Saturday, May 12, 2012

Fast and Furious update


Back in 2009, Rahm Emanuel, Team O's first chief of staff was quoted famously as saying that you "never let a crisis go to waste." However, in the case of Fast and Furious, if there is no crisis, you create one.

The latest chapter in the unfolding travesty that is Fast and Furious regards a DOJ budget that the President has threatened to veto because House Republican have stripped funding for a reporting mechanism for gun shops in the four southern border states - a reporting mechanism that came about as a result of Fast and Furious.

President Barack Obama has threatened to veto a Department of Justice appropriations bill House Republicans passed because, among other things, it includes a provision that blocks a gun control law his administration used Operation Fast and Furious to pass.

The Obama administration’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives wrote, and began implementing, a new rule that would require gun dealers in the four U.S. states that border Mexico to report sales of multiple semi-automatic rifles to the ATF.

In the 2013 fiscal year budget for the Department of Justice and related agencies, House Republicans inserted a rider, or condition, that would force the ATF to not implement that rule.

In a statement the White House released upon receiving the House appropriations bill, the administration threatened it would veto the legislation because of that ATF rider, among other things.

In the statement, the White House called that rider blocking the ATF rule’s implementation one of the few it “strongly opposes” because the Obama administration thinks it represents “problematic policy and language riders that have no place in funding legislation.”

Several House Republicans have charged that the Obama administration had an anti-gun agenda when it carried out Fast and Furious, and are particularly wary of Attorney General Eric Holder, who once expressed the need to “brainwash” the American people into disliking firearm ownership.

They cite emails CBS News acquired in December, in which lead Fast and Furious Agent Bill Newell and ATF Field Operations Assistant Director Mark Chait discussed how to use the scandal’s aftermath to promote the long-gun reporting requirement for multiple sales.

“ATF officials didn’t intend to publicly disclose their own role in letting Mexican cartels obtain the weapons, but emails show they discussed using the sales, including sales encouraged by ATF, to justify a new gun regulation called ‘Demand Letter 3,’” CBS News’ Sharyl Attkisson reported in December. “That would require some U.S. gun shops to report the sale of multiple rifles or ‘long guns.’ Demand Letter 3 was so-named because it would be the third ATF program demanding gun dealers report tracing information.”

(italics, ours)

We will again point out that CBS News and the L.A. Times have been the only legacy media outlets that have been consistent in their coverage of Fast and Furious.

The italicized portion of the linked article says it all: ATF and the Justice Department knowingly let guns walk across the border with zero intention of tracking them all to establish a narrative of an unchecked flow of weapons into the hands of Mexican drug cartel.

Mission accomplished.

So, you think that there would be some backtracking or some shame exhibited regarding Fast and Furious. You don't know politics and specifically Washington politics very well, do you?

Democratic politicians have also invoked Fast and Furious when pushing for stricter gun control laws. During an early November 2011 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein tried to leverage the crisis to push for anti-gun regulations.

“My concern, Mr. Chairman, is there’s been a lot said about Fast and Furious, and perhaps mistakes were made, but I think this hunt for blame doesn’t really speak about the problem,” Feinstein said during a Nov. 1 hearing. “And the problem is, anybody can walk in and buy anything: .50-caliber weapons, sniper weapons, buy them in large amounts and send them down to Mexico. So, the question really becomes, what do we do about this?”

“I’ve been here 18 years,” Feinstein continued. “I’ve watched the BATF get beaten up at every turn on the road. And, candidly, it’s just not right.”

During that hearing, Feinstein advocated for using Operation Fast and Furious as a springboard from which to advocate for strict gun control laws, including national databases and government-controlled firearms registration. She argued that new laws could prevent future programs like Fast and Furious from reaching maturity.

So, let's get this straight: we need stricter gun laws to prevent the government from running guns across the border. That is what Feinstein is saying, right?

We need stricter gun control laws to prevent Border Patrol and ICE agents as well as hundreds if not thousands of Mexican officials and citizens from getting killed as a direct result of actions taken by the U.S. government.

What we need is a complete turnover of the failed, power-hungry, cynical and decadent political establishment in Washington. Feinstein's statements make that irrefutable fact.

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