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.