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 far.
- 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 travel.
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.
Why Fast and Furious?
Fast and Furious differs so much from Wide Receiver that it cannot even have the same goal. Putting a homing device into a gun, and then selling it, has an obvious goal: follow it back to the real buyer, the “buyer behind the buyer.” If you want to arrest that other person for buying too many guns, that makes sense.
But why let obvious straw buyers buy gun after gun that you do not track? How can you prove later on where the gun came from? What will you say to the families of people who take bullets and die?
That kind of operation can never give evidence to prosecute anyone. But it can give “evidence” of another sort.
Early in 2009, putative President Barack H. Obama and his Secretary of State, Hillary R. Clinton, said that 90 percent of all guns that authorities found at crime scenes in Mexico came from the USA. That wasn’t true, either. FactCheck.org checked the numbers. They generously said that maybe 34 percent of guns that Mexican authorities took from crime scenes came from the USA.
FactCheck.org made their report on April 22, 2009. The best guess for when Fast and Furious began, came from CBS News’ Sharyl Attkisson. Her guess: fall of 2009.
Those two dates suggest the most likely motive for Fast and Furious. Obama and Clinton both want what all Progressive politicians want: to take guns away from everyone in society, except for law-enforcement officers, military service members, and their own bodyguards. They said that America was somehow flooding Mexico with guns, with tragic results. Someone checked the numbers and said, “That’s not true.” So Obama decided to make it true.
And in Eric Holder he had a willing accomplice. Holder, in 1995, told some sympathetic listeners that he wanted to “brainwash people against guns.”
Holder might even have wanted to use the tragic death of Brian Terry to “brainwash” the people with the “There-you-sees.” But Terry’s friends and relatives asked too many questions. So Holder shut the program down. But for months afterward, he said that he never heard of Fast and Furious. But last month, the House of Representatives cited him for contempt of Congress. Now he says that he shut down the program as soon as he found out about it.
Incredibly, this brazen administration is going forward with a United Nations treaty to take guns away from the peoples of all its signing countries. It’s as if nothing had happened to embarrass this administration and its clumsy “gaming” of statistics.
The government also announced that a grand jury has indicted four men for murder in the death of Brian Terry. But those are only the men who pulled the triggers. Our own government, and Brian Terry’s own bosses, gave those men the triggers to pull.
Related Fast and Furious articles:
- A Journalist’s Guide to Project Gunwalker, Part Ten. Has links to nine earlier sets of updates.
- The Heart of the Matter
- Whom Are They Kidding?
- Law? What law?
- Too little, too late
- Where’s the outrage?
- The next level
- More subpoenas
- Shell game
- Cover-ups continue
- Death threats
- Fast and Furious is not Gunrunner
- The unraveling
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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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