Cartoonist horsing around on Fast and Furious
Editorial cartoonist David Horsey must be drunk on stupid for turning a real story about unjust actions committed by a Justice Department in a state of aversion into a story about a “not-so-objective-right-wing”.
Attempting to place blame on an ideology rather than a Fast and Furious operation gone terribly wrong does a disservice to the public and a disservice to the family members of U.S. Border Patrol Agent, Brian Terry, who was shot and killed in December, 2010 by a Fast and Furious gun.
Horsey refers to Congressional Republicans investigating this important matter as “lunatics running the Republican asylum”.
He asserts that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has her own conspiracy theory with respect to Congressional investigation of Fast and Furious; Pelosi says it is an attempt by the Republicans to undermine the Justice Department in their handling of voter suppression. Horsey writes that “may be wrong but at least her theory has some political logic” yet offers zero proof that Pelosi is logical. Maybe wrong? How about dead wrong?
Don’t be surprised, Mr. Horsey blames George W. Bush for Operation Fast and Furious too, obviously. He implies that Project Gunrunner designed in 2006 by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearm and Explosives under President Bush is the same as Fast and Furious that began in 2009, shortly after Attorney General Eric Holder took office, but it is not. Let’s examine.
Project Gunrunner, still in operation today, did not purposely place firearms in the hands of criminals; however, it did focus on the successful seizure of over 10,000 firearms destined for Mexican criminal enterprises, and referral of over 1,100 criminal cases for prosecution through 2010. Previously, Justice Department policy required that arrest of suspected low level “straw” buyers occur whenever possible. That policy has apparently changed.
Expecting to expand Project Gunrunner the Justice Department implements Fast and Furious with this caveat: Enlist U.S. gun shop owners in Arizona to sell guns to known “straw” purchases directly, and follow the firearm into Mexico where high-level drug cartels can be prosecuted. The plan failed miserably because ATFE lost track of almost all guns sold.
Some say Fast and Furious was aimed at bringing charges against the ringleaders, rather than the “straw” buyers, except after two years in operation no ringleaders were ever indicted.
It was because of Agent Terry’s death that Fast and Furious came to a screeching halt, and Congress initiated an investigation into the failed program in early 2011.
Documents reveal that government policy led to the deliberate flooding of assault weapons into Mexico leaving an untold amount of people injured or killed by using Fast and Furious guns. Out of 2,000 guns sold, the police have recovered an approximate total of 700 guns at crime scenes in both the U.S. and Mexico.
Under oath, Holder specifically said he was unaware of the Fast and Furious operation, and then numerous documents specifically revealed ongoing discussions that suggest quite the contrary. Holder was fully aware.
Congressional Republicans are ridiculed by Mr. Horsey for calling Holder a liar. Holder says he was provided with false information by the “Phoenix office” which directly led him to provide false information to Congress. Mr. Horsey of course agrees with Holder, yet provides zero evidence.
Emails produced at Congressional hearings show interoffice correspondence that ATFE officials discussed their role in selling firearms en masse to gun traffickers as a means to require U.S gun shops to report the sale of multiple rifles or “long guns.”
Many on the right say Fast and Furious was prompted by an overzealous anti-Second Amendment White House and Justice Department hoping to persuade the public that ATFE monitoring of gun sales along the Southern Border of the U.S. would be necessary to continue the arrest of criminal traffickers of American guns into Mexico, the former a lofty goal that never materialized, but federal government monitoring multiple-gun sales sure has.
ATFE and the Justice Department devised a gun control policy that demands that gun retailers across the southern boarder states, California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, report multiple sales of semi-automatic rifles to the Federal government, at the same time Operation Fast and Furious was in full force.
In response, Sen. Jon Tester (D-Montana) introduced S. 570: A bill to prohibit the Department of Justice from tracking and cataloguing the purchases of multiple rifles and shotguns. The status of the proposed law has been “referred to committee” and will probably be stuck there for who knows how long.
On July 9, 2012 the Justice Department unsealed an indictment of five individuals (four at large) accused of being responsible for the death of Agent Terry just days (how convenient?) after Congress threatened to hold Holder in Congressional contempt for exercising the doctrine of “executive privilege” that initiated a halt on further discovery production.
Farfetched right-wing conspiracy theory or a liberal media theatre protecting the Justice Department? You be the judge.
As for me, the connection here is crystal clear: Under the guise of a need to keep track of firearms sold in America for the purpose of capturing kingpins in the Mexican drug cartel business, aggressive gun control policies are enacted.
Yep, keep blaming the Republicans, Bush, conspiracy theorists, firearms, field offices, and confusion on bad policy gone bonkers, but do not, whatever you do, blame the Obama administration and a corrupt Justice Department that hoodwinked the American people. Who’s the lunatic now, Mr. Horsey?