Jerry Seper, the Washington Times Investigative Editor and one of the most experienced journalists to cover the issues relating to border security (or lack there of) wrote an important news report on the ongoing saga of the incomprehensible ATF field operation known as “Operation Fast and Furious.”
Indeed, it seems that scarcely a day goes by without new revelations that shed more and more light on an operation that facilitated- indeed resulted in the arming of members of the most violent Mexican drug cartel, the Zetas. This operation, as you now doubt know, was run by the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) a component agency of the Department of Justice as are the FBI and DEA – two other federal law enforcement agencies that now appear to have also been involved in this investigation- apparently without the knowledge of the acting director of the ATF!
In the days, weeks and months after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 it became clear that one of the areas of vulnerability for our nation was the failure of various law enforcement and intelligence agencies to share information. This “failure to communicate,” especially during the course of undercover investigations can also pose serious threats to the safety of the law enforcement personnel of the various agencies who may be working on the same case without realizing it. Additionally, informants and cooperating sources may also be placed at risk by such a communication failure.
The revelation that DEA and FBI informants may have been among those who made purchases of “walked” firearms is nothing short of astounding.
Next I ask that you consider this excerpt from Jerry Seper’s report:
Mr. Melson confirmed information the committee has been investigating that some of the suspected gun traffickers targeted by ATF in the Fast and Furious probe may have been working with the FBI and DEA without ATF’s knowledge.
He also confirmed concerns expressed by several ATF agents during their recent testimony before Mr. Issa’s committee that while they witnessed the transfer of weapons from the straw buyers to others, they were not allowed to follow the guns further as they made their way to Mexico. He told the investigators he became aware of “this startling possibility” only after the killing of Mr. Terry and the indictments of the straw purchasers.
Take a moment to digest this – ATF agents were told to not follow guns that had been permitted to walk and now, it may well be that the guns were in the possession of informants of the FBI and/or DEA.
On the one hand, you might think that if informants had the guns, then perhaps there was a belief that everything was under control and that the guns would never fall into cartel members hands- however, this is apparently what did happen. The obvious question is what went wrong?
Did the informants sell out their handlers at the DEA or FBI or was something else – something far more nefarious going on?
It is also extremely disturbing that according to the news report, Jesus Enrique Rejon-Aguilar, the leader of the Zetas who has been allegedly implicated in the deaths of United States Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata and the wounding of Special Agent Zapata’s partner, may well have known that the guns he was getting were being sold to his straw purchasers under the direction of the United States government! If in fact he was aware of the undercover investigation – how did he find out?
Is there a “mole” in the ATF, DOJ, FBI or DEA?
Are there other moles in key positions in law enforcement agencies of the federal government or in local or state law enforcement agencies? This is a commonplace problem in Mexico and with the huge sums of cash on hand it is not beyond possibility that the game of “Silver or Lead” is now being played on the U.S. side of the border that is supposed to separate the United States from Mexico!
Consider this quote from the report:
Meanwhile Thursday, Mexican police released a videotaped interview of Jesus Enrique Rejon Aguilar, in which the recently captured No. 3 leader of the Los Zetas drug cartel said “all the weapons” the Zetas use were “bought in the United States” and that “even the American government itself was selling the weapons.”
It was is clear that this process of permitting straw purchasers to take possession of numerous firearms took place repeatedly at a number of gun shops. How many times would guns have to disappear into Mexico before the agents running the investigation would realize that something horrible was happening if this was not the intended outcome of the operation?
Unless, of course, that was for some inexplicable reason, the point to this exercise!
You really have to wonder how many officials at the Department of Justice, and perhaps at the FBi and the DEA are having sleepless nights worrying about how much death and destruction this harebrained scheme may ultimately cause and worrying that they may soon have to be sworn to, “Tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth” a face the music and a Congressional hearing or a judicial process with potentially dire consequence for them.
I also find it interesting that according to the news article, Senator Grassley made the following statement:
Mr. Grassley noted that it has been “well documented” that hundreds of guns may have crossed the border into Mexico because of the “reckless policy known as Fast and Furious,” but the hundreds of thousands of guns used by Mexican drug cartel members are not primarily from U.S.-based gun dealers.
Instead, he said, evidence shows that other sources, including some in Central America, help supply the weapons.
It is remarkable that Senator Grassley’s statement about the majority of firearms falling into the hands of the Mexican cartels is not coming from the United States but elsewhere.
This is the opposite of the claims made by Secretary of DHS Napolitano has consistently claimed, blaming the influx of guns on U.S. gun shops. On March 14, 2009, in an interview with Newsweek Ms Napolitano stated, in part:
Are there things the United States can do, literally and physically, to help the Mexicans quell this inside Mexico, or do they not want that?
Absolutely. One of the things we’re focusing on is stopping the flow of guns and cash south. Because in this drug war, primarily the guns are coming through the United States and … the movement of cash is what funds what the cartels are doing. That’s why, for example, when I talk about moving assets, one of the things we’re going to be increasing is our inspection of southbound vehicles, looking for guns and cash that are being taken into Mexico illegally to fund this battle.
Here is a link to that interview, in its entirety:
Was Napolitano’s apparent certainty about the source of the firearms for the cartels the result of a hunch, intelligence or, perhaps, direct knowledge about “Operation Fast and Furious?” How did she come to the conclusion that “Because in this drug war, primarily the guns are coming through the United States…?”
Among law enforcement there is a saying that if you see a coincidence, look again!
I suspect that Senator Grassley, Congressman Issa and their respective staffs and others, will be doing lots of looking!
I wish them “Happy hunting” and “Godspeed!”
No one who was intrinsically involved in this massive immoral and illegal screw up should be permitted to remain in any position within the law enforcement community and should be made accountable insofar as the criminal laws of our nation require!
A country without secure borders can no more stand than can a house without walls!
If our country is to survive and if our children and their children are to get their share of the “American Dream” the citizens of this nation must take their citizenship seriously!
We the People must be the best citizens we can be, citizens who are worthy of the gallantry demonstrated by our valiant men and women in the military, law enforcement and firefighters, who routinely go in harm’s way in defense of this nation and our citizens.
My goal in writing this and other commentaries is to point out our nations many failings before more victims pay the ultimate price for the incompetence and ineptitude of our government.
The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.
If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same. We need to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”
The practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there.
The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!
The collective failure of We the People to get involved in make our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to the politicians. I implore you to get involved!
I believe our nation’s is greatly benefited by the rich diversity of our people which is why I could never imagine living anywhere except New York City, arguably the most diverse city in our nation if not, in fact, the world. However, my idea of diversity most certainly does not include members of MS-13, the Mexican drug cartels or members of other transnational gangs or members of al-Qaeda!
If our government’s failures to secure our nation’s borders and effectively enforce our immigration laws concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation!
All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!
We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.
This is neither a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue- simply stated, this is most certainly an AMERICAN issue!
You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem!
Democracy is not a spectator sport!
Lead, follow or get out of the way!
Additionally- this summer, on Friday afternoons from 4:00 PM until 5:00 PM Eastern Daylight Savings Time, I will be filling in for Tom Garcia as the host on The USA Talk Radio Network’s excellent radio show, “The American Hour.”
I hope you will be joining my cohost, Paula Lauzon Ostman and me, on Fridays this summer!
Here is the link for this program: