ATF allowed firearms to “walk” under previous incarnation of Fast and Furious
Paul Joseph Watson
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
During an appearance on CBS News’ Face the Nation on Sunday, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa acknowledged that an almost identical program to Fast and Furious, in which the federal government trafficked guns directly to suspected criminals, existed under the Bush administration.
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Issa’s comments about a similar program being operational under the Bush administration appear at the 3:50 mark.
“We know that, under the Bush administration, there were similar operations, but they were coordinated with Mexico,” Issa, R-Calif., said. “They made every effort to keep their eyes on the weapons the whole time. So we’re not, per se, saying that tracing weapons is a bad idea.”
Based out of Arizona, the Bush-era program ran from 2006 to the end of 2007 and was dubbed “Operation Wide Receiver.” Similarly to Fast and Furious, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed firearms to “walk” to suspected gun traffickers without them being interdicted.
Democrats will obviously cite the fact that an almost identical program was up and running during the Bush administration as a way to try and absolve the Obama administration and particularly Attorney General Eric Holder of blame for Fast and Furious.
Indeed, Maryland Democrat Elijah Cummings immediately highlighted Issa’s comments to claim that Fast and Furious was a “local issue that never got to higher-ups,” and that AG Holder was unaware of its existence.
However, contrary to his Congressional testimony, records show that Holder was sent briefings on Fast and Furious by both Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer and the National Drug Intelligence Center in July 2010, almost a year before he told a Judiciary Committee hearing, “I’m not sure of the exact date, but I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.”
However, what this really tells us is that there was a continuation of policy and a mere passing of the baton, with the ATF not letting a presidential election get in the way of business as usual.
The only real difference under the Obama administration is that prior to the program being publicly exposed, Obama exploited it as a method through which to demonize the second amendment by claiming that Mexican drug lords were sourcing their guns from the United States, while hiding the fact that this was a result of the federal government delivering truck loads to drug gangs directly.
This was likely what Obama was referring to during a March 30 meeting between Jim and Sarah Brady and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, at which Obama “dropped in,” when he told Brady that the administration was “working on” gun control “under the radar”.