The Real 'Under the Radar' Target of Operation Fast and Furious
In previous articles here at American Thinker dealing with the ATF gun smuggling scandal there has been mention made of the suspicions of many Americans (as evidenced by comments from AT readers) that Operation Fast and Furious was a politically motivated action put in place by the Obama Justice Department to manufacture a false scenario that would justify stricter gun control in this country. Most of those pieces carried an editorial caution citing the lack of specific evidence. Clarice Feldman's recent article had this to say on the issue:
Some commentators believe the real purpose of the operation was to provide "evidence" that U.S. arms were behind the gang violence in Mexico to provide a basis for further restrictions on U.S. arms sales, pointing to comments by Hillary Clinton and the New York Times editors on the need for further restrictions to limit the weaponry of the Mexican drug cartels. While the supposition is far from unreasonable, stronger evidence supporting such claims is to date missing.
Ms. Feldman is both a former federal prosecutor and a frequent contributor here at American Thinker where she has repeatedly demonstrated a sharp eye for political hijinks. She is correct in implying that stronger evidence is needed before such charges can be given more credence. But it is also fair to point out that this suspicion of a larger Administration goal than apprehending big fish gun smugglers in Mexico is afoot. We may now have the stronger evidence Ms. Feldman and the AT editors cited need for.
Townhall.com has posted an email from "Mark R. Chait Assistant Director Field Operations," to a William D. Newell in July last year, which states:
Bill-can you see if these guns were all purchased from same Ffl and at one time. We are looking at anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long gun multiple sales.
Ffl is federal firearms licensee.
When this business of American firearms in Mexico first became news two years ago, I was immediately skeptical of the numbers proclaimed by the mainstream media: 90% of the cartels' guns were coming from the U.S. The liberal media had a heyday with a story where America was against the villain, even though common sense told me there were far easier ways to get guns into Mexico than smuggling them across its most heavily guarded border. With thousands of miles of coastline and a porous southern border with Central and South America, and hundreds of major arms dealers worldwide eager to ply the lethal products trade*, why choose the high-risk route? Fox News alone of the media shared my disbelief. And even though the liberal media and liberal Democrat politicians immediately used the story as further evidence of American perfidy and blame, it simply didn't stand up to common sense analysis, unless...
Unless of course the Obama Administration was deliberately allowing, even encouraging, the cross-border transshipment of firearms, which we now know was indeed the case. While the media and the gun control lobby were screaming that lax gun laws were to blame, it was in fact our own federal government facilitating the smuggling operations, supposedly in an attempt to ensnare the Mexican cartels. How that was to be accomplished has still not been explained. Once those guns crossed into Mexico, the U.S. lost jurisdiction over their use and the Mexican government's inability to disarm the cartels or even track captured weaponry is glaringly obvious. What then was the true objective of the Obama Administration?
As many of the comments for previous articles here at AT indicate, there are many of us who believe this may well have been part of the "under the radar" approach that Obama told gun control zealots that he was employing to effect stricter gun control laws in America. Those of you inclined to be skeptical should bear in mind that Obama and his closest advisors hail from Chicago, where all firearms must be registered with the police. Some suburban governments there actually ban handgun possession, but are under fire by the U.S. Supreme Court which has declared the tough restrictions unconstitutional. As conservatives know, this is just a bump on the road for true believers in gun control; those suburbs are busily seeking ways to circumvent the Court's ruling.
Skeptics should remind themselves that the agency running this scam is the ATF, a branch of Eric Holder's Justice Department; we have seen previously how little respect for the rule of law the nation's chief lawyer has. Just as Holder's Justice Department has overruled its own legal staff in other prosecutions, ATF leadership likewise ignored, in fact retaliated against, criticisms from its field agents.
Why would ATF leaders pursue a dangerous policy that has already caused the death of one agent and resulted in the deaths of unknown numbers of Mexicans, all cut down by US/ATF-supplied weaponry? If the cartels are beyond the legal reach of American authorities for the most part and the Mexican government is incapable of following through on any supposed entrapment program, then what was the true purpose of this otherwise senseless secret program? Read this excerpted quote, from a CBS affiliate no less, then consider again the above points:
On March 30, the 30th anniversary of the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, Jim Brady, who sustained a debilitating head wound in the attack, and his wife, Sarah, came to Capitol Hill to push for a ban on the controversial "large magazines." Brady, for whom the law requiring background checks on handgun purchasers is named, then met with White House press secretary Jay Carney. During the meeting, President Obama dropped in and, according to Sarah Brady, brought up the issue of gun control, "to fill us in that it was very much on his agenda," she said.
"I just want you to know that we are working on it," Brady recalled the president telling them. "We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar." [Emphasis added.]
For those of you still doubting my premise, consider the fact that the Obama administration used an administrative Justice Department order earlier this week to tighten the rules of purchase on the same type weapons they were allowing to go into Mexico uninhibited. That order specifically cites the same states where DoJ had previously conducted Operation Fast and Furious. It also points to "illegal gun trafficking into Mexico and along the Southwest Border," as justification.
No connection you say?
These are criminal breaches of trust with the people by the Obama Justice Department and perhaps Obama himself. That the Obama administration not only allowed but appears to have facilitated illegal firearms exports resulting in multiple deaths on both sides of the border, in furtherance of a domestic agenda of stricter gun control laws, is criminally prosecutable and politically lethal. Richard Nixon was forced to resign for a far less grievous offense; no one died by Nixon's hand, but two American agents are dead by the hand of whoever initiated this misguided program. If Republicans take control of the Senate in the 2012 elections, Barack Obama could be facing impeachment and conviction should the current House investigation into this scandal ultimately lead into the Oval Office and there find the smoking gun.
Contact your congressman and encourage him to support the House investigation, which Eric Holder is doing his very best to obstruct. The Chait email now makes Holder's obstruction understandable. Holder should be cited for contempt at the very least and according to the New York Times, "He's Impeachable, You Know."
*For a recent and definitive discussion of the true sources of drug cartel weaponry see this from Stratfor.