ATF Death Watch 150: Double Standard in the Land of Enchantment

Representative Elijah Cummings makes me sick. The ranking minority member of the House Oversight Committee, charged with investigating the ATF’s Fast and Furious gun running, reckons the Committee should drop the whole thing because . . . Bush did it. Well, the ATF under Bush. I guess the fact that Bush’s ATF goons tried to follow the guns, whereas Obama’s jack-booted thugs intentionally allowed gun smugglers to walk thousands of firearms across the border, unaccompanied, doesn’t matter. Hey Cummings: tell that to the family of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, the Marine gunned down by a cartel rip crew using ATF-enabled firearms . . .

Cummings constantly bitches about social justice. But the politician—who swore to uphold the United States Constitution before he took office—clearly doesn’t give a flying you-know-what about legal justice for the victims of Operation Fast and Furious. Or accountability for those who created and implemented the “Guns for Goons” enterprise.

How much hypocrisy can We The People stand? Let’s check in with the AP:

The [New Mexico gun] dealer who supplied a border town smuggling ring that shipped nearly 200 guns to Mexican drug cartels was handed a five-year prison sentence Thursday along with a stern lecture.

“It’s time to say ‘basta!, enough!,” federal judge Judge Robert Brack said to defendant Ian Garland.

“There is a war in Mexico and the war machine requires fuel,” the judge said. “This conspiracy was happy to supply that fuel. What made my decision was that in this terrible supply chain, that link was you.”

Gun dealer Ian Garland was the second of 14 people charged in the Columbus, N.M.-based conspiracy to be sentenced. All have pleaded guilty.

Other defendants include former Columbus Police Chief Angelo Vega, former Mayor Eddie Espinoza and former trustee Blas Gutierrez.

As this series has pointed out since the git-go, drug cartels get the majority of their weapons through “legitimate” (i.e. State Department approved) U.S. sales to the Mexican military and police. Also worth noting: not every gun that goes south of the border goes to criminals. The Mexican people are disarmed. They’re being raped, tortured, intimidated and murdered. Connect the dots.

That said, the cartels are a loose confederation of animals. In terms of firearms, they get what they get and they don’t get upset. (Unless they do and then someone’s in trouble.) More to the point, the United States is a nation of laws. Straw purchasing and gun smuggling is illegal. Politicians who accept bribes are criminals. Fair trial > sentence > jail > done.

So why the hell aren’t the people responsible for Fast and Furious, an ATF program that “walked” over 2000 gun store guns to vicious criminals, facing criminal charges? That’s it. That’s what I want to know.

Nathan Lichvarcik, the Assistant U.S. Attorney prosecuting the case, called Garland a “dirty gun dealer motivated by greed … the bottomless fountain of firearms for this conspiracy.”

For ten months in 2010, the ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious was the bottomless fountain of firearms for drug thugs (not to mention the weapons channeled to Mexico via Operation Castaway and other similar efforts). Administrators, agents and the members of the Obama administration who knew about and/or approved the ATF’s black bag job should be brought to justice. Including, if applicable, the President of the United States.

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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.

18 Responses to ATF Death Watch 150: Double Standard in the Land of Enchantment

  1. avatarGarynyer says:

    Citizens arrest?

  2. avatarnonnamous says:

    The rule of law no longer applies in America. See: Jon Corzine.

  3. avatarHal says:

    John Corzine… Eric Holder… Ted Kennedy…

    I am sure other readers here can offer up other names of prominent Dems who have escaped justice.

    Well in fairness I think justice has caught up with Ted Kennedy now that he’s burning in hell.

  4. avatarSanchanim says:

    Is it possible we could do a citizens arrest on the president, Diane Fienstine and the head of the DOJ, now that would be funny!

  5. avatarTaurus609 says:

    Robert, no bias in this report…..”Bush did it. Well, the ATF under Bush. I guess the fact that Bush’s ATF goons tried to follow the guns, whereas Obama’s jack-booted thugs”….We go from Bush’s ATF goons to Obama’s “jack-booted thugs” would they (the ATF) not be one and the same? And so what If Bush “tried” to follow the guns, both programs were faulty at best and a typical Clusterf@#k at their worse.

    I would imagine, that some ATF genius (sarcasm) came up with the hair-brained idea and all of the other geniuses (more sarcasm) on the ladder to excellence (even more, well you get the picture) thought hey, that’s a great idea, let’s do it. And now that the SHTF, everyone involved has amnesia, or was never involved.

    The investigation should go all the way back to the beginning, and if the leaders in the house won’t or refuse to do that, then it is just political, plain and simple!

  6. avatarTheodore deCapiteau says:

    IS there a statute of limitations on gun smuggling? Is there any reason why pre-Obama ATF agents and Bush administration people should not also be held accountable?

  7. avatarRalph says:

    Don’t blame Elijah Cummings. He’s exactly what he seems to be and makes no bones about it. If you want to get angry at someone, I suggest that the empty-headed morons who send Cummings back to Congress every two years are the ones to blame. But then again, they’ve already gotten exactly what they deserve. Karma, nyeh?

  8. avatarRoadrunner says:

    Until about 2008, a certain political party much noise about prosecuting W and his administration for waterboarding unlawful combatants, who could have been summarily shot, for the legitimate purpose of preventing attacks on Americans. If that was conceivably a war crime, then let’s have long chat about supplying thousands of guns to drug lords in a foreign country that were used to kill hundreds of Mexicans as well as two U.S. agents. And that for no better reason than to take sides in a war while trying to jam American gun owners and the Second Amendment.

    Judge Brack wasn’t wrong about Garland. But what he said would appear to apply to with equal force to certain federal office holders.

    • avatarmatt says:

      In regards to illegal justice, Obama has been worse than Bush. He ushered in the era of extra-judicial executions of people entitled to due process when he murdered Osama Bin Laden. The fed gov’t acknowledged Bin Laden had a right to trial by indicting him for 1st WTC bombing, and later again for 9-11. He even set the precedent that your family members may be executed when he had Bin Ladens wife murdered in the raid. Think about it.

      • avatarRalph says:

        matt, I see Bin Laden as an enemy combatant and therefore a legal target. I feel the same way about Anwar al-Awlaki. I know that the latter was a citizen, but so was every Confederate. As for OBL’s wife, it’s unfortunate, but in every military operation, collateral damage can be expected. I would strongly object to her killing had she been targeted, but as far as I know, she was not.

        • avatarmatt says:

          How can Bin Laden be considered an enemy combatant? According to the Red Cross “The requirement that combatants distinguish themselves from the civilian population”.
          http://www.icrc.org/customary-ihl/eng/docs/v1_cha_chapter33_rule106

          In addition “In the United States the phrase “enemy combatant” was used after the September 11 attacks by the George W. Bush administration to include an alleged member of al Qaeda or the Taliban being held in detention by the U.S. government”. Since he wasnt being held in detention either, he does not meet the definition of a enemy combatant.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enemy_combatant

          That ignores the fact that he hasnt done anything in 10 years can lead one to the conclusion that hostilities were over.

          The wife had to have been deliberately targeted, she was used as a human shield (unknown if willingly or unwillingly), and Bin Laden was unarmed. Your saying a Navy SEAL cant rip her from an old mans grip, or push her out of the way?

          In regards to collateral damage, all of Obamas advisors were telling him to drop a bomb rather than send in SEALs. If there was a terrorist living next door to you, would you be ok with being blown up? This is nothing but the federal government engaging in deliberate acts of terror, and ushering in a era of extra-judicial executions.

        • avatarmatt says:

          I could have wrote that better and the edit button doesnt work, but its 5AM and I need sleep, I think you can get the general idea of what i’m saying.

        • avatarmatt says:

          And I misquoted the ICRC, here is the proper quote
          “Rule 106. Combatants must distinguish themselves from the civilian population while they are engaged in an attack or in a military operation preparatory to an attack. If they fail to do so, they do not have the right to prisoner-of-war status.”
          They’re terrorists and don’t distinguish themselves from the civilian pop, I think we can both agree on that.

        • avatarmatt says:

          Damn you broken edit button! And the US violated the laws of war when they dumped his body in the sea

          “Rule 114. Parties to the conflict must endeavour to facilitate the return of the remains of the deceased upon request of the party to which they belong or upon the request of their next of kin. They must return their personal effects to them.”

  9. avatarRoadrunner says:

    The last I recall of the law of war, there is a distinction between “enemy combatants” and “unlawful combatants.” Unlawful combatants may be summarily executed, i.e., tied to a post and shot. Terrorists and spies out of uniform have counted as such. FDR had German spies finished off in dark basements. Nice? Probably not. But it’s nicer than letting your own citizens get murdered en masse.

    • avatarmatt says:

      Wether they are unlawful or enemy combatants is ultimately irrelevant, as it only applies in a war between sovereign entities. Since there was no such war, neither applies. In addition, even if there was a war between two states, the Geneva Convention requires that a competent tribunal determine the status of a detainee, there was no tribunal because he was never detained.

  10. avatarAndy E says:

    America is dirty, but our “leaders” lack the testicular fortitude to admit their crimes. They smear the idea of America, the flag, the names of the fallen American soldiers with mud and blood of guilt. We are no better until we throw them from office, and run them through the courts as any of us would be.

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