In two programs code named “Project Gunrunner” and “Operation Fast and Furious” President Obama’s Justice Department through the Bereau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (the “ATF”) approved the sale to Mexican drug cartels of more than 1,800 AK-47s and 50 caliber sniper rifles. The ostensible plan was to follow the weapons across the Mexican border to allow the ATF to chart a path to the leadership of the cartels. One not so small problem, the ATF “lost track” of more than 1,000 of the assault and sniper rifles.
Unfortunately, these weapons have started turning up at crime scenes and two were found at the murder of United States Border Agent Brian Terry who was killed in a gun battle with members of a Mexican drug cartel. When Agent Terry’s mother was informed about the connection between the ATF sold guns and her son’s death she responded that she was “flabbergasted.” “At first I didn’t believe it,” she said.
This program started two months into the Obama administration and was the responsibility of United States Attorney General Eric Holder. The ultimate responsibility for the programs lands at President Obama’s feet, but the President has denied any knowledge of the operations until details of the murder of Agent Terry started to emerge.
In congressional hearings last Wednesday, Rep. Darrell Issa ripped into high-level Justice Department officials, saying that they were fully aware of the deadly sale of guns to Mexican drug cartels, and declared that the entire operation “looks an awful lot like Iran Contra.” Some commentators have speculated that these operations were actually part of the Obama gun control plan to show increased gun activity in Mexico as an evil to be cured in this country through the imposition of strict gun control laws while others simply find them to be horribly botched and tragic.