NRA Home NRA Media
Join, Renew, Contribute

Fast & Fraudulent


by James O.E. Norell, Contributing Editor


You have to look back at recent history to understand the origins and true danger to our liberty from Operation Fast and Furious, the star-crossed Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives scheme to covertly and passively supervise the felonious acquisition, transfer and international smuggling of thousands of firearms into Mexican criminal commerce.

But first, be aware that the continuing steadfast efforts of two federal legislators, U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, the ranking minority member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, are revealing government corruption and possible criminality on an increasingly broad scale.

There is no doubt that officials at the BATFE, with the concurrence of United States attorneys and higher authorities in the U.S. Department of Justice, are directly responsible for some percentage of armed violence, including murder and mayhem, on both sides of the border. Among those government-assisted crimes is the murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry near Nogales, Ariz., in December 2010—an act that opened the scandal to ever-widening public scrutiny. That act has also prompted resistance and cover-ups on the part of the Obama administration.

Operation Fast and Furious is the spawn of a larger border-state federal effort that began to take malignant form at the outset of the Obama administration. That original scheme hatched by BATFE was tagged Project Gunrunner, and was sold to an unquestioning spendthrift Congress as an $80 million answer to the agency’s propaganda campaign claiming that the murderous Mexican drug cartels, with their hundreds of billions of dollars in illegal profits, were getting virtually all of their arms from BATFE-regulated U.S. firearm retailers.

That campaign was based on BATFE’s ubiquitous phony answer to crime—gun tracing (we’ll get to that later). When the agency-scripted talking points first surfaced, the newly manufactured “crisis” was summed up by USA Today: “ATF acting director Michael Sullivan said investigators have traced 90 to 95 percent of the weapons found in Mexico to the U.S.”

The media frenzy—to blindly believe what should have been obviously unbelievable—grew exponentially, and was immediately adopted by the Obama administration as a mantra for demanding a host of new powers to control law-abiding gun owners.

Early in Obama’s presidency, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel declared what would be a catchphrase for Obama’s every rule over his subjects: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

For an administration hell-bent on destroying the Second Amendment, the perfect exploitable “crisis” existed in Mexico, where drug cartels—$100 billion illegal profit centers—have become the dominant power through sheer terror. Mexico, then and now, is controlled by the cartels through a reign of terror marked by torture, beheadings and mass killings of the entire families of anyone with the courage to stand in the way of the cartels. A Mexican government database lists 35,000 victims of cartel assassination.

The crisis in Mexico is all too real. Fear is palpable. Drawing on natural fear in a foreign nation, the Obama administration has created a fictional domestic crisis for which the “solution” spells a loss of liberty for Americans.

Headlines such as “Lax U.S. Gun Laws Fueling Mexico’s Drug Violence?” and “U.S. Guns Arming Mexican Drug Gangs: Second Amendment to Blame?” and “The Drug Cartel’s Right to Bear Arms” dominated national news.

The story was everywhere in the national media. And the PR flacks at BATFE and among the gun-ban groups were working overtime.

A lengthy piece in the October 2010 issue of Phoenix Magazine was typically hysterical with this uppercased lead:

As concerns mount over the potential for Mexican drug cartel violence to spill over the border, a steady flow of firearms south from Phoenix is helping give the cartels their lethal firepower.

That hit piece—fed to the publication by the United States attorney and BATFE leadership—was melodramatically titled, “THE IRON RIVER.”

The Washington Post ran a series—doubtless also spoon-fed by BATFE—listing a number of border-state dealers the newspaper labeled as major suppliers to the cartels. Among them was a Houston, Texas, federal firearms licensee, Carter’s Country. Remember that for later.

Pages: 1 2 3