Fox News has the basic story, which goes as follows: an agent of the BATFE was ordered to go and buy six Draco semi-automatic pistols from gun shops. Those guns were then resold to "known illegal buyers:" i.e., people known to resell guns illegally. So far, this is not actually bad, because this would be how standard sting operations go... except that they didn't arrest the buyers immediately. Which makes... sense, right, because Dracos are legal-to-own guns in the USA; so the BATFE would just have to keep a constant watch on the guns to make sure that they didn't miss it when the bad guys tried to smuggle the guns out of the country - no, wait, it's reported that ATF group supervisor David Voth ordered that there be no 24 hour surveillance. Well. Good thing that Agent John Dodson ignored that order and did a personal stakeout of the bad guys for six days, huh? Because he was there when they moved out with the guns! He was able to call in a request for an interdiction team!
...Which was refused.
This would be the point where I show you what a Draco semi-automatic pistol looks like.
If you're saying to yourself right now, Gee, Moe, that looks a lot like the Romanian PM md. 90 carbine - i.e., their version of the AK-47 - with the folding stock removed in order to be legal for the US gun market - well, if you did then you probably didn't need to look up the precise details on Wikipedia like I did. But, honestly, you probably saw the picture and said "AK-47 without a stock" (which is pretty much the right answer anyway); and you probably even know how difficult it is to make one of these things fully automatic again. Or to put a stock back on it. Or do any number of modifications that are, in point of fact, illegal under American (and presumably Mexican) law. WHICH IS WHY WE HAVE LAWS REGULATING THE SALE OF FIREARMS. Laws that were apparently being broken by the very federal agencies that we were counting on to enforce them.
And if this story is true, they were personally being broken.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: We really need a special prosecutor for this mess at this point.
[UPDATE: Via Hot Air comes a copy of the letter in question. And as Sipsey Street Irregulars notes, if this letter is genuine then we can stop pretending that Fast & Furious was a botched sting operation. The government wasn't even trying to make it a sting operation, frankly.]