The more Congress looks into the ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious, the more embarrassing it gets. The ATF launched OF&F to track how guns got across the border to Mexico. As it turns out, all they needed to do was ask the FBI and the DEA:
An FBI/DEA confidential informant helped smuggle firearms from the ATF’s Fast and Furious gun-trafficking surveillance operation to drug cartels in Mexico, according to evidence compiled by congressional investigators.
The investigators said the informant obtained the weapons from Manuel Celis-Acosta, considered by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to be the “biggest fish” of 20 individuals indicted in Fast and Furious. At the same time the informant was receiving large amounts of “official law enforcement funds as payment” for his services, they said.
Congressional investigators believe the informant was working with U.S. law enforcement over a two-year period, beginning in early 2009, and often contacted DEA agents such as Jim Roberts, the resident agent-in-charge in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, to “pass on information to these agents about Mexican drug cartels.”
The revelations were contained in a letter Tuesday from Rep. Darrel Issa (R-Vista), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, to Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. They contend that had the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration told the ATF about the informant, Fast and Furious would have been shut down much earlier.
If this botched operation hadn’t created such deadly havoc, it would be hilarious. The ATF is tasked with stopping illegal gun sales, so of course they generate thousands of illegal gun sales in order to stop more of them. The FBI and the DEA want to stop cartel business across the southern border, so of course they have an informant who facilitates it. And when it turns out that the FBI/DEA plant is moving the very weapons that the ATF was supposed to be tracking, no one in any of the agencies apparently knows what the other agencies are doing.
Is this a government operation, or what?
Maybe the best change we can make to stop illegal gun sales and keep them from flowing over the border is to disband the ATF.