Drugs R Us

The more I read about Fast and Furious, the more I am reminded of Milo Minderbinder's M & M Syndicate in Joseph Heller's Catch 22. If you recall, "the business of government is 'business" was Milo's operating principle and he sacrificed the needs of the troops to expand M & M's profits, selling off their parachutes and feeding them chocolate dipped Egyptian cotton. In Fast & Furious, the object of the operation seems to have been to increase illicit Mexico-U.S. drug running and border crime, protecting the worst criminals from prosecution and then blaming lawful licensed gun dealers for the perfectly predictable results of the government's secret, bizarre machinations by which they were forced to sell these weapons to middlemen who carried out the cross-border weapons transfers.

This week we learned from Business Insider that for some years (predating this administration, that is, from 2000 to 2012) the U.S. government has been working with the dreaded Sinaloa drug cartel. In exchange for helping them damage their rivals' operations and import their drugs into the U.S. without consequence, they provided us with information about those rivals.

The account asserts that Vincente Zambada-Nieble, a Sinaloa cartel officer, was arrested and told Mexican authorities that the gunrunning operation Fast & Furious was part of our government's agreement to arm and finance Sinaloa's operation.

Eighty percent of the drugs -- heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamine worth $3 billion -- which enter the Chicago area and which find their way throughout the country each year are brought here by Sinaloa. So as we are spending a fortune to interdict illegal drug running in the U.S. and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is working to imprison those who have them in their possession, DEA is working along with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATFE) as a partner with perhaps the largest Western illegal drug running, murderous criminal enterprise.

This provides greater detail:

Zambada-Niebla [son of Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada, reputedly Sinaloa's "logistics coordinator"] has also alleged that Operation Fast and Furious was an agreement with the US to finance and arm Sinaloa in return for information on rivals. The gun-walking scandal, dubbed Operation Fast and Furious, involved the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives deliberately allowing licensed firearms dealers to sell weapons to illegal buyers. The ATF allegedly planned to track the guns to Mexican drug cartels for later arrest.

To recap, the Drug Enforcement Agency whose mission is to "is to enforce the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States and to bring to the criminal and civil justice systems of the United States, or any other competent jurisdiction, those organizations, and principal members of organizations, involved in the growing, manufacture, or distribution of controlled substances appearing in or destined for illicit traffic in the United States," and the ATFE whose mission is "to conduct criminal investigations, regulate the firearms and explosives industries, and assist other law enforcement agencies" facilitated what appears to be the biggest drug operation in this country and Mexico and aided in the transfer of thousands of illegal weapons to that cartel. What had started years before as a small and idiotic plan to let a few guns across the border to track their sale to Sinaloa rival drug cartels, became under Holder (who still claims to know nothing of this) a scheme in which the U.S. forced licensed firearms sellers to become a source of a river of firearms for Sinaloa with really no tracking effort whatsoever. We know that at least two U.S. law officers were killed with these weapons and hundreds of Mexicans as well. How many of these weapons were used to commit other crimes in these two countries is as yet unknown and may never be.

And then, to make the entire effort more outrageous, the Attorney General claimed to know nothing of the operation while the administration which had forced the licensed firearms sellers to make these unrecorded sales used the same sales to argue for greater restrictions on gun marketing, which one presumes would be enforced by ATFE, the very agency smack dab in the middle of the largest gun and drug trafficking operation of all.

Could even Joseph Heller have imagined this? Reality approximates Milo's machinations.

Janet at Just One Minute has another question: U.S. border agent Brian Terry was shot on December 14th and died the following day, December 15th. That was the very day the Washington Post writers rolled out the administration propaganda that more regulation was needed to prevent drugs from crossing the border.

Drug cartels have aggressively turned to the United States because Mexico severely restricts gun ownership. Following gunrunning paths that have been in place for 50 years, firearms cross the border and end up in the hands of criminals as well as ordinary citizens seeking protection.

"This is not a new phenomenon," Webb said.

What is different now, authorities say, is the number of high-powered rifles heading south -- AR-15s, AK-47s, armor-piercing .50-caliber weapons -- and the savagery of the violence.

Federal authorities say more than 60,000 U.S. guns of all types have been recovered in Mexico in the past four years, helping fuel the violence that has contributed to 30,000 deaths. Mexican President Felipe Calderon came to Washington in May and urged Congress and President Obama to stop the flow of guns south.

U.S. law enforcement has ramped up its focus on gun trafficking along the southwestern border. Arrests of individual gunrunners have surged. But investigators rarely bring regulatory actions or criminal cases against U.S. gun dealers, in part because of laws backed by the gun lobby that make it difficult to prove cases.

Who fed this poppycock to James Grimaldi and Sari Horowitz? Is the Washington Post the least bit concerned that it was used -- and by whom? -- to provide cover for this lunatic government operation and propagandize its gun grabbing ploy?

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