The Acting Director of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Kenneth Melson, may resign under pressure, perhaps in the next day or two, after the controversial Operation Fast and Furious, which focused on following people who legally bought weapons that were then transferred to criminals in Mexico. Instead of intercepting the firearms, the operation called for ATF agents to let the guns surface in Mexico. The theory was that once the weapons in Mexico were traced back to the purchaser, the entire arms smuggling network could be dismantled. Instead, letting the weapons get into the wrong hands allowed a number of preventable deaths, including that of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
Brian Terry was killed 18 miles NORTH of the Mexican border in Rio Rico, Arizona last year. He and other agents engaged in a gunfight with bandits who were preying on illegal immigrants in the desert.
Two weapons found near the scene were traced to Fast and Furious.
All of which causes me to ask just one questions, “What did the management of ATF THINK that Mexican criminals were going to do with their shiny, new firearms?”
The operation reflects the foolishness of placing theoreticians in leadership positions, even though that is were many theoreticians wind up!
A committee in the U.S. House of Representatives is investigating Operation Fast and Furious. The chairman of the committee, Representative Darrell Issa (Republican – California) called the operation “felony stupid.” Perhaps as many as 2,000 semiautomatic rifles reached the drug cartels as a result of the operation, and ATF officials were briefed on the operation regularly.
The Mexican attorney general’s office demanded a quick U.S. investigation of the operation, in March, and demanded that those responsible for the operation be held accountable.
In California, the State Legislature has continually proposed legislation to restrict the Second Amendment Rights of law-abiding owners of firearms, while the ATF has been supplying Mexican criminals with firearms. It boggles the mind.
(Note added July 11, 2011: The” ‘Fast and Furious’ scandal grows with revelation that Mexican cartel suspects may be paid U.S. informants.“)
(Note added August 10, 2011: A fascinating history of “Fast and Furious” was published in the Los Angeles Times.)
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