For months the radicals in the House of Representatives have been hammering away at Attorney General Eric Holder, the DoJ, the ATF and the Obama administration in general over a failed program to track guns being trafficked to Mexico to arm the drug cartels engaged in what amounts to a virtual civil war with the government of that country. The DoJ and the ATF lost control of a lot of guns that finally ended up in Mexico and one of those guns was used to kill a federal agent. The program with the duffous, macho code name of “Fast and Furious” was started in the Bush administration and continued by the present administration.
When it went wrong several years ago it quickly morphed from a botched government attempt (in the eyes of most observers) to stem the flood of arms that is destabilizing a neighbor with a 1,000 mile shared border, into a sinister plan to impose gun control throughout the United States as part of an even more sinister plan to turn the United States into a communist/socialist/atheist/Nazi (pause for breath), Muslim/vegetarian/global warming hoax loving/secular humanist/New World Order/flag burning/cheese eating surrender monkey… well you get the idea.
The loons on the right started the outcry, and as is now the norm in conservative politics, people who should have known better were sucked into the vortex of a conspiracy theory in which the Obama administration’s complete disinterest in gun control of any kind was all part of a secret plan to lull the “real” Americans into a state of complacency so that he could, I suppose, deploy a massive UN army bent on seizing everyone’s guns. That this somewhat counter intuitive “theory” was popular in the right wing press, FOX News and talk radio goes without saying, but the umbilicus that connects the radical conservative media and right wing lawmakers is now very strong and very short and such viruses that once remained on the fringe now flow unhindered through them into the mainstream media and onto the floor of Congress, where today the House votes on charges against AG Holder amid accusations of a massive cover up intended to hide the “gun walking” scandal and the larger “pry the guns from their cold, dead hands” scandal.
As is so often the case, as soon as real journalists started looking into the matter the whole thing blew up in the faces of the accusers and now Speaker Boehner seems to be looking for a quiet way to drop this vote in the eddy and swirl of the Supremes’ Obamacare ruling. But this story will remain out there, and you will hear about it from your FOX News watching grandpa at the 4th of July cookout or over Thanksgiving dinner.
Below is some information about Fast and Furious and how the radical right got nearly all of it backwards or wrong or both. Feel free to share it with your friends and relatives between hot dogs or sweet potatoes with the little marshmallows on top.
By the way, the real scandal is that states like Arizona (and APV’s home state of Virginia) have next to no gun laws that prohibit straw man purchases, and local prosecutors show little to no interest in pursuing these cases while across the border 50,000 people have died mostly at the hands of criminals using American bought weapons.
The truth about the Fast and Furious scandal by Katherine Eban, Fortune Magazine.
“Some call it the “parade of ants”; others the “river of iron.” The Mexican government has estimated that 2,000 weapons are smuggled daily from the U.S. into Mexico. The ATF is hobbled in its effort to stop this flow. No federal statute outlaws firearms trafficking, so agents must build cases using a patchwork of often toothless laws. For six years, due to Beltway politics, the bureau has gone without permanent leadership, neutered in its fight for funding and authority. The National Rifle Association has so successfully opposed a comprehensive electronic database of gun sales that the ATF’s congressional appropriation explicitly prohibits establishing one.”