Fast and furious began under...Bush?
Everyone should expect Attorney General Eric Holder to fudge the
truth about Operation Fast and Furious. After all, two American
law-enforcement officers, and 300 Mexican civilians, have died as a
result. But every time Eric Holder opens his mouth about Fast and
Furious, he lies. He says that “gun walking” started during the Bush
administration. That’s a lie. And also that he stopped a Bush
administration program when it got out of hand. That’s another lie.
Fast and Furious v. Wide Receiver
Operation Wide Receiver sounds like a metaphor from American football. It isn’t. The word receiver, in the gun law lexicon, means the main part of any firearm. This part receives all the other parts of a gun. Technically, the receiver is the “gun” when the goal is to count any number of guns.
These three reports
describe Operation Wide Receiver and how it differed from Operation
Fast and Furious. In Wide Receiver, agents of the Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE, or ATF) would first put a
tracking device into a gun, and then ask a dealer to sell it to a straw
buyer. ATF planned to follow each gun from the store to the real buyer,
the one who sent the straw buyer to pick it up. From start to finish,
ATF told their counterparts in Mexico what they were doing.
Wide Receiver failed early. The three linked reports give several reasons:
- Whoever inserted some of the tracking devices into the guns, did a
poor job. He bent the antennas, so that their signals could not go very
- The batteries on some of the tracking devices died. So those devices could send no signal at all.
- Some straw buyers “sniffed out” the devices and removed them en route.
- Other straw buyers played games with the ATF. One favorite trick: to
drive in circles until the plane the ATF had following the signals, was
out of fuel and had to return to base.
ATF might have lost 300 guns in Wide Receiver. So they shut the program down in 2007. That was two years before Eric Holder even became
Attorney General. So if he shut down a Bush Administration program,
then he has a power that no earlier Attorney General ever had: time
Fast and Furious began in 2009. And ATF never bothered to
put tracking devices on any guns. They told gun dealers to sell as many
as 2000 guns overall. Some of them were the kinds of guns that no gun
dealer would dare carry (like the AK-47). And they never told the government of Mexico anything about it. (Mexican authorities are so angry that they are now investigating on their own.)
ATF have lost 1400 of those 2000 guns. The rest, ATF and Mexican agents
have recovered from crime scenes. ATF recovered two at a scene in this
country, where Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry died in the line of duty.
Only then did ATF shut down Fast and Furious.
What about you? Do you believe Eric Holder when he says he shut down an operation that went back to the Bush administration? Or is he playing fast and loose with the facts?
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