Recently by Raven Clabough: Second Amendment Rights Once Again at Risk
In an effort to combat the gun smuggling of Mexican drug cartels, law enforcement in the United States created “Operation Fast and Furious,” a.k.a. Project Gunrunner. The plan was intended to pursue the prosecution of the “entire cartel network.” Unfortunately, despite the seemingly good intentions of the plan, a recently released congressional report indicates that it has turned out to be another grand failure. Fox News indicates that the plan has ultimately “left a trail of blood and bodies throughout the Southwest.”
Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com wrote that Operation Fast and Furious
was a project of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Fireworks [sic]. In late 2009, the ATF was alerted to suspicious buys at seven gun shops in the Phoenix area. Suspicious because the buyers paid cash, sometimes brought in paper bags. And they purchased classic “weapons of choice” used by Mexican drug traffickers – semi-automatic versions of military type rifles and pistols. According to news reports several gun shops wanted to stop the questionable sales, but the Bureau encouraged them to continue.
ATF managers allegedly made a controversial decision: allow most of the weapons on the streets. The idea, they said, was to gather intelligence and see where the guns ended up. Insiders say it’s a dangerous tactic called letting the guns, “walk.” Yes, that’s right, the US government decided – in order to fight the Mexican Drug Cartels, we should arm them and let them keep their weapons once they were used in committing crimes (kind of the same thing we do with the Palestinian terror groups such as Fatah).
The House Oversight Report denounced the plan and listed a number of negative findings. Fox News summarized the findings as follows:
- Agents expected to interdict weapons, yet were told to stand down and “just surveil.” Agents therefore did not act. They watched straw purchasers buy hundreds of weapons illegally and transfer those weapons to unknown third parties and stash houses.
- ATF agents complained about the strategy of allowing guns to walk in Operation Fast and Furious. Leadership ignored their concerns. Instead, supervisors told the agents to “get with the program” because senior ATF officials had sanctioned the operation.
- Agents knew that given the large numbers of weapons being trafficked to Mexico, tragic results were a near certainty.
- Operation Fast and Furious contributed to the increasing violence and deaths in Mexico. This result was regarded with giddy optimism by ATF supervisors hoping that guns recovered at crime scenes in Mexico would provide the nexus to straw purchasers in Phoenix.
In addition to these, the report also reveals that the same month in which ATF allowed gun smugglers to purchase 359 guns, 958 people died from gunfire in Mexico.
The report also implicates the Department of Justice. BigGovernment.com explains that the DOJ “relies on a narrow, untenable definition of gunwalking to claim that guns were never walked during Operation Fast and Furious. Agents disagree with this definition, acknowledging that hundreds or possibly thousands of guns were in fact walked. DOJ’s misplaced reliance on this definition does not change the fact that it knew that ATF could have interdicted thousands of guns that were being trafficked to Mexico, yet chose to do nothing.” Sadly, the DOJ continues to deny that the operation was a poor one and resulted in deadly consequences.
The report ultimately concludes that the ATF lacked the necessary means to track the guns and should have been able to foresee the consequences that resulted from the failed operation.