I had seen this theory kicking around the internet for months. The Obama administration authorized Fast and Furious at least in part to make a case for stricter gun laws.
I dismissed it as just one more conspiracy theory on the net. Now I'm not so sure.
In Fast and Furious, ATF secretly encouraged gun dealers to sell to suspected traffickers for Mexican drug cartels to go after the "big fish." But ATF whistleblowers told CBS News and Congress it was a dangerous practice called "gunwalking," and it put thousands of weapons on the street. Many were used in violent crimes in Mexico. Two were found at the murder scene of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.
ATF officials didn't intend to publicly disclose their own role in letting Mexican cartels obtain the weapons, but emails show they discussed using the sales, including sales encouraged by ATF, to justify a new gun regulation called "Demand Letter 3". That would require some U.S. gun shops to report the sale of multiple rifles or "long guns." Demand Letter 3 was so named because it would be the third ATF program demanding gun dealers report tracing information.
On July 14, 2010 after ATF headquarters in Washington D.C. received an update on Fast and Furious, ATF Field Ops Assistant Director Mark Chait emailed Bill Newell, ATF's Phoenix Special Agent in Charge of Fast and Furious:
"Bill - can you see if these guns were all purchased from the same (licensed gun dealer) and at one time. We are looking at anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long gun multiple sales. Thanks."
A couple of documents speculating on the value of Fast and Furious to gun control efforts does not mean that the White House planned it or was even aware of it. But don't you think those are questions that should be asked of Eric Holder and Barack Obama?
Fast and Furious appears to be a bottomless pit of breathtaking stupidity and inexplicable incompetence. To use a program that the ATF knew was killing people to gain crass political advantage in a debate over gun control is just mind boggling - until you remember who is running the country.