The press conference was called in front of Law Enforcement Memorial at Wesley Bolin Plaza, right next to the State Capitol building. This is sacred ground for Arizona law enforcement and good location for this sort of thing. This group of sheriffs is split 50/50 among Democrats and Republicans, but it lacked the two best-known sheriffs in Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County and Sheriff Clarence Dupnik of Pima County . . .
Sheriff Joe is famous for his tough talk and tougher jails, and Sheriff Dupnik is (in)famous for his botched SWAT raids and political reliability. Sheriff Joe’s refusal to join these Sheriffs does not bode well for his “tough on crime” image and Sheriff Dupnik, true to the party line, fingered Operation Wide Receiver, a Bush-era program, as the root cause of all of this.
Sheriff Babeu has video of the press conference up on his website. Fifteen minutes into the first video, he sums up why Fast and Furious was never a plan to track illegal guns into Mexico.
The reason why we do that (introduce drugs or cash not a crime gang) is to watch the investigation spiderweb so we can take down the entire drug trade organization. You don’t do that with weapons, and to allow these weapons to walk in this fashion is reprehensible.
Some may ask what’s the issue here: All of this gunfire is happening in run-down small towns in a country that’s always been a mess. Sheriff Babeu clearly lays out why Operation Fast and Furious isn’t just Mexico’s problem, it’s a problem for all of us.
Every time there’s a shooting or there’s a crime committed on American soil, the first question SHOULDN’T be, ‘My God, were these the guns that our own government gave these criminals.’
I, along with my fellow Arizona gunblogger GreatSatanInc.com count ourselves lucky to have attended this historic occasion: a press conference called by a bipartisan coalition of 10 out of Arizona’s 14 sheriffs asking the Obama Administration and the Justice Department for a Special Prosecutor to investigate Operation Fast and Furious.
It can no longer be the same as it ever was.