2 Fast 2 Furious

by Michael Walsh

My New York Post column today takes a look at a cockamamie scheme known as Operation Fast and Furious:

Don’t look now, but the real action in Washington this week isn’t the partisan wrangling over the debt ceiling but something — literally — even more incendiary: Operation Fast and Furious, which seems about to explode right in the face of Attorney General Eric Holder — and maybe other administration officials, too.

Also known as Project Gunrunner, the Arizona-based operation was supposed to be a sting, under which the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which is part of the Justice Department, allowed “straw purchasers” to transfer weapons from gun shops in Arizona to Mexican drug cartels to trace and halt crossborder arms-trafficking.

That’s the official version, anyway — but it’s crumbling, fast.

The crazy notion of allowing arms to be deliberately funneled to Mexican drug gangs from gun stores in Arizona is just the beginning:

In a letter to Holder released yesterday, Rep. Daryl Issa and Sen. Chuck Grassley accused the Justice Department of blocking their investigation into the burgeoning scandal (which has resulted in the deaths of at least two American agents and countless Mexican civilians), muzzling the ATF and involving other federal agencies, including the FBI and the DEA, in funding the crackpot scheme.

“The evidence we have gathered raises the disturbing possibility that the Justice Department not only allowed criminals to smuggle weapons, but that taxpayer dollars from other agencies may have financed those engaging in such activities,” they wrote.

Whole lotta administration bonzes in the possible crosshairs on this one, including the attorney general and functionaries in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona, the FBI, the DEA, and perhaps even DHS, as it’s hard to imagine that Janet Napolitano, the former governor of Arizona, wouldn’t have been kept in the loop.

Issa’s charge that Holder & Co. are obstructing a congressional investigation is serious. Not even the Justice Department is above the law.

The best way to disinfect the putrid mess that is Operation Fast and Furious is to expose it to sunlight. Let’s hear what the attorney general and others have to say in open hearings.

Because somebody’s got some “splainin’ ” to do — fast, before the American people get furious.

The Corner

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