Fast and Furious Failure

October 14th, 2011 at 1:30 pm | 25 Comments |

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Over at Huffington Post Canada, Sun News Network producer Miranda Frum points out the many problems with the enforcement of laws against contraband trafficking:

The drug war in Mexico is an American war, the only difference being those fighting and those who are dying happen to almost be exclusively Mexican. So what’s the link? Aside from the obvious fact of Americans using and abusing drugs controlled by Mexican cartels, Americans also happen to be arming these same cartels. And not just with petty firearms, but now AK-47s and AR-15s. That’s some serious weaponry.

Most recently, there has been the “Fast and Furious” disaster which involved the transfer of some 2,020 firearms to the Sinaloa Drug Cartel (which is also partnered with the ruthless Los Zetas cartel, responsible for a majority of the most violent murders) from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) beginning as early as 2009. The ATF, amongst other liaising agencies, never had a practical plan to track any of the weapons. As soon as the guns fell into the hands of the Sinaloa cartel members, they were deemed lost. A number of those guns havereappeared in violent crime scenes.

Even before Fast and Furious, this past September, American customs agents in Texas seized 30 high powered assault rifles when they searched a car heading into Mexico. This was said to be the largest gun bust at the American-Mexican border this year. This news is significant. But it shouldn’t be surprising.

This drug war shouldn’t exclusively be fighting the distribution and selling of drugs. The focus should shift to the elimination of these active cartel thugs. The current war on drugs is fighting for an intangible utopia of a world without drugs. Fighting a tangible enemy is much more effective, and much easier. Fighting the cartels puts a face to the evil. After all, worrying about a shipment of cocaine seems like a waste of time when murder, exploitation and kidnapping are running rampant and turning the current government, who is bravely attempting to thwart these cartels, into an unfunny joke.

Click here to read the full piece.


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25 Comments so far ↓

  • sintacks

    Legalize drugs and and you will kill the cartels and reduce collateral damage from drug abuse.

    • kirk

      The organized crime infrastructure built by Prohibition is still with us in the US. The persistent delusion that an economic entity – and the cartels are big economic entities – will simply fade away beggars logic. When IBM lost the big iron of the 60′s and 70′s it moved to services as a new market to exploit. This rough beast will slouch toward la frontera for decades as it finds new sources of revenue. It is just like FedEx or UPS – it is good at logistics and it will find some new items to distribute in its established channels.

    • Bingham

      Aww, yeah….

  • Graychin

    There are hundreds of legal gun stores within a mile of the USA-Mexico border. All on the American side.

      • Graychin

        I have no “and.”

        You are free to draw your own conclusions.

        Where DO the cartels get all those guns? Surely they haven’t all originated with Fast and Furious.

        • Bingham

          Who gives a s**t. It’s a foreign country. I do not care if they all kill each other with US guns, bows and arrows, or sticks and stones. DO. NOT. CARE. I dare you to explain why I have a legal obligation under US law to give a s**t how many Mexicans die in Mex-on-Mex violence south of the Rio Grande. I dare you.

          And I hope you’re doing well Graychin. Thanks for asking after me. You seem like a nice guy, unlike some of the others on this site.

  • Southern Populist

    Holder needs to resign for this despicable incident for which he has already likely committed perjury, and the AFT people involved need to do jail time.

    Knowingly allowing guns to transferred to Mexican drug gangs? Give me a break. Only under Holder and Obama.

    And I wish the media would quit repeating that tired gun control whack job talking point that the Mexican drug gangs are getting their weapons primarily from the US.

    Why in the hell would they pay $700-800 USD each for bottom-of-the-line Bushmasters or similar models in a semi-automatic configuration when they have the money to buy all the fully automatic weapons they want off the international arms market? They can buy weapons off of corrupt members of the Mexican police and military as well for a fraction of $700-$800 USD. The whole Los Zetas gang is ex-military.

    AFT and the leftwingnut media seriously expect people to believe these drug gangs can obtain grenades and rocket launchers but have to buy their rifles in the US. Right.

    This fast and furious incident stinks to the point of being fetid.

    - DSP

    • Watusie

      And what is the source of your certain knowledge about Fast and Furious? Is it, by chance, Darrell Issa….who has been proven to be lying when he claimed he was never briefed about the program?

      The politicization of the issue by Issa generates heat but not light. We’ll never get to bottom of it as long as he is running around shooting his enormous mouth off. In the meantime, his grandstanding is getting in the way of doing obvious things…like actually making gun trafficking illegal.

      Issa’s working theory is that Fast and Furious was concocted in the upper reaches of the Obama administration as a means to justify harsh gun-confiscation laws and the reimposition of the assault-weapons ban. (BTW, witness the insane things that Wayne LaPierre of the NRA has said about it, while at the same time, protesting bitterly about the Obama administration’s proposals for a notification period if a single individual attempts to buy a large number of guns at a border-state gun shop.) But there’s no evidence whatsoever to support Issa’s notion, just his overheated mind.

      Undoubtedly, Fast and Furious represents a serious failure of federal law enforcement. Which shouldn’t surprise anyone, as it is an offshoot of operations planned by the ATF during the Bush Administration.

    • TerryF98

      As with most thing fucked up it started with Bush.

      http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/10/emails_bush-era_embassy_prosecutors_office_approved_atf_gun_walking_tactic.php

      “As House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) continues to try to pin the flawed “gun walking” tactic employed in Operation Fast and Furious on the Obama administration, it’s becoming increasingly clear that problems with ATF’s Phoenix division date back at least into the Bush era.

      TPM has obtained the documents relating to another Bush-era ATF operation (on top of Operation Wide Receiver) which deployed the “gun walking” tactic. The development was first reported by Pete Yost of the Associated Press.”

      Care to retract?

      • Southern Populist

        I will revise, extend and amend. If F and F started within the ATF under Bush, I am not the least bit surprised, because the ATF operates like the FBI under J Edgar Hoover. Still, once Holder took over, someone under Holder had to have given the go ahead for F and F to continue.

    • medinnus

      But Iran-Contra was OK? LOL

    • baw1064

      You’re contradicting your own point.

      If it really is true that the Zetas “have the money to buy all the fully automatic weapons they want off the international arms market,” then anything Holder does or doesn’t do has zero effect on their firepower.

  • ottovbvs

    With all due respect to Miranda, it’s been common knowledge for years that the US is providing both the consumers and the weapons to enable the cartels to further the development of the drug trade. The problem is the US has individuals, a party and various interest groups intent on denying this simple reality. A typical example is DSP who rather than addressing the fundamentals would rather bloviate about an ATF op gone wrong:

    “Knowingly allowing guns to transfered to Mexican drug gangs? Give me a break. Only under Holder and Obama.”

    Is it the size of their brains do you think?

  • LFC

    Southern Populist said… “Knowingly allowing guns to transfered (sic) to Mexican drug gangs? Give me a break. Only under Holder and Obama.”

    C’mon. You know as well as I do that Holder and Obama didn’t no s*** about an operation by the ATF this small. If they were involved, it would have been with the FBI or CIA.

    And after all, it’s not like we were selling weapons to Iran just a few years after they took dozens of our citizens hostage. What kind of incompetent and corrupt dirtbag would be involved in something like that!

  • Southern Populist

    Obama certainly knows about F and F by now and has not yet appointed an independent counsel or asked Holder to resign.

    What would it take to address the underlying, fundamental problem? It would require, at a minimum, an immediate end to the “war on drugs” and a move toward drug legalization and regulation.

    Unfortunately, Obama and the Democrats, along with the Republicans, have put forward no plans to legalize or regulate drugs.

    The gun community has been pointing out for years the AFT is rogue agency that routinely violates peoples’ rights.

    - DSP

    • ottovbvs

      “The gun community has been pointing out for years the AFT is rogue agency that routinely violates peoples’ rights. ”

      Pleased we got that cleared up DSP…the reason literally tens of thousands of US guns are finding their way into Mexico is not our loose gun laws but the abusive behavior of the ATF who have the audacity to try and shut down this trade however ineptly. As it happens, I agree entirely that the only real solution is to legalise and regulate drug consumption. Why don’t you write to John Boehner and suggest he introduce legislation along these lines. You have to wonder why Bush didn’t do this when Republicans had control of all branches of govt. Why do you think that was DSP?

      • Bingham

        Why didn’t Bush legalize marijuna and various other soft drugs when the Republicans had control of all three branches of government?… I’m at a loss. I don’t know. Maybe one day we’ll get there.

    • Southern Populist

      Those weapon sales did not occur as a result of loose gun laws. Selling sawed-off shotguns and automatic weapons (and with a side of meth apparently) is illegal. It looks like another example of the authorities failing to adequately enforce existing gun laws.

      • Watusie

        A man being arrested for selling guns illegally is an example of the authorities failing to adequately enforce existing gun laws???

  • JohnnyA

    I still don’t agree that the only solution to the drugs problem is to legalize and regulate. In other countries, drug violators are put into mandatory rehab programs instead of regular jails. It treats the problem at hand and does not put minor offenders into jail to come out the other end as hardened criminals and gang members.