The DOJ’s Fast & Furious program used an investigative technique that approved illegal straw gun purchases while simply noting the serial numbers of the firearms in the hope investigators could identify complex gun trafficking networks once the guns were found at devastating crime scenes.
At least that’s how I read the program. I’m not involved with law enforcement, but I kind of figure that when a crime occurs, the good guys come in to arrest the bad guys especially when the good guys watch the crime occur. Of course, one option for law enforcement would be to “watch what happens next.” I guess if they have a decoy car set up to be stolen, they might want to follow the criminals to see if they bring it to a chop-shop or something, but this is a more dangerous tactic when your letting criminals walk away with a .50 cal rifle or two.
If this was an episode of NCIS, there would be a GPS tracking device on the rifle to track its journey, but this is not a TV show.
Over the weekend, I watched the testimony of a few ATF agents during the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s hearing on Wednesday, June 15 concerning the Fast & Furious program. When asked by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) about the thousands of guns that were allowed to “walk” Special Agent Dodson had the following to say. (Skip to 1 hour and 13 minutes to see the answer or click here.)
That’s devastating testimony, and not only were these guns allowed across the border it’s guaranteed that many of these weapons purchased illegally are still in the United States and will be used by criminals here. We’ll find out about those weapons after they have been used in – most probably – multiple crimes. It may take a long time – if ever – for those guns to show up.
All of this facilitated by the federal government and not by corrupt gun dealers or organized crime outfits.
During the third segment of the hearing on June 15, Assistant Attorney General Ron Weich did his best to hide behind the “it’s an ongoing investigation” explanation concerning the lack of transparency from the Obama administration’s Department of Justice. To a certain extent, that’s understandable, but the goal here is much more simple than the inner workings of the investigation and future prosecutions. Nobody in DOJ is willing to answer the following questions which would have absolutely no effect on future prosecutions.
- Who thought this was a good idea?
- How many people in the Executive Branch were aware of the program in the Phoenix office, and when – if ever – did they pull the plug on the operation?
- What did they think would happen to the guns after the straw purchaser dropped them off at a safe house or transferred them to someone else – especially considering they stopped surveillance at that point.
When questioned by Chaffetz during the third segment, Weich really took it on the chin. It’s so damn obvious part of the problem is our federal bureaucracy is so damn bloated nobody seems to know what’s going on, and it’s also pretty clear the Obama administration is unable to blame this problem on a rogue field office that was acting without approval from high up in the Obama administration. (Skip to about 29 minutes, 30 seconds for the relevant exchange or click here.)
This is a huge story, but not getting the coverage it deserves. Yet, I can’t find one statement from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg concerning this federal mess that allowed upwards of 2,000 illegal firearm purchases to happen.
As of yesterday, it looks like the head of the ATF will take the fall for this program. Check out other recent posts at other sites about this subject.