In August, Acting ATF Director Ken Melson signed an agreement with the Mexican government to interdict gun smugglers moving weapons from the United States into Mexico. We now know that that feigned agreement was a farce, as a little more than a month later Operation Fast and Furious was forcing U.S. law enforcement agents to deceive Mexican authorities about their interdiction efforts. The administration allowed roughly 2,000 firearms to walk across the border beginning in October of 2009.
The eventual — perhaps inevitable — death of a U.S. Border Patrol Agent killed by criminals armed with at least two “walked” AK-pattern semi-automatic rifles finally shut the program down in December of 2010. The shooting death of an American cop was the final straw for the ATF whistleblower who exposed the program, which may also have contributed to an estimated 150 or more Mexican police and soldier shootings, and many of civilians. Had a whistleblower come forward earlier, all might have been alive today.
You can read more about the timeline of what happened after Gunwalker was exposed on several blogs (this is a good rundown), and you will find calls for those responsible for this nightmare to be removed from office. Acting ATF Director Ken Melson will be the first official likely dismissed as a result of Gunwalker, but there are significant indications that more senior administration officials knew about and perhaps have lied about their knowledge of the program.
This operation could not have taken place without the cooperation of the Department of Homeland Security — DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano should bear responsibility for her agency’s actions. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has apparently lied to Congress about when he knew of Gunwalker, and considering the scope of the operation it is implausible that he was not involved in its implementation.
It is only reasonable to believe that knowledge of this operation did not stop with cabinet-level officials. If the directors of so many executive branch agencies were involved in this scandal, as it appears they might have been, it is plausible that knowledge of this scheme — perhaps the origination? — came directly from the White House.
One might ask what our laws demand of officials complicit in a plot that used the power of U.S. law enforcement agencies to pressure gun shops into selling weapons to narco-terrorists. If this is indeed the case, impeachment and resignations are just the beginning of the process of seeking justice. Those who authorized this operation and facilitated what was essentially a gunrunning operation to achieve what appears to be a political goal may very well be guilty of a number of felonies — and wanted for extradition to face justice in Mexican courts as well.
Under Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution, any person who levies war against the United States or adheres to its enemies by giving them aid and comfort is guilty of the act of treason. Gunwalker supplied narco-terrorists on our southern border with thousands of firearms.
Less dramatic, but more damning, is the fact that those that authorized this operation betrayed our ally Mexico, and are arguably accessories to more than 150 shootings of Mexican law enforcement officers and soldiers.
The Constitution puts no one above the law. If Melson, Napolitano, Holder, Obama and their staffs were complicit in a plot to arm narco-terrorists that led to hundreds dead and wounded, they must face justice.