by Ben Small
You may have noticed the report issued by the BATFE and Eric Holder a year or so ago that most of the assault weapons captured in Mexico during the cartel wars were smuggled in from the United States.
The report was fraudulent. Not only untrue -- very few weapons captured in Mexico are turned over to the United States for tracking -- but now we learn that the Justice Department and BATFE were actively engaged in assisting gun smuggling throughout the Southwest and into Mexico. Even over the strong objections of their own agents.
The BATFE also made a public announcement last year, carried in newspapers, radio and television that they'd arrested and shut down some gun dealers in Texas and Arizona who'd run 2500 or more assault weapons into Mexico. Yes, the same guys who had contacted the ATF, told them they thought these guns were being smuggled, and were told to let them go.
Needless to say, when charges are dismissed, Justice and the BATFE rarely issue press announcements.
The man pictured above is Kenneth Melson, Acting Director of the BATFE. Melson admits he was instructed to supervise Operation Gunrunner's Fast and Furious program, the operation to smuggle these weapons thought a good idea by the Justice Department. Some BATFE agents who complained against the program were threatened or disciplined.
Now Melson says the Justice Department is stonewalling its own Inspector General investigation into Fast and Furious and that of Congress, which has been investigating the program ever since news of it popped after the murder of Border Agent Brian Terry. At least one of those rifles was used in the fusillade Agent Terry faced.
The official explanation for Operation Gunrunner's Fast and Furious program is that the BATFE and Justice wanted to track these firearms into dirty cartel hands. But they installed no transponders into the stocks, no GPS, no tracking device or mechanism whatsoever, and in fact, no tracking occurred... until Agent Terry's death. Ever since, these weapons have been showing up at Southwestern and Mexican crime scenes. Agents complained, and after Agent Terry's murder, some went public.
Suddenly BATFE and DOJ had a media relations problem.
Could there have been a different agenda, a political one, say, to drum up support for new gun ban laws? Consider that both Eric Holder and Barack Obama are adamant gun-banners, who if they had their way would strip our Second Amendment rights entirely. But these two have had a hard time finding support for their programs, especially after over sixty Democratic Congress members -- including Gabriel Giffords, a gun owner herself -- wrote a letter just after Obama was elected saying they fully support Second Amendment rights. But there's another player here, a treaty up for adoption in the Democratically controlled Senate. The U.N. Small Arms Treaty. Adoption of that treaty would mean an easier road for gun control legislation -- a treaty obligation.
There's also the Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing and Trafficking of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Materials, currently languishing in Congress.
The question naturally arises: Was Operation Gunrunner's Fast and Furious program a political set-up for additional gun control measures? For the life of me, I can't think of any other purpose, given the lack of any tracking at all and the certain knowledge on the part of our leaders, hopefully, that BATFE had no means of tracking them. You don't make decisions knowing they will cost lives without asking about stuff like that.
The fact that the Acting Director of the BATFE, an agency already regarded as the lowest branch of the Justice Department (especially after Ruby Ridge and Waco fiascoes), is pointing his finger at Daddy makes one demand to know who at Justice approved this program. It had a budget of some $25 million. Melson says that number came from DOJ; the money came from DOJ.
Funny thing is, Eric Holder said recently he learned what BATFE was doing on Fast and Furious in March, but he mentioned the program two years ago.
So what is the truth? Who knew about this program and when? These were criminal acts ordered by the BATFE and DOJ, acts that caused how many deaths? Will anyone ever be put under the criminal scope for this? Will anyone be disciplined? Were any MMS officials who forged and submitted false inspection reports on the Horizon oil rig ever criminally punished? They committed fraud and lied to public officials. Look hard; you won't find it. Was anyone even demoted, suspended or fired. Again, you won't find it.
So now, the DOJ, part of the administration that candidate Barack Obama said would be the most transparent ever, is stonewalling any investigation of Operation Gunrunner's Fast and Furious operation.
I went to the Justice Department's Inspector General's website, its hotline especially, where citizens are encouraged to report government waste, fraud, abuse or misconduct either by filling in their form or via email. I tried both relative to Fast and Furious. The form wouldn't let me get past my name and address, and the email address wasn't in service. Don't believe me? You try it.
We need a Special Prosecutor. I doubt anything less will ever answer these questions.