Friday, February 17, 2012
Wasn't Fast and Furious Just a Botched Sting Operation?
The short answer is ABSOLUTELY NOT.
As Agent Dodson testified before congress, "There is not a single rookie cop in the US who could not tell you this operation would not work."
The above statement sums it all up. Clearly not every sting operation is going to work. The fact that they do not work does not prove that they were not sting operations or that they never had a chance of working. To prove that Fast and Furious was not a sting operation one must prove that it could not work and that those who ordered it knew it would not work as a sting operation. It's a high bar to clear.
Sadly, Fast and Furious meets that standard. Up to the point when the guns reached the border, an argument could be made that the guns were being allowed to continue on their journey in order to arrest as many people as possible. Of course, that would have required watching or tracking the guns up to that point - which ATF agents were explicitly ordered not to do. Without the knowledge and cooperation of the Mexican authorities, once they crossed the border they were gone. The next time they would be heard from is when they turned up at a crime scene after being used by a cartel soldier. Any chance of arresting people ended at the border and line ATF Agents were ordered not to follow the guns even that far.
The way the program was structured, the only people who ATF could arrest were the straw purchasers and the people they sold guns to. Ultimately, these were the only people ATF did arrest. They could have arrested these people after one or two purchases - instead they allowed thousands of guns to be purchased and sent to Mexican (and American) criminals. They allowed one suspect to buy over 500 weapons. Why?
Why were the guns allowed over the border? That's the one million dollar question. Gun rights folks look at the results - lots of guns going from the US retail market to Mexican drug cartels THAT OTHERWISE WOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN SOLD TO THE TRAFFICKERS and infer that the purpose was to justify gun control. So far, this is the only explanation that makes any sense at all - but it is a logical inference. It is also the opinion shared by some of the whistle blowing agents and the former head of DEA in Phoenix who was forced to lend some of his agents to the program.
It may be that the motive was not gun control - but the facts prove that it was not a sting operation. Absolutely no one has been able to explain how deliberately letting guns go to Mexican criminals advanced this purpose - even when asked under oath in front of congress.
Perhaps the greatest irony is that an earlier operation called "Wide Receiver" provides an excellent example of what a "botched sting operation" looks like. If you haven't already do so, please follow THIS LINK and read my comparison of the two operations.
Take a hard look at the facts. If you do that with an open mind, I am sure you will be convinced that there is no way Fast and Furious was any kind of a sting operation.