Blue Byline

A cop's perspective of the news and South Sound matters

Fast and Furious = Desperate and Political

Post by Brian O'Neill on Sep. 3, 2011 at 5:03 pm with 7 Comments »
September 6, 2011 7:22 pm

About a year ago my partner at work got an urgent call from one of our informants. His gang, he said, was getting ready to do a drive-by shooting.

The informant was a young gang member who agreed to help us in order to work off a previous arrest. He was no stranger to this type of crime, and his gang had been rumored to be looking for an opportunity to retaliate against its rivals for whatever passed for transgressions in their world.

We took the call seriously, especially when he told us the other members were currently shopping for guns. We got set up quickly.

With the informant’s help we orchestrated the gun purchase to take place at a known illegal arms dealer’s house. We had surveillance teams in place for the entire duration, and fortunately it went well. The bad guys went to jail. The guns, two semi-auto pistols, went with us.

During this sting the firearms we seized had never touched the hands of a would-be shooter. From the outset, it was our intent to maintain control and to never let the guns “walk away” in the possession of criminals, especially those who had expressed their desire to shoot people.

A similar operation, on a much larger scale, was ATF’s “Fast and Furious.” Described in the Trib’s latest update (8/30), this operation had the respectable purpose of targeting gun-trafficking kingpins on the Southwest border. But in this case the end result didn’t justify the means: Allowing approximately 2,000 guns to “walk away” in the possession of gun traffickers.

There has been a lot of finger-pointing following this debacle. Jobs have been lost and careers ruined. But the blame for this ill-conceived effort should not fall on the field agents involved. Having worked with numerous federal agents, from DEA, Secret Service, FBI, ICE and ATF, the vast majority are hard-working and dedicated professionals doing the best they can to solve complex criminal issues such as cartel violence.

The real problem, like everything else in Washington, D.C., is politics.

Though local cops must often deal with frustrating municipal and administrative issues during the daily struggle against street crime, these are minor irritants compared to the triple redundant, micro-managed, bureaucratic logjam with which my federal counterparts must contend.

Example: A friend from Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) offered to join us for a few days of street gang enforcement. Despite a successful joint operation, when the political wind shifted the agent found himself in the hot seat for helping us out. Months later, after yet another policy reversal, he was back in town helping out again.

“Fast and Furious”, I can only surmise, arose from similarly inconsistent political will. This operation must have been perceived as a courageous response to frustrated politicos eager to advance their careers, with the descriptors “bold and powerful” inked on their federal resumes.

It was bold all right. “Fast and Furious” likely resulted in the deaths of many people south of our border, including one of our own ICE agents, Jaime Zapata. What “Fast and Furious” lacked, however, was the common sense necessary to keep thousands of guns from “walking away” into the hands of killers.

That level of common sense seems to be in short supply in D.C.

Leave a comment Comments → 7
  1. LibertyBell says:

    It’s just another Chicago Gang Banger(D) in the White House, not at all unlike a previous model
    Franklin Pierce(D) for delusional; Democrats for Delusion ubnchanged forever

    “Civil Disobediance;
    I heartily accept the motto, “That government is best which governs least”; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe–“That government is best which governs not at all”; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have. Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient. The objections which have been brought against a standing army, and they are many and weighty, and deserve to prevail, may also at last be brought against a standing government. The standing army is only an arm of the standing government. The government itself, which is only the mode which the people have chosen to execute their will, is equally liable to be abused and perverted before the people can act through it. Witness the present Mexican war, the work of comparatively a few individuals using the standing government as their tool; for in the outset, the people would not have consented to this measure…”
    Henry Throreau 1846

    “This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember it or overthrow it.”
    Abraham Lincoln(R), 1861

    “…A force sufficient to insure an easy triumph over the enemy under Kirby Smith, west of the Mississippi, was immediately put in motion for Texas, and Major General Sheridan designated for it’s immediate command…and before they reached their destination General Kirby Smith surrendered his entire command to Major General Canby. This surrender did not take place, however, until after the capture of the rebel President and Vice President; and the bad faith was exibited of first disbandng most of his army and permitting an indiscriminate plunder of public property.
    Owing to the report that many of those lately in arms against the government had taken refuge upon the soil of Mexico, carring with them arms rightfully belonging to the United States, which had been surrendered to us in person- and the disturbed condition of affairs on the Rio Grand, the orders for troops to proceed to Texas were not changed…”
    U.S. Grant July 22 1865 his Official Report Headquarters, Armies of the United States

    Isn’t it great O’Neill, the Dixie Democrats Reighn Supreme!

  2. msfreeh says:

    I find this article remarkable because we now have prima facie evidence linking FBI agents Anticev , Floyd and Salem to the creation of the 1993 1st World Trade Center bombing. As I type this post Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue is in court trying to force the FBI to turn over their surveillance videos they took from surveillance cameras facing the Murragh building in the Oklahoma City bombing. He has discovered the FBI is hiding the videos from the court on the secret FBI I Drives.

    Trentadue has obtained documents that show FBI agent Larry Potts was handling Timothy McVeigh before the Oklahoma City bombing.

    From 1989-2002 I assisted people in New England holding an annual conference looking at Crimes Committed by FBI agents. It was held at Bates College for 11 years and Boston University the 1st year. We found the organizational model of the FBI is that of a death squad operating on behalf of US Corporations while posing as a law enforcement agency.

    We now know as fact that FBI agents including the Director Hoover helped plan, carry out and cover up the assassinations of President Kennedy and Martin Luther King.

    We currently post material from our conference and news items dealing with crimes committed by FBI agents on a daily basis at the Canadian website rigorous intuition

    To visit the site google rigorous intuition forum fbi watch

    When the page opens click on the first

    link which takes you into page 19 of over 300 pages.

    There is a toolbar at the top right that says pages 1-300. Click on page one which opens up with a 6 page long annotated bibliography of books dealing with crimes committed by FBI agents.

    To view a recent documentary film I helped film linking FBI agents to the creation of 911 Google 911 press for truth youtube

    When the page opens scroll down about 1/4 of the page click on the link titled VICTIMS FAMILIES TELL THE STORY THE MEDIA WON’T and watch the full movie which is 1 hour 24 minutes long.

  3. LibertyBell says:

    Is this you cousin Brian, looks like the UW guilding team’s not finished?

  4. Politics is the dividing of the pie, actually in both directions.
    The misapplication of politics, well I’d agree to a major degree
    on that.

  5. demeter says:

    fast and furious was an operation end around in order to support the notion that guns in crimes involving drug cartels in mexico were being supplied by usa gun dealers. when they found and traced these guns later it would give them fuel for reinstating draconian laws for future assault weapons ban. it backfired and eric holder should go

  6. I’m glad to see Brian has taken a bit of a different viewpoint on F&F. It’s not completely accurate, but at least it’s a start in the right direction.

    The operation was a giant political gamble, ill conceived, badly managed, and now the coverup begins.

    Let’s examine one main point – the BATFE was supposed to track suspected straw purposes from the gun dealer to the mexican cartel. According to the DOJ and the White House, that was it’s aim. Where this argument falls apart, however, is the simple fact that the BATFE didn’t have the authority, right, or capability to track anything once it crossed the border. Just how was the BATFE going to track these weapons to the cartels in Mexico? Not only that, but because of the massive pervasive corruption in Mexican law enforcement, let alone the politicians, informing the Mexican government we were doing this operation wasn’t an option.

    So, this all begs the question…just what were they thinking, if we accept their excuse about the aims of the operation? Either the BATFE/DOJ is massively stupid, or there’s a more likely reason why this operation was allowed to happen. One that more fits with established facts and disclosures. So far, the only reasoning that makes sense is that the WH/DOJ wanted to pad trace data to fit their 90% guns used in crimes comes from US straw purchases, to further restrict gun rights in the US.

    Either way, this scandal needs to result in jail time for those that authorized it. Watergate pales in comparison when talking criminality. Watergate was a bunch of idiots trying to steal campaign information from another group of idiots. No one died. A president got caught lying about it and the subsequent coverup. In today’s political climate it would rate even below monica and cigars.

    But what’s shocking is the fact that the media is almost completely ignoring this scandal. It is such a huge foul-up, yet the MSM is almost silent on the subject.

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