…and he looks like a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.
He admits that the Fast and Furious program was “fundamentally flawed.” No kidding. The question is, what were the flaws?
Because Sharyl Attkisson at CBS News has unearthed a good bit of documentation to the effect that politics – and specifically setting a pretext for gun control – was behind this whole thing.
Documents obtained by CBS News show that the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) discussed using their covert operation “Fast and Furious” to argue for controversial new rules about gun sales.
ATF officials didn’t intend to publicly disclose their own role in letting Mexican cartels obtain the weapons, but emails show they discussed using the sales, including sales encouraged by ATF, to justify a new gun regulation called “Demand Letter 3″. That would require some U.S. gun shops to report the sale of multiple rifles or “long guns.” Demand Letter 3 was so named because it would be the third ATF program demanding gun dealers report tracing information.
On July 14, 2010 after ATF headquarters in Washington D.C. received an update on Fast and Furious, ATF Field Ops Assistant Director Mark Chait emailed Bill Newell, ATF’s Phoenix Special Agent in Charge of Fast and Furious:
“Bill – can you see if these guns were all purchased from the same (licensed gun dealer) and at one time. We are looking at anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long gun multiple sales. Thanks.”
On Jan. 4, 2011, as ATF prepared a press conference to announce arrests in Fast and Furious, Newell saw it as “(A)nother time to address Multiple Sale on Long Guns issue.” And a day after the press conference, Chait emailed Newell: “Bill–well done yesterday… (I)n light of our request for Demand letter 3, this case could be a strong supporting factor if we can determine how many multiple sales of long guns occurred during the course of this case.”
This is pretty incendiary stuff.
If you’ve been following the “White House Insider” stuff at The Ulsterman Report, which is one of the more interesting blogs out there, the proprietor of that site has a source purporting to be relatively deep inside the Obama inner circle who nevertheless is disgruntled and is telling tales out of school. The White House Insider claimed months ago that Fast and Furious was all about gun control and not just your typical federal government incompetence-and-sloth-driven Charlie Foxtrot. And last month there was this…
Insider: I mentioned a memo…or a communication…there was, or is – something out there. Or it was circulating – I don’t have the exact specifics. But something was being planned – directly connecting this Fast and Furious disaster and the Obama people – some in the party…an entire plan to initiate sweeping gun control legislation throughout the country. Now I didn’t know this until after the fact. Didn’t believe it at first. Seemed to…even for this group – seemed too damn far-reaching. You step back though – watch what is being done, see how the dots start connecting – then you find religion.
Ulsterman: What are the dots being connected?
Insider: Just look at what is being reported. It’s still just under the surface – but it’s there. You have people right now within the party taking this moment to once again push for gun control and using the scandal – Fast and Furious, using that to do so. They are saying thesethings openly. It’s astonishing to me. They are very confident – or very afraid. I think it’s fear that is now motivating them. When you have Feinstein coming right out and saying we need enhanced gun control because of Fast and Furious – days away from the Attorney General giving sworn testimony…something is up. Something big. She is attempting some serious damage control, trying to get out in front of the story.
With the release of the CBS report, Ulsterman is taking the news as a confirmation that his source is legit, and it does offer indications to that effect.
It’s difficult, however much someone might despise the current occupant of the White House, to believe that the people in charge of the federal government would actively create a deadly situation – Fast and Furious did, after all, essentially kill U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry – so as to further a political objective of degrading the public’s 2nd Amendment rights. That’s something too horrendous to believe.
And yet it’s starting to look like the whole purpose of Fast and Furious was to essentially turn a lie – specifically the charge made by a number of Democrat politicians and chief among them Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2009 that guns from America were primarily responsible for Mexican drug violence – into the truth. For the purposes of strengthening the gun control argument against a public unpersuaded by it.
Power Line’s John Hinderaker put this extremely well…
But a fundamental question has never been answered: why in the world did the Obama administration not just allow AK-47s and other weapons to be shipped across the border to Mexican drug gangs, but encourage and even finance such transactions, over the objections of jittery gun shop owners and its own veteran agents? If the Obama administration wasn’t trying to set up an argument for more gun control, then what was it trying to do? That question has never been answered.
If the Obama administration did arrange for the shipment of arms to Mexican drug gangs, not for any legitimate public purpose but in order to advance a left-wing political agenda, and those guns were used to murder hundreds of Mexicans and at least one American border agent–which they were–then we are looking at a scandal that dwarfs any in modern American history. I think one would have to go back to James Buchanan, who ordered the shipment of federal armaments to the South so that they could be commandeered by secessionists when disunion came, to find a worse scandal. And one could argue that even that act by Buchanan, generally considered the worst President in American history, was motivated by principle and not politics, and therefore was not as craven as Obama’s gun walker scandal. But such a judgment would be premature. A great deal more investigation needs to be done before we can conclude that Fast and Furious was the worst scandal since pre-Civil War days.
Even from what we already know, this is a colossal scandal.
Let’s remember – Watergate was about a break-in at the Democrat National Committee headquarters. Files were rifled through and information was gleaned. It was essentially a 1970’s-era version of hacking into a database. Nobody got hurt, and there was no real effect – President Nixon’s overwhelming victory over George McGovern wasn’t affected by a misdemeanor B&E job.
And nobody was killed. Particularly not hundreds of people.
Attkisson deserves a Pulitzer Prize for her work on this scandal, and the rest of the old-line media should follow suit behind her reporting on this issue if they care at all about the truth.
Because Fast and Furious isn’t just a scandal; it’s an atrocity. Arming murderers in a foreign country so as to provide a pretext for unpopular and unconstitutional policies in America, if that is in fact what happened here, is one of the worst abuses of federal power in American history.
UPDATE: And then we have this. Impressive, isn’t it?