Previously blogged about on The Patriot Perspective.
The most damning revelations coming out of the hearings on Operation Fast and Furious held by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform are the unmistakable indications that the program was never designed to succeed as a law enforcement operation at all.
A quartet of Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) agents and supervisors turned into whistleblowers to bring the operation down, but only after U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was gunned down in the Arizona desert. Two of the weapons recovered at the scene of Terry’s murder were traced to the operation.
Fast and Furious, also known by the more accurate “Gunwalker,” allowed known straw purchasers to buy large quantities of firearms — often a dozen or more semi-automatic rifles — at a time with the full knowledge of ATF agents and executives. The guns were then smuggled into Mexico, as frustrated front-line ATF agents watched, under strict orders to do nothing.
ATF agents testifying in front of the House Oversight Committee could not explain how the operation was supposed to succeed when their surveillance efforts stopped at the border and interdiction was never an option.
ATF Agent John Dodson, testifying in front of the committee, said that in his entire law enforcement career, he had “never been involved in or even heard of an operation in which law enforcement officers let guns walk.” He continued: “I cannot begin to think of how the risk of letting guns fall into the hands of known criminals could possibly advance any legitimate law enforcement interest.”
The obvious answer is that Gunwalker’s objective was never intended to be a “legitimate law enforcement interest.” Instead, it appears that ATF Acting Director Ken Melson and Department of Justice senior executives specifically created an operation that was designed from the outset to arm Mexican narco-terrorists and increase violence substantially along both sides of the Southwest border.
Success was measured not by the number of criminals being incarcerated, but by the number of weapons transiting the border and the violence those weapons caused. An ATF manager was “delighted” when Gunwalker guns started showing up at drug busts. It would be entirely consistent with this theory if DOJ communications reflected the approval of the ATF senior officials they were colluding with — but as we know, Holder’s Department of Justice refuses to cooperate.
At the same time in 2009 that federal law enforcement agencies (the ATF, the DOJ, and presumably Janet Napolitano’s Department of Homeland Security) were creating the operation that led to the executive branch being the largest gun smuggler in the Southwest, the president’s team was crafting the rhetoric to sell the crisis they were creating.
On television, in various news outlets, and even in a joint appearance with Mexican President Felipe Calderon, Obama pushed the 90 percent lie, implying that 90% of the guns recovered in Mexican cartel violence came from U.S. gun shops.
Issa: I am going to follow a line of questioning I think I have been seeing develop throughout here with law enforcement experts. You have two points, you know the old expression, you connect the dots. The first point is the straw buyer; the last point is the scene of the crime. You’ve said, each of you, Special Agents, that in this case, as soon as you got to the next point of connect the dots, you were generally sent the other direction. You were not allowed to go beyond that next point. You weren’t even allowed to follow that next point, even when they headed north with the weapons.
Now, if an operation like Fast and Furious seems to have a pattern, a consistent pattern, that you’re only looking for two points–the beginning and the end–it’s not a criminal prosecution. It’s not an effective one. Plus, of course, if you take the logic that you can’t prosecute a straw purchaser if the gun is in Mexico, if you take that point, then that part of it was frivolous from the start, even though today, every one of those straw purchasers has been charged, oddly enough, with the evidence that was available before that gun ever walked beyond the first step.
So let me just ask a question for your supposition, but I think it’s a very well educated one. If you only look at the beginning and the end of the dot, isn’t the only thing you’ve proven is that guns in America go to Mexico? Now could that be a political decision? Could that be a decision that basically, we just want to substantiate that guns in America go to Mexico–something we all knew, but would have considerable political impact, as Mexico began complaining about these, and they could say, “Well, yeah–we’re even rolling up the straw purchasers.” It wouldn’t change the fact that Mexicans were dying at the behest of the United States, but wouldn’t it ultimately meet a political goal?
Also from Pajamas Media:
At the same time they were damning gun dealers in public, the administration was secretly forcing them to provide weapons to the cartels, by the armful and without oversight. More than one gun industry insider suggests that the administration extorted cooperation and silence from these gun shops. As the ATF has the power to summarily shut dealers down for the most minor of offenses, that is very, very possible.
This is something I noted previously as well, which starts with a g- and ends with an -overnment regulatory authority.
From the house oversight committee, here is the PDF file of the ATF agents accounts of Fast & Furious. You can read the actual testimony and statements of the ATF agents who participated in this “felony stupid” operation. Except it wasn’t stupid… it was calculated.
More from Pajamas Media (which I suggest reading in its entirety at the link):
As there is a pattern of behavior to suggest that Gunwalker was not a botched law enforcement operation, but was instead an effort by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s Justice Department to carry out a subversive anti-gun policy of the Obama administration, it is pertinent to examine Obama’s past associations with anti-gun groups.
From 1994-2002, Obama was a director of the Joyce Foundation. Joyce is a progressive organization dedicated to “social justice,” and one of their primary areas of advocacy has always been the funding of gun control organizations. Joyce has long attempted to erode Second Amendment rights, and during Obama’s tenure as a director went so far as to try to subvert Second Amendment scholarship. Joyce gave millions to effectively buy law reviews with grants, and then used those reviews to publish only papers that attacked the individual rights interpretation. The goal was to so pervert legal scholarship that the scholarship would affect Supreme Court decisions.
Joyce director Obama, and those surrounding him, internalized fellow Chicagoan Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. While the Joyce plot narrowly failed, it affirmed Alinsky’s strategy of agitating, fanning hostility, and disorganizing the public in order to force radical change.
We know that Obama’s friends in Joyce Foundation-supported gun control groups suspiciously have not attacked the administration’s gun-running, but instead have attacked the Oversight Committee’s investigation.
The blog that is linked with reference to the Joyce Foundation-supported gun control groups is Snowflakes In Hell, a very reputable, very long-running gun rights blog.
This operation wasn’t just “felony stupid” as Congressman Issa called it. The agents working the field, their supervisors, and even some second-line managers may have been felony stupid and “only following orders”, but that’s not adequate. The program ran for fifteen months, and had supervisors “giddy” when guns were found at murder scenes in Mexico.
That doesn’t add up. Fifteen months worth of work by hundreds of people, by lawyers who drafted up the legal justification for this crime, by agents who participated in it, by supervisors and managers who ran it, and by directors and attorneys general and probably a president who authorized it is not “felony stupid”.
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
If the plan was (quoting myself, but other folks have noticed it, too):
1. Tell US FFLs to sell to straw purchasers, let guns go to Mexico, let criminals with guns kill people, including US Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and numerous Mexican citizens.
3. Bust up drug cartels in another nation.
That doesn’t make any sense. None. Zero. A five year-old can tell that won’t work. Hell, it’s on the Evil Overlord list!
- The supervisor of Operation Fast and Furious was “jovial, if not, not giddy but just delighted about” walked guns showing up at crime scenes in Mexico according to an ATF agent. (p. 37)
- Another ATF agent told the committee about a prediction he made a year ago that “someone was going to die” and that the gunwalking operation would be the subject of a Congressional investigation. (p. 24)
- The shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords created a “state of panic” within the group conducting the operation as they initially feared a “walked” gun might have been used. (p. 38)
- One Operation Fast and Furious Agent: “I cannot see anyone who has one iota of concern for human life being okay with this …” (p. 27)
- An ATF agent predicted to committee investigators that more deaths will occur as a result of Operation Fast and Furious. (p.39)
- Multiple agents told the committee that continued assertions by Department of Justice Officials that guns were not knowingly “walked” and that DOJ tried to stop their transport to Mexico are clearly untruthful. (p. 45-50)
Hanlon’s Razor doesn’t work here. This isn’t stupid. Stupid doesn’t last 15 months and survive the shock of realizing their operation might have killed a congresswoman. This must be intentional. No one could be “giddy” about weapons they facilitated going to a drug cartel being used in murders. No one stupid can want that.
The only thing that makes sense is that the ATF agents, supervisors, managers, US attorneys and attorney general and in all likelihood the president – who’s ultimately responsible for the DOJ – is that this was their intention. Everyone who’s not a whistleblower is a willing accomplice in this mess. I’m sure, much like the anti-gun groups mentioned at Snowflakes in Hell, they thought it was all for The Greater Good.
Consider this, from page 38 of the report:
Q. [S]omebody in management . . . used the terminology “scramble some eggs.”
A. Yes, sir.
Q. If you are going to make an omelette you have got to scramble some eggs. Do you remember the context of that?
A. Yes, sir. It was – there was a prevailing attitude amongst the group and outside of the group in the ATF chain of command, and that was the attitude. . . . I had heard that . . . sentiment from Special Agent [E] Special Agent [L], and Special Agent Voth. And the time referenced in the interview was, I want to say, in May as the GRIT team or gunrunner initiative team was coming out. I was having a conversation with Special Agent [L] about the case in which the conversation ended with me asking her are you prepared to go to a border agent’s funeral over this or a Cochise County deputy’s over this, because that’s going to happen. And the sentiment that was given back to me by both her, the group supervisor, was that . . . if you are going to make an omelette, you need to scramble some eggs.
So what’s the omelette?
That Greater Good of US citizen disarmament, and ultimately US citizen control, is one that the left has been dreaming about for a long time, and Operation Gunwalker just fueled the meme that “guns are bad, m’kay”. It’s also a theme that the international left is a huge fan of. The idea that free independent people should be allowed to arm themselves against tyrants is so repugnant to… well, leftist tyrants… that they’ve even supported genocide in order to further gun control. (Even though the armed community was doing well a few years prior.)
And the idea that the US government wouldn’t murder US citizens for a progressive big-govt Greater Good was disproven decades ago.
The only thing that makes sense is that this was part of a greater operation to undermine US citizens rights and to achieve disarmament of free people by going “under the radar” and nudging the public into believing that US gun rights need to be curtailed, and government need more power over the citizenry.