Last week a joint committee involving the offices of ethically-challenged Representative Darrell Issa (R) and quasi-religious/legislative cult member of “The Family,” Senator Chuck Grassley (R) released a report on the gun-walking scandal “Fast and Furious,” or if you’re in Mexico, the much cooler sounding, “Rápido y Furioso!” Which reportedly started under the Bush administration and continued at a lively pace under Obama and his DOJ honcho, Eric Holder.
Since Grassley and Issa would love to stick the DOJ (and by extension Obama) with this warm bag of dogshit you can imagine that the report might be wholly partisan. That doesn’t mean it’s not true and it doesn’t mean that it is. The report relies heavily on the account of one whistleblower, Carlos Canino. And the Obama administration hasn’t responded to the report, or taken the opportunity to bring forth their own witnesses and evidence. All it really shows is Issa and Grassley have a witness from the inside who repeatedly tried to run this up the flagpole and got shut down from his chain-of-command. It doesn’t say if Eric Holder was involved or if Rápido y Furioso was an autonomous program run by local ATF agents in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas without input from D.C.
But holy shit is it a wild-ass read!
Let me say this, the whole thing sounds like a bad action movie written by Mike Seaver’s friend, Boner Stabone. (“We’ll wrap these automatic assault rifles up in big red bows and hand them over to the teeming throngs of murderous drug cartels. What could possibly go wrong?”)
In one section, the report details an incident in which Mexican drug-runners shoot down a helicopter. A fucking helicopter!
A May 2011 shootout between Mexican police and cartel members demonstrates the broadening impact of Operation Fast and Furious. On May 24, 2011, La Familia DTO gunmen forced a Federal Police helicopter to make an emergency landing in the state of Michoacan, located in western Mexico. The gunmen attacked the helicopter, wounding two officers onboard and forcing the aircraft to land near the scene of the attack.
After detailing that incident, the report reveals a connection between the missing guns and the murder of a prominent Chihuahua lawyer named Mario Gonzalez Rodriguez.
At the time of the kidnapping, his sister Patricia Gonzalez Rodriguez was the Attorney General of the state of Chihuahua in northwestern Mexico. A few days after the kidnapping, a video surfaced on the Internet in which Mario Gonzalez Rodriguez sat handcuffed, surrounded by five heavily armed men wearing masks, dressed in camouflage and bullet-proof vests.
On November 5, 2010, Mexican authorities found Mario Gonzalez Rodriguez’s body in a shallow grave. Shortly after this grisly discovery, the Mexican federal police engaged in a shootout with drug cartel members, which resulted in the arrest of eight suspects. Police seizedsixteen weapons from the scene of the shootout. Two of these weapons traced back to Operation Fast and Furious.
As tenuous a connection as this is (“Shortly after this happened something else happened!” isn’t much of a connection) it’s still not looking good for this “put out the fire with gasoline” approach to drug gang border skirmishes. Obama and Holder can only hope that this doesn’t break into the national conversation on security and our insane pursuit of a war on drugs. (Although, I’m not holding out for the GOP presidential challengers to actually use facts about bad policy to attack Obama, they’re usually too busy making up boogeyman stories about how he’s a Secular Muslim or an elite European Socialist to pay attention to things that are, you know, true.)