TTAG started the week with a post reporting that Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s silence on the ATF Gunwalker scandal—in which agents of the United States government let smugglers transport some 3000 guns into the hands of vicious Mexican drug thugs—was down to the fact that his administration was in bed with the Sinaloa drug cartel. And that the U.S. DEA was also giving the Sinaloas a pass. As predicted, Sinaloa member Ismael Zambada has filed a brief in federal court fingering the feds for their involvement in his gang’s activities. [Click here for the pdf] And here’s the kicker . . .
It also asserts that Zambada was working for the FBI, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Since January 2004. There is plenty of evidence that this could be the case; that the Mexican and American governments were playing favorites amongst the cartels. Check this report from elimparcial.com:
The Sinaloa cartel supremacy stems from the fact that they no longer fight against the Beltran Leyva organization who has been severely beaten and diminished by the Mexican authorities, and the division of the Gulf and its former partners, Los Zetas, who are engaged in a war to the death, said the agent.
Also, the Tijuana cartel has suffered heavy blows from the authorities, and La Familia Michoacana has not recovered from the death in a police action of one of its top leaders, Nazario Moreno González, El Chayo.
If the U.S. was in cahoots with Mexico aiding and abetting the Sinaloas, this connection to U.S. Law Enforcement might shed some light on Project Gunwalker and Operation Fast and Furious.
I have long maintained that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ explanation for Project Gunrunner and Operation Fast and Furious has a big old hole in the middle. The “let the small fish go to catch the big fish” rationale for the authorized smuggling just doesn’t make any sense.
The ATF never made a single move to arrest anyone on the other side of the border, long after the ATF-enabled guns crossed into Mexico. How could they, given that the ATF was keeping the program secret from the Mexican authorities, and they have no jurisdiction south of the border? So why’d they let the guns walk?
The tin hat theory: the ATF let the guns walk so they could inflate the numbers of guns confiscated by the Mexicans coming from America so the Agency could hit up Uncle Sugar for more money to fight gun smuggling to Mexico. That’s . . . insane. If only because the ATF could have simply inflated the numbers out of thin air, as they did when Project Gunrrunner first came under fire.
Which leaves us with what? Recently, I’ve suggested simple corruption. The ATF agents let the guns go to line their pockets. A report on fox43tv.com today, detailing charges against an ATF agent accused of doctoring paperwork and selling guns (and cigarettes), gives some credence to that suggestion. But try this on for size . . .
Let’s say the U.S. government and the Mexican government had decided to turn a blind eye to the Sinaloa cartel. Let’s say they knew guns were headed to the Sinaloas from the U.S. Would they stop them?
On the hang on a moment side of that thought, the smuggled guns have turned up at crime scenes in many places throughout Mexico and other countries. And there’s no evidence that the ATF-enabled smugglers worked for the Sinaloa cartel.
Ah but who DID they work for? We have not heard word one about who bought the ATF-enabled guns in Mexico. That would be a particularly interesting piece of the puzzle, would it not Senator Grassely?
As I said, the Gunwalker scandal could open up a much, much larger can of worms. And the guys who are going to blow it wide open are the bad guys that the feds thought they’d bought and paid for. Meanwhile, I wonder who’s protecting Zambada? That young man has made a LOT of enemies.