While President Obama took to the airwaves in his weekly radio address, urging Congress to “act soon” in passing sweeping gun-control measures, the Phoenix Drug Enforcement Administration announced that it recovered 43 weapons Obama’s Justice Department sold to Mexican drug gangs as part of its infamous Operation Fast and Furious.
According to ABC’s Phoenix affiliate KNXV-TV, Phoenix drug enforcement agents recovered the weapons after arrests were made near the Phoenix-Tolleson border. “Four of the suspects are listed as undocumented immigrants. The fifth suspect had been admitted to the United States under a non-immigrant visa,” said KNXV-TV.
In a 2011 letter sent to Attorney General Eric Holder, House Government Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), wrote, “It is one thing to argue that the ends justify the means in an attempt to defend a policy that puts building a big case ahead of stopping known criminals from getting guns. Yet it is a much more serious matter to conceal from Congress the involvement of other agencies in identifying and maybe even working with the same criminals that Operation Fast and Furious was trying to identify.”
Issa sighted testimony by acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson that the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation helped in facilitating Fast and Furious. Apparently, gunrunning was a multi-agency enterprise under the Obama administration.
The congressional investigation into the administration’s gun-walking caper, already hampered by Holder’s stonewalling, came to an abrupt halt with the president’s claim of Executive Privilege.
Though Fast and Furious was red meat for a presidential campaign, Republicans gave it mere lip service as an issue worthy of America’s attention. With fiscal cliffs, debt ceilings and increased taxes taking center stage, Fast and Furious has all but vanished from the public consciousness.
However, when a madman murdered 26 people at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, guns were once again in the news. Not those sold to violent narcotics traffickers by unscrupulous federal agencies, but those possessed by honest, law-abiding Americans.
“If there is even one life that can be saved,” said the president while unveiling a mountain of Executive Orders he claimed would help end gun violence, surrounded by gazing children serving as stage props, “then we’ve got an obligation to try.”
Nine days after Obama swears his oath of office, marking the start of his second term as president, devastated families in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, will commemorate the day three years ago when 20 hit men opened fire on a gathering of 60 teenagers, killing 14.
According to a Mexican army document obtained by the Spanish-language Univision News, “Three of the high caliber weapons fired that night … were linked to a gun tracing operation run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) …”
What Mexican poet Javier Sicilia, whose son died in the massacre, told Univision is heartbreaking but true, “Americans are not often moved by the pain of those outside their country, but they are moved by the pain of their own. Well, turn around and watch the massacres.”
The Sandy Hook Elementary School slaughter has redirected America’s gaze inward and away from the devastation wrought south of the boarder. Instead, we look to the White House for solutions to gun violence … while the deadly weapons of Fast and Furious slowly make their way home.