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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

10/14/2011 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

A botched operation has cost lives, and nobody's being held accountable.

It seems like a sensible plan. Allow criminals to obtain firearms from gun shops in Arizona and let them smuggle those weapons into Mexico, while being tracked by agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. As the criminals deliver the weapons to the drug cartels, agents can then build cases against the most wanted, violent criminals, and bring them to justice.

A cache of weapons recovered from the Mexican cartels. Several of these weapons were recovered only after they were used for murder.

A cache of weapons recovered from the Mexican cartels. Several of these weapons were recovered only after they were used for murder.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/14/2011 (3 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: fast and furious, ATF, investigation, committees, hearings, Darrell Issa


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online)  - There was just one problem with the plan. It failed, miserably.

In fact, the plan known as "Fast and Furious"is perhaps the most ill-conceived and irresponsible scheme concocted by the US government in decades. Not long into the operation, agents lost track of the weapons. A short time after that, the weapons began to show up at crime scenes on both sides of the border. It became clear, violent Mexican drug cartels were using weapons that the ATF allowed to be smuggled out of the US, to kill people. 

People, especially Mexican citizens, ARE being ruthlessly murdered-- by the dozens, with weapons purchased through Fast and Furious.

But the problem gets worse. Public outrage seems to be almost nonexistent. The scandal doesn't even appear to inflame passions nearly as much as the Monica Lewinsky scandal of the 1990s. Yet, responsibility for this scheme goes all the way to the top.

Whatever happened to "The buck stops here?"

Most politicians have taken a partisan stance on an issue that should be about the lives of humans and gross negligence rather than politics. Fortunately, the issue has at least one crusader. Darrell Issa, (R-CA) Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is continuing to push an investigation into Fast and Furious.

Unfortunately, his investigation hasn't made much progress. In fact, when the committee requested information on the operation, their requests were refused. Later, when the committee questioned (of all people) Attorney General Eric Holder, Holder claimed to have only basic knowledge of the operation. More recent evidence suggests however, this was a counterfactual claim.

E-mails, some provided by ATF agents, suggests that Holder had a much were intimate understanding of the operation and its  failure, yet chose to remain silent, despite testifying before the Committee. The committee may now investigate Holder for perjury.

For his part, Holder insists that his testimony was honest and factual. He has reiterated that he had no specific knowledge of the tactics used in the operation.

Again, this is less about the honesty of our government officials, and politics than it is about the lives of dozens of people who have been lost in part because of this botched operation. The US government sanctioned a plan that was ill-conceived, and failed miserably. Innocent people have died.

The question must be asked again: Where's the outrage?

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