Fast and Furious Heating Up "The Hill"
by Jim Shepherd
Seems nothing gets administration members trips under the bus quicker than being caught doing something questionable. Heavy emphasis, unfortunately, is on the "caught" portion of the sentence. Seems it's anything goes when it comes to operating in the shadows.
As Congressman Darrell Issa's scathing report and equally damning hearings last week pointed to a massive operational screwup by the ATF, the administration moved quickly to begin the process of appointing a sacrificial lamb in hopes of heading off any further action. In fact, this week could be the final week for ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson. Since 2009, Melson, is the most senior official named as having full knowledge of Operation Fast and Furious.
The administration's moves to distance itself from a crisis that has to be the worst political and operational mistake since the ATF's raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas in 1993 might be titled "Fast and Furious: We Don't Know Nothin'".
Those political headaches might continue if the administration tries to once again force-feed the firearms industry Andrew Traver as the new ATF director-designee. Traver's nomination stalled after the firearms industry put on a full-court press to head off his approval.
It is widely reported that Mr. Traver will be leaving his Chicago ATF post...for meetings in Washington with Attorney General Eric Holder. Having spoken with industry figures over the weekend, Traver's possible designation as nominee or even as acting director in place of Melson would quickly mobilize industry efforts to once again block the man described by the National Rifle Association as having a "demonstrated hostility" to the rights of gun owners.
Earlier this year, President Obama and Mexican president Calderon said that straw purchases - like those allowed, and encouraged by Operation Fast and Furious-contributed to illegal gun trafficking problems. They also inferred the firearms industry, along with law-abiding firearms owners in the United States, were partially to blame for Mexican violence because of this country's strong Second Amendment stance on firearms ownership.
Simply put, that's bull. The administration, through its continual characterization of the average U-S firearms owner as some sort of violence-prone wingnut, has taken a passive-aggressive stance against guns. Realizing that even the suggestion of a ban on firearms is a toxic position, the Obama administration has publicly shied away from taking an anti-gun position while telling anti-gun groups their plans included stepped-up regulations on firearms ownership through "other measures".
Operation Fast and Furious may prove to be one of those indirect actions that comes back to bite them in their six o'clock extremity. It's becoming increasingly obvious that there was more planned for the operation than tracking firearms. It seems the ultimate goal was to artificially create a situation where the evidence would prove that firearms from the United States were actually being used in the commission of violent crimes in Mexico.
The fact that the administration was, in effect, making certain that anti-gun position was defensible- and could be turned into an anti-gun initiative- was never supposed to see the light of day.
Fortunately for the rest of us, field agents in federal agencies take their oaths to uphold the law considerably more serious than their politically-driven administrators.
That doesn't change the facts that law-abiding firearms dealers and owners were deliberately put in harm's way, or that legal firearms dealers involved by the ATF in Fast and Furious and it's apparent precursor Wide Receiver in Tucson, were nearly bankrupted defending themselves from the fallout of the scheme.
It's beyond time for average citizens to speak out - again- to an administration that has proven itself so cynical as to ignore anything that's not put to them as an ultimatum.
Enough is enough.
Republished from The Outdoor Wire.