It’s bad enough when states have to act to enforce federal law that Washington itself refuses to enforce, as did Arizona and other states when they passed tough anti-illegal immigration laws. But what is a state or local government supposed to do when the federal government is not just refusing to enforce the law, but may itself be one of the lawbreakers?
Answer: Start your own investigation.
Arizona’s state legislature will open its own investigation into the Obama administration’s disgraced gun-running program, known as “Fast and Furious,” the speaker of the state House said Friday.
Speaker Andy Tobin created the committee, and charged it with looking at whether the program broke any state laws — raising the possibility of state penalties against those responsible for the operation.
Mr. Tobin will announce the committee’s jurisdiction at a press conference in Phoenix on Monday. The committee is charged with looking into the facts about the program, what impact it had on Arizona and whether any of the state’s laws were broken.
A report is due back by March 30.
To recap, Operation Fast and Furious (aka “Gunwalker”) was a program that fed thousands of heavy-duty firearms to Mexican drug cartels, without the knowledge of the Mexican government. Guns were purchased by “straw buyers” who were allowed to walk the firearms over the border into Mexico. The originator of this scheme was the United States Department of Justice, which, through its subordinate law-enforcement agencies, pressured legitimate gun dealers in Arizona to sell these weapons knowing that these sales were likely violations of federal statutes and regulations.
The ostensible purpose was to trace these weapons back to their cartel users, though how that was supposed to work given that the weapons were untraceable until they showed up at Mexican and US crime scenes is unknown.
What is known, however, is that over 300 Mexican military, federal agents, police officers, and civilians are dead from weapons obtained via Gunwalker. In addition, at least one and maybe two US federal officers also were killed with “walked” guns. And the Department of Justice is stonewalling congressional investigating committees, to the extent that –and it appalls me to have to write this– a high-ranking DOJ official is now “pleading the Fifth.” (1)
So, having had enough, the State of Arizona is launching its own inquiry, with the possibility of criminal action down the road.
I wish our neighbors to the East good hunting.
via Big Government
(1) Probably because he wants a deal and refuses to be the fall guy. Rats and sinking ships, and all that.
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)