“These guns went to ruthless criminals,” Carlos Canino, ATF Acting Attaché to Mexico said in testimony on Capitol Hill Tuesday regarding the scandal-plagued Operation Fast and Furious. “It’s alleged that over 2,000 guns were trafficked in this investigation. To put that in context, upon information and belief, the U.S. Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment has approximately 2,500 rangers. That means that as a result of this investigation, the Sinaloa cartel may have received almost as many guns that are needed to arm the entire regiment. Out of these 2,000 weapons, 34 were .50-caliber sniper rifles. That is approximately the number of sniper riles a Marine infantry regiment takes into battle.”
The Department of Justice proposed a southwest border strategy in October 2009 to combat Mexican cartels, with final plans for the operation now known as Operation Fast and Furious coming in January 2010. The new “strategy” included multiple law enforcement agencies, including the Drug Enforcement Agency, ICE, the IRS and the FBI. This operation entailed ATF agents watching straw purchasers buy hundreds of high-powered weapons and allowed them to go back or “walk” into Mexico, with a goal of “tracing” them back to cartel leaders. As Americans learned in the second hearing about this operation on June 15, guns were lost, not traced, and now a cover-up has begun.
“The Acting Director of the ATF, in a transcribed interview with investigators, has said that the Justice Department is trying to push all of this away from its political appointees. That is not the response this committee, Congress and the public, should expect from the ‘most transparent administration in history,’” Rep. Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said during opening statements. “To date, President Obama has been keen to talk about who didn’t know about the program and who didn’t authorize it. These answers will not suffice. The American people have a right to know, once and for all, who did authorize it and who knew about it.”
|Katie Pavlich is the News Editor at Townhall.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiepavlich. She is also the author of Fast and Furious: Barack Obama's Bloodiest Scandal and the Shameless Cover-Up.
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