If you were in a position of power, and you wanted to have an aggressive approach towards gun control, how would you attempt to convince the public that, for the benefit of national security, it is essential to have more control over gun ownership?
It is highly probable you would have to have a crisis of weapons availability to foreign criminals who buy these weapons from citizen gun owners or gun shops, and gun shows. Several months ago, that is exactly what we were told by Hillary Clinton, Janet Napolitano and others within, and politicians outside of, the administration. We were told American guns were finding their way into Mexico and into the hands of Mexican drug cartels and criminals. Something had to be done, given drug running, and increasing criminal gang activity by illegal aliens affects our national security. The “something” was stricter regulations on gun availability here at home.
Now, jump ahead to today. We’re hearing about "Operation Fast and Furious", "Gunwalker", or "Operation Gunrunner". It has come out that over 1700 hundred weapons were sold by ATF agents to Mexican buyers called straw men, then they went on to drug cartel criminals in Mexico.
Acting ATF Director Melson has come under fire for this project and has testified that he was kept in the dark about the FBI and DEA involvement. It should be noted that Melson was pressured by the DOJ not to testify.
Here’s an excerpt from a letter to AG Eric Holder from Congressman Issa and Senator Grassley regarding an attempt by the DOJ to prohibit Director Melson's cooperation by giving testimony:
“Justice Department officials sought to limit and control his communications with Congress. This is yet another example of why direct communications with Congress are so important and are protected by law as follows; “Specifically, no officer or employee may attempt to prohibit or prevent any other officer or employee of the Federal Government from having direct oral or written communication or contact with any Member, committee, or subcommittee of the Congress”.
In the past, a program like Project Gunrunner required surveillance of said buyers, tracking of these weapons, and resulted in interdiction and retrieval of the weapons. It was a smaller operation, as well. But not this time.
This time, agents were told to, “let them go”. Agents were stunned and some went to their superiors, with complaints reporting this should not be done now and had not been done in the past. Essentially, they were told to be quiet and do what they were told.
Melson said ATF agents had witnessed the transfer of weapons from straw purchasers to others "without following the guns any further," contradicting statements by the Justice Department. The link below is for the Issa, Grassley staff report on Operation Fast and Furious regarding the operation and testimony of ATF agents:
Ultimately, a border patrol agent was murdered with one of these weapons, as was an ICE special agent. This, I believe, began the unraveling of the project. It ultimately provided the necessity for the DOJ and ATF to indict what is called the “straw” buyers who it turned out were paid informants for the FBI and DEA and had been monitored for months. After agents later testified to Congress, the DOJ issued a directive that prohibited Gunwalking.
What in the past was procedure to interdict the transfer of weapons was given a blind eye, and agents were told not to do that but to let them go. One has to wonder why. Interestingly, $10,000,000 for ATF Project Gunrunner, was in the stimulus package. One can only wonder what else was funded through the stimulus.
Now we have to ask ourselves why this was done. Why were weapons allowed to remain with Mexican criminals? I believe the administration wanted the weapons sales to be believed as US citizens engaging in illegal gunrunning and that this was a national security issue. This would be presented as a crisis, and "the availability of guns to American citizens must be curtailed". I’m sure we will hear more of this scandal before it’s over; how high up did this plan and cover-up go?
Z: Thanks to Pris for this succinct overview of a complicated situation and to Mr. Pris Jr. for his contribution of information. GeeeZ and its readers really appreciate this.