The latest developments in the ATF-DOJ gun smuggling scandal during which rogue agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives–an agency of the Department of Justice–sent over 2,500 American guns to Mexico, placing them in the hands of the drug cartels, increasingly appear as if someone in the higher realms of supervision is going to jail. That person could well be Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson, according to one of the persons who first broke the story.
Reportedly the ATF’s top point-man in Phoenix, George Gillett, is singing like a canary to both Senator Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Representative Darrell Isssa, R-California, both of whom are conducting investigations into the illegal gun smuggling scheme. This could spell very bad news for Melson, who cancelled an appearance before a Congressional committee hearing and is so far refusing to cooperate with the investigations. So is Attorney-General Eric Holder.
In addition, Ruben Navarrette of the Ventura County Star, wrote a most interesting column yesterday entitled, ‘Mission Too Fast, Too Furious?’ Navarette delcares,
Mission un-accomplished. I thought the goal of federal law enforcement officials was to keep guns out of Mexico and away from drug traffickers, not help them get in.
It’s time to drive that point home to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and its acting director, Kenneth Melson.
Thanks to reporting by CBS News and its investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson, the agency finds itself embroiled in an ugly controversy that might wind up soiling the Justice Department.
It’s hard to tell who is more eager to get to the bottom of what CBS is calling the Obama administration’s “gunwalker” scandal — Mexican officials or House Republicans.
Mexico’s attorney general has demanded explanations from the administration.
Meanwhile, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, subpoenaed Melson to appear before the committee Wednesday of this week and bring with him all memos, emails and other documents related to an ATF operation called “Fast and Furious.”
Why a subpoena? Because, according to media accounts, when Issa initially asked for this material in a letter on March 16, his request was ignored.
Not only have Issa’s requests been ignored but Senator Grassley has complained incessantly about the ‘stonewalling’ by the Holder Justice Department and its lack of cooperation in getting to the bottom of the scandal.
Further, St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner Kurt Hofmann, who believes that the gun smuggling scandal was concocted by the DOJ to ‘prove’ that U.S. guns are fueling the Mexican drug cartels, reports explosive information that most of the guns used by the cartels actually come from Central America, not the U.S.
None other than U.S. General Douglas Fraser, head of the southern command, stated these facts before Congress:
…more than 50% of military grade weaponry flowing through the region originated from Central American arsenals, with the total quantity in circulation estimated at between 45 million and 80 million firearms.
Firstly, they challenge the working assumption of Mexican authorities that around 80-90% of illegal firearms in the country come from the US. This may well be seen as a riposte to the government of US president Barack Obama, which has accepted the country’s major role in southwards arms trafficking fuelling Mexican violence.
Thus, the notion of Mexican officials and the Obama Administration that Mexico’s problems with dangerous drug cartels are due to lax U.S. gun laws simply does not square with the facts.
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