Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Fast & Felonious

I haven't said much about the federal government's "Fast & Furious" program.  Scanning the archives, I think there are only three posts wherein I mention it, and one of them is congratulating David Codrea and Mike Vanderboegh for getting acknowledged as real live authorized journalists for their truly outstanding work in exposing the crimes.  Most of what I'm going to say here is mere repetition of what David and Mike have been reporting all along, but I want some recording of these crimes on this blog.

And it was criminal.

The vast majority of news coverage still calls it a "botched operation" where weapons "slipped across" the border and were "lost," but the fact is the weapons were intentionally allowed across the border with no expectation of tracking them until they were recovered at crime scenes, and there is evidence that tax dollars paid for at least some of them.

Less mentioned are the allegations that "Fast & Furious" was not an exceptional program, that there were other, similar programs operated out of Texas and Florida, with the Florida operation moving weapons to MS-13 in Honduras called "Operation Castaway."  Even less mentioned is the allegation that the U.S. State Dept., through its "direct commercial sales" program - the same program that is used to provide weapons and materiel to friendly governments like Mexico - provided military weapons directly to the Zetas cartel with no straw-purchase middlemen whatsoever.

And now it is reported that over the three years of Obama's first term, "direct commercial sales" to the Mexican government have increased significantly from the Bush era, some ten times greater in 2009 over 2006, and that a significant portion of those weapons have ended up "diverted" into cartel hands.

How significant?

Well "Fast & Furious" was responsible for something on the close order of 2,500 weapons. The (admitted) "direct commercial sales" diversions are on the order of 9,000 weapons.

And the .gov hasn't released information on how many weapons ostensibly went to the Mexican government through the "direct commercial sales" route in 2010 and so far this year.

In one of the few posts I did on F&F, I quoted an op-ed from the local alt.weekly that postulated:
A high-ranking member of the Sinaloa cartel has testified that his organization received from U.S. and Mexican authorities guarantees of immunity and all the weapons it would need to crush its competitors — an ongoing initiative that's resulted in an incredible escalation of violence in Mexico over the past few years.

It's quite possible that "Fast and Furious" was not a sting at all, but was intended to aid the Sinaloans in their efforts to recapture the quieter "good ol' days" when they enjoyed a virtual monopoly.
And now we have email evidence that the massive multiple-sales of arms to known straw-purchasers by Arizona gun dealers at the encouragement of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives were to be used as an excuse for more gun control regulations.

As one commenter put it,
The more the news reveals about Fast & Furious (& Handgrenades!) the more that I think: Chicago Way. The corruption is so thick you can't flush enough toilets to get it down to the gulf of Mexico.
In high-level politics, there's never just one reason anything happens, there are layers.  Heads need to (figuratively) roll over this.  Enough across the border have already done so.  But there need to be many high .gov officials in prison cells over this.

Of course there won't be.  Just like Rod Blagojevich won't spend 14 years in prison.  After November, 2012, I doubt you'll hear another peep about Fast & Furious from the legacy media.  It'll be as though it never happened.  Eric Holder might - might - not be Attorney General, but that's the most that will happen.

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