The logical extension of Rahm’s famous remark about never letting a serious crisis go to waste. If a grave problem is an opportunity to push your agenda, imagine how much farther you can push it by making the problem graver.

Another F&F bombshell from CBS’s Sharyl Attkisson:

ATF officials didn’t intend to publicly disclose their own role in letting Mexican cartels obtain the weapons, but emails show they discussed using the sales, including sales encouraged by ATF, to justify a new gun regulation called “Demand Letter 3”. That would require some U.S. gun shops to report the sale of multiple rifles or “long guns.” Demand Letter 3 was so named because it would be the third ATF program demanding gun dealers report tracing information.

On July 14, 2010 after ATF headquarters in Washington D.C. received an update on Fast and Furious, ATF Field Ops Assistant Director Mark Chait emailed Bill Newell, ATF’s Phoenix Special Agent in Charge of Fast and Furious:

“Bill – can you see if these guns were all purchased from the same (licensed gun dealer) and at one time. We are looking at anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long gun multiple sales. Thanks.”

On Jan. 4, 2011, as ATF prepared a press conference to announce arrests in Fast and Furious, Newell saw it as “(A)nother time to address Multiple Sale on Long Guns issue.” And a day after the press conference, Chait emailed Newell: “Bill–well done yesterday… (I)n light of our request for Demand letter 3, this case could be a strong supporting factor if we can determine how many multiple sales of long guns occurred during the course of this case.”

Follow the link and read the e-mails from a participating gun dealer to the ATF asking for a letter affirming that he was only selling these weapons at the agency’s behest. He was worried that the sales were shady and wanted legal cover in case the bureau later turned around and decided that the dealers were “irresponsible” or whatever in making the sales — which was awfully prescient given the ATF’s subsequent political opportunism. But then, none of this is surprising: Congressional Democrats and even Eric Holder himself have already used F&F as a pretext to call for more gun control. I thought the sleaziest bit of White House scandal spin we’d see this year was the Energy Department asking Solyndra to hold off on layoffs until after election day in 2010. Nope: Per the new F&F e-mails, they’re actually using their own scandals now as a pretext for greater regulation. Says Dan McLaughlin, “Obama Administration once again lives down to every paranoid caricature of itself.”

Darrell Issa said today he’s going to press Holder at tomorrow’s hearing to “clean house” at the DOJ. Chuck Grassley, for one, knows just where to start.