Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News has posted a bombshell article detailing how the Obama administration has greatly increased gun sales to the Mexican military. But further investigation into Attkisson’s discovery points toward the padding of a gun-control statistic — one frequently mentioned by the Obama administration — as the motive behind the increased sales.
One weapon — an AR-15-type semi-automatic rifle — tells the story. In 2006, this same kind of rifle — tracked by serial number — is legally sold by a U.S. manufacturer to the Mexican military.
Three years later — it’s found in a criminal stash in a region wracked by Mexican drug cartel violence.
That prompted a “sensitive” cable, uncovered by WikiLeaks, dated June 4, 2009, in which the U.S. State Department asked Mexico “how the AR-15″ — meant only for the military or police — was “diverted” into criminal hands.
And, more importantly, where the other rifles from the same shipment went: “Please account for the current location of the 1,030 AR-15 type rifles,” reads the cable.
There’s no response in the record.
The problem of weapons legally sold to Mexico — then diverted to violent cartels — is becoming more urgent. That’s because the U.S. has quietly authorized a massive escalation in the number of guns sold to Mexico through ”direct commercial sales.” It’s a way foreign countries can acquire firearms faster and with less disclosure than going through the Pentagon.
Perhaps the most interesting disclosure: the 1,030 weapons that were sold for use by the Mexican military were not military-grade weapons. The Mexican government was acquiring the AR-15, a semi-automatic firearm designed for the civilian market. Selective-fire weapons (which have the ability to fire either in fully automatic or semi-automatic) would be preferred by virtually any modern military force.
Why was the Mexican military buying commercial, off-the-shelf AR-15 rifles from the Obama administration via the State Department in record numbers? Writes Attkisson:
[The State Department] approve[d] 2,476 guns to be sold to Mexico in 2006. In 2009, that number was up nearly 10 times, to 18,709. The State Department has since stopped disclosing numbers of guns it approves, and wouldn’t give CBS News figures for 2010 or 2011.
With Mexico in a virtual state of war with its cartels, nobody’s tracking how many U.S. guns are ending up with the enemy.
The State Department audits only a tiny sample — less than 1 percent of sales — but the results are disturbing: In 2009, more than a quarter (26 percent) of the guns sold to the region that includes Mexico were “diverted” into the wrong hands, or had other “unfavorable” results.
If the audited sample is representative of the total, 26 percent of 18,709 — 4,864 guns — were diverted from the Mexican military to the cartels in one year, and the Obama administration apparently chose not to stop the program.
Does a logical reason exist for the administration to continue to approve such sales?