More on the ATF scandal

Seems we have had some congressional hearings going on now on the ATF’s botched gun running scandal, and people are talking. And some of the things they are pointing out make one wonder what really was behind this supposed operation. Things like Agent Dodson’s comment that:

“We were mandated to let these guns go,” Dodson said. The program began in 2009 and abruptly ended shortly after Terry’s death Dec. 15. The weapon used to kill Terry has not been identified.

Make it clear that the ATF knew that they couldn’t track these weapons once they crossed the border – leaving the legitimacy of the claim this was a sting operation highly in doubt. And one has to wonder if they called the program quits, very soon after the death of agent Terry, because they realized this was going to come back to them eventually. But the revelation that to me is the most damning to the ATF and the other bureaucrats up the chain of command trying to defend this thing or deflect blame from themselves, is the following quote by Dodson:

Prior to joining the ATF in Phoenix, Dodson told the panel that he had “never been involved in or even heard of an operation in which law enforcement officers let guns walk.” “I cannot begin to think of how the risk of letting guns fall into the hands of known criminals could possibly advance any legitimate law enforcement interest.”

Precisely! The negative publicity if something like this happened to go south should have been enough to dissuade any career bureaucrat. And yet, they still pushed it on. One is left wondering why, when it is so obvious that once the weapons were in Mexico they couldn’t be gotten at anymore, did they allow something as unprecedented as this to go on? The defense that they were tracking the weapons to make arrests clearly doesn’t pass muster, in light of revelations like this:

“What we have here is a colossal failure of leadership,” said ATF agent Pete Forcelli, a supervisor in the Phoenix office. “We weren’t giving guns to people for killing bear, we were giving guns to people to kill other humans. This was a catastrophic disaster.”

There is no doubt that the ATF KNEW that these weapons would end up killing people in Mexico. The question then begs to be asked: what benefit would that provide anyone? How would increasing the casualties in the ongoing war in Mexico serve any purpose, and what could that purpose be?

Well that perspective and purpose becomes clear in light of that campaign of falsehoods that lay blame on the violence in Mexico to easy access of guns in the USattempt to re-institute an assault weapons ban by the DOJ.

At a minimum the DOJ was pursuing its attempt to reinstitute an assault weapons ban in parallel with an ATF operation that armed drug gangs in Mexico and helped escalate the number of deaths while laying blame at the feet of the US. I suspect there was quite a bit more to this story, and that none of it will work itself out well for the people involved.

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  1. AlexInCT *

    Give that man a ci-gar! The desperation is going to make this ridiculously fun to watch. Too bad people had to die for these fools to yet again be exposed as insane and incompetent.

    Washington (CNN) — Kenneth Melson, acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, is expected to resign under pressure, perhaps in the next day or two, in the wake of the controversy over Operation Fast and Furious, two senior federal law enforcement sources said Monday.

    Its likely “under pressure” because he is arguing back at them with “But I did what you told me to do, do I don’t understand why are you throwing me under the bus now!”, and we all know how well that’s worked for all those people under the bus so far.

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  2. TxAg94

    Well that perspective and purpose becomes clear in light of that campaign of falsehoods that lay blame on the violence in Mexico to easy access of guns in the USattempt to re-institute an assault weapons ban by the DOJ.

    This B.S. has been going on for years. They cherry picked the data to find the weapons known to be from the U.S., counted pretty much only those weapons, then pointed out how they were a “majority”. If you read carefully, which most people and certainly not the media perpetuating the myth don’t, the claim comes out something like, “75% of the guns we selected to count were from the U.S. and would skew our statistics to match our agenda are from the U.S.”

    Furthermore, many of the weapons may very well be from the U.S. but go through the Mexican military. We give them all sorts of crap to fight the drug war that only ends up in the hands of criminals. I see photos of raids all the time showing military-grade machine guns, grenades, RPGs, etc. Last time I checked, we can’t buy those off the street up here.

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  3. Seattle Outcast

    Considering that the Obama administration is failing to turn over thousands of documents, I’d say it goes very high indeed.

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  4. Section8

    Considering that the Obama administration is failing to turn over thousands of documents, I’d say it goes very high indeed

    Where the hell you been man? He’s a Democrat, they aren’t obligated to turn over shit.

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  5. CM

    This really does sound like a plot arc from The Shield. Which means there must be some sort of Vic Mackey endgame in here somewhere. I think that’s the key – figuring out how he profits from this. My bet is Shane is going to fuck it up for Vic sometime soon though. We need to figure it out before that happens.

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  6. CM

    In addition to the testimony of four ATF special agents, Rep. Issa released three e-mails detailing the intimate involvement of ATF’s Acting Director Kenneth Melson and Acting Deputy Director Bill Hoover in Operation Fast and Furious:

    • The first e-mail from March 10, 2010, to Operation Fast and Furious Group VII Leader David Voth indicates that the two most senior leaders in ATF, Acting Director Kenneth Melson, and Deputy Director Billy Hoover, were “being briefed weekly on” Operation Fast and Furious. The document shows that both Melson and Hoover were “keenly interested in case updates.”

    • A second e-mail from March 12, 2010, shows that Deputy Assistant Director for Field Operations William McMahon was so excited about Fast and Furious that he received a special briefing on the program in Phoenix – scheduled for a mere 45 minutes after his plane landed.

    • A third – and perhaps the most disturbing – e-mail from April 12, 2010, indicates that Acting Director Melson was very much in the weeds with Operation Fast and Furious. After a detailed briefing of the program by the ATF Phoenix Field Division, Acting Director Melson had a plethora of follow-up questions that required additional research to answer. As the document indicates, Mr. Melson was interested in the IP Address for hidden cameras located inside cooperating gun shops. With this information, Acting Director Melson was able to sit at his desk in Washington and – himself – watch a live feed of the straw buyers entering the gun stores to purchase dozens of AK-47 variants.

    Lots of people shitting themselves then. And rightfully so.

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  7. InsipiD

    Just a couple of days ago, you were posting things questioning whether the program had even happened or that any motive was behind it. What changed your mind?

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    At first i was gonna slap you for such a dumbass statement, you clearly are not taking this seriously.
    however, The crap that our federal Government does, is far stranger than fiction.

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  9. Rann

    If I were to indulge my cynicism, it would be that what changed is that it’s becoming more obvious it did happen and there was indeed a sinister motive behind it… but that it was becoming clear enough people were going to be thrown under the bus to keep it from being associated with Obama.

    He’s hopped on board with the narrative, in other words, and IMO. Can’t deny anymore, so do your part to make sure it doesn’t fall on His Tingliness.

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  10. Kimpost

    If you were to ask me the same question, I would say that I never doubted that the program happened. Here’s my distinction, though.

    1. It is bad enough even if Holder or Obama knew nothing about the details of the operation.
    2. It is bad even if this was a plan to track and get to a cartel. Either the plan itself was crap, or its execution was. Or a combination thereof. That’s bad enough.

    There’s no need for adding grand gun grabbing conspiracies into the mix. Now, if there indeed was one, then fine, it’s worse than I could imagine. But as for now, I’m having a very difficult time computing that this was a complex sinister plot for selling guns to criminal syndicates, counting on them being used for killing people, so that it would make it easier to pass gun control legislation.

    The conspiracy just isn’t very likely, in my opinion. Yet it is what’s being suggested, by many. Certainly if you follow the blogs.

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  11. HARLEY

    The conspiracy just isn’t very likely, in my opinion. Yet it is what’s being suggested, by many. Certainly if you follow the blogs.

    Well, why not, the operation was established to track guns, but it seem it never made a attempt to do that after they left the store.
    The to meticulous care to detail of each sale, but failed to watch the gunrunners at all.
    ATF agents told Gun dealers to break the law and sell firearms to person whom, they did not think should be sold to.
    The ATF then told the Boarder patrol NOT to intercept or intefear with these guns in any way.
    As far as it has been reviled there NEVER was a attempt to do anything to these gun runners after the sale other than log the record of the sale.

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