By Harold Moskowitz
President Obama misused the power of his office to create conditions for justifying increased Second Amendment restrictions. From October 2009-2011, the Phoenix Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) facilitated illegal gun sales to Mexican drug cartels. In fact, the government began instructing gun shop owners to break the law by selling firearms to suspected criminals. Dozens of AK-47 style rifles were bought during each transaction. Agents involved were ordered not to intercept the smugglers before the weapons crossed the border. Some of these weapons were paid for with taxpayer money. After purchase, ATF agents sold the weapons to “straw men” for resale to the smugglers.
The scandal only surfaced because two of the illegally sold rifles had been used in the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry (Dec., 2010.) Three ATF agents became “whistle blowers” and testified before Darrell Issa’s (R-CA) House Oversight Committee. The agents told of being forced by supervisors to let waves of guns pass to Mexican cartels. As the story threaten to involve key Obama officials such as Attorney General Eric Holder, the Department of Justice (DOJ)’s excuse was that it was all part of an “investigation” into where Mexican drug cartels were active and that agents “lost track of some of the firearms.”
As agent John Dodson told the committee: “I cannot but think of how the risk of letting guns fall into the hands of known criminals could possibly advance any legitimate law enforcement interest.” A DOJ Inspector General report indicated that hundreds of the untracked guns were later used in the U.S. and Mexico. Documents were eventually released to both Issa’s committee and Charles Grassley’s (R-IA) Senate Judiciary Committee despite “stonewalling.”
In June, 2012, when El Chapo Guzman was arrested, agents found a Barrett .50 caliber rifle linked to Fast and Furious. A total of 34 Barrett .50’s had been “exported” by the ATF. There was eventual confirmation that the murder of “ICE” agent Jaime Zapata in 2011 was directly linked to ATF gun trafficking. In the U.S., one of the untracked weapons was in the hands of Nadir Soofi. He was one of two Muslim terrorists who tried to shoot up anti-Islamic Jihad activist Pamela Geller’s “Draw Mohammed” contest in 2015. In June, 2012, Eric Holder became the first Attorney General to be declared in contempt of Congress. This step was taken after Holder refused for months to turn over subpoenaed documents related to ATF gun trafficking. By the time of Holder’s contempt of Congress vote, at least 300 Mexicans had already been murdered or wounded by Obama’s gun scandal weapons. In addition, agents Terry and Zapata had been murdered in the line of duty with those AD-47 style rifles. The DOJ Inspector General also reported that a total of 2000 semi-automatic weapons had been illegally transferred to criminals.
Massive amounts of evidence indicated that Holder’s “investigation” was actually a criminal operation aimed at blaming the Second Amendment for violence in the U.S. and Mexico. Congressional investigators found the operation was intended to push forward the gun control agenda. The scheme only failed because of three courageous ATF agents with consciences.
In June, 2017, the investigating Congressional committees released an incriminating report regarding the Obama administration’s scandal and its attempted cover up. Obama had tried to claim executive privilege to deny Congress access to related documents even though he denied having been personally involved in the scandal. A federal judge forced the release of more than 20,000 pages of emails and memos previously denied by Obama to Congress.
The documents revealed that top Obama officials deliberately obstructed the Congressional probe into Fast and Furious. Internal documents confirmed ATF agent John Dodson’s Congressional testimony regarding the total lack of attempt to track the firearms after they left the U.S. The real goal was to hopefully create a crisis of gun violence requiring a crackdown on firearms in the U.S.
Operation Fast and Furious has a “political angle.” Emails gotten by C.B.S. News in 2011 showed ATF officials discussing the operation to push through a regulation requiring gun shops to report the sale of multiple rifles or “long guns.” ATF allowed certain gun shops to make desirable sales to dangerous people to use those sales as justification for new reporting requirements. At the same time, the mass media dutifully carried “news stories” about how loose U.S. gun laws lead to shootings in Mexico. In August, 2011, the Obama administration instituted new reporting requirements for the southern border states.
As Ian Tuttle of the National Review expressed it: Under Operation Fast and Furious, the U.S. government became a de facto illegal arms dealer to Mexican drug cartels and Islamic criminals.” Obama and Holder oversaw this scandal while they lectured to the nation about the need for more gun control. Apparently, for the Progressive Left’s goal of severely weakening, if not outright destroying, the Second Amendment, “the end justifies the means.” That reality should never be lost sight of when voting on any Election Day. We must always look beyond the deliberately moderate/central sounding campaign rhetoric of candidates. This is especially true for candidates claiming to be staunch defenders of the Second Amendment before reminding us of the need for some “common sense” gun control measures.
One opinion is that Obama and Holder were both guilty of Congressional oversight obstruction regarding the investigation of Fast and Furious and that both have blood on their hands from their illegal gun trafficking. One fact we can state is that both have walked away from their unconscionable scandal unscathed to this day!