Note: The fact remains that a GS11 or even a GS19 does not even
begin to make these kind of decisions.
On the gun-control theory of ATF's Fast and Furious
Tim Steller, Arizona Daily Star | Posted: Wednesday, November 2, 2011
11:15 am | Comments
On Jan. 25, ATF officials displayed these guns seized as part of
Operation Fast and Furious. What they didn't say that day is that
hundreds more of the guns sold as part of the operation were not seized.
There is little or no evidence that a desire to impose gun control is
what inspired Operation Fast and Furious, as I reported in Sunday's
It is a deduction worth considering, however. The theory, in brief,
is that the Obama administration deliberately pumped guns into Mexico
through Operation Fast and Furious in an effort to create a
justification to impose gun control measures. I boiled the theory
down to this for Sunday's story:
1. Obama and Holder support gun control but needed a pretext to
2. The administration argued falsely in 2009 that U.S. guns made up
90 percent of those used in Mexican gun crimes. That was the same
time when Operation Fast and Furious began.
3. By flooding Mexico with high-powered weapons they were able to
justify restrictions on U.S. guns. In fact, in July 2011, the
administration put in place a rule requiring border-state firearms
dealers to report anyone who buys more than one assault-type rifle
within a five-day period.
Those are the basic concepts that I could fit in the story, but there
are a couple of other worthwhile points to make in support of the
ATF agent and whistleblower Vince Cefalu, who spoke at a Sept. 26
Tucson Tea Party event (video here), supports the gun-control
theory. One of his key points is his analysis of the goals of Fast
and Furious and gunwalking: "I don't know what they were thinking,
because nothing they have portrayed they were thinking makes any
sense. It defies logic, common sense."
Cefalu, who doesn't have firsthand knowledge of Fast and Furious, has
been estranged from the agency for years but remains an agent. He
said in an email "Look, I run not walk away from conspiracy theorys,
or should I say I usually do." But he thinks that the Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has become increasingly
political over the years, especially under Obama, so he tends to
believe the gun-control theory.
Another point, made to me by John Lott, the author of "More Guns,
Less Crime," is that a variety of agencies became involved in Fast
and Furious, including DEA and FBI. When multiple agencies become
involved, Lott said, it becomes more necessary for political
appointees in D.C. to consider and approve plans.
Trent Humphries of the Tucson Tea Party put it this way in an email
exchange we had:
"Is it cynical to think that the guns were moved to strengthen
political talking points? Perhaps. But it is also cynical to assume
that the ATF is so incredibly incompetent that they could be
reposible for thousands of guns being shipped across the border with
no tracking and no warning to the Mexican government. This would
have spanned months of shipments, with no oversight, accountabilty,
or plan. That seems far more incredible."
So, you can see there are reasons for suspicion. And naturally,
political opponents of Obama have drifted toward those reasons.
But before you buy the gun-control theory of Fast and Furious, you
should take into account the interests pushing it. The big
organization behind the theory is the National Rifle Association,
which pushes the gun-control theory of Fast and Furious regularly on
The NRA has a history of spreading the fear that the federal
government is planning to seize guns, Robert Spitzer, author of "The
Politics of Gun Control," told me. And NRA is vigorously opposing
Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre has gone so far in recent
weeks as to say that Obama's inaction on gun control in his first
term is part of a plot to impose gun control. Here's video and here's
"It's all part of a massive Obama conspiracy to deceive voters and
hide his true intentions to destroy the Second Amendment in our
country," LaPierre said.
He went on: "When he got elected, they concocted a scheme to stay
away from the gun issue, lull gun owners to sleep, and play us for
fools in 2012. Well, gun owners are not fools, and we are not fooled.
We see the president's strategy crystal clear: Get re-elected, and
with no other re-elections to worry about, get busy dismantling and
destroying our firearms freedom."
In the case of the gun-control theory of Fast and Furious, as in the
case of the massive Obama electoral conspiracy, you can see how the
dots are connected. But when you step back and look at the big
picture, does either theory make common sense?
Here is a principal alternative theory of Fast and Furious, which is
supported by interviews I did with people such as Eric L. Olson of
the Woodrow Wilson Center as well as reports discussing the fight
against gun smuggling. ATF has been frustrated for years with its
inability to prosecute big gun-smuggling cases, even as pressure to
pursue firearms smugglers at the Mexican border mounted with the
violence south of the border.
So, people such as Bill Newell, the special agent in charge of the
ATF's Phoenix office, got unprecedentedly aggressive in their efforts
to catch the big guys in the gun-smuggling conspiracies. Hence,
gunwalking was permitted in Operation Wide Receiver as well as
Operation Fast and Furious.
You can pick your explanation, but know that more information
continues to come out.
Read more: http://azstarnet.com/news/blogs/senor-reporter/on-the-gun-