Three questions on Operation Fast and Furious

February 7, 2012

There’s a great article today by Bob Owens at Pajamas Media. Here’s an excerpt:

Whether Operation Fast and Furious was a legitimate law enforcement operation, as the Department of Justice claims, or was part of a plot to impose gun control, it was radically different from all other border gun operations in one crucial way. Operation Fast and Furious was the only border gun operation that was undertaken with the full intention of the straw-purchased guns leaving the control of law enforcement officers and reaching the armories of drug cartel murderers. That fact alone should lead to the impeachment or administrative removal of everyone, from field agents to political appointees and elected officials that knew or should have known about the plot.

But that is only half of the horror story.

Operation Fast and Furious was specifically conceived so that “walked” guns would be recovered at crime scenes in Mexico. Their serial numbers would be provided to the ATF by Mexican authorities for tracing. Regardless of motive, the entire operation was premised on weapons being recovered at crime scenes in Mexico, and law enforcement agencies are well aware that criminals primarily abandon weapons only after they’ve been used in serious felony crimes such as murder or attempted murder.

Operation Fast and Furious was conceived knowing that Mexican nationals would be sacrificed in significant numbers if the tracing operation had any chance of working.

Operation Fast and Furious allowed more than 2,000 weapons to “walk,” indicating that those in charge of the operation were willing to let thousands of Mexican nationals die in an effort to identify the ringleaders of a cartel’s weapon acquisition team.

The Department of Justice claims that they did this so that they could trace the weapons to higher-ups in the cartels and take down entire gun-smuggling networks. Decent people can disagree on many aspects of crime fighting and the amount of risk we should be willing to absorb to fight crime, but we should all agree that no criminal network is worth sacrificing the lives of hundreds or thousands of victims.  Yet that is precisely the way Operation Fast and Furious was designed to work.

Bob then follows up with three questions and explorations of their implications. Read the whole thing.

These are the kinds of questions the press should be asking of the administration. But, just as importantly, these are the kinds of questions we should be peppering our congresscritters and senators with every day, letting them know we want them asked, we want answers, and we will hold them to account for not asking.

RELATED: Previous posts on Operation Fast and Furious, aka “Gunwalker.”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

California: I am so down with this

February 7, 2012

It’s never just one thing that sets a polity on the road to decline, but for several years now I’ve felt that one of the paving stones of California’s own road to ruin was the transformation of the legislature from a part-time body to full-time. (1)

This change created a class of professional legislators, career politicians who, to justify their (until recently) six-figure salaries and abundant perks, feel they have to pass law after law, whether or not they’re needed or even sensible.

And what have we gotten in return for creating a playground for professional pols? A sclerotic economy, a regulatory regime that sends businesses screaming in the other direction, the destruction of our manufacturing base, an energy and resource-development policy that gave us rolling blackouts, and  nanny-state that feels it can regulate even the way we light our homes.

One legislator, Assemblywoman Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield), feels it is time to fix that long-ago mistake and return the legislature to part-time status:

A proposal by Assemblywoman Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) probably won’t make her many friends among her colleagues. She wants to reduce the Legislature to part-time status and cut its pay from $95,000 annually to $1,500 a month.

Grove is one of the organizers of an initiative that was approved Monday to begin circulating petitions toward qualifying for the ballot. The constitutional amendment would limit regular legislative sessions to 30 days each January and 60 days starting each May. In odd-numbered years, the legislative sessions would be devoted to budget issues.


“Since switching to a full-time body in the 1960s, the Legislature has steadily deteriorated, infiltrated by professional politicians, beholden to special interests, and has sunk to a ‘whatever it takes’ gang — where anything goes to remain in power,” Grove said.

This would go a long way toward ending the mischief in Sacramento and returning the legislature to what it should be: a body of citizens who gather periodically to tend to the state’s basic business. The professional progressive oligarchs currently lounging under the Green Dome will have to look elsewhere for a “career.”

Grove and her allies have to gather over 800,000 signatures in the next five months to qualify the initiative for the November ballot. I have but one question.

Where do I sign?

RELATED: It’s not all happy news. Read how California’s branch of the Party of Stupid screwed up and allowed the Democrats to hijack the citizens redistricting commission, and how they then flushed $2,000,000 down the drain, money that could have been used to capture legislative seats. Argh.

(1) Yep. Ballot initiative. This was the people’s own-goal. We’re one of ten states with a full-time legislature.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)