This isn’t an ATF Death Watch post because the ATF had nothing to do with the official sales of fully automatic firearms, grenades, grenade launchers, millions of rounds of ammo and sundry weaponry to the Mexican military, whereupon it “seeped” to Mexican cartels. Not that we know of. As for the “inadvertent” transfer of thousands upon thousands of U.S. government-sanctioned military weapons to Mexican narco-terrorists, that we knew about. We’ve been flagging it since the Fast and Furious scandal broke bad. But now, finally, the mainstream media has peered under the full-auto AR-15 with grenade launcher-shaped rock. CBS may not be outraged, but they do appear slightly peeved . . .
The Mexican military recently reported nearly 9,000 police weapons “missing.” [ED: During what time period?]
Yet the U.S. has approved the sale of more guns to Mexico in recent years than ever before through a program called “direct commercial sales.” It’s a program that some say is worse than the highly-criticized “Fast and Furious” gunrunning scandal, where U.S. agents allowed thousands of weapons to pass from the U.S. to Mexican drug cartels.
CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson discovered that the official tracking all those guns sold through “direct commercial sales” leaves something to be desired.
I know CBS has a deeply patrician (i.e. condescending) culture, but that’s the worst/best example of English understatement I’ve encountered since a Purdey salesman told me that their guns were “slightly dear.” To wit:
[The State Department approved] 2,476 guns to be sold to Mexico in 2006. In 2009, that number was up nearly 10 times, to 18,709. The State Department has since stopped disclosing numbers of guns it approves, and wouldn’t give CBS News figures for 2010 or 2011.
With Mexico in a virtual state of war with its cartels, nobody’s tracking how many U.S. guns are ending up with the enemy . . .
The State Department audits only a tiny sample – less than 1 percent of sales – but the results are disturbing: In 2009, more than a quarter (26 percent) of the guns sold to the region that includes Mexico were “diverted” into the wrong hands, or had other “unfavorable” results.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Larry Keane, who speaks for gun manufacturers, said he understands the potential for abuse.
“There have been 150,000 or more Mexican soldiers defect to go work for the cartels, and I think it’s safe to assume that when they defect they take their firearms with them,” Keane told CBS News.
Note: Fast and Furious enabled just 2000 weapons in a ten-month time frame. You want a proper gun running scandal? Here it is.
And so the question becomes, so what? Will Senator Grassley and Representative Issa restrict themselves to Fast and Furious-related high crimes and misdemeanors or will they take on the whole enchilada?
In two days’ time, when U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder faces Rep. Issa’s congressional committee for a rematch, we shall see. Or not. Meanwhile, note to CBS: now that you’ve picked up the ball, don’t drop it.