And then, thanks to Fox News -- the first network to report it -- we found out the 90 percent figure was complete bunkum. It was a fabrication told by William Hoover, of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATF), and then spread like wildfire by Democrats and the media.
Mexican law enforcement authorities send only a fraction of the guns they recover from criminals back to the U.S. for tracing. Which guns do they send? The guns that have U.S. serial numbers on them. It would be like asking a library to produce all their Mark Twain books and then concluding that 90 percent of the books in that library are by Mark Twain.
You begin to see why the left hates Fox News so much.
Obama backed away from the preposterous 90 percent claim. His National Security Council spokesman explained to Fox News that by "recovered," they meant "guns traceable to the United States." So, in other words, Democrats were frantically citing the amazing fact that almost all the guns traceable to the U.S. were ... traceable to the U.S.
Attorney General Eric Holder told reporters that even if the percentage is inaccurate, the "vast majority" of guns seized in crimes in Mexico come from the United States. And he should know, because it turns out he was sending them there!
Apart from the guns Holder was giving them, this was an absurd claim. Most of the guns used by drug cartels are automatic weapons -- not to mention shoulder-fired rockets -- that can't be sold to most Americans. They are acquired from places like Russia, China and Guatemala.
Right about the time the 90 percent lie was unraveling, the Obama administration decided to directly hand thousands of American guns over to Mexican criminals. Apart from the fact that tracking thousands of guns into Mexico is not feasible or rational, the dumped guns didn't have GPS tracing devices on them, anyway. There is no conceivable law enforcement objective to such a program.
This is what we know:
(1) Liberals thought it would be a great argument for gun control if American guns were ending up in the hands of Mexican criminals;
(2) They wanted that to be true so badly, Democrats lied about it;
(3) After they were busted on their lie, the Obama administration began dumping thousands of guns in the hands of Mexican criminals.
We also know that hundreds of people were murdered with these U.S.-government-supplied guns, including at least one American, U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.
But let's look on the bright side. The BATF was originally going to ship warheads to Iran until realizing the explosions might disable the tracking devices.
(Contrary to more Democrat lies, there was no such program to dump thousands of guns in Mexico under George W. Bush. The Bush administration did have a program that put GPS trackers on about 100 guns in order to actually trace them. That operation was ended almost as soon as it began because of the lack of cooperation from Mexican officials. You may as well say Holder's program was "started" by the first cop who ever put tracer dye on contraband.)
No one has explained what putting 2,500 untraceable guns in the hands of Mexican drug dealers was supposed to accomplish.
But you know what that might have accomplished? It would make the Democrats' lie retroactively true -- allowing them to push for the same gun restrictions they were planning when they first concocted it. A majority of guns recovered from Mexican criminals would, at last, be American guns, because Eric Holder had put them there.
Unfortunately for the Democrats, some brave whistleblower inside the government leaked details of this monstrous scheme. As soon as Congress and the public demanded answers, Holder clammed up. He just says "oops" -- and accuses Republicans of racism.