ATF Death Watch 148: Fast and Furious Explained. And the Rest

The ATF and the Obama administration made—still make—a lot of noise about U.S. gun store guns going to Mexico to arm the drug cartels. It’s one of those “even if it’s true it’s not important” deals. The vast majority of firearms in cartel hands were/are supplied by Uncle Sam via legal sales to the Mexican military and police forces. The official term for the process: “seepage.” We know that over 150k Mexican troops have joined the cartels in the last five years. So there go those guns. We also know that the Calderon administration is in bed with the Sinaloa cartel at the highest levels, opening the door to a relatively straightforward arms transfer. Check this from borderlandbeat.com . . .

Mexican soldiers on Tuesday detained retired general Tomas Angeles Dauahare and general Roberto Dawe Gonzalez and turned them over to the country’s organized crime unit, military and government officials said.

Angeles Dauahare was No. 2 in the armed forces under President Felipe Calderon and helped lead the government’s crackdown on drug cartels after soldiers were deployed to the streets in late 2006. He retired in 2008.

Dawe Gonzalez, still an active duty general, led an elite army unit in the western state of Colima and local media said he previously held posts in the violent states of Sinaloa and Chihuahua.

This link between the Mexican military/government and the Sinaloa cartel is critical to understanding both the official source of the Mexican cartels’ firepower and the ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious, which supplied over 2000 firearms to low-level members of the Sinaloas.

The Obama administration’s federal gun running operation was part and parcel of a wider policy of containment and cooperation: supporting the Sinaloa cartel – Mexican government partnership against their rivals Los Zetas.

This laht.com article illustrates the nexus between Mexico’s horrific violence (e.g., this week’s massacre of 49 people in Nuevo Leon), the country’s savage inter-cartel warfare, the spread of endemic corruption, the attendant media black-out (including the torture and murder of reporters), heinous political hypocrisy and (not expressed but inherent) the steady flow of guns to the bad guys.

The massacres are related to the war being waged by the Sinaloa and Los Zetas cartels, Mexico’s “most important” criminal organizations, Jorge Chabat, an expert on organized crime groups, told Efe.

“The cartels are expanding and they are running into each other, and they are settling control of territory the only way they know how, with this violence,” Chabat said.

To a great extent, Los Zetas “are the ones who have caused this spiral of violence in recent years,” Chabat said.

The Zetas are dedicated to “kidnapping, extortion, people trafficking, collecting protection money (and) murdering people,” while the Sinaloa cartel “is more traditional. They kill their rivals, but there is no evidence that they are involved in other types of crimes,” the expert said.

There is no “direct link between the electoral process” and the surge in violence, Chabat said, adding that President Felipe Calderon’s strategy of taking on the cartels by deploying soldiers in the streets “has functioned badly, but there was no other option.”

And into this cluster-you-know-what steams the pro-illegal immigration Obama administration. Is it any wonder U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder refuses to provide documents subpoenaed by Congress relating to U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s murder at the hands of ATF-enabled Sinaloas?

Someone should tell Senator Grassley and Representative Issa that it would be easy enough to establish the truth about the source of Mexican drug cartels’ weaponry.

All they’d need do is get the FULL accounting of the firearms confiscated by the Mexican military—rather than the non-representative statistical sample submitted by Calderon to the ATF to justify their mutual, intentionally misdirecting focus on U.S. gun store guns.

What are the chances of that happening?

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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.

12 Responses to ATF Death Watch 148: Fast and Furious Explained. And the Rest

  1. avatarTTACer says:

    That reminds me of the Bush (43) administration joke: How do they know that Hussein has chemical weapons? Dick Cheney (Bush 41′s secdef) has the receipts.

  2. avatarAharon says:

    The people have one resource (must be used with extreme discrimination) that we can turn to to try and make sense out of what is going on: the micro media and private blog sites. Thank you TTAG. BTW, great political cartoon.

  3. avatarbruce says:

    scary….

  4. avatarRoadrunner says:

    In Mexico, being a journalist means risking your life to get the truth out. It’s much safer to be a journalist here in America for some reason.

  5. avatarJohn Fritzatollah says:

    Not one of my friends either knows or understands what “Fast and Furious” is or is about.

    I explain it to them. The get bored and don’t listen. I send them links. They ignore them. No one cares. I can’t believe it.

    • avatarJay Sellers says:

      Maybe this subject doesn’t make for good dinner conversation because there’s no rock-star-like combat vet to take the fall.

      Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. – George Santayana

      • avatarsdog says:

        +1 great quote jay sellers; and TTAG great article, keep the focus on this going please, this situation is sick and even if the bulk of people are uninterested in this, keep it alive outside the “gosh why won’t Issa give this a rest? MSM type articles i see on the F&F debacle. btw where did that cartoon come from?

    • avatarMatt in FL says:

      I tried to talk to my dad, who is as rabidly anti-Obama as anyone I’ve ever met, about F&F a few days back. He was too busy foaming at the mouth about O’s statements on gay marriage and stance on abortion. He was aware of it, but only generally, and seemed content to keep it that way. It just didn’t seem to be an “issue” for him.

      I honestly thought he’d care more, seeing as how he just bought his first gun in 30 years (he had one when I was a very young child, but it was stolen in a burglary in 1980(?)), and his CCW permit is in the mail. He just didn’t seem terribly concerned.

  6. The various bootlegger and other criminal organizations in the US used to have this problem of fighting over territory. That’s why they formed the Cosa Nostra, which divided up territory and adjudicated disputes. I wonder how long it will take the Mexican cartels to adopt the same solution.

  7. avatarGhostwriter says:

    Once a circumstance has been relegated to the status of a problem, it may be of value to anyone interested in attempting to solve for the problem to have some basis by which to go about attempting to solve for the problem.
    Fortunately a problem solving formula ( of sorts ) has been devised for those interested in attempting to solve for whatever it is they’ve relegated to the status of a problem.
    Formula of sorts as follows:
    Identify the problem. Decide what to do. Formulate a plan. Execute the plan. Evaluate the results.
    As a pertinent aside, should the results not produce the desired effect or outcome, what remains is evidence of a flaw in application of some aspect of the problem solving formula ( of sorts ).
    As an ancillary pertinent aside, for persons in government attempting to solve for any problem, General Rule as follows:
    “The outcome of persons in government attempting to solve for any problem often produces the effect of creating at least two other problems, and often as not, one of the problems created didn’t previously exist at all.”
    Ancillary General Rule as follows:
    “The outcome of those among the governed attempting to solve for problems those in government have created results in further expansion of government and enactment of more laws to close the legal loophole which might have otherwise allowed for individuals to solve for any given problem– most especially those created by persons in government.”
    Gw
    “Evil is an absence of Conscience, Hell a place devoid of all Reason.”
    Gw

  8. avatarPanama says:

    The guns were part of a stash of weapons that went missing in Operation Fast and Furious, which was initiated in October 2009. Under the program, federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives encouraged gun stores throughout the southwestern US to sell weapons to known and suspected straw buyers in the hopes of tracking them to Mexican drug cartels.

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