The Corner

Law & the Courts

El Chapo Had a ‘Fast & Furious’ Rifle

From the midweek edition of the Morning Jolt:

‘El Chapo’ Drug Kingpin Had a Rifle From Federal ‘Fast & Furious’ Program

The Fast and Furious gun-smuggling scandal is one of those stories that the government and the media declared over . . . that wasn’t, or isn’t, actually over.

Here’s a nice example:

A .50-caliber rifle found at Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s hideout in Mexico was funneled through the gun-smuggling investigation known as Fast and Furious, sources confirmed Tuesday to Fox News.

A .50-caliber is a massive rifle that can stop a car, or as it was intended, take down a helicopter.

After the raid on Jan. 8 in the city of Los Mochis that killed five of his men and wounded one Mexican marine, officials found a number of weapons inside the house Guzman was staying, including the rifle, officials said.

When agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives checked serial numbers of the eight weapons found in his possession, they found one of the two .50-caliber weapons traced back to the ATF program, sources said.

Also, did you remember this? I didn’t.

This week the scandal took on a new dimension with the revelation that Nadir Soofi, one of two Muslim terrorists killed attempting to murder attendees of a “Draw Muhammad” cartoon contest held in Texas in May, had acquired one of the guns he owned as a result of the Fast and Furious operation. This meant that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms was in the position of indirectly selling Islamic terrorists one of the weapons they may have used in an attack on Americans on American soil.

I wrote after the Inspector General’s report came out:

The inspector general’s report concludes that they can find no evidence Holder knew about Fast and Furious until well after Terry’s death, but … well, the circumstances of Holder being so out of the loop, so in the dark about a major operation certainly appear unusual, perhaps to the point of straining credulity. The report states:

“We found it troubling that a case of this magnitude and that affected Mexico so significantly was not directly briefed to the Attorney General. We would usually expect such information to come to the Attorney General through the Office of the Deputy Attorney General . . . [Holder] was not told in December 2010 about the connection between the firearms found at the scene of the shooting and Operation Fast and Furious. Both Acting Deputy Attorney General Grindler and Counsel to the Attorney General and Deputy Chief of Staff Wilkinson were aware of this significant and troubling information by December 17, 2010, but did not believe the information was sufficiently important to alert the Attorney General about it or to make any further inquiry regarding this development.”

Not “sufficiently important”? Baffling. Maddening. Some might even say, “implausible” . . . 

Repeatedly, everyone under Holder seems to do everything possible to make sure he isn’t informed about an operation that, in the words of the IG report, failed “to adequately consider the risk to public safety in the United States and Mexico”. In fact, information about the program went all the way to Holder’s office – but somehow, the memos, emails and other communications never reached the man himself. It’s as if he wasn’t there. From the IOG report, again:

“As we describe below, we identified information regarding Operation Fast and Furious that reached the Office of the Attorney General in 2010 but not Attorney General Holder himself.”

Well. If you’re wondering if this is covered by some sort of obscure procedure or rules, it isn’t:

“[Holder] should have been informed by no later than December 17, 2010, that two firearms recovered at the Terry murder scene were linked to an ATF firearms trafficking investigation. . . . We found that although [Holder’s then deputy-chief-of-staff Monty] Wilkinson forwarded to Holder during the afternoon of December 15 three emails from the US Attorney’s Office providing further details about the shooting and law enforcement efforts to find and arrest the suspects, he did not notify the Attorney General of the revelation that two weapons found at the murder scene were linked to a suspect in an ATF firearms trafficking investigation.”

See, this all occurred at a time when out-of-control, unaccountable law-enforcement officials wasn’t a priority to the Left. It is now, but, eh, sorry, you missed the news cycle.

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