Free Markets, Free People

Was “Fast and Furious” a government plot to increase gun control?

We’ve been asking about that since the scandal first came to light months and months ago on the podcast and on the blog.  Usually not given to conspiracy theories, we’ve found it hard to justify the operation otherwise.  The recent use of executive privilege by the President seems to lend credence to the assertion/theory.

At least in this case, It appears where there’s smoke there may be fire.  And both Rep. Issa and Sen. Grassley have spoken out on the notion:

But the suggestion by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., that the deadly operation was conceived to advance the administration’s gun-control agenda is quite plausible.

"Here’s the real answer as to gun control," Issa said on ABC’s "This Week": "We have email from people involved in this that are talking about using what they’re finding here to support the — basically assault weapons — ban or greater reporting."

Issa was asked about the possible connection after comments he made at an NRA convention. "Could it be," he said on NRA News’ "Cam & Company" program, "that what they really were thinking of was in fact to use this walking of guns in order to promote an assault weapons ban? Many think so. And they haven’t come up with an explanation that would cause any of us not to agree."

Grassley is less oblique about it:

According to Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, "There’s plenty of evidence developing that the administration planned to use the tragedies of Fast and Furious as rationale to further their goals of a long gun reporting requirement."

In fact, they’ve already cranked up the reporting requirements:

As Issa noted on "This Week," the Department of Justice announced on April 25, 2011, "right in the middle of the scandal," that it was requiring some 8,500 gun stores in Arizona, California, Texas and New Mexico to report individual purchases of multiple rifles of greater than .22 caliber by law-abiding American citizens to the ATF because such guns are "frequently recovered at violent crime scenes near the Southwest border."

Of course every one of the multiple sales that contributed to the guns that went into Mexico were okayed by the ATF. And don’t forget the prelude to all of this:  the use of a discredited study that supplied the justification for an attempt to increase gun control:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and others in the administration had been pushing the discredited line that 90% of guns seized in Mexico came from the U.S. as justification for stricter gun laws and reporting rules.

But of course, it’s all really nothing more than a logical assertion or theory at the moment since the misnamed Department of Justice won’t release key documents as legally and rightfully demanded by Congress (in the execution of its Constitutional duty of oversight) and the President of the United States is aiding and abetting this avoidance of DoJ’s legal duties.

Reinstating the assault gun ban and tightening gun control are undeniable goals of the liberal left.  There’s no denying that.  But to summarily do it would be politically disastrous and they know that as well.  So there has to be a pretext, a reason for it.  What better pretext than the death of hundreds of Mexicans at the hands of guns smuggled in from the US coupled with the false 90% stat?  Convenient, no?

Obviously it wasn’t supposed to leak out that the Federal government ordered it or, I’d guess, see 2 Federal agents be murdered as a result of their operation.

What could be worse than turning over the documents requested by Congress?

Something like this coming to light.

Look for the Obama administration to do whatever is necessary to delay, deny and obfuscate for 4 months on this.

But if this is true, and if Obama is fortunate enough to be re-elected, it may end up being a very short second term.  There are scandals presidents can survive and then there are those they can’t survive.

This would be, or at least should be, one that isn’t survivable.


Twitter: @McQandO

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34 Responses to Was “Fast and Furious” a government plot to increase gun control?

  • It certainly appears so.  Yes, it does.
    And…seriously…how could we have an AG who would say anything like, “Americans need to be brainwashed…”?  EVER???
    PLUS, it looks the the contempt citation will be bi-partisan.  Heh.

  • You coul’dve dispensed with your entire post and just replaced it with a ‘YES” in red, 99-point font

    • I disagree.

      99 pt. is not a multiple of common fonts.  I’d say 108 would be a better choice.

      • When they landed on the moon, the NYTimes printed the headline in their largest type .. took a picture of it .. and blew it up

  • The history of totalitarian, communist, atheist and fascist ideologies reveals that those who hold these views have absolutely no reservations about killing innocent persons where it serves to advance their power and ideology.  In fact, such killings in mass quantities (e.g., Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, etc.) is the hallmark of the 20th century.  Thus, it is no surprise, knowing the ideology of Obama, Holder, Van Jones and the rest, that this administration would not even blink at using the deaths of 100s of Mexican civilians, not to mention two Federal agents, to further their agenda.  I think after they made such a decision, they went home, had a nice dinner, played with their kids, and didn’t give another thought to the carnage and blood, and human lives and families destroyed, by their decisions.  Their actions were no different than Eichmann making up a schedule for trains carrying Jews, Gyspies and undesirables to the concentration camps for their extermination.  Just another administrative decision task that needed to be made.

    • The history of totalitarian, communist, atheist theocratic and fascist ideologies reveals that those who hold these views have absolutely no reservations about killing innocent persons where it serves to advance their power and ideology.”

      There, I fixed it for you.
      Many, many wars and acts of murderous cruelty have been done in the name of religion.  The murders by totalitarian regimes which were atheists were done in the name of communism.  Their opposition to religion was merely a means to wrest the hearts and minds of the proles away from religious leaders.
      Atheism is simply the lack of belief in the supernatural.  While that, in and of itself, is no guarantee that in other areas one will be sensible or ethical, it is true that in order to face reality and deal with facts as part of being a fully ethical human being, one must not fall prey to explanations that invisible entities do magical things which defy the usual laws of nature–or at least not in any way which affects one’s ethical judgements.

      • The history of totalitarian, communist, theocratic and fascist ideologies reveals that those who hold these views have absolutely no reservations about killing innocent persons where it serves to advance their power and ideology.”

        I did the strike through on “atheist” but it didn’t come out that way.  So, the above is the result of my corrections.

  • Yes.

  • My take on this is that in the eyes of ATF Special Agent Bill Newell, the “super-genius” who started Fast & Furious and Wide Reciever, it most certainly was an attempt at increased gun control.  Newell is on record as a staunch gun control advocate.
    As far as everybody else, I’m not quite as sure.  I think for many folks they looked at it as an opportunity for increase gun control but came around to that position after the fact.  I willing to be convince otherwise.
    From listening to Issa comments, I think this is his position as well.
    The one point that I haven’t heard explained is that there were one (or two) attempts at doing some variations of “gun walking” prior to “Fast & Furious.”  I’ve heard that as soon as DC found out about guns “walking” in “Wide Receiver” that they shut it down.  My point is, if the Bush era attempts were so bad (and the probably were), why did the super-geniuses in the Obama Administration decide to try an even worst variation on an unpleasant theme ?

    “Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.” ― Albert Einstein

    This claim that “Bush did it too” merely shows that the Obama Administration is at least equally stupid and probably more so for following a stupid program with an even stupider, bigger program.

    • The usual leftist trope – “they were stupid, we’ll do it right”.
      And don’t buy that myth whole cloth.  Gun tracking was attempted in Wide Receiver, using various methods such as RFID chips and aerial surveillance.  The methods were found lacking and that was what prompted them to STOP the process.   Fast and Furious literally wrote the serial numbers down, handed them to the culprits, and didn’t even BOTHER to try tracking them. That’s a significant difference, even if the tracking methods were ultimately flawed in Wide Receiver.
      In one the failure of the tracking method appears to have been a factor in terminating the operation, in the other, it WAS the freaking operation, and it appears only to have been terminated because suddenly there were American deaths, government AGENT deaths, associated with it.
      In addition Wide Receiver was known to the Mexican government, Fast and Furious was not.  So don’t let them pull an ‘everybody does it, Bush did it too, Bush did it first’ here.

      • In OWR, the guns were tracked and the Mexicans were alerted when they crossed the border. Still, several hundred guns were “lost”. In OF&F there was NO tracking* and NO coordination with the Mexicans, and ALL the guns were lost, and that appears to be a feature, not a bug.

        *I believe two guns did have tracker units in them, which field agents added on their own from hardware they acquired themselves.

        Fundamentaly, ORW and OF&F are different in the most important aspects.

  • Well they better hope that it can’t be proved conclusively – there are too many bodies to lay at their feet in Mexico alone (though I’ve already seen the left – Bill Maher, asshat, assure us it was only a couple hundred, and Republicans don’t care, and the ultimate arrogance that these Mexicans probably would have died anyway).
    So many deaths inflicted so they could ‘prevent further bloodshed’ is not just ironic, it’s fantastically, diabolically, criminal.

  • Indeed, a six-month Fortune investigation reveals that the public case alleging that Voth and his colleagues walked guns is replete with distortions, errors, partial truths, and even some outright lies. Fortune reviewed more than 2,000 pages of confidential ATF documents and interviewed 39 people, including seven law-enforcement agents with direct knowledge of the case. Several, including Voth, are speaking out for the first time.
    How Fast and Furious reached the headlines is a strange and unsettling saga, one that reveals a lot about politics and media today. It’s a story that starts with a grudge, specifically Dodson’s anger at Voth. After the terrible murder of agent Terry, Dodson made complaints that were then amplified, first by right-wing bloggers, then by CBS. Rep. Issa and other politicians then seized those elements to score points against the Obama administration, which, for its part, has capitulated in an apparent effort to avoid a rhetorical battle over gun control in the run-up to the presidential election. (A Justice Department spokesperson denies this and asserts that the department is not drawing conclusions until the inspector general’s report is submitted.)

    I don’t give this much weight. These folks at Forbes never saw the “sealed” wiretap request (neither have we), but they did see 2,000 documents which sounds like more that Issa’s committee has received. Issa had pretty much angered the “right wing” bloggers by putting the investigation on hold, until it showed up.

    • Issa’s committee has received around 7,000 or 8,000, depending on which side is counting.

      • And many of them with lots of black magic marker blocking out lots of bits, in fact some papers they showed as demonstration pieces had nearly all the bits blacked out.
        Edited documentation isn’t much use from a practical standpoint of finding out what was going on.

      • It sounds to me like forbes is saying it isn’t a big deal because they say so. Much like Eric Holder. What wasn’t a big deal was Bush firing a bunch of lawyers. Is it a fact athat the US let cartels buy guns without any tracking devices and and without coordinating with Mexico? If so, that’s a big deal.

        • I reread it (realized it was in Fortune not Forbes).  It’s like it was stuck in a time warp.
          It sounds perfectly like the DOJ position prior to withdrawing their Feb ’11 letter to Issa in November.

        • If you want to contrast Fast and Furious with Wide Receiver, you might want to read <a href=””>this article</a> to avoid repeating apparently false rumors.
          Wide Receiver lost guns and probably didn’t involve any effective electronic tracking devices.  Also, the cooperation with Mexican officials may have been exaggerated.
          Be careful to be as accurate as possible, to differentiate yourself from the Obama apologists.

          • From the Congressional Record [Page: H4409]:

            <i>From the beginning, ATF was transparent about its strategy. An internal ATF briefing paper used in preparation for the OCDETF application process explained as much:

            <b>Currently our strategy is to allow the transfer of firearms to continue to take place</b>, albeit at a much slower pace, in order to further the investigation and allow for the identification of co-conspirators who would continue to operate and illegally traffic firearms <b>to Mexican DTOs which are perpetrating armed violence along the Southwest Border.</b></i>

            According to Fortune, the ATF agents were frustrated, so they devised a new plan.  The plan was to allow agents to track criminal networks by finding the guns at crime scenes.

    • And who knows what Forbes has seen.  The NYT has seen enough to know we created the Stuxnet virus that ate Iran’s control systems, Hollywood producers have enough secret intel on the Bin Laden operation to do a movie.    Why shouldn’t I believe Forbes has more info than Issa?

    • Capitulated? Is that code for “EP”?

      • Nah, it’s code for “fight those conservative murdering Republican bastards Barack! fight them!”

    • Katie Pavlich at Townhall responds to Forbes/CNN piece.

  • It wasn’t just gun control.  It was tied to illegal immigration.  The idea that was being sold, is that the criminalization of Northern Mexico was the fault of US guns.  And at the time just prior it was coming to light the Mexican government was helping illegal immigration.  so the idea was to say ‘why do you expect the Mexican Government to help against illegal immigration when we let all these guns flood into Mexico.’.

    So the guns going to Mexico accross the US border was justification to excuse the Mexican Government’s behavior. 

    The irritating part is that the Criminalization of Northern Mexico, I suspect, is because of the illegal immigrant trade.  We’ve had massive drugs and drug money crossing the border since the 80’s.  But Northern Mexico was relatively clean compared to today.  The difference between today and then is the illegal alien problem quadrupled or more.  I have no doubt many ‘organizations’ that helped someone enter the US get a perpetual cut from their families among other angles.  And because the border is so expansive and someone can spontaneously cross, you have to control territory to control the illegal immigrant trade. 

    Anyway, I think that a lot of groups supporting illegal immigration on humanitarian or religious reasons would stop supporting it if the above was true.  Blaming guns instead, keeps them loyal supporters. 

    • Northern Mexico has many times been very messed up and violent. During the 20s through much of the 1800s. The times it has been “clean” are the unusual times, one of these was during the benevelent dictatorship of Gen. Diez, in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

      When the US bans drugs or alcohol, it  provides cash to fuel Mexico’s lawlessness, but the roots of the lawlessness have always existed.

    • Oh, and I suspect the relative silence from Mexico on this is due to the fact that they don’t really care about 2,000 guns or a few hundred dead. The immigration issue is more important to them, and they would rather have Obama running ICE and BP then some Republican. Further, they are probably ok with OF&F if the goal was increased US gun control, and perhaps more important, an ability to point fingers and blame someone else.

    • No the reason for all the violence is a power vacuum. When the PRI partly controlled Mexico they made peace between all of the rival gangs, making them stick to their allotted territory.  When the PRI lost power, they lost their hold and gravy train with the gangs.  Then turf wars sprang up everywhere.

  • I’ll add another point. Most of Mexico’s “gun problem” comes from guns flowing in from the South, mostly COMBLOC weapons of war, or else flow from the Mexican government itself.

    I recently heard about a shipment of some 2000 AR15 or M16 rifles the US government provided Mexico that went missing. The US government ships arms to the Mexican government, which then flow to the cartels. Way more guns have gone to Mex cartels this way then via OF&F. OF&F isn’t really that big of deal in terms of the number of guns supplied, but it does show the lawless nature of the Obama administration.

  • Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

    Speaking of State . . . shouldn’t they be real upset by such a scandal? Gun walking to another country . . . kinda steps on their toes if they are not in the loop. Also, State enforces ITAR, correct? So THEY can investigate this? Are they?

    One could also throw in DHS, who had an two agents killed by ATF walked guns. Shouldn’t DHS be all over this?

    Could it be that State and DHS and DOJ were ALL in the loop? Is that likely if Obama wasn’t? And if he wasn’t, wouldn’t he be pissed and want answers?

  • I’m surprised that you even asked the question.  Of course it is the reason.  Statists right now are right on the cusp of winning total control of the country and the one thing that they are worried about are the owners of military style firearms that are not in favor of their ruling over the rest of us.  What other possible answer could there be?????