Project Gunrunner was an operation by the BATF, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. This operation was allegedly put in place to try to interdict and prosecute gun smuggling from the United States to Mexico. A subset of Project Gunrunner was Operation Fast and Furious. F&F was designed to allow guns to be “walked”, or knowingly smugged to Mexico, allegedly to draw out the “big fish” to be arrested.
Think about that. The BATF, the agency charged with preventing criminals from legally buying guns, was allowing criminals to buy guns and smuggle them across the border.
One of those guns was used to kill Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. He had only a bean-bag shotgun to fight back with. The rifle that killed him was one of thousands the ATF let through.
When I say that they let them through, I’m not exagerating. Time and again, FFLs — licensed, legal gun shops — called the BATF, and did what they were supposed to do. They said, “I have a guy here trying to buy a bunch of guns. I think it is a straw purchase, and that they intend to smuggle them to Mexico.” And each time, the BATF had the same response:
“Let them buy them.”
The street level agents weren’t comfortable with this. They told the higher ups, these guns are going to be used in crimes in Mexico. Then, when the traces started coming back, they told them, these guns are being used in crimes in Mexico. And the answer was still the same.
“If you’re going to make an omelette, you’ve got to break some eggs.”
I guess Brian Terry was just another egg.
At one point, so many agents were complaining and warning that the higher ups actually sent out this email:
“If you don’t think this is fun you’re in the wrong line of work — period! This is the pinnacle of domestic U.S. law enforcement techniques. After this the tool box is empty. Maybe the Maricopa County Jail is hiring detention officers and you can get paid $30,000 (instead of $100,000) to serve lunch to inmates all day.
If you don’t want to help the cartels get more guns to kill our own border patrol agents with, then you can just get a job at the county jail. And they finished with this:
We need to get over this bump in the road once and for all and get on with the mission at hand.
Bumps in the road, like having our own officers murdered with guns they were supposed to stop.
Whistleblowers in the ATF finally got word out after Brian Terry was killed about what was going on. Threepers and Freepers started covering. Letters were written. Finally, Senator Grassley started investigating it.
And he got stonewalled. First, the ATF simply refused to answer his questions. Then, when they started answering… they lied. And they enlisted the DOJ and Eric Holder in their lies.
In light of this evidence, the Justice Department’s denials simply don’t hold water. On February 4, 2011, the Department claimed that the ATF did not “knowingly” allow the sale of assault weapons to straw purchasers and that “ATF makes every effort to interdict weapons that have been purchased illegally and prevent their transportation into Mexico.” Clearly those statements are not accurate. These documents establish that ATF allowed illegal firearm purchases by suspected traffickers in hopes of making a larger case against the cartels. ATF was not alone. The U.S. Attorney’s office appears to have been fully aware and engaged in endorsing the same strategy.
For two years, the ATF has been claiming that 90% of the guns in Mexico were smuggled there from the US. Now, we know why. For two years, the ATF has been letting 90% of the guns they are aware of walk into Mexico.
Why? My own opinion? To justify their own existence. The system we have now works, if we follow it. The only way for the ATF to expand is to show that the existing system doesn’t work. They did it by not following it. On top of that, the cartels have a ton of money. I think that if you start investigating the finances of some of these higher ups that pushed F&F, you’ll find suspicious deposits. It’s how Al Capone did business when we prohibited alcohol. There’s no reason for the cartels to not do it with drug prohibition.
The ATF is a rogue agency doing the exact opposite of its job. The agency charged with preventing criminals from getting guns and smuggling them is giving criminals guns to smuggle. They are being supported in this — knowingly — by Eric Hoder’s Department of Justice. They are covering this up from the Senators trying to get to the bottom of it. And people are dying because of it.
And no establishment media but CBS is reporting it. No CNN, no MSNBC, not even Fox News. Think about that one.
Update: Fox is joining in, finally.