Time for Daylight: U.S. Weapons Reaching Cartel Hands a Huge Scandal

The U.S. government is the top supplier of the most effective weapons in the narco-terrorist arsenal, a story that much of the U.S. media is trying hard to ignore.

Fox News has reported that the U.S. government is the ultimate source for the majority of cartel machine guns, as well as hand grenades and plastic explosives. These munitions have been used to kill law enforcement officers, government officials, and civilians. According to sources, the weapons get from our government to the cartels via three routes:

U.S. Defense Department shipments to Latin America, known and tracked by the U.S. State Department as "foreign military sales."

Weapons ordered by the Mexican government, tracked by the State Department as "direct commercial sales."

Aging but plentiful arsenals of military weapon stores in Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua.

Firearms such as M16 and M4 assault rifles -- real, selective-fire weapons that can fire as machine guns -- are sold directly to cartels by corrupt soldiers in the Mexican military, some of the weapons in new or like-new condition. Anecdotal evidence suggests that at least some of these firearms are sold to the cartels by Mexican soldiers that have gone AWOL with individual weapons, but many more are coming directly from corrupt government and military officials with armory access.

Some AK-pattern rifles and other Russian-designed automatic weapons can be traced to Latin American nations where the U.S. provided the governments these weapons as military aid.

Many of the grenades recovered from the cartels came from U.S. military assistance to central American countries decades ago, where aging stockpiles are being sold to cartels.

American weapons in cartel hands range in age from decades-old to nearly new. The exact age and point of ingress for these weapons is generally obscured by the U.S. and Mexican governments, who would rather not reveal how and why these weapons are leaving government armories to arrive in extremely violent hands.

This reality is a far cry from claims made by the Obama administration and echoed by Mexican President Felipe Calderon, the false narrative dubbed the “90 percent lie.” President Obama has long pushed the fiction that U.S. gun stores catering to civilians in border states are responsible for supplying up to 90 percent of the firearms used by Mexican cartels. In this fantasy scenario, straw purchasers buy firearms by the gross from corrupt gun dealers and then ship them over the border to Mexico. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder peddled this tale as early as February of 2009, just one month after the president was sworn in.

The claim was quickly revealed to be an incontrovertible falsehood. Only eight percent of firearms recovered by Mexican authorities came from U.S. gun shops -- it remains to be seen how many of those were a result of Holder’s Justice Department knowingly allowing thousands of weapons to be shipped to cartels as part of the ATF’s "Gunwalker" scandal. Two of the weapons the ATF allowed to enter Mexico were captured from Mexican cartel members in Arizona after U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was gunned down in the line of duty.