The dirt flying around “Operation Fast And Furious” is starting to fly in a truly… well, “fast and furious” fashion. We have the first confirmation that something is seriously stinky about the mess — the Obama administration is working on engineering an old-fashioned coverup. Fortunately, they’re as inept at this as they are in most other things.
Now, the official story behind this whole mess is that someone within the BATF got the bright idea to pull a “sting” on the Mexican drug cartels, who have a truly impressive arsenal of military grade weapons — some of which they procure illegally here in the US and then smuggle home. The sting, as I understand it, involved pressuring gun dealers to go along with obvious “straw” buyers and other illegal guns sales, instead of refusing them and reporting them to the BATF. This would allow the BATF to track the guns back to the cartels, boosting the legal cases we could make against them.
The problems in this grand scheme were multitude. The first one was, there was no mechanism to track the guns. They went off with their straw buyers and promptly disappeared — usually not found until they were abandoned by Mexican drug cartel gunners at crime scenes. Remember that when someone talks about this as a “sting” — there was NO plan to actually track the guns.
The second flaw was that no one seemed to notice — or care — that a key element of the plan involved the United States government actively supplying weapons — very nice weapons — to groups that are actively trying to overthrow the Mexican government, without the Mexican government’s knowledge or consent. This is what is known as “an act of war.”
The Obama apologists — when they even bother to acknowledge this growing scandal — don’t like to mention that. And when they do, the emphasize that it was strictly a BATF scandal, that no one outside that one agency has been implicated. They don’t like to talk about how other agencies within the Justice Department were briefed on — at least — the whole stupid mess. And they really don’t like it when you ask awkward questions like “who within the BATF would feel comfortable authorizing an act of war against a neighboring, friendly nation?”
One final point: remember that this whole idiocy began at about the same time the Obama administration started touting just how many Mexican drug cartel guns were of US origin. The original statistics cited — “90% of all guns came from the US” — has been thoroughly debunked, as it turned out to be “90% of all the guns that Mexico thinks came from the US and asked us to check, which actually represented less than 20% of the total guns Mexico seized from the cartels.”
This raises some interesting possible explanations why such an insanely stupid plan was put into place.
1) “Quick, the president just said something insanely stupid! We gotta do something to make those numbers at least plausible! Start running some guns down into Mexico!”
B) “Mr. Attorney General, we have an operation going that involves allowing the Mexican drug cartels to buy guns here in the US and smuggle them into Mexico. Please don’t ask us what good that will do; we’re still working on that part.”
“But it will mean that we can claim that a lot of the guns the Mexican cartels use are from the US?”
“Um… yeah, I guess…”
“GREAT! We need some more rationales for expanding our war on the private ownership of guns here in the US!”
III) The whole “Operation Fast And Furious” plan was actually innocent, and of the best-intentioned; it just got sidetracked and fell victim to plain old human error.
Of the three possibilities raised above, I find the last one the most implausible. There has yet to be presented a logical, sensible, practical explanation for what the intentions of the whole thing was, or a coherent plan that would proceed from “let the cartels use straw buyers to buy the guns in the US, then allow them to smuggle them back into Mexico” into anything that would actually harm the cartels. Instead, all it did was supply them with more weapons, which they used to kill more and more innocent people.