ATF Death Watch 117: Smoking Guns

 

The noose is tightening around the participants in federal gun running program known as Operation Fast and Furious. The latest rope wrench: the release of a “smoking gun” email dated December 17, 2010 from Glenn Cook to Charlie Smith. Glenn’s the Deputy Chief of the Special Prosecutions unit of the Criminal Division, Department of Justice, Southern District of Texas in Houston. Charlie’s the Assistant Special Agent (in) Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Dallas Field Division. Here’s the money shot . . .

[The ATF] should probably hire a media expert anyway to assist them in explaining the 2000 firearms and the possible connection in the murder of the Border Patrol Agent.

The email shows that Operation Fast and Furious was no secret amongst those who assisted with Uncle Sam’s “Guns for Goons” program. Which is no secret. No doubt “operational awareness” extended all the way to the Attorney General’s office and the upper echelons of the White House. Who knew what when? Everyone involved knew guns were being smuggled as they were being smuggled. Next?

The email confirms an equally important aspect of Operation Fast and Furious: all of the people involved had no qualms about supplying American gun store guns to bad guys—despite the obvious “blowback” risk to American citizens. Realized by the death of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

When contemplating this criminal complacency, keep in mind that F&F had a twin sister in Tampa, a program that enabled the flow of gun store guns to Honduras. And the fact that the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Phoenix instructed the ATF to release a grenade maker/machine gun converter.

And the fact that Mexican drug cartels are armed to the teeth with fully automatic American military rifles (complete with grenade launchers and grenades) that “seeped” to the drug thugs from official U.S. sales to the Mexican military, Mexican law enforcement and the rest of Latin America’s armed service and police forces. Hundreds of thousands of weapons. Over decades.

In other words, the Cook – Smith email confirms a blase attitude that stems from a  pattern of behavior. Some ten U.S. government agencies allowed some 2000 guns to walk from America to Mexico because arming our “friends” in areas of violent conflict is what we do. The F&F guns went to our boys, the Sinaloa cartel, to help them in their fight against our enemy, the Zetas cartel.

That struggle continues. In the run-up to the 2012 Mexican elections, the U.S. and the Mexican military are busy hammering one side and not the other. Yesterday, the DEA busted five members of a Chicago-based Zetas’ “cell” (notice the terrorist terminology). The press release claims the Zetas were responsible for transporting millions of dollars in drug proceeds between Chicago and Mexico.

That would be the same DEA who head publicly admitted helping the ATF with F&F as it was arming Mexican cartel members. Be that as it is, there’s a wider issue here: America’s War on Drugs.

It’s a sham. We’re not winning. We cannot win. The Obama administration knows it. As does the ATF, DEA, ICE, DHS, FBI, DOJ, State Department and everyone other federal entity implicated in the Gunwalker scandal. They knew it before, during and after Gunwalker. More to the point, this perspective informed Operation Fast and Furious right from the start.

Whether or not the F&F was the result of the ATF falling in line and playing favorites amongst the Mexican drug cartels, manufacturing a crisis for its own glorification or all of the above, the Bureau’s assertion that the “botched sting” was an important part of a virtuous campaign to defeat vicious bad guys is just plain wrong. Even if it’s right, it’s wrong.

Clearly, the Mexican drug cartels are not without firearms. Or grenades. Or ammo. Or the will to use their weapons against anyone who stands in their way. Clearly, the cash-rich cartels can secure guns from somewhere, anywhere, wherever. Our only hope to defeat the narco-terrorists on our door and in our country: starve them of money. Either we’ve got to legalize illegal drugs or close the border. Or both.

Spin that. Meanwhile, it would be nice if the federal judge who sealed the case against the drug thug accused of killing U.S. Border Agent Brian Terry would explain his decision to remove it from public view. Who’s idea was that? Now there’s an email I’d like to see.