The US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has been found to have knowingly allowed smugglers to purchase 1900+ firearms including AK-47s, hand-guns and nineteen .50 calibre rifles in Phoenix, AZ and deliver them to cartels in Mexico. Several of these weapons were used in crimes including downing police helicopters and killing Mexican citizens and a US border patrol agent. The stated objective of the operation Fast and Furious was to track the weapons to obtain convictions of higher-ups but the operation went on far longer than that would have required. The operation was hidden from ATF agents in Mexico and their traces put on weapons at one point were stonewalled. There is suspicion the real purpose of the operation was to heat up alarm about gun smuggling to increase ATF’s budget… It is also possible the ATF was penetrated by the cartels. Nothing else makes sense.
At this time, Congress is looking for ways to trim the budget and the $billion budget of the ATF could well be on the list.
A draft of a report from the oversight committee is available here.
What I would like to know is why charges haven’t been laid against the idiots who conceived and implemented this project which led to death, mayhem and an international incident. Both ATF and US DOJ were involved. Was president Obama? If so, this could be the last nail in the coffin of his ambitions for re-election. It could be the last nail in the coffin for the ATF.
There could be valid statistical or data-collection reasons for this operation but surely they must have been overruled in the minds of rational beings when the danger of causing serious widespread harm was so real. They could have included electronic tracking devices in the weapons but they did not. They allowed them to vanish into the terrain, only to be found at great cost in money, manpower and death.