Politics is a cesspool. Anyone who thinks elected officials and high-level government bureaucrats are interested in anything more than their own career protection and advancement just isn’t paying attention. If their lips are moving they’re paying lip service to the beliefs and ideals that are supposed to underpin America. The legacy media is no better. They really are as profoundly biased as the profoundly biased right-wing commentators say they are. The legacy media, I mean. I guess a liberal arts education is a terrible thing to waste. But it’s their reliance on moral relativism that really sticks in my craw. In other words, they believe two wrongs makes them right. To wit, the Executive Director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and Huffington Post columnist Josh Horwitz on the ATF’s extra-legal (i.e. criminal) Operation Fast and Furious . . .

The National Rifle Association (NRA) remains absolutely giddy over U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa’s (R-CA) aggressive investigation of the Department of Justice (DOJ) through the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee . . .

Although we don’t know all the facts yet, it’s clear that “Fast and Furious” was an ill-conceived and reckless operation — and it may have cost lives. It also cost two high-level officials their jobs — on August 30, ATF acting director Kenneth Melson and U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke announced their resignations. New leadership can help refocus the agency on its mission–preventing all illegal firearms diversion from U.S. gun stores and gun shows with zero tolerance. Because this is also clear–the 2,000 guns that were allowed to walk in “Fast and Furious” represent just a tiny percentage of the high-powered firearms that are trafficked from the United States to Mexico in the course of a given year.

I’d like to see Mr. Horwitz look into the faces of Mr. and Mrs. Terry—the parents of the U.S. Border Patrol Agent murdered by drug thugs wielding weapons enabled by Operation Fast and Furious—and say that he’s not sure how their son died. That despite the hard physical evidence linking Gunwalker firearms to the crime, he reckons the ATF “may” have contributed to their son’s death.

I’d like Horwitz to sit here, at this desk, with me, and click through the gruesome gallery of murdered Mexicans who spent their last moments on planet earth in abject terror, as Mexican cartel members equipped with ATF-enabled weapons mutilated their victims’ bodies. And then tell me the ATF’s two thousand firearms were OK because they were just a “tiny percentage” of the U.S. firearms bought by the bad guys.

I’d like Horwitz to pause for a moment and consider the fact that the Mexican cartels use tens of thousands of firearms, and grenades, and machine guns, that somehow “seeped” from official U.S. sales to the Calderon government and the corrupt governments throughout Latin America. And then tell me that gun control within the United States is a better way to stop the killing south of our border than reigning-in the Obama administration’s military exports.

The truth is the first casualty of war. The only “truth” that Horwitz’ knows is that the gun-grabbing ATF is good and the gun rights-protecting NRA is bad. Any facts that don’t fit this template must be spun into oblivion, lest they ruin the narrative.

The NRA was not satisfied with the resignations of Melson and Burke, however, and have their sights set on a bigger target — Attorney General Eric Holder. Despite the fact that there is no evidence indicating that Holder even knew about “Fast and Furious,” the NRA has called on him to resign immediately.

As pithier pundits than I have pointed out, if Eric Holder didn’t know about Operation Fast and Furious—a government-sponsored gun smuggling program that violated Mexican national sovereignty and contributed to the death of at least two U.S. law enforcement officers (not forgetting ICE Agent Jaime Zapata)—he should have.

Reason enough to remove Holder from a position of power. But when you’re intentionally ignorant, ignorance is a bliss to be shared. Promoted in fact. And nothing is more ignorant, more morally repulsive and yet more effective at countering the truth than moral relativism.

NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre has done an impressive job of feigning outrage in his condemnation of the operation, saying, “These guns are now, as a result of what [ATF] did, in the hands of evil people, and evil people are committing murders and crimes with these guns against innocent citizens.” In the September issue of America’s 1st Freedom, he referred to “at least 150 Mexican families grieving for loved ones lost because of the perfidy of agency ‘leaders’ wedded to a wacked-out-scheme.”

The NRA’s sudden concern about the illegal trafficking of guns to dangerous people couldn’t be more hypocritical. It turns out the NRA knows quite a bit about “wacked-out-schemes” that allow “evil people” to hurt “innocent citizens” in foreign countries.

Time, space and legal restrictions prevent me from repeating Horwitz’s accusations concerning NRA Board Members Bob Brown, Grover Norquist, Oliver North and Roy Innis. Click here to peruse the charges on Horwitz’s new website meetthenra.org.

For the sake of argument, let’s simply assume that all of the NRA’s board members are baby killers. Who cares? What possible difference does THAT make when it comes to the federal government’s involvement in arming stone cold killers south of the border? If there’s a worse way to pretend to take the moral high ground, I can’t think of one. Not right now. Not after this . . .

Does Wayne LaPierre have pity for the innocent lives lost to these evil people in Africa and South America? Or is LaPierre’s outrage reserved only for political and fundraising campaigns designed to discredit the agency that enforces America’s gun laws? If LaPierre is serious about stemming the flow of weapons to criminals around the world, he had better clean his own house first — as opposed to worrying about Eric Holder or anyone else at the Justice Department, whose misdeeds pale in comparison to those of his own board members.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m a cynical bastard. I understand that the NRA is just as agenda-driven as Horwitz and the jack-booted thugs the columnist defends with his reprehensible rhetoric. I know that all powerful men have skeletons in their closet.

But I believe that ours is a nation founded on the rule of law, with a simple operational principle: no man is above the law. I hope and pray that Congress and the court system uncovers and punishes the transgressions committed by members of our government in our name. Without fear or favor.

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58 Responses to ATF Death Watch 81: The Gun Grabbers Fight Back

      • But Robert, aren’t you and your friends the ones who always admonish me for not blaming the shooter when I try to sell my “shared responsibility” idea? Yet, in this case you’ve written about a hundred posts blaming the ATF.

        The Mexican criminal who pulled the trigger is the only one to blame, unless of course, you want to acknowledge the logic and integrity of my theory.

        You can’t have it both ways.

        • MikeB, what is the acceptable number of deaths before this operation becomes a significant problem? I can’t fathom why you and your ilk want to bury this and pretend like it never happened. I had pegged you as someone who was sincere and truly wanted to reduce the number of gun deaths, but if you were TRULY against gun violence you would be admonishing this failed operation just as much as Robert. Sadly, you are just another in a long line of bloggers willing to sell their soul in order to carry the water in order to advance left leaning policy.

        • Mike:

          Yo can’t have too high an opinion of your “theory” since you couldn’t sell it on your own blog and gave up on defending it there.

          You must know that you are grasping at straws here if you equate the “shared responsibility” of a gun owner whose home was burglarized and his property stolen to that of our government knowingly and actively selling guns to murderous criminal gangs.

          How about some “shared logic”? It’s the common ground of our civilization.

        • Wow, that’s a switch. We hear all day long about how the “illegal” guns are the problem, never the holder (no pun intended) that bought it. But when the criminal is armed by ATF all of a sudden it’s not the device at fault, it’s the perp.

          Go ahead and run with that line next November and see how far it gets you. It’s one thing to have different opinions, another to customize a position based on uncomfortable facts and outcomes.

        • That’s an excellent point, Mike. The scenario you describe is a case where a gun owner has a gun stolen from him. He may have been careless, or failed to secure the gun to some level, but there’s no intent there. In the Fast and Furious case, the ATF willfully allowed people to break the law and transport guns to Mexico. That seems to have been one of the intents of the operation. Yes, the person who ultimately pulled the trigger is the murderer, but the ATF could be seen as aiding and abetting the criminal.

          You are very helpful in strengthening RF’s argument. Bravo!

        • Remember – nickel and diming is the only real weapon left to people like Mikeylotsanumbers. He has no actual facts or anything reality based. He’s left only with broken ideology and nitpicking. If he had anything substantive to say, he would have said it.

  1. Special Prosecutor. Lying under oath is a serious felony. Their grand jury testimony can be cross indexed with every interview they have given or call they have made to David Gregory. The death of a Federal agent is the most serious consequence of an illegal operation, unless it causes the death of an American civilian.

  2. TTAG seems to have attracted a different breed of troll lately. At least MikeB has something to say about guns instead of beating political dead horses about dead mass murders.

    Be that as it may, it seems that the gun grabbers aren’t any better at math then the income grabbers yowling about taxing the rich. If F&F arms trafficing was just the tip of the iceberg of sales from Bobs border gun superstore down Mexico way then there won’t be a single AR in the Southwest for sale to American customers. How big does Horwitz think the AR type inventory for private sale is? At the very least the shipment of such weapons to Mexico would cause prices of the remaining stock to soar. Since there is no evidence that AR prices have risen his claim, like all his other blathering, is BS.

    • So anyone who doesnt agree with your personal viewpoint must be a troll? You dont think there any are similarities between F&F and Iran Contra?

      • I disagree with Magoo about everything and I don’t think he is a troll. A man without a sense of humor yes, but not a troll.

        A hearty … you know the salutaion…

      • Matt it must be hard to be an ATF agent, now that people are starting to open their eyes to what you really do,running around screaming I AM THE LAW!! at anybody that questions the legality of your actions.

      • Ollie North wasn’t watching guns being bought in US stores, shipped across the border, and then telling the public we need to crack down on gun rights because guns are bought in US stores and shipped across the border. Arming the contras was illegal because a group of democrats were being a thorn in the side of the administration at the time.

        But go ahead and link the two together, you seem pretty good at conspiracy theory.

        • Both cases involved the US gov’t arming foreign groups to further the policies and interests of the US gov’t. Both groups who were armed have committed numerous human rights violations. Both groups who were armed brought drugs in to the US. Both groups were armed illegally.

          It is rather convenient that you think laws should only apply when you agree with the politics.

          And regarding conspiracy theories, plenty of people here like to think F&F was done so Obama could institute gun control. Have you called them out?

        • I assume you are refereing to me. I will deal with your arguments when you are man enough to say what you really believe instead of hiding beyond catch phrases and other groups of people.

          The fact that you are a 9-11 truther damages your credibility. I was in the Pentagon on 9-11 and it was a 757. Somebody I knew and worked with in OP-50W was at the controls when the aircraft took off from Dulles. Somebody I knew died in the Navy Command Center. I find your views on the events repugant and equivalent to a Holocaust denial. You want engage, be my guest.

          (Note: This should have gone on Matt’s last post, not this one.)

        • If that comment referred to you then I would have replied directly.

          So your argument against me is that you were in the pentagon, which is in no way indicative of anything relevant. Dunno what a OP-50W is, i’m assuming its a plane with a big radar dish on it, and that isnt relevant either. Congrats on knowing someone who died. In short, good job on the nerdrage.

          I never denied a plane struck the pentagon. I referenced Crossing The Rubicon, but you apparent haven’t bothered to look over a synopsis of it. The argument presented there was that the gov’t was complicit in the attacks, and used it as a way to leverage the emotions of the american public to expand the empire. Its much more complicated than that, but thats the gist. Here is a synopsis from Amazon:

          The attacks of September 11, 2001, were accomplished through an amazing orchestration of logistics and personnel. Crossing the Rubicon discovers and identifies key suspects—finding some of them in the highest echelons of American government—by showing how they acted in concert to guarantee that the attacks produced the desired result.

          Crossing the Rubicon is unique not only for its case-breaking examination of 9/11, but for the breadth and depth of its world picture—an interdisciplinary analysis of petroleum, geopolitics, narcotraffic, intelligence and militarism—without which 9/11 cannot be understood.

          The US manufacturing sector has been mostly replaced by speculation on financial data whose underlying economic reality is a dark secret. Hundreds of billions of dollars in laundered drug money flow through Wall Street each year from opium and coca fields maintained by CIA-sponsored warlords and US-backed covert paramilitary violence. America’s global dominance depends on a continually turning mill of guns, drugs, oil and money. Oil and natural gas—the fuels that make economic growth possible—are subsidized by American military force and foreign lending.

          In reality, 9/11 and the resulting “war on terror” are parts of a massive authoritarian response to an emerging economic crisis of unprecedented scale. Peak Oil—the beginning of the end for our industrial civilization—is driving the élites of American power to implement unthinkably draconian measures of repression, warfare and population control. Crossing the Rubicon is more than a story. It is a map of the perilous terrain through which, together and alone, we are all now making our way.

        • I haven’t read the book and I’m not sure what to believe regarding it. I do find it hard to believe the gov’t is efficient or competent enough to be complicit. Too many gov’t officials and lobbying groups use everything looking for an edge against an opponent. ATF, NRA, NLRB, etc are all looking out for themselves. It all comes out sooner or later.

        • If the gov’t couldnt be competent enough to be complicit in one attack, then how would they be competent enough to launch much larger scale attacks against other nations.

          Consider this circumstantial evidence for motive, the Taliban successfully banned opium production in Afghanistan, and didnt allow Unocal to build the CentGas pipeline. After we invaded Afgahnistan the CentGas pipeline construction began, and Opium production exceeded Taliban era levels. Dont we have a war on drugs too?

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium_production_in_Afghanistan
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unocal_Corporation#Central_Asia
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-Afghanistan_Pipeline#cite_note-alex1-12

        • An operation of that complexity would require a great deal of planning and preperation, so you are accusing the Clinton Administration of complicity?

        • FYI im not a democrat either. But yes Clinton was complicit as well. Bin Laden was eligible for execution according to a 2000 intelligence finding issued by President Bill Clinton. Yet on July 14th he was allowed to leave Dubai on a private jet and there were no Navy fighters waiting to force him down.

          I have a response to cmd which is pending approval with more info as well.

        • I will be honest. I do not know anything about the topics you mentioned. I am a newly retired Sailor who lacks confidence in our gov’t. Neither side seems capable of accomplishing anything but blaming the other side and spending tax dollars at an unbelievable rate. The fact the ATF F&F has come to light as well as the gov’t sales to the Mexican gov’t/Sinola cartel indicates to me that secrets don’t keep for long.

  3. Matt:

    I find it curious that you think Farago implicitly defended NRA by this statement:

    “For the sake of argument, let’s simply assume that all of the NRA’s board members are baby killers.”

    It’s not only your logic that’s alien to me. It is your rhetoric, too.

    (I think I’d hate it if you ever tried to defend me, implicitly or explicitly.)

  4. Is there a troll of the day assigned to TTAG?

    It seems that recently there is some new individual (or username) each day who wants to muddy the waters with political ramblings that have absolutely nothing to do with the topics at hand

      • If you honestly believe im trying to troll this site, rather than actually believing what I say, then I think I did a damned good job. How many comments in this and the 9-11 article are attempts to demonize to me?

  5. Don’t feed the troll. He isn’t a rational person with a disagreement whom we can debate with. Just look at his past posts, he’s a loon with some weird axe to grind with the country/government. I’m surprised he didn’t turn the Serpa article into a diatribe about the US government and how all Serpa users should die for war crimes.

    About the article, your moral relativism point is spot on.

  6. Again – don’t feed the trolls. Matt is just another one trick pony who would rant against anything. He is defined by what he is against. No matter what is posted, he will find some way to be against it as militantly and as Wikipedia-quoting as possible.

  7. We should be more supportive of matt. Everybody has rights under the First Amendment, even trolls. As Shakespeare once said, “I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it even though it’s a big, steaming pile of bullshit and we all know it.”

  8. I read the Horwitz article. At first I was mad, then I wished I’d tied myself to the chair so I wouldn’t fall over laughing. What drivel.

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