[According to this article from "Narco News," US, Mexican Officials Brokering Deals with Drug “Cartels,” WikiLeaks Documents Show, a primary objective of the apparent fiasco "Fast and Furious" was the creation of a "simulated war" in Mexico and using American resources to tip the scales in that drug gang war in favor of the Sinaloa Cartel. The author of the following article whitewashes the notion of an American conspiracy in this gun-running case, by pursuing the questions about a potential conspiracy from the wrong angle: "The aim was to build a case against higher-ups of the ruthless Sinaloa cartel." The facts remain, that at least 2,000 semi-automatic rifles (most of them AK-47s), hand guns, even grenade-launchers, were transferred from Arizona gun-sellers to the Sinaloa cartel, in order to empower the cartel as the top drug gang in Mexico and the American Southwest. This speaks volumes about American law enforcement and governmental involvement in fostering the international drugs trade.]
WASHINGTON — Operation Fast and Furious was many things — flawed in design, incompetently managed and needlessly prolonged — but it was not an ATF and Justice Department conspiracy to lay the groundwork for more gun control laws, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz said Thursday. Horowitz answered questions before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which in conjunction with Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, has spent over a year investigating the discredited Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives operation in Phoenix. Unlike previous hearings in which Republican lawmakers who dominate the committee and Attorney General Eric Holder engaged in heated, vituperative exchanges, Horowitz’s appearance was a virtual love fest. The inspector general won praise from committee Republicans and Democrats alike the day after his office released an exhaustive 471-page report that faulted ATF and the Justice Department for shoddy oversight of Fast and Furious while exonerating Holder. The committee’s chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., called the report “extremely comprehensive, strong and independent.” But Issa insisted that if necessary, he would continue to pursue legal avenues to obtain the 100,000 or so pages of documents that formed the basis of the inspector general’s report. In Fast and Furious, ATF agents in 2009 and 2010 followed orders to let drug-cartel-connected middlemen ferry weapons purchased in the Phoenix area to Mexican drug kingpins rather than interdicting them. Agents call such tactics “gun walking.” The aim was to build a case against higher-ups of the ruthless Sinaloa cartel. But Fast and Furious netted only small fry while up to 2,000 weapons including AK-47s were spirited to Mexico. Two of the weapons were recovered at the murder site of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December 2010, setting off a firestorm in Washington. In an appearance Thursday on the Spanish-language network Univision, President Barack Obama said he retains “complete confidence” in Holder, saying the attorney general “has shown himself to be accountable” by replacing ATF supervisors who directed the operation. He called gun walking in Fast and Furious “completely wrongheaded.” Among the Fast and Furious conspiracy theories popularized by gun-rights advocates was that Holder and other Justice and Obama administration officials encouraged gun walking as a way of building a case for gun control, specifically a requirement that border-state firearms dealer tell ATF of multiple purchases of semiautomatic rifles greater than .22 caliber. “Would your investigation have been able to uncover political motives behind allowing the operation to continue?” said Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas. “Or is the entire fiasco a result of just gross mismanagement?” Horowitz said there was evidence that Justice and ATF officials discussed the gun purchases in Fast and Furious as examples of the need for the multiple-purchase regulation. “But we didn’t find evidence at the outset that (gun control) was driving (it),” he said.