Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth


with 3 comments

At some point you’ve really got to wonder whether the federal government isn’t creating as much crime as it’s stopping. Today (via MetaFilter) comes a report that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms has been allowing thousands of automatic weapons to be smuggled into Mexico so they could “track” their distribution by drug cartels.

Documents show the inevitable result: The guns that ATF let go began showing up at crime scenes in Mexico. And as ATF stood by watching thousands of weapons hit the streets… the Fast and Furious group supervisor noted the escalating Mexican violence.

One e-mail noted, “958 killed in March 2010 … most violent month since 2005.” The same e-mail notes: “Our subjects purchased 359 firearms during March alone,” including “numerous Barrett .50 caliber rifles.”

Dodson feels that ATF was partly to blame for the escalating violence in Mexico and on the border. “I even asked them if they could see the correlation between the two,” he said. “The more our guys buy, the more violence we’re having down there.”

Senior agents including Dodson told CBS News they confronted their supervisors over and over.

Their answer, according to Dodson, was, “If you’re going to make an omelette, you’ve got to break some eggs.”

There was so much opposition to the gun walking, that an ATF supervisor issued an e-mail noting a “schism” among the agents. “Whether you care or not people of rank and authority at HQ are paying close attention to this case…we are doing what they envisioned…. If you don’t think this is fun you’re in the wrong line of work… Maybe the Maricopa County jail is hiring detention officers and you can get $30,000 … to serve lunch to inmates…”

“We just knew it wasn’t going to end well. There’s just no way it could,” Dodson said.

On Dec. 14, 2010, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was gunned down. Dodson got the bad news from a colleague.

According to Dodson, “They said, ‘Did you hear about the border patrol agent?’ And I said, ‘Yeah.’ And they said ‘Well it was one of the Fast and Furious guns.’ There’s not really much you can say after that.”

It’s not clear to me that Operation Fast and Furious lead to even a single arrest; the CBS report makes clear it certainly didn’t “bring down” any cartels.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 7, 2011 at 1:45 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Yes, or rather, more to the point, the government is actually creating MORE crime than it’s stopping (and most of the crime it ends up stopping is crime it facilitated in the first place), at least so far as the war on drugs is concerned. I mean, Burroughs pointed out (and I think the same logic is undeniably still in play), that with the simultaneous invention of the House Un-American Activities Committee, the New York Public Health Law 334, and the Harison Narcotics Act, all of which ultimately criminalized not drug trafficking so much as addiction itself. This was the beginning of a capitalist government’s response to the increasing use of (anti-productive) drugs by the lower/working classes. Basically, they create a new economy by enlisting addicts as stoolies, supporting their habits for some brief period, putting additional drugs in flow for the stoolies to trap others, etc., basically fueling an entire economy of drug trafficking and usage. And, of course, the related legal policies — designed to protect those gov’t officials putting drugs into play in the first place — frequently end up being dead ends for the prosecution of the very men (and women) they’d trapped/used as stoolies (etc.) in the first place, keeping the cycle itself in play.

    So yes, atrocious.


    March 7, 2011 at 2:00 pm

  2. I wonder if they are tracking the murders caused by the wielders of those guns too?


    March 8, 2011 at 7:15 pm

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