“Undercover American narcotics agents have laundered or smuggled millions of dollars in drug proceeds as part of Washington’s expanding role in Mexico’s fight against drug cartels, according to current and former federal law enforcement officials,” the New York Times reports. Does that sound familiar?
It’s the exact same explanation the ATF used to justify Operation Fast and Furious, wherein ATF agents “allowed” some 2000 firearms to walk from U.S. gun stores to the Sinaloan drug cartel. Just like the DEA’s money laundering ops, ATF’s so-called “botched sting” operation was designed to “catch the big fish.” Damningly, in ten months F&F did no such thing.
The DOJ pulled the plug on Fast and Furious roughly a year ago, after drug thugs murdered U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry with ATF-enabled firearms. As far as we know, the DEA’s “Cash for Goons” program is ongoing.
Former D.E.A. officials rejected comparisons between letting guns and money walk away. Money, they said, poses far less of a threat to public safety. And unlike guns, it can lead more directly to the top ranks of criminal organizations.
Yeah, sure. In theory. Maybe. In practice? The Times singularly, spectacularly fails to question the DEA on the number of prosecutions tied to Cashwalker. But they do provide a window into Uncle Sam’s participation in the financial side of the Mexican drug trade.
Today, in operations supervised by the Justice Department and orchestrated to get around sovereignty restrictions, the United States is running numerous undercover laundering investigations against Mexico’s most powerful cartels. One D.E.A. official said it was not unusual for American agents to pick up two or three loads of Mexican drug money each week. A second official said that as Mexican cartels extended their operations from Latin America to Africa, Europe and the Middle East, the reach of the operations had grown as well. When asked how much money had been laundered as a part of the operations, the official would only say, “A lot.”
“If you’re going to get into the business of laundering money,” the official added, “then you have to be able to launder money.” . . .
And the former officials said that federal law enforcement agencies had to seek Justice Department approval to launder amounts greater than $10 million in any single operation. But they said that the cap was treated more as a guideline than a rule, and that it had been waived on many occasions to attract the interest of high-value targets.
“They tell you they’re bringing you $250,000, and they bring you a million,” one former agent said of the traffickers. “What’s the agent supposed to do then, tell them no, he can’t do it? They’ll kill him.”
So there’s a paper trail to the DOJ. No doubt the embattled Attorney General received but didn’t read the emails on Cashwalker either. And no one in DOJ connected the dots between two “sting” operations that helped the Sinaloans do business in the United States. Totally unconnected. (/sarcasm)
There’s simply no other way to put this: the United States government is in business with at least one Mexican drug cartel, now fully revealed as an international criminal syndicate.
The ATF and State Department ran the guns (including military and law enforcement sales). The DEA laundered and smuggled the cash. It’s only a matter of time before we learn that ICE and the CPB gave the drugs safe passage. Or, perhaps, smuggled the drugs into the U.S. for the bad guys.
More than that, Cashwalker puts the possible motives for Gunwalker into fresh perspective. Or, more accurately, a new foul perspective.
From the start of the Gunwalker scandal, Mike Vanderboegh of the Sipsey Street Irregulars has maintained that Fast and Furious was an attempt by the Obama administration to create a crisis to allow the feds to introduce gun grabbing legislation. The recently revealed anti-gun email from former U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke gives credence to this theory.
I’ve suggested three alternative explanations. First, that the ATF enabled illegal firearms purchases to arm the Sinaloa drug cartel in an effort to counter a [complete] government takeover by Los Zetas. Second, that Uncle Sam let the guns go because various bureaucrats were on the take. And third, one, two and three.
In the light of this new angle, I’m going with door number three: gun-grabbing, CIA machinations and corruption. Hundreds of millions of dollars in cash flowing through American bureaucrats hands and no one takes a taste? Unlikely.
The Times doesn’t get it. They don’t grasp the full importance of the fact that Gunwalker recruited law-abiding American gun store owners into a criminal conspiracy, just as U.S. banks must be accomplices to the DEA’s epic money laundering. Even if the feds are fighting crime with these stingless stings—and there’s no reason to believe they are—the programs are perverting the rule of law in a country founded on that principle.
What’s more, U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, ICE Agent Jaime Zapata and dozens if not hundreds of Mexicans paid for the inevitable blowback from Operation Fast and Furious with their lives. Cashwalker too; the money the DEA laundered for the cartels is drenched in blood.
No matter what their rationale, the U.S. government is guilty of aiding, abetting and conducting a criminal enterprise.
No wonder President Obama’s minions are doing everything they can to keep a lid on Fast and Furious. If the full truth were known, the current administration would be doomed. At least that’s what I’d like to believe.