Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Court Decision, Drug Lord’s Capture Illustrate Ongoing Fallout of Operation Fast & Furious

Fast & Furious was an ill-conceived “law enforcement” operation in which agents allowed straw purchasers to buy firearms illegally in the United States and take them into Mexico without being apprehended. The deliberate decision to let the guns “walk” was supposedly so the agents could track them to their ultimate destination of the drug cartels that funded their purchase.

The agents, however, lost track of more than 1,300 firearms, a number of which began showing up at the scenes of murders in Mexico. Meanwhile, the administration was using the recovery of American firearms at Mexican crime scenes to push for national gun control in the U.S., including a requirement that licensed dealers in Border States register certain rifle sales with the government. Needless to say, the administration had not revealed that some of those crime guns wound up in Mexico under the U.S. government’s own supervision.

Things finally came to a head on December 14, 2010, when U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in a shootout with drug traffickers who were armed with a gun that had been allowed to “walk” during Operation Fast & Furious. ATF whistleblowers then came forward, and the scandal began receiving investigative attention from Congress and the media.

Now, after years of further negotiations and legal wrangling, a federal judge (appointed by Obama) ruled [recently] against the administration’s claim and ordered the release of thousands of additional documents. While the Committee did not get everything it requested, the ruling represents a victory in the effort to impose transparency and accountability on an administration that has been sorely lacking in both. In response to the ruling, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), chairman of the Committee, pledged to “continue investigating until we get to the truth.”

In the meantime, the fallout of Operation Fast & Furious continues. Coincidentally, on the same day the court ruled against the Obama administration, sources confirmed to Fox News that a .50 caliber rifle involved in Fast & Furious was recovered from the hideout where notorious Mexican drug trafficker Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was recently captured. Guzman was taken into custody after a gun battle with Mexican officials during which one Mexican marine was wounded and five of Guzman’s men were killed. Investigation into the origins of other firearms seized from Guzman’s lair continues.

While Eric Holder’s tenure as attorney general has ended, America’s gun owners still have to endure another year with his boss in the White House.  Meanwhile, the citizenry of Mexico, and perhaps even the United States, will have to endure the continuing violence wrought by the administration’s deliberate arming of drug cartels.

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