To the best of my knowledge, no previous U.S. administration has ever destabilized the government of a putatively friendly foreign power purely for domestic political gain.
The closest you can get would be the revolutionary movement in what is now Panama, that the U.S. nurtured to gain that area’s independence (from Nicaragua) — to facilitate building the Panama Canal. But that was a pre-existing revolutionary movement with pre-existing complaints against the Nicaraguan government that did not include stopping them from selling illegal drugs. (Editor’s note: Panama gained its independence from Colombia, not Nicaragua.)
The gains Obama & Co. seem to be seeking come in three flavors. Ranked in order of time-criticality from their POV, they are most likely:
1. Short-term: Increased illegal immigration from Mexico as people attempt to flee the increasing violence (allowing them to push the DREAM Act through, and “stacking the deck” in the next election via ACORN and SEIU);
2. Medium-term: Propaganda for tighter gun laws (possibly enacted by Executive Order, bypassing the Congress);
3. Long-term: Legalization of “recreational drugs,” helped by a “drug friendly” Mexican government, influenced by if not overtly controlled by the drug cartels.
I strongly suspect that (3) is the ultimate objective, with (1) and (2) being seen (at least by Obama & Co.) as “stepping-stones” to attaining it.
While I personally think (3) is a non-starter even as a long-term issue, investigators and pundits closely tracking Gunwalker have long suspected a larger game was afoot.
A high-risk plot involving major elements of the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, Treasury, and State, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Border Patrol, and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CID), requiring approval from the State Department, isn’t something that comes from a mid-level bureaucrat. It is typically incited and decided by the very highest levels of appointed and elected officials.
As anyone with any experience in government will attest, there is massive institutional inertia against both change and risk. It is insurmountable without significant stakeholder support. In government, this means directors, secretaries, and elected officeholders.
An operation like Fast and Furious would have been jettisoned in the conceptual stages as inherently dangerous and assured of failure, as various veteran law enforcement officers have attested (including here at PJMedia in an article by LAPD veteran “Jack Dunphy”):
I can appreciate the desire to use novel law enforcement approaches in confronting the violence attendant to drug trafficking in Mexico. Someone, displaying a bit of that outside-the-box thinking, came up with the idea of allowing thousands of weapons to be bought on this side of the border with the idea that they could be tracked as they made their way through the network of cartel members and facilitators and into the hands of Mexican outlaws.
This was a pipe dream. To me, it is inconceivable that this operation ever made it out of the first meeting where it was discussed. It goes to show how detached police executives can be from the reality of police work as it is actually practiced. There is simply no effective way to track a gun once it leaves the store where it was purchased.
We’ve long suspected that what “eon” calls a “medium-term” goal — propaganda for tighter gun laws — was the ultimate goal of Gunwalker, but the plot makes significantly more sense if Gunwalker did have multiple goals, of which gun control was just one.
A logical speculation posted by “eon” is that the short-term goal of Gunwalker was to increase violence in Mexico. This would drive more Mexican citizens northward as illegal aliens, seeking respite from the violence in their home country. Their plight would provide the administration a way to pitch the DREAM Act as an act of kindness to political refugees and another step towards amnesty.
This would be a strategy straight from the Cloward-Piven playbook.