Skip to comments.EDITORIAL: A gun sting gone bad(gunwalker)
Posted on 07/12/2011 5:16:06 AM PDT by marktwain
What looked at the outset like a tragically inept attempt to trace the firearms supply lines used by Mexican drug cartels has grown into something bigger. Congressmen who days ago were seeking the resignation of Kenneth Melson, acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, now are setting their sights higher, demanding that he not become the fall guy for other agencies mistakes.
Attorney General Eric Holder should get in front of this fast-unfolding story and provide a full account of the failures or worse that occurred in various branches of the Justice Department.
Melsons agency was in charge of a border security operation code-named Fast and Furious. ATF agents were assigned to monitor straw purchasers of firearms in the United States buyers who bought weapons for others. The idea was that the weapons would be traced as they made their way into the hands of members of Mexican drug cartels. The Mexican government long has complained that drug violence south of the border is fueled by a steady supply of firearms from the United States, although weapons stolen from or sold by Mexicos own military and police also are clearly a factor.
Fast and Furious failed in every respect. ATF agents were told to look the other way as weapons were purchased illegally and crossed into Mexico. The ATF lost track of 1,700 of the 2,000 firearms obtained by the straw purchasers. Some of the guns turned up at crime scenes in the United States and Mexico, including the location of a firefight that ended with the killing of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry last December. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight Committee, and Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, ranking minority member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, have been investigating Fast and Furious; they appeared to have Melson in their sights.
Over the Fourth of July weekend, Melson went to Congress to speak with Issas and Grassleys staffs accompanied not by an ATF or Justice Department lawyer, but by his personal attorney. Melson said that the Drug Enforcement Administration and the FBI had been tracking some of the same gun runners and other crime figures targeted by Fast and Furious, but had not informed the ATF. Issa and Grassley withdrew their call for Melsons resignation, and they now seem intent on discovering whether the ATF and its acting director were hobbled by sister agencies refusal to share information and then set up to take the blame when things went wrong.
The Justice Departments inspector general is conducting a probe, which might have been appropriate if questions were confined to an ATF operation. But now three Justice Department agencies are involved, and the inspector general is poorly equipped to act as referee. Holder should move the investigation outside his department to ensure a credible and impartial review.
Beyond that, Holder should address Melsons central complaint that information is not shared among his own departments agencies that work to combat drug traffickers, secure the border and crack down on the illegal trade in firearms. The U.S. government supposedly has been attempting to improve cooperation among security and law enforcement agencies for a decade, but if Fast and Furious is any indication, the old battles over the flow of information continue.
The ATF must answer for Fast and Furious. The Senate, for its part, should move to confirm a permanent director for the agency. But the Justice Department also has some explaining to do; it oversees not only the ATF, but also other agencies that should be ATFs partners. All must be held accountable for their performances, or the lack thereof.
You are right.
Wow, the left wing Eugene, Oregon, Register Guard puts in its own two cents. This issue has grown real legs.
Drop by drop the story is making it into the MSM. I heard it mentioned on the CBS overnight news this am.
Open this can of worms. And trace it to it's source. We all know this originated at 1600 Penn. Ave.....
You know there is a major cover up under way.
"...inept attempt to trace the firearms..."
There was no mechanism in place to trace those firearm beyond that which established they were purchased in the US, "smuggled" across the border and later recovered at Mexican crime scenes. Which was all Obama needed to manufacture statistics for use against Americans' 2nd Amendment rights.
"Melsons agency was in charge of a border security operation code-named Fast and Furious.
Melson revealed to Issa that the AUSAs were in charge of "Fast and Furious" in Phoenix (and "Operation Castaway" a similar operation in Tampa). The AUSA in Phoenix was Democrat political appointee Dennis Burke (who was previously Napolitano's (when AZ Governor) Chief of Staff and also on the DOJ-Washington, Senate Democrat and White House staff under Clinton.)
"...Melsons central complaint that information is not shared among his own departments agencies..."
Melson's central complaints were DOJ muzzling him from speaking the truth to Issa, and the DOJ takeover of the Gunrunner - which operated within the law - to morph it into "Fast and Furious" et. al. - which operated outside the law.
“We” is right. Just like the presidential crimes of the 90s, the government will do nothing substantial about this.
Its up to “we the people” to bring back rule of law in this country.
The ATF must answer????? At great risk to their careers and possibly their persons, a number of courageous BATF agents, not to mention the acting Director, HAVE stepped forward and will continue to give their evidence establishing the existence of the criminal enterprise concocted and set in motion by the racist punk, Holder, and his boss, Soros' Sock Puppet from Nairobi. At this early stage of the House investigation, the silence of the MainSlimeMedia is astounding. This was no 'gun sting gone bad'. The sole purpose of this monstrous crime was to destroy the God given right of American citizens to keep and bear arms. No aspect of this sordid action placed any Mexican drug cartel in the slightest danger.
Obama is a gun runner!
Good thing I was sitting down when I clicked on the link. If the Eugene Register-Guard is on this story, the shit is going to hit the fan in the not too distant future.
Obama&Holder Inc......Gun dealers to the highest drug dealers. (202) 456-1414
This was a covert operation that was designed to discredit gun ownership and gun purchasing. Anyone who thinks otherwise is blind.
I say, anyone who can’t understand that the CIA was involved in this is BLIND and doesn’t know much about international covert operations.
And the CIA trumps DEA, ATF, DOJ, etc.
If you don’t have a clue, start by reading Michael Levine. Assume he has an agenda. He does. He is pissed about what happened while he was undercover.
You can even discount 90% of what he says. You shouldn’t but you can..and you should STILL be able to see that:
CIA was involved in this Mexican Operation. NO WAY that this operation was going down with the Drug Cartels and the CIA wasnt involved.
Somebodey should get Brit Hume a cane and dog.
One last try
Exactly why I clicked on this thread. Another editorial from, say, IBD, while welcome, doesn’t mean much. That we have others like this starting to pay attention is A Good Thing.
Hume is being Beltway-ized as time goes by.
You should have heard him go after Michelle Bachmann on last night's Factor. I've never seen the usually comatose Hume so facially animated than when he was trashing and belittling her.
He really blew a good shot at Juan here. Williams says that “they” (Issa, NRA, etc) “want Holder to be the fall guy” in this mess. He should have challenged Juan with the question, “Fall guy for WHO???”
They're just mouthing the "mistakes were made" talking points from the WH.
This wasn't a screwed up "sting operaion", it was a flat out attempt to manufacture evidence to back up the claims of an "iron river" of guns flowing into Mexico from the US, and justify more gun control legislation.
Wouldn't it be a gas if the replacement show for Beck featured panels of four Freepers and Bob Beckel or Juan Williams every day instead of the already over-exposed Fox regulars?
Freepers are way ahead of these highly-paid pundits....many of whom are no-way-near being as informed, verbally adept, quick on the uptake and deadly sharp as Freepers.
I'd actually pay Fox to be a panelist!
What is it with Hume, lately? He used to be such a tough questioner. I think “senior analyst” has actually made him reticent.
Absolutely agree and Zer0 was in this up to his eyeballs. I doubt he'll be touched by the investigation but hopefully they'll get his lapdog Holder.
It is called illegal arms trafficking,it is not a social experiment gone wrong,it is a major felony.
It is also a legitimat act of war against Mexico, as well as a violation of [our] treaty with them [Mexico].
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.