The PJ Tatler

Emails Show ATF Intended to Use 'Fast and Furious' to Promote Gun Control

CBS’ Sharly Attkinson may force me to retire the CBS-Sauron photoshop I did in my Junkyardblog days. Her reporting has blazed the trail on Fast and Furious, and her latest story may seal the deal on just what that operation was really all about.

In Fast and Furious, ATF secretly encouraged gun dealers to sell to suspected traffickers for Mexican drug cartels to go after the “big fish.” But ATF whistleblowers told CBS News and Congress it was a dangerous practice called “gunwalking,” and it put thousands of weapons on the street. Many were used in violent crimes in Mexico. Two were found at the murder scene of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.

ATF officials didn’t intend to publicly disclose their own role in letting Mexican cartels obtain the weapons, but emails show they discussed using the sales, including sales encouraged by ATF, to justify a new gun regulation called “Demand Letter 3”. That would require some U.S. gun shops to report the sale of multiple rifles or “long guns.” Demand Letter 3 was so named because it would be the third ATF program demanding gun dealers report tracing information.

On July 14, 2010 after ATF headquarters in Washington D.C. received an update on Fast and Furious, ATF Field Ops Assistant Director Mark Chait emailed Bill Newell, ATF’s Phoenix Special Agent in Charge of Fast and Furious:

“Bill – can you see if these guns were all purchased from the same (licensed gun dealer) and at one time. We are looking at anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long gun multiple sales. Thanks.”

“We’re going to use our own mandate to sell long guns to argue for more control over the sale of long guns.” Basically.

Several gun dealers who cooperated with ATF told CBS News and Congressional investigators they only went through with suspicious sales because ATF asked them to.

Sometimes it was against the gun dealer’s own best judgment.

Read the email

In April, 2010 a licensed gun dealer cooperating with ATF was increasingly concerned about selling so many guns. “We just want to make sure we are cooperating with ATF and that we are not viewed as selling to the bad guys,” writes the gun dealer to ATF Phoenix officials, “(W)e were hoping to put together something like a letter of understanding to alleviate concerns of some type of recourse against us down the road for selling these items.”

Read the whole thing. These emails seem to be the smoking gun (har har) proving that the intent of Fast and Furious was political — to weaken resistance to gun control, which we know that Obama told gun control advocates he was working on “under the radar.” And way outside the legislative process. The president, AG Holder and SecState Clinton were all making public statements blaming Mexico’s drug war violence on US gun laws while Fast and Furious was going on. It strains credulity to believe that there was no connection.

Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry is dead because of Fast and Furious. As many as 300 Mexicans may be dead because of FnF. And the Obama administration sealed the records of the investigation into Terry’s murder.

What we have here is a murder cover-up that likely reaches the president himself.

Maybe we need to re-think merely firing Eric Holder, and find a way to get him to turn state’s evidence on his crime boss.

h/t Ace