Fast & Furious
This ill conceived and poorly executed scheme by the ATF to walk guns (purposely sell guns in the US to criminals and help smuggle them) across the border to cartels in Mexico has resulted in a dead US Border Patrol agent and embarrassment, at a minimum, and legal and ethical issues for the Obama Administration in the worst case.
The Guns That Got Away
The inside story of how U.S. agents paid firearm dealer Mike Detty to send weapons into Mexico—and why it all went wrong
from BusinessWeek

Mike Detty sells military-style, high-capacity rifles from his home in Tucson, Ariz. One weekend in February 2006, a young man approached Mike Detty and asked about buying some AR-15s. Detty, the proprietor of Mad Dawg Global Marketing in Tucson, Ariz., is a federally licensed firearm dealer who sells the high-capacity, military-style rifles at gun shows or from the living room of his Spanish colonial-style home on the outskirts of town. AR-15s are semiautomatic, meaning that they fire one bullet for each pull of the trigger; they typically accommodate 30 rounds of .223 ammunition. This buyer said he’d pay cash for six of the rifles. Then he asked Detty when he could buy more. Detty said he’d have 20 new ones in stock the following week. The customer said he’d take them all.

“Something wasn’t right,” Detty says. “This kid is like 20 years old. Where’s the money coming from? Where are the guns going?” Despite his suspicions, Detty decided to sell the guns. The federal background check he conducted via telephone didn’t turn up a felony conviction, protective order, or determination that the customer was mentally ill. But the following Monday morning, Detty did call the local field office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the arm of the U.S. Justice Dept. charged with enforcing gun-trafficking laws.

During a series of meetings at the federal building in Tucson, ATF agents concurred with Detty that this buyer almost certainly was working for a Mexican drug organization. Tucson is 60 miles from the border. The ATF agents asked Detty to keep selling rifles to the young man and any friends he brought around. The agents said they would wire Detty’s home, trace the traffickers’ movements across the border, gain the cooperation of Mexican authorities, and eventually confiscate the guns.

... Firearms agents have a shorthand for trafficking investigations of this sort: “gun walking.” Wide Receiver was a preview of an even bigger, equally misbegotten gun-walking probe conducted by the Obama Administration in 2009 and 2010: Operation Fast and Furious, which unleashed 2,000 weapons in just over a year. Last December, two of those guns were found at the scene of the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol officer near Rio Rico, Ariz. A subsequent congressional inquiry has led to a shake-up in ATF management and the resignation of the U.S. attorney for Arizona. Republicans in Congress have called for Attorney General Eric Holder to step down as well, accusing him of concealing his knowledge of the Fast and Furious program and lying to Congress. In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 8, Holder denied covering up anything but condemned tactics used by his department’s gun-trafficking investigators. “I want to be clear,” the Attorney General said. “Any instance of so-called gun walking is unacceptable.” Fast and Furious, he added, “was flawed in its concept and flawed in its execution.”

Read Article: The guns that got away

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