The Fast and Furious gun-running operation, which the ATF began shortly after Obama’s first term started, allowed about 2000 illegally purchased firearms to move over the border into Mexico. There, many of the guns were used by drug cartels to murder civilians, each other, and U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.
The ATF painted Fast and Furious as a botched sting operation designed to track the guns to the cartels. They sold the story that F&F didn’t work due to inadequate surveillance and technological failures.
Fast and Furious was botched, alright, but its real purpose was more likely to allow guns to go south, then use the murder and mayhem resulting from the alleged “iron river” of firearms flowing into Mexico as an excuse to push for more gun control here in the US of A.
When the whole ill-conceived tower of incompetence and stupidity came tumbling down and spilled into the public view, Attorney General Eric Holder stonewalled the subsequent congressional investigation, lied about F&F to Congress and refused to comply with a subpoena of related documents.
Why dredge all of this up now? Well, because Fast and Furious has never really gone away. Congress sued the administration over its executive privilege claim. In 2018, with the Obama bunch out of office, the Trump DOJ released some Fast and Furious documents which revealed that F&F led to at least 69 murders. And the Congressional suit wasn’t finally settled until last May.
Now the current Mexican president wants some answers, too. On Friday, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador held a press conference and said he wants to know if US officials notified then-president Felipe Calderon of Fast and Furious either before or during the operation. In effect, what did he know and when did he know it.
Cartel violence has risen to new levels and Lopez Obrador is blaming his predecessor for the increased body count because of Calderon’s tactic of using the Mexican military to challenge the cartels.
As Bloomberg reports . . .
Lopez Obrador on Friday said he will ask the U.S. government if it had alerted Mexican officials that agents were carrying out the undercover operation where U.S. agents lost track of guns they had allowed to enter the Latin American nation with the goal of tracking Mexico’s brutal drug gangs.
“What seems serious to me is that a violation of our sovereignty was carried out, a secret operation, and that Mexicans were killed with these weapons,” Lopez Obrador said during his morning press conference in Mexico City. “There is still time for the U.S. to apologize.”
Would Trump apologize to Mexico? There may be good reasons to do just that.
First, Mexico has worked with the Trump administration to cut down on illegal immigration. They’ve patrolled their northern border to reduce the number of people trying to enter the US. They’ve also stopped migrants from crossing Mexico’s southern border on their way to the US.
Second, any apology would highlight the Obama administration’s culpability in the inept and illegal operation, not to mention the deaths that resulted. And Trump has been more than happy to punch at his predecessor recently.
Documents were just released that led to the DOJ dropping all charges against former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. The release highlighted the fact that former FBI Director James Comey, former deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and President Obama himself were directly involved with the investigation into the Trump campaign, the Russiagate narrative and the subsequent Mueller investigation.
He got caught, OBAMAGATE! https://t.co/oV6fum0zIS
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 11, 2020
Trump has never been one to miss an opportunity to take a swing at someone who’s done him wrong, and a Fast and Furious Obama-directed apology would be made to order.
And finally, Trump has a good electoral reason to bring new attention to Fast and Furious. The Democrats’ presumptive nominee, Joe Biden, held the number two chair in the Obama administration and if Trump can connect his likely November opponent in any way to the gun-running scandal, that would be a political plus.
As Reuters notes . . .
Critics of Lopez Obrador contend that he has done Trump a favor by raising questions about Garcia Luna as the U.S president prepares to fight a November election against Joe Biden, who was vice president from 2009 to 2017 under Obama.
Fernando Belaunzaran, co-leader of the opposition Party of the Democratic Revolution, on Twitter called it a “badly-disguised” stunt by Lopez Obrador to curry favor with Trump ahead of a joint meeting the Mexican president has proposed.
Whatever. The fact remains that no one in the Obama administration or the ATF has paid any price for Fast and Furious (unless you count reassigning the ATF’s then-interim head, Ken Melson, to another job within the Justice Department). Fast and Furious — and the piles of dead bodies that resulted — remains a shockingly inept and corrupt chapter in the Obama administration’s “scandal-free” record.