Thanks to the great reporting of Katherine Eban at Fortune magazine we now know that the “Fast and Furious” scandal is largely manufactured for political gain. Whether Eric Holder has been willfully withholding documents from Congress is somewhat of a separate, more technical matter. What we do know is that The “Fast and Furious” operation by the bureau of Alcohol, Tobaco, Firearms and Explosives (the ATF) in
did not include the tactic of “gun walking”.
Gun walking is the practice of intentionally not ceasing illegally
purchased firearms in order to follow the subsequent chain of possession back to
higher level criminals. Guns that the
ATF is accused of allowing to walk across the border, one of which was used to
kill a border guard named Brian Terry, could not have been ceased by the ATF because
the Arizona federal Prosecutors decided these weapons were not illegally
purchased. The federal prosecutors were,
in turn, broadly interpreting Arizona gun laws which are among the weakest gun laws in the
nation. The only guns to actually "walk" were six hand guns. This happened as the result of one rogue agents misdeeds. Arizona
The real lesson here is how conservative American’s love affair with the Fourth Amendment right to bare arms radical ideology with respect to gun ownership among some right wing extremists is reeking havoc in neighboring
, the “war on drugs” is quite literally a war Mexico
| Mexico Wed May 23, 2012
(Reuters) - Mexican government forces had bottled up a band of enemy fighters in this tiny village late last year, but feared they would escape into the dusty, rock-strewn hills. So more than 600 soldiers and federal police closed in from all directions with armored Humvees and helicopters.
The outlaws responded with a barrage of rocket-propelled grenades and AK-47 assault-rifle fire, tearing apart one federal police vehicle. For three days the fighting raged. In the end, according to military accounts of the battle, 22 members of the Zetas drug cartel, two police officers and a soldier were dead, and 20 Zetas were in custody. Dozens more escaped to fight another day. [SNIP]
agents say the Zetas' paramilitary tactics -- based
on small, roaming cells of armed operatives -- and indiscriminate violence are
the driving forces behind a recent escalation in U.S. 's drug war. That conflict, between government forces
and the cartels and among the cartels themselves, has claimed about 55,000
lives in the past five years, including more than 3,000 police officers and
Trafficking Into RIVER OF IRON Mexico
Mexican government officials estimate that some 2,000 weapons purchased in the
are smuggled into U.S. every day. Guns
flow into the hands of the powerful drug cartels of Mexico while cocaine and other drugs flow back across the
border to ravage yet another generation of vulnerable young Americans. These
well armed cartels operate like insurgency groups effectively challenging the Mexican
governments power to enforce law and order.
The cartels are terrorizing and slaughtering the country’s law abiding citizens. The corrupting influence of guns, drugs and
money threatens to destabilize the whole country. Mexico
While gun sales are legal and gun ownership is constitutionally protected in the
, gun sales are prohibited in United States . This makes the
problem at the Mexico , Mexican border particularly acute. Furthermore, organizations such as the NRA
aggressively oppose any attempt to regulate gun sales in the U.S. This may
suggest why there are currently no federal statutes outlawing firearms
trafficking. It is left to the states to
pass such laws. U.S.
border states have an
especially “pro-gun” outlook. has been identified as having the weakest gun
violence prevention laws in the nation. The
Arizona area alone has 853 federally licensed firearms
dealers. Any customers 18 years old or
older who can pass a criminal background check may legally buy as many weapons
as they like. There is no waiting
periods and no gun permit is required.
Some dealers offer discounts for multiple gun purchases, while others
voluntarily restrict customers to one weapon per day. While gun buyers must certify in writing that
the guns they buy are for personal use, they are allowed to change their mind
and resell their guns at any time. Phoenix laws against gun trafficking carry relatively mild
sentences and are hard to prosecute.
Because of the weak laws and strong pro-gun attitudes in Arizona , federal prosecutors are reluctant to prosecute those
accursed of buying guns on behalf of criminals, and federal prosecutors in Arizona don’t consider huge gun purchases or there quick to
a third party to be specific evidence of criminal intent. This makes the interdiction of illegal gun
sales to the Mexican cartels almost impossible in Arizona . Arizona
The truth about the Fast and Furious scandal
The article begins:
FORTUNE -- In the annals of impossible assignments, Dave Voth's ranked high. In 2009 the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives promoted Voth to lead Phoenix Group VII, one of seven new ATF groups along the Southwest border tasked with stopping guns from being trafficked into Mexico's vicious drug war.
PLEASE READ IT: http://features.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2012/06/27/fast-and-furious-truth/