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How El Chapo Got His Gun

How El Chapo Got His Gun

Photo credit: El Chapo photo by YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images

You’ve probably heard the news that when Mexican authorities raided the hideout of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera, the head of the murderous Sinaloa drug cartel, on Jan. 8, they recovered a .50-caliber Barrett rifle that was trafficked through the ATF’s disastrous “Fast and Furious” debacle.

What you may not know, but probably suspected, is that the more information that surfaces surrounding Fast and Furious, the more it appears that the Obama administration deliberately helped traffic guns from the United States to the highest levels of the most ruthless and deadly drug cartels in Mexico for no other reason than to support the absurd claim—asserted by everyone from Barack Obama to his attorney general, Eric Holder, to his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton—that 90 percent of the guns used in crimes in Mexico originated in the U.S., and that imposing more gun control upon law-abiding Americans would somehow control international criminal networks with billions of dollars at their fingertips.

When you look at the evidence in aggregate, no other explanation seems possible, let alone plausible. Think about it.

To justify Fast and Furious, Obama’s ATF claimed, in effect, that they were allowing thousands of guns to “walk” across the U.S.-Mexico border to try to identify criminal networks operating in the two countries.

But if that’s the case, then why did they tell investigators to stand down when they attempted to track the guns after they crossed the border?

Why did they allow some 1,400 out of at least 2,000 firearms trafficked through Fast and Furious to simply fade into the sunset after they were smuggled into Mexico?

What did they expect to happen?

Now, Fast and Furious guns are turning up, not just in the hideout of the leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel, but also at countless crime scenes both in Mexico and the U.S.

You’ve probably heard how two Fast and Furious guns were found at the scene where U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered in 2010 by members of a drug gang “rip crew” near the border.

What you probably haven’t heard about is the multitude of other crimes committed with firearms that the Obama administration deliberately released into Mexico like gasoline over a forest fire. “The ATF armed the [Sinaloa] cartel. It is disgusting.” – ATF agent Carlos Canino

Here are just a few of the cases—just a few that have come to light so far, despite the Obama administration’s best efforts to keep documents about Fast and Furious out of the public domain—where firearms trafficked through the insane operation have turned up:

In the 2009 seizure by police in Mexicali, Mexico, of 42 firearms from the Sinaloa drug cartel—every one of which could be traced back to Fast and Furious.


Your taxpayer dollars at work.

And what was the point?

For what possible reason would federal law enforcement authorities knowingly, deliberately allow firearms from the United States to go to the most violent, dangerous people in the hemisphere—if not to support the Obama party line that Americans’ firearms, and their freedom to own them, were to blame for the flood of drug-cartel murder and mayhem in Mexico?

It’s the only explanation that makes any sense—as cynical and sinister as that “sense” might be.

Viewed in that light:

  • It makes perfect sense that former Attorney General Eric Holder stonewalled congressional investigators, in effect telling them to go pound sand, and refusing to release reams of internal documents related to Fast and Furious for years on end—an unprecedented act of hubris that earned him the honor of being the first attorney general in history to be held in contempt of Congress.
  • It makes perfect sense that many of the agents on the ground were kept in the dark about the operation, with information compartmentalized, like the layers of an onion, to give those responsible an insulating layer of “plausible deniability.”
  • It makes sense that Obama would claim “executive privilege” to keep the details of Fast and Furious under wraps.
  • And it makes perfect sense that now, even years later, as the bodies of the innocent victims of Fast and Furious accumulate like cordwood, even now the Obama administration refuses to cough up the relevant documents telling who, what, when, how, and most importantly, why.

“[A]ny harm that might flow from the public revelation of the deliberations at issue here has already been self-inflicted.” — Federal Judge Amy BermanBut those days may be coming to an end, as even Obama’s allies try to put Fast and Furious behind them like rats from a sinking ship.

On Jan. 19, federal Judge Amy Berman—an Obama appointee—ordered the administration to produce the documents demanded. The Obama administration has long claimed that public revelation of the documents would be damaging—imagine that!—but now even Obama’s own hand-picked federal judge couldn’t stomach it any longer.

“There is no need to balance the need against the impact that the revelation of any record could have on candor in future executive decision making,” Judge Berman wrote, “since any harm that might flow from the public revelation of the deliberations at issue here has already been self-inflicted.”

The deadline Berman set for the administration to comply was this past Tuesday, Feb. 2. 

Now, years later, maybe the family of murdered Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, and the families of the hundreds of other victims of Fast and Furious, can finally find out why.

I wouldn’t hold my breath, though. The trail of tragedy and tears following Fast and Furious—and its government-sanctioned policy of arming murderous, dangerous people—is likely far from over.

As Carlos Canino, who was ATF’s deputy attaché in Mexico before he was transferred to Phoenix to try to stanch the bleeding of Fast and Furious, said:

“Brian Terry is not the last guy, okay, guys? Let’s put it out there right now. Nobody wants to talk about that. Brian Terry is not the last guy unfortunately … Unfortunately, there are hundreds of Brian Terrys probably in Mexico … the ATF armed the [Sinaloa] cartel. It is disgusting.”