Jun
15
2011

Operation Fast and Furious’ fast and furious unraveling.

So.  Somebody in the Obama administration is telling lies to the House Oversight/Government Reform Committee. That’s not smart.  When people tell lies to House committees, people go to jail.

Background on this: this is all about the BATF/Justice Department Operations Gunrunner and Fast & Furious, which were originally purported to be methods by which [illegal purchases of] guns could be detected and arrested*.  However, they instead turned into methods by which Mexican drug cartels were able to get their hands on [illegally-purchased semi-automatic] weapons. You see, the problem was that while selling the guns to middlemen (‘straw purchasers’) [who intend to sell the guns illegally] is in itself a standard ‘sting’ operation, somehow the guns continued on down the supply chain until they resurfaced in Mexico.   The end result was inevitable: somebody used a BATF-supplied gun to kill Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

As you can imagine, nobody in the BATF or DoJ wishes to be officially responsible for selling criminals the guns that said criminals used to kill federal agents, so there has been a remarkably comprehensive drive to stonewall the investigation; alas for the administration, the House of Representatives flipped last November.  And new Chairman Darrell Issa is very keen to get to the bottom of this.

Hence, the lying.  But who is lying?

It’s an interesting question, but let me summarize these emails released by Issa’s office: the Acting Director and Deputy Director for the ATF were getting weekly briefings; ATF’s Deputy Assistant Director for Field Operations got at least one special briefing; and the Acting Director was at one point watching the live feed of guns being sold to the middlemen.  So I think that we can safely assume that the standard ‘overzealous underlings’ defense is not likely to fly…

Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: You can read Issa’s/Grassley’s report here.  ‘Scathing’ doesn’t begin to cover it.

*It is also widely believed to be a government operation by which gun sellers could be surreptitiously and deniably harassed by the gun-grabber faction in the Obama administration, but never mind that right now.

[UPDATE: Corrections made after publishing. - ML]

9 Comments

  • Skip says:

    One small correction – the guns weren’t “illegal automatic weapons”. They were normal, semi-automatic weapons (mostly AK-47 and AR-15 variants) that you can just walk in and buy in any gun store in the portions of the US that actually respect the constitution, assuming you’re not a prohibited person. The only thing that made these “illegal” was the straw purchaser aspect.

    As for lying to Congress, well, that’s going to be interesting – who in the Justice Department is going to investigate his boss? the only way this one gets investigated at all is if we end up with an independent counsel, and I doubt seriously that the Senate is going to approve one of those prior to 2012. The worst that’s going to happen is that Obama, seeing a liability, will throw him under the bus, ask him to resign, and then it will all go away.

  • qixlqatl says:

    Moe, I suspect that the list of who’s lying is a whole lot longer than the list of who isn’t. I doubt the politics will let any meaningful investigation take place. :(

  • Kay B. Day says:

    I wrote about this too–I covered Terry’s murder when it happened around Christmas time. If you listened to his family’s statements, that was the saddest thing I’ve heard in a long time. Terry had also served in the US Marine Corps.

    This will go away only if we the people let it. Don’t assume Agent Terry was the only one who was murdered with one of those guns.

    In my column, I also pointed to Sec. of State Hillary Clinton’s words when she was in Mexico City, blaming Americas’ “insatiable appetite” for drugs for the guns and violence in Mexico. She hasn’t said a word since this investigation broke.

  • [...] that smugglers were allowed to buy guns.  It was that they were allowed to then smuggle them.  The evidence is pretty damning that higher-ups in both BATF and the Department of Justice were looking to trace drug-trafficking [...]

  • [...] that smugglers were allowed to buy guns.  It was that they were allowed to then smuggle them.  The evidence is pretty damning that higher-ups in both BATF and the Department of Justice were looking to trace drug-trafficking [...]

  • [...] Media has done a good job walking through the utter disaster that was Operation Fast & Furious (short version: the US government deliberately let Mexican narco-terrorist groups get their hands on [...]

  • [...] Media has done a good job walking through the utter disaster that was Operation Fast & Furious (short version: the US government deliberately let Mexican narco-terrorist groups get their hands on [...]

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