Friday, March 22, 2013

'Fast and Furious' Was Botched -- in Arizona

Many of the usual suspects in the media are fully invested in the accepted narrative of the "Fast and Furious" gun-sting mess that centered on an incident in which a Border Patrol agent was murdered in 2010 with a gun that had been part of the federal weapons-tracking operation that went very wrong. That accepted narrative is that the blame could be laid directly on the Obama administration (and specifically Janet Napolitano at Homeland Security and Eric Holder at Justice).

But for some time, it's been clear that the accepted narrative, and variations on same flogged by right-wing propagandists, is a little more complicated. Several previous reports, ignored or badly downplayed in the major media, have indicated that complicated gun-politics in Phoenix, where the investigation was centered, had a whole lot to do with what went so wrong.

A new, detailed report today from the Inspector General office at Homeland Security reiterates that more complicated view of 'Fast and Furious.' The basic errors began in and were mainly confined to operations in Phoenix, where a disinclination to upset the gun lobby was strong. Arizona-based agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, collaborating with a Homeland Security investigator working on the Arizona-Mexico border, and in touch with the federal prosecutor in Phoenix, are singled out again.  Homeland Security officials in Washington learned about 'Fast and Furious" only after the Border Patrol agent was killed.

Rather than depending on half-baked media accounts, including any spin from the likes of the right wing radicals' hysteric handmaiden Drudge, read the full report here.

Last September, the Justice Department's a report on the operation that had much more detail about the roles of the ATF Phoenix field office and the U.S. Attorney General's office in Phoenix. 

Last June, a groundbreaking report in Fortune by Katherine Eban laid out facts on how this particular egg got scrambled. That article is definitely worth reading. Here.


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