Despite ridicule from the bloggers who broke the ATF Gunwalker scandal, I’ve continued to suggest that there’s drug money involved in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (and Really Big Fires) anti-gun running gun running operation. I fully admit that I’ve made this assertion based on common sense conjecture (i.e. without any direct evidence). At the same time, I’ve repeatedly discussed the theory favored by my journalistic cousins: Project Gunrunner and Operation Fast and Furious were empire building exercises ultimately aimed at curtailing American gun rights. Reading the website that started the Gunwalker ball rolling, cleanupatf.com, I came across a succinct and coherent description of that plotline from commentator Regular [not shown]. Of which I’ll share with you . . .
I’ve heard about the beginning and end points, and connecting the dots….
Is money involved? Absolutely – but not in a direct way.
The only cartel money in evidence is the short-term profits gained by the straw buyers and traffickers. ATF encouraged and facilitated the sales, encouraging new “entrepreneurs” (straw buyers) to help the traffickers purchase more guns. So, what I see is an increasing network of witless, stupid straw buyers (did they really think no one would notice?) out to exploit the opportunity to make a few bucks buying guns for various traffickers. Likewise, the mid-level traffickers are likely to be more of the same…. ‘criminal entrepreneurs’ seeing an opportunity and seizing it, then either smuggling the guns to Mexico or passing the guns on to smugglers.
It’s doubtful that the cartels had anything directly to do with it. It’s also highly doubtful that the cartels and traffickers are as organized as we are led to believe. These are far more likely to be mostly a loose network of informal contacts (criminal entrepreneurs) by which drugs and people are trafficked in and guns are trafficked out – for profit.
So, why would ATF participate? Despite ATF’s official contention, it certainly can’t be to ‘take down’ any cartel. Cartels are in Mexico, where ATF has no authority nor significant presence, nor very much cooperation. It couldn’t be to ‘take down’ a weapons trafficking organization, because there is/was none…. Trafficking is most likely a loosely organized and flexible group of opportunistic criminal entrepreneurs making money any way they can. By making guns easily available to straw buyers, the word got out, and ATF effectively ‘created’ the trafficking network! This is a traditional ATF technique – creating a tempting situation and encouraging, then entrapping people into violating the law…. (Think Ruby Ridge and the short-barreled shotguns…)
Trying to apply Occam’s razor, here is a hypothesis (using the available evidence): Keep in mind that ATF has a well-entrenched tracing (and registration) system worth lots of annual budget dollars, and a long history of seeking for, advocating for, and pushing the envelope for, more firearm transaction records, and more tracing, all leading toward full firearms registration. We should not forget ATF’s “Gold Standard” of tracing being full web-based firearms registration as officially presented to the UN disarmament group some years ago….
Now, aside from that, we have ATF actively helping anti-gun politicians (do Feinstein & Schumer come to mind? Only a few days ago?). Remember that ATF, after publicly stating they would no longer release Mexican gun statistics, and while stonewalling Grassley & Issa, Melson provided Feinstein with new Mexican gun statistics in only 9 days.
We also have high-level ATF bureaucratic bubbleheads like Hoover, McMahon & Newell who, for the past few years, have been publicly lying to Congress and the American People promoting the ‘myth’ that the U.S. is supplying cartels with nearly all weapons – then being publicly discredited by Fox, Stratfor, and others. They provided their boss (Obama) with false information, which is never good idea. Their words were then publicly repeated by by Hillery, Obama and others. They should have been humiliated and should have shut up – but they didn’t. So, what was the solution? Prove that the U.S. was the source? How to accomplish that?
1. Show new statistics (by whatever means) that ‘prove’ the U.S. is the source of Mexican weapons,
2. Let a LOT more U.S. guns flow to Mexico to improve the statistics – but DON’T tell the Mexicans. (It’s also documented that some sales were to undercover ATF agents using tax or asset forfeiture funds, who then resold the guns to traffickers) Here’s the ‘smoking gun’ quote, “An increase of crimes and deaths in Mexico caused an increase in the recovery of weapons at crime scenes. When these weapons traced back through the Suspect Gun Database to weapons that were walked under Fast and Furious, supervisors in Phoenix were giddy at the success of their operation.”
3. Ultimately bust a LOT of stupid low-level U.S. straw buyers and traffickers to show there’s a major trafficking problem (which ATF created),
4. Implement multiple long-gun reporting to additionally prove trafficking (real or imagined). Lots of controversy and resulting publicity – with strong politician support (think Feinstein & Schumer), and many more firearm registration records for the National Tracing Center.
5. Continue to include (in the statistics) legitimate U.S. export sales (military, police, etc.) which show up in traces, and carefully omit any mention of them.
6. Continue to blame gun shows as a major source of trafficked guns without background checks. (Great tactical approach. Great anti-gun talking point which can’t be disproved) Personally, I’ve attended hundreds of gun shows (many in the Southwest), and have NEVER seen evidence of trafficking. And, by the way, background checks at gun shows are useless. Straw buyers have clean backgrounds!
What would all this accomplish? Power, glory and promotions to the ATF participants (Melson, Hoover, McMahon, Newell, Chait, Gillette, Voth and sycophants). More budget money to combat the ‘problems’. More personnel, and higher civil service grades for the supervisors. All the typical bureaucracy growth factors. New gun control laws get passed to help ATF to grow as an agency.
Of course, this all may be simply a component of Obama’s “under the radar” approach to gun control – but that’s yet to be proven.
Or, it might all be a figment of an overactive imagination……
Were any connecting dots missed? Comments appreciated – good or bad. If it’s wrong, tell me it’s wrong, but this is how it appears to the world outside of ATF.