Operation Fast and Furious was an attempt by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agency to sell and trace thousands of firearms to “straw buyers” in Mexico. The idea was that these weapons would show up at crime scenes in Mexico thus enabling law enforcement on both sides of the border to link drug cartels to specific criminal acts.
However, many of the guns were lost in the process and are showing up in crime scenes across the U.S. and Mexico. One is even linked to the murder of a Border Patrol agent.
As was pointed out in a House oversight committee hearing, the U.S. government essentially engineered the flow of illegal weapons from the United States directly into the hands of Mexican drug cartels without interception or interdiciton.
As The Heritage Foundation’s Lachlin Markey explains,
Not only were guns from the operation discovered at the scene of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry’s murder, but an additional 57 Fast and Furious firearms were recovered at 11 different violent crime scenes in the American Southwest. The gunwalking tactic – which ATF officials have denied and admitted to, sometimes in the span of only a few minutes – was devised as a means to learn how cartels illegally obtained firearms from the United States. But the vast majority of the roughly 1,500 guns ATF estimates were sold to “straw buyers” were not tracked by agency officials. Many of those guns did not even make it back to the cartels in Mexico, but were instead sold or handed off to operatives in the United States.
While lives are being on lost on this side of the border, not one cartelist has been arrested as a result of this operation. The very idea of letting guns “walk” right into the hands of drug kingpins is appalling.
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