By Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice President, National Rifle Association
As Congress attempts to ferret out the extent of the Obama White House and Justice Department’s complicity in the BATFE’s guns-to-Mexico smuggling scheme, code named “Operation Fast and Furious,” the resulting carnage steadily mounts below the border.
With thousands of guns illegally acquired and feloniously smuggled to Mexican criminals under the stealth supervision of the U.S. Justice Department, it is becoming clear that the scheme was designed to further the administration’s propaganda campaign to pass new domestic gun control, including regulation.
Thanks to federal agents coming forth with evidence on the gun smuggling operation, this government-sanctioned criminal conspiracy has been exposed.
Leading an administration-wide cover up—marked by an arrogant dismissal of Congress’ constitutional role—is Attorney General Eric Holder, who has blocked all efforts to get to the truth. His minions have directed federal employees with knowledge of the gun-running scam to refuse to cooperate with congressional investigators.
Given Holder’s corruption of his constitutional authority and slippery avoidance of his obligation to obey congressional oversight, NRA has demanded his resignation. As I said at the Meeting of Members in Pittsburgh, Holder must go.
The Obama administration’s response to congressional investigations has created a firewall of lies and obfuscation to protect itself from growing public outrage.
Stonewalling won’t work: In this government-sanctioned scandal, federal officials are center stage in the maiming and killing of countless Mexican citizens.
Clearly their reckless operation led to the death of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry shot down near Nogales, Ariz., in December 2010. “Fast and Furious” guns were found at the scene of that murder.
I have no doubt that through the efforts of U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, ranking minority member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, this blatant coverup will be exposed and the truth will ultimately prevail. Their investigations are crucial in the fight to protect our Second Amendment rights.
The administration’s refusal to fully cooperate with congressional oversight is beginning to measure up to a true constitutional crisis.
Sen. Grassley’s and Rep. Issa’s written inquiries have been met with outright lies or have been ignored entirely by the Department of Justice, prompting the two legislators to chastise Holder, saying, “You do not appear to be taking this issue seriously to ensure that the department’s representations are accurate, forthcoming and complete.” Moreover, the legislators warned that “… it has become clear that we cannot rely on the Department’s self-serving statements to obtain any realistic picture of what happened.”
In a blistering confrontation, Issa warned Holder, “We’re not looking at the straw buyers, Mr. Attorney General. We’re looking at you. We’re looking at your key people who knew or should have known about this and whether or not your judgment was consistent with good practices and whether or not instead the Justice Department is basically guilty of allowing weapons to kill Americans and Mexicans.”
“Fast and Furious” is BATFE’s crash program designed to give truth to a lie—that federally regulated retailers have provided 90 percent of the guns used in the narco-anarchy of the Mexican drug cartels. To bolster that lie, beginning in 2009, BATFE ordered field agents to “follow” and “monitor” felonious activities: first, the illegal purchase of large quantities of firearms at licensed dealers; secondly, the felonious smuggling of those guns into Mexico.
In the process, concerned firearm dealers who reported the multiple sales and suspicious purchasers to BATFE were told to go ahead with the illegal transactions. Further, in some cases BATFE agents were waiting outside the dealers’ shops armed with video cameras instead of warrants and handcuffs.
The criminal activity, in fact, was “monitored” right up to the border.
Since the BATFE had no way of “tracking” or monitoring criminal commerce involving those guns once they hit Mexican soil, it became a waiting game until the guns started showing up at bloody crime scenes in Mexico. Reportedly, some 300 of the 2,500 guns that BATFE allowed to “walk” were recovered in criminal activity on both sides of the border.
Literally hundreds of “news” stories repeated the BATFE big lie and along with it came the hysterical demands for new gun control laws. Reinstate the Clinton gun ban. Outlaw gun shows. Require registration of multiple semi-automatic rifle sales. Restrict “ammunition clips” (magazines).
Now, with congressional investigators on the job, the true depth of the Obama administration scheme will continue to evolve.
Rep. Issa and Sen. Grassley will need our fullest support. Write, call, e-mail and personally contact your members of Congress and U.S. Senators urging them to support the congressional oversight investigations. Furthermore, demand the resignation of Attorney General Holder and the accountability of all officials who were involved in the planning and execution of “Fast and Furious.” We must keep up the pressure so those responsible are brought to justice.