Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Letter: 'Fast and furious' is a bigger scandal

By: Joe Fondren, Hartford

While all the hand-wringing and gut-wrenching over raising the debt limit and the supposition that Social Security checks may arrive late or not at all will, most likely, not result in jail time for even someone low on the DC totem pole, the debt limit debacle overshadows a scandal that may reach all the way to President Obama, and should certainly bring about a "day in court" for several of the perpetrators.

The operation was named "Fast and Furious" and involved agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives arranging for firearms from gun shops in the United States to end up in the hands of drug gangs in Mexico through "straw buyers." A straw buyer is one who is legally eligible to purchase a firearm and does so with the intent to provide the weapon to one who is not eligible by today's standards.

Normal operating procedure is for BATFE agents to arrest straw buyer conspirators before any harm is done. But in “Fast and Furious,” we now know that at least two Americans whose job it was to patrol our border with Mexico have been killed with weapons provided by agents of the U.S. Justice Dept.

Thanks to whistleblowers in the BATFE and U.S. Representative Darrell Issa's hearings, we know that knowledge of the operation extended to the number Four, Three, and Two people under Numero Uno U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Holder's denials of any awareness of the operation lead one to the conclusion that he is either a liar or incompetent. Either way he should resign his post as the top law enforcer of the nation.

The rationale is that the weapons would be tracked to the drug cartels in connection with the Mexican government, but, according to testimony in Congressional hearings, that connection was never made. With the money, vast resources and even aid from Mexican government officials that is available to Mexican drug cartel members, they can and do get just about any weapons they want from Russia, Cuba or the corrupt Mexican Army, and Mexican government officials already know who the cartel members are.

It's becoming clear as the Fast and Furious criminal conspiracy continues to unravel that the real purpose was to give the appearance that the majority of drug cartel weapons were coming from federal firearms license holders in this country. While some weapons have been traced back to this country, this evidence is seized upon and skewed because ours are the only weapons that are even tracked.

Each and every member of the criminal conspiracy known as Fast and Furious must be held accountable.

Joe Fondren

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