Fast & Furious update: BATFE emails show stonewalling.
(Via The Sundries Shack) Let me summarize this LA Times article: Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered in December 2010 by Mexican narco-terrorists. Agents of the BAFTE* investigating the shooting almost immediately discovered that some of the guns seized at the scene of the murder were guns that were supposedly being tracked by a joint BATFE/Department of Justice program called Fast & Furious; this program was deliberately allowing and encouraging guns to be sold to people who would illegally resell them to criminal enterprises. However, this extraordinarily awkward detail was not in fact mentioned to Senator Grassley, who (with Rep. Darrell Issa) is investigating Fast & Furious** – and apparently deliberately. Instead, BATFE claimed that no F&F guns were used in the shooting.
Let me highlight this point. BATFE knew that there F&F guns were sold to the people who murdered Agent Terry, because they found those guns there on the scene. But the bullets that killed Agent Terry did not come from those guns, thus giving what BATFE thought was a possible out: after all, they weren’t actually used, right? Just bought, brought along, brandished, and available: which is also a perfectly-viable definition of ‘used,’ but one that BATFE decided not to highlight, for obvious reasons. This novel use of the word ‘used’ was and is a patently nitwit notion, of course: the government’s culpability in Terry’s death was already set in stone when the first gun went off. But it was about the only notion that BATFE and DoJ has to work with. The American electorate gets really intense when a government screw-up gets its own people killed, you see.
If you’re wondering where this is going and how long it’s going to take to get there, my response is: quite far, and expect it to build slowly over the next few months. As Jimmie Bise implicitly notes, this is just now really starting to hit the regular media and it’s one of those stories that builds over time. Grassley and Issa have managed to get past the first set of defenses: they’ve gotten people to start talking to them. Now comes the sequence where people start trying to figure out how much the investigators know, how much the investigators are going to find out – and who ends up being the fall guy. There’s a lot of people in the government that don’t want to be the fall guy for this one: it should be entertaining to see them scurry a bit over the next few months.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco, and Explosives.
**At this point, the investigation consists of two questions:
- Who is the highest-ranking administration official who can be realistically said to have been involved with the decision to encourage the arming of Mexican narco-terrorist groups?
- Will that person’s [expletive deleted] fit in Grassley & Issa’s current briefcases, or will they need to go get larger ones for the occasion?