After an 18-month investigation, congressional Republicans yesterday released a draft report on the Fast and Furious ‘scandal’. The first of what will eventually be three reports blames five officials at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for a gun-smuggling operation gone wrong:
In Operation Fast and Furious, agents employed a controversial tactic called gun-walking — allowing low-level “straw” buyers in gun-trafficking networks to proceed with loads of weapons that they purchased at gun shops in Arizona.
The tactic was designed to track guns to major weapons traffickers and drug cartels, but many of the weapons weren’t tracked and wound up at crime scenes in Mexico and the U.S., including the site of a shootout on the U.S. side of the border that resulted in the death of a border agent, Brian Terry.
I have more to say on the topic of gun control later, but in the meantime, I felt the need to point out that right-wing outrage over the incident is the height of absurdity – not because the program was initiated under President Bush, though it was, and not because Bush also freely exercised ‘executive privilege’ to cover for his Justice Department, although that is also true – but because, as we all know:
Good. So the ATF and its irresponsible gun-dealing didn’t kill Brian Terry; Mexican gangs killed Brian Terry.
In other words, by giving guns to Mexican gangs, the ATF actually accomplished exactly nothing, and nothing is – last time I checked – not worth getting worked up over. Right, John Boehner?
We had a shooting by a deranged person in Colorado and our hearts and souls go out to the victims and those who were killed and those who were injured, and their families. The president has made clear that he’s not going to use this horrific event to push for new gun laws. I agree.