Project Gunrunner sounds remarkably like Hollywood fiction. Another episode of this real life saga is the victim of a silly and melodramatic naming convention. But ‘fast and furious’ also has real life victims of the kind that cause the public to be furious over a continuous stream of government failures. The idea that the very guns government operatives allowed to be acquired by Mexican drug cartels may be responsible for the death of at least one US law enforcement officer amplifies the outrage.
First, some background. Like so many border programs run amok, Project Gunrunner was the spawn of Beltway bipartisanship. It was established in 2005 as a pilot project under the Bush administration and run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The intended goal of the program’s sting operations: stop illicit firearms trafficking along the Southwest border through close surveillance of undercover gun purchases and coordinated intervention with Mexico. The deadly result: federally sanctioned gunwalking of high-powered weapons from U.S. officials right into the hands of drug cartel killers.
Calling it Obama’s nightmare might be unfair given Malkin’s account that this ‘was the spawn of Beltway bipartisanship’ unless the project under the Bush administration was an entirely different animal than under the Obama administration.
Malkin also covers the story on her blog and the URL link is provided.
Senator Chuck Grassley has three press releases related to this story.
WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley continues to press the administration for answers about the policy that allowed guns to “walk” over the Mexican border. Grassley began questioning the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in January. His requests for information about the involvement of various agencies, including ATF, the Justice Department, the Department of Homeland Security, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection have been stonewalled by the administration.
In the meantime Congressman Darrell Issa joined the fray.
“It will be up to the Attorney General to say whether he knew or not,” Issa said. “Right now, the president’s word about what somebody else knew would not be acceptable. As much as we love the president, we can accept him at his word – he didn’t know. The Attorney General is going to have to say what he knew and when he knew it – and, if he didn’t know, who in his hierarchy did know and when did they know it?”
WASHINGTON – In a letter to the director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Senator Chuck Grassley pressed for additional details about the bureau’s knowledge of the straw purchasers of the guns involved in the killing of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata.
All the while Big Sis and the toughest sheriff in America remain at odds over border security. My money’s on Sheriff Joe.
Agents patrolling America’s southern border are slamming Department of Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano for giving the nation “a false sense of security,” after she claimed the border region is “better now than it ever has been.”
While Big Sis keeps her head in the sand Sheriff Joe’s strategy is the reason my money is on him.
Sheriff Joe, gotta love him. Big Sis should follow his lead but then that’s not the Obama way. If she/they can’t handle border security how can we expect them to handle the broader responsibilities of national security and defense?