realizes that he has screwed up and starts to grovel for the remainder of the time.
Bear in mind that Turk is not only the number two person at BATFE but he is also a Brigadier General in the Maryland Air Nation Guard where he serves as Chief of Staff. He didn’t get to those two positions by being a good street agent or a good airman. He got there by being a good politician and a good politician should know when to shut up. That he had that lapse of judgement was a bit surprising given the political astuteness of his leaked white paper. It was really stupid on his part and cements the impression that BATFE is out of control.