Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Fast and Furious: now barely even a pseudoscandal

Posted by Charles II on June 28, 2012

I heard about this on Rachel last night, but truthout found the link for me. Katherine Eban, Fortune mag:

Customers can legally buy as many weapons as they want in Arizona as long as they’re 18 or older and pass a criminal background check. There are no waiting periods and no need for permits, and buyers are allowed to resell the guns. “In Arizona,” says [ATF team leader Dave] Voth, “someone buying three guns is like someone buying a sandwich.”

The agents faced numerous obstacles in what they dubbed the Fast and Furious case. …Their greatest difficulty by far, however, was convincing prosecutors that they had sufficient grounds to seize guns and arrest straw purchasers. By June 2010 the agents had sent the U.S. Attorney’s office a list of 31 suspects they wanted to arrest, with 46 pages outlining their illegal acts. But for the next seven months prosecutors did not indict a single suspect.

Ten weeks [after the murder of a Border Patrol agent], an ATF agent named John Dodson…claimed that supervisors repeatedly ordered him not to seize weapons because they wanted to track the guns into the hands of criminal ringleaders.

Nobody disputes that suspected straw purchasers under surveillance by the ATF repeatedly bought guns that eventually fell into criminal hands. … But five law-enforcement agents directly involved in Fast and Furious tell Fortune that the ATF … seized weapons whenever they could but were hamstrung by prosecutors and weak laws, which stymied them at every turn.

Indeed, a six-month Fortune investigation reveals that the public case alleging that Voth and his colleagues walked guns [i.e., deliberately allowed them to end up in the hands of criminals] is replete with distortions, errors, partial truths, and even some outright lies.

Bottom line: Arizona’s gun laws and prosecutors who were less than eager to pursue prosecutions allowed guns to get into the hands of violent criminals. The Obama Administration is then blamed. And in true underwear gnome form: GOP Profit!!!!

Sixty Minutes, which hyped Agent Dodson’s adolescent complaints into a pseudoscandal. has become no more than a bad joke, prostituting itself for ratings. The use of “the Sipsey Street Irregulars, run by a former militia member, Mike Vanderboegh, who has advocated armed insurrection against the U.S. government” as a “desert telegraph” to come up with angles to attack the ATF, is a cancer on the American Republic. Thanks, Republicans, for keeping us safe from non-existent threats while Mexico dissolves into chaos.

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One Response to “Fast and Furious: now barely even a pseudoscandal”

  1. I only wish the Fortune article had come out, say, a week earlier than it did. Of course, the same media that shouted the original lie would still only whisper the retraction, but still….

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