ATF Death Watch 85: NRA Veep Wayne LaPierre Quotes Farago

 

NRA President Wayne LaPierre is standing guard against the gun grabbers, apparently. In an editorial of the same name, LaPierre [finally] takes on the Fast and Furious scandal (a.k.a., Gunwalker). That’s the ATF’s black bag job that’s implicated an entire alphabet soup of federal agencies in a criminal conspiracy to put U.S. gun store guns in the hands of drug thugs, who eventually used them to murder U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata (amongst others). As to the why of the matter, Mr. LaPierre quotes your humble correspondent, tapping directly into my early ignorance.

In one of the best descriptions of “Fast and Furious,” Robert Farago wrote in the Washington Times that  “ …The agency’s motive for creating a program that violated Mexican sovereignty and put innocent lives at risk: inflating the number of American firearms recovered at Mexican crime scenes. The more blood-soaked American guns in Mexico the ATF could identify for its congressional paymasters, the more compelling its case for increased federal funding and new agency-enforced gun-control regulations. In short, ‘Operation Fast and Furious’ was an anti-gun-running gun-running program.”

This particular piece was written back in July, early on in the ATF Death Watch series, before I spoke to the various members of the U.S. intelligence community. Sources who clued me in to the bigger picture.

Which is this: while the ATF was happy to see U.S. gun store guns recovered at Mexican “crime scenes” to bolster its case for more funding and increased its regulatory power, Fast and Furious was part of Uncle Sam’s overarching strategy: protect the Calderon government at all costs.

Here’s a cut from the subsequent editorial, written by myself and Ralph about a month later:

In congressional testimony, William Newell, former ATF special agent in charge of the Phoenix Field Division, testified that the Internal Revenue Service, Drug Enforcement Administration and Immigration and Customs Enforcement were “full partners” in Operation Fast and Furious. Mr. Newell’s list left out the most important player: the CIA. According to a CIA insider, the agency had a strong hand in creating, orchestrating and exploiting Operation Fast and Furious.

The CIA’s motive is clear enough: The U.S. government is afraid theLos Zetas drug cartel will mount a successful coup d’etat against thegovernment of Felipe Calderon.

Founded by ex-Mexican special forces, the Zetas already control huge swaths of Mexican territory. They have the organization, arms and money needed to take over the entire country.

Former CIA pilot Robert Plumlee and former CIA operative and DEADirector Phil Jordan recently said the brutally efficient Mexican drug cartel has stockpiled thousands of weapons to disrupt and influenceMexico’s national elections in 2012. There’s a very real chance the Zetas cartel could subvert the political process completely, as it has throughout the regions it controls.

In an effort to prevent a Los Zetas takeover, Uncle Sam has gotten into bed with the rival Sinaloa cartel, which has close ties to the Mexican military. Recent court filings by former Sinaloa cartel member Jesus Vicente Zambada Niebla, currently in U.S. custody, reveal that the United States allowed the Sinaloas to fly a 747 cargo plane packed with cocaine into American airspace – unmolested.

The CIA made sure the trade wasn’t one-way. It persuaded the ATF to create Operation Fast and Furious – a “no strings attached” variation of the agency’s previous firearms sting. By design, the ATF operation armed the Mexican government’s preferred cartel on the street level near the American border, where the Zetas are most active.

Look at the picture of confiscated guns above. They were taken from dead members of Los Zetas. Notice the fact that they’re identical pieces. Think about the thousands of grenades that the Mexicans police and soldiers have recovered. The hundreds of grenades that ATF and U.S. Attorney’s office let walk.

Ask yourself this, Wayne: where did this stuff come from? How do you fit these non-U.S. gun store weapons into your/my “ATF looking for funding and power” scenario?

If Wayne LaPierre and the NRA raised a hue and cry over the “seepage” of official U.S. military and law enforcement weapons sold to Mexico, they’d have my complete, unadulterated support. Not that it matters, but if they’re going to quote me . . .

As if. Everyone even tangentially involved with Fast and Furious is using the scandal surrounding the ATF’s gun running ops to forward their own agenda. The ATF would have you believe F&F was a “botched sting.” The NRA, Mike Vanderboegh at Sipsey Street Irregulars, Bob Owners at Pajamas Media and gun rights groups would have you believe F&F was designed to take away Americans’ Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

I am not married to any one particular analysis of the ATF’s extra-legal activities. I reckon the Fast and Furious program (as well as Operation Castaway and God knows what else) was like Murder on the Orient Express: multiple motives, multiple murderers. Also, as Sipsey themselves suggested, the CIA theory could be a disinformation campaign from Langley.

No matter what the truth behind this murderous miasma, I’m  committed to uncovering as much about the F&F scandal, and the causes of the scandal, as I can.

At the moment, we have more than enough evidence to reach an important conclusion: the ATF was, is and will be a rogue agency. It thinks nothing of trampling the law of the land to serve its bureaucratic agenda. The ATF needs to be disbanded. If we don’t, Operation Fast and Furious will be a stop on the way to the nightmare—jack-booted thugs trampling Americans’ gun rights—that the NRA and gun bloggers envision. So at least they got that right.

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

11 Responses to ATF Death Watch 85: NRA Veep Wayne LaPierre Quotes Farago

  1. avatarSid says:

    I disagree.

    You see a comparison to the Murder on the Orient Express due to the multiple motives, multiple actors similarity. I agree that there is a similarity, but I see it more as the Three Stooges.

    Every agenecy involved seems to be serving a different agenda, but the operation was used as a vehicle for all the agendas.

  2. avatarTTACer says:

    Is there a higher res version of the pic? I’d like to get a better look at the ARs and see if the B&B can ID the pistols.

  3. avatarSlab Rankle says:

    I find it incredible that the U.S. government would send a few hundred or even thousand guns to the Sinaloa cartel to act as a counterweight to the Zetas, when the Mexican government could arm them en mass, if that’s what they wanted to do. Just as a tactical move to arm your allies it makes no sense. Too little impact to affect the situation on the ground in any meaningful way, except to create a nasty political scandal. As a side issue, if it where Bush, the media and congress would be howling for his blood. Obama gets a free pass.

    I also find it odd that Farago would take pot shots at Wayne LaPierre for quoting him. LaPierre’s business is the Second Amendment, so of course that’s his take away from this scandal. Don’t be so petty!

  4. avatarGabriel says:

    Considering the anti-drug stance of the Calderon administration, I don’t think they could just hand over guns to the enemy of their enemies and expect to remain in power for long. They needed somebody else to do the handing, like, perhaps, the CIA. But I really think F&F is just a drop in the bucket. 2,000 guns doesn’t really seem like that many, which might make LaPierre’s theory more credible. The really big numbers come from weapons purchases by Mexico that ‘somehow’ ended up in the hands of the cartels.

  5. avatarmikeinid says:

    I think Lapierre does a disservice to his membership by simplifying the scandle and ignoring anything but the gun store tie in.

    I halfway disagree with the orient express multiple motive theory. I believe there is heavy coordination between many government agencies supporting multiple motives. These are not independent actors.

    I think a logical sequence of events is:
    1. The CIA initiates the arming of the Sinola cartel to support the Mexican govt against the Zetas.
    2. Other agencies are pulled in to increase the effort.
    3. A coordinated effort to show U.S. civilian guns illegally in Mexico becomes a secondary goal.

    Of course there is all the usual interagency empire building and graft that goes on in any bureaucracy.

    Did you read Mr. Owens’ piece at PJM? Apparently there was a conference call with Issa, who implied, but didn’t come out and say, that it is a 2nd ammendment attack as well as arming drug gangs. The transcript was not there, but I would love to read it. He also referenced the timing and use of special prosecuters. Very interesting. Mr. Farago should have been invited to participate. How do we make that happen next time?

  6. avatarDavid says:

    This could turn into an interesting case of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend until I kill that one enemy and the other one is just an enemy again.” I wonder if the Sinaloas will turn on the government if the Zetas are defeated.

    With the Zetas gone or drastically reduced, history would indicate that the Mexican government might get a little scared about their former buddies being so well armed. Attempting to curb weapons sales or get those weapons back would lead to some major issues for the Mexican government.

    • avatarRalph says:

      I wonder if the Sinaloas will turn on the government if the Zetas are defeated.

      Why would they turn against the Mexican government when they can just buy it?

      • avatarDavid says:

        Big head syndrome. If the Mexican government defeats the Zetas, then they may feel that it is time to take down the Sinaloas in order to gain more control back. If the Sinaloas don’t realize this, then they should stop using their own products.

        All governments want more power, and the Sinaloas would be the biggest impediment to the Mexican government gaining more control over the people. History is full of examples of people being used and then abused or worse by their former masters in order to further cement the place of that master at the top of the pile of bodies.

  7. avatarGS650G says:

    The more of this that comes out, the smellier it gets. The whole affair reminds me of Iran contra, only this time it’s a liberal in the WH, making it a taboo subject for some.

    • avatarMike says:

      Was Iran Contra taboo for you as a Conservative? I am sure many on here didn`t mind Iran Contra but now complain about this.
      We should stop Mexico from being taken over by drug cartels – it would be bad for our border states if that happened.
      As for the quote “If we don’t, Operation Fast and Furious will be a stop on the way to the nightmare—jack-booted thugs trampling Americans’ gun rights—that the NRA and gun bloggers envision.” I don`t see how you make the connection. The Supreme Court has made it clear and there are vocal groups defending the second amendment.

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