A Washington Times editorial notes that Operation Fast and Furious was “too fast, too furious,” as the gunrunning scandal continues to widen.
It was bad enough that more than a half-dozen director-level law enforcement officials and an unknown number of supervisors and managers acquiesced to a plot that armed cartels with more than 2,000 weapons in ATF’s Phoenix Field Operations area. But saying that a combination of groupthink, stupidity, and institutional inertia is to blame for this fiasco is giving dozens of federal law enforcement officers across multiple agencies the benefit of the doubt that they are merely criminally incompetent.
The increasingly more plausible motivation: political appointees of the current administration concocted a scheme to destabilize a friendly government to restore the flagging anti-gun movement.
That scenario would have seemed paranoid just weeks ago, but new evidence appearing almost daily indicates that the “Fast and Furious” scandal based in Arizona may be just one part of a much wider campaign by multiple government agencies acting well beyond the law.
Recent developments indicate that in addition to Fast and Furious in Arizona, another gunrunning operation was headquartered in ATF’s Tampa Field Operations area. It allowed roughly 1,000 firearms to be smuggled to the ultra-violent MS-13 gang in Honduras.
Evidence also suggests that similar multi-agency programs exist in both the Houston and Dallas Field Operations areas covering all of Texas and Oklahoma.
Taken together, this suggests that we are not dealing with an isolated incident, but an ambitious and insidious attempt by the highest levels of a rogue government to reshape our world by any means necessary.
Katie Pavlich broke the story yesterday of a ”smoking gun” email between ATF officials: Mark R Chait, assistant director for field operations with the ATF, copied ATF deputy assistant director for field operations on an email to William Newell, the special agent in charge (SAC) of the Phoenix Field Division:
Bill – Can you see if these guns were all purchased from the same FfL and at one time. We are looking at anecdotal cases to support a letter on long gun multiple sales.
Chait was asking Newell to use tracing data to support an initiative supported by the administration to require the reporting of multiple rifle sales.
If that sounds familiar, it should; this week, President Obama pushed an executive order — an end-run around Congress – stating the feds will now require the reporting of multiple rifle sales within a five-day period. That the office of the presidency lacks the constitutional authority to enact such a rule seems irrelevant to this administration, which is certain to see this edict challenged in court if the ATF attempts to enforce it.
Even more damning: the existence of more emails that confirm these same ATF officials and others were colluding to use the Operation “Fast and Furious” guns that they helped smuggle into Mexico as a pretext for the new reporting regulation.
Congressman Darrell Issa and Senator Charles Grassley continue to unravel this plot. Along with the emails proving that the ATF was using “walked” guns to justify stricter gun laws, they sent a letter to embattled Attorney General Eric Holder asking the following:
- Is there any other evidence suggesting that ATF of DOJ officials discussed how Operation Fast and Furious could be used to justify additional regulatory authorities for the ATF? IF so, are there any such indications prior to July 14, 2010?
- Rather than collecting additional information on law-abiding gun owners, what steps have you taken to ensure that the ATF is better able to act on the information it already possesses to interdict the flow of firearms to criminals?
If most of the claims regarding this scandal are substantiated — and developing evidence certainly indicates a high likelihood of that happening — we face a watershed moment in American history.
Every component of federal law enforcement within the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security — and most likely with the knowledge of the Department of State — undertook a massive operation designed to facilitate the flow of thousands of weapons into the hands of some of the most vicious criminal organizations on Earth. These operations likely took place with the full knowledge of cabinet level officials, and possibly the White House. The weapons “walked” were used to gun down innocent men, women, and children, not to mention the brave police officers and soldiers in each nation trying to wage peace.
It demands a criminal investigation and the possible RICO prosecution of dozens of federal law enforcement officers, supervisors, senior management, political appointees, and possibly elected officials.
Our federal law enforcement apparatus became a criminal conspiracy. This was an assault on the democratic rule of law and the very essence of our republic.