Laura Carlsen at Common Dreams sez "'Fast and Furious' ATF/Mexico Gun Scandal Heats Up."
What does this mean for U.S.-Mexican relations?
The Mexican government should logically be preparing legal cases against the U.S. government and all responsible for the Fast and Furious program. The Congressional report indicates that "ATF supervisors regarded violence and deaths in Mexico as inevitable collateral damage". Mexican government officials estimate that at least 150 Mexican deaths resulted from arms registered in the Suspect Gun Database and traced back to Fast and Furious.
A memo released showed Supervisor David Voth eagerly reporting that during the month of March 2010 straw purchasers under surveillance purchased 359 firearms and murders spiked to 958. The correlation between gun-walking and increased violence in Mexico was viewed with enthusiasm. One agent noted that the response was "the violence is going through the roof down there, we are onto a good thing here."
Mexican lives didn't seem to matter.
The recent allegations of DEA and FBI paid informants in drug cartels also raise serious questions, especially given the lack of public information regarding DEA and FBI actions in Mexican territory.
We, as citizens from both countries, have a right and an obligation to get to the bottom of what happened under Operation Fast and Furious. We demand:
1. A full investigation with public results and legal consequences where indicated.
Investigations must lead to full information on the operation, its consequences and implications, and be shared with the public, both governments and their agencies. The investigations should go as far up the chain of command as necessary and include not only ATF, but also the reported involvement of DEA and FBI agents operating in Mexican territory and in the U.S.
2. Information to name the victims: We demand a list of all the victims in crimes where arms on the Suspect Gun database from Fast and Furious were used. Brian Terry is a tragic example; the other victims deserved to be named and their deaths investigated by both governments.
3. Analysis of possible violations of international law: We demand that the Mexican government undertake an investigation independent of the U.S. Inspector General's investigation to determine the facts of the case and possible violations of international law involved.
In the U.S., these measures are important to assure legality, government accountability and a mutually respectful binational relationship.
For Mexico, they are fundamental to the defense of national sovereignty and dignity, and of Mexican lives.
Dave Workman: "‘Fast and Furious’ not a ‘renegade operation,’ sources say."
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ botched Operation Fast and Furious was not a “renegade operation” but a coordinated effort “from the top down,” congressional sources and ATF insiders told the Seattle Gun Rights Examiner today. . .
According to sources close to the on-going investigations conducted by Senator Charles Grassley and Congressman Darrell Issa, every piece of evidence unearthed so far reinforces the belief that this was a “coordinated effort” that involved individuals high up in the Obama administration. That's why Grassley and Issa want e-mails and other materials involving a dozen current and former Justice Department officials, as this column reported.
“They knew what they were doing,” said one Grassley staffer to this column Thursday. “When we started looking into this in January, little did we know when we started what this would lead to. At first, it was too unbelievable to believe, but when you start looking into things…” . . .
Beth Levine, spokeswoman for Senator Grassley, noted via telephone this morning that the investigation is nowhere near the proverbial “bottom of this.” Grassley and Issa, with their concurrent investigations, are determined to get there.
David Codrea: "Will Gunwalker export violations bust criminal investigation wide open?"
Questions: Does anyone seriously think Hillary Clinton has been left out of the loop? How about Barack Obama? And does anyone seriously think if the evidence amassed to date had been gathered against a private munitions concern, that their facilities would not have been raided, records impounded, executives arrested and charges filed by now?
John Richardson: "No Fishing Allowed."
Mayor Bloomberg and his Illegal Mayors will have to go elsewhere on their fishing expeditions. The Tiahrt Amendment had prohibited the release of gun trace data by ATF to anyone other than a law enforcement agency in the course of their investigations. Bloomberg and other gun control groups want this information to use for fishing expeditions against gun dealers. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) had introduced an amendment to the appropriations bill that would have done away with the Tiahrt Amendment. He lost.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation fought this effort - along with the NRA and others - and won.
FOX: "ATF Florida Gun Probe Earns Congressional Scrutiny in Wake of 'Fast and Furious.'"
An article on Examiner.com initially claimed the Tampa division was "walking guns" to Honduras in a way similar to Fast and Furious.
Bilirakis spokesman Creighton Welch said his boss saw the report, but also received "several calls from folks who I guess you could say were familiar with the situation in Tampa."
He declined to go into further detail about where the tips were coming from.
John Longenecker: "Why Any Gun Control at All?"
The Hill: "Republicans vote to block funding for new gun-sale requirements."