Dan Gilmore / March 18, 2016

DOJ Admits ‘Flawed Execution’ in Fast and Furious

These will not be the last times these guns will be used.

In a letter to Congress this week, the Justice Department said the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms “accepts full responsibility for the flawed execution of Fast and Furious.” In the early months of Barack Obama’s administration, the Justice Department started the sting in order to prove that American guns were arming the Mexican drug cartels, which would thus aid in making a case for gun control. (So notice that Justice accepted responsibility for “flawed execution,” not flawed intent.) To make its case, the ATF turned into gunrunners, allowing straw purchasers to pass off hundreds if not thousands of firearms. But play with fire, and you will get burned, as the guns were turned onto American law enforcement, leading to the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in 2010. And more deaths are being uncovered.

Assistant Attorney General Peter Kadzik wrote in his letter: “ATF and the department deeply regret that firearms associated with Operation Fast and Furious have been used by criminals in the commission of violent crimes, particularly crimes resulting in the deaths of civilians and law enforcement officials.”

That letter has a lot of obfuscating language. Let’s clarify. The guns the ATF let roam across the criminal landscape have traveled wide. The Justice Department officially admitted that a .50-caliber sniper rifle found in the arsenal of drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was the fruit of Fast and Furious. These guns have not only lead to the death of American Border Patrol. Last year, three Mexican police officers were killed in a shootout and one of the weapons the criminals used was a WASR-10 rifle purchased Nov. 12, 2009 — thanks to Fast and Furious. And hundreds of Mexicans have died in gang violence since these guns found their way into Mexico. So far, the U.S. and Mexico governments recovered 885 of the guns U.S. law enforcement let walk. Unfortunately, these will not be the last times these guns will be used in a crime, on either side of the border.

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