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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Why Is it So Hard to Describe #FastandFurious Accurately?

I know I shouldn't be, but I continue to be amazed that after over a year, the media simply cannot accurately describe Operation Fast and Furious.  Yesterday, the New York Times had this story on how some Democrats are "feeling pressure from the NRA" to vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in Contempt of Congress for withholding documents related to the scandal.  In the story, the Times once again repeats the familiar talking point:
...Fast and Furious was started by the Phoenix office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to track guns as they moved into Mexico from United States gun dealerships. Seeking to build a bigger case against high-ranking gunrunners, agents did not move quickly against weapons obtained by low-level smugglers, and they lost track of 2,000 guns, most of which probably reached Mexican drug cartels.
Please tell me how the point of an inititive can be to "track guns" when there was no mechanism in place to track them after the sale.  No tracking device on the firearm, no following of the buyer, nothing.  Then, after knowing that, you have this:
Among the thousands of pages of internal e-mails and documents Congressional investigators have gathered about the operation, they found a few showing that A.T.F. officials considered using some examples of documented gun flows to build a case for requiring greater reporting of multiple “long gun,” or rifle, sales by federally licensed gun shops. They singled out AK-47 assault-style rifles and their variants.
Why is it so hard to even entertain the idea that someone in the federal bureacracy might have thought Fast and Furious would have been a neat way to build that case?

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