Remembering Brian Terry

posted at 8:00 pm on December 14, 2011 by Tina Korbe

One year after his death, it seems fitting to remember U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, who died at the hands of Mexican drug cartel members — members armed by the U.S. government, no less. As congressional investigators Chuck Grassley and Darrell Issa continue to pursue the truth about Fast and Furious and as dozens of Republican legislators call for the resignation of Attorney General Eric Holder, the memory of Brian Terry reminds us why it all matters.

You know it and I know it, but it doesn’t hurt to restate it: The operation — run out of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, a subsidiary of the Justice Department — was designed to funnel firearms to Mexican drug cartels, ostensibly to track the weapons and bust the cartels. In reality, officials made no credible attempt to track the guns. The more we learn, the more an initially unbelievable explanation begins to be the most plausible one: Through Fast and Furious, DOJ and ATF officials aimed to prove a purely political point about gun control.

Caught in the crosshairs, quite literally, was Terry, whose family has since had to endure the arrogance and insouciance of the Attorney General, who, while purporting to have apologized to Terry’s relatives, continues to stonewall Congress’ investigation into F&F. In his latest testimony, Holder even admitted — not even particularly sheepishly — that more people will likely die at the hands of cartel members wielding the “walked” guns.

So far, amid countless accusations, admissions and excuses, no one in the administration has really taken responsibility for this insane and ultimately lethal program. Brian Terry deserves better. On some level, political points to be won or lost matter not at all. Not even Holder’s resignation will undo the damage that’s been done. What’s needed most is a credible commitment from someone — anyone — in the administration who cares about honor and is willing to stake his own on ensuring an operation this idiotic and irresponsible is never undertaken again.

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sob0728 on December 15, 2011 at 1:21 PM

If brevity is the soul of wit you need not apply.

I will simplify down to your perceived low comprehension level.
A tank isn’t merely a weapon; it is a fortress. The compound could have been approached from a position of strength with the agents shielded and hostility minimized. Unless Waco has a secret problem of stolen tanks the identity of the force is known, visible and protected and can remain passive. Negotiate from a superior yet controlled position of strength and the position of advantage will be made clear without firing a shot. Contrast with Reno’s method which storms the building, punches in the windows, places ATF agents in direct line of fire of panicked people and you get Reno’s initial fiasco. Utilize home invasion tactics and armed people, criminals or not, forced to react will use that force in an us or them mode. Follow that with a drama queen Reno siege mentality of trapped people having no way out, pump the building full of tear gas with the tanks’ exhaust igniting the tear gas and frying those inside whom expect to be killed anyway should they make a run for it and you get the Waco massacre.

Trial by fire instead of a jury. A sad moment in our history the framers of the Constitution certainly would regret.

viking01 on December 15, 2011 at 10:55 PM