Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer reads the Washington Post editorial page with elation. "Now that's the kind of misdirection propaganda we pay them for!"
How Congress can empower the ATF
THE GUN RIGHTS lobby has spent considerable time and energy in pursuit of one goal: crippling the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). It has largely succeeded — and with dire consequences.
Concerned to the point of paranoia about the erosion of the constitutional right to keep and bear arms, the National Rifle Association and far too many lawmakers have fought against virtually every proposal to empower the bureau to better track and crack down on illegal firearms. They have won reductions in the ATF’s already meager budget. They have restricted the bureau’s ability to share information with other law enforcement agencies. They have kept the bureau rudderless for the past six years by blocking confirmation of new directors. And they continue to fight new rules that would allow the bureau to track bulk sales of long guns that have played a major role in the drug-fueled violence in Mexico.
Now, the very critics who have tied the bureau’s hands are expressing outrage over a novel, and we would agree questionable, ATF operation intended to curb gun smuggling into Mexico.
Operation Fast and Furious was launched in 2009 and was centered in the ATF’s Phoenix office, where agents surveilled straw purchases of AK-47 knockoffs and other high-powered weapons known to be favorites of the drug cartels. The agents did not try to seize the weapons but instead watched as straw buyers made repeated visits and passed firearms to third parties. In January, the Justice Department indicted some 30 relatively low-level individuals on charges of gun running and making straw purchases.
The ATF had hoped to move against higher-ups in the chain of command, but the operation went awry when the bureau lost track of 2,500 weapons, some of which have now been traced to criminal activity south of the border. Two such weapons were found in December at the scene of the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.
The Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General and Congress are investigating, understandably. The probes could help to explain what went wrong and what could or should have been done differently. But Capitol Hill’s intense interest in the ATF should not stop there.
Lawmakers should give the ATF the tools it needs to fight illegal gun trafficking. They should enact stronger penalties for straw purchases and craft a federal gun-smuggling statute; close the gun-show loophole, which allows buyers under certain circumstances to purchase weapons without a background check; resuscitate the ban on assault weapons; and give the ATF the authority to collect data on multiple sales of long guns in border states. The Senate should move quickly to confirm a director for the long-leaderless bureau.
We may never know whether the bureau would have launched the Fast and Furious operation had it had other, more effective tools at its disposal. Those who would clobber the bureau for possible mistakes should look in the mirror and accept some responsibility for its failings.
Note first that Pravda blames the designated fall-guy agency (ATF) and the designated fall guy (Ken Melson). The one thing you can guarantee is that WaPo will protect the higher ups and especially their designated Venerable Saint Barack, the Lightworker.
Note, too, that Pravda glosses over the hundreds of Mexican citizens dead at the muzzles of these weapons in the hands of cartel gunmen that the ATF and DOJ and DHS and State and the White House KNEW would happen.
More to point, how can anybody call the NRA or anybody else "paranoid" about giving ATF more power and money when they've engaged, at the behest of their White House bosses, in a deliberate conspiracy to subvert the Second Amendment rights of Americans?
Some Fast and Furious Walkergate questions:
It seems like anytime the DOJ wants to dodge a pertinent questions on F&FW, the refrain is that it will endanger “Ongoing investigations”. Well, as other have pointed out, the investigations are on the DOJ, NOT THE GUN-RUNNERS.
This would be like a police department’s internal affairs division investigating the Chief of police and the claim being made that it would somehow endanger an ongoing investigation of a bank robbery. There would really be no connection between the two and this would be rightfully seen as an attempt to derail the IA investigation.
It’s been said that the manner in which F&F was conducted would have left no means to untimely persecute the higher-level gun traffickers, if that’s the case, then why does it matter what the congress does investigating this scandal?
As others have also pointed out, this little ‘op’ involved a foreign nation; responsibility for this has to be with top branches of the government, not just with the DOJ. The ‘OP’ could be considered an act of war by Mexico. Again, responsibility for it rests with the top of the government, not with a lower lever functionary.
There seems to be a bit of a timeline irregularity on the briefing story from the WaPo. Wouldn’t it be logical that only higher levels of the executive branch would deal with and brief the legislative branch of the government?
So, as asked elsewhere, how did part of the executive branch brief someone in the legislative branch one year, and then NOT KNOW ABOUT IT THE NEXT?
The bottom line question that has to be asked is why is the executive branch of our government stonewalling this investigation?
Are you serious, you want to give the very people who had to OKAY the initial problem MORE power to "make it better" what trash- its time for a real change, NO MORE government-
Again, I see the standard explanation. "The ATF had hoped to move against higher-ups in the chain of command..." by letting the guns walk.
This is a core lie. Do you know where it came from? Who first uttered it? Are there any memos to back this claim up? Do the writers of these pieces have any basis to say this?
Sorry to ask all this, as I read the news about this scandal here - I do have a job though so cannot scour records.
The WaPo and the "willing suspension of disbelief."
Understandable that press leftists should be upset. After all, a bigger budget and more authority might have allowed Melson & Co to transport tens of thousands of weapons to Mexico, rather than a piddling 2500.
They lie. Of course they lie.... They are the mouthpiece of "they".
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)
FY 2011 Budget Request At A Glance
FY 2010 Enacted:
Current Services Adjustments: Program Changes: FY 2011 Budget Request: Change from FY 2010 Enacted:
$1,120.8 million (5,101 positions; 2,485 agents)
+$30.1 million (2.7% above FY 2010 Enacted) +$12.1 million
$1,163.0 million (5,145 positions; 2,513 agents) +$42.2 million (+3.8%) (+44 positions; +28 agents)
The budget for the entire Mexican military is $$4 billion(USD) and it encompasses 192,770 personnel...
The letter you wrote to the nobody over the weekend needs to be resent to the WaPo.
They are trying to setup a "narrative of 2011" in the same vein as '95.
The difference is "we" (you and David, and your readers) were here first and have documented it. With the help of Limbaugh and Judge Napolitano.
Woody Allen is no role model. But one of his lines bears repeating: "It's not paranoia if they're really our to get you".
One need only recall that under the Clinton administration, it was ATF policy to drive 40% of all FFL holders into giving up their license.
Can you imagine WaPo's response if the FAA wanted to drive 40% of America airlines out of business, or the FDA with 40% of America's pharmaceutical companies?
Given the law of unintended consequences, one can only wonder how many of those "unlicensed dealers" at your neighborhood gunshow would like to run a NICS check on their buyers but can't because Slick Willie made them give up their FFL.
Screw things up, get people killed, have a failed program - and get rewarded with more funding. This is liberal logic - it's not working so we need more of it.
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