The US gunwalking controversy/scandal — stranger than fiction

If you were a government agent and were given the task of halting the flow of illegal weapons, how would you go about it? Not by selling firearms to arms traffickers, surely?

Itís hardly surprising that so many people believe all manner of nonsense about the Kennedy Assassination and 9/11 to name but two conspiracy theories when the American Government can sanction something as ludicrous as this. This is a long and complex story; here is one small article, from the Washington Post. The rationale for Operation Fast And Furious appears to have been to trace the flow of these weapons in Mexico, and thereby to identify and presumably prosecute the major illegal arms dealers.

This insane plot is thought to have led to the deaths of over 200 Mexicans, and most significantly to the murder of US Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, on December 15, 2010.

This so-called gunwalking didnít begin under the Obama Administration but started under Bush - as far as we know. The bottom line though is that since the Terry murder, there has been enormous pressure on all the important players in this surreal drama, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Department Of Justice, at the top of which sits Attorney General Eric Holder.

At this very moment, an attempt is being made to impeach Holder, who is either the victim of a witch-hunt or a man who has made a mockery of his high office including by lying repeatedly to Congress.

Whatever the outcome, this scandal is unlikely to go away. Of course, if the American Government was determined really to stop the trade in illegal firearms, the best way to do that would be to legalise drugs, because without the drug trade, the cartels wouldnít need to arm themselves. It is probably too much to expect even the mention of this though, especially in an election year.

[The above op-ed was first published June 20, 2012; the original wasnít archived. I canít remember if I or someone else added the above photograph of Eric Holder.]


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