Fast and Furious fires off a burst of criticism that hits a moving target called deception.The author, Katie Pavlich, relentlessly pounds away at the falsehoods that provided cover for plausible denial. The casualties were enormous. The nation needlessly lost brave men like Brian Terry and Jaime Zapata. Please remember them. But, truth was also a casualty.
It is now clear that the intent of Fast and Furious—a program of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that trafficked guns across the border into Mexico—was fundamentally misguided. The idea was to track the weapons purchased in the United States that were used in crimes by the Mexican drug cartels and thus bolster the need for gun control. The Mexican government was left in the dark. The operation failed because it allowed automatic weapons to be walked across the border. The weapons, predictably, ended up in the hands of dangerous criminals. Pavlich informs us that hundreds of Mexicans were killed as a result.
Instead of accepting responsibility for this horrendous blunder, denial became the watchword. Denial in turn led to obfuscation; obfuscation bred an obsession with political survival which, in turn, gave birth to contempt. It shouldn’t be this difficult. America doesn’t need a constitutional crisis just for seeking a plain and simple explanation for why people died.